Investors Drive Foreclose Prices Up

Home shoppers in parts of the country with lots of foreclosures are finding it increasingly difficult to buy. Investors are bidding up prices thousands above the original asking price.

Federal legislation slowing the number of foreclosures is adding to the problem by reducing the number of homes on the market. For instance, in Las Vegas, one of the areas where the bidding problem is greatest, home inventories are down 10 percent since March, according to the Las Vegas Association of REALTORS®.

When a bidding war erupts, the problem is particularly difficult for traditional buyers because investors are usually cash purchasers. They can bid up a property without concern whether the appraisal will prevent them from getting a loan.

Experts say the problem is not unlike the situation at the height of the housing bubble. “This market is about as abnormal as the hypermarket that we came out of a few years ago,” says Jay Butler, director of the Realty Studies program at Arizona State University.

Source: The Associated Press, Jonathan J. Cooper 

Housing Experts: Now Is a Perfect Time to Buy

Don’t forget to remind potential buyers of something that is obvious to real estate professionals: Now is the time to buy, but that opportunity may be slipping away.

For people who have a job and money, a dream house is within reach, writes Marc Roth, founder of Home Warranty of America and a columnist for BusinessWeek.

He points out that mortgage rates remain low, prices are still at historic lows, and the government is offering incentives for first-time homebuyers.

He also adds that the inventory of homes to buy is still large, but it is shrinking. According to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, the housing inventory peaked in November 2008 at an 11-month supply. At the end of May 2009, it had fallen to a 9.6-month supply.

Roth says anyone who dallies will miss a good opportunity to buy a first home at a terrific price or go shopping for a move-up property that is a great buy.

Source: BusinessWeek.com, Marc Roth (11/17/2009)

Gas South New Program!!

Introducing Pay-As-You Go!

Gas South, one of Georgia’s leading natural gas provides is pleased to offer it’s new Pay-As-You-Go program. A new innovative programed designed to bring choice and savings to credit-challenged natural gas consumers.

This program is an alternative to SCANA for those needing service but do not have the huge down-payment required by the regulated provider. Also the per- therm may be cheaper.

Gas South does report to credit agencies and this may be away to help improve your score (when paying on time). Another benefit, if you’ve been a good customer for 12mths (only late twice) you will have the option to being changed to a regular billing cycle and not a pre-pay plan  with even lower rates.

WWW.Gas-South.com for more details and info on how to sign-up (877-347-7243)

How can the ARRA benefit for you?

What is the ARRA’ 09?

On Tuesday, February 17, 2009 P.L. 111-5(H.R.I) the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) was signed into law by the President.  ARRA includes key provision that impact individuals and families.

The “Making Work Pay”Tax Credit will cut taxes for working families in 2009 and 2010 by providing a refundable credit of up to $400 for working individuals and $800 for those who are married filing jointly. The credit is phased out once your income exceeds a certain limit. It is being paid to employees through a reduction in their federal income tax withholding starting in April 2009. The IRS has a “Withholding Calculator” available at WWW.IRS.gov, check it out and make sure you are having the proper amount withheld to avoid owing the IRS.

The “Economic Recovery Payment”is provided for individuals who no longer work and are receiving SS,  SSI, RR benefits or Veterans Disability payments. This $250 payment will come directly through the same channels in which you’re now receiving benefits and will reduce the amount of “Making Work Pay” credit you may receive.

Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credits will increase, allowing for a larger credit for 3 or more children and a higher threshold of income eligible to receive the credits

The American Opportunity Education Credit is now expanding from and replacing the former “Hope” credit, to cover the first 4 years of qualifying post secondary education expense. A 40% credit up to $2,500 per year.

First-Time Home-Buyer credit has increased to $8000, from homes purchased from 01/01/2009- 11/30/2009. If you live in the home for at least three years, you wont have to pay it back!!

Energy Conservation Incentives for a variety of energy saving upgrades or additions to your home, including : Windows, doors, insulation,roofing, HVAC,water-heaters,bio-mass stoves and more. This credit of up to $1500, could also help you save on your electric bill.

Unemployment Benefits, a temporary suspension of federal income tax is now available on the first $2400 of unemployment benefits received in 2009. Voluntary with-holdings be requested on form W-4V.

New Car Sales Tax Deduction for sales taxes paid on the first $49,500 of the cost of a vehicle purchased after 02/16/2009. (For individuals with income limits under $125,000/$250,000 if jointly) And you don’t have to itemize to get it!

For more information on the ARRA ’09 provisions see the website: WWW.IRS.GOV

All information above is from the IRS website

Pretty amazing…

Today at a closing, my seller gave the buyer a check to help start her off in her new home with window treatments!  I thought this was a pretty amazing gesture which spoke millions about his character. – I work for the best!

Check out my properties above for what’s hot!

(P.S. it was a small token, no cash back for purchasing!)