5 Tips to Take Advantage of the Homebuyer Tax Credit

money-houseSandy Springs home buyers have been taking advantage of the current $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit and the $6,500 repeat home buyer tax credit, but time is running out for other Sandy Springs home buyers who haven’t found a new home and for some who haven’t even started looking.

In order to qualify at a minimum, you must have a binding contract to purchase a home by April 30, 2010. So time to stop dawdling and start shopping.

There is certainly time to find a great home and get the home under contract in less than 30 days, but it will require working with a local, knowledgeable Realtor to guide you through the process and in particular identify the best homes currently available.

Wanting to take advantage of the tax credit? Here are some tips:

1. Dust off the books and become knowledgeable about the area: In reality, leave the books on the shelf. Buyers can do this simply by searching for homes here at AllAboutSandySprings.com. Our home search provides all the homes in metro Atlanta currently on the market. Or better yet, contact us and we’ll do a buyer consultation to identify what areas and homes best fit your needs and can even notify you of hot new listings before they even come on the market.

2. Talk to a lender about financing: This is critical. A lender can advise you on how much you can qualify to purchase and with a pre-approval letter the seller of the home you want will actually take your offer seriously. At today’s extremely low interest rates, that amount may be more than many buyers imagined. But either way, the process will help buyers determine how much they are willing and able to spend on the home.

3. Narrow your search: Metro Atlanta is a huge area and you need to determine where you want to live to narrow down your options. By identifying specific criteria of the home you want, you will be able to filter out homes that aren’ t the right fit. Prioritize your criteria such as schools, proximity to work, church, family and friends. Proximity to work is clearly a huge point to consider in Atlanta. Afterall, we’re not really known for having good traffic.

4. It’s all about Perspective: While it may be great to get the tax credit, don’t let the desire to do so completely control your home search. If you feel rushed to make a decision just because of the tax credit, then don’t worry about it and just remove that deadline from the equation. In the grand scheme of things, it’s much more important for you to be comfortable with the pace at which you find your home to ensure you are comfortable in your decision.

5. Watch out for Short Sales: If the home you want to buy is offered as a short sale, qualifying for the tax credit may become more difficult. A short sale must be approved by both the seller and the sellers’ lender(s) and the process is generally not short. While banks have improved on response time considerably, you are definitely pushing your luck pursuing a short sale at this time if you want to qualify for the homebuyer tax credit. But back to point #4, the short sale deal might be worth more to you than $8,000 in your pocket.

Contact us today to get your Sandy Springs home search started today and help you find your new dream home.

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