Time is of the Essence!

    The clock is ticking on the tax credit and continually, we are receiving more buyers looking to maximize the tax credit and take action prior to April 30th expiration. There is still time so if you are considering taking action there’s no time like the present. One the items Ashley and I have been encouraging buyers to consider before they make a move is to get preapproved so that as soon as you find the home you are interested in, you are ready to write and are considered to the seller as a viable buyer. With the market heating up multiple offer situations are becoming more prevalent so being preapproved can make a big difference.

    The Count Down

    April 30th is fast approaching. To date we’ve seen a strong up tick in activity but there are still some potential buyers out there banking on an extension, lower rates, lower home prices, etc. By April 30th a prospective buyer looking to take advantage of the current tax credit (either the “first time home buyer” or the buyer looking to sell and rebuy) must have an accepted purchase agreement signed by all parties. The offer does not need to close until June 30th but you must have your offer accepted by the end of April.
    So how can you best get there from here?
    1. Get preapproved – it doesn’t cost you anything to get preapproved and then you’ll know anticipated payments, and closing costs and what loan is best for your needs and a potential price range that’s comfortable.
    2. Meet with us to discuss your needs and wants in a home.
    3. Tour homes – on average our clients will find the home they want after touring 25-30 homes. Why so few? Because we help them sort through all the ones they don’t want prior to going out. Maximizing your time yet still allowing you tour an appropriate amount to feel good about your home purchase and understand what’s out there.
    4. Select the home our a short list of 3 or so you’ve narrowed it down to.
    5. At this point we compile a market analysis for you so you can be educated and shown the numbers of the neighborhood – we go way beyond Zillow and tax records and also discuss the positive points for resale.
    6. Make an offer – you’re close at this point! We typically recommend its contingent upon professional inspections, ability to continue to have financing, and other items for the protection of the buyer.
    7. Should everybody agree on price and terms, you’ve made it to the point you need to be at by April 30th.Whew!

    The remaining steps can be done in between April 30th and close.
    You can take advantage of this market, there are many loan options available and lots of homes to choose from. The time to act is now!

    Be a part of the FRESH solution!

    Looking for way to increase what you can get out of your home? Everyone looks for ways to maximize the value of their home, but what about using your land for something of value and having a positive impact on your family and friends?

    This spring and summer, consider planting a simple, edible, garden. This can be as simple or as large of a task as you are willing to undertake. Looking for the simple? Consider container gardening (planting edible herbs and plants such as tomatoes) in traditional pots. Bigger is never enough? Then consider, dedicating a section of your yard to a garden, either create a raised garden or till up the land and create an in ground garden. All solutions lead to ways you can use an extension of your homes value now. Consider, the additional benefits, you now have fresh vegetables for fun things like salsa – what a great reason to have a party or bring a gift to a friend.

    Having an owning a home is about making the most of it, all of it, all the time. For more tips on gardening at home visit:

    http://www.houselogic.com/articles/save-money-your-edible-garden/

    Enjoy!

    Information Packed Podcast – now available

    The latest National Association of Realtors podcast is out. Check out the link on our website at:

    http://mynewgrhome.com/ (podcast on lower right)

    This podcast is packed with information from national economist, current data, updated statistics, information on how to save the most you can and take advantage of today’s tax incentives. This is the a great source of information that is updated monthly.

    The Time is Now!

    3 reasons to take action TODAY!:

    1. As of today there are 61 days to secure a purchase agreement on a property to qualify for the first home buyer program AND as a current home owner the same expiration applies for the home you are planning to move to! When you consider it often takes 45 days of concentrated efforts to find a home – that means now is the time to take action.

    2. What about the April 1st expiration of government support lower interest rates? Finding and securing that home NOW would allow you to place a rate lock on today’s low rates. Looking at an FHA mortgage? Processing times are almost certainly going to take longer the closer to April 30th we get. As a result there could be some processing time “back up.” If this is the case it means getting yours at the “front of the line” will be advantageous.

    3. Prices in the market may experience a temporary “hardening” in the market the closer to April 30th we get – therefore taking action now makes sense before the market experiences any reason not to give you the best deal out there.

    Sellers – thinking of taking advantage of one of the busiest buying markets we’ve seen in 3+ years? Now is the time to act. There IS time to have your home marketed properly to secure a purchase agreement. What’s your risk – it doesn’t sell and you’re still in the same boat you are now but potentially this push has burned through the next 18 months of buyers. What’s your gain? If you are thinking of selling within the next 12 months – now is the time to capture the artificial demand created by the tax credit – including the potential to hold closer to your list price based on the demand between now and April 30th.

    Want to customize an action to weigh out your options? Contact us and we’ll work with you to maximize your achieving your goals.

    The HEAT is ON!

    With it only being mid February you might think that there’s plenty of time for a home buyer who qualifies for the tax credit to act. However, consider this: on average it take 60-75 days to find a home and close on it. That means we are closing in on the “point of no return” as Marty McFly use to say.

    Just in the last week and half I have experienced not only an upturn in activity on the market but also multiple bid situations where in order to win the bid for the home the buyer needed to act fast & make good decisions on how the offer was written.

    So how can you be sure to secure your bid?
    1. Start looking now – don’t delay, the longer you wait the more competition you’ll have.
    2. Get preapproved – if you were a seller who would you sell too? The buyer saying they would get proof they can buy the home in a couple of days or the buyer that says I am preapproved now, here’s my letter of proof…..
    3. Write a clean offer. Sure there are lots of ways to have the seller pay for a lot of items on behalf of the buyer, and there are instances where those requests are justified but often, the seller is reviewing the offer and adding up every request and noting what their bottom line line is. If you’re competing against other buyers the seller will often choose the “cleanest” deal to counter or accept – forcing you out of the running.
    4. Use a buyers agent, many first time home buyers are not aware of the real estate process ( see historical post, 9 step process (http://mynewgrhome.blogspot.com/2006_04_30_archive.html) When a home is listed the commission is set by the listing agent (the one with the sign in the yard) and the seller. The seller agrees to pay the agent a commission upon sale of the home. The listing agent then is take a portion of their commission and offers it out to the other agents if they sell the home. This allows you are a buyer to have someone working on your behalf, without having to pay a commission for their services. The seller is paying the commission regardless and the listing agent is motivated to sell that ONE house, where as your buyers agent is going to earn a commission regardless of the home they help you find. Therefore the buyers agent is motivated to help you find the best possible option for you. Ashley and I always say that we would never want to help someone into a home that we couldn’t help them sell again when they are ready, this means taking into account all factors: is this a good home, purchased at a good price, in an area that should be marketable and desirable down the road?

    Buying a home is fun and now with the additional tax credit you have plenty of incentive to “make the leap.”

    Contact us for options that could best fit your needs and to ask more questions. We’re here as a resource to you!

    Spring Market Here?

    Yes its true – this years Spring market is already heating up early. With the seasonal nature of the local market in combination with the tax incentive – the housing market is in position for a busy time ahead.

    What does this mean to you? If you are going to be a seller in this market – get prepared now – even if you don’t yet take action – at least you’ll be ready. As a buyer – take advantage of sellers who have held onto the property over the slowest time of the year – they need you!

    To take the next step and learn more – email us!

    New Tax Credits Signed Into Law Now Not Just First Time Home Buyers!

    BREAKING NEWS: Obama Signs Homebuyer Tax Credit Extension

    RISMEDIA, November 6, 2009—President Barack Obama has approved the first-time homebuyer tax credit extension which will extend the tax credit until April 30, 2010.The extension is part of a $24 billion economic stimulus bill that will extend the $8,000 tax credit for homebuyers who are purchasing their first home from the current November 30 deadline and expands the program to offer a credit of $6,500 to homeowners who have lived in their current home for at least five years and are seeking to relocate.The following details apply to the homebuyer tax credit expansion:

    Who is Eligible
    -First-time homebuyers, who are defined by the law as buyers who have not owned a principal residence during the three-year period prior to the purchase, may be eligible for up to an $8,000 tax credit.
    -Existing homeowners who have been residing in their principal residence for five consecutive years out of the last eight and are purchasing a home to be their principal residence (“repeat buyer”), may be eligible for up to a $6,500 tax credit.-All U.S. citizens who file taxes are eligible to participate in the program.

    Income LimitsHomebuyers who file as single or head-of-household taxpayers can claim the full credit ($8,000 for first-time buyers and $6,500 for repeat buyers) if their modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) is less than $125,000.-For married couples filing a joint return, the combined income limit is $225,000.-Single or head-of-household taxpayers who earn between $125,000 and $145,000, and married couples who earn between $225,000 and $245,000 are eligible to receive a partial credit.-The credit is not available for single taxpayers whose MAGI is greater than $145,000 and married couples with a MAGI that exceeds $245,000.Effective Dates-

    The eligibility period for the tax credit is for homes purchased after Nov. 6, 2009, and before May 1, 2010. However, home purchases subject to a binding sales contract signed by April 30, 2010, will qualify for the tax credit provided closing occurs prior to July 1, 2010.Types of Homes that Qualify-All homes with a purchase price of less than $800,000 qualify, including newly-constructed or resale, and single-family detached, townhomes or condominiums, provided that the home will be used as their principal residence. Vacation home and rental property purchases do NOT qualify.Tax Credit is Refundable-A refundable credit means that if the amount of income taxes you owe is less than the credit amount you qualify for, the government will send you a check for the difference.-For example:-A first-time buyer who qualifies for the full $8,000 credit who owes $5,000 in federal income taxes would pay nothing to the IRS and receive a $3,000 payment from the government. If you are due to receive a $1,000 refund, you would receive $9,000 ($1,000 plus the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit).-A repeat buyer who owes $5,000 would pay nothing to the IRS and receive $1,500 back from the government. If you are due to get a $1,000 refund, you would get $7,500 ($1,000 plus the $6,500 repeat buyer tax credit).-All qualified homebuyers can take the tax credit on their 2009 or 2010 income tax return.Payback ProvisionsThe tax credit is a true credit. It does not have to be repaid unless the home owner sells or stops using the home as their principal residence within three years after the purchase.

    To learn how this will impact you and to determine your homes value and also learn about the amazing deals for your next home – call or email!