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Monday, February 8, 2010

A new year….a new home?

Is one of your 2010 resolutions to buy a new home?  If so, you have several tempting incentives and advantages in your corner.

The most talked about benefit to purchasing a home right now is the available tax credits. After months of lobbying, the home buyer tax credit was extended and expanded in November.  The $8000 tax credit is available to first timers who put a home under contract prior to April 30, 2010.  In addition, a new credit now grants up to $6,500 to current home owners purchasing a home before April 30th.   

Who doesn’t love a sale? That’s exactly what’s going on with our housing market right now.  Economists speculate we may have seen the bottoming of the market – and with it the lowest home prices.   In addition to stabilizing home prices, there was a significant uptick in December sales.  If you’ve been eyeing your dream home for awhile, now might be just the time to scoop it up.

Once the perfect home is found, the next important step is arranging the mortgage. The good news – and somewhat contradictory to reports – is that money IS being lent…everyday…to all sorts of buyers.  When I started lending, ‘full documentation’ was the only way to get a loan.  Then the pendulum swung to the other extreme – where people could essentially ‘sign and drive’ to buy a home.   (Have a 600 credit score and a down payment?  Here’s a house!)  This past year has made lending’s guideline pendulum swing all the way back to ‘old school’.   ‘Old school’ meaning: borrowers need a minimum 620 score, a stable job, money in the bank and the ability to repay the loan – not too wild of a concept.  Many loan types are available to fit long and short term goals.   

If you’re thinking of buying a home in the near future, contact someone to evaluate your options and get preapproved.  A preapproval is a review of your income, assets and credit history to evaluate your best options, help you narrow your home search and give you buying power when you’re ready to make an offer!

Rebecca Madej is a member of CharlotteMommies and a mortgage banker with over eight years’ lending experience.   Have questions? Give me a call to explore your options - it would be a pleasure to provide you with both a competitive mortgage and a pleasant experience.

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