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March 19th, 2009 10:07 AM by David W. Welch
The first time home buyer tax credit has really started to take hold. The fact that you can claim it on your 2008 taxes makes it even better. Cash is hard to come by these days, so the possibility of putting up to $8,000 in your pocket after buying a home is huge. Orlando real estate is still the number one search people are using to find my website, but first time home buyer is definitely a strong number two. That is why I have three pages on my website devoted to the first time home buyer.
After discussing financing and what they are looking for in a home, I like to spend some time talking about the current market. The first thing buyers need to know is that there are some challenges in purchasing even in this terrific buyer's market. First, even with all the inventory that is out there, the good properties that are priced well are still getting multiple offers. The average buyer is writing four offers, before getting a home under contract. The bank owned properties many times are good deals, but not always the best deal, so don't limit yourself to just foreclosures. Short sales often have less competition, but they take a lot longer (several months) to close. If you do get a contract on a bank owned property, expect delays in closing. Every bank owned property I have sold has been delayed at least a couple of weeks. Do not expect to move on the day of closing. If you are getting financing or you are purchasing a short sale or bank owned property, the closing may not be finalized until the next business day. That means if you sign on Friday, it may not be final until Monday afternoon. Some banks won't sign until they have received all of your signed closing documents, and your lender won't fund the loan until the bank signs.
In a nutshell, start early and expect the process to take longer. Every market is different, even within areas of town, the type of property and price range, but everything seems to be taking a bit longer these days. If you are getting FHA or VA financing expect five to six weeks to close. Anyway, I have been working with a number of first time buyers, and thought I would share some of my observations. I hope this was helpful. If you are a first time home buyer in the Orlando area, I would love to help you find your first home. It is definitely something to be excited about, and it is worth any extra waiting or work that it might take.
David Welch, Real Estate Optimist