Up To $8,000 Up For Grabs

Since the first of the year, many first time home buyers have staked their claim in the Southwest Florida real estate market. Besides the low prices and historic low interest rates, the tax credit of up to $8,000 has been a huge motivator. There are still folks on the fence about when to buy this year and still be eligible to get the tax credit.

Basically, first time buyers have until November 30 to close on a home in order to be eligible for the credit unless it gets extended. It’s the middle of June which leaves about five months to get the job done so what’s the rush, right? From start through closing it’s really going to take more time than most people realize. If you cut it close to the wire, any unexpected delays could take you beyond the deadline and you’ll lose the credit. Counting on a credit that doesn’t come through because of delays would be harsh.

The loan approval process is going to require that a number of documents relating to employment and finances will need to be gathered and provided to your mortgage broker: Two years tax returns, pay check stubs, checks to prove rent payment history and usually 90 days of bank statements. Yes, you’ll feel hen pecked and probably have to explain something or other on your credit report that wasn’t pretty but just magically showed up.

The time you spend house hunting before you find a home is a huge variable. Many of the homes that are in the best condition with the best pricing go quickly, often with multiple offers. It may take you a few attempts at different homes before you successfully negotiate yourself into a contract.

Be prepare for the “hurry up and wait” home buying process. The bank involved properties that are on the market now continue to add different issues that pop up. Short sales haven’t gotten much faster even with all the years of practice the banks have had doing them. You could literally learn to play piano or speak Italian during the time it takes for most short sales get processed.

Further down the road, unexpected things can happen like defects found during the home inspection and discovery of major repairs or code violations that need fixed. Most of the issues are able to be worked through as long as there is enough time to do so.

There are all sorts of new rules regarding mortgages and appraisals. Regardless of how great real estate prices are these days, occasionally the home doesn’t appraise for the purchase price. It’s another hurdle that can be over come, but added time is needed, because it just takes longer to communicate with everyone involved due to the new rules.

Don’t take it down to the wire. Buying that first home doesn’t have to be stressful if you simply allow enough time to do it even if an unexpected wrinkle or two pops up. With any luck you’ll have smooth sailing and an easy transaction. If you don’t and have a little extra time on your side it will likely all work out with a tax credit as a housewarming gift.


Real Life in Bonita Springs is a project by Chris Griffith dedicated to writing useful blog posts for consumers about the Bonita Springs, Florida area.  Find out what it is really like to live in Bonita Springs, Florida by reading about our fair city. You’ll get the latest in local real estate information, Bonita Springs real estate market reports and a little bit of humor.  If you have topic ideas, feel free to request a story about the idea, after all, this site is just for you.

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