Article excerpted from KOLN-KGIN. View the original article and view the TV spot here.
The “sold” sign sitting in front of Kyle Schroer and Heather Hornung’s new home on Sherman street is the beginning of many firsts.
“I’m excited, personally. This is my first home purchase. It’s a big purchase but we have lots to do. Looking forward to it all..it’s a cool new adventure,” said Schroer.
The couple is part of a growing trend in Lincoln’s housing market – homebuyers scooping up starter-priced homes and bringing welcomed change to the real estate market.
Julie McManaman, President of the Realtors Association of Lincoln, said since January the average price of homes has steadily increased by more than $20,000 – from $138,000 to $158,500. While the average is still below the strong 2005-2006 market, the current prices are slightly higher than the same time last year.
“The lower end market has really moved rather swiftly, and it has actually in the last two months become a seller’s market where it has been a buyer’s market for the last year and a half,” said McManaman.
She credits the extended tax incentive for the sales boom.
“That $8,000 credit has really helped clear out some of the market of active listings. We’ve gone from about 2,400 listings and we’re down to 1,973 now,” said McManaman.
Schroer and Hornung say the incentive is the reason for their purchase this year.
“The tax credit was a big deal. The $8,000 was a big thing for us, so that helps financially a lot.”
Woods Bros Realtor Julie Carmer said many potential buyers don’t realize they can amend their tax return and get the credit still this year, but with a November 30 closing deadline – time is ticking.
“We don’t have any time to lose right now. We’re looking at two to three months to identify that house and make the offer,” said Carmer. “It’s going to be really crazy in October and November.”
Schroer and Hornung say they’re relieved to be through the search, avoiding the craze and moving on to moving in.