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first time home buyers rebate expanded and extendedPresident Obama has signed the bill to extend and expand the home buyer tax rebate.  First time home buyers have been enjoying the $8,000 tax credit since it was signed in early 2009.  The first time home buyers tax rebate was set to expire on November 30, 2009 but now it has been extended to all houses put under contract before April 30, 2010.

Along with the extension President Obama signed an expansion of the original tax credit.  The expansion allows many homeowners, who purchase a new primary residence home, to enjoy a $6,500 refund.  Homeowners are eligible for the $6,500 if they have lived in their home for five consecutive years out of the past eight years.   The earnings income limit for receiving the tax credit are $125,000 for individual and $225,000 for a couple.  The new purchase does not need to cost more than the original purchase and here is an example of how the 5 out 8 consecutive year residency should apply:

Renting scenario:  If you previously owned your home for the five consecutive of previous 8 years, then sold it and chose to rent a different home you would become eligible to purchase a home and receive the rebate. Please contact your cpa or tax specialist to be certain of your situation.

Divorce scenario:  If you and your spouse lived together for five consecutive out of the past eight years, got divorced and went your own paths but did not repurchase a new home you would then potentially be eligible for the $6,500 tax credit.  Please be sure to contact your cpa or tax specialist to be certain of your situation.

It is estimated that approximately 2 million home buyers will take advantage of the tax rebate this year and that this tax credit could pump more than $20 Billion into our general economy.  The hopes of our Government leaders is that it will ultimately lead to a sharp rise in home sales and ultimately help lead to a stabilization in the overall market and economy.

Extending the tax rebate will help to continue to give a great incentive to first time home buyers nationwide.  The expansion is expected to lead to greater sales in the “Trade-up” category where home owners move up to a more expensive home to take advantage of this offer.

Gross looking kitchen

Gross looking kitchen

Door with hole in it from dog

Door with hole in it from dog

Gross bedroom before renvoation

Gross bedroom before renvoation

Welcome! We are glad you have joined us for our series on the Road to Financial Security.  We are going to follow a road map that will lead to cash.  Anyone need extra cash in this economy?  Ulitimately the real road to financial security is the buy and hold strategy.  I recognize that our economy will prevent those with job loss and insecurities from following this road map which is why this series will focus on flipping a house for fun and profit.

As mentioned in the previous blog our chosen investment needs a lot of loving in order to restore it to it’s former glory.   This house was literally a Dog House prior to our acquisition.  There is evidence of this point throughout the house.

1.  Severe dog stains on the hardwood floors…  you know what I mean by dog stains right?  You can see and smell them.

2.  Holes in the bottom of the doors and moulding around the doors in the lower bedrooms.  I believe the dogs were kept locked in these bedrooms and the literally attempted to chew their way out.  Take a look at the attached photo to see what I mean on this point.

3.  The whole downstairs really smells bad right now.

Besides the bedrooms ruined by the dogs, the kitchen is the next worst room needing some serious attention.  Take a look at the photo to see what I mean.  We will soon be gutting this kitchen and look forward to brand new cabinets, countertop, plumbing, appliances and a ceramic floor.

We will also be gutting the lower bathroom and installing new ceramic, tub, vanity, etc. into that so it will be brand new as well.  The hardwood floors will be refinished, the house will be painted entirely on the interior.  Once complete you can walk through the front door into the living room and the nice fireplace will catch your attention along with the refinished hardwoods and the newly installed ceiling fan.  From there you will notice the nicely renovated side screened porch and proceed to the brand new kitchen.  This house will offer 4-5 bedrooms, 2 full baths a nice yard and great neighborhood once complete.

On the exterior of this house we will be repairing the vinyl siding, painting the porches, and fixing up the garage along with lots of yard work.

Come along with us on the road to financial security.  The next segment will be coming soon with our construction updates and new photos, etc.

Let’s face it: the economy stinks. Sure, everyone is saying it. The media is calling the public “Debbie Downers” and “Nancy Negative” and “Paul the Pessimistics” – but frankly, I feel there’s a whole lot more to the situation than we are considering. So right now, opportunities, encouragement, and support are what everyone really needs.

Real Estate CAN help.

Real Estate CAN help.

REALITY: There are people with too much money who don’t know what to do with it. There are people with not enough money who would do anything to get it. Somewhere among each individual struggle there lies a middle ground. Many bridges can be built between the two, but one bridge and opportunity in particular that lies within our society currently is: real estate. IDEA: Real estate investing can, in the end, help to solve the dilemma for the rich and the not-so-rich.

What does this all mean? Well, with the state of the housing market right now, therein lies the unprecedented opportunity to buy a home. TRUTH: It is a buyer’s market. I would say not only is it a buyer’s market, but also among it lies the greatest transfer of wealth in our generation. “How?” You say.

Well, there are several reasons why/how/because:

  1. The rise of short sales and foreclosures. This has led to an unprecedented amount of distressed inventory in the area markets, which has allowed those who previously could not afford a home, to actually consider making that big purchase. It has opened the door to a great influx of first-time-home-buyers. For real estate investors, foreclosures have allowed investors to purchase homes at astonishingly low rates, fix each one up, and then re-list them at a very reasonable price, making the sale a win-win for both buyer AND seller.
  2. The $8,000 tax credit for first-time-home-buyers. This was included in the stimulus package that was passed in February 2009. This tax credit is essentially “FREE MONEY” to ALL first-time-home-buyers. It doesn’t have to be repaid AND it won’t be taxed. WOW. That big chunk of change is extremely motivating and encouraging for those on the fence about buying that first home.
  3. Astonishingly low mortgage rates. Mortgage rates across the country are dropping because banks and mortgage companies want to make sales. This benefits buyers because they are saving a lot of money and it benefits sellers because buyers are snatching up homes faster than ever.

No one wants to sell their home more than the seller themselves. No one wants to buy a home more than the buyer themselves. It’s about connecting the two, bridging the gap, and ultimately, transferring the wealth between individuals. We all know that the market is like a roller-coaster, constantly experiencing it’s ups and downs. It’s important to get involved and participate while the opportunity is there and thriving. 

-Jim Ingersoll

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This blog post is courtesy of Just List ‘Em: a Flat Fee MLS real estate company geared towards helping YOU sell YOUR home.
We love them. You should too.

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Congratulations! You’ve finally made the decision to sell your home. It’s been a long road, but you’re ready and willing to do what it takes to sell that home of yours and move on to something bigger and better (or maybe you just are moving to a new city for work). Either way, selling your home can be a big deal and you want it to sell with vigor! 

So, what should you do to prep your home so that it is ready and looking utterly fabulous to potential buyers? (This is what we call “home staging” — think of it like a high school musical, the show can’t go on until the stage is set and ready. A home is the musical and potential buyers are your audience).

A simple, clutter-free living room feels welcoming to potential buyers.

A simple, clutter-free living room feels welcoming to potential buyers.

Step ONE: De-personalize. Even though this is the first step, it can be the most difficult for people. Yes, this means take down those family pictures (especially the ones of your Great-Aunt Mildred), remove trophies, mementos, New Kids on the Block posters, and other various personal knick-knacks. This allows a potential buyer to picture THEMSELVES in the home, not you.

Step TWO: Clear the high-traffic “runway.” Do you have a fabulous couch table? Do you have an armoire in the foyer that you adore? Is there a runner carpet that adds flair to your stairs? Well, hate to say it, but too bad. Get rid of them all. By clearing high-traffic areas of “stuff” makes rooms, hallways, and foyers seem larger. Maximizing space = maximizing selling odds. 

Step THREE: Accentuate your “assets.” Just like you would want to highlight your great cheekbones with blush (for the ladies, of course), you want to highlight the great parts of your home. Do you have a fabulous fireplace, a beautiful bay window, or incredibly detailed, original crown molding? Show those features off! Don’t hide them with curtains, furniture, etc. Let them breathe! Let those assets show and enhance the unique value of your home.

These things can seem stressful, but in the end, they are just one step towards achieving your goal. Keep an open mind and know that you don’t have to throw away any of these things listed above (especially the New Kids poster…), you can just box these things up and hold them in storage until you’re ready to move! 

And when in doubt, bring in another set of eyes (a friend, family member, or coworker). It always helps to have an outsider’s opinion. 

Good luck and happy selling!

Check out our website and follow us on Twitter @justlistem.


Jim Ingersoll

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