Everyone always wants to know the perfect time to buy a house. Or they try and time the market perfectly. The fact of the matter is that there really is no perfect time to buy a house. However, 2012 is shaping up to be the year you definitely want to seriously consider buying in.
As we all know the last several years have been brutal. Double digit unemployment and plunging real estate prices made the thought of buying a home turn most peoples stomachs. There was just to much risk associate with buying a home. Why risk losing a home because you lost a job? Why risk losing tens of thousands of dollars in real estate value? Those were the questions people were asking. And the answer was that it wasn't worth the risk.
Time have changed. Unemployment levels have dropped. Companies are hiring again. And real estate values are starting to increase. In fact it is not uncommon to see bidding wars on homes in the lower end of the price scale. Add to that low interest rates and this is really the signal people have been waiting for to jump back into the game of real estate.
There are a couple of things to consider before getting to excited about buying a new home for you and your family. Those two things are home loans and foreclosures.
We'll start of with home loans. Much has changed during the last 4 years. Such as the fact that you actually need to qualify to buy a home now. Long gone are the days of "If you have a pulse you qualify". You have to be able to prove income, it is preferable to have a 2 year job history and you will need to have decent credit. Decent credit means a credit score of 620 or better and no bankruptcy or foreclosures in the last 4 years.
Prepare to feel violated in the loan application process. Everything is checked, double checked and then checked again. You will need to provide so much documentation it will make you head spin. Loan files that would have been a quarter inch thick four years ago are now a good inch and a half thick now. Yes there is that much paper work and documentation required. In other words be prepared and provide everything the loan officer asks from you.
The second thing is foreclosures. Foreclosures are the hot topic and are a significant portion of what is for sale out in the market. The thing that most people don't understand about foreclosures is that they come with certain risks. In fact that might not even be able to be financed.
The biggest thing to understand about foreclosures is that they are sold as is. In other words what ever is found during the inspection process will not be fixed by the seller. (the banks) What this means is that is will be up to the lender to decide whether or not they will lend on the property depending on what is wrong with it. In other words when you find a home that is at a price that seems to good to be true. There is probably a good reason for it.
2012 really should be the year to by a home. Make sure you are working with a qualified real estate agent that understand the area and the markets you are looking in. You must get pre-approved before looking for a home. Good luck and take the plunge into home ownership this year.
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