Archives: February 2009

Details on First Time Home Buyers Tax Credit and New Stimulus Plan

It truly is a great time to be a first time home buyer as the combination of tax credits, low interest rates and great pricing makes this truly the time to buy your first home.  Here is some information to help you better understand the first time home buyers tax credit and details of the new stimulus package that was passed last week.  If you are a first time home buyer then let me know how I can help you take advantage of this great buying opportunity.

Tax Credit for Home Buyers

  • First-time home buyers who purchase homes from the start of the year until the end of November 2009 may be eligible for the lower of an $8,000 or 10% of the value of the home tax credit. Remember a tax credit is very different than a tax deduction – a tax credit is equivalent to money in your hand, as opposed to a tax deduction which only reduces your taxable income.
  • The tax credit starts phasing out for couples with incomes above $150,000 and single filers with incomes above $75,000. Buyers will have to repay the credit if they sell their homes within three years.

Tax Credit Versus Tax Deduction

  • It’s important to remember that the $8,000 tax credit is just that… a tax credit. The benefit of a tax credit is that it’s a dollar-for-dollar tax reduction, rather than a reduction in a tax liability that would only save you $1,000 to $1,500 when all was said and done. So, if a home buyer were to owe $8,000 in income taxes and would qualify for the $8,000 tax credit, they would owe nothing.
  • Better still, the tax credit is refundable, which means the home buyer can receive a check for the credit if he or she has little income tax liability. For example, if a homebuyer is liable for $4,000 in income tax, he can offset that $4,000 with half of the tax credit… and still receive a check for the remaining $4,000!

Phaseout Examples

  • According to the plan, the tax credit starts phasing out for couples with incomes above $150,000 and single filers with incomes above $75,000.

To break down what this phaseout means to home buyers who are over those amounts, the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) offers the following examples:

  • Example 1: Assume that a married couple has a modified adjusted gross income of $160,000. The applicable phaseout to qualify for the tax credit is $150,000, and the couple is $10,000 over this amount. Dividing $10,000 by $20,000 yields 0.5. When you subtract 0.5 from 1.0, the result is 0.5. To determine the amount of the partial first-time homebuyer tax credit that is available to this couple, multiply $8,000 by 0.5. The result is $4,000.

  • Example 2: Assume that an individual homebuyer has a modified adjusted gross income of $88,000. The buyer’s income exceeds $75,000 by $13,000. Dividing $13,000 by $20,000 yields 0.65. When you subtract 0.65 from 1.0, the result is 0.35. Multiplying $8,000 by 0.35 shows that the buyer is eligible for a partial tax credit of $2,800.
  • Remember, these are general examples. You should always consult your tax advisor for information relating to your specific circumstances.

Homes that Qualify

  • The tax credit is applicable to any home that will be used as a principle residence. Based on that guideline, qualifying homes include single-family detached homes, as well as attached homes such as townhouses and condominiums. In addition, manufactured or homes and houseboats used for principle residence also qualify.

Higher Loan Amounts

  • More good news – there is an extension on the additional tier of conforming loan amounts which had been first established in 2008.  This tier of home loans are those greater than $417,000, and with a maximum that depends on the area, but is not greater than $729,750.  These loans will again be eligible for rates that are slightly higher than conforming loan rates, but less expensive than the standard “jumbo” loan rates.

Additional Housing-Related Provisions

  • Tax Incentives to Spur Energy Savings and Green Jobs — This provision is designed to help promote energy-efficient investments in homes by extending and expanding tax credits through 2010 for purchases such as new furnaces, energy-efficient windows and doors, or insulation.
  • Landmark Energy Savings — This provision provides $5 Billion for energy efficient improvements for more than one million modest-income homes through weatherization. According to some estimates, this can help modest-income families save an average of $350 a year on heating and air conditioning bills.

Repairing Public Housing and Making Key Energy Efficiency Retrofits To HUD-Assisted Housing

  • This provision provides a total of $6.3 Billion for increasing energy efficiency in federally supported housing programs.Specifically, it establishes a new program to upgrade HUD-sponsored low-income housing (for elderly, disabled, and Section 8) to increase energy efficiency, including new insulation, windows, and frames.

Expanding Housing Assistance

  • This provision increases support for several critical housing programs. It includes $2 Billion for the Neighborhood Stabilization Program to help communities purchase and rehabilitate foreclosed, vacant properties.

Thanks to Beth Prochaska of Alera Financial for passing thisinformation along!

Walking With You Every Step Of The Way!

Jenn Nowalk – Raleigh Realtor/Broker

Hot Off The Press – My First Quarter Newsletter!

I am excited to announce that my first quarter newsletter is hot off the press and in the mail!  The goal of the newsletter is to offer my clients, family and friends a fun and informative way to stay up to date on subjects like the local real estate market, home decorating trends, home buying and selling tips, crafting ideas, local news and events, as well as my quarterly trivia question where one lucky winner each quarter will win a prize for providing the correct answer.  This quarter’s winner will receive a pizza dinner for the entire family!

If you are not currently receiving my newsletter but would like to then email me your contact information and I will be sure to add you to my mailing list.

I hope you enjoy my newsletter as much as I enjoy putting it together each quarter!

Walking With You Every Step Of The Way!

Jenn Nowalk – Raleigh Realtor/Broker

Contact me to sign up for my quarterly newsletter!

Contact me to sign up for my quarterly newsletter!

Heritage Wake Forest Sales Team – 2008 National Sales Team of the Year

I always believed that every experience and road traveled during your professional life will help lead you to your ultimate destination.  I know that my professional road still has many miles to travel but I am very thankful of my most recent experience and how that experience made it possible to go out on my own in real estate.  My 2 years at Heritage Wake Forest was spent working with many of the Triangle’s best builders, amazing home buyers in search of their dream homes, supportive co-workers and managers, great opportunities and I would not of traded for any other neighborhood even though it meant a lot of hard work and many weekends away from family and the associated activities and events.

The 2008 National Sales Team of the Year!

The 2008 National Sales Team of the Year!

Working at the Triangle’s #1 new home neighborhood also allowed our sales team to win many local and national awards and recently we won the most coveted award of all – The 2008 Gold Award for Best Sales Team in the entire United States! It was truly a team effort and I am very proud and honored to have been a part of that award winning team.  Even though I am now on the other side of the table I am looking forward to helping buyers and sellers in a place I know well and love – Heritage Wake Forest!

Read the recent press release about the national award and if you are a buyer or seller needing help in Heritage Wake Forest then I am here to help!

Walking With You Every Step Of The Way!

Jenn Nowalk – Raleigh Realtor/Broker

Press Release:

Heritage Wake Forest won the 2008 Gold Award for Best Sales Team in the United States from the National Home Builders Association. The Heritage team, which consists of Ann Gowarty, Ashley Wilson, Brenda Simpson and Jenn Nowalk, received the prestigious award during the National Home Builders Convention held in Las Vegas, Nevada in mid-January.

“We are pleased and honored that Heritage Wake Forest has been recognized for its achievements on a national level by the National Home Builder’s Association,” said Andy Ammons, President of Heritage Wake Forest developer Ammons Development Group. “Earning the Gold award confirms that by combining a strong sales team with a highly desirable community that offers enduring value is a winning formula for success.”

Heritage Wake Forest was the 2008 Regional and Silver Award winner in the ‘Sales Team of the Year’ category, qualifying the team as a finalist for the Gold Sales Team Award.

Heritage Wake Forest offers a wide variety of recreational amenities including an award-winning golf course, expansive tennis and swim club, walking and biking trails, greenways, playgrounds and a fully stocked fishing pond. The community was named as one of the Top 100 Amenity Communities by Ideal Living Magazine, and the golf course was awarded an enviable 4.5 rating by Golf Digest Magazine.