Tips to ensure first time buyer tax credit

Just a reminder that the deadline to be under contract on a home to still obtain the first time buyer tax credit is April 30th.  This is up to $8,000 in tax credits for any buyer who hasn’t owned a home in the past 3 years.  Of course, move up buyers are also eligible for up to a $6,500 credit.  Since that’s not very far away, I know that many people have just signed contracts or are still looking for their perfect place.  The property must close on or before June 30th.  And that April 30th contract must be signed by both the buyer and the seller, or one of their representatives, to make it legal and binding.  I wanted to give you some other tips to make sure you got through this process without a hitch.

1. Use your contingencies wisely.  In Illinois, you’re allowed an attorney review contingency, mortgage contingency, and home inspection contingency.  You’ll most likely want to take advantage of all three.  But don’t use them as just a stall tactic to buy more time.  Make sure you meet your deadlines.  Get the contract to your attorney as soon as its signed – give them as much time as possible to review it.  Order a home inspection upon signing it, too.  You don’t want to have to ask for extensions because you want to be able to close in time.

2. Don’t wait for better weather to go out looking.  You’re already in a serious time crunch, so delaying something even further could mean the home that’s meant for you is already sold or off the market.  Schedule appointments if it’s snowing if you need to find something quick.

3. Make sure you’re pre-approved before you go out looking. You don’t want to find out after you’ve finished negotiating that there’s a problem with the purchase price because you won’t qualify for a loan.  Make sure your mortgage broker has all of the documentation they need from you (tax returns, pay stubs, bank statements, etc.) well ahead of time.

4. Be wary of short sales in this situation.  The process to hear back from the lender could be a very long one, and you don’t want to risk losing your credit because of it.  At this point, that may not be the best way to go.

More great tips can be found here.

Let me know if you’re still looking.  I’m happy to help you find your dream home.  Visit me online.

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