and I'm NEVER too busy for your referrals!
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
and I'm NEVER too busy for your referrals!
Monday, November 9, 2009
In addition to extending the tax credit of up to $8,000 through June 30, 2010, the extension measure also opens up opportunities for others who are not buying a home for the first time.
So, Who Gets What?
The program that has existed for FTHBs remains intact with the one exception that more people are now eligible based on an increase in the amount of income someone may now earn.
Additionally, the program now gives those who already own a residence some additional reasons to move to a new home. This incentive comes in the form of a tax credit of up to $6,500 for qualified purchasers who have owned and occupied a primary residence for a period of five consecutive years during the last eight years.
In order to qualify for the credit, all contracts need to be in effect no later than April 30, 2010 and close no later than June 30, 2010.
Higher Income Caps in Effect
The amount of income someone can earn and qualify for the full amount of the credit has also been increased. Single tax filers who earn up to $125,000 are eligible for the total credit amount. Those who earn more than this cap can receive a partial credit. However, single filers who earn $145,000 and above are ineligible.
Joint filers who earn up to $225,000 are eligible for the total credit amount. Those who earn more than this cap can receive a partial credit. However, joint filers who earn $245,000 and above are ineligible.
Maximum Purchase Price
Qualifying buyers may purchase a property with a maximum sales price of $800,000.
What is a tax credit?
A tax credit is a direct reduction in tax liability owed by an individual to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In the event no taxes are owed, the IRS will issue a check for the amount of the tax credit an individual is owed. Unlike the tax credit that existed in 2008, this credit does not require repayment unless the home, at any time in the first 36 months of ownership, is no longer an individual's primary residence.
What is the tax credit for first-time homebuyers (FTHBs)?
An eligible homebuyer may request from the IRS a tax credit of up to $8,000 or 10% of the purchase price for a home. If the amount of the home purchased is $75,000, the maximum amount the credit can be is $7,500. If the amount of the home is $100,000, the amount of the credit may not exceed $8,000.
Who is eligible for the FTHB tax credit?
Anyone who has not owned a primary residence in the previous 36 months, prior to closing and the transfer of title, is eligible. This applies both to single taxpayers and married couples. In the case where there is a married couple, if either spouse has owned a primary residence in the last 36 months, neither would qualify. In the case where an individual has owned property that has not been a primary residence, such as a second home or investment property, that individual would be eligible.
How do I claim the credit?
For those taking advantage of the tax credit in 2009, you may choose to either apply for the credit with your 2009 tax return or you may apply for the credit sooner by filing an amended 2008 tax return with Form 5405 http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f5405.pdf
Can I claim the tax credit in advance of purchasing a property?
No. The IRS has recently begun prosecuting people who have claimed credits where a purchase had not taken place.
Can a taxpayer claim a credit if the property is purchased from a seller with seller financing and the seller retains title to the property?
Yes. In situations where the buyer purchases the property, even though the seller retains legal title, the taxpayer may file for the credit. Examples of this would include a land contract, contract for deed, etc. According to the IRS, factors that would demonstrate the ownership of the property would include: 1. the right of possession, 2. the right to obtain legal title upon full payment of the purchase price, 3. the right to construct improvements, 4. the obligation to pay property taxes, 5. the risk of loss, 6. the responsibility to insure the property and 7. the duty to maintain the property.
Are there other restrictions to taking the credit?
Yes. According to the IRS, if any of the following describe your situation, a credit would not be due.
You buy your home from a close relative. This includes your spouse, parent, grandparent, child or grandchild.
You do not use the home as your principal residence.
You sell your home before the end of the year.
You are a nonresident alien.
Can you buy a home from a step-relative and be eligible for the credit?
Can a separated spouse who has not owned a home for four years qualify for the FTHB tax credit if the spouse has owned a property anytime in the last three years?
Thursday, October 8, 2009
By Leslie Appleton Young
The median home price in California will rise 3.3 percent to $280,000 in 2010 compared with a projected median of $271,000 this year, according to C.A.R.’s "2010 California Housing Market Forecast," presented today at CALIFORNIA REALTOR® EXPO 2009 in San Jose. Sales for 2010 are projected to decrease 2.3 percent to 527,500 units, compared with 540,000 units (projected) in 2009.
“California’s housing market continued its strong sales rebound this year, resulting from the continued pace of distressed properties coming to market,” said C.A.R. President James Liptak. “This follows two years of double-digit sales declines in 2006 and 2007. Looking ahead, we expect sales to moderate to a more sustainable pace.”
“After experiencing its sharpest decline in history, we expect the median price to rise modestly next year,” Liptak added. “2010 will mark the beginning of the ‘new normal’ for California’s housing market. This ‘new normal’ likely will feature a steady stream of sales driven by distressed properties in the low end of the market, coupled with moderate home-price appreciation.”
“With distressed properties accounting for nearly one-third of the sales in 2010, inventory will be relatively lean, under six months during the off-season months, and a roughly four-month supply during the peak season,” said C.A.R. and Vice President Leslie Appleton-Young. “We expect the median price to decrease slightly through the remainder of 2009 and into next year, then rise before leveling off next summer. For the year as a whole, home prices are forecast to reach $280,000. The wild cards for 2010 include foreclosures, loan resets, the labor market, and the California budget crisis, as well as the actions of the federal government.”
(The photo at the top is for my new listing at 12 Avenida De Camelia in Rancho Palos Verdes. You can view all the additional pics and information at http://www.12avenidadecamelia.com/ or call me for your private preview today!)
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
I had a glass of wine on my desk and I watched my glass in amazement as it hopped up and righted itself without losing a drop! One of my dogs, however, was not as confident about the situation as my wine glass seemed to be. She threw open the patio screen and tried to fit all 125 pounds of her quivering fur self into my lap, pushing the other dogs and my keyboard and waste basket clean out of her way.
I've lived in Los Angeles for over 30 years (I believe that makes me a native, doesn't it?) I've survived the Northridge Quake, several Long Beach bursts and a host of assorted mini movers and shakers. Each time the drill is the same...quiet the dogs, carefully look around the house for broken glass and eventually venture outdoors to check for any broken pipes or evidence of foundation shifting, fallen trees or shaken neighbors. Here in the South Bay, we have been very blessed. We sit on a good deal of bedrock and have tested our homes' flexibility enough times to feel fairly safe. Of course, Redondo Beach is within Tsunami reach and Palos Verdes has the Long Beach fault running through it (as well as Lomita, Harbor City, San Pedro and Wilmington.) Needless to say, we still catch our breath when the rumbling starts.
I'm a certified CERT member (Community Emergency Response Team) and was trained in Redondo Beach by some of the best fire fighters in Los Angeles County! We completed some drills that would make Grey's Anatomy (the TV program on Thursday nights) look like Romper Room. We learned how to triage the neighborhood and toe tag the casualties. We learned how to shut off gas service to prevent fires and handle water shut offs before broken pipes turn houses into swimming pools. We learned how to store food and supplies and prepare to help others in assorted states of emergency. We learned how to comply with FEMA rules, give first aid, give CPR, use Cribbing, how to use Fire Extinguishers and to work on a hoseline operation.
Of course, non of the above can prepare you emotionally for any actual event but it helps. Those first few crucial moments when your mind snaps into place and fear retreats, come a lot faster with this training. I sincerely suggest that everyone reading my blog consider checking with your local city or county to find a CERT program to prepare you to help yourself, your family, your neighbors and your community in a time of crisis. We know it's coming. We know we must prepare. We should also be conscious that this kind of training may save your life or the lives of your loved ones and all it takes is one night a week for a few weeks. You won't be sorry - you'll be glad you did it.
By the way, they don't train how to catch a Great Pyreness dog flying at you across a room in emotional distress. Call me and I'll give you some pointers!
Monday, May 11, 2009
Here in the South Bay area we are quite fortunate. We are experiencing somewhere in the area of 1 in 75 homeowners facing either some loss of income, property in foreclosure (or currently behind in payments) or mortgages adjusting to sometimes double the original monthly payment. Our values have declined but generally only 25 to 35% (varies from city to city.) This is good news for us geographically. For a homeowner who just lost a job and is facing an increase in his/her mortgage payment because of an adjustable rate mortgage at a time when their value has decreased possibly under their loan balance, the news is not so great.
In my next few blogs, I will be going through some additional information to help distressed property owners. In the meantime, I will be putting together a new website http://www.teamsouthbayshortsales.com/ and will be posting information on the website to answer some of your questions, especially the biggest question regarding FORECLOSURE vs. SHORT SALE.
Call anytime for no obligation information: 310-534-3940
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Mark Twain and his good friend the writer, William Howells were leaving church on Sunday when it began to rain heavily. Howells looked up at the clouds and said, “Do you think it will stop?” “It always has,” replied Twain…
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Let's move forward America - the only real "bail out" we need is the removal of the wax from our ears and the glue from our feet. MOVE FORWARD now. Use these opportunities to create your possiblities - YOUR CHANGE! Be in charge and prosper. If you need help, call me. I'll push you in the right direction!
Thursday, January 1, 2009
The year 2008 ended with a house full of gratitude! My Annual Client Appreciation Party was so much fun. My heart was full to see all my wonderful clients enjoying themselves and chatting with neighbors and friends they had yet to meet. We had a great Pasta Bar (let me know if you need some recipes for your next party) and tons of baked goods and refreshments. Our star of the day was Michael Garisek, a renowned Caricature Artist. Everyone hooted and hollered when they saw Michael's renditions of the kids and parents based on his investigation of their hobbies, sports interests and spontaneous bursts of laughter and information about each other. Michael was our entertainment last year and was such a hit we invited him back again for the people who missed last year's celebration. We were sure happy to have him.
I want to thank everyone for making 2008 a GREAT year for me and Team South Bay. We appreciate you and are very grateful for your business, your friendship and your referrals. We are looking forward to a FINE 2009, so please let us know how we may be of service for any of your real estate needs! Also, don't forget to check our Business Referral Directory for local shops and trades. We all love to work by referral and are accountable to each other to make sure you, our customers and clients are always happy with the results!
Happy New Year and God Bless!