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The housing stimulus package

by The Applegate Team

Well by the time you read this the President would have signed the economic stimulus package. What is ths going to mean to you? Well since there are so many numbers I am sharing with you what one of my acive rain friends Dan Hartman from Providence RI.posted in his blog. He had a great post on activerain and I just did not think I could say it any better so below is a portion of his blog. If you would like to read the entire blog follow the link below.

http://activerain.com/blogsview/938562/Economic-Stimulus-Act-Signed-Into-Law-What-does-it-mean-for-homebuyers

So what does the package contain for the average homebuyer?

$8000.

Section 1006 (page 54 of the conference report) describes changes to Section 36 of the Internal Revenue Code modifying the previous homebuyer credit that had been enacted in October of 2008.  Specifically, the following important changes have been made:

  • Credit has been increased: the original credit was limited to $7500 or 10% of the home's purchase price; this has been upped to $8000 or 10%. 
  • Credit no longer requires repayment: a significant criticism of the original 2008 credit was its repayment requirement, as those taking the credit would be required to repay it over 15 years. That has been addressed in the new law so that repayment is now required only if the home is sold within the first 3 years. 
  • Credit is now allowable for buyers using "revenue bond" funded mortgages: many state and local entities offer first-time homebuyer mortgage programs that sometimes offer terms more favorable than government or conventional mortgages. Previously those buyers had been prohibited from accepting the credit, however they may now claim it.
  • Time to purchase extended: the original credit was due to expire June 30th; the revision extends that to November 30th

Meanwhile, many components follow the original wording instituted last fall, specifically:

  • Credit is refundable: this means that a homebuyer who would otherwise owe no tax may still claim this credit and receive it as part of a tax refund
  • Credit is for first-time homebuyers only: sorry, move-up buyers, but you won't receive this credit; do expect many more first-time homebuyers to be looking at your house, which should help you sell more quickly, if you're priced correctly
  • Credit is income-limited: the legistlature didn't see fit to modify the terms of this program to allow all homebuyers to benefit, only those who haven't owned in the past 3 years

Finally, certain components are still somewhat unclear:

  • Credit may be retroactively claimed: the prior credit offered the option to claim as if the purchase took place 12/31/2008 even if it closed in the early parts of 2009. The final bill's language appears to replace this paragraph (page 122, Stat 2981, section 36 subsection g) with something unrelated, which may mean buyers will need to wait until 2010 to claim the credit.

Overall, this program does a lot to change current programs by making them significantly more attractive to homebuyers. The removal of repayment requirement makes the credit much more attractive than the previous offer that had been made. The other changes are more semantic than meaningful, but the most significant thing accomplished by enactment of the bill is this:

Clarity

At least now, we can stop guessing, and start working towards improving the housing market.

 

So now that we have a new economic stimulus I hope this answers some of your questions and that the above numbers will help you in making a decison.

Have a great weekend and enjoy this great weather.

Jacque

Doom and Gloom

by The Applegate Team

More gloom and doom news from everywhere Today. I wonder if the media gets as sick and tired of reporting that type of news as we do hearing it. One of the so-called analysts reported that most Americans are sitting on the sidelines because they believe that home values will continue to fall in the first half of 09. Maybe they will and then again maybe they won't.
 
Let's take a positive spin on this info rather than a negative one. Customers who are sitting on the sidelines waiting to strike, could be missing out on the greatest real estate purchasing opportunity of the last few decades, especially in Georgia. The average home price is $207,000.00, with the change over one year of -4.4%. However the change over a 5 year period is +16.6. That's a pretty good return if you plan on keeping your home for more than a year. When was the last time anyone has seen rates hovering at 5% and less. Also, what happens if all the stimulus packages coming down the pike, raise the rates and push home values higher.
 
I guess my point is, who are the customers listening to, the Pundits on Wall Street or the Professionals in Real Estate.

I know that my stock broker always tells me that when the market is down is the best time to buy not when companies are going along at gang buster pace. So when I take that into the real estate field I can not think of a better time to buy then now when  the market is down and there is an overage on the MLS. We are seeing increased calls and more of our listings are selling. So if you are sitting on the fence I would encourage you to jump off and jump in.

Jacque

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