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Now is best time to buy home due to low interest rates, realtors say

By Michelle Stuckey -   Dec 01, 2011

With interest rates at historic lows and the recent passage of an amendment that prohibits new fees on home sales, local realtors say that this is the "best time in the world" to buy a house.

Last week, 81 percent of voters passed a constitutional amendment that will prohibit the levy of new taxes or fees upon the sale or transfer of immovable property, or real estate.

"Itís not going to change anything that has been going on, but it will certainly make the home buying and selling process less costly without having to worry about the possibility of new fees," said Regina Allemand, with Gardner Realtors. "Itís definitely a decisive victory."

The item was placed on the ballot after two parishes in the state tried to create a transfer tax and realtors fought for it to not happen, Allemand said.

"We pay enough – there are already a lot of fees involved," she said.

Allemand said that while prices in the housing market have come to a plateau recently, low interest rates mean that buyers can still get a great deal.

"Itís the holidaysÖand people think that itís not a good time to sell or buy, but with interest rates as low as they are, it is a good time," Allemand said. "Tax refunds in the spring also add a little spark that people can use for down payments and closing costs."

Carole Schonberg, with Latter and Blum realtors, also said that this year is a great time to buy a new home.

"This is the best time in the world to buy – you can get more for your money and once the economy turns aroundÖyou start making money on your investment," Schonberg said.

Angela Waguespack, with Keller Williams Realty, said that foreclosures and repossessed homes can often be a hassle for buyers.

"Itís very difficult to get a sale closed because the repossession companies are very slow getting things done and itís holding up a lot of sales that could be going forth," Waguespack said.

She said that a few of her home sales have "dragged on" for more than two months while the buyer waits for paperwork to go through.

For those looking to move, Waguespack said that it is a very good time to sell a home because there are a lot of buyers and lenders willing to work with them.

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