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Archive for the ‘house’ Category

The loan process. The buying process. Lots to think about and remember. So nervous, don’t remember what your Realtor said. Sound familiar? You’re not alone.

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FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYER TAX CREDIT 

Calling all first-timers!  Here is a Q&A written and published by the Massachusetts Association of REALTORS regarding YOUR First-Time Homebuyer’s Tax Credit.  Contact me with any questions:

Frequently Asked Questions 

In 2008, Congress enacted a $7500 tax credit designed to be an incentive for first-time homebuyers to purchase a home. The credit was designed as a mechanism to decrease the over-supply of homes for sale. For 2009, Congress has increased the credit to $8000 and made several additional improvements. This revised $8000 tax credit applies to purchases on or after January 1, 2009 and before December 1, 2009. Tax Credits — The Basics 

1. What’s this new homebuyer tax incentive for 2009? 

 

The 2008 $7500, repayable credit is increased to $8000 and the repayment feature is eliminated for 2009 purchasers. Any home that is purchased for $80,000 or more qualifies for the full $8000 amount. If the house costs less than $80,000, the credit will be 10% of the cost. Thus, if an individual purchased a home for $75,000, the credit would be $7500. It is available for the purchase of a principal residence on or after January 1, 2009 and before December 1, 2009. 

2. Who is eligible? 

 

Only first-time homebuyers are eligible. A person is considered a first-time buyer if he/she has not had any ownership interest in a home in the three years previous to the day of the 2009 purchase. 

3. How does a tax credit work? 

 

Every dollar of a tax credit reduces income taxes by a dollar. Credits are claimed on an individual’s income tax return. Thus, a qualified purchaser would figure out all the income items and exemptions and make all the calculations required to figure out his/her total tax due. Then, once the total tax owed has been computed, tax credits are applied to reduce the total tax bill. So, if before taking any credits on a tax return a person has total tax liability of $9500, an $8000 credit would wipe out all but $1500 of the tax due. ($9,500 – $8000 = $1500) 

4. So what happens if the purchaser is eligible for an $8000 credit but their entire income tax liability for the year is only $6000? 

 

This tax credit is what’s called “refundable” credit. Thus, if the eligible purchaser’s total tax liability was $6000, the IRS would send the purchaser a check for $2000. The refundable amount is the difference

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oxThis is the year of the OX. President Obama, born in the year of the Ox, has called upon all Americans to be steadfast and strong, hard working, to dig deep to find our resolve, tenacity, will to sustain ourselves in these extraordinarily challenging times. We are being called upon to be oxen.

Here in the Northeast, many homeowners who were thinking of putting the house on the market are now “upside down” so are staying put; homebuyers who wanted to upgrade are now needing to wait to see if they still have jobs; first-timers are worried that their credit scores are not high enough, their FICO reports aren’t squeaky clean enough. Everyone wants to know if the mortgage rates will fall lower, if housing prices will continue to decline.

The Question of the Year is: when will we hit bottom?

Many forecast that the Boston market, one of the first to plunge, is now on the upswing. So the bottom may finally be here.

It’s the Year Of The Ox. Are you ready for it?

You need honest, practical advice about the current market value of YOUR home. If you’re hoping to get started with your new home search, or if you’re thinking about renovating or staging your home to sell, you need a professional who’s in the trenches every day.

These are extraordinary times. Make sure you have an extraordinary Realtor on your team.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five facts about the Year of the Ox

By GREG MORAGO Copyright 2009 Houston Chronicle

The Lunar New Year, which begins today, ushers in the Year of the Ox. Those born under the Ox sign are dependable, calm, modest and stable. But the ox (or buffalo, cow or bull) takes on added significance in a year of global financial hardship, explains Nine-Min Cheng, community outreach director of Houston’s Chinese Community Center. “We need the Year of the Ox. We want a bull market,” says Cheng.

 

1. Bullish on Obama

President Obama, who has pledged to begin rehabilitating the economy, was born in an ox year. Those born in this year achieve through hard work and routine.

2. True blues

The ox, according to Chinese astrology, is the best friend you could choose. So are ox celebrities Meryl Streep, George Clooney, Dustin Hoffman, Jane Fonda and Warren Beatty good to their friends? Other ox celebrities include Meg Ryan, Bruce Springsteen, Bill Cosby, Robert Redford and Jim Carrey.

3. Know thy Ox

Ox lucky numbers, according to an online horoscope, are 1, 3, 5, 12, 15, 33, 35, 51 and 53. Ox careers include composer, landlord, doctor, cook, police officer, teacher, judge, banker, insurance broker and gardener.

4. Money talks

At Chinese New Year, elders give young people red envelopes filled with money. “In the western world, people exchange gifts,” Cheng says. “We exchange cash.”

5. Party like it’s 2009

The Chinese Community Center has its Lunar New Year Festival Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the center, 9800 Town Park. Cheng urges Chinese families to wear a traditional festival costume of bright colors. “The new year means a new dress,” she says. The festival is free and features dances and Asian food. Although, one assumes, no ox.

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