Wednesday, December 30, 2009

FHA Qualifying AFTER Short Sale

FHA released underwriting guidance regarding handling transactions in which the borrower has experienced a short sale or will require a short payoff in order to refinance their existing mortgage. The guidelines reflect current market conditions due to the deterioration in property values in most areas of the country. An overview of the guidelines for short sales and short payoffs follow:

When are borrowers eligible for a new FHA mortgage if they have experienced a short sale?
- The short sale was for their primary residence, and
- The mortgage payments on the prior mortgage were 0 X 30 days late preceding the short sale, and
- All installment debts were 0 X 30 days late preceding the short sale.
When are borrowers not eligible for a new FHA mortgage if they have experienced a short sale?
- The short sale property was not their primary residence, or
- The borrower took advantage of the declining market conditions to purchase a reduced price similar or superior property within a reasonable commuting distance, or
- The short sale was a pre-foreclosure sale. (Borrowers may be eligible for FHA financing three years after the pre-foreclosure, unless the borrower can document extenuating circumstances and satisfactory credit prior to the circumstances beyond the borrower's control.)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

First Time Home Buyers – FHA Tax Credit

The latest from the FHA website shows that first time home buyers are those who are purchasing a “primary residence” for the first time. Are you trying to get an FHA loan and interested in this tax credit? FHA loans require you to live in the property you buy, so if you are approved for an FHA loan you meet the “primary residence” requirement for the tax credit.

But this tax break is not just for those who have never purchased a home before. If you have not owned a home in the three years prior to the purchase of your new primary residence, you also qualify if you buy your home between January 1st, 2009 and December 1st, 2009.

The 2009 Federal Tax credit requires borrowers to make no more than $75,000 per year for single borrowers and $150,000 for married couples filing a joint tax return. Married couples filing separately get more leeway with their incomes—you have a higher income limit in these cases. There’s just one catch; married couples who want the 2009 tax credit must BOTH be purchasing their first home. If either spouse has purchased a primary residence in the last three years, the couple cannot qualify for the $8,000 tax break.

It’s important to know that simply having purchased property does not automatically disqualify you from this tax credit. If you have purchased a summer home or any other building that is not considered a primary residence—the place where you live most of the year—you may still qualify for the $8,000 tax credit.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

More Foreclosures Slated to Hit in 2010

Loan Modifications are Up, but so are Foreclosures. The estimated number of homes heading toward foreclosure reached 1.7 million units nationally, up from 1.1 million this same time last year. This data comes from third quarter numbers published this week by First American CoreLogic data. The increase is clearly affecting home sale rates, but at the same time, homes are selling at a faster rate this year than last. The visible inventory supply fell to 7.8 months in September 2009, down from 10.1 in 2008. But the supply of REO home estimates, also referred to as "shadow housing inventory" by mortgage lenders, is at 3.3 months, up from 2.4 months a year ago. Combined, the total unsold inventory by September 2009 reached 5.5 million units, down from 5.7 million in 2008. Shadow housing inventory is comprised of mortgages that are 90 days or more delinquent and that are not included in unsold inventory. This basically means that more homeowners are slated to be foreclosed on this year than last.
If you or someone you know is behind on their mortgage and want to avoid foreclosure, call me today at 703-400-6757. I can give you real answers quickly. Don’t wait!

Monday, December 21, 2009

First Time Homebuyers can actually claim the tax credit on their 2009 return even if they purchase after the New Year!

Homebuyer Credit Expanded and Extended

The Worker, Homeownership and Business Assistance Act of 2009, signed into law on Nov. 6, 2009, extends and expands the first-time homebuyer credit allowed by previous Acts.

Under the new law, an eligible taxpayer must buy, or enter into a binding contract to buy, a principal residence on or before April 30, 2010 and close on the home by June 30, 2010. For qualifying purchases in 2010, taxpayers have the option of claiming the credit on either their 2009 or 2010 return.

The new law also:

* Authorizes the credit for long-time homeowners buying a replacement principal residence.
* Raises the income limitations for homeowners claiming the credit.

News release 2009-108 has the details, as do two new IRS videos in English and Spanish.

Members of the military, Foreign Service and intelligence community serving outside the U.S. should also be aware of new benefits in the law that apply particularly to them.

Following is general information for first-time homebuyers who settled on a new home on or before Nov. 6, 2009.
For 2008 Home Purchases

The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 established a tax credit for first-time homebuyers that can be worth up to $7,500. For homes purchased in 2008, the credit is similar to a no-interest loan and must be repaid in 15 equal, annual installments beginning with the 2010 income tax year.
For 2009 Home Purchases

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 expanded the first-time homebuyer credit by increasing the credit amount to $8,000 for purchases made in 2009 before Dec. 1. However, the new Worker, Homeownership and Business Assistance Act of 2009 has extended the deadline. Now, taxpayers who have a binding contract to purchase a home before May 1, 2010, are eligible for the credit. Buyers must close on the home before July 1, 2010. [Added Nov. 12, 2009]

For home purchased in 2009, the credit does not have to be paid back unless the home ceases to be the taxpayer's main residence within a three-year period following the purchase.

First-time homebuyers who purchase a home in 2009 can claim the credit on either a 2008 tax return, due April 15, 2009, or a 2009 tax return, due April 15, 2010. The credit may not be claimed before the closing date. But, if the closing occurs after April 15, 2009, a taxpayer can still claim it on a 2008 tax return by requesting an extension of time to file or by filing an amended return. News release 2009-27 has more information on these options.
General Information

Homebuyers who purchased a home in 2008, 2009 or 2010 may be able to take advantage of the first-time homebuyer credit. The credit:

* Applies only to homes used as a taxpayer's principal residence.
Reduces a taxpayer's tax bill or increases his or her refund, dollar for dollar.
Is fully refundable, meaning the credit will be paid out to eligible taxpayers, even if they owe no tax or the credit is more than the tax owed.

The credit is claimed using Form 5405, which you file with your original or amended tax return.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Foreclosures Slow – Short Sales Rise

The foreclosure tide appears to be subsiding, according to the latest numbers from RealtyTrac. The company said Thursday that foreclosure activity fell 8 percent in November, compared to October – it’s the fourth consecutive month that data has shown a decrease in foreclosure filings.
The numbers show foreclosure filings – default notices, scheduled foreclosure auctions, and bank repossessions – were reported on 306,627 U.S. properties during the month. That figure represents one in every 417 homes in the United States.
Although the month-to-month tallies are showing improvement, the number of homeowners facing the loss of their home still equates to an ocean, and is 18 percent higher than in November 2008. However, last month’s foreclosure numbers are down 15 percent from the all-time high hit in July, and at their lowest mark since February of this year.
James J. Saccacio, CEO of RealtyTrac, says the industry’s efforts to keep people in their homes are paying off. According to RealtyTrac’s data, default notices nationwide in November were down 8 percent from the previous month, while scheduled foreclosure auctions were down 12 percent and bank repossessions were flat.
At the state level, the same usual suspects are still leading the nation in foreclosure activity, but even these hard-hit housing markets are beginning to show signs of improvement.
Here in our neck of the woods, we’re seeing a major increase in calls from homeowners looking to Short Sale their homes. Many have contacted their banks over and over again to find relief from mortgage payments they simply can’t afford anymore. Here’s one recent scenario of a call I had recently:
A homeowner in Woodbridge, VA was upside down on their home-they owed 425K on a property that was now worth only 150K. They also had financial troubles because their ARM had adjusted and increased in payment while their hours had been cut at work and they weren’t able to keep up with the payments. They even were foregoing their medicine to try to stay current with their mortgage and just couldn’t do it any longer. They had contacted a loan modification company who they paid $2500 up-front to help them and they hadn’t heard anything back from them in 5 months! Unfortunately this money is long gone and the loan modification just wasn’t going to happen. We worked with them to list their home as a short sale and they will soon be able to walk away from their home , owe their bank nothing and start over fresh. We expect their short sale to be officially approved by the year.
If you know anyone in a similar situation, we can help! Please contact us before you or your friends spend money up-front to do a loan modification that may never actually happen. We are Certified Home Rescue Experts© and we can help you explore your options in this market. Call me anytime at 703-400-6757.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Quarter of Loan Mods in Default AGAIN

More than 25 percent of homeowners who have received assistance under the administration’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) have fallen behind on their new payments – a harrowing statistic that has stirred up more doubt about the effectiveness of the government’s $75 billion foreclosure prevention campaign.

Citing data from a Treasury Department survey of the nation’s largest mortgage servicers, Assistant Treasury Secretary Herbert Allison told a congressional oversight panel that only “73 percent of borrowers are current in their trial plan payments,” according to a written Q&A document obtained by Reuters.
The Washington Post also noted that Allison’s comments to the panel included a redefault forecast of 40 percent for HAMP restructurings, which in all actuality would be an improvement over the track record for non-program modifications. Data from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency shows that 52 percent of mortgage modifications made in early 2008 had become delinquent again after one year.
Converting borrowers from the trial phase to permanent modifications has become HAMP’s latest sticking point. Last week, the administration announced a new push to pressure servicers into converting more trial mods to “permanent” status, threatening to impose fines, withhold incentive payments, and resort to public humiliation of those companies that don’t pick up the pace.
According to DS News’ Washington Bureau, the Treasury summoned representatives from the 10 largest servicers for a closed-door meeting Monday morning, presumably to ensure each is pulling their weight to meet the Department’s year-end deadline for permanent modifications.
The Treasury is expected to release new numbers outlining servicers’ performance under HAMP later this week, but based on the November report, 650,994 trial mods were underway as of the end of October. Administration officials say 375,000 of those are scheduled to convert to permanent modifications by the end of the year, and they’re pressing servicers to get the paperwork moving and ensure this number is met.
Banks say they are working overtime to fulfill the Treasury’s request, but the biggest obstacle is getting borrowers to submit the additional documentation for conversion to permanent status. According to Bloomberg, Bank of America is trying to make 65,000 trial mods permanent by December 31, but roughly 20 percent of those borrowers haven’t returned the paperwork required.
By Carrie Bay

Monday, December 07, 2009

Foreclosures Still Outpacing Loan Mods

The mortgage servicing industry completed 271,563 total loan workouts in October, according to Hope Now, the private sector alliance of mortgage servicers, investors, insurers and non-profit counselors.
Workouts included 198,373 repayment plans and 73,190 modifications. At the same time, the industry completed 94,450 foreclosure sales and initiated another 222,107 foreclosure starts.
Total 316,557 foreclosure sales and starts outnumbered modifications more than 4 to 1 and repayment plans about 1.6 to 1. Hope Now attributes some of the slow-down in modifications to the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) sponsored by the US Treasury Department.
Under HAMP, the Treasury allocates capped incentives to servicers for the modification of loans on the verge of foreclosure. Hope Now’s reported modifications have slowed as servicers began implementing HAMP, which requires a three month trial period to ensure borrower affordability of modified payments before a HAMP modification is considered permanent.
Servicers are pursuing HAMP modifications before repayment plans — slowing down reported repayment plans — and have to wait through HAMP trials before reporting permanent modifications — slowing reported modifications. Despite the slow reporting of permanent HAMP modifications, the Treasury has said more than 650,000 trial modifications are underway, putting HAMP on track to reach a target 3m to 4m homeowners in three years.
“Our number one priority is to convert HAMP modifications, but also do our best to help borrowers with all solutions available,” said executive director Faith Schwartz in a statement. “This sometimes means a graceful exit via short sale or deed in lieu if a borrower has no other options.”
Short sales might become more prevalent among servicers, now that Treasury will offer incentives through the Home Affordable Forelclosure Alternatives (HAFA) program. HAFA will complement HAMP by providing financial incentives to servicers, borrowers and investors that go forward with short sales or deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure, according to a Treasury announcement late Monday.
Currently, Hope Now only reports HAMP activity when trial mods become permanent, creating the appearance of a slow start to HAMP. It remains unclear how many trial mods have become permanent, although the Treasury said HAMP is on track to boast 375,000 permanent modifications by year-end.
Hope Now expects to change its reporting of industry workouts soon to account for activities outside of HAMP. More comprehensive reporting of industry efforts would likely begin in Q110.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Fannie Raises Minimum Credit Score to 620!

As the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) considers raising the minimum credit score requirement for new borrowers to reduce risks to the single-family insurance fund, Fannie Mae has now jumped ahead, increasing the minimum borrower credit score from 580 to 620.
Brian Faith, a spokesperson at Fannie, confirmed the minimum hike to HousingWire, adding that the adjustment reflects a careful analysis of borrowers’ ability to repay their mortgage obligations over the life of the loan.
“Our experience with recently delivered loans with credit scores below 620 is that they reached a level of serious delinquency at a rate approximately nine times higher than other acquisitions during the same period,” Faith said in a statement.
Fannie also reduced the allowable debt-to-income (DTI) ratio to 45% when executing loss mitigation efforts under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). Under HAMP, the US Treasury Department provides allocated capped incentives to servicers for the modification of loans on the verge of foreclosure.
Faith said that high DTI ratio loans also have higher levels of serious delinquency.
“It’s not enough to help borrowers buy a home – we must also ensure that they can stay in the home over the long term,” Faith said.

For more information on your buying power, call me at 703-400-6757. Have a great weekend!
December 3, 2009

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Treasury Hopes to Simplify Short Sale Process

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. Treasury on Monday set long-awaited guidance on a plan for mortgage companies to speed "short sales" of homes and other loan modification alternatives to stem a rising tide of foreclosures.
The Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program provides financial incentives and simplifies the procedures for completing short sales, a growing practice in which a lender agrees to accept the sale price of a home to pay off a mortgage even if the price falls short of the amount owed, according to an announcement on the Treasury's website.
Guidelines address barriers that have often sidelined short sales by setting limits on the time it takes a bank to approve an offer, freeing borrowers from debt and capping claims of subordinate lenders.
The incentives, first announced in May, expand on the government's Home Affordable Modification Program, known as HAMP, that has seen limited success in lowering payments for distressed homeowners. The Treasury earlier on Monday stepped up pressure on mortgage companies to make permanent the 650,000 trial modifications they have started.
"While HAMP program guidelines are intended to reach a broad range of at-risk borrowers, it is expected that servicers will encounter situations where they are unable to approve" or offer a modification, the Treasury said in its announcement.
Financial incentives for completing short sales or similar deed-in-lieu transactions -- in which the deed is simply transferred to the lender -- include a $1,000 payment to servicers, and a maximum of $1,000 to go to investors who sign off on payments to subordinate lien holders, the Treasury said. Borrowers would receive $1,500 in relocation expenses.
Short sales are favored by real estate agents and community groups over foreclosure because they can preserve the borrower's credit rating and leave the property in better condition than when a homeowner is evicted. While primary lenders typically realize steep losses, their recovery is typically far better than under foreclosure.
But short sales have been frustrating for borrowers and real estate agents, often hung up by negotiations with multiple lien holders and mortgage insurance companies. Real estate agents have complained that sales fall through as lenders bicker over the sales price, what they should receive from the proceeds, and whether the borrower will be held accountable for the debt in the future.
Among requirements, mortgage servicers have 10 days to approve or disapprove a request for short sale, and when done the transaction must fully release the borrower from the debt.
It also prohibits mortgage servicing companies from reducing real estate commissions on the sale, a practice that has dissuaded many agents from taking short sale listings.
In one of the most contentious issues gumming up negotiations between lenders, the guidance caps the aggregate proceeds to subordinate lien holders at $3,000.
Second lien holders in recent months have begun demanding more money from the first lender, seller, buyer or agent in exchange for releasing their claim, agents have said. Because primary lenders would face larger losses in a foreclosure, some subordinate lenders have felt empowered, the agents said.
The largest second-lien holders are Bank of America Corp, Wells Fargo & Co, JPMorgan Chase & Co and Citigroup Inc.
Second lien holders may proceed with a short sale outside of the Treasury program, if they felt the cap was too low, a Treasury official said in October.
"If there was a short sale program that didn't recognize the second lien holder position, it could have pretty damaging consequences for the industry," Sanjiv Das, chief executive officer of CitiMortgage, said in an interview last week.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Are There Any Foreclosure Deals Left?

For the eighth straight consecutive month, national foreclosure activity in the U.S. was dominated by a small set of states.
As reported by, more than half of October's foreclosure-related activity came from just 4 states:
1. California
2. Florida
3. Illinois
4. Michigan
The remaining Top 10 states in terms of total foreclosure activity included Arizona, Georgia, Texas, Ohio, New Jersey, and Maryland.
Foreclosures are up 19 percent from last October, but a deeper look at the RealtyTrac report revealed two positive developments for the housing market.
1. Foreclosure activity is down 3 percent from last month
2. Foreclosures per Household decreased in 9 of the 10 most heavily concentrated states
Furthermore, Nevada's foreclosure pace is down 4% from last year. This is a big deal because Nevada has long led the nation in foreclosure-related activity. Until last month, Nevada's year-to-year foreclosure rate hadn't fallen in more than 4 years.

According to an industry trade group, distressed homes account for nearly one-third of home resale activity. Distressed homes range from foreclosures, foreclosure auctions and short sales, etc. We're seeing numerous short sale listings go to closing within 2-5 months now, and for great prices - call me anytime for more info. And if you know someone else who's upside down in the mortgage and needs help...tell them not to wait for their bank to decide their fate - Take Back Control! Call 703-400-6757 today.
Thanks to Ken Byrne, Vice President for Residential Lending of First Savings Mortgage Corp (703-883-9582 ) for some of the content in this posting.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

First Time Home Buyers Could Have Until April 2010 to Buy!

Last night, the Senate unanimously approved an extension of the current $8,000 first time homebuyer tax credit. The House is expected to approve the measure in the next few days and then on to the White House for signature sometime next week. The current proposal would give qualifying homebuyers until April 30th to sign a purchase contract and an additional 60 days to close. In addition, homebuyers who previously owned a home for at least five consecutive years in the previous eight years would be eligible for a $6,500 tax credit for new home purchases. The income limits would expand to $125,000 for individuals and to $225,000 for married couples. Updates will be forthcoming as the bill moves forward.

Monday, November 02, 2009


Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said that the first time home buyer tax credit could be approved as early as Tuesday, November 3rd. There is a vote scheduled for late on November 2nd. “The House said that they would accept that and that could be done as early as November 3rd,” said Senator Reid. The delays in approving the bill has been due to the Republican demands for votes on amendments including the expiration of TARP funds by the end of 2010.
The November 2nd vote would allow Democrats to ignore the amendments if the bill is approved. Democrats have a plan to extend the first time home buyer tax credit until April 30th. The revised plan will also allow higher income home buyers to qualify for the tax credit. There is also an addition to the bill that home buyers who lived in their prior homes for at least five years could receive a credit of $6500. The increases of income for the tax credit are up to $125,000 for an individual and $225,000 for a couple from $75,000 and $150,000, respectively.

In addition, the House Appropriations Committee has approved an extension of the $729,750 loan limits for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration through September 2010. The committee also increased the lending and guarantee authority of FHA and Ginnie Mae, as requested by the Obama Administration. The Department of Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill authorizes FHA to insure $400 billion in single-family loans during fiscal year 2010, up from $315 billion in the current 2009 fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30. The FY 2010 appropriations bill allows Ginnie Mae to guarantee up to $500 billion in securities backed by single-family and multifamily loans. Congress provided the secondary market agency with $400 billion in MBS guarantee authority in the FY 2009 appropriations bill. The massive stimulus bill that President Barack Obama signed in February raised the maximum loan limit for the GSEs and FHA to $729,750. But the higher limit is due to expire at year-end, if the full House as well as the Senate does not approve this bill.

Goes to Show - Inventory Is Low and Buyers Are Scrambling!

Just Listed on Friday, October 30th

4 offers in so far and we've called for highest and best by end of the business day today...offers are strong and ABOVE asking price! Don't miss out on this great listing...703-400-6757.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Loopholes Promote Foreclosures, Not Loan Modifications

By Amilda Dymi
National Mortgage News


Recent market data highlight a pressing need to deal with Home Affordable Modification Program loopholes and systemic problems that are costing homeowners their homes and preventing servicers from being efficient in their efforts to cope with the foreclosure crisis.

Insiders say large servicers are not set up to perform loan modifications and HAMP is not making it any easier for them.

The National Consumer Law Center in Boston is calling for mandated loan modifications before a foreclosure and additional third-party supervision of servicers. The nonprofit says it is necessary to create needed incentives so servicers pursue an effective loan modification instead of a foreclosure.

Currently, according to a new NCLC study, it is more cost effective for residential servicers — including the nation’s largest holders of receivables — to foreclosure on delinquent homeowners rather than to offer them loan modifications.

Modifications still are not happening at significant numbers because Congress, the Securities and Exchange Commission, investors and credit rating agencies “have failed to provide servicers with the necessary incentives to reduce foreclosures and increase loan modifications,” says Diane Thompson, an attorney with NCLC and author of “Why Servicers Foreclose, When They Should Modify and Other Puzzles of Servicer Behavior.”

“The report tears apart the different ways servicers get paid. And it’s pretty clear that servicers are more certain to recover their money and thereby make a profit better, if they foreclose, than if they modify.”

For example, data from one of the country’s largest servicers, Ocwen Financial Corp., West Palm Beach, Fla., and at least another six servicing agreements show that it is more profitable to go into foreclosure for servicers that own affiliates or management companies that get paid for all the foreclosure fees. (Ocwen reported it completed 44.6% of all of the HAMP permanent modifications.) “They are generating income from the defaults.”

In addition, according to Ms. Thomson, this type of business structure creates opportunity for fee padding. “In the report we cite the case of Wells Fargo testifying that they charged the homeowner, and ultimately the investor, $125 for a service that they actually paid out only $50 on. Ocwen’s annual report shows both how much money it collects from its main servicing operation and its asset management company. The difference is substantial.” Similarly, reviews from IndyMac, Chase and a few other banks, she said, “point to the fact that servicers get most of their income from the servicing fee and recover their expenses off the top in a foreclosure.”

The report reveals systemic problems, including lack of clear HAMP guidance and how they should get their money in a modification. Credit rating agencies do not provide much guidance either, Ms. Thomson says, and where given, it does not make sustainable modifications as attractive as foreclosures, “because it slows down” the recovery of their financial advances, which for servicers is one of their major costs other than staffing.

“There is an infrastructure that is set up to process foreclosures, and that is detaxed, but there isn’t an infrastructure that large servicers have set up to process modifications. So there’s a huge initial outlay for staffing, training, getting all the computer programs and the platforms going. Plus a lot of institutions have inertia to get there and move it along.”

These findings indicate that all loan modifications should have the same requirements applied on the FHA modification program.

“Until servicers are mandated to do a modification, modifications simply don’t happen. It is key because it shifts the incentive. We’re not saying: Do a loan modification no matter what. Do it when the net-present-value analysis shows that investors will make more money from a loan modification than from a foreclosure.”

That inquiry should be done first since it helps keep costs down for all parties involved.

“We looked at publicly available documents and previous studies from different sources to see how HAMP works. We don’t have hard numbers from most servicers,” Ms. Thomson said. Asked whether she tried to get data from other servicers she admitted of not even trying. “That’s because the goal was to understand what the incentives were from a macro perspective.”

The report is based on data from loans in foreclosure from 1995-2009. Recommendations include requirements to fund quality mediation programs, provide for principal reductions on existing loans through HAMP and bankruptcy reform, increase automated and standardized loan modifications for borrowers in default, ease loan modification accounting rules to facilitate standardized review, and enhance servicer recovery of the expenses incurred in performing a modification.

Monday, September 28, 2009

**The $8,000 first time buyer tax credit is set to expire Nov 30th!!

**The $8,000 first time buyer tax credit is set to expire Nov 30th.

1. Who is eligible to claim the tax credit?
First-time home buyers purchasing any kind of home new or resale are eligible for the tax credit. To qualify for the tax credit, a home purchase must occur on or after January 1, 2009 and before December 1, 2009. For the purposes of the tax credit, the purchase date is the date when closing occurs and the title to the property transfers to the home owner. A limited exception exists for certain contract for deed purchases and installment sale purchases. See the IRS website for more detail.

2. What is the definition of a first-time home buyer?
The law defines "first-time home buyer" as a buyer who has not owned a principal residence during the three-year period prior to the purchase. For married taxpayers, the law tests the homeownership history of both the home buyer and his/her spouse.

For example, if you have not owned a home in the past three years but your spouse has owned a principal residence, neither you nor your spouse qualifies for the first-time home buyer tax credit. However, unmarried joint purchasers may allocate the credit amount to any buyer who qualifies as a first-time buyer, such as may occur if a parent jointly purchases a home with a son or daughter. Ownership of a vacation home or rental property not used as a principal residence does not disqualify a buyer as a first-time home buyer.

3. How is the amount of the tax credit determined?
The tax credit is equal to 10 percent of the home’s purchase price up to a maximum of $8,000.

4. Are there any income limits for claiming the tax credit?
Yes. The income limit for single taxpayers is $75,000; the limit is $150,000 for married taxpayers filing a joint return. The tax credit amount is reduced for buyers with a modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) of more than $75,000 for single taxpayers and $150,000 for married taxpayers filing a joint return. The phase out range for the tax credit program is equal to $20,000. That is, the tax credit amount is reduced to zero for taxpayers with MAGI of more than $95,000 (single) or $170,000 (married) and is reduced proportionally for taxpayers with MAGIs between these amounts.

5. How do I claim the tax credit? Do I need to complete a form or application?
Participating in the tax credit program is easy. You claim the tax credit on your federal income tax return. Specifically, home buyers should complete IRS Form 5405 to determine their tax credit amount, and then claim this amount on line 67 of the 1040 income tax form for 2009 returns (line 69 of the 1040 income tax form for 2008 returns). No other applications or forms are required, and no pre-approval is necessary. However, you will want to be sure that you qualify for the credit under the income limits and first-time home buyer tests. Note that you cannot claim the credit on Form 5405 for an intended purchase for some future date; it must be a completed purchase.

6. What types of homes will qualify for the tax credit?
Any home that will be used as a principal residence will qualify for the credit. This includes single-family detached homes, attached homes like townhouses and condominiums, manufactured homes (also known as mobile homes) and houseboats. The definition of principal residence is identical to the one used to determine whether you may qualify for the $250,000 / $500,000 capital gain tax exclusion for principal residences.

It is important to note that you cannot purchase a home from your ancestors (parents, grandparents, etc.), your lineal descendants (children, grandchildren, etc.) or your spouse. Please consult with your tax advisor for more information. Also see IRS Form 5405.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Will the First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit Extend to 2010?

Buyers interested in taking advantage of the First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit cross your fingers - Yesterday afternoon, Senator Ben Cardin introduced S. 1678, which would extend the $8,000 first time homebuyer tax credit for another 6 months to June 1, 2010. The current tax credit is set to expire on December 1, 2009. The bill has 4 co-sponsors: Ensign, Reid, Isakson, and Stabenow. We'll be tracking the progress of this bill. If you have any questions about utilizing the current tax credit, feel free to call me at 703-400-6757.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tell Me - How Do I Win a Contract in This Market?

This market is unlike any that I have seen over the past 8 years. Buyer activity is SOARING and inventory is down, which has buyers racing to get their contracts noticed and accepted, all while the first-time home buyers tax credit quickly ticks away. The number of contracts written (offers) versus the number actually accepted and pushed to closing is the biggest indicator of this shifting market, as that ratio is at its highest level in years. My team recently sold a property at 13854 Laura Ratcliffe Ct. in Centreville, VA, which was listed for $235,868, but which actually closed on August 28th for well above asking price. The terms of the various offers made on that property exemplify these shifting trends:
Buyers were given one week to get their highest and best offers in and 8 were registered. The highest offer was for 265K w/ FHA financing, almost $30K above asking price. However, by the end of the week, the seller had accepted an offer of only 240K, the difference being that that contract had conventional financing and an EMD of 1% of the offer price.
This is a prime example of what prospective buyers are currently facing in this market, and with the obvious exception of the significantly depressed prices, it actually harkens back to the market we experienced in 2005-2006, at the ‘peak’ of the last up-cycle. The obvious difference is the lower prices, but with the $8,000 tax credit expiring soon, frantic buyers are scrambling and multiple contract ‘bidding war’ situations are slowly beginning to elevate prices. There are more qualified first-time home buyers now than ever before, and there simply are not enough affordable listings to satisfy that demand. Therefore, so-called “hot properties” (those which show well and which are priced at, or just below, current market value) are creating multiple offer bidding-war situations, and are often commanding premiums above current market value, particularly those priced below the critical $200K price point. Take for example a 3 bed/3.5 bath townhouse listing we currently have in Herndon: it was priced just below current market value at $202K, and we received 18 contracts within 6 days of listing! Although demand is particularly high for properties priced below $200K, due to the overall current low inventory across ALL price ranges, we are seeing similar ‘bidding wars’ even for “hot properties” in the luxury home markets. The low inventory can be attributed to the bank foreclosure moratoriums and a dearth of ‘retail’ or regular listings - since prices are lower, many potential sellers are simply holding off, hoping to see the market bounce back up before listing their homes. Thus, current ‘retail’ or regular listings consist primarily of only those sellers who really want and need to sell now – those who can afford to wait are generally doing so. That being said, I highly recommend to those who have to sell their home within the next year to do so NOW so as to take advantage of this enhanced buyer demand caused by the low inventory and the soon-to-expire first time home buyer tax credit. You will get maximum exposure and maximum contracts by listing now, again, the key being to make your property a “hot property” – that is, a property which is reasonably priced (ideally just below current market value), which is aggressively marketed, and which shows well so that it appraises under many different financing scenarios. While I don’t think we will find ourselves anywhere close to the 2005-2006 prices anytime in the near future, we are seeing positive signs in the current market, and it will be interesting to see how things shake out over the next year, as additional foreclosures will inevitably hit our market, and after the $8K first-time buyer tax credit expires on December 1st.
Finally, good luck to those first-time buyers out there. Remember, in order to compete with those cash investors who are swooping in and picking up many of the good deals, be sure to investigate all your funding options, to include 1) conventional whenever possible, 2) as much cash down as possible, 2) higher EMD amounts and 4) low or no concessions whenever possible. Cash buyers simply avoid a lot of the issues that buyers with FHA and other financing options engender, such as appraisal and underwriting requirements. Therefore, first time buyers should be sure to work with a competent lender and should discuss the multitude of creative ways to make your offer look stronger than the others!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

We Have a $500 Visa Cash Card WINNER!

Thanks to all our past clients, business partners and friends for their referrals of buyers and sellers over the past 6 months. Thanks to your help and kind words about our team, Jennifer Young Homes received 12 buyer referrals and 1 listing referral. Out of those connections, we closed 3 deals and are in the process of closing a SHORT SALE listing.
Now to the good part - at the beginning of the year, we offered up a $500 Visa Cash Card to be raffled off at the end of 6 months…after throwing all the names in a hat, we pulled our new friend and client, Roy Kaufmann’s, name. Thank you Roy and to everyone else for all of your support – and remember – we’re always running a referral promotion, so keep sending your friends, co-workers and family to us for GREAT service! You can email Jennifer Young directly at or call her cell at 703-400-6757.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Find out how to get 95% Investor Financing for Coming Soon Property In Fairfax! RSVP to our Investor Seminar on Thursday, August, 13th from 7-9pm with my partner Jeff Cournoyer at our Keller Williams Office.Call 1-800-260-6444 Ext.200 for recorded message and direct connection to Jeff. Have a great weekend! Hope to see you soon at the closing table for an awesome deal!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Find out how to get 95% Investor Financing! RSVP to our Investor Seminar on Thursday, August, 6th from 7-9pm with my partner Jeff Cournoyer at our Keller Williams Office.
Call 1-800-260-6444 Ext.200 for recorded message and direct connection to Jeff. Have a great weekend! Hope to see you soon at the closing table for an awesome deal!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

17 Offers in 4 Days! Million Dollar Home Sought By MANY!

9106 Leesburg Pike, Vienna, VA 22182

Listed 7/15 for $1,188,000

Fact Sheet:
Year Built: 2006 Stories: 3 Lot Size: 1.56 acre Bedrooms: 7 Bathrooms: 7.5 Garage Size: 3 2008 Property Tax: $24,561
Amenities: Bonus Room, Living Room, Formal Living Room, Dining Room, Fireplace, Vaulted Ceilings, Walk-In Closets, Basement, Patio, Central Air, Master Bedroom, Family Room, Gourmet Kitchen

Who says buyers don't have the cash right now to buy those higher end homes? This home has had a great deal of interest. We listed it, held it open that same weekend and the bank called for highest and best offers by end of business the following Monday. Over that 4 day span, we received 17 offers and calls keep coming in. This was a hot property, which is now under contract. We thank everyone who called about it, showed it and wrote on it. We do have more where that came from, so call me today at 703-400-6757 or email me at

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Learn How to Make YOUR Offer Stand Out!

Another great investment opportunity listed by
Jennifer Young Homes - DON'T miss out!

1206 Springtide Place
Herndon, VA 20170

2 Bdrm (possible 3rd), 1.5 Bath Townhome
Subdivision: Four Seasons Regime
List Price $111,375
Needs basic updating and it would sell for top dollar!
Call for showing at 703-651-5655 or email me at today before it's gone!

ALSO - don't miss our investor seminar this Thursday, July 23rd from 7-9pm at our offices here in Chantilly - 14155 Newbrook Dr #100. My partner Jeff Cournoyer will be presenting - RSVP to or call my cell at 703-400-6757.

Jeff is up on all the latest ways to make your investing dollar stretch farther and bring back higher returns. Also, he can tell you what it takes to get YOUR offer noticed when there are numerous coming in to listing agents. Stop losing out on contracts NOW...See you at the seminar!


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Investor Makes Over $80K on Manassas Flip!

After FLIP Before FLIP
355 Manassas Dr, Manassas, VA
A big part of what Jennifer Young Homes specializes in is investor deals - We find the house and you make the CASH! Well, here's our latest success story...we found a great little house for $48,000 at 355 Manassas Dr, Manassas for one of our investors. They paid cash, spent $30,000 fixing it up with repairs like new paint inside and out, new flooring, new kitchen, and more. We listed it for sale 45 days after purchase for $138,000 and we received 5 strong offers in 3 days. It is now selling for $165,000. That's a profit of of over $80,000. Contact us today for info on "coming soon" listings that haven't even hit the market yet! 703-400-6757 or

Friday, May 01, 2009

Investor Seminar Coming Up - Make POSITIVE Cash Flow!!

First, check out this CASH FLOW SCENARIO!

102 N. Aspen Ave. Sterling, VA 20164 - $129,900
List Price MONTHLY CASH SCENARIO (25% Down Payment on $129K Purchase Price)
Loan Ammount $96,750, with $32,250 Down
$549 P&I @ 5.5% interest rate
$50 Hazard Insurance $341 Taxes (would go down) = $940

Total Monthly Cost Rental Comps are currently around $1,400 – so that gives you a monthly income of: $460 Monthly! Go to for more info and listings!

Now, above is your typical investment scenario, - cash investor pours $$ into down payment and rents the property out. But - what if you could make MORE money and not have to worry about occassional negative cash flow and property maintenance? Find out how to invest in properties with larger equities at a faster pace. Attend an upcoming seminar at our Keller Williams offices on 5/7, 5/14 and 5/21 from 7-9pm. The property above is a great opportunity for investing in "Contract for Deed" 703-674-1654 to sign up today! Seating is limited. Brought to you by Jeff Cournoyer of Keller Williams, an office mate of the Jennifer Young Homes Team. Email questions to

Friday, April 17, 2009

Investors Check Out this CASH FLOW Scenario!

New BANK OWNED/FORECLOSURE - Possible Investment Property in GREAT shape - Just Listed!
$79000 / 3br - Investors **Check Out This CASH FLOW SCENARIO** Condo Just Listed

319-E Moseby Ct. #61 Manassas, VA 20111
$79,000 List Price

MONTHLY CASH SCENARIO (25% Down Payment on $79K Purchase Price)
$59,250 Loan Amount
$336 P&I @ 5.5%
$100 Condo Fee
$175 Taxes (would go down)&Insurance
= $611 Total Monthly Cost.
Rental Comps are currently around $950-$1000 – so that gives you a monthly income of: $339-$389 Monthly!
Go to for more info and listings!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Short Sale Negotiated in Less Than 30 Days!!!

Well, the old stigma associated with selling homes where the owner(s) is upside down on his or her mortgage, otherwise known as a SHORT SALE, could be fading into the distance. Just today I successfully negotiated a short sale with a top industry bank in UNDER 30 days. We listed it - a week later we had a contract - and 2 weeks later both trusts agreed to sell at over $200K BELOW what the owner(s) owed on both mortgages combined. So, it can be done! Call me today at 703-400-6757 for more info on how we can help you or someone you know avoid foreclosure! Also, visit our website at for more info on my team and what we're all about.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Resource for Info On New FTHB $8,000 Tax Credit!

A lot of clients have questions about how they can take advantage of the New $8,000 Tax Credit for First-Time Homebuyers. While there is a lot to consider when answering this question, the biggest thing to consider is: What qualifies someone as a first-time buyer? An simple answer would be:
The law defines "first-time home buyer" as a buyer who has not owned a principal residence during the three-year period prior to the purchase. For married taxpayers, the law tests the homeownership history of both the home buyer and his/her spouse.
For example, if you have not owned a home in the past three years but your spouse has owned a principal residence, neither you nor your spouse qualifies for the first-time home buyer tax credit. However, unmarried joint purchasers may allocate the credit amount to any buyer who qualifies as a first-time buyer, such as may occur if a parent jointly purchases a home with a son or daughter.

There is more info on this definition and details on how to take advantage of the credit on this website:
Call anytime if you have questions...703-400-6757.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

First-Time Buyers Won't Have to Repay $8,000 Tax Credit!

The following is a breakdown of the new homebuyer stimulus according to Justin O'Donnell, Senior Loan Officer for First Heritage Mortgage. His email address is .

While the proposed $15,000 home-buyer tax credit died in negotiations between the House and the Senate, the $787 billion stimulus bill that President Barack Obama signed into law Tuesday includes a similar--albeit smaller--measure designed to help revive the real estate market. Here are six things you need to know about the freshly-enacted $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit.
1. Eight grand, new buyers: The tax credit included in the economic stimulus legislation is much narrower than the $15,000 proposal. This credit is equivalent to 10 percent of the purchase price of the home--although it's capped at $8,000--and applies only to first-time home buyers and principal residences. But unlike an earlier $7,500 home buyer tax credit, this one does not have to be repaid.
2. First time buyers defined: For the purpose of this legislation, a "first-time home buyer" is someone who hasn't owned a principal residence for three years before buying a house. (The date of purchase is considered the day that the title is transferred.) That means if you've owned a vacation home--but not a principal residence--within the past three years, you would still qualify for the credit.
3. 2009 buyers only: Only those who purchase a home on or after January 1 and before December 1, 2009 are eligible for the credit. Anyone who bought a home last year won't be able to take advantage of it.
4. Income limits: The tax credit is subject to income limitations. Single buyers need a modified adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less to qualify for the full credit, that's $150,000 for married couples. Those earning more than these thresholds may be eligible for reduced credits.
5. Refundable: Because the tax credit is "refundable," qualified buyers can take advantage of it even if they don't have much tax liability.
6. Recapture: Buyers have to own the home for at least three years in order to capitalize on the credit. If they sell the home before then, they will have to return the credit to the government. (Exceptions will be made in certain cases, such as death or divorce.)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

2008 Rankings Are Out - Jennifer Young Team #8 in Washington Metro Area (VA/MD)

HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone! With the arrival of 2009, I find it’s time to take a look back at what my team and I have accomplished – while also looking forward to the great opportunities ahead, for buyers and sellers who are looking to get BACK IN BLACK in the new year…
First - a look back at an Awesome year. Thanks to the support of many, the Jennifer Young Homes team managed to earn a TOP Ranking for all of MLS – positioning Jennifer Young as the #1 Real Estate Agent (in volume sales) for Keller Williams Realty in the Washington DC Metro Area, including Maryland and Virginia. This was a huge feat! We sold over 276 homes, 116 of which, sold for original list price or within $5,000 of that price. These numbers also ranked me as #8 of ALL Realtors in DC Metro in terms of sales volume.
These are incredible stats, but rather than pat my own back, I’ve found the need to break down why my team and I were able to make 2008 so successful. And when you work for Keller Williams Realty, your success is determined by whether the deals you make are “Win-Win”. I believe our sales last year were exactly that. Sellers were able to get the asking price they were looking for, while facing a lower number of average Days on Market (DOM). And, buyers were able to find deals they wouldn’t normally have had the chance to grasp, thanks to a shift in availability of affordable homes and to unbelievable opportunities in funding sources.
First, let’s look at what sellers wanted vs. the bargains buyers were insisting upon each day the phone rang in 2008. Buyers wanted homes at low prices, and they would not settle for anything higher than their bottom line. That meant that initial pricing was paramount in order to reduce DOM for sellers and it still is as we look to the new year. With each listing I am extremely detailed in setting that Original List price. This brings a sale faster, while also keeping prices down on the concession side of the equation. Here’s what I mean. Average concessions (amount of $$ paid back to buyers at closing) in 2008 averaged 2.5% nationally. This percentage rises when a home is listed for more than 149 days. As a seller, regardless of what you plan on receiving for an offer on your home, if you price it right from day one, you pay less in concessions over the long haul.
Second, lower interest rates are proving to be beneficial concepts for seller and buyers. Sellers are taking advantage of increased buyer activity, while buyers are enjoying average rates as low as 5.42% according to a survey performed by on 12/17/08. Some lenders are even offering rates as low as 4.75% with good credit. That means, on a $200, 000 loan, with 10% down, a buyer’s principle interest payment would be only $938 per month. At a higher 7% rate, with 10% down, the principal interest payment on $180,000 would still only be $1,197. That monthly amount is almost always lower than what most of our callers who rent are paying their landlords each month.

FEBRUARY 7th Home Auction – Buyers Walked Way With Great DEALS!

As if the foreclosure market wasn’t enough to keep up with, buyers are now playing their hand at taking a chance in the Auction market. This latest event on Saturday, February 7th was hosted by Hudson & Marshall at the Hilton – McLean Tysons Corner. Buyers looking to bid on a house were given two chances to view it at scheduled open houses the week before. On the day of the auction, buyers were told they would pay the following if participating:
1) $5,000 Cashier’s Check – used for Down Payment and
2) 5% Buyer’s Premium – to be added to their final bid amount to equal their actual Final Sale Price.

In addition, potential buyers needed to bring with them to the auction:
1) Short list of homes you want to bid on (with property numbers)
2) Your pre-qualified price range
3) Picture I.D.
4) Social Security Number
5) Your pre-registered Real Estate Agent (Commission paid for by seller)
6) For those taking title in a company name or trust – bring articles of incorporation, trust
documentation or other proof of signing authority.

Now, the key to doing this and feeling comfortable with the process, is to come totally prepared. If you have a real estate agent – call them up and ask them to go with you. Just make sure to give them plenty of notice (the next auction is March 14th). They can run comparables on the homes you like, so you know what your bidding cap should be. To represent you at the auction, they must register 48 hours ahead of time on-line as your representative. We work with many investors at these auctions and provide them with comparables, cash flow scenarios, estimated costs of fix ups, etc.. before the auction date so they can make the best decision. We would love to work with you on an auction property and can answer all of your questions about the process. Remember it doesn’t cost you anything to have representation - you pay the 5% buyer premium whether or not you have an agent. Go to for more answers to your questions or give us a call at 703-674-1777.

For those of you curious about how much these auction homes are selling for, I wrote a few of the sales prices down on Feb 7th and crunched them against the most recent list price and the amount they sold for in the height of the real estate market. It’s an interesting break down to check out:

Prince William County
2775 Marsala Ct #21C6, Woodbridge, VA 22192
TH – 2bd/2ba
Height of Market: $216,000 in 2006
Current List Price: $104,450
Final Sale Price: $52,500 (50% below list price)

16856 Miranda Ln, Woodbridge, VA 22191
TH – 4bd/3.5ba
Height of Market: $360,000 in 2006
Current List Price: $205,000
Final Sale Price: $140,000 (32% below list price)

16709 Capon Tree Ln, Woodbridge, VA 22191
TH – 3bd/2ba
Height of Market: $305,000 in 2005
Current List Price: $176,900
Final Sale Price: $112,000 (37% below list price)

12687 Greenhall Dr., Woodbridge, VA 22192
SFH – 3bd/1ba
Height of Market: $372,000 in 2005
Current List Price: $149,900
Final Sale Price: $92,000 (39% below list price)

14377 Shetland Ct., Woodbridge, VA 22193
SFH – 3bd/2.5ba
Height of Market: $392,000 in 2006
Current List Price: $139,000
Final Sale Price: $96,000 (31% below list price)

7915 Manassas Dr, Manassas, VA 20111
SFH – 3bd/1ba
Height of Sale: $232,887 in 2008
Current List Price: $105,900
Final Sale Price: $76,000 (28% below list price)

7521 Quail Run Ln., Manassas, VA 20109
TH – 3bd/1ba
Height of Market: $292,000 in 2005
Current List Price: $84,900
Final Sale Price: $68,000 (20% below list price)

18415 Woodland Dr, Triangle, VA 22172
SFH – 4bd/2ba
Height of Market: $280,000 in 2004
Current List Price: $110,500
Final Sale Price: $75,000 (32% below list price)

12916 Hunting Cove Place, Bristow, VA 20136
SFH – 4bd/ba
Height of Market: $558,000 in 2006
Current List Price: $331,900
Final Sale Price: $222,000 (33% below list price)

Fairfax County
1808 Old Meadow Rd #771, McLean, VA 22102
Condo – 1bd/1ba
Height of Market: $285,000 in 2005
Current List Price: $188,000
Final Sale Price: $175,000 (7% below list price)

7917 San Leandro Place #119D, Alexandria, VA 22309
TH – 2bd/1.5ba
Height of Market: $215,000 in 2005
Current List Price: $63,900
Final Sale Price: $48,000 (25% below list price)

4417 Longworth Square, Alexandria, VA 22309
TH – 4bd/2.5ba
Height of Market: $410,000 in 2005
Current List Price: $265,000
Final Sale Price: $150,000 (43% below list price)

4133 Old Columbia Pike, Annandale, VA 22003
SFH – 5bd/2ba
Height of Market: $325,000 in 2004
Current List Price: $269,900
Final Sale Price: $210,000 (22% below list price)

5955 Joffa Place, Springfield, VA 22150
SFH – 3bd/2ba
Height of Market: $507,500 in 2006
Current List Price: $315,000
Final Sale Price: $234,000 (26% below list price)

7745 Matisse Way, Springfield, VA 22153
TH – 3bd/1ba
Height of Market: $339,900 in 2006
Current List Price: $140,000
Final Sale Price: $94,000 (33% below list price)

Washington D.C.
4242 Nash St. SE, Washington, DC 20020
TH – 2bd/1ba
Height of Market: $225,000 in 2005
Current List Price: $129,900
Final Sale Price: $69,000 (47% below list price)

1311 Florida Ave. NE, Washington, DC 20002
Semi Detached – 3bd/2ba
Height of Sale: $325,000 in 1999
Current List Price: $214,900
Final Sale Price: $117,500 (45% below list price)

Prince George County
5900 Suitland Rd, Suitland, MD 20746
SFH – 4bd/2ba
Height of Market: $345,000 in 2006
Current List Price: $199,000
Final Sale Price: $122,000 (39% below list price)

4512 Broad Blvd., Beltsville, MD 20705
SFH – 3bd/2ba
Height of Sale: $266,700 in 2007
Current List Price: $169,900
Final Sale Price: $96,000 (44% below list price)

6007 Toby Dr, Temple Hills, MD 20748
SFH – 4bd/2ba
Height of Market: $333,000 in 2005
Current List Price: $149,900
Final Sale Price: $80,000 (47% below list price)

There is another auction coming up on March 14th. Some of our properties will be featured - more info to follow in next blog!

Friday, February 06, 2009

Pending Housing Market Stimulus Gets LIFT!

Our Spring Newsletters were just sent out describing a proposal to make the $7,500 tax credit for First Time Homebuyers an actual Credit and not a loam that had to be paid back over time to the Federal Government....
Well, now a new step has been taken by the Senate to approve something even more beneficial to buyers...READ ON!

Senate Unanimously Approves Housing Market Stimulus Amendment
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Senate Thursday, February 5, 2009, unanimously approved an amendment to stimulate the nation's declining housing market by offering a $15,000 tax credit to individuals who purchase a home in the next year.
"It is time to fix America's problem, not throw money at the symptoms. It is time to fix housing first. It is rare that we have a road map to success in times of difficulty, but this country has once before realized a housing crisis every bit as bad as the one we have today and economic troubles every bit as dangerous," U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., said. "We have a pervasive housing problem, and we have a historical precedent that works. I am proud this Senate has joined together, learned from history and repeated a method that worked by adopting this amendment." Specifically, the amendment to the pending economic stimulus bill would provide a direct tax credit to any homebuyer who purchases any home. The amount of the tax credit would be $15,000 or 10 percent of the purchase price, whichever is less. Purchases must be made within one year of the legislation's enactment, and the tax credit would not have to be repaid.
The amendment would allow taxpayers to claim the credit on their 2008 income tax return. It also seeks to prevent misuse by only allowing purchases of a principle residence and by recapturing the credit if the home is sold within two years of purchase. The amendment would sunset the current $7,500 housing tax credit on the date of enactment.
Isakson has pushed hard for a non-repayable tax credit for homebuyers because he knows that it will work. In the mid-1970s, America faced a similar housing crisis when a period of easy credit and loose underwriting flooded the market with new construction. Interest rates rose, the economy slowed and America was left with a three-year supply of vacant homes. Congress responded by passing a $2,000 tax credit for anyone purchasing a new home for their principal residence. Isakson believes the results were clear and swift as home values stabilized, housing inventory dropped and the market recovered.
Last year, Isakson introduced legislation to specifically target those homes that were causing the unprecedented increase in housing inventory by offering tax credits to individuals purchasing a foreclosed home or a home where foreclosure is pending. In April 2008, the Senate passed legislation to stimulate the nation's declining housing market that included Isakson's proposal. However, the final version of the legislation that was signed into law included only a $7,500 tax credit for first-time homebuyers that must be repaid over a 15-year period. The amendment that passed Thursday would sunset that $7,500 tax credit.

Our team at Jennifer Young Homes is continually watching for changes in the real estate market that affect all of our buyers and sellers. Visit our website anytime for information and updates on what's going on. Go to to check us out!