Friday, November 20, 2009

Tax Credit Extended and Expanded

Great News for First-Time Homebuyers and Move-Up Homebuyers! Congress has enacted legislation, which the President has signed, extending and expanding the First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit.

The extension for First-Time Buyers expires April 30th. This means that you must be under contract by April 30th and close your home purchase by June 30th. First-Time Buyers can qualify for a tax credit of 10% of the purchase price up to $8,000.00

The legislation passed expands the tax credit to "move-up" buyers as well, meaning current homeowners who have lived in their home for 5 out of the last 8 years, who purchase another primary residence, can qualify for a credit up to $6,500.00.

For more information go to

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Don't Delay - Tax Credit for Homebuyers is Nearing End!

Important news for those homebuyers still sitting on the fence. Congress has not taken action to extend the $8,000 tax credit, meaning it will expire on December 1, 2009. That means you should take action today to buy a home at some of the lowest prices that we've seen in years. If you're thinking about buying get moving! Here are some important dates that you need to avoid if you want to close in time to qualify for the tax credit:

  • November 25th - Day before Thanksgiving - a "half-day" of work for most workers could cause a delay in closing
  • November 26th - Thanksgiving
  • November 27th - Day after Thanksgiving - Courthouse historically closed, no closings can take place!
  • November 28th & 29th - Saturday and Sunday, no closings occur
  • November 30th - The first business day after a long holiday weekend, and the LAST day buyers can qualify for the tax credit!
The best advice, schedule your closing before November 25th, as the 30th will be a crazy day for most title companies! A day's delay and you won't get the tax credit!

Also, keep in mind that most closings take anywhere from 30 to 45 days to occur, meaning you should plan to be in contract before October 15th to be safe. That means you realistically only have 8 days left - hurry!!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Congress Seeks to Expand Tax Credit for Homebuyers!

Bloomberg reports, that Congress is seeking to expand the Home buyer Tax Credit to all purchasers, increase the credit to $15,000.00 and remove income and other restrictions on the current First Time Home buyer tax credit.

The Bill sponsored by Senator Johnny Isakson, a Georgia Republican is co-sponsored by Democrat Christopher Dodd, Senate Banking Committee Chair. The legislation also seeks to allow purchasers to utilize the tax credit in the purchase of multi-family homes used as the purchaser's primary residence.

Many economists feel that the housing market continues to be a drag on the national economy and remains a stumbling block to a recovery. The hope is that the proposed legislation will help reduce the current housing inventory and stimulate activity among home purchasers outside of the first-time buyer group.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Should I Buy a Foreclosure Property?

With the glut of foreclosed properties that we currently have on the market, a lot of first time buyers are thinking about purchasing foreclosed homes. Here's a short video that will explain some of the pros and cons of purchasing this type of real estate

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Why Wont Some Realtors in NE Ohio Invest in a Supra Active Key??

I've been a part of a few discussions on our electronic locbox system recently. Recently some Listing Realtors were discussing that they were receiving a lot of showing requests from Buyer Agents on listings that they had I-Boxes (electronic lockboxes ) on. When the Buyer Agent was informed that the listing had an I-Box on it, the Realtor huffily explained that they didn't support the electronic lockbox system in their area and expected any listing Realtor with an I-Box on it to meet them at the property and let them into it.

Really? As a Realtor who has invested in the technology to provide my Seller clients with secure showing access, I too have recently been hit with several rude replies when I have suggested that a Buyer's agent pick up a key at my office to gain access. Several have complained that its out of their way when my office is less than 1 mile from the listing they want to show.

While I wholeheartedly support cooperating fully with Buyer's agents to facilitate showings on my listings and I understand the economic situations that a lot of Realtors now find themselves in, I have to wonder about the level of professionalism of a Realtor who cannot spend $112.00 a year for an Active Key that would give them access to I-Boxes throughout 15 counties in Northeast Ohio. $112.00 - that's less than $1 a day and less than the cost of their coffee habit, evidenced by the cup of Starbucks that I've seen some of these Realtors drinking as they pull in to the driveway of the home that I'm meeting them at to let them into!!!

My advice to these "non system supporting" Realtors, spend the $112 and invest in your professionalism!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Will Homebuyer Tax Credit Provide Hope for the Real Estate Market?

Yesterday, the Senate added a provision to President Obama's stimulus package to help the housing industry. Any homebuyer, not just first-time buyers, can earn a tax credit of 10% of the purchase price of their new home, up to $15,000. The bill hasn't passed yet, but pundits believe that it should come to the floor for a vote by Friday, with the tax credit intact.

This is great news for the real estate market! If it passes ALL homebuyers, not just first-time buyers, will be able to take advantage of lower home prices, a large inventory to choose from, historically low interest rates and the tax credit. There's never been a better time to buy!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Pending Home Sales Rise by 6.3% in January!

The National Association of Realtors announced that pending home sales rose by 6.3% in January, fueled by bargain prices and lower interest rates. While its way to early to believe that the housing slump has passed, it is encouraging news. Many buyers are taking advantage of the lower prices and with interest rates hovering around 5%, many are discovering that mortgage costs can be cheaper than rent in some areas.

Personally, my activity in January was encouraging, with 3 contracts written for buyers and 2 closings. Most of the activity was with first time buyers, who have realized that its better to buy now with reduced prices and plenty of inventory to select from, rather than at the peak of the market when prices are high and there are less houses to choose from.

A lot of buyers have taken advantage of the $7,500 first time buyer tax credit, which expires on June 30th, 2009. So, although the economy may see tough right now, there are some great opportunities in the housing market. There's even a financing program perfect for those bank owned properties that need work - FHA's 203K Loan, which allows rehab costs to be rolled into the mortgage. I'm working on one with a buyer right now that, once completed, will give the buyer over $10,000 in instant equity, even in this so called "down" market.

So, even with a tough economy, there are opportunities for buyers in the housing market. If you've got solid employment and decent credit, buying a home may just be one of the best decisions to make in 2009!