Housing sales are up in many areas, home prices and interest rates are low. The $8000 tax credit will expire soon (Nov 30, 2009) if the feds don’t extend it. (“Rumors” of an extension still exist.)
Is there a down side to all this for a buyer?
Many buyers are finding they must compete with multiple offers on low end properties. Short sales can take months to finalize, and in some cases, fall through at the last minute costing the buyer a lot of time. Foreclosed houses are typically sold “AS IS” and need repairs that disqualify them from federally backed mortgages (FHA, VA), making them “cash only” homes. Even if an offer is moving forward, appraisals have been known to fall short of sales prices causing the sale to fall through.
How can a buyer compete with these obstacles?
Study the market in the area of the home you want to buy and make a strong offer (as opposed to a low ball offer) on the home you want to increase the chance of having your offer accepted on a low priced home.
What’s on the horizon for home buying?
More change will happen in 2010 when new mortgage regulations phase into effect. See: http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/press/bcreg/20080714a.htm