By now I'm sure you've received newspapers from your favorite stores annoucing special holiday deals. How about those emails from your favorite online stores with 'special' deals like free shipping, or an additional percentage off for a limited time.

If you've been receiving email alerts from the MLS, you would have also seen significant price reductions for homes across the area. Not only is December the end of the calendar year, but it's' also the end of the final quarter. Banks and mortgage companies with foreclosure homes currently on the market DO NOT want to carry these homes into 2008.

Why? For two main reasons:

(1) in Northern Virginia, it will cost sellers more to sell after January 1, 2008. The grantors tax will increase from $1 per thousand to $5 per thousand of the sales price OR the tax assessed value, whichever is higher.

And (2) many of the mortgage programs that are currently available to buyers will be unavailable after January 15, 2008. Certain 'zero down' loans will be no more, forcing buyers to have the traditional 5%-10% down payment that was required in yesteryear. And fewer buyers mean longer days on the market for some price brackets.

If you're still on the fence about a home purchase, waiting to buy can still cost your more in 2008 even though it's a buyers market.

These two perfect stocking stuffers are currently available:

My trusted lending professionals and I will be around this week for your real estate needs. We find 100% of our buyers the right loan and the right home. With over 10 years of service, we have never had a buyer or seller face foreclosure. Let us be your trusted professionals in today's market.