No, I never thought I would say this, but if you are a First Time Home Buyer, now is a great time to buy a "short sale".
Why? Well, for 2 reasons.
First and foremost, if you are are First Time Home Buyer, in Northern Virginia, you are up against some pretty stiff competition. Let's go to the videotape, or in this case the Metropolitan Regional Information Systems, or its more common name, the MLS.
In the last 30 days, ten detached single family homes were sold in The City of Manassas, between $150,000-$250,000. Of those ten, 5 were "bank owned", 3 were "short sales", and 2 were "traditional sales". What does that mean?
Again, let's go to the MLS.
I culled over some data, (well I am single, what else am I going to do), and at this time last year, 21 detached single family homes were sold in the same region, in the same price range.
Ah ha! More homes were sold last year, than this year, in this particular area. (Well, I certainly hope so!)
At this time last year, there were 4,826 "active" listings in Prince William County, and The Cities of Manassas, and Manassas Park. This year, there are only 2,848 active listings, of which 928 are marked either "under contract", or "contingent". What does that mean?
Well, remember those 21 detached single family homes that sold last year at this time? Guess how many were settled "short sales"?
None, nada, zilch, you get the idea.
Unlike a year ago, in which I saw "no ratified contracts", "multiple ratified contracts", and agents that went MIA on short sales, most of the listing agents involved in these transactions now take them very seriously, almost as if they are marathon runners preparing for months for that one day of glory. (By the way, I used to be a Marathon Runner, it's not the race itself, it's the training that's hard.)
Also, with the new rules regarding short sales, it should hold the big banks more accountable to their double talk, and constant, "yeah, we'll get back to ya", put offs.
And don't forget the "new and improved" home buyers tax credit, of which you need to have a "ratified" contract by April 30. Of course, this assumes that the prospective home buyer can "tough it out".
So, first time home buyers, do you have what it takes, to go the distance? Because if you have a VA or FHA loan, once a home has gone into foreclosure, and becomes "bank owned", most of those same banks don't want to have anything to do with you.
Starting now, home buyers, we have 7 months to bring these short sales to a close. That may seem like a long time, but remember the marathon runner who trains for months to get to where she is going. Nothing worth having, ever comes easy.
Reporting from the trenches,
Johnny "Culdesac" Yankoviak