Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tax Credit

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all,
This is such a wonderful time of year. This is the time to let go of the old and welcome the new and to count our blessings. We need to surround ourselves with friends and family and celebrate the people in our lives, even in this time of stress and uncertainty.
Have a Very Merry and Blessed New Year.
I hope the information below is useful to you.

Move-Down Buyers Can Be Eligible For Tax Credit Too - Move up, move down, move sideways; it just doesn't matter - buyers may still qualify for the new tax credit available to current homeowners. It is unfortunate that the credit has too often been characterized as a credit for "move-up" homeowners. We need to get the word out that the credit is equally available to homeowners who are moving down, cost-wise. The move-down homebuyer is not an unusual phenomenon. For years, retirees have been known to move from a larger home to one that is smaller and often less expensive. Moreover, it is reasonable to think that current economic conditions may lead to even more move-down buyers. The same requirements for the tax credit apply to both move-down and move-up buyers.

Additional articles that you may find of interest:

Nation's home resales surge to highest level in nearly 3 years

November home sales soar 7.4%; median price $172,600 (nationwide)

Mortgages Becoming Easier to Obtain

New RESPA Rules Start Jan. 1

12 Tech Predictions for 2010

Real Estate Outlook: Economic Forecasting

Lower payments = fewer redefaults

Renovating doesn't pay off like it used to

Monday, November 30, 2009

What's brewing in Real Estate

Hello all,
I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. Here are some items of interest I hope will answer any questions you may have.

Tax Credit Quandaries Answered - Here are answers to some of the most confusing questions related to the new home buyer tax credits:
How does a current home owner qualify for the $6,500 credit? Buyers must have lived in their homes for at least 5 out of the last 8 years. The home they buy must become their primary residence, but buyers don’t have to sell their previous home - they can use it as a rental or a second home and still claim the credit.
Does the new home have to be more expensive than the one the buyer currently owns? No, but if the property sells for more than $800,000, the buyers don’t qualify.
Can buyers who are building a new home claim the credit? Yes, although the contract must be in place by April 30 and the buyer must move in by July 1.
Can buyers claim the credit if they purchase a home from a relative? No.

NE Valley last to see effects of housing rebound - Valley home prices are beginning to recover, a report from ASU contends. However, the northeast part of the Valley, which was not hit as hard as other areas, appears to be the last to see the effects. Karl Guntermann's Repeat Sales Index, which measures changes in average Phoenix area home prices from year to year, has seen positive movement for the past five months. "The local housing market is regaining some measure of stability," Guntermann said. Prices may be up because of investors buying foreclosed homes and first-time homebuyers taking advantage of the federal tax credit, he said. Guntermann's data shows the turnaround began in March. In the northeast part of the Valley, which is most reflective of northeast Phoenix neighborhoods, prices are down far less than the rest of the Valley.

Be safe in your travels and God Bless


Thursday, October 8, 2009

October newsletter


Fall is here and I am sure you are enjoying this beautiful weather as much as I am. It's also the time not to forget to pay close attention to health. Here are a few swine flu and common cold things to look out for:
Symptoms of the Novel HINI (Swine) virus include fever (over 104 degrees) and respiratory-tract illness (cough, sore throat, runny nose), headaches and in some cases vomiting and diarrhea. The Novel HINI flu virus differs from a cold in that the onset of symptoms is sudden, not gradual. A fever is common and lasts three to four days, which is rare with a cold, and a cough that is dry and can become severe. Coughing is typically mild with a cold. Muscle or joint aches, headaches, extreme exhaustion and chest discomfort are commom and are rare or mild with a cold. If you are concerned that your symptoms might be of swine flue, contact your doctor. Ok enough of that. Let's talk about the market.

Foreclosures fell slightly in Sept. - Last month, foreclosures dropped slightly, while home prices inched up again. Lenders foreclosed on 3,759 Valley homes - almost a 5% drop from August, according to the Information Market. It's the second month in a row foreclosures have fallen. Pre-foreclosures also dropped in September suggesting that there will be another decline in foreclosures this month. There were 7,857 pre-foreclosures, or notice of trustee sales, filed by lenders last month - an 11% drop. The median price of metro Phoenix home sales climbed to $130,000, according to Mike Orr's Cromford Report. A month ago, the median was $127,000. Home prices, particularly in many of the Valley's edge communities, have been slowly climbing since April. New-home prices are up as well, with the median price of a new Valley home reaching $197,948, after hitting a recent low of $183,750 in July.

Here are some Pumpkin Patches and Fall Harvest Festivals you might want to check out.

Apple Annie’s Produce & Pumpkins
6405 W. Williams Rd., Willcox, AZ 85643 - 520-384-2084
From their web site: "Enjoy old-fashioned family fun picking your own pumpkins, fall
vegetables and apples. Pumpkins of all sizes, shapes and colors will be available for
picking in our huge pumpkin patch. $3/person fee includes hayride to the pumpkin
patch and children's play area; children 2 and under are free. We-pick pumpkins will be available at the
pumpkin stand. Don't miss Arizona's newest and largest, absolutely amazing CORN MAZE with 3 levels
of difficulty - it's perfect for the entire family! Come early and enjoy a delicious "All-You-Can-Eat" pancake
breakfast served from 8:30 AM - 10:30 AM, or partake in the Apple Smoked Burger lunch served
from 11 AM - 4 PM; both meals are served at our orchard location." Bring your camera and a jacket, as
fall days can be quite cool in Willcox.
In 2009: October 10-11, October 17-18, October 24-25, October 31.

Aqua Linda Farm
Amado, Arizona - 520-398-3218
Pumpkin patch, hayrides, petting zoo, pony rides, farm raised burgers, you-pick vegetables, Farm Store,
homemade pumpkin pie, hay bale maze, live music and movie nights by the pumpkin patch. $7 per car
admission includes hayrides, petting zoo and maze. No additional charge on movie nights Oct. 16, 23 &
30. In 2009: Saturdays and Sundays, Oct. 10, 11, 17, 18, 24, 25, 31.
Some Friday evenings, too.

Freeman Farms Pumpkin Festival
1096 E. Road 3 South, Chino Valley, Arizona - 520-850-3990
Farm fresh pumpkins off the vine! Enjoy the scenery of a working farm. See Mammoth Donkeys and
enjoy the animals in the petting zoo. Hay Ride; Mini-Corn Maze; Horse Presentations. Activities have a
charge. There is no admission charge to purchase pumpkins or produce located at the check out stand.
In 2009: Open every Friday, Saturday & Sunday in October from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Have a safe and Happy Halloween

Monday, August 24, 2009

The history of Labor Day

Happy Labor Day,
I was sitting here thinking of something clever to blog about but decided to look up the history of Labor Day. This is what I found:

An annual American holiday usually held on the first Monday in September, Labor Day is dedicated to the American worker who puts in long hours dedicated to preserving a way of life by selflessly endeavoring to promote the prosperity and growth of a nation proudly, through their efforts. In recognition of this dedicated way of life, a Labor Day Party is a fitting tribute to workers from all walks of life. There is no clear answer to who began the Labor Day tradition America celebrates so proudly, but it is normally attributed to either Peter J. McGuire or Matthew McGuire, who were both instrumental in improving working conditions for Americans throughout the United States, and preserving a way of life so dear to one and all.

From the earliest known celebrations of Labor Day to present day celebrations, Labor Day parties seem to have a common thread. From the very beginning, Labor Day has been a family break from doing what it takes to maintain hearth and home, and doing it in a manner to best benefit workers and their families all over the nation. Some people prefer to celebrate in quiet comfort in their own homes, some prefer to hit the holiday hot spots all over the world, and see this holiday as their just desserts for day after day of hard work throughout the year. So, when making plans for your family to enjoy the holiday, the only hard and fast rule is to come to some kind of agreement so you and your family can all do something they enjoy together.

Some Labor Day party celebrations are picnics, camping trips, barbeques, or just family dinners spent together. No matter what you and your family decide to do on Labor Day, you will benefit from deciding early, making all your arrangements well in advance, and planning carefully to avoid a bottle neck on what is one of the most widely celebrated holidays in the nation. Plan for the entire family, then sit with everyone to plan a schedule. It can be challenging to get everyone on the same page, but it is worth it, when your holiday running smoothly is at stake. Book up the best that you can swing, carry your own grill just in case, or in a pinch, use large terra cotta planters filled half way with sand and topped off with hot coals to safely cradle skewers of seasoned, marinated meats, veggies, and fruits over the heat and enjoy the great, healthy taste of the outdoors!

Have a safe and Happy Labor Day


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Hello and I hope you all had a happy and safe 4th of July. Summer is here and many of you are looking at moving before school starts. Here is a piece of an article I copied I thought many of you would like to see. If you are actively looking for a home, I am pretty confident that your experiance is that you are finding the homes have multiple contracts. If you don't act quickly the home is already gone. Here the is the article to substaniate that. So, getting yourself pre-approved is the first order of business before you go shopping. Let the shopping begin. Have a safe summer.

Pending Home Sales Rise Again, an article from Realtor Magazine Online, reports that pending home sales displayed a sustained upward trend, rising for four consecutive months, according to the National Association of Realtors. The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in May, increased 0.1% to 90.7. This is 6.7% higher than in May 2008. There hasn't been four consecutive months of gain since October 2004. "Closed existing-home sales have improved but are coming in lower than expected because some contracts are delayed or falling through from the application of new appraisal rules for many transactions," said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. http://www.realtor.org/RMODaily.nsf/pages/News2009070101

Until next time,
God Bless

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Packing tips for moving

It is such an enormous job and overwhelming when it is time to move. Here are a few tips to help take the pressure off.
Follow these guidelines in packing your household goods:

Wrap small appliances in inkless newsprint or your kitchen towels or linens. Tape the bottom of a medium box
securely and put down a layer inkless newsprint for padding. You can pack several small appliances to a box. For large appliances, make sure you check your owner's manual for any special instructions before you start to pack. Make sure the inside and outside of all appliances are clean. You can stuff the inside of some appliances, such as washing machines and dryers, with towels or linens. Tape down any parts that could come loose — the burners on
your stove, the electrical cords, etc. Wrap the appliance with furniture pads and tie securely.

Use only small boxes for books — they get very heavy, very fast. You can use small paperbacks to fill the sides of the box if there is extra space. Use only small boxes for books - they get very heavy, very fast. You can use small paperbacks to fill the sides of the box if there is extra space.

This is whe^e wardrobe boxes come in handy. You can move clothing on hangers straight from your closet to the wardrobe boxes. Clothing in drawers should be packed in suitcases or boxes.

Electronic equipment
Ideally, you should pack electronic equipment such as stereos, TVs and computers in their original boxes with their original packing material. If this is unavailable, wrap the equipment in plastic bags. Wrap each piece in bubble pack and pack in heavy duty TV Box (25" x 25" x 25" DW).

If you can take your furniture apart in any way to make it easier to move, make sure you put all nuts, bolts and screws in a small zip-lock bag and tape the bag to the furniture. Tape drawers shut where necessary. Wrap exposed legs (on tables and chairs) in bubble wrap or inkless newsprint. Wrap in furniture pads and tie securely.

Wrap breakable items in bubble wrap or inkless newsprint. Put layers of bubble wrap between each plate or bowl. Fill the top bowl with crumpled inkless newsprint. Make sure you put the heavier items on the bottom of the box. Wrap nonbreakable items in inkless newsprint before packing in a box Use cell packs to separate delicate items. Make sure you pack all the items you'll need for your first few days in you new home in one box, and label it prominently. You can only eat take-out for so long.

Mirrors and framed art
Tape an X of masking tape across mirrors and paintings framed with glass. Wrap each item in bubble wrap. You can use shipping cartons for these pieces. Make sure you label everything fragile.

Hope this helps.

Happy Moving

Until next time

God Bless

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Buyers, don't make these mistakes

Buyers, when you are purchasing a home, remember these 10 do's or dont's. Protect yourself from common mistakes.

1. Do make sure you are pre-qualified before making an offer. This will make your life much easier. Take the time to talk to your lender to determine your price range. This is one of the most important steps to take.

2. Do have a home inspection. Trying to save a few dollars could cost you more in the long run. A qualified inspector will detect issues that can be easily overlooked.

3. Don't limit your search to open houses, ad or an internet search. Many homes have contracts on them and/or have already been sold. A Realtor has the updated information that is unavailable to the public. This is the best resource to help you find the home you want.

4. Do make sure your Realtor is committed to you. Choose a professional who is dedicated from beginning to end with strong communcation skills. One that will keep you informed through the entire process.

5. Don't think there is one perfect home out there. New properties arrive on the market everyday so keep an open mind.

6. Do think ahead. Will your home suit your needs for the next 3-5 years? How about 5-10 years?

7. Do purchase adequate insurance. Advise from an insurance agent can provide you with answers to any concerns you may have.

8. Do purchase a home warranty. This is a mini insurance policy that usually last one year from close of escrow. It typically covers basic repairs you may encounter and can be purchased for a nominal fee. Your agent can help you with this.

9. Know your costs. Early in the process, ask your Realtor or lender for an estimate of closing costs. Title company and attorney fees should be considered. Pre-pay responsibilities such as homeowner's association fees and insurance must also be taken into account. Remember to examine your settlement statement prior to clsoing.

10. Do follow through with due diligence. Make a list of concerns you may have relating to issues....ie: crime rates, schools, power lines, neighbors, environmental conditions, etc. Find out before you make the offer.

Here are a few tips:
take notes on each home you are looking at. rate 1-10
bring a camera
write down any changes you may make
pay attention to the surroundings...parking.....parks, etc.
visit the home different times of day


Until next time

God Bless


Friday, February 27, 2009

What's brewing this week in spring odds and ends to do?

This has to be my favorite time of year. I think I say that everytime the season starts changing. Be that as it may, the weather is warming up enough outside to start thinking of fixing things, yardwork, landscaping, and getting your pool ready. Did you know that landscaping can add 7-15% to your home's value? So, here are some simple things to get started.
  • Replace your porch light with a new fixture that compliments your home's style.
  • A new mailbox and handsome street numbers will yield a great return on investment, plus just looks nicer.
  • Keep shrubs trimmed, add color with plants and keep the soil free of weeds with mulch or ground cover.
  • Give your front door a fresh coat of contrasting paint or stain. Paint the trim if you have a tight budget.
  • Make sure the walkways are in good condition and free of cracks. Paint or stain concrete walks, steps and porches.

Until next time have a great week and God Bless