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Interesting Foreclosure Data

by Joe Lininger and Rob Levy

I read an interesting statistic online from a Wall Street Journal reporter who said that half on the foreclosure activity in the US could be traced back to 35 counties.  I was really surprised to see this, frankly.  It's interesting how things get amplified and interpreted by the media.  Real estate markets are so different throughout the country. When you look at the national news, we're lead to believe that all markets experience the same issues at the same time.  This simply isn't so.

Although the Portland Real Estate market has slowed, buyers and sellers are finding success. There are a number of great deals on the market and the good homes are moving fast.  To learn more about the Portland housing market, listen to our Portland real estate podcast, updated monthly.  It's always good to hear the local perspective!

New $7,500 Tax Credit for First Time Buyers

by Galand Haas

The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 was just signed by President Bush with some amazing benefits for first time homebuyers. Call everyone you know who wants to buy their first home (or who hasn't owned one in three years), this is too good to miss - it's a $7,500 tax CREDIT (not deduction but a credit).

If you have not owned a home in three years, you qualify as a first time home buyer. If you buy a home after April 9, 2008 and before July 1, 2009, you qualify for this credit. Call your friends who just bought a home since April 9th and tell them they may take $7,500 off their tax bill if they qualify. It has to be your principal residence, so rentals do not count.

The tax credit is 10% of the cost of the home, up to a maximum of $7,500. This is not an additional deduction that lowers the amount of income to be taxed, it is a tax credit. In other words, you take $7,500 off your tax bill. But there is a catch; the credit you receive now is actually an interest-free loan that must be repaid.

The loan has no interest, and will be paid back over 15 years. You get the credit on your 2008 taxes, but you start paying it back on your 2010 taxes that are due in 2011, so you get at least two years without a payment. You pay back 6.67% of the credit each year, so for a $7,500 credit the payment is $502.50 per year. If you stay put for 15 years, you pay it off with no interest.

What happens if you sell the house? You pay the balance back at the closing. So, you get $7,500 now, and pay the rest of it back if you make money on the sale of your house. What happens if you do not make enough money when you sell your house? They forgive the rest of the debt.

Other restrictions stipulate that you have to buy your first house in three years before July 1, 2009, not have super high income, not use bond financing and buy anywhere in the US.

If you'd like to learn more about this program, please call me!

Monday Morning Coffee

by Client Care

Good Monday Morning!

Have a wonderful Memorial Day!

Speculation has it that mortgage interest rates could begin edging upwards by mid to late Summer.  With the current soft home prices and attrative interest rates, we may certainly be at the very best time to purchase a home. 

If you are considering the sale of your homne you can receive an e-mail analysis that will give you a good indication of your homes current market value at www.forhomesellers.com.

Have and Awesome Day!

Displaying blog entries 1-3 of 3

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