Home buyers tax credit is extended and expanded

A wonderful development occurred today for prospective home buyers in the form of legislation passed by both the House and the Senate.

Attached to a bill extending unemployment benefits, the measure is great news for both first-time and other home buyers. The White House says that President Obama will sign the legislation tomorrow.

The new law will extend the $8,000 credit for first-time home buyers for sales contracts entered into by April 30 and closed by June 30. Further, it has been expanded to include a new $6,500 credit for owners of existing homes who are purchasing a new principal residence.

Individuals who already own a home can claim the $6,500 tax credit if they have been living in their principal residence for five consecutive years out of the last eight.

Additionally, the income eligibility limits to claim the full credit amount for both groups of home buyers have been raised from $75,000 to $125,000 for individuals and by $75,000 to $225,000 for married couples.

There will be much more information on the housing market tomorrow in the free bi-weekly e-newsletter that I write every two weeks.

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Malcolm Carter
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022

M: 347-886-0248
F: 347-438-3201

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When selling, don’t check reality at the door

Sellers tend to learn the hard way.

That’s the message of a piece in today’s New York Times, which chronicles the bad decisions that some sellers made when they listed their homes.  Among a few anecdotes, the newspaper quotes a couple who ignored their broker’s advice to ask no more than the prices of houses near their 4,000-sf place in suburban Houston:

“You’re emotionally attached, so you think your home is worth more.  I had a landscape service and a Sub-Zero refrigerator and an icemaker on every floor, but buyers don’t dare, they want deals.”

Listed originally for $825,000, the house being sold by Michel and Rick Shanks underwent four price reductions and eventually sold for $605,000 after 10 months on the market.

Well, doh. Continue reading