If you are thinking of buying, now might be the perfect storm. Rates are extremely low, the government is pitching in $8000 of free money to those who haven’t been homeowners in the past 3 years and prices have come WAY down.
Deals must be closed by the deadline, November 30th, 2009 so if you are thinking of doing this and capturing this free money then you need to get out and start looking. Being pre-qualified by a lender usually only takes a day. You will need to have recent paystubs, tax returns and fill out an application but this process is very quick to complete and you will have a good idea of what you can afford. For more info on the tax credit click the link below:
I would just like to caution people that you may qualify for more of a monthly payment than you are comfortable with. If you really don’t want to spend more than a certain amount a month in mortgage payments then make sure that the payment you receive also includes taxes and insurance and homeowner dues if you are buying a condo. This will give you a realistic financial picture of what you are looking for.
When you interview an agent to work with make sure that they know the market area that you want to buy in. Working with an agent who specializes in Burien isn’t going to help you much if you want to buy on the hill. Ask some questions. Find out if they have sold many places on the hill and if they have any listings in that area. Agents that sell on the hill typically will know many of the buildings as they have been in and out of tons of places in their searches for other clients. They may know some inside information about the way things are operated. Co-ops are also a very specific niche market. There are not that many of them but you will need a special kind of loan and the process is slightly different than buying a condo. Ask your agent if they have experience in co-ops if this is the way you want to go.
That’s all I’ve got for now. Just wanted to give people a heads up about the tax credit as it seems a shame to miss out on it if you are planning on buying this year. You won’t get it if you buy in December.
I am happy to answer any questions on real estate buying or selling that you may have. I work a lot on the hill in condos and co-ops and am happy to help.
www.sharonomahony.com is where you can reach me.
Best of luck!