Homebuyers: The "Perfect Storm" is upon you!!

By
Mortgage and Lending with Falcon Financial

  Whether you're an aspiring homeowner, or a current homeowner thinking of purchasing a different home, December 2009 is giving a whole new meaning to the term "perfect storm".

A "perfect storm" is an expression that describes an event where a rare combination of circumstances will aggravate a situation drastically.  But in this case, rather than aggravating the situation, the circumstances are creating a whirlwind of opportunity for people who are thinking of purchasing a home.  If you've been planning on postponing your home search till 2010, you might want to reconsider and turn your holiday window shopping into a holiday house-hunt!

Low Rates.  You're probably aware that interest rates have been at historical lows for the last few months.  While we've been enjoying these low rates for awhile now, we all know that they can't last forever.

Home Prices Still Low.  Between all the available foreclosures and short sales, and the decline in market values over the past few years, home prices are lower than we've seen in the past 8+ years.

Tax Credit.  As you've likely already heard, the $8,000 tax credit for first-time buyers has been extended, and a $6,500 tax credit is now also available to current homeowners who buy another home.  This credit is only available for a limited time, so take advantage of this opportunity now and you'll be grinning your way through tax season!!

Holidays...??  Yes, the holiday season is the component you may not have considered!  Finding the right house for the right price and getting approved for a loan is all well and good.  But if there are other buyers who are willing and able to offer more for that house, your "right house" just became their house.

So, why not do all you can to get an edge on the competition?  Many house-hunters are easily sidetracked by holiday preparation and gatherings, which makes this the optimal time for you to put in an offer and less likely to be out-bid.  You may have to give up some of your usual holiday activities, but it will be well worth it if it results in getting a new home for Christmas!

Another MUST to be a step ahead of the competition is to get pre-qualified for a loan BEFORE you make an offer.  Sellers are serious so you have to be ready to play ball.  If you make the same offer as someone who can show the seller they've been pre-qualified to buy the home, your offer might as well be written in crayon.  Lenders are constantly tightening their standards, making it harder to qualify for a loan.  The best place to start your home search is by meeting with a Loan Officer and knowing exactly where you stand and how much you can afford.  Having a pre-qual letter from your Loan Officer to accompany your offer can make the difference between you and your competition.

Happy Holidays and Happy House-Hunting! 

Tom Smith

Owner/Consultant

Falcon Financial

Comments (4)

Chip Jefferson
Gibbs Realty and Auction Company - Columbia, SC

I agree it is the perfect storm for home buyers and the few home sellers that stick out the holidays. Getting Pre Qualed is a must do.

Dec 04, 2009 09:13 AM
Heather the Realtor Orlando, Lake Mary
LemonTree Realty - Orlando, FL
First Time Home Buyers, Bank Owned Homes

I agree it's the perfect storm I have been preaching that for a while really low interest rates, home buyer tax credits, low prices and inventory what more could buyers want.

Dec 04, 2009 09:14 AM
Ashley Sharum
972.978.3109 - Dallas, TX
Ebby Halliday Realtors

Excellent points, Tom! When first time buyers come and ask me about the conditions of the market, I point to many of these things. Such a great time to take advantage!

Dec 04, 2009 09:18 AM
Tom Smith
Falcon Financial - Grass Valley, CA

Kind of a catch-22 though, in one way I wish this had all come to fruition BEFORE the recession so more people could have taken advantage of it, but on the flip side, if they had taken advantage of it and then lost their jobs, we'd be looking at that many more foreclosures...  All we can hope is that a large number of people will be able to benefit from this.  It always feels so wonderful to help people get into a home, and it will be even more exciting to help them get this tax credit too!!

Dec 09, 2009 09:56 AM