● If you are in the market for a house, find out if you qualify for the expanded Home Buyer Tax Credit that pays up to $8,000. Even if you didn’t qualify before, you may be eligible now as the rules have been loosened to include more Americans. While this program may be the icing on the cake that you have been waiting for, it’s probably not enough to convert a hardened renter.
However, when you combine the cash incentive with low fixed rate home loans and throw in low prices and cooperative sellers, the mix becomes harder to resist. Therefore, consider the advantages of taking the plunge this year.
● Watch for home lenders to adopt the short sale process to a much greater degree than in the past. A short sale occurs when a lender agrees to accept a discounted payoff on a loan it holds. While the sale results in a loss for the lender, it is usually less of a loss than the lender will be forced to accept if the house goes into foreclosure.
The Treasury Department recently announced new guidelines to encourage the parties to accept short sale offers.
Not only will the government offer the carrot of cash payments to lenders and sellers, but it will now require lenders to respond to short sale offers in 10 days or less. This may create a real opportunity for buyers to purchase homes in reasonably good condition at excellent discounts.
● Finally, my advice to all property owners is: “Be patient.” This economy is moving, albeit slowly, in the right direction and will recover. Those who make wise decisions today will be rewarded in years to come.
If you would like to speak to someone about purchasing or refinancing please visit www.massmortgageloan.com