Thursday, July 2, 2009

Want that $8K tax credit? It may be later than you think.

Are you hoping to be a first-time home buyer and wanting to take advantage of that $8,000 tax credit offered by the government? Remember that in order to qualify you need to CLOSE the purchase of a home by Dec. 1st (NOT Dec. 31st). Working a typical home-buying timeline backwards, that means you need to begin seriously shopping for a home by early October. Here's how I come up with that recommendation.

Average time from making an offer to close a purchase: 30-45 days
Average time to find a home once you begin looking: 2-4 weeks
Total: 8-10 weeks (2-2.5 months)

So working backwards, that puts you between September 15 - October 1st if you don't want to be pushed to buy something that isn't what you really want. And keep in mind that there are likely to be A LOT of other folks who will suddenly awaken to that reality, which may deplete inventory and lengthen the average timeline. And there is no way to be certain that interest rates will stay as good as they are now.

If you are thinking that Sept. 15th is still a long ways away, just consider how quickly the summer months always seem to fly by.

Do you have questions about whether or not you qualify for the tax credit? Give me a call and I'll help you find the answers. 206-708-9800

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

31% of home buyers are single

31% of homebuyers are single. Are you? Visit my Prudential website to find a variety of resources to help you get started with your home search. Click on the "Single Buyers" tab at the top of the page for information on topics such as: home security; home styles; steps to home ownership; renting vs. buying; pet owners as home owners; and, free homebuyer workshops.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Luxury Homes offer great value

While overall home sales suffered a major slow down the past two years, the luxury home market took a greater hit than the lower priced starter homes. There are several reasons for this, starting with the fact that the number of buyers who can afford higher-end homes is smaller to begin with. Secondly, financing of luxury homes typically requires borrowers to purchase “Jumbo” loans. Interest rates for these loans are significantly higher than loans for starter homes. And since the current government tax incentives only apply to first-time home buyers, there is not as much financial incentive for purchasers of the more expensive homes.

What does this mean for you? It may signal a unique opportunity to purchase a view or luxury home at a “bargain” price. Homes that would have commanded $1,000,000 or more two years ago are now going for $850,000 (on average). Obviously, that’s still a lot of money, but if you have a good job and good credit and ever intend to move up to a more expensive home, this may be the best time to do it.

Here is just one example of a home with a million-dollar view, currently listed for $825,000. MLS# 29036564. 5702 SW Admiral Way, 98116.
Remodeled 1929 Tudor-style, 4 bedrooms, 2.75 baths, decks on all three levels with 180 degree unobstructable views of the Sound & Mountains.

Want to see it for yourself? Call me for a private showing, 206-708-9800.

Open House Blitz Today!

The Open House Blitz sponsored by the Washington State Assn. of Realtors continues today, so don't be surprised if you see Open House sign boards on every street corner. From 11-4 today, I will be holding open my listing at 2626 Marine Av SW, on the block between Pepperdock's and Whale Tail Park. It's an adorable Spanish-style, one-level duplex. The two units together are listed for $487,500. MLS# 29082990