Down Payment Assistance & Location, Location, Location!Down Payment Assistance & Location, Location, Location!

There are a number of entities that are available to help Colorado first time home buyers with either down payment assistance, closing costs or both. The key to getting this assistance is planning well in advance and know your options. Down payment assistance (DPA) can come from the state level, county level or city/town level.

In order to qualify for the assistance, you must be a "first time" home buyer, and your income cannot exceed a certain level. Keep in mind that a "first time" homebuyer is a buyer that has not purchased/owned a home in the last three years. Each DPA sets their own income levels. You must also, in most cases, complete a home buyer course and get your certificate. Some courses can be done online while others must be done in person. Courses can be limited each month, so reserve your seat early. Also, some DPA's are running out of money. So getting into the class and knowing when you will be able to receive money is primary before spending too much time house hunting.

Bottom line is that if you are going to need DPA, then plan ahead and know how the system works. Getting together with a Realtor and a Mortgage Broker in advance will help you figure out who has the best assistance for your area and will help you plan and time your purchase appropriately.

Once you've decided on your course of action your next step is to determine where is the best place to purchase your home. We have all heard the old real estate saying: what are the three most important things in real estate? Location, Location and Location. Well, nothing has changed. Location is still king in real estate. According to the Denver area MLS, as reported by the Denver Business Journal, Boulder/Lousiville area home prices have risen more than 26 percent over the past year.

Another area doing well is Highlands Ranch and the surrounding area. Highlands Ranch has a great location, a lot of great amenities and very few new homes being built. But, as anyone who knows me well is already aware of,I have said for many, many years that Highlands Ranch will do well because it is the perfect suburban neighborhood. CNN Money rated it number 12 out of 100 neighborhoods across the United States in 2008. That's not too bad! They have also rated Douglas County, CO number 11 on their top 25 list of "Best Places for a long life". They include the tag line: "Residents of these 25 counties enjoy some of the highest life expectancies in the U.S.". If that doesn't present an excellent case for buying with location in mind, I'm not sure what does. Besides Highlands Ranch, the article also makes mention of Castle Rock and Parker.

The bottom line is this: the ""good" areas are doing well. Proving once again that Location is THE most important thing in real estate.
by Adam Itchkawich
References and Bibliography
Adam Itchkawich | 5280 Home Market Real Estate | http://www.5280HomeMarket.com
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