3rd February 2010

Tax Credits Benefit Both First Time Buyers and Current Homeowners

cash-credits 

Closing deadline extended to June 30, repeat buyers offered up to $6,500

 

Lately, I am getting more and more calls and emails each week asking about the details and deadlines for the home buyer tax credits, so I thought it would be helpful to place a new post on both www.RobertWhitfield.com, and my blog, www.TheWhitfieldAdvantage.com to highlight the main points.  First time homebuyers aren’t the only ones who can claim a tax credit when they purchase a home –current homeowners can take advantage of the tax break as well.

Prospective buyers, both first time buyers, and current homeowners now have until June 30, 2010, to close on their purchase and will need to submit documentation such as their closing statement (HUD 1) along with their tax returns to claim the credit. Buyers can also file an amended return and get their cash even faster. Here are the details:

FIRST TIME BUYER CREDIT

Credit: Equal to 10 percent of the home’s purchase price, up to $8,000 (ie. buy a home costing at least $100Kand you get the whole $8000.)

Who Qualifies for First Time Buyer Credit:

·                     Those who haven’t owned property in the last three years

·                     Those with income up to $225,000 for couples and $125,000 for individuals (credit phases out for people who make more than these amounts)

·                     Must be at least 18 years of age to claim credit

·                     Purchase price must be $800,000 or less

Important Deadlines:

·                     Buyer have until April 30, 2010, to enter into an accepted (binding) contract for a home purchase

·                     Buyer have until June 30, 2010, to close on the purchase

CURRENT HOMEOWNER CREDIT

Credit: Equal to 10 percent of the home’s purchase price, up to $6,500

Who Qualifies for Current Homeowner Credit:

·                     Those who have owned and lived in their principal residence for at least five consecutive years during the past eight years

·                     Those with income up to $225,000 for couples and $125,000 for individuals (credit phases out for people who make more than these amounts)

·                     Must be at least 18 years of age to claim credit

·                     Purchase price must be $800,000 or less

Important Deadlines: (Same as for first time buyers)

·                     Buyers have until April 30, 2010, to enter into binding (accepted) contract for a home purchase

·                     Buyers have until June 30, 2010, to close on the purchase

In addition, buyers have another year to take advantage of the higher loan limit for mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration, Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac — set at 125 percent of local median home sales prices, up to a maximum of $729,750 in high-cost housing markets. The Atlanta MSA is NOT considered a high-cost market – we are a normal market. The limit in normal markets will remain $271,050 for FHA and $417,000 for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

What this all means is that if you’re even remotely considering buying a home, now’s the time to do it.

Contact Robert Whitfield at 678-585-9691 for more information about these great Buyer Bonuses, as well as other bonuses offered by various metro Atlanta counties for those who qualify, and various Atlanta homebuilder bonuses as well. To learn about our unmatched client level assistance for Buyers – Direct Broker Representation and the Wise Buyer Program, visit: www.TheHomeBuyersRep.com and click Compare Services – this program provides buyers far more benefits, diligent services, and protections than the “industry standard services’ offered by any other agent/realtor in metro Atlanta.

posted in Buyer Incentives, Mortgages, New Posts | Comments Off on Tax Credits Benefit Both First Time Buyers and Current Homeowners

26th January 2010

Leaving 2009…Whats Ahead In 2010 For Atlanta Real Estate…

2010 versus 2009

Experts see a mixed bag for 2010, which we will detail in this post, however, one thing is unmistakably clear…if you have a reasonably secure job, and ever wanted to buy your first home, or you are a current homeowner who wants to change homes or buy a  move up home, you better get off the fence and go for it soon!  Now is the time to buy!

Some of the strongest incentives ever to purchase a home exist right now: down payment assistance programs like the Georgia Dream Homeownership Program (I can refer a lender trained and experienced with this program – if you use the wrong lender, trust me, it won’t happen), our current historically low interest rates,  a good selection of bargain properties in almost all areas and price ranges, an $8000 tax credit for first time buyers, plus a $6500 tax credit to existing homeowners who are move-up buyers are all awesome. Its still a strong buyers market and these incentives have heated up the market over the last few months, but… the tax credits are set to expire, and the lending rates are expected to move upward after March 2010.

Significant Trends to Expect in 2010:

More Buyers Entering the Market – Home Buyer Tax Credits End April 30, 2010

In 2009, the federal government’s $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers was a huge topic in the real estate world. The National Association of Realtors, estimates 350,000 homes nationwide were sold to first-time buyers who probably wouldn’t have bought a home if not for the credit. The group also reports that about 47 percent of all home sales in 2009 will be to first-time homebuyers, up from 41 percent in 2008.

Hoping to spur the housing market’s recovery, the federal government extended the tax credit — which was set to expire on Nov. 30 — and gave buyers until April 30, 2010, to secure a purchase contract. The credit was also expanded to include existing homeowners, plus buyers with higher incomes. If the original tax credit brought more first-time buyers into the market, the expanded credit should motivate current homeowners to trade up.

Lending Standards Still Tight

According to the Federal Reserve, fewer banks tightened their lending standards in the third quarter of 2009. However, that doesn’t mean lending standards have gotten looser, either. In 2010, banks will continue to keep the subprime mortgage debacle in mind and require extensive documentation and stellar credit from borrowers looking for the best rates. If you plan on applying for a loan in 2010, take steps to get your finances in order as soon as possible and boost your credit score. FHA is still a very good option if your score is at least 580 – you can still get a loan with only 3.5% down payment.

Rising Mortgage Rates

In 2009, the Federal Reserve bought up a massive amount of mortgage-backed securities, keeping mortgage rates at historic lows for much of the year. However, the Fed is scheduled to end those efforts in March 2010, meaning mortgage rates could jump as much as a full percentage point next year. If you’re considering buying a home, now is the time to take advantage of historically low interest rates. If you’re a current homeowner thinking about refinancing, act now.

Stabilizing Home Values — Prices Expected to Rise in Some Places

According to the Standard & Poors/Case-Shiller Home Price Index released in November 2009, U.S. home prices have improved for two quarters in a row. The national index rose 3.1 percent from the second quarter to the third quarter of 2009. Likewise, the National Association of Realtors recently reported that median home prices have risen for two consecutive quarters. NAR’s chief economist, Lawrence Yun, also predicted that home prices will grow 4 percent in 2010. Some local US markets have farther to go than others to acheive stability, but Atlanta has by various respected indexes shown favorable results compared to many metro areas around the country and local market trackers have shown price increase in some areas – its safe to expect Atlanta Home Prices will follow the overall national trend and rise some more in 2010.

Feel free to contact Robert Whitfield at 678-585-9691 for more information on Metro Atlanta and North Georgia Real Estate and Housing Markets.

 

 

 

posted in Atlanta Housing Market, Buyer Incentives, New Posts | Comments Off on Leaving 2009…Whats Ahead In 2010 For Atlanta Real Estate…

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