December 1st is not that far away. Why is that day important? That is the last day for first time home buyers to claim their tax credit up to $8,000 or 10% of the sale price of their new home. Remember, it is a tax CREDIT, not a tax write off. So if you owe $5,000 in taxes then you'll receive a check for $3,000. Sweet! There are some limits on income and you cannot have owned a home within the last three years. But, with the deadline quickly approaching, those eligible 1st time home buyers need to purchase soon because they need to consider the time it will take to actually go to settlement. Quick settlements are a thing of the past. And while a short sale may seem like a good deal, there is a reason for that. Short sales keep the buyer in the dark for possibly 3-6 months. The seller has to convince their lender to accept the buyer's sale price. Not an easy feat. It will be a tough decision to make for some buyers. Do you go for the "possible" good deal of a short sale and risk losing the guaranteed tax credit? Or do you pay a little more for your house and guarantee yourself that tax credit? I guess it depends on how much you think you're saving in the purchase price of a short sale. Even still, the seller's lender may not accept the offer price.
This tax credit is definitely something to look into if you are a first time homebuyer, or if you know someone who is. Good luck and have fun house hunting!