Category Archives: National Real Estate News

Extended Homebuyer Tax Credit Information

Extended Homebuyer Tax Credit Information.

So maybe you haven’t heard but Congress recently extended the homebuyers tax credit.  That is great news for first time homebuyers and move up buyers alike!  That is right the new tax credit also includes move up buyers who have lived in their current home for at least 5 of the last 8 years.  There is other criteria that needs to be met that I will review below.

Great homes like this one are eligible for homebuyers tax credit.

Great homes like this one are eligible for homebuyers tax credit.

Overall this is great news for homebuyers, sellers and the entire real estate market.  With low interest rates, great affordable home values and now the extension of the tax credit, it truly is a great time to buy!

The Extended Homebuyer Tax Credit

• Extends the First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit of up to $8,000 to first-time home buyers until April 30, 2010.

• Expands the credit to grant up to $6,500 credit to current home owners purchasing a new or existing home between November 7, 2009 and April 30, 2010.

Who Qualifies for the Extended Credit?

• First-time home buyers who purchase homes between November 7, 2009 and April 30, 2010.

• Current home owners purchasing a home between November 7, 2009 and April 30, 2010, who have used the home being sold or vacated as a principal residence for five consecutive years within the last eight. To qualify as a “first-time home buyer” the purchaser or his/herspouse may not have owned a residence during the three yearsprior to the purchase.

Which Properties Are Eligible?

The Extended Home Buyer Tax Credit may be applied to primary residences, including: single-family homes, condos, townhomes, and co-ops.

How Much Is Available?

The maximum allowable credit for first-time home buyers is $8,000.  The maximum allowable credit for current homeowners is $6,500.

How is a Buyer’s Credit Amount Determined?

Each home buyer’s tax credit is determined by two additional factors:

1. The price of the home.

2. The buyer’s income.

Price

Under the Extended Home Buyer Tax Credit, credit may only be awarded on homes purchased for $800,000 or less.

Buyer Income

Under the Extended Home Buyer Tax Credit, which is effective on November 7, 2009,  single buyers with incomes up to $125,000 and married couples with incomes up to $225,000—may receive the maximum tax credit.

These income limits have changed from the 2009 First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit limits. If you or your client purchased a home between January 1, 2009 and November 6, 2009, please see 2009 First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit.

If the Buyer(s)’ Income Exceeds These Limits, Can He/She Still Get a Credit?

Yes, some buyers may still be eligible for the credit.

The credit decreases for buyers who earn between $125,000 and $145,000 for single buyers and between $225,000 and $245,000 for home buyers filing jointly. The amount of the tax credit decreases as his/her income approaches the maximum limit. Home buyers earning more than the maximum qualifying income—over $145,000 for singles and over $245,000 for couples are not eligible for the credit.

Can a Buyer Still Qualify If He/She Closes After April 30, 2010?

Under the Extended Home Buyer Tax Credit, as long as a written binding contract to purchase is in effect on April 30, 2010, the purchaser will have until July 1, 2010 to close.

Will the Tax Credit Need to Be Repaid?

No. The buyer does not need to repay the tax credit, if he/she occupies the home for three years or more. However, if the property is sold during this three-year period, the full amount credit will be recouped on the sale.

Information courtesy of the National Association Of Realtors.

I hope that you find this information helpful.  If you have any questions, need more information about the tax credit or want to buy or sell your home please visit my website 24/7 or  contact me.  I am here to help

Walking With You Every Step Of The Way!

– Jenn Nowalk Raleigh REALTOR/Broker

Raleigh Featured As The #2 Real Estate Market Most Likely To Rebound!

Well Raleigh is buzzing again from the great news from yesterday’s Today Show.  Raleigh was featured as the #2 real estate market most likely to rebound. In the below video from the Today Show you will hear the many things we already know about living in Raleigh and the Triangle – good companies, great weather, strong family life and affordable housing.  Whether you are looking for a change of scenery, want to get out of cold weather, just settling down after graduating college or want to live in a place where the news is positive, Raleigh and the Surrounding Triangle should be at the top of your list!  Enjoy the video and let me know if I can help you find the perfect home in Raleigh!

Walking With You Every Step Of the Way!

– Jenn Nowalk – Raleigh REALTOR/Broker

Great Time For First Time Home Buyers Here In Raleigh and the Surrounding Triangle

I get a lot of questions about the $8,0000 first time home buyers tax credit and I wanted to pass along some exciting news that came out yesterday.  The first time home buyers tax credit has been a great benefit but unfortunately like a lot of things coming from the government, not everyone has understood it.

Please see article below as YES the tax credit can be used for a down payment which is very helpful and important!  I can’t stress enough what a great buying opportunity this is for first time home buyers here in Raleigh and the Triangle as the combination of the tax credit, low interest rates and great house prices makes this the time to move into your first home.  Please contact me and let me know if I can help you in your search here in Raleigh and the Triangle as there are many great neighborhoods in the Triangle that are perfect for first time home buyers!

Walking With You Every Step Of The Way!

– Jenn Nowalk – Raleigh REALTOR/Broker

Tax Credit Can Be Used for Down Payment
Shaun Donovan, secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, on Tuesday said that the Federal Housing Administration is going to permit its lenders to allow home buyers to use the $8,000 tax credit as a down payment.

Previously, most buyers wouldn’t receive the funds until after they filed their tax return, and that deterred some people from using the credit. The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® has been calling for the change.

“We all want to enable FHA consumers to access the home buyer tax credit funds when they close on their home loans so that the cash can be used as a down payment,” Donovan says. His remarks came in an address to several thousand REALTORS® gathered Tuesday morning at “The Real Estate Summit: Advancing the U.S. Economy,” at the 2009 REALTORS® Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C.

Raleigh is Nation’s Fastest Growing Metro Area!

As a real estate agent and a resident of Raleigh and the Triangle, I never get sick of all the awards and honors that this area wins – especially when it is great news about the economy.  See the article below from WRAL.com and Forbes as it really drives home why this area is a great place to work, live and play. When times are tough you want to live in a area that is hopeful and opportunistic.  Well 4% economic growth in this day and age is definitely reason to celebrate.   If you are thinking about moving to Raleigh and Triangle area then there is no time like the present as along with showing economic growth the real estate market remains a buyers market – but this will not last too much longer as my fellow real estate agents and builders I work with are reporting good traffic and more contracts coming in.

Enjoy the article below and  if you want to be like recent transplant Edward Appel then let me know as I am always available to help buyers learn more about the area and find their next dream home.

Walking With You Every Step Of The Way

Jenn Nowalk Raleigh Realtor/Broker

From WRAL.com

Despite the economic downturn, the Raleigh-Cary area grew by more than 4 percent last year, making it the nation’s fastest-growing metro area, according to Forbes magazine.

The magazine rated Raleigh as the No. 1 city where Americans are relocating. Charlotte was third on the list, behind Austin, Texas.

“In the last five or six years, Raleigh has been recognized with a lot of accolades,” said Ken Atkins, senior vice president for economic development for the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce.  Atkins said rankings like Raleigh’s three straight years atop Forbes’ annual list of the Best Places for Business and Careers have attracted people as well as attention.

Edward Appel, who recently moved to the Triangle from California to work with HCL Technologies, is one of the latest transplants.

“I first heard about Raleigh from the article in Forbes,” said Appel, a senior systems engineer with the software and information technology development firm. “The fact that there are so many large universities here in close proximity was a great selling point.”

HCL is setting up an office in Cary that officials expect to employ 500 people within a few years. Appel said the area’s low cost of living also helped the Triangle beat out 19 other locations for the new office.

“On the West Coast, we all know that (the) Silicon Valley of the East is the Research Triangle,” he said, adding that he knows people who have moved to Raleigh without jobs expecting to find work in the area.

The Raleigh-Cary area had an unemployment rate of 8.8 percent in February, with a net loss of 700 jobs, as the recession deepened across North Carolina. Statewide, the unemployment rate was a record 11.3 percent in February.

Atkins said other technology companies also are looking to locate or expand in the area, but he declined to elaborate.

“My feeling is that this market is at the bottom. I think that we are going to see some significant new announcements in growth coming up in probably … (the) third quarter of this year,” he said.

Ride Out The Recession In Raleigh

Okay so unless you live in a cave (wonder how those comps look) you know that the country is in a recession.  The good news is that signs are pointing towards recovery as the stock market is up, home sales are up and consumer spending is up.  When it comes to riding out the recession we here in Raleigh and the Triangle have been very lucky compared to other parts of the country.  Once again Raleigh has been named a #1 – the #1 market for business and careers during the recession.  Nobody likes a recession and we are glad that the worst looks to be behind us but I was thinking that if Raleigh is the #1 place now then imagine how great this market will be once the economy is hopping again.  Just another reason to be glad you live here in Raleigh or to make Raleigh and the Triangle your new home.  Read the full article here and let me know if I can help you make Raleigh your new home.

Walking With You Every Step Of The Way!

– Jenn Nowalk Raleigh Realtor/Broker

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

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.

Even LOWer Mortgage Rates Coming Soon?

Now truly is a great time to buy a house but that time may get even better in the near future.  There is talk of the federal government helping the challenged housing market by introducing a fixed 4.5% interest rate. Now that is an interest rate and program that would get a lot of buyers off the sidelines and fast!

Here is one small excerpt from an article about the proposed plan –  “Under one proposal, Treasury would seek to lower the rate on a 30-year mortgage to 4.5 percent by purchasing mortgage-backed securities from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Scott Talbott, chief lobbyist at the Financial Services Roundtable, said Wednesday.”

This could be the major boost that the housing market needs to lower inventory and get the housing market back to being the needed strong foundation of the economy.  To read the full article on the proposal plan please click here.  If you have any further questions or need information please feel free to contact me as I am here to help with all your real estate needs!

Jenn Nowalk – Raleigh Realtor/Broker