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Nearly 1.5 Million people have taken advantage of the $8,000 tax rebate since it’s conception in January 2009. The tax credit has been available to all first time home buyers. The first time home buyer is defined as anyone who has now owned their own home for three consecutive years. Oh, one more criteria for eligibility… It must be for your primary residence which is unfortunate for investors. The credit is in the form of a tax rebate for 10% of the purchase price of the home, up to a total of $8,000. One of the great benefits of the tax rebate is that is FULLY refundable to the buyer. For instance if the first time home buyer owed no taxes on their taxes, then the first time home buyer can ammend their tax return and capture the full $8,000.

The tax rebate has helped improve the national home sales. The current tax rebate is set to expire on November 30, 2009.  This means that the purchase must be fully closed and completed in order to qualify. It typically takes approximately 30 days to close on a home transaction with conventional bank financing. The point is that in order to be confident your purchase will qualify you should plan to be under contract to purchase your home by November 1, 2009. If you are trying to capture the $8,000 tax rebate and have not yet put your home under contract or you dont qualify for conventional financing then you need to consider finding an alternate approach. One alternate approach is to find seller financing. If the seller is providing the financing and you do not need to wait the typical 30 days for bank financing, then you can still close by December 1, 2009 without many challenges.

What about the possibility of extending the rebate past December 1, 2009?   There are currently several bills  in Congress that would allow the extension. Each of the bills in Congress provide alternate solutions toward the extension. Of course there is a lot of politics involved in completing the extension, from all poitical parties. Here is a brief summary of the extensions:

S1230:  Senator Johnny Isakson  introduced Senate Bill 1230 in June.  The Bill proposes a tax credit up to $15,000 that can be split over 2 year for everyone who purchases a home for their personal residence.

HR 2619:    This one  proposes to extend the existing $8,000 tax credit to July 1, 2010 and adds provisions for a tax credit of up to $3,000 for homeowners who refinance.  This would certainly create a ton of refinanes.  Is this part of the recent mortgage issue?  Many Americans seem to use their home equity as an ATM machine, pulling it out and spending it.  I guess that would potentially help spur the ecomony in the short term.

HR 2801 – Similar to S1230 but it extends benefits to January 1, 2011.

Several key politicians are publicly making comments about getting the extension approved by early November.  Those making positive comments include Senator Bill Nelson of Florida, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus.  They are hoping to extend the rebate along with unemployment benefits at the same time. 

One thing for sure is our current Government is committed to spending an unlimited amount to try and stimulate our ecomony.  Our Leaders appear to be committed to short term gains at the expense of future generations.  That said, extending the first time home buyer credit will certainly help encourage American’s to own their own home. 

What do you think?  Should the first time home buyers credit be extended?  Why or Why Not?  What are the short term benefits and long liabilities associated with this extension?  I would like to hear your viewpoints so please leave some comments.


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.

French St - Richmond, VA

French St - Richmond, VA

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 roadmap which is why this series will focus on flipping a house for fun and profit.

The house we have chosen to chronicle is located on French St in Richmond, VA.  French St is an awesome neighborhood where every single house is very well kept and the home owners shown tremendous pride in keeping their lawns and such in a meticulous fashion.  It is also just 3 short blocks to the Maymont Park Pond and the Byrd Park area.  These are the reasons we have chosen to buy, fix up and flip this house.

The chosen house is the only house in the block that needs work.  The neighbors are very happy, let me repeat VERY happy to know it will soon be fixed up.  The neighbors are great and have lived in their houses for a long time (aka stable, nice neighborhood).

This house has grass that is higher than my knee’s along with heavily overgrown shrubs and trees.  Other than the outrageous lawn, the exterior is not in bad shape.  It already has nice vinyl siding and vinyl replacement windows.  Inside is another story…

The story from the neighbors is that when the former owners died the house went to the kids who then moved their dogs into the house.  Needless to say this is the smelliest house we have tackled.  The dogs were kept in a bedroom and they literally chewed a hold in the door and chewed off the door moldings.  Did Michael Vick live here at one point?  ha-ha, just kidding on that one.

This house does have a lot of great features including 4 or 5 bedrooms, hardwood floors and some nice character features.  It also has a nice fireplace and screened in side porch.  This home has approximately 1700 square feet and will appraise for around $220k once  our renovation is complete.

We are buying this house for $106k so their is penty of equity in this house.  I have financed it using a private lender so I did not need a bank mortgage.  I have worked with this private lender on several other houses and he continues to receive an outstanding return on this investments with me.  If you would like to partner with me and have available capital for one of our investments, please contact me direct at 804-677-9025.

The next blog will include the interior photos along with our construction plans and budgets, you wont want to miss it…  Happy House Hunting!

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


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.


Although we do business in many parts of the country, one of our featured locations right now is the Windy City: Chicago, Illinois. Right now, the housing market in Chicago is on the upturn and really beginning to boom.

The Chicago market is UP, just like the Spyre.

The Chicago market is UP, just like the Spire.

Do you live in Chicago? Are you looking to move and/or relocate altogether? Are you IN Chicago looking to sell your home, townhouse, loft, or condo? Looking to purchase property in and around the city? Now is the time to really get the ball rolling.

Are you a sports fan? If so, then you probably like stats. Here are some recent Chicago housing market statistics:

  • The Illinois Association of Realtors reported that home sales in Chicago were UP 40.6% in March over February. 
  • There were 840 homes sold in February of 2009. There were 1,181 homes sold in March of 2009.
  • The median price for a home/condo in March of 2009 was $220,000. This is an increase of 0.8% from February 2009 where the median price was $218,125.

Now, let’s crunch numbers. If you sold your home with a realtor at the median price of $220,000, you would pay, on average, $6,600 just in listing commission. If you sold your home through Just List ‘Em, you would pay the $299 flat fee to list your home on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service). That is an average savings of $6,300!

So the truth is, the Chicago market is almost hotter right now than Susan Boyle. Ultimately, why is that? Well, a few reasons.

  1. The $8,000 first-time-home-buyers tax credit. This is quite possibly one of the most important catalysts for the upturn of the housing market right now. This tax credit, included in the final version of the stimulus bill passed in February 2009, goes to ALL first-time-home-buyers. It will not be taxed and it does NOT have to be repaid. It is, in essence, $8,000 handed to you by the government. (It will show up when you file your 2009 tax return). So, because of this awesome financial opportunity, many potential home buyers who were on the fence about purchasing in 2009 have now been persuaded to the other side and are jumping at the chance to buy a home. ESPECIALLY in and around the Chicacgo-metro area.
  2. Short Sales & Foreclosures. A short sale is essentially the stage in which a home is on the verge of foreclosure and the seller REALLY wants to sell the house but no one is buying. A lender would rather list is as a short sale, sell the home at a very low price and lose a little money versus listing it and having it on the books as a foreclosure. Therefore, short sales are extremely attractive to buyers because buyers can save a TON of money on a potentially awesome property. Foreclosures are also attractive in that a buyer can save an estimated 10%-30% on the actual price of the property. In some cases, buyers can buy a great home and pay less than the tax value on it at closing. Now THAT is a deal! Just be wary when purchasing a short sale or foreclosed home, as these homes can come with a serious need for repair. And when in doubt, always speak with a real estate professional and get their advice.
  3. Record low mortgage rates. According to, the average rate for a 30-year-fixes mortgage in Chicago is at 4.93% today, even down .03% just this week! And that percentage is still dropping. These mortgage rates are astonishingly low and make for an incredible money-saving opportunity for buyers. This is below the national average and significantly lower than the mortgage rates in past years. What does this mean, exactly? Well, when you buy a house, just like you would a car, you are going to pay interest on that item. The lower the mortgage rate, the less money you pay. The less money you pay, the more money you save. Awesome. RIGHT?

These three things create a powerful housing market in Chicago and really encourages buyers to buy and sellers to sell. If you want to sell your home, now is the time. Just like a pendulum, the market goes back and forth. It’s almost like playing double dutch. You have to jump in at the right moment or you might miss your opportunity.

Don’t forget though, if you are looking to sell your home in Chicago, don’t go through a traditional realtor or broker. Sell your home with us! Just List ‘Em. We will list your home on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) for a flat fee and we guarantee we will sell you home quickly and efficiently and save you THOUSANDS of dollars on commission. That means more money in your pockets and big smiles on your faces.

-Jim Ingersoll

Jim Ingersoll

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