Home Buyers Trying to Beat Deadline – WTVC- Chattanooga TV NewsChannel 9

April 15, 2010 9:42 AM

Kevin Sims


There are just two weeks left to take advantage of one of the government’s most popular programs.  The tax credit for first-time and existing home buyers ends on April 30th.


Real estate agent Lisa Whittle is bracing for a busy few weeks.  She’s been bombarded with phone calls from first-time home buyers.  “It was like the light switch came on and people started calling and saying ‘We’re ready to buy, we’re ready to buy! We want to take advantage of the tax credit!  We want to start looking!’ says Whittle.


Those house-hunters are racing to beat the clock to get in homes.  First time buyers have until the end of this month to sign on the bottom line and get $8,000 back.  Existing homeowners who have lived in their house for at least five years can get $6,500 back.  “Some thought that they had to be closed by April 30th,” says Whittle, “but you just have to be under contract by then.”  That can put a lot of pressure on those looking to buy.  Whittle doesn’t want anybody to rush in and says there is plenty of homes on the market to choose from.


It’s a buyer’s market she says and there is built-in protection past that April 30th deadline.  The home still has to meet the appraised value, the buyers have to be approved for suitable financing and the home has to pass inspection.  “That’s three opportunities they have to say ‘whoops, nope I don’t think it’s going to work'” says Whittle.


So there may be no better time to find a new house to call home.  Especially as more and more people feel more comfortable making such a big purchase.  “I think people feel better now” says Whittle.  “They feel more confident in the economy.  They feel more confident about what’s happening in Chattanooga.”


And while Whittle would like to see the tax credit extended like it was last year, she’s encouraging potential buyers not to count on it.