Wednesday, November 4, 2009

New Home Buyer Tax Credit Is Extended & Expanded

The House of Representatives has approved legislation that would extend and expand the housing tax credit.

Senate voted “yes” on Monday night, and is preparing the final bill, which I expected to reach President Obama’s office by end of this week!

Under the new proposal, the first-time home buyer credit, expands the income criteria for individuals with income up to $125,000 a year and couples earning up to $225,000 to be eligible for the credit

In addition to extending the tax credit, the bill will also be expanded to non-first time homebuyers as well. However, for non-first time homebuyers – the “move-up” buyer credit is reduced from $8000 to $6500, and they must have owned a home for at least five of the past eight years.

Both the first-time buyer extension and the "move up" buyer credit for existing owners would take effect December 1st and would cover homes under contract by April 30th and closed by June 30th, 2010.

For more information on our current credit and how to qualify please visit national Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) website, and watch this 7-minute video:

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Quick Five Tips On Buying Bank Owned Homes

Google search “Foreclosure Tips” and you’re bound to find pages and pages of articles, as well as few self proclaimed "Foreclosure Gurus" promising to turn you into an overnight Foreclosure expert… all for just $199 -

Yes, our challenging economy has definitely created opportunities for significant housing bargains. And, while not for the faint of heart, buying foreclosure properties can be a profitable investments for one willing to put in the time and research. So, if you’re a first time homebuyer or a novice investor, and ready to jump into the "Shark" investor-infested waters , here's the quick skinny on a few tips to follow!

1. Get pre-qualified- Realtors and Banks won’t deal with prospective buyers who aren't. Some Realtors may require you to consider qualifying from the bank that owns the property. If the bank can hold your new mortgage, it may sometimes better position your offer.

2. Prepare for a multiple offers situation in "hot spots"- In the Los Angeles market, which I represent, foreclosure homes are going for 10 even 15 percent over list price. When you find a good deal, there are six or seven offers and you may be up against professional investors with “all-cash”.

3. These homes aren’t giveaways- Typically, they are priced 10 percent below non-bank-owned properties. Banks have their own selling strategies. Skilled at analyzing prices and market conditions, they'll often lower the price incrementally if a home hasn't sold after a month. However, foreclosure homes priced below $400s, are moving within 1-2 weeks in Los Angeles Metro area.

4. Factor in fix-up money- Don't be alarmed when you walk into a foreclosure and ask , “…You smell that?” Many of these properties are in bad shape. Keep in mind, longer the vacancy, more probability of repairs needed. Along with a basic home inspection, get a good contractor or handyman to walk the property during your contingency period to give you an estimate of what it will take to get into the condition you want.

5. Get with a local Realtor- Buyers seeking a deal on a foreclosed property need to keep some basics in mind because the transaction isn’t simple and the competition is fierce. The Bargain shoppers are on the hunt for foreclosures, and a good realtor is ready to help you find a hidden gem.

So now, that you've gone through the "Quick-Five", enjoy this video I found on YouTube!

Source: National Association of Realtors and