Buyers in 2010 can take advantage of some great tax credits -- the extension of the $8,000 tax credit for the first-time homeowner, and the $6,500 tax credit for homeowners who have lived in their home for 5 of the past 8 years when they purchase a new primary residence. These programs require that you must have a contract by April 30, 2010, and close by June 30, 2010.
There are also some new changes that will make it easier for Buyers to understand the Good Faith Estimate (provided by your Lender) and the Closing Statement. Lenders are now required to use a uniform 3-page document, which must be provided within 72-hours after you apply for a loan. The new Good Faith Estimate requires lenders to disclose features that could drive up your costs. The new rules will make it more difficult for lenders to change the cost of items that are listed on the GFE, and the form includes a line-by-line comparison, making it easy to identify any change in costs. These new guidelines will take effect in January 2010.
FHA Announces Policy Changes:
MIP (Mortgage Insurance Premium) will be increased to build up FHA capital reserves.
Note: .5% increase adds $1,000 on a $200,000 loan.
Update the combination of FICO scores and down payments for new borrowers.
Reduce allowable seller concessions from 6% to 3%.
1) Less Competition - Most folks wait until Spring & Summer to market their home.
2) January is the Biggest Transfer Month - More Corporate moves happen during January
3) Timing - Putting Your Home on the Market earlier means you may be able to move sooner.
4) More Time to Get a Higher Price - less sense of urgency
5) Great Time to Shop - If your home sells quickly, you will have more time to shop for the next home.
6) The Market - In the past few years, homes have sold higher in the early part of the year. The $8,000 First-Time Tax Credit expires at the end of April (close by the end of June), and we are experiencing all-time low interest rates.