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Affordability on the Rise for First-Time Home Buyers

posted by Stephen Katz @ 12:32 AM
Friday, March 4, 2011

First-time home buyers are a very important part of a healthy real estate market. They bring new money into neighborhoods. And over time will eventually move up into higher priced houses.

One of the bright spots of this erratic market we’ve been in for the past couple of years is that lower home prices mean greater affordability for qualified first-time buyers.

The percentage of first-time buyers who could afford to purchase an entry-level home rose up to 69 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010, matching the record-high set in the first quarter of 2009, according to the N.A.R. In fact, housing affordability matched or set new record-high levels in many regions around the country during the fourth quarter of 2010. Low interest rates and a decline in home prices have fueled the trend.

Below are a few tips first-time home buyers can use to insure a successful search for a home:

1) Work with an experienced Realtor. Depending on what type of home you’re looking for, he/she will know how to differentiate between traditional sales and all of the distressed sales. They will also know the best neighborhoods for your budget.

2) Get pre-approved for financing upfront. Entry-level homes move quick. If you are not pre-approved, sellers will give your offer the lowest priority.

3) Make reasonable offers. There’s always room for negotiation on a listing price, but entry-level homes often receive multiple offers. Low-balling a seller on a home that meets your needs will likely knock you out of the running.

4) Overlook cosmetic imperfections. If a house has everything you’re looking for but the wrong color of paint on the walls, I say make an offer. Paint is cheap. On the other hand, do not overlook major issues such as a cracked foundation, untreated termite problems and the like.

5) Be patient. There are a lot of homes on the market right now and plenty of bargains.

Stephen Katz

(770) 309-0939 (direct) or (866) 742-8400 -- For the past 18 years, Stephen Katz has built a successful business almost entirely on referrals. As your mortgage consultant throughout the home loan process, Stephen will explain the pros and cons of all available mortgage programs and help you choose the financing option that is best suited to your needs. Throughout the loan process, he will keep you informed and will respond quickly to your requests with answers and solutions. Consistently a top producer, Stephen is a Mortgage Bankers Association "Diamond" Award winner, a Georgia Mortgage "Top Gun" and has closed almost half a billion dollars in loans. Put his knowledge and experience to work for you!

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