In the big picture, it will help the local/state/national economies. On a personal level, there are a lot of strong reasons to act now. We believe that many of the necessary components are in place now for win-win transactions for buyers and sellers. The $8,000 tax credit for first time buyers has been extended. That’s nice and may help the market some, but it’s been in place for nearly a year, so it’s not news. What is news is a $6,500 credit for existing homeowners (and previous owners). Anyone who currently owns or has owned a home for 5 consecutive years within the previous 8 years is eligible. There are income restrictions for eligibility ($125,000 for an individual, $225,000 joint income), but that makes most people eligible. Unfortunately, this credit passed by Congress in November is not widely known about, and it is a short-term opportunity. To take advantage of it, a buyer needs to have their new home under contract by April 30, 2010, and own and occupy it by June 30, 2010.
There are other positive factors in play for buyers and sellers. On the buyers side, it’s still a “Buyers Market.” Prices have stabilized in most local markets, but have not begun to rise yet. Sellers have been suffering depression amidst lots of negative news. Yes, prices are down, but they have mostly stabilized. In many areas and price ranges there has actually been a shortage of good homes for sale. Properly priced Ann Arbor homes are selling! And for sellers who desire a larger or smaller home, there is the new $6,500 credit for a limited time. Furthermore, the much talked about avalanche of foreclosure properties and short sales has greatly subsided.
In short, conditions are better today than they have been in a long time to put together a winning transaction to meet a consumer’s changing needs. Ann Arbor will lead the state’s recovery and an improved real estate market here is a key component. At Reinhart, we would love to help you reach your goals!
David Lutton, President
Charles Reinhart Company Realtors