It's Your Money: Buying a home - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

It's Your Money: Buying a home

MADISON (WKOW)--The dust from the housing market crash is finally starting to settle and buyers are back.

"We're purchasing the home in the neighborhood we both grew up in. So, we're pretty excited about that," says Kami Jo Sanner.

She and her husband bought a home in Middleton this year, their first.

"With the $8,000 tax credit and low interest rates we decided now would be a better time to settle down and buy a home."

The Sanners took advantage of this year's $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit. But, there is more to buying a home than money.

"If we wanted a yard, would we give up the yard for location. if garage was important, how many bathrooms, potential to add a bathroom at some point, stuff like that."

But, while many of the considerations for homebuyers are the same, the financial landscape has changed.

"The whole concept of financing and how to get a mortgage is probably very different for someone stepping into the market today compared to 15 months ago," says Bill Malkasian,  president of the Wisconsin Realtors Association.

He says there's definitely mortgage money available, but qualifying for it isn't as easy as it used to be.

"A credit score a year or two ago may not be the same credit score that's going to get you a mortgage."

And that's not an exaggeration; 740 is now considered the minimum for getting the lowest interest rates. Another change that's helping home sales: home prices are still relatively low.

"Sellers today understand the market better than the probably did a couple of years ago. we see today a more reasonable negotiation on price."

The first time homebuyer tax credit is only available for a few more months; you have to close on the home purchase before December first of this year to qualify.

Click here for information and calculators on home buying and mortgages.



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