Although the home owner (seller) may not want to assist with closing costs on a transaction...especially in today's market in Contra Costa County...but as a lender, we can set your interest rate slightly higher and apply the lender's rebate toward your closing costs. In most cases, we can cover the bulk of those costs.
There is also a down payment assistance program available for buyers. The buyer does not need be a first time homebuyer for this program.
Anything is possible when you are the sole offeror on a property. Credtis back will not fly in a multiple offer situation. Sellers and their agents are selecting the strongest possible buyers in this market and many agents are strategically pricing to drive multiple offers in order to find those buyers. Throwing money at sellers used to work until the banks realized that sort of activity created the bubble. Keep looking and be patient. Be "zen" about the home purchase. Say to yourself "It will happen when it was meant to happen" nd keep working at it but most of all keep saving.
1. You need to ask for the credit in your initial offer.
2. Asking for the closing cost credit will weaken your offer compared to offers that don't ask for the credit so if there are multiple offers and you can get by without the credit, don't ask for it.
3. When you ask for a closing cost credit this lowers the net amount the seller is receiving so if you are competing against other offers you'll want to increase your offer to cover the closing costs if possible. However, you will also want to be careful that you don't make an offer that is so high the appraisal will come in lower than your offer price. Your agent should review the comparable properties on the market and help you understand what price range the appraisal will likely fall into.
4. Most sellers (especially if it's a bank owned property) will only allow for a 3% credit. The new FHA guidelines will go into effect in April and they will only allow for a 3% credit.
5. As @Robert has said, you need to be careful of property condition when buying a home with an FHA loan. There are certain health and safety issues that must be addressed for a buyer to use an FHA loan. In our current market most sales are "as is" and if those repairs are necessary you will need them to be done before close of escrow. An experienced agent will be able to spot most issues that will come up an issue but the appraiser has the final say on what issues must be taken care of before closing.
Frank Howard Allen Realtors