First time home buyers can snag $7,500 tax credit

If you are thinking about buying a home, the U.S. government is ready to stuff your piggy bank with $7,500, but don’t delay. The program ends next summer.

The federal housing bill signed in July by President Bush gives first-time home buyers a $7,500 tax credit as a head start to home ownership.


According to the terms of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act, first-time home buyers will get a tax credit of 10 percent of the purchase price of a home up to $7,500. That means if you buy a new home any time from April 9, 2008 to June 30, 2009, you get up to $7,500 off your taxes.

That can mean a lot to the average wage earner. A couple earning a total of about $90,000 a year, typically pay about $10,000 in taxes if they do not itemize. Under the provisions of the current bill, the wage earner couple who buys a home during this period, would get to subtract $7,500 from their tax bill.

However, the credit is not a pure gift and it is really more like a zero-interest government loan. Homeowners will be asked to pay back the credit during a 15-year period. Each year, they will be required to repay a small percentage. For example, if a homeowner qualifies for a $7,500 tax credit, would repay the credit at $500 a year beginning with their 2010 tax return.

But even considering that homeowners will repay the $7,500, this adds up to big savings over the life of the mortgage. After all, if they had to finance $7,500 over 30 years at 7 percent interest, a homeowner would pay more than $8,000 in interest.

It’s easy to qualify for this unique credit. To be classified as a first-time homeowner, you must not have owned a home in three years. You must take the standard deduction on your income taxes (meaning you must not itemize). In addition you must buy a home between April 9, 2008 and June 30, 2009.

According to the National Association of Home Builders, first-time home owners make up about 40 percent of the entire market.

Existing homeowners also get something in the housing bill. Homeowners can expect to get a tax deduction if they don’t itemize their taxes. The deduction is $500 to $1,000 for real property taxes they currently can’t write off.

Understanding real estate dilemmas and their solutions is our business, and we’ll happily share our knowledge with you. Why not give us a call at (772) 323-6996 or visit us on the web at http://www.gabesanders.com/ and http://www.treasurecoastflhomes.com/. Our office is located at 1121 SE Ocean Blvd. in Stuart, Florida (Sewall’s Point); please ask for Gabe Sanders or .

DON’T COMPARE. . . COMPETE!

If you’re preparing to list your home, you’ll need to determine how to set your asking price. You may come across the term Comparative Market Analysis, which is used as a tool for gauging the perceived value of your home. However, as a seller, you should think of that informal appraisal more as a COMPETITIVE Market Analysis.

Why? Because comparisons can be very subjective, and while buyers may “compare” several homes, sellers must “compete” against other properties. No matter how unique you believe your home to be, it doesn’t really matter how it compares to others until you have priced it to compete successfully against them.

In today’s real estate market, past sales may not necessarily reflect the present reality. Similar listings compete by asking the lowest price for the perceived value, with price and value representing different sides of the same coin.

When you speak with your real estate agent, he or she will explain how your home must challenge the competition with savvy marketing, spotless presentation, and aggressive pricing. That is how to attract the interest of other agents and buyers.

Remember, it is the prospective buyers who will be making the comparisons. It’s your responsibility as a seller to compete for their best offer in a challenging marketplace.

If you’re planning to sell your home, ask us for a Competitive Market Analysis to get the ball rolling, give us a call at (772) 323-6996 or visit us on the web at www.GabeSanders.com or www.TreasureCoastFLHomes.com. Our office is located at 1121 SE Ocean Blvd. in Stuart, (Sewall’s Point) Florida; please ask for Gabe Sanders or .

AN OCEAN OF OPTIONS!

As a buyer, you may find yourself drifting on an ocean of financing options. As lenders tighten their requirements, there are a few aspects of the loan application of which you should be aware before applying for a mortgage.

First, determine whether you are seeking “pre-qualification” or “pre-approval.” What’s the difference? Generally speaking, when you are pre-qualified, the lender reviews your information and hazards a “best guess” as to the size of loan for which you would qualify.

In the pre-approval process, however, the lender verifies everything on your application, and offers to approve a certain amount at a certain interest rate. Either way, the final loan is only cleared upon receipt of an acceptable appraisal, title check, last-minute credit check, and other verifications. Importantly, a pre-approval puts you on stronger buying ground.

A critical aspect of your application is your credit score. Excessive credit, like car loans and credit cards, can sometimes prove as unattractive to lenders as bad or no credit, so make sure that you have plenty of credit available before applying, and put off major purchases until after you’ve bought your home.

Finally, investigate all of your loan options, compare worst-case scenarios, and do your math. If you need guidance, seek it from a local mortgage specialist or real estate agent who is well versed in current market and lending conditions.

We know and understand all the new and innovative finance methods available on the Treasure Coast of Florida. Why not give us a call at (772) 323-6996 or visit us on the web at www.GabeSanders.com or www.TreasureCoastFLHomes.com . Our office is located at 1121 SE Ocean Blvd. in Stuart, (Sewall’s Point) Florida; please ask for Gabe Sanders or .

Homes For Sale in Conquistador Estates

Senior Estate Living

Property information

• 1,952 sq. ft., 2 bath, 3 bdrm single story “Solid CBS” – MLS® $249,000 – Attractive Price

Conquistador Estates, Stuart, Florida – One of the larger homes in the Estates section of Conquistador. 3 large bedrooms, 2 baths and a large living room, dining room, plus family room & a breakfast nook. Large patio with kitchen pass through. Accordion hurricane shutters throughout. This is a 55+ community with an active clubhouse, pool & tennis courts. The Martin County municipal golf course is next door.Conquistador also has a fishing pier and is conveniently located by the wide Saint Lucie River. Close to the beaches, shopping, restaurants and more.

THREE POSSIBLE PRICES!

There are many factors that affect how you’ll price your home when you’re ready to sell. In spite of market conditions, interest rates, and so on, every transaction is unique. So you should seek the assistance of an agent and prepare yourself and your home well in advance of placing the For Sale sign out front.

Sometimes a home will have three different possible prices: the price the sellers want to net, the price the buyers would like to offer, and the final sales price agreed upon by both parties. Your home’s ultimate value is determined by other local sale prices, which are often a product of supply and demand.

The asking price or the offered price is not the whole story, however. While an offer of $200,000 doesn’t seem to appear as good as an offer of $210,000, pay close attention to the terms attached to that higher offer. If the buyers also want you to offset closing costs and deduct for a decorating allowance, the “clean” offer of $200,000 might actually put more money in your pocket.

It’s wise to seek representation and assistance with pricing, marketing, negotiation and closing. Put a real estate agent with local experience to work for you. Once armed with the facts relating to terms and conditions of local sales, you can move forward with confidence in your listing.

If you’re planning to sell your home soon and would like accurate and up to date information on its current value, give us a call at (772) 323-6996 or visit us on the web at www.GabeSanders.com or www.TreasureCoastFLHomes.com. Our office is located at 1121 SE Ocean Blvd. in Stuart, (Sewall’s Point) Florida; please ask for Gabe Sanders or .