Ask an Agent: When is the Latest I Can Start House Hunting to Take Advantage of the $8K Credit?

by Mark Wellborn

Ask an Agent: When is the Latest I Can Start House Hunting to Take Advantage of the $8K Credit?: Figure 1

In this week’s installment of Ask An Agent, a reader wonders how far in advance of the expiration date of the first-time home buyer tax credit she should start looking for a home in order to meet the deadline. Mandy Mills of Hounshell Real Estate offers up some insight.

Question: With the Obama administration’s $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit expiring on December 1, how much lead time do I need to start looking for a home to be able to meet that deadline? If I start looking in September, will that be cutting it too close?

Answer: Most contracts settle in 30-45 days and most loans today take about 30 days to process, so you’ll want to be under contract by some time in late October to help ensure a settlement before the December 1st deadline.

Every buyer is different, so the major variable is how long it will take that person to feel comfortable with the process of searching for and deciding upon the right home. For everyone, there is a learning curve regarding value, location and the specific elements of a home that are important to them. An experienced realtor can help single out properties that fit within a buyer’s parameters and assess value in the marketplace.

Once a person is serious about looking for a new home, it is never too early to begin the search. However, in the DC metropolitan area, more inventory becomes available once the summer is over, so September is an excellent time to really begin looking in earnest.

See other articles related to: dclofts, condo buying, ask an agent

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/ask_an_agent_when_is_the_latest_i_can_start_house_hunting_to_take_advantage/1156


  1. Brian Ashin said at 7:37 pm on Wednesday July 22, 2009:
    Is there a income restriction on the $8k? Is there any more talk about extending the sunset date?
  1. justin said at 11:08 pm on Wednesday July 22, 2009:
    Its prorately (significantly)if you are single making more than $75k, $150k if you are married
  1. PleasantPlainer said at 4:24 pm on Thursday July 23, 2009:
    I wonder....might there be a mad rush to put in offers and close such that it causes buyers to bid higher? That would defeat the purpose of the credit. Also consider that it may be extended. And, for DC buyers; DC has a $7,000 credit on the books still. You can't take both, but gives you some flexibility to wait if prices are pushed up. At least for DC buyers. And of course depends on what's happening with interest rates.

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