Tag Archives: first time home buyers
- Ask for what you really want. If your home of choice needs renovations and the sellers are willing to help, let them know your preferences. And ask for the appliances or curtains if you want them.
- Don’t overlook the details. Check for adequate storage space, electrical and phone outlets, and overhead lighting. Measure to make sure your furniture will fit in the rooms – and through the hallways.
- Budget for expenses AFTER closing. You’ll be surprised how much blinds, curtains, paint, furniture and accessories will add up. And no one wants to wait months to make the new place look like home.
- Drive the commute and explore the area. How far is the home from work or school? What’s located nearby? What’s located within walking distance? (See “Neighborly Advice”)
- Meet the neighbors. Neighbors can become your best friends or your worst nightmare. If you’ve found “the one,” introduce yourself and gain some insight on the people you’ll see everyday.
- Think before you sell. Your modestly priced first home could appreciate significantly in a matter of years. Before you sell quickly, consider hanging on to it as an investment.
As 2009 comes to a close, we want to share plenty of good news with you on the residential real estate front.
First, we are thrilled to see the federal government pass the extension and the enhancements to the home buyer’s tax credit. This will significantly help the real estate market lead the economy into stronger times. To summarize the new program:
- First-time buyers are eligible for up to an $8,000 credit and now have until April 30, 2010 to be under contract (and close by June 30, 2010).
- Repeat buyers who have lived in their current home for at least five consecutive years of the past eight years are eligible for a tax credit up to $6,500.
- Higher income limits – Both first-timers and repeat buyers may purchase a principal residence up to $800,000. Income limits to qualify have been increased to $125,000 for single tax filers and $225,000 for joint filers.
- Credits are effective NOW – The new legislation replaces the former tax credit scheduled to expire November 30.
- Credits do not need to be repaid – The credits for both first-time buyers and repeat buyers are true credits and do not need to be repaid unless the home is sold within three years of purchase. The credits are claimed on the buyer’s federal income tax return filed for the year they purchase their home.
- Interest rates are still historically low and selection is excellent. The rates are likely to rise in March when the Feds will pull back on the purchase of mortgage-based securities. Act now to lock in those low rates.
The Lee Ann Miller Team
Carolina Multiple Listing Service (CMLS) recently released the results for the month of October, $20 million sold and $20 million closed for the Carolinas real estate market. Also, happy to report that the sales volume is up 129% (yes more than double) from October 2008 and closed volume up 44% from October 2008. We think we are starting to see a turnaround. It may be a slow & gradual rebound, but let’s be thankful for the rebound!
Contact The Lee Ann Miller Team today to begin your journey in this positive real estate market.
September 2009I am sure you are familiar with the stimulus provision that provides an $8,000 tax credit to first-time buyers if you purchase and close on a home prior to December 1, 2009. This is an amazing opportunity for first-time buyers to take advantage of the current real estate market benefits. Just what are the current benefits? First, affordability is at an all-time high. According to the National Association of Realtors, 72.3% of Americans can afford to buy the median priced house with their median family income. This number has never been higher since we began keeping records. Second, interest rates remain historically low. So long as you have good credit and stable, documentable income, rates remain between 5% and 5.5% for a conventional loan. I anticipate these will rise as the economy continues to improve, Third, inventory levels are high, providing you with a wide choice for the home of your dreams. Builder spec models, resale homes and distressed properties are all in great supply. Lastly, the $8,000 tax credit provides you with real cash if you are a first-time buyer (or if you have not owned a home in the previous three years). Please consult with your tax advisor for details on this program. So, why is this last call? With the tax credit currently set to expire on December 1, 2009 you have a limited time to take advantage. If you already own your own home and are considering a move, I anticipate interest rates will rise and inventory levels will drop next year. This will reduce affordability as the economy improves and make your move-up purchase more costly. Pull the trigger now and take advantage of this last call! Call the Lee Ann Miller Team Today!
704-896-5141 Office www.LeeAnnMiller.com