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Hello neighbors,

With the recent approval of the new 3 month-home buyer limited tax credit extension, many home-buyers who weren't able to close the deal by the June 30th deadline will experience some relief. Now these home-buyers will have until September 30, 2010 to seal the deal.

Industry experts estimate up to 180,000 homebuyers will benefit from the recent extension.

In addition, those who missed out on the home buyer tax credit will have plenty of other opportunities to cash in on some great deals. For starters, the housing inventory is still generous with affordable prices and the lowest interest rates since the 1950's.

Experts also note that the recovery of the housing market is being somewhat affected by uncertain unemployment conditions which are causing potential buyers to be skeptical about purchasing. Industry experts also feel that it may take a while for things to settle but the market needs to be able to stand alone.

With magnets such as low interest rates, good inventory, and affordable prices, home-buyers should be easily attracted to the idea of purchasing.

Anticipated Drop in Pending Home Sales Come True

by the zac team at Ponce Realty

Hello neighbors,

According to the National Association of Realtors, pending home sales took an anticipated dive after the expiration of the home buyer tax credit.

The Pending Home Sales Index experienced a 30% drop to 77.6 based on contracts signed in May 2010 in comparison to April's number of 110.9. In addition, this number is 15.9% below May 2009's average of 92.3.

This data from the NAR is actually based on contracts and not closings. However, many closings have been delayed due to factors such as a rush of buyers due to the tax credit and the dragging process of short sales. Approximately 180,000 buyers who signed contracts by April 30th may have missed the tax credit deadline's closing date of June 30th, however a recent extension from Congress will expand the closing deadline for delayed contracts.

Some industry experts feel there's a good chance for prices to start accelerating in the upcoming years if the already existing low levels of new home construction continue for the next year or two.

Stats:

The PHSI in the Northeast fell 31.6% to 67.0 in May and is 14.8% lower than May 2009. In the Midwest the index dropped 32.1% to 70.8 and is 20.2% below a year ago. Pending home sales in the South fell 33.3% to an index of 82.5, and are 14.4% lower than May 2009. In the West the index declined 20.9% to 85.3 and is 15.1% below a year ago.

The Time Has Come for the Expiration of the Home Buyers Tax Credit

by the zac team @ RE/MAX Greater Atlanta

Hello neighbors,

As many may know, the Home Buyers Tax Credit expired at 12am this morning. With that being said will there be a decrease in home sales in the real estate market? This question is very much in debate.

Some real estate industry leaders feel the expiration of the tax credit will not have a tremendous impact on the real estate market. In addition, they feel buyer interest this spring has proven to be pretty strong.

According to an article on Housing Wire, REO broker Rick Foxx predicts a spike in contracts by 10-20% for this week following the expiration of the tax credit.

In contrast, there are some research firms who feel sales have not picked up as much as they should and feel that sales could actually go down making the actual effect of the tax credit unclear.

One thing that can be said for sure regarding the tax credit and its effects is, only time will tell.


Hello neighbors,

As many of you may already know, the expiration of the Home Buyer's Tax Credit is now upon us. Expiring on April 30, 2010 the tax credit is being credited with helping to improve the housing market. With its expiration, do you feel that many consumers will continue shopping for a home or will this expiration of the tax credit deter consumers?

Well according to a recent survey by Prudential Real Estate and Relocation Services, Inc., 65% of consumers feel the end of the tax credit will not have an impact on their interest of purchasing a home. The survey consisted of 1,000 Americans between the ages of 25-64 with an income of at least $35,000.

Over 90% of those surveyed believe that the home buyer tax credit definitely helped the U.S. housing market as well as first time home buyers.

In addition, the recent survey showed how optimistic consumers are about real estate values with 46% predicting prices to increase in their area within the next year. However, 12% believe prices will decline.

As for the future, 79% of those surveyed expect real estate prices to raise with 20% estimating a substantial increase over the next five years.

As for renters, 75% believe home ownership is a better long term choice opposed to renting.

Pending Home Sales Are On the Rise Thanks to the Home Buyer Tax Credit

by the zac team @ RE/MAX Greater Atlanta

Hello neighbors,

According to the National Association of Realtors, the rise of pending home sales this past February is an indication of the second surge of home sales in relation to the home buyer tax credit.

The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) showed a rise of 8.2% making it 97.6 compared to 90.2 in January which remains 17.3% higher than February 2009's number of 83.2.

In addition, the PHSI for the Northeast increased by 9.0% to 77.7 in February and increased by 18.9 % in comparison to February 2009. In the Midwest there was an increase of 21.8% to 97.9 which is 18.8% higher than last year. As for our neck of the woods, the South had an increase of 9.2% which produced a number of 107.0 and is 17.5% higher than February 2009's index. Lastly, there was a decrease of 4.8% in the west producing an index 98.0 which is still 14.6% higher than last year.

Economists believe March data can produce even larger improvements!

Hello neighbors,

Tax time has come again and before we know it, the April 15th deadline will be here in a matter of weeks. For those who have been fortunate enough to purchase a home within the past year, here are some of the most common questions regarding the home buyer tax credit.

How Is the tax credit claimed?

The home buyer will claim the tax credit during the filing of their federal income tax. If you purchased a qualifying home in 2009 or 2010, you will need to complete IRS form 5405. In addition, you will need to enclose a copy of the settlement statement. Normally the settlement statement is a properly executed Form HUD-1.

Note: If you have purchased a newly constructed home of mobile home and the HUD-1 is not provided, you may include an executed retail sales contract for mobile homes or a copy of the certificate of occupancy for newly constructed homes.

Does the home buyer have to sell their current home in order to qualify for the $6500 repeat home buyer tax credit?

As long as this home is not used as the primary residence, it does not have to be sold for the buyer to qualify for the $6500 credit. The tax payer may continue to own both homes however, they must use the new home as their principal residence and live there for at least 36 months or repay the tax credit.

Do married couples both have to meet eligibility requirements to claim the credit even if their taxes are filed separately?

Yes, as mentioned in one of our previous post "Founders Of Home Buyer Tax Credit Web Site...Marriage Penalty", both spouses must meet eligibility requirements to qualify for the first time buyer's credit of $8,000 and the repeat buyer credit of $6,500. This is required even if the taxes are filed separately. On the contrary, if an unmarried couple purchases a home together, only one has to qualify and the other can still claim the full credit.

Do all home purchases need to be completed by the April 30th deadline to be eligible for the credit?

There are only two exceptions to this deadline and they are as follows:

If a buyer enters into a binding contract by April 30, 2010 then that buyer will  have until June 30, 2010 to complete the purchase.

If a buyer is apart of the uniformed services, Foreign Service or employees of the intelligence community that have been on qualified extended duty outside of this country within the past 90 days between January 1, 2009 and April 30, 2010, the deadline will be extended for one year (April 30, 2011).

 




 

Important Information about Tax Credits!

by the zac team @ RE/MAX Greater Atlanta

Hello neighbors, here are some frequently asked questions about tax credits for first-time home buyers. This information comes courtesy of Jim & Kim McPhail with Prudential in Lancaster, PA. Thanks for this valuable information, Jim & Kim!

 

What is the $8,000 Tax Credit?

The $8,000 tax credit is a credit up to $8,000 that is being offered to first time home buyers from the federal government. The amount you receive will be 10% of the purchase price of the home up to $8000.

 

Who qualifies for this tax credit?

A first time home buyer who purchases a home between January 1, 2009 and December 1, 2009. A first time home buyer is considered anyone who has not bought a home within the past three years.

 

How do you claim the tax credit?

First, make sure that you qualify for the credit. If you do, claiming the credit is easy. All that you need to do is claim the $8,000 on your federal income tax return. No special applications or forms are required.

 

What are the income limits to receive this credit?

For a single person household, the income limit is $75,000. For a two person or married household, the income limit is $150,000.

 

What if I make more than the income limit?

You may still be eligible for the tax credit, but in a scaled down form. The credit would be reduced based on how much you make.

 

Does the credit need to be paid back?

No. Unlike the $7,500 tax credit that was passed previously, this credit does not need to be repaid.

 

What if I purchased my home before January 1, 2009?

If you purchased your home between April 9, 2008 and January 1, 2009 you may still be eligible for the $7500 tax credit. This credit is basically an interest-free loan that is claimed on your federal tax return but needs to be repaid over the next 15 years. You should consult your tax professional to see if you qualify for this credit.

 

What if I already claimed the $7500 tax credit?

You cannot claim both the $7500 credit and the $8000 credit. If you purchased your home after January 1, 2009 and have already claimed the $7500 credit, you can file amended 2008 taxes with a 1040X form. Contact your tax professional for more details.

 

-Jim & Kim McPhail, Prudential Homesale Services Group, Lancaster, PA.

 

 

Six things to know about the new $8,000 tax credit

by the zac team @ RE/MAX Greater Atlanta

Below is a summary of six good-to-know items in the new tax credit legislation passed for fist-time home buyers! This is courtesy of Pat Griffin with Greater Atlanta Financial Services, an affiliate of Wells Fargo:

1. Up to $8,000 for new buyers:
The credit is equivalent to 10 percent of the purchase price of the home. It is capped at $8,000 and applies only to first-time home buyers and principal residences. Unlike the previous $7,500 incentive, this credit does not have to be repaid.

2. First time buyers defined:
For the purpose of this legislation, a "first-time home buyer" is someone who has not owned a principal residence for three years before buying a house. (The date of purchase is considered the day that the title is transferred.) That means if you have owned a vacation home - but not a principal residence - within the past three years, you would still qualify for the credit.

3. 2009 buyers only:
Those who purchase a home on or after January 1 and before December 1, 2009 are eligible for the credit. This credit is not applicable for purchases outside of those dates.

4. Income limits:
The tax credit is subject to income limitations. Single buyers need a modified adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less to qualify for the full credit, $150,000 for married couples. Those earning more than these thresholds may be eligible for reduced credits.

5. Refundable:
Because the tax credit is "refundable," qualified buyers can take advantage of it even if they do not have much tax liability. For an eligible purchase in 2009, you can choose to claim the credit on either your 2008 (or amended 2008 return) or 2009 return. For more information visit:
www.irs.gov.

6. Recapture:
Buyers have to own the home for at least three years in order to capitalize on the credit. If they sell the home before then, they will have to return the credit to the government. (Exceptions will be made in certain cases, such as death or divorce.)

$7,500 Federal Tax Credit for First Time Buyers - Make Sure You Understand the Details!

by the zac team @ RE/MAX Greater Atlanta

The Federal government announced a new tax credit program for first-time home buyers this month as part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (which is great news that we annouced in an ealier blog posting), however, we just want to make sure that everyone has a clear understanding of how the program will work.

Essentially, the "tax credit" works like an interest-free loan from the government to be repaid over 15 years. For those of you not familiar with the program, The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 offers some amazing benefits for first time homebuyers.  Call everyone you know who wants to buy their first home (or who hasnt owned one in three years) -- this is too good to miss! Its a $7,500 tax CREDIT (not deduction but a credit).

If you have not owned a home in three years, you are a first time home buyer.  If you buy a home after April 9, 2008 and before July 1, 2009, you qualify for a credit.  Call your friends who just bought a home since April 9th and tell them they may take $7,500 off their tax bill if they qualify.  It has to be your principal residence, so rentals do not count.

The tax credit is 10% of the cost of the home, up to a maximum of $7,500.  So, if the home costs $100,000, you would get a credit of $7,500.  This is not an additional deduction that lowers the amount of income to be taxed, it is a tax credit.  In other words, you take $7,500 off your tax bill.  What if your tax bill is only $5,000?  The IRS will send you the additional $2,500 as a refund.  When was the last time the IRS sent you a refund because you bought something?

The loan has no interest, and will be paid back over 15 years.  You get the credit on your 2008 taxes, but you start paying it back on your 2010 taxes that are due in 2011, so you get at least two years without a payment.  You pay back 6.67% of the credit each year, so for a $7,500 credit the payment is $502.50 per year.  If you stay put for 15 years, you pay it off with no interest.

What happens if you sell the house?  You pay the balance back at the closing.  So, you get $7,500 now, and pay the rest of it back if you make money on the sale of your house.

What happens if you do not make enough money when you sell your house?  They forgive the rest of the debt.  In other words, get $7,500 now and pay back nothing if your house only breaks even, or loses money, at closing.  When was the last time you got a loan on a speculative venture where the person who gave you the loan forgave the rest of the loan if you did not make enough profit on the sale? 

The risk of loss in buying now is on the government.  In other parts of the country where real estate is going down in value, you can lose 10% of the value of the home (up to $7,500) and the loss is covered by the fact that you do not pay back the tax credit.  Atlanta real estate that first time buyers can afford is out there, so we are not as worried about the risk of loss.    

Similarly, if you die before repaying the debt, it is forgiven.  There are special rules for sales as a result of divorce or if the government takes your property by condemnation.

There are restrictions on the amount of income that you can make and still get the credit.  But the restriction is $75,000 per year for a single person and $150,000 for a couple filing jointly, so the vast majority of people qualify.   If you make more than that, you can still get some of the tax credit, but there are complicated rules about phasing out the credit as the income goes up.  If you make that much money, you can afford to hire someone to figure out the formula.

There are minimal restrictions on the financing and Pat Griffin, our in-house mortgage consultant with Greater Atlanta Financial Services (an affiliate of Wells Fargo), can help explain those to you. You can visit her website at www.patgriffinloans.com.  Nearly every loan allows you to get the tax credit!

What is the catch?  You have to buy your first house in three years before July 1, 2009, not have super high income, not use bond financing and buy anywhere in the U.S. If you have any questions, please feel free to give us a call at 404.564.7200 or email zac@zac.biz. Thanks!

Displaying blog entries 1-9 of 9

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Zac Pasmanick
RE/MAX Metro Atlanta Cityside
1189 S. Ponce de Leon Avenue
Atlanta GA 30306
Office: 404-564-7272

 

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