Open Letter to First Time Home Buyers

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Alliance - Louisville REALTOR-Luxury Homes

Dear Procrastinating First Time Home Buyers:


I know you.  I've seen you in the mall on December 23rd. I've watched you race through town en route to the airport; screeching up to the terminal just in time to prevent your mom from giving up and getting in the cab.  I even saw you run over the neighbor's cat on your way to the post office on April 15th.  (Actually, disregard that last one.  I'm sure it was just a large stick).  You excel when the stakes are high.  You thrive on knowing you'll succeed where mere mortals would stumble.  Your methods are a bit unorthodox, but you always come through at the buzzer.  In most circles, I would be you.

The significant difference here is that I own a house.  For better or worse, I don't have a stake in the $8000 tax credit game.  You do though.  You have the opportunity to change your life for the better and you plan to do so. Tomorrow. 

My only concern is that tomorrow may not be when you think it is.  By now, you know the tax credit expires December 1st.  As this is month's away, I'm sure you've given little thought to actually looking for a house.  There are far more pressing deadlines to be dealt with.  I know you are busy, so I won't take up much more of your time.  But, you need to know...

December 1st is the wrong date.

To be eligible for the credit, you have to take possession by December 1st.  When everything was working well, it took around 30 days to close a loan.  These days, things don't work well very often and it's not going to get better once you and your brethren leave the couch.  Underwriters are scarce and banks aren't about to staff up for the onslaught knowing there is a going to be a huge void immediately afterwards.  It will take at least 45 days to close.  With that in mind,

October 16th is the real drop-dead date.

Reset your internal clock. 



I'd tell you to start now, so you can take advantage of the best deals, but it would be a waste of breath.  So, I'll just say,"Call me when you are ready." 





* * * * *

Erik Hitzelberger is a licensed REALTOR with RE/MAX Alliance in Louisville. If you need a Louisville Real Estate agent please email me or call 502.921.3989.

I specialize in the following areas of the Metro Louisville Area: Prospect, Middletown, Jeffersontown (J-Town), Fern Creek, Okolona, Shepherdsville, Mt Washington, Hillview, Brooks and Pewee Valley.  Click the following links to learn more about Louisville and Bullitt County Real Estate or to Search for Louisville Homes 

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Comments (90)

Erik Hitzelberger
RE/MAX Alliance - Louisville REALTOR-Luxury Homes - Louisville, KY
Louisville - Middletown Real Estate

Mako - Sounds like you'll be among the first to see how this is going to play out.  Please keep us informed.

Gale/Jim - Thank you.

Damon - I've tried to do my part.  But, as someone mentioned above, there are still people who don't even know about the credit. So, you must be right.

Aug 06, 2009 02:42 PM
Linda Landry
HomeSmart Realty - Tucson, AZ

Touche' Erik.  Ture words spoken like a champ!

Aug 06, 2009 02:56 PM
Karen Bernetti
Southington, CT

What a great reminder!  Time sure flies when we're having fun ...

Aug 06, 2009 03:56 PM
Mike Henderson
Your complete source for buying HUD homes - Littleton, CO
HUD Home Hub - 303-949-5848

Awesome post.  I'm getting me one of those clocks on my website!

Aug 06, 2009 04:12 PM
andrea re
Mopper-Stapen,Realtors - Savannah, GA

I love your opening line-- but unless you are blogging to someone  besides us realtors-- your message fallls on the choir!!  We know the song and dance-- the issue is to get buyers out there to  understand this is the best buying opportunity in history-- Via the $8000 tax crdit which I have been trying to do ---So unless I missed something -- how do we spur that energy to get the buyers to step up!!!

- and  Even more to get sellers to understand  they can no longer hold to a price point and say to us "we don't won't to give it away"

That sounds great --  may have worked back in the day--- but with this new apprasial system, I am counseling my buyers to look at the reality of this mkt. and there home could be worth even less 2mos. from now.--   " It is the best of times, It is the worst of Times" quouting Dickens and depending on where you are on that timeline.,   You need to make your best deal now-- my thought!






Aug 06, 2009 06:29 PM
andrea re
Mopper-Stapen,Realtors - Savannah, GA

greeting---erick---and to those reading my post--

As a follow up to what erick has said--if you are a 1st time home buyer.-- you do need to get something  in the works NOW!!---Just heard that  Whitaker/Bean/Taylor can no longer do FHA loans--which will afect alot of loan closings.  --so see who you mtg.lender is placing the loan with -- so you can get the fiancing you need,--with no last min. --problems---are


Aug 06, 2009 06:52 PM
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

I've sent out about 90 ALERTS with the same message.


Aug 06, 2009 11:19 PM
Paul Slaybaugh
Realty Executives - Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale, AZ Real Estate

Now this is a call to action.  Great impetus, Erik.

Aug 07, 2009 02:37 AM
Erik Hitzelberger
RE/MAX Alliance - Louisville REALTOR-Luxury Homes - Louisville, KY
Louisville - Middletown Real Estate

Linda - Thanks for your comments.  I can live with Champ.

Karen - You are right about that.  I've put several FTHBs into homes this summer (one more later today) and it has been fun.  As the end draws near, we need to be a little careful though.

Mike - Pretty cool, isn't it?

Andrea - Thanks for sharing your thoughts.  I'm fairly certain at least one person besides agents and my mom reads this, so maybe it will help him or her.  Seriously, I'll be sending this to any and all prospects I am working with. Tomorrow.  To your second point, I don't know what else to do to spur energy.  Some buyer's simply don't understand the implications of ~5% interest rates and great inventory.  By definition, most have never owned a home before and can't see the additional savings they are realizing. As the cliche goes, "you can lead a horse to water..."

Lenn - I have no doubt that you are on top of this.

Paul - Stop reading my drivel and get back to writing.


Aug 07, 2009 03:39 AM
Monica Bourgeau
Portland, OR
Business Coaching

Great point! We just had a closing that took 60 days to close so you need to allow plenty of time for sure, especially with all of the new requirements that lenders have to meet.

Aug 07, 2009 04:11 AM
Pamela Burdette-Miller
RE/MAX Unlimited Real Estate - Danbury, CT

Well siad Erik! The process is taking longer. I had a situation like Kevin & Monica. It took65 days to close. Thank goodness the seller was more patient than most and hung in there.

Aug 07, 2009 11:33 AM
Jeanna Martinez
RE/MAX Access - Schertz, TX

Wow!  What a great post...I really enjoyed reading it, and the comments that followed!  Thank you for writing it!

Aug 07, 2009 11:34 AM
Erik Hitzelberger
RE/MAX Alliance - Louisville REALTOR-Luxury Homes - Louisville, KY
Louisville - Middletown Real Estate

Kevin & Monica - With ever changing requirements, it is definitely getting harder and harder to close in a reasonable amount of time.  Preparing buyers for this fact may be one of the tougher challenges over the next few months.

Pamela - Ye gads! 65 days! I imagine the frustration level was so high that everyone was walking around on pins and needles.

Jeanna - Thanks for your comment.  I really enjoyed the dialog that followed as well.

Aug 07, 2009 12:59 PM
Ann Hayden 636-399-7544
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties-St. Louis Missouri - Chesterfield, MO


Great post and congrats on the feature!  I know of a few that are taking their time.


Aug 07, 2009 02:56 PM
Sheldon Neal
Bergen County, NJ - RE/MAX Real Estate Limited - Maywood, NJ
That British Agent Bergen County NJ

Erik ! Cant believe I missed this earlier ! I LOVE how this is written !!!

Very well done my friend, I'm going to reblog tomorrow.

Cheers !


Aug 09, 2009 02:23 PM
Carrie Sampron
Home Smart Realty Group - Highlands Ranch, CO
ABR SFR & Kathy Sampron (303) 931-3629 Highlands R

Erik:  Love the countdown clock!

Aug 10, 2009 09:57 AM
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate

Great post and a great reminder to those procrastinators out there!

Aug 11, 2009 02:44 AM
Mark Velasco
Sharpstone Commercial - Whittier, CA
Top Producing COMMERCIAL Team 30+ years experience

This is a very clever post Erik. It is also funny if you are not the one who thinks that they can buy a huge item such as a house in the last minute. LOVE the clock

Aug 18, 2009 06:12 PM
Jay Beckingham
Christensen Financial Mortgage - Port St Lucie, FL
Seniors ROCK!

just an example of life's little surprises.

USDA/RD in fort myers just informed us that review time is now 2 weeks. it use to be 1.

that's life.


Sep 08, 2009 06:44 AM
Christine McInerney
Great Life RE - Knoxville, TN
The McInerney Team, Knoxville TN Homes For Sale

There are tons out there that think they have to be under contract by Dec 1st and they will get the $8000.

Sep 15, 2009 01:09 PM