“1. Don’t procrastinate – Start your house search now. Getting an early start will give you a better chance of finding the right house before the credit deadline.
2. Don’t count on another extension – The credit won’t be available forever, Fadel said. If you want to take advantage, be sure to make that spring deadline. ‘This is a medication for the housing crisis. Once the patient — which is the housing market — cures, there will be no medication needed,’ he said.
3. Be mindful of interest rates – Mortgage interest rates are low right now, but will likely rise next year, Warren said. Higher rates will affect your monthly mortgage payments, thus the affordability of the house you are buying.
4. Communicate with your lender – Throughout the process, make sure you’re communicating with your lender regularly; if there’s a piece of documentation you’re asked for, get it turned in as soon as possible, said Doug Heddings, a New York-based real estate agent with Charles Rutenberg Realty. Good communication is important in making sure the loan closes on time.
5. Don’t take shortcuts – Don’t forgo any of the steps you would normally take just to make the tax-credit deadline. Make sure the house is a good fit for your needs and get a home inspection, Lashinsky said. Skipping steps could cost you in the long run. ‘Don’t let the tax credit get you to make a decision to buy a house that you wouldn’t otherwise want to buy,’ he said. ‘Don’t shortcut the process to get the tax credit.'”