Ask Andy: Foreclosures & first-time homebuyers - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Andy Wise

Ask Andy: Foreclosures & first-time homebuyers

Foreclosures for sale and first-time home-buyers.  Could be a match made in heaven!

There are deals, but there are duds, too.  Most foreclosures need a heavy amount of repairs, and the sellers/banks aren't going to pay for them.  Lenders don't like lending money on properties whose repair needs may render them unlivable.

With that in mind, "Matthew" of Midtown Memphis asks:

"I was wondering if you could tell me the best way to go about searching for foreclosed homes in Shelby County? I was also wondering if you could find out how I go about taking advantage of the $8,000 government grant for first time home buyers."

First of all, Matthew, it is not a government grant. It's a tax credit.  If you buy a new home this year, you might qualify.

According to Sam Goff, loan officer and director of marketing for Evolve Mortgage in Cordova, TN (, it's an $8,000 tax credit that may be taken this year or next if you buy a home before December first. You can get the credit on next year's taxes or amend this year's return to get it this year. 

Corky Neale, research and innovation specialist for the RISE Foundation ( says in shopping foreclosures, you should first check out HUD's free foreclosure listing site:

You can search by state and by county.

If you are negotiating the waters of our housing market, foreclosures and all, for the first time, you really ought to use a realtor. And when shopping foreclosures, you should use a realtor who has experience with bank-owned property.

Get a good realtor and shop the good deals that are out there in this buyer's market first before you consider any foreclosures.  Check with your local and state realtor's associations.

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