Archive for the ‘Real Estate’ Tag

Now that the Home Buyer Tax Credit Extension Period Has Ended, Is it Still a Good Time to Buy?

I believe so.

Recently, I read an article on REALTOR.org, below:

“Missing the tax credit deadline might have seemed like a big mistake to some home buyers, but waiting could have been the smartest thing to do.

Interest rates have fallen so dramatically since April 30th that the typical purchaser of a $350,000 home, financed with a $280,000 mortgage, would have saved a bundle by waiting until May.

At April’s average rate of 5.34 percent, a home buyer would have locked in a 30-year fixed rate loan with a monthly payment of $1,561.82.

The same borrower could have snagged a 30-year fixed rate loan at a rate of 4.625 percent in May and paid $1,439.59 per month.

That’s a $1,467 annual savings. Over 30 years, it’s a $44,003 savings, dwarfing the tax credit.

Source: Informa Research Services (05/26/2010)”

Here is a great video on ABC news’ web site explaining overall savings at today’s rates.

Not to mention the higher inventory levels, offering a great selection, it remains a great time to buy!

Which Features are Buyers Looking For in New Homes?

I recently read an article by Melissa Tracey of  REALTOR® Magazine.  The article outlined the features most requested by new home buyers as indicated in a poll recently taken by AVID Ratings Company, “…a firm that provides surveys and employee training to home builders across the United States and Canada”.

The most requested features were, according to the study:

1. Large kitchens with an island.

2. Energy-efficient appliances and high-efficiency insulation and windows. (These were the most sought-after “green” features from buyers.)

3. Home office or study

4. Main-floor master suite

5. Outdoor living room

6. Ceiling fans

7. Master suite soaker tubs and oversize showers with seating areas

8. Stone and brick exteriors

9. Community landscaping with walking paths and playgrounds.

10. Two-car garages

I found the results interesting, as they do not include the following features, which, based on my experience with new home buyers, are also very important to them:

  1. Hardwood floors.
  2. Granite and tile surfaces.
  3. Open floor plans.
  4. Smart Wiring/Intra-House Network.

What do you think?

Facts About Tax Credits Available for Home Purchases in 2010

What a great time it is to buy a home – affordability is excellent, interest rates are at all-time lows, inventories are high, builders are offering nice incentives, and Uncle Sam is giving tax credits!

  • The tax credits are available (as the legislation is currently written) for home purchases that go under contract before May 1, 2010.  The transaction must close before July 1, 2010.
  • There are 2 different credits available for individuals who buy a home to be used as a principal single-family residence, subject to the time frames above: the First Time Home Buyer credit, and the Repeat Buyer credit.
  • For a buyer to take advantage of the First Time Home Buyer credit, an individual must not have owned a home for the past three years.  For married joint filers, both must meet this criteria to take the credit on a joint tax return.
  • The First Time Home Buyer credit is equal to 10% of the purchase price of the home, up to a maximum credit of $8,000.
  • For a buyer to take advantage of the Repeat Buyer credit, the buyer(s) must have lived in their current home for five consecutive years of the past eight years.
  • The Repeat Buyer credit is for eligible repeat buyers and the credit is up to an amount of $6500.
  • Homes with a purchase price in excess of $800,000 are ineligible for any tax credit.
  • The tax credit is subtracted from your tax liability for the year.  If your liability is less than the credit you qualify for, you will receive a check for the difference.
  • There are income limits for individuals and married joint filers:  Adjusted gross income of $125,000 for individuals and $225,000 for married joint filers. 
  • The credit is phased down for those earning more than the limits above, and the credit is not available for those with adjusted gross income exceeding $145,000 for individuals and $245,000 for married joint filers. 
  • This credit is not subject to repayment, provided that the buyer(s) do not sell within the first three years after purchase.

Below is a YouTube video about the tax credits put together by Jeff Detwiler, President & COO and Barry Redler, Chief Marketing Officer of Long & Foster Companies:

Now is a great time to start the buying process.  Please contact me and let’s get started!

The Spring Real Estate Market is Near!

With the recent weather we have had in the Richmond area it’s hard to believe that Spring is just around the corner.

If you are planning to market your home during the Spring, now is a good time to start thinking about what you can do to get your home ready for prospective buyers.  Remember, first impressions are very important and an inviting looking home is a sold home!

Some suggestions to make your home look inviting are: 

  1. Wash windows thoroughly (both inside and out).  Take screens down and clean as well.  If you have wooden frame windows, a fresh coat of paint around the windows will give a nice, clean look.
  2. Plant brightly colored seasonal flowers around your front walkway and front door.
  3. Put down a fresh layer of mulch in your planting beds.
  4. Replace the mailbox and post if necessary, or add a fresh coat of paint.
  5. Wipe down the front door and add a fresh coat of paint if necessary.  A wreath makes a nice addition also.
  6. Replace old doormats with new, fresh ones.
  7. Clean exterior light fixtures.
  8. Power wash the exterior of the house and walkways/driveways.

I hope this will get you off to a good start!  For more ideas and suggestions specific to your home, please contact me for a consultation.