Last week I was a guest on Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio. We actually recorded the podcast a few weeks ago… it was a lot of fun. In my segment we talked about what guys really want in a garage. Take a listen… let me know what you think. I’d love to get your feedback.
House and garage Between Sarclet and Thrumster. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I wrote a post a few months ago about the Gwinnett County Homestretch Program. It is a REALLY cool program for buyers with qualified incomes. The actual caps change regularly, but follow HUD limits. Buyers also have to go through a financial counseling class.
But the end result is that buyers get $7,500 in Down Payment Assistance. This is money that does NOT need to be repaid, as long as the buyer stays in the home at least 5 years.
Earlier in the year, when I wrote the post, funds were available even for existing home owners, not just first time home buyers. Since that time, Gwinnett County has changed that… they ran out of funds for existing home owners. But they still have plenty of funds available for first time home buyers (remember, to qualify as a first time home buyer, you can’t have owned a home for the last three years). BTW, please don’t think that there is a way around that by not having a spouse on the title or something. It doesn’t work…
In order to qualify, the buyer needs to have $1000 in the deal. I recently was asked what qualified as part of the $1000… Did the inspection count? Did the earnest money count? I wasn’t asked about the appraisal… Here are the short answers.
The inspection doesn’t count. I ALWAYS recommend that buyers get an inspection, but it isn’t part of the $1000 that the buyer has “in the deal.”
The appraisal DOES count. It is a requirement, and it is a closing cost. The funds CAN be used to pay closing costs.
The earnest money is actually like a security deposit. It is money credited toward the closing and/or down payment, so therefore it DOES count.
One thing to keep in mind… money can NOT flow back to the buyer at closing. Even if they overpay closing costs, they can’t be refunded at closing. Ken Cook (of America Home Key) and I have been through the rules and know how the program works. If you want to see if YOU qualify, contact us.
Listening to the NAR (National Association of Realtors®, it is ALWAYS the right time to buy. If the market is going up, they pound the “buy the rising market” drum. If the market is going down, they beat on the “buy into value” drum. Frankly, I’m tired of it, and they have killed a massive amount of credibility by constantly trying to spin reality for “our” perceived benefit.
A couple of years ago this week, I was on Social Media Edge, on Blog Talk Radio, talking with Ken Cook about this very thing. I’ve had my strong opinions about this for quite a while. And, while for some folks, it is a GREAT time to buy, for others it isn’t. I haven’t ever been shy about saying it, even when I have taken flak from my peers for not “cheerleading the market”.
On Social Media Edge, we talked for about 20 minutes about this. Here is a link to the original post, and it has links to the Blog Talk Radio site, as well as a podcast of the broadcast. Stop in, check it out.
If you are wondering if NOW is the time for you to buy, give Lane a call. 678-200-5895.