Thursday, December 17, 2009

First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit

If you are considering the purchase of a home, you've probably heard about the first time home buyer tax credit. Despite the program name, the tax credit is available to anyone that has not owned a home in the past 3 years, not just those buying a home for the very first time.

Also, the home must be your primary residence and you'll have to file your taxes to receive the tax credit. Many people believe that this money can be used upfront for the purchase of the home but the funds will not actually be available to you until you amend your 2008 tax return or file your 2009 tax return.

Its also important to note that you may not receive the entire $8,000 tax credit. This is because its based on the purchase price of the home. The tax credit is equal to 10% of the purchase price of your home. This means you'd have to purchase your home for $80,000 to receive the entire $8,000 tax credit. If you took advantage of the $39,000 foreclosure I posted last week then you would only receive a $3,900 credit if you paid full price for the home.

For more information on the tax credit, check out the following links.
IRS: First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit
FAQ about First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit

Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas Decorations... Don't Let This Happen To YOU!

I saw this while out taking pictures yesterday. There is a right and a wrong way to do Christmas decorations and this is terribly wrong. The sad part is that they are not finished. There are more decorations on the lawn waiting to be inflated.

I can appreciate showing holiday spirit but you probably need to stop when the neighbors start complaining.

Friday, December 4, 2009

3 Bedroom, 2.5 Bath Townhome for $39,000

The housing decline has created amazing opportunities for buyers. Last month, I sold a townhome in the Avalon community in Fairburn for $47,000. That is almost $100,000 less than it originally sold for 3 years ago. It needed carpet and paint but was essentially a new townhome.

Today I learned that another townhome in the community is back on the market. It is also a 3 bedroom townhome and it is in even better condition. Its priced at $39,000. The lower price is due to it not being an end unit and not having a garage or fenced yard like the one sold last month.

Another selling point is that its a HUD property. Anyone buying a HUD home as an owner occupant (not an investor) can purchase with only a $100 down payment. This makes home ownership accessible to everyone.

If you are interested in learning more about this opportunity, click here to send me an email.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

FHA Loan Guidelines May Be Changing for the Worse

There was an informative article in the Washington Post about how FHA is toughening requirements for borrowers. The assumption is that people are walking away from homes because they don't have enough skin in the game. That they were able to get into homes for very little money and it is therefore not much of a personal loss to abandon them.

While this is true for some, I don't think this applies to the majority of people. Most homeowners are emotionally attached to their houses and do not make a strategic decision to foreclose. Its usually the result of a job loss and the resulting loss of income. If loan modifications were readily available, I believe most of these people would remain in their homes.

These are the proposed changes to FHA loan guidelines:

1. Borrowers will contribute more money, possibly 5% instead of 3.5% currently required.
2. The seller contribution will be reduced from 6% to 3%.
3. The borrower's upfront and monthly mortgage insurance premiums will be increased.
4. The minimum credit score will increase.

You can read the article by clicking here.

I am admittedly biased on this topic. I think its a bad idea to make it more difficult for people to borrow money given the current economic conditions. I do, however, recognize that this may potentially be favorable to FHA and mortgage lenders in the long term if it results in fewer foreclosures.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Today is Election Day

Today is the run off election for Mayor of Atlanta. Tonight either Kasim Reed and Mary Norwood will be elected as our next mayor. If you haven't already voted, there is still time. The polls close at 7pm this evening. You can find out where to vote and what other races are on the ballot by clicking here.

Central City Condos

Today I toured Central City Condos off of Ralph McGill near Boulevard and I was pleasantly surprised. The development has spacious floor plans with numerous upgrades like granite counters, real hardwood floors, and stainless steel appliances. Central City Condos is conveniently located near the Atlanta Civic Center, Atlanta Medical Center, and the Georgia Power headquarters. It is also within walking distance of Freedom Parkway.

Click here for more information.

Spelman & Morehouse Glee Club Christmas Concert

Its the most wonderful time of the year! I love Christmas so this rings true for me. :)

If you are in the holiday spirit, be sure to check out the annual Spelman and Morehouse Glee Club Christmas Concert. Its this Friday through Sunday in the AUC. The concert is free and starts at 8pm each night. Friday and Sunday performances take place at King Chapel on Morehouse's campus while the Saturday performance will take place at Sister's Chapel on Spelman's campus.

Tip: Show up early for the concert as its usually a full house. Your best bet is to go on Friday or Sunday as King Chapel is significantly larger than Sister's Chapel.

Click here fore more information.