Last chance for First Time Home Buyers and other tax credits?

Real Estate Technology with Content, coding, marketing, host.

At the time I was writing this post we had 69 days and nearly 22 hours left to get those contracts signed and executed. Let me explain - that's almost not enough time.

By the time you, as a home shopper, get approved for a mortgage (should always be the first step unless you truly are paying cash), find the home you are looking for, make an offer, get it back - not including the time it takes to negotiate price if that comes into play, get the inspection and appraisal done and get your loan to closing about 30 days will have passed. That is for a smooth shopping event followed by a smooth loan event.First Time Homebuyers Tax Credit

My company generally closes loans in less than 21 days from contract to close but we rely heavily on many other moving parts including the title company (closing attorney), the appraiser, the seller (if it's a bank add a few to several days to the process), your insurance agent, the appraiser, and you to get everything to us we need. Yes, we can, have and do close faster. Be careful about closing times and what companies call the process. For example from the time we have everything required to close the loan until closing occurs can and has been as little as 2 days. Of course it often takes a week or two to get to that point. That's why we say 21 days from contract to close.

What I am say is if you are planning on taking advantage of the tax credits which have been offered for several months you need to get off your duffus and start making offers.

Step One - Get Pre-Qualified

Now because of some lovely time restraints and new federal regulations you can't really get fully qualified until you have accepted a Good Faith Estimate of Settlement Costs. You can't, legally, get a Good Faith Estimate of Settlement Costs until you have a property address. So while there are some caveats in there until the regulation is rewritten your pre-approval is just that ... pre.

Step Two - Go Shopping

Do NOT go buy a new truck because you just found out your credit is good. Do NOT apply for new credit of ANY kind including store credit down at the MegaLo Mart. You have one purpose in life and that is to find a property that can be financed with the type of loan you are pre-qualified for. This may or may not be a "fixer-upper" and if it is a "fixer-upper" you really are waiting until the last minute.

Step Three - Move Quickly

Don't be the reason your home loan is delayed from being underwritten. Get all of your documents to the lender when they ask for them. Be the person who makes the processor say, "Wow! They had this to me within 10 minutes!" Especially if you are purchasing with an FHA 203k Streamline loan you want to make sure you get started now. If you are using one of the community down payment assistance programs or a USDA rural loan program that will take longer as well.

Take advantage of it NOW because the chances of it being extended yet again are slim to none.

Posted by

Web/Social Developer For Hire - I code. I create. I manage. Whether you need your website to actually do something other than look pretty or one of the following services let's talk. Anyone can make a beautiful WordPress site (all the hard work is done) but few can make it work for you. , blog content, research intense reports, data reports (and accompanying charts and graphics), ebooks, presentation content, speeches, social media management, advertising scripts, or similar, let me show you what you can have.

Listen to Social Media Edge Radio weekly for powerful tips on making the Internet pay for you. Blogging, social media, and web technology with some of the most successful and well-known guests on the Web!

I started writing on Active Rain in 2006 when I was representing the mortgage industry. I am no longer in that industry and many of the older posts contain outdated information. Please do not contact me for LENDING or MORTGAGE questions but rather contact a licensed mortgage professional from your area. I have always been in marketing and branding and that is still what I do. Thanks for reading!

Comments (4)

Liz Flint
Century 21 Hardee-Team Realty - Houston, TX
Houston\Tomball Realtor (832)816-8066

Great post Ken.  Hope the buyers in Georgia your ticking clock to heart and make a move before its too late.

Feb 19, 2010 10:08 AM
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate

Thank you for posting this! Buyers need to stick to the proper order of the process. And they need constant reminders of just how long it takes for closings now. Many of them have no idea how drastically different things have become. =)

Feb 19, 2010 03:41 PM
Lane Bailey
Century 21 Results Realty - Suwanee, GA
Realtor & Car Guy

Great post Ken.  I hope that there aren't a lot of buyers frozen out of the tax credit by waiting "just a little" too long...

Feb 20, 2010 11:02 AM
John Cannata
214-728-0449 - Frisco, TX
Texas Home Mortgage - Purchase or Refinance

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!!!  Good reminder Ken. I hope you receive more requests in your area.

Feb 20, 2010 05:13 PM