Home Buyers Get Creative to Close Real Estate Deals

When Efrain Hernandez couldn’t seal a deal before the first-time home buyer tax credit expired earlier this year, he lost faith that he would ever own a house in a market where investors and all-cash buyers are snapping up bargains and mortgages seem hard to come by. But waiting—even though it wasn’t by choice—got him more than the $8,000 federal tax credit.

In a single day last month, Hernandez negotiated a contract on a five-bedroom, three-bath home in a development near Homestead, Fla. By the end of October, he closed, talking homebuilder Lennar into a $40,000 discount off the list price, getting the company to pay $18,000 in closing costs and scoring a $7,500 no-interest loan from Miami-Dade County to lighten his down payment. “I was finally able to buy the house of my dreams,” Hernandez said. “Even though the tax credit was over, it ended up being a better deal.”

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