Last November, when Congress approved an extension on the first-time homebuyer tax credit, potential homebuyers who missed the original deadline were excited. It was another chance to buy a Santa Cruz home for sale and receive an often badly needed $8,000 on their tax return.
Real estate agents were excited as well, because the tax credit extension expanded to include “upgrade” buyers – those who wanted to replace their current home with a bigger one. The possibility of selling a home was higher than it’d been in a while. However, expansion to include upgrade buyers wasn’t the only change.
If you’re hoping to buy a Santa Cruz home for sale and take advantage of the tax credit before the new 2010 deadlines, here are a few things to keep in mind:
• Two dates are crucial. You must sign a contract before April 30. The closings must be complete by June 30. One of the best ways to make sure things go smoothly is to get pre-approved for a mortgage before you go home shopping. Pre-approval tells you, as well as the seller, exactly how much home you can afford. This way, you don’t waste your time or the seller’s.
• Negotiate without emotion. Potential buyers have lost the home of their dreams because they became competitive. If you’re negotiating for closing costs, housing price or anything else, make sure that your requests are reasonable. Don’t change something “just because.”
• Taxes must be mailed in. Due to people trying to scam the system, you won’t be able to file your taxes electronically; you’ll have to mail them in. Make sure you’re using the right forms, and, if you need your tax refund by a specific time, you might want to file early.
• Documentation is truly priceless. Again, thanks to scammers, buyers will have to include a signed mortgage statement, proof of residency and a driver’s license with their taxes.
You still have until April 30 to sign a contract on a Santa Cruz home for sale to get the tax credit. Today’s real estate market is beneficial for buyers. Put it to work for you!
If you’d like to take advantage of the homebuyer tax credit, I can help. Call me right away at 831.662.6522 or email me at Lauren@LaurenSpencer.com so we can beat the deadlines.
Approved an extension on the first-time buyer tax credit
Get pre-approved for a mortgage
Negotiating for closing costs