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Take Advantage of the Tax Credit Extension

Typically, around this time of year the cold air, cozy fireplaces, decorating of the tree, and gift giving slows down buyers home searches.  This winter, however, may be different becauseTax Credit Extended of the first-time homebuyer tax credit extension.  The traffic at surged on November 5th when Congress approved the tax credit extension.  Those buyers out there that were stressing about finding a home in time can now breathe.  However, they can’t get too relaxed because those that were on the fence about diving into the market have taken a plunge.

Here are some tips for those who want to take advantage of the tax credit:

  1. Don’t wait:  For those that want to purchase a home, you should have started last week.  Make sure you get pre-approved to determine what you will be comfortable paying each month.  This is also needed to write up an offer so don’t cause any unnecessary delays.
  2. Don’t count on another extension: The credit won’t be around forever.  Even though April seems like an eternity away, it will be here before you know it.
  3. Watch the interest rates:  Rates are at an all time low and for people to appreciate this, an increase will have to occur.  The bad news is that the rates will rise, thus making your monthly payments higher.  Rates have been hovering around 5% for a 30 year fixed-rate mortgage.  Once the government stops purchasing those mortgage backed securities, the rates could rise.
  4. Talk to your Lender: From the first day you meet your lender or decide who you are going to use, make sure you are in contact with them regularly.  This can be a quick email just to keep fresh in their mind and to let them notify you of any updates or changes.  If they ask you for a document, get it back to them ASAP!  This will also prevent any delays with the closing date.
  5. Don’t take shortcuts: Just because you’re trying to meet the deadline doesn’t mean you should skip any steps you would normally take.  Make sure that the home is for you and get that inspection even if it looks great.  Taking shortcuts can get you in the long run.  It’s just not worth it.

You have heard me say this hundreds of times, but make sure you hire a knowledgeable and skillful Realtor® (  It really can make all the difference.  You’ll be able to tell right off the bat if an agent is hungry for business or is really concerned for the interest of the buyer.