Thursday, August 27 2009
New U.S. home data out Tuesday suggests the U.S. may be easing out of its 3-year housing slump.
The U.S. home prices index is made up of home prices in the 20 largest U.S. cities, and while Evansville isn't one of them, an Evansville mortgage banker says home sales here are following suit.
The for sale signs still litter neighborhoods, but the housing market is busy making its comeback.
"We have definitely seen a big increase in the number of purchase transactions we're doing over the last few months," says Shannon Curry-Bartnick, President of Mortgage Masters.
Curry-Bartnick says part of this "rise from the slump" comes as people's fears subside and they take advantage of the many incentives out there. The most talked about one being the 1st Time Home Buyer Credit.
"It's a really great opportunity to get a tax credit back, get yourself into a new home, and right now, there are historically low interest rates," Curry-Bartnick explains.
To be eligible, you either have to be a first time home buyer or have not owned a home in the last three years.
The credit is worth ten percent of the home's value, up to $8,000.
Home buyers have to close the deal by November 30th to get their credit.
If you're anxious to take advantage of the first time home buyer credit, but have a less than stellar credit history, Curry-Bartnick says you're not completely out of luck.
"There is more leniency there for things that may have happened in your past but that you may have remedied or overcome. You would potentially still be eligible," she explains.
In addition to the first time home buyers credit, Curry-Bartnick lists off dozens of other deals and loans that can save a buyer money.
"There's the FHA loan, Rural Housing loans, VA loans, and conventional loans," she explains.
Not to mention bank-owned and foreclosed upon homes coupled with low rates. Buyers can walk away with a steal.
"We look at each person individually and find out what's well suited for their situation," Curry-Bartnick says.
To find out what you qualify for, Curry-Bartnick recommends sitting down with a mortgage banker. She says consultations are typically free.
But as NEWS 25 also learned, the Evansville housing market is not problem free, and there are hurdles that are keeping many deals from closing.
NEWS 25 will investigate those hurdles in a follow up story Wednesday.