It's a new game with tax credits on until April 30, 2010!!!
"The $8,000 Tax Credit Looks Good, But how do I make a good decision when buying a home in today's market?" A recent Charlotte home buyer asked me... and made me think.
If you listened to the talking heads on TV, you would be convinced that the world as we know it is about to come to an end. Well no. We are still working here in Charlotte, going to work, selling homes, like about 2/3's of the rest of the country that have not experienced big price declines.
Still, in this market, there is a premium on Buying Smart. If you are thinking that is much more than "Buying Low" you are right!
5 Keys to Home Buying Success in Today's Market
1. Buy for the long term and plan to stay a minimum of 3 years, preferably 5-7 years. The longer you stay, the lower the risk in your investment. You get tax savings every year, and it just makes sense you have more time to let your home appreciate, and appreciation WILL be back in Charlotte before too long.
2. Buy a home in a community with a "Value- Anchor." What is a Value-Anchor? Anything that sets a particular set of homes apart to a large number of potential purchasers. Some examples include: The area it self, in Charlotte Myers Park, Southpark, these names have cache... not coincidentally they are closer to uptown. Waterfront, waterview, golf course, these are all homes that have attracted, and will attract a particular set of buyers.
The communities above are higher priced- you are starting out, maybe you can't afford these, then look for other value anchors, for example: communities with great natural beauty, communities with loads of amenities, communities with great schools (though this can change over 10 years) still look for a value anchor in every house or community. Close to town works almost anywhere. Other community anchors might be high quality amenities, larger lots (than the neighors) , great parks or greenways nearby, unusually convenient neighborhood, etc. There are too many to list, but I always ask, what is the value anchor, or value proposition for this home and community?
3. Buy Quality over quantity-Smaller, well cared for home with custom features are more and more preferred to a big plain box, and the dramatic shift in the last year is towards smaller homes. At any price point, look for the home with the most features, with attention to the feature that last.
4. Don't over buy, and finance with incredibly low 30 year Fixed which won't last forever. Current rates are around r 5%, and what a difference that makes. I bought my first home when interest rates were 11%! I made 45K per year and qualified for an $85,000 home- today, the same $45K could buy a home, with a 5% loan, at $175,000, with similar $1,000/mo payments to my first 11% loan. (Depending on down payment, taxes , HOA fees etc)
5. Shop for the right community, the right deal, and then the particular house- in that order, to insure you are most likely to be happy with your purchase and stay. You can make changes to the house to make it more to your liking, but if it is in a great community you want to live in, and you got it at a great price, that is something you can build on.
Do be sure and claim the $8000 Federal Tax Credit if you purchase by --November 30, 2009, April 30, 2010--it is FREE money.
Remember, to qualify for the $500 Gift card, give us a call first-704-351-1519- we'll often get the right agent on the phone right then... and get you started. Sign up here for your Fast Start Guide to Buying Your First Home Why You Need A Buyer Agent- Sand Traps and Land Mines to Avoid When Buying Your First home Learn more about the McDonald Team and First Home Buyers.