Many benefits for those buying homes - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Many benefits for those buying homes

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The housing and banking meltdown drastically slowed home sales. It's been tough to find financing to buy a home lately. But that could be turning around. Now may be a good time for many people to buy a home.

Gary Eller is a cheerleader for real estate. Even he admits the market here has slowed, but he says that's why now is the time to buy. "Buyers can strike while the iron is hot and get good deals right now."

He says real estate values in Dougherty and Lee Counties were never over-inflated, so they haven't changed drastically. But there are more homes on the market. And more incentives for buyers. "That's really good news and it's time for buyers to get off the fence because this is one of the best programs in 25 years I've ever seen offered by the government."

First time home buyers, defined as people who have not owned homes in the last three years, can get an $8,000 tax credit for that purchase. Also, FHA loans, which require only three and a half percent down, have been increased.

Eller said, "They have just increased the FHA limits to $271,000, so you now in Dougherty/Lee County can buy up to a $271,000 house and only have to come up with 31/2% down payment and you don't have to have perfect credit."

That's because it's backed by the federal government. And for those homeowners who have already bought, who won't be getting the credit, or FHA benefits?

"The good benefit is you're a proud Homeowner and you get to stay in your home without the threat of losing it, so that's the pride of ownership and we love Americans like that." Americans buying homes and staying in them... fulfilling the American dream even during hard times.

Wednesday, President Obama revealed a new plan to help homeowners facing foreclosure. It will help those who owe more than their house is worth and need to refinance but are having trouble getting a loan.

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