5 Reasons You Should Buy a Home Now

January 28, 2010

I saw a television commercial with a family sitting on a bench in front of a home for sale, just staring at the house from a distance. The point of the ad was that these people were told to wait before buying a home, so that’s literally what they did.

Sadly, far too many potential buyers are doing this same thing. They’ve been listening to naysayers who are paralyzing buyers with fear. In reality, now is the best time to buy a home, and here’s why.

Reason #1: You can get a tax credit if you buy before April 30, 2010.

Whether you are a first-time or repeat homebuyer, the government is offering an incentive to buy a home. First-time homebuyers can get an $8,000 federal tax credit and repeat buyers can get up to $6,500. Get more information here.

Reason #2: You can get more house for the money.

Home prices have been dropping for some time, although the numbers are starting to rebound. You can only really tell you’ve hit bottom when you start to move back up, and we’re seeing that happen. Based on current studies, like the Standard & Poor/Case-Schiller Home Price Indices, home prices are now improving, so the sooner you act, the better the value.

Reason #3: Mortgage rates are in your favor.

Not only can you get a great value on the purchase of a home right now, you can finance it for an incredibly low rate. So your dream home is even more affordable!

Reason #4: You have more bargaining power.

Sellers are very motivated and may be willing to make more concessions in order to court a serious, qualified buyer. If you’re looking to have your closing costs covered, you have more leverage now, when the market is still in a regrowth phase.

Reason #5: Lenders want qualified buyers.

Yes, the reins have been tightened by some mortgage lenders, but not all. Lenders will never make any returns if they don’t invest in buyers. You might need to work a little harder to find a cooperative lender, but the payback is that you reap the rewards of the first four reasons listed here. Need help finding a lender? I can help.

Stop waiting. Start shopping!

New Home or Resale: Which is the Smarter Investment?

January 6, 2010

When you decide to buy a home—and, incidentally, there are so many reasons to do so now, including the tax credits for first-time and repeat home buyers that expire this April—do you know what you are getting for your money? Are you focusing on purchasing an existing home because you think you can get a better “deal”?

The truth is, the sale price of a resale is often only the beginning. You’ll likely have to invest in repairs—cosmetic or structural. Depending on the age of the house, you might be looking at replacing the roof, flooring, major appliances, furnace, water heater, or other items that last only a finite number of years. What kind of structural repairs are you facing? Do you know the condition of the underlying support system (foundation, beams, etc.)? And how responsible was the previous owner? Did he ignore basic maintenance or perhaps cut corners on repairs?

Once you add up the extra costs associated with bringing a resale up to your standards, you might find yourself regretting that you didn’t opt for a brand new home. Consider these advantages of purchasing a new home:

1. Picture perfect. You’re not at the mercy of the previous owner’s choices. You can choose everything in advance: location, floor plan, windows, trims, flooring, appliances, light fixtures, window treatments, colors, and even the landscaping.

2. Move-in condition. You won’t need to spend time or money on changes and repairs after the sale.

3. Warranties. With a new home, you gain the peace of mind that comes with having everything under warranty: the house itself, as well as the appliances, flooring, and heating and air conditioning systems.

4. Energy efficiency. Starting from the ground up allows you to incorporate energy efficient systems into your home—rather than attempt a retrofit—so you enjoy continued comfort and savings (including a tax credit for owning an energy efficient home).

5. Low maintenance. New homes are built with the latest in technology and materials, designed for greater durability and low maintenance.

We’re in a new decade, with new advances, credits, pricing, and more. There has never been a better time to reap the rewards of a new home!