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St. Pete Times article explains how to buy a 180K home for 121K

Should you buy now? Discounts look favorable in Tampa Housing Market-2009

Here’s a column from today’s St. Petersburg Times:  It’s actually the most cut and dry, easy to understand article that I’ve seen. It explains all the ways you can use today’s Tampa Real Estate Market, Low Interest Rates and the National Home Buyer Tax Credit to your advantage. 

It’s a terrible time to buy a home, the naysayers claim. They cite the uncertain job market, the threat of further home price declines, the plundering of retirement accounts. At the risk of raining brimstone on my head, I’ll take the opposite view.

Home buyers enjoy three discounts that might not survive 2009: a foreclosure discount, a tax credit discount and an interest rate discount.

Let’s start with a typical $180,000, three-bedroom, two-bath home for sale in almost any city or suburb around the region.

Foreclosure houses — repossessed by the bank or soon to arrive at that dismal destination — have been selling for about 75 percent of the price of regular homes. The market is rich with such bargains. So let’s take 25 percent — or $45,000 — off the top of that $180,000 home.  That makes $135,000.

Clearwater Yacht Club

Clearwater Yacht Club

We’ll move on to the $8,000 federal tax credit for first-time home buyers. The government defines that as someone who hasn’t owned a primary residence in the past three years. And the beauty of the tax credit is that you won’t have to pay it back, if you stay in the home for 3 years

But to get the $8,000 you have to buy a house by December 2009. Take that $8,000 off the $135,000. We’re down to $127,000. So far, so good.

We still haven’t added in the interest discount. Rates have fallen to historic lows. This week you could get a 30-year fixed mortgage for about 5.2 percent, as long as your credit’s good and your job pays enough. That’s a point lower than rates from 2006, when Tampa Bay area home prices peaked.

Economists predict rates will rise next year as the economy recovers. Shaving off that point saves you about $1,000 a year on your loan. Assume you’ll live in the house six years. That’s close to the average stay in these parts. That’s an additional $6,000 to subtract. So that’s $180,000, minus $45,000 for the foreclosure discount, minus $8,000 for the tax credit discount, minus $6,000 for the interest rate discount.

Our home price is down to $121,000, a tad below the Tampa Bay area’s median sales price for January.  Not a bad deal.

February 27, 2009 | Permalink

The only catch I feel; according to the article is coming up with 10% down to do conventional financing. You can always ask the seller’s to pay for a portion of closing costs and prepaid items, however banks have their limit as to how much a seller is allowed to contribute. 

An FHA approved home or condo only requires 3.5% down, which I think is a better option for some home buyers who may be purchasing their first home.

If you are in the market to buy a home we would be happy to help you find the best neighborhoods in the Tampa Bay Area. Email: realtyrae@yahoo.com with the subject: buyer’s agent.

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Written by Rae Catanese, Realtor

Licensed Realtor since 2002, Tampa Bay’s own Rae Catanese regularly gives expert advice and insider tips about the Tampa Bay real estate market via her blog, The Tampa Real Estate Insider. If you are thinking of buying or selling a home in the Tampa, St. Petersburg or Clearwater areas-then this blog is for you. I typically post articles once a week. To make sure you don’t miss my newest posts, you can subscribe here! Have a real estate question? Email me here!

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