Presented by: Todd Long New site Http://homeadvantagepartners.com
On November 6th the President signed a bill passed by the US Senate and House of Representatives extending the current First Time Home Buyers Tax Credit AND creating a tax credit for 2nd time and subsequent primary residence purchasers. The First Time Home Buyer credit has not changed except to be extended through the end of April 2010. Any home buyer qualified under this program and is under contract to buy a home by the end of April; closing by the end of June will be able to receive an $8,000 credit from the government.
The First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit in particular has really help stabilize our area home prices which fall into the typical First Time Home Buyer segment. For example, before the tax credit had been set at an $8,000 credit vs. the previous $7,500 government loan we had been seeing nearly a years worth of inventory in our market in the $100,000-$250,000 price range. That means that if the same number of buyers kept purchasing homes it would have take a year to sale every home in that market segment. That is assume no more homes came on the market, of course. At the end of October 2009 we see that segment at about 7 months of inventory which is very close to having a balanced market.
The NEW tax credit is for 2nd time and subsequent purchases available to individuals and couples who are buying a primary residence to replace the one they currently own. If you have lived in your current primary residence for 5 of the last 8 years and you meet the income limits you would be qualified to receive a $6,500 credit for a couple or $3,500 for an individual. The signing date of November 6th 2009 is significant because any qualified purchase after that date can file for the credit.
One interesting note is that the bill doesn’t seem to say you can’t rent your current home and then buy the new primary residence thereby waiting for a little better time to sale that home. There would be some tax consideration for doing or not doing this but it may be something to consider if you think you may want to be an investment property owner for a little while.
Also of interest, this is truly a CREDIT not a tax deduction. For example if you are due $1,000 back on your taxes at the end of the year and you qualified for the $6,500 credit, you would then receive a check for $7,500.
There are Income limits and home purchase limits with both of these credits. Both are fairly generous. You can not make over $125,000 Single, and $225,000 as a Married couple. The home purchase can not be over $800,000.
For additional information on this credit we have created a side by side comparison for you. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have additional questions.
Coldwell Banker United Realtors
todd.long @ cbunited.com
Jim Gillespie, president and chief executive officer of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC, will appear live today at 4:45 p.m. CNBC’s Closing Bell with Maria Bartiromo. Jim will discuss the state of the housing market. He will also appear tomorrow on Fox Business News live at 11:15 AM EST to discuss the housing market and the Coldwell Banker College Home Price Comparison Index.
With the cold over night temperatures this week it is important to make sure any vacant home in your charge has the heat turned on to a low setting to prevent freezing pipes. Pipes that freeze often crack. When they thaw the water begins to flow and then you’ve really got a mess! Typically setting the thermostat to the lowest temperature, around 50 degrees, should be sufficient. You can also winterize the home by shutting off the water and draining all the water lines. Some pros also force water out with compressed air but I have found that opening the faucet at the lowest point in the home works as well. That is often the outside water faucet for washing your car. You will aslo want to shut off power or the gas to the water heater and drain it as well. Then put a little RV anti freeze down each drain. That’s the basics but it is always a good idea to consult a professional plumber.
I have a few extra FREE tickets for the Get Motivated Seminar in Charlotte Thursday October 29th. If you are interested in a ticket let me know. I can meet you at the gate or you can stop by the Coldwell Banker United, Realtors office in Mooresville.
todd.long @ cbunited.com
I attended a technology conference this past weekend in the NODA area of Charlotte. I attended the same conference last year. This year was great as usual, and Free! If you have never attend a bar camp before here is a description from Charlotte Real Estate bar camp I helped organize earlier this year.
Below is a video from one of the presentations I found interesting at Bar Camp Charlotte this past weekend.
Coldwell Banker United, Realtors
Coldwell Banker Mooresville
We are experience a few “out of the box” home selling techniques in this market. A lease option is one example. This may be a good option for a buyer and a seller under certain circumstances. For example: if the seller doesn’t need to cancel the debt on his/her current home in order to purchase another home. Or, the buyer doesn’t qualify for a loan because they are self employed for less than 2 years.
I’m going to outline one way a lease option may be structured but I highly suggest you and your Real Estate agent enlist the help of a qualified Real Estate attorney if you are going to enter into a Lease with Option to buy or Lease Purchase agreement.
There are a few details that need to be thought through before structuring your Lease Option. 1) How long of a lease term, 2) how much of the monthly payment will be applied to the option money (down payment), 3) how much will be paid up front to secure the contract, 4) how will repairs be handled 5) at the end or the lease option what will be the purchase price? So lets cover a few of these. How long of a lease term many times this will depend on why you are considering a lease option in the first place. The buyer may just need 6 months to qualify for his loan as in the example above. Other time the buyer may be trying to place 20% into the option money pool which will then be their down payment for the loan.
That leads me to number 2 from above. The amount of the monthly payment will vary depending on many factors: the amount the seller needs coming in each month to cover expenses, the amount the buyer can afford each month, or the amount negotiated towards option and rent. Normally there is an amount of each payment that applies toward the option amount that is being paid from buyer to the seller to apply to the purchase price if the buyer decides to exercise the option at the end of the term. For example if the monthly payment is $1000 then $500 of that could be going towards the option and $500 could be rent. No matter what, that $1000 is paid to the seller each month and is not refundable. If the buyer exercises the option at the end of say 2 years they would have $12,000 as down payment they have already made to the seller towards the $100,000 purchase price. Usually the final purchase price is established at the outset of the Lease Option contract. This can be a little trick to predict what the future value of the property will be in 2yr, 3yr, or 5yrs.
Often the upfront money from buyer/lessee to seller/lessor is considerably higher than a standard security deposit of 1 1/2 times the monthly rent. The upfront money to secure the contract may be 5%-10% of the purchase price. But this money does typically apply to the purchase price if the buyer exercises the option. From the seller’s point of view this upfront money needs to cover any cost that are incurred such as moving expenses and real estate commissions. Speaking of real estate commissions the NC Exclusive Right to Sell Listing Agreement paragraph 8 details the total fee to be paid from the seller to the agency. ”Such fee shall be deemed earned under any of the following circumstances:” 8b “If the ……. Seller agrees to sell, exchange, convey or transfer the Property at any price and upon any terms whatsoever, during the Term of this Agreement or any renewal hereof”. So a fee is due. My opinion is something could be worked out where the seller pays a portion of the fee at the initiation of the lease option and the rest a closing of the transaction. However, that is not the wording in the listing agreement and would need to be worked out on a case by case basis.
Repairs can be handled many diffrent ways but I have had a good experience having the buyer/lessee cover all repairs up to $100 and any single repair over $100 is split 50/50 with the seller/lessor. You will need to work out how estimates are acquired and so on.
As you have read above, many of the terms and conditions of the lease option are negotiable and can be handled in many diffrent ways. As I mentioned before I highly suggest you enlist the help of qualified professionals if a lease option seems like it might be a solution to your real estate needs.
I have created this video for you. Check it out.
You may have noticed I didn’t say extend the First Time Homebuyer tax credit. I really feel this needs to be expanded to anyone who wants to buy a primary residence. We have seen good, steady gains in selling the inventory in the first time home buyer sector through the $8000 credit this year. It hasn’t been a run on funds like the cash for clunkers which is probably good. The benefit has been there but people still have to have good credit and want to make a move to take advantage.
I have heard that extending this credit for 1 year and expanding it to all homebuyers who want to buy a primary residence would cost us about 1% of the 700 billion that has been set aside to help get out of this recession. This would be an appropriate move to solidify the housing market in a time of tough economics. I’ve been telling my agent for months if not a year now that it all goes back to jobs but when a house is sold that creates jobs as well. Bank personnel, plumbers, contractors, electricians, home inspectors, Realtors, movers, and on and on have a job because a house is sold.
If you are a Realtor please help NAR push for an extension of the tax credit by going to http://bit.ly/extendcredit. You will login with your NAR number and send a note to your local government representative.
I have order several Attractions Guides for years. When I was an active Real Estate agent I gave them out as closing gifts. Now that I am a non competing BIC I now give them out to friends, family and new agents that I hire. In placing my order for the 2010 edition I found I have a few extra. So, the first two people that respond with a comment below get one, for free of course! Thanks for reading my blog.
You will find coupons for higher end dining to fast food. Most of these are buy one get one free coupons. This is a great way to try new restaurants you may not otherwise patron. You will also find discounts for local and chain establishments such as Home Depot (coupons can be used at Lowes), Dicks, Shoe Carnival, and Lazy 5 Ranch just to name a few. There are lots of coupons to use around the Lake Norman Area and Charlotte Metro.
If you would like to order a few of the new 2009 guides yourself call Torrie Zink at (704) 682-2164 or email her at lkncouponbook @ aol.com. You can get them from her for $15 a piece and she will customize the front as you see in the example here for you. Tell her Todd Long at Century 21 Hecht Realty had you call.
Margaret Cremen, an agent in my office, recently had a self employed seller who was facing foreclosure. She came across the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency which was able to help this seller avoid foreclosure. Details can be found at http://www.ncforeclosurehelp.org or by calling 888-384-3811.
Agents beware of seemingly harmless individuals. This Cary agent probably thought everything was normal. Often if you meet someone and the hairs stand up on the back of your neck or you get a chill those natural insticts could be correct. Our office has safety policies in place to protect our agents in the field. Here are some suggestions for you. Make it a rule to never meet a client for the first time at a home for sale, especially a vacant home. Same goes for a vacant listing appointment. Meet them at the office to start the first appointment. If you feel uncomfortable with the appointment for any reason, take someone with you. They can stay in the car or at the front door. Never park in the driveway where you can be blocked in. Let your client(s) lead through the house, you follow. Let them explore the basement themselves. These are just a few basic rules but the big one is always error on the side of caution.
COLDWELL BANKER REAL ESTATE SURVEYS 1,000 MEN AND WOMEN TO DISCOVER GENDER DIFFERENCES IN THE HOME-BUYING PROCESS
Survey Finds that While Couples Make Real Estate Buying Decisions Together, Women Make Up Their Minds Significantly Faster than Men
PARSIPPANY, N.J. (August 17, 2009) – It often seems as though men and women are from different planets, but every day millions of couples navigate through day-to-day and even life-altering decisions. Because a home is the biggest purchase most people will make in their lifetime, Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC surveyed 1,000 individuals to discover how much men and women differ in the home-buying process.
The real estate company engaged a third-party research firm, International Communications Research (ICR), to delve into the innerpsyche of men and women, asking questions such as “How long did it take for you to know that the last home you purchased was right for you?” and “If you found the home of your dreams but had concerns about its security, would you still be interested?” Coldwell Banker Real Estate also surveyed couples on additional topics, such as “Who wears the pants in the relationship?” when it comes to making major financial decisions.
“The results were surprising,” said Diann Patton, the Coldwell Banker consumer real estate expert. “Not only did we uncover some of the inherent differences between men and women, but we also pinpointed a number of ways that the two genders are actually the same. For example, both men and women are increasingly concerned with having a space to work in their homes – something we would not have seen 40 years ago.” She continued, “We also found that feeling insecure about a home’s safety is a deal-breaker for most people, regardless of gender.”
Patton noted this topic is particularly timely given that many first-time homebuyers are hoping to take advantage of the $8,000 tax credit before it expires on December 1, 2009.
Below are some key highlights from the Coldwell Banker Real Estate study:
Women may be inclined to make up their mind more quickly than men …
- When asked how long it took before they knew their home was “right” for them, almost 70 percent of women had made up their mind the day they walked into the house, vs. 62 percent of men. Conversely, significantly more men needed two or more visits: (32 percent of men vs. 23 percent of women).
Women would rather live closer to their extended family than to their job …
- 55 percent of women find it more important to be closer to their extended family (those that do not live in their household) than to their job, compared to only 37 percent of men.
A home’s security is a deal-breaker for both men and women …
- 64 percent of women said that if they found the home of their dreams but had concerns about its security, they would no longer be interested. More than half of men agreed (51 percent).
Couples say that no one “wears the pants in the relationship” in terms of major financial decisions …
- When asked who wears the pants in the relationship (when it comes to major financial decisions, such as purchasing a home), almost 70 percent of respondents living with their significant other said it’s actually mutual.
- However, 23 percent think that they, themselves, wear the pants in the relationship, not their partner. More men than women said this (26 percent vs. 20 percent, respectively).
Men and women agree on how they would use a spare room, for the most part …
When the respondents were asked how they would use an extra 12 x 12 room if it could be anything they wanted, men and women agreed on the top three most popular, and very practical, responses:
- Bedroom: 25 percent
- Office/Study: 15 percent
- Family Room / Den: 11 percent
However, men really do want a “Man Cave”…
- Interestingly, out of the 8 percent who indicated they would turn that spare room into an entertainment center, it was a preponderance of men leading the charge. In fact, four times as many men as women said they would use the extra space for recreation / entertainment.
In addition to providing background on the survey results, Patton is able to offer tips for couples who are currently going through the process of buying a home. “These results further validate how critical it is for couples to recognize each other’s differences and work together, from deciding a neighborhood to how to use a spare room,” she said. “Online tools and the expertise of a real estate professional can be particularly helpful for couples, especially if they work together step-by-step along the way.”
Methodology: Coldwell Banker Real Estate engaged ICR to conduct an omnibus survey via telephone in May 2009, among more than 1,000 respondents.
About Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC
Since 1906, the Coldwell Banker® organization has been a premier full-service real estate provider. In 2008, Franchise Times magazine’s prestigious Top 200 issue ranked the Coldwell Banker system No. 1 in real estate for the ninth straight year and 12th among franchisors in all industries. The Coldwell Banker System has approximately 3,200 residential real estate offices and approximately 100,000 sales associates in 47 countries and territories. The Coldwell Banker System is a leader in the industry in residential and commercial real estate, and in niche markets such as resort, new home and luxury property through its Coldwell Banker Previews International® division. It is a pioneer in consumer services with its Coldwell Banker Concierge® Service Program and award-winning Web site, www.coldwellbanker.com. Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC is a subsidiary of Realogy Corporation, a global provider of real estate and relocation services. Coldwell Banker® is a registered trademark licensed to Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. Each office is independently owned and operated.
I’ll keep this brief because no one likes to hear me toot my own horn, but I am very proud of the company I keep and want to give some recognition. In the July/August 2009 issue of Realtor Magazine, pages 31-38, Coldwell Banker United, Realtors for national company rankings in 2008 came in at #5 in Transaction Sides and #9 in Sales Volume. Great Job!
Allen Tate Company came in at #11 and #17. Congratulations. It looks like those are the only two companies local to the Charlotte area who made the top 100 list. If I am missing anyone please let me know.
There is a 7 min. video out with interviews of some of the top 100 companies talking about what they a doing to make through these tough times and prepare for the future.
If you have friends like minethen every once in a while you will see a status update start off something like “RT This link bit.ly/uHOJb rocks @ # “.
So what does all of that mean and why are they talking in some weird code language? Well you have just dipped your toe into twitter. If you are reading this from my blog you will see a widget titled “What am I doing”. That is my latest twitter post, which is most likely also my last status update. I have my Twitter post (or tweet) automatically posted to for me.
The cliff note version of twitter is it is a micro blogging/social networking site that allows for 140 character post. The RT at the beginnings of the post means the person posting the message got it from one of their friends and they are now Re Tweeting (posting) it for all of their own friends. The @ symbol before a twitter id, such as event or tag. (more on this later), is a shout out of sorts to that individual. In this case it would be giving credit to the friend that sent them the post originally. In a post such as “hanging out with @ and @ 66 at the lake” would just be the people the poster is hanging out with by referencing their twitter id instead of saying their name. The reason for doing this goes a little past twitter 101 but basically may want be monitoring all of this twitter stream that specifically is directed to him. A filter of sorts. The # at the end gives this tweet an anchor to a certain
Oh and that bit.ly/uHOJb. that is a shortened longer url so it would fit inside the 140 character limit. Check out www.bit.ly. You can shorten any url and personalize the shortened url as well with a free account.
Time Magazine wrote a terrific article on Twitter and how it is finding a unique niche. One thing that I found especially interesting is that Twitter didn’t create these RT and @ symbol . They have been created and extended by the users. the # symbol has no meaning at all until everyone at a conference who is tweeting about that conference uses # in every post they write that day. Then you have twitter users who can’t attend but want to know what is happening at the conference so they search by # and like magic everything is sorted by time stamp related to the conference.
Setup you free twitter account at www.twitter.com then follow me at . you can then send me a direct message by putting a “d” in front of your message and only I will see it. You can write: d I have setup my twitter account, now what do I do?
I’ll help you from there. I’ll warn you. Twitter took me a little time to understand and for a while it was like looking at a garbage can expecting something miraculous to happen. If you are easily discourage then twitter probably isn’t for you but at least now you know what all those # @ RT are doing in your geeky friendspost.