Under the newly revised terms for tax credit eligibility, a home buyer must enter into a binding sales contract by April 30, and close on the sale no later than June 30, 2010. These deadlines apply to both first-time and repeat buyers. Congress has made it clear these time limits will not again be extended. Read more»
Why, you might ask, are the deadlines so early? Practically speaking, it means home buyers may be looking for a house while there’s still snow is on the ground. Well, that’s the idea! Concerned about cost, Congress is trying to gain some leverage. The plan is to spur early sales, in order to build momentum going into the spring market. Only time and home buyers will tell if that is a vain or inspired hope.
Meanwhile, home prices are beginning to inch up, not only in metro Boston, but in many other parts of the country as well, according to the closely watched S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index. Read more»
And the Fed is scheduled to end its program of buying Fannie and Freddie mortgage-backed securities on March 31, which will almost certainly usher in a new period of higher mortgage interest rates. Read more»
So, the coming months present both a window of opportunity and a challenge for home buyers. Historically low interest rates, low home prices, and a tempting tax-credit must be weighed against a slowly improving, but still uncertain economy.