Sunday, August 9, 2009

Through A Lens Clearly - Capitalizing on the $8,000 Homebuyers Tax Credit

We at are aware of the large number of film professionals living in and migrating to the ABQ metro area, and we want you to have a local voice provide some information about the real estate scene. Bob Dienst of Chocolate Properties is our Guest Blogger, and is writing about the hustle and quick action you need to take advantage of the $8,000 Homebuyer Tax Credit.

The title of this blog is gleamed off a 1962 Ingmar Bergman film called "Through a Glass Darkly." It starred Max von Sydow and was a three-act "chamber film" in which "four family members act as mirrors for each other."

“Through a lens clearly” means we want to bring a crystal clear focus to a unique opportunity in the world of real estate – that is going to be over soon. We know there are many film professionals moving to the Albuquerque area – and looking for homes. Our advice? Act now to take advantage of the $8,000 Homebuyers Tax Credit.

Why now? Like a good comedy, it’s about the timing. For new home buyers (& this includes folks who’ve been renting for the past three years yet maybe owned a home before that), if they close by Nov. 30, 2009 they can get up to an $8,000 Tax Credit from Uncle Sam. In some cases, they can get a “forward” payment at closing up to about $6,500 in the form of a soft second mortgage to be paid off when they get their tax return money. That will pay for the closing costs in most cases. (And yep, if you’re credit is really great, in some rare cases you can still get in with no money down.)

Let’s say you close on Nov. 30th – the very last day to be eligible to get your $8,000 Tax Credit. Subtract 60 days (or maybe more) to process the loan, we’re at Sept. 30th…we’ll probably lose another 4-5 days because the lenders are closed during Thanksgiving weekend, so we’re at around Sept. 24th. Now subtract another 7-10 days for negotiating the deal and that’s IF everything goes well, we’re at around Sept. 14th. AND that’s for a regular deal (no Short Sales here!). Now subtract another 2 weeks to find the home (& that’s very very fast), we’re at Sept. 1st. Now subtract 2-3 days to get a Pre-Qual letter from your favorite lender…oops! We’re at the tail end of this month of August.

So you see, this real estate clock is ticking down fast. Of course if you don’t want the $8,000 – that’s o.k. There’s still good deals to be had but without the $8k Tax Credit.

But there’s another big element creeping upward, and that’s the interest rate. Today it’s about 5.75%, which is really good. But about a month ago it was at 5%. And three months ago about 4.75%. I think that 5.75% is still an incredible rate. Even a 6.5% is an incredible rate. Do I hear some of you grumbling about that last remark, saying I’m nuts? A funny thing happened the summer of 1981. We were in a real steep recession where the interest rates were 21.5% and 22.0%. Those aren’t misprints. Google it if you don’t believe me. There were homeowners borrowing at 22% in the summer of 1981.

Things have improved immensely in the past twenty-one years, especially here – and I’m grateful for it. We’re also very proud to be a part of the network. Start using the network to find other businesses, and to work with them. What a great resource. Grab your favorite real estate person (Realtor, Lender, whomever) and have coffee with them. Let them explain things to you. Networking is a key in almost every business and it really works. If you don’t have a favorite Realtor or Lender yet know of someone who wants to buy real soon we can help them and take the time to get it done right.

Bob Dienst has been a Realtor in the Metro ABQ area since 1982. He operates his own residential sales company, Chocolate Properties, with his wife and partner, Carolyn. “We work hard : we consult, negotiate, and follow up on the many transactional details it takes to get the job done, and done right. We help educate our clients and make it fun and painless. Click here to learn more about us!