A Buyer’s Market 

Nothing has been left untouched by the tough economy, but it may have actually done some good for home buyers. Realtors say the housing market has never been more affordable, and first time home buyers are now offered tax incentives. Prices are low, interest rates are down, and inventory is at a high.”Right now we’re experiencing more inventory, we have more opportunities for buyers.” Says Karen Kellerman of Prudential in Bangor.The real estate market is ripe – and right now, it’s full of first time buyers.”The last three to four years, we’ve had a lot of first time home buyers.” Says realtor Andree Knowles.”I’ve had a lot of first time home buyers, that for what they’re paying for rent, they can be in their frist house.” explains Kellerman.Because of the federal economic stimulus package, from now until December first of 2009, the deal for them is even sweeter.”There’s now the eight-thousand dollar tax credit for first time home buyers. Somebody can afford 20 percent more in a house than they might have if they’d purchased a couple years ago.” Kellerman says.Even though the dollar goes further in this market, Knowles says the huge homes of the housing boom are losing popularity and buyers are opting for something more affordable. “People are looking to downsize, particularly with utilities going up and everything else. We try to keep homes affordable and that’s been a big selling point for us.”Knowles says in this economy, the hardest part for some buyers may be finding the financing.”The mortgage in some cases is a little harder to obtain, mortgage companies are a little stricter than they were.”She says because of this, spec homes in subdivisions are less common. Builders are waiting for buyers to secure loans and sign contracts before construction starts. But if you have the cash, realtors advise potential buyers not to procrastinate.”Now’s the time to buy.”