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As you have likely been reading, the First-time Homebuyer Credit program will expire on November 30′th. What many people have not understood, this means you must settle on your new home by that date. Having just purchased a new car, I encountered the flurry of activity that occurred on the last few days of the Cash for Clunkers program. For those who purchased a new car, it was feasible (although not advisable) to wait to the last minute. WARNING: This is not the way the homebuying process works. We are quickly approaching what is the last minute for you to make your purchase. Unlike picking out a new car, finding the right home can take a week, two weeks or in some cases several months. Even once you have found the perfect place to call home, you will then need to start the actual buying process. This has quickly become challenging in our local market since the more affordable homes are disappearing from the inventory. A simple understanding of the law of supply and demand will tell you that this will create upward pressure on prices and competition for the same properties. Remember that what you find appealing will also appeal to a great many others. I just sold my used car to “Joe C.” who has been trying to buy a home in Woodbridge. He said that he and his fiance have made offers on three homes, only to be out bid either by higher offers or all cash offers. There are several things that Joe and his Realtor can do to insure that this doesn’t happen which we can easily cover in person.
Once a contract is ratified, the process will then take a minimum of three weeks to four weeks to get to the settlement table. And this only if everything lines up perfectly. With that said, you will need between six and eight weeks to find the right home and settle on it. We have only 11 weeks until the program expires. The reality is that three weeks to spare in the homebuying process is equivalent to three hours in the auto purchase world.
If you are reading this post, you probably already decided to purchase a home, but I would suggest reading the about the Proven Path to Home Ownership since it provides a very succint discussion o fthe home buying process. We can always discuss this in more detail once we get together.
At the risk of sounding like a high pressure sales person, you really can’t wait much longer to take advantage of the First Time Homebuyer Credit. Depending on you income, this credit can mean an actual dollar savings of anywhere from $10,000 – 16,000 in pre-income tax money.