Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas in Brea

If you enjoy touring neighborhoods with amazing Christmas Lights displays, you will definitely want to add Eagle Hills in Brea to your "To Do List"! This spectacular neighborhood in Brea is located at Kraemer and Birch one block north of Imperial Highway. You will not be disappointed by the hundreds of homes decorated with Christmas lights and creative displays. I would encourage you to dress warm and park your car nearby and walk the community to really take it in. Pack some hot chocolate and bundle up the kids and load them in their red wagon and stroll through this winter wonderland of lights! Let me know what you think of the awesome lights!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Home Buying Tax Credit

Read Below for the basics of the Extension and revision to the Tax Credit. Please contact me with any questions. This is great news for the industry.

Homebuyer Tax Credit Update!
On November 6, 2009, President Obama signed a bill to extend the tax credit for first-time homebuyers (FTHBs) through June 30, 2010. The bill also opens up opportunities for others who are not buying a home for the first time.
To learn what the new tax credit means to you and your clients, take a look at the concise overview below.
In addition, we’ve put together a script featuring wording you can cut and paste as needed to beat out your competition by connecting with clients who may be able to benefit from the new plan details!
Who Gets What?
First-Time Homebuyers (FTHBs): First-time homebuyers (that is, people who have not owned a home within the last three years) may be eligible for the tax credit. The credit for FTHBs is 10% of the purchase price of the home, with a maximum available credit of $8,000
Single taxpayers and married couples filing a joint return may qualify for the full tax credit amount.
Current Owners: The tax credit program now gives those who already own a residence some additional reasons to move to a new home. This incentive comes in the form of a tax credit of up to $6,500 for qualified purchasers who have owned and occupied a primary residence for a period of five consecutive years during the last eight years.
Single taxpayers and married couples filing a joint return may qualify for the full tax credit amount.
What are the New Deadlines?
In order to qualify for the credit, all contracts need to be in effect no later than April 30, 2010 and close no later than June 30, 2010.
What are the Income Caps?
The amount of income someone can earn and qualify for the full amount of the credit has been increased.
Single tax filers who earn up to $125,000 are eligible for the total credit amount. Those who earn more than this cap can receive a partial credit. However, single filers who earn $145,000 and above are ineligible
Joint filers who earn up to $225,000 are eligible for the total credit amount. Those who earn more than this cap can receive a partial credit. However, joint filers who earn $245,000 and above are ineligible.
What is the Maximum Purchase Price?
Qualifying buyers may purchase a property with a maximum sale price of $800,000. What is a Tax Credit?
A tax credit is a direct reduction in tax liability owed by an individual to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In the event no taxes are owed, the IRS will issue a check for the amount of the tax credit an individual is owed. Unlike the tax credit that existed in 2008, this credit does not require repayment unless the home, at any time in the first 36 months of ownership, is no longer an individual’s primary residence.
How Much are First-Time Homebuyers (FTHB) Eligible to Receive?
An eligible homebuyer may request from the IRS a tax credit of up to $8,000 or 10% of the purchase price for a home. If the amount of the home purchased is $75,000, the maximum amount the credit can be is $7,500. If the amount of the home purchased is $100,000, the amount of the credit may not exceed $8,000.
Who is Eligible fort FTHB Tax Credit?
Anyone who has not owned a primary residence in the previous 36 months, prior to closing and the transfer of title, is eligible.
This applies both to single taxpayers and married couples. In the case where there is a married couple, if either spouse has owned a primary residence in the last 36 months, neither would qualify. In the case where an individual has owned property that has not been a primary residence, such as a second home or investment property, that individual would be eligible.
As mentioned above, the tax credit has been expanded so that existing homeowners who have owned and occupied a primary residence for a period of five consecutive years during the last eight years are now eligible for a tax credit of up to $6,500.
How Much are Current Home Owners Eligible to Receive?
The tax credit program includes a tax credit of up to $6,500 for qualified purchasers who have owned and occupied a primary residence for a period of five consecutive years during the last eight years.
Can Homebuyers Claim the Tax Credit in Advance of Purchasing a Property?
No. The IRS has recently begun prosecuting people who have claimed credits where a purchase had not taken place.
Can a Taxpayer Claim a Credit if the Property is Purchased from a Seller with Seller Financing and the Seller Retains Title to the Property?
Yes. In situations where the buyer purchases the property, even though the seller retains legal title, the taxpayer may file for the credit. Some examples of this would include a land contract or a contract for deed.
According to the IRS, factors that would demonstrate the ownership of the property would include:
1. Right of possession, 2. Right to obtain legal title upon full payment of the purchase price, 3. Right to construct improvements, 4. Obligation to pay property taxes, 5. Risk of loss, 6. Responsibility to insure the property, and 7. Duty to maintain the property.
Are There Other Restrictions to Taking the FTHB Credit?
Yes. According to the IRS, if any of the following describe a homebuyer’s situation, a credit would not be due:
They buy the home from a close relative. This includes a spouse, parent, grandparent, child or grandchild. (Please see the question below for details regarding purchases from “step-relatives.”)
They do not use the home as your principal residence.
They sell their home before the end of the year.
They are a nonresident alien.
They are, or were, eligible to claim the District of Columbia first-time homebuyer credit for any taxable year. (This does not apply for a home purchased in 2009.)
Their home financing comes from tax-exempt mortgage revenue bonds. (This does not apply for a home purchased in 2009.)
They owned a principal residence at any time during the three years prior to the date of purchase of your new home. For example, if you bought a home on July 1, 2008, you cannot take the credit for that home if you owned, or had an ownership interest in, another principal residence at any time from July 2, 2005, through July 1, 2008.

Can Homebuyers Purchase a Home from a Step-Relative and Still be Eligible for the Credit?
Yes. As long as the person they buy the home from is not a direct blood relative, the purchase would be allowed.
If a Parent (Who Will Not Live In The Property) Cosigns for a Mortgage, Will Their Child Still be Eligible for the Credit?
Yes, provided that the child meets the other requirements for the tax credit

Thursday, September 3, 2009

First-Time Home Buyers Dominate Real Estate Market

First-Time Home Buyers Dominate Real Estate Market
With the first-time home buyer’s tax credit in full effect, younger buyers are taking the opportunity to enter the real estate market and the New Jersey real estate market has seen its fair share of first-time buyers enter the playing field recently. Across the state, agents are finding that they must consider the first-time home buyers’ unique needs and adapt to this new type of client. “Those first-time home buyers who’ve entered the housing market- drawn by the perfect storm of historically low interest rates, attractive prices and the $8,000 tax credit- expect much more from their Realtors,” said Dave Liniger, Co-Founder of RE/MAX International. “They want access, they want answers, and they want ongoing communication through text messaging. They just want to know, ‘How fast can I get the information?’ and ‘How available are you?’”
Part of an ‘instant-gratification’ and Internet generation, first-time home buyers are tech savvy and educated and they don’t want to wait for answers. They are confident and eager to become home owners.
“Making a point to notice how certain generations and certain clients like to communicate is vital. You have to adapt, you have to anticipate, and you have to be ok doing business on the phone, through text message, through email, whatever your client wants,” says Anita Jacobus of RE/MAX at Barnegat Bay in Toms River .
First-time home buyers are being drawn to the housing market because of low interest rates, attractive prices, a huge volume of inventory, and the tax credit. Not only do they have options and room to negotiate, but they have $8,000 that they can use to cover closing costs or to just get back come tax time.
“First-time home buyers are a large percentage of our clients right now and we’re having the best spring in three years. They are creating a domino effect in the real estate market, purchasing homes, allowing the sellers of those homes to move up or to downsize if they choose, and are stimulating the furniture and home improvement industry as well,” said Richard Wieland of RE/MAX First Realty in East Brunswick .
To qualify for the $8,000 tax credit, buyers must meet the first-time home buyer criteria and they must be a first-time home buyer. They qualify if they have not owned a principle residence in the last three years and must close on their home purchase before November 30, 2009. As long as they live in the home for three years, they never have to repay the tax credit. RISMEDIA, August 27, 2009-

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Brea is a great place to live!

It is such a convenience to have one of the top shopping malls in all of Orange County less than a mile from where we live. The Brea Mall has several major department stores including Nordstroms, Sears & Macy. Also, there are several very good restaurants at or around the Brea Mall, including: BJ's Pizza, Cheescake Factory, Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Red Robin, California Pizza Kitchen & Bobby Mc Gee's.

As a Brea resident for the past 7 years, I have learned a lot about the areas I service. There are many wonderful communities here in Brea including North Hills, Tomlinson Park, Pleasant Hills, Eagle Hills, Amber Hill, Terrace, Olinda Ranch & more. Brea schools are all high ranking schools including Mariposa Elementary, Country Hills Elementary, Fanning Elementary, Brea Junior High and Brea Olinda High School. The Brea Mall is conveniently located off of State College near the 57 Freeway.

Most of the home buyers and home sellers I work with are in the Southern California cities of Brea, Buena Park, Fullerton, La Mirada, Yorba Linda, Placentia, La Habra, Orange, Anaheim Hills, Anaheim, Whittier and Norwalk. I have helped numerous families with relocating from other areas, including people transferring to and from California for work. I have assisted relocation with their job transfer clients over the years.

Residential Real Estate Specialist Selling Homes and Condos for all areas of North Orange County including Buena Park, Brea, Fullerton, La Habra, Yorba Linda, Placentia, Orange, Anaheim, Anaheim Hills & Lakeside. Also Servicing South East Los Angeles County areas of La Mirada, Whittier and Norwalk.