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Realtors Urge First-Time Buyers to Act Quickly, Tax Credit to Expire Soon

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homebuyer_cnsmr_8_3RISMEDIA, August 3, 2009-The New Jersey Association of Realtors (NJAR) is encouraging those considering buying a home for the first time to act quickly, as there is very limited time to qualify for the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit. As of August 1, there were only 121 days for first-time purchasers to take advantage of the credit. In order to qualify, the transaction must close before 11:59 p.m. on November 30, 2009.

“November might seem like it is far enough away, but potential buyers need to account for the time it takes to shop for a home, present an offer on the property of their choosing, and manage the various contracts and logistics that are required in a real estate transaction,” said 2009 NJAR President Diane Dilzell. “Starting the process now should allow just enough time to reach closing before the expiration of the credit.”

Prospective buyers, particularly first-time buyers, should factor in the following steps that are typically involved in the purchase of real estate: shopping for and securing a mortgage, finding a Realtor, creating a list of preferable features for the home, searching for homes that fit that criteria, settling on a home, presenting an offer, obtaining a home inspection, shopping for homeowners insurance, and closing. Buyers should factor in extra time to allow for unforeseen circumstances and any additional steps that may be necessary in their particular transaction.

Dilzell added, “The clock is also ticking for buyers to maximize their purchasing power in this market. Affordable prices and low interest rates are aligning right now with the $8,000 credit to form an unprecedented opportunity that is not guaranteed to last much longer.”

All transactions vary, and there are different circumstances for each of them that could lead to a longer buying process. NJAR has compiled testimonials from real New Jersey consumers at www.realstorynj.com/news/real-stories that detail their individual experiences.

“Unique circumstances can be encountered in any transaction so it is important to get started early to account for those factors,” Dilzell said. “Since numerous third parties are involved, delays can often be expected no matter how swiftly you act. That wait time can be very detrimental if it is the difference between $8,000 and nothing.”

The tax credit is available to buyers who have not owned a principal residence during the three-year period prior to the purchase. The credit does not have to be repaid, and it must be claimed on your federal income tax return.

Buyers are finding that the credit is allowing them to take advantage of opportunities they might not otherwise consider. For example, the $8,000 can be applied toward repairs and renovations in fixer-uppers that buyers might not otherwise have been able to afford. The extra funds can be invested for future use, or applied to new furniture and appliance purchases.

Talk to a Realtor about initiating the home purchase process today.

For more information, visit www.njar.com.

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