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Thinking about buying

Moderator Emeritus

Thinking about buying

With the $8,000 tax credit floating out there and with prices at a low, DW and I are thinking about taking a plunge.

We are renting from the in-laws (they live elsewhere) and they want to give the house to us. That isn't possible because of gift taxes. But they can sell the house to us at market value. Our CPA advised us to get an appraisal to use as a basis for the loan amount.

When getting an appraisal, is it advisable to get more than one estimate and then choose the lesser? Would all result be ballpark? And how close are appraisals to the taxing government's estimate (e.g. I live in Fairfax Co., VA and Fairfax Co. will send tax assessments based on their preceived value)?
Message 1 of 16
15 REPLIES
Super Contributor

Re: Thinking about buying

Check the rules. Buying from family may make you ineligible.

Or did that change?

 

Retired Lender
Message 2 of 16
Moderator Emeritus

Re: Thinking about buying

Are you referring to the $8000?
Message 3 of 16
Super Contributor

Re: Thinking about buying

yes, sorry.

 

Retired Lender
Message 4 of 16
Moderator Emeritus

Re: Thinking about buying

I guess I should confirm. Might put a monkey wrench in our plans if true. I thought that a spouse couldn't sell to a spouse or to anyone else within the household.

How about the appraisal question? Do appraisals vary widely if more than one is given? I met two appraisers a couple months ago. One was fresh out of college and the other has 30+ yrs experience. I was thinking that with two different experiences would result in two different results.
Message 5 of 16
Highlighted
Super Contributor

Re: Thinking about buying

Check into it... 

 

Lender orders appraisal anyway. And while they can vary.... if they vary too much, then one is wrong.

The data is there... only so much manipulation can go into it and u/ws can spot that! 

 

 

Retired Lender
Message 6 of 16
Moderator Emeritus

Re: Thinking about buying

Thanks for the info. So I take it a lender wouldn't consider an appraisal if we found someone locally to do it? I suppose there's always the room for fraud or an appraisal buddy purposely hiding stuff or changing this or that within an appraisal.
Message 7 of 16
Senior Contributor

Re: Thinking about buying

I don't know if I'm tiptoeing too close to the unethical edge, here, but technically, if YOU buy the house (without Mrs. Ilecs), you CAN claim the credit.

This is EXACTLY what the IRS says:

Q. Who cannot take the credit?

A. If any of the following describe you, you cannot take the credit, even if you buy a main home:
* You buy your home from a close relative. This includes your spouse, parent, grandparent, child or grandchild.

 

No mention of in-laws in there. Like I said, though, that might be pushing it. :/

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Hubby's FICOs when we started: high 400s (June 2008)
Hubby's FICO NOW (04/06/09): TU: 679 EQ: 608 EX: ???
My FICOs: TU: 643, EQ: 606
Closed on new home: 1/20/2009 -- If we can do it, YOU can do it!!

Message 8 of 16
Established Contributor

Re: Thinking about buying

It's possible the law considers in-laws your parents if you're legally married.
Message 9 of 16
Super Contributor

Re: Thinking about buying


llecs wrote:
Thanks for the info. So I take it a lender wouldn't consider an appraisal if we found someone locally to do it? I suppose there's always the room for fraud or an appraisal buddy purposely hiding stuff or changing this or that within an appraisal.
lenders usually don't allow the buyer to pick. 
 

 

Retired Lender
Message 10 of 16