Thursday, October 29, 2009

Home Buyers' Tax Credit

So... the Feds are saying this as of 10/29/09....

The plan might still change .

For now the details:
# Income eligibility for home buyers increases to $125,000 for individuals and $225,000 for couples.
# The tax credit for first-time home buyers (anyone who has not owned in the last 3 years) will be the lesser of $8,000 or 10% of the purchase price.
# For move-up buyers - "who have lived in their current home for at least five years" - the credit would be limited to $6,500.
# The credit runs from Dec. 1, 2009 to April 30, 2010, with an additional 60 day period to close escrow. (So end of April to sign contract, end of June to close escrow)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Now, more than ever !

Now more than ever you need to tighten up your position when you are selling your home. There is too much information out there. Yup! I said "too much". Now, you might be thinking that you can never get too much information. Maybe I should clarify here and say "too much UNRELIABLE information"...

Just the other morning I listened to this "real estate mogul" telling everyone houses were flying off the market! And quoting statistics that need a little more than just a quick quip or bumper sticker analysis.

What am I getting at? Now, more than ever, you need a professional to give you the true picture of what is happening in YOUR market. A phrase that is quickly getting old, but is true: "Real estate is local". And your real estate agent had better understand the local market! If you suspect he or she doesn't, it might be time to look for another professional. Someone who is paying attention, someone who has the resources, someone who you can trust to keep up on YOUR market.

Just because you read on some Internet site that a house like yours in Valley Falls is work $XXXXXXXXXX doesn't mean it really is. Heck, I went to one of those sites and checked out my own house and it was ridiculously overvalued by their analysis.... In fact that was what got me thinking about this blog. That and the talking head telling America what was going on in the real estate world as if it were all one community.

So, now, more than ever: Get together with a real estate professional that you know... that is serious about the business... that has pride in his/her profession. And listen to them. They know.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Be careful on the internet

The other day, one of my real estate agents came to me and told me this story:

"I got a call from a young (sounding) girl who wanted to see the property I have listed on such and such street for rent. I told her that it was for sale and NOT for rent. She asked my why it said it was for rent on the Internet then. I told her it shouldn't, so I went onto our site and checked it out... It didn't say 'for rent'! I also checked out the data on the Multiple Listing Service and same results! So I called her back and asked her where she had seen this. 'Craig's List' was her response. The info on Craig's List told a story of someone being shipped, in the military, overseas and they needed to rent immediately. It went on to instruct her to send a money order to secure the lease..."

Well, this girl got lucky. She found the address on the RealtyUSA website and called the listing agent. She got through to him and he was able to figure out that this was an Internet scam! Otherwise she would have sent the money order (because it was an incredibly good deal, and she didn't want to lose out)... and she would have been taken.

What does this tell you?

Do business with PEOPLE! If you can... people you know! Or you got referred to. BUT be very very very VERY (emphasis on VERY) careful about this type of thing you see on the Internet. Warn your kids... friends, etc.

How does this happen? It's easy. A bad person gets on any real estate site... steals the info, sometimes even the pictures... and sets up a way for people to send them money. With absolutely no intention of ever helping them find an apartment or house!