Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Caution - if it sounds too good to be true........

One of our clients contacted us last week asking if we were familiar with an FHA loan offering with a super low interest rate of 4 7/8 %. He had received a letter in the mail with government-type headings/logos, using the pretext of the government's stimulus bill as the reason behind the low interest rate.

The closing costs seemed super high so he wondered if we had heard of this program. We had not and told him to proceed with caution but only after checking with several other mortgage professionals the team had experience with and trusted.

When he called the number on the letter for more information, they finally admitted that this was not an FHA loan, and the very low rate of 4 7/8% had a point included in the closing costs.

He asked that we let other clients know there are still unscrupulous loan folks out there trying to take advantage so remember….

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! Be careful out there.

Questions? Concerns? Contact us and we’ll help. That’s what we are here for.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

How to Get the First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit

This article is from the Realtor.org Essentials for August, 2009:

You've decided to purchase a home and take advantage of the 2009 First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit. Here's what you have to do to get your benefit:
Close on your home purchase by November 30, 2009,
Ensure that you are a qualified first-time buyer under IRS guidelines,
Decide which year to file under, 2008 or 2009,
File an amended 2008 return or choose to apply the credit to your 2009 tax return.

Deciding When to Apply the Credit
If you want the benefits of your credit as soon as possible:
You might choose to file under your 2008 tax year. Since April 15 has already passed, you would have to file an amendment to your return. However, if you've already filed for an extension of your 2008 return, then you can simply claim the credit when you submit your return.

If you anticipate a drop in income next year:
You can wait to claim the credit as part of your 2009 filing. In some cases the value of the credit might be higher, particularly if in 2008 you qualify for only a partial credit because your income is over $75,000 (single) or $150,000 (joint).

Your Next Steps
Once you have determined which year to apply the tax credit, you will need to do two things to claim the credit:
1. Fill out Form 5405 to determine the amount of your available credit, and
2. File an amended return for your 2008 taxes, or wait and apply to credit when you file your 2009 tax return.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

San Francisco Real Estate Market is Stable and Improving!

This just in from the SF MLS:

As reported earlier, the nationally recognized real estate economic consulting firm of Rosen Consulting Group has been retained by the Association to prepare monthly reports on the condition of the San Francisco economy and the residential real estate market and to issue them to the press with accompanying press releases. The monthly reports will include the following:

Analyses of various for-sale housing statistics, utilizing housing data provided by Terradatum:
Median home price and change in home prices;
Average days on the market;
Month’s supply of inventory; and
The number of homes for sale on the market.

Rosen Consulting Group’s view of the current housing and mortgage markets.

A brief description of the employment situation in San Francisco, using employment data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The July report is imbedded within this blog.