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Lee Ginsburg is an award-winning Realtor with 30 years experience in Peninsula residential real estate. With the utmost attention to detail, Lee delivers expert marketing, negotiating, and management of all financial matters. With a strong commitment to honesty, fairness and hard work, Lee has successfully helped first time home buyers, move up buyers and investors.

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Good News! Good Bay Area Real Estate News!!!

A lot of positive bills, thoughts and activities have been happening on the Bay Area Real Estate Front. I have been trying to write this for a while. Each time I sit down to write there is more I have to add to it. That is a good problem. So exciting! Enjoy the Good News.

Home Buyer’s Delight
You can still get the federal Home Buyer Credit of $8000 for the first time buyer or $6500 for the move up buyer. You must be in contract by the end of April and close by the end of June.
For additional information: http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=204671,00.html

Because California Home Buyers are special Governor Schwarzenegger signed into law a State credit for home buyers. I personally think this program is great. It helps many people purchase their first home and it puts people to work. A Win-Win!!!
Under the provisions, the bill:

  • Provides a 5% tax credit, up to a $10,000 limit, to all buyers of new, never-occupied homes.
  • Provides a 5% tax credit, up to a $10,000 limit, to first-time buyers of existing homes.
  • Sets aside $100 million for each program, for a total of $200 million.
  • Requires buyers to close escrow between May 1 and Dec. 31 to qualify. New-home buyers have until Dec. 31 to sign a purchase contract, and then must close escrow by Aug. 16, 2011.
  • Requires buyers to live in the home for at least two years.
  • Provides for the tax credit to be paid in thirds over a three-year period.
  • Sets no income limitations on buyers.
  • Requires buyers to repay the tax if they fail to live in the home for two years or fail to close escrow on a new home by Aug. 16, 2011.

For additional information: http://gov.ca.gov/


Bay Area Home prices increase 20%
The number of home sales in the 9 County Bay Area were down for Feb. 2010 as compared to 2009 but the median home price increased more than 20%. I wish I can tell you that your home went up 20%. What I can say is that the higher priced homes are beginning to sell after months of being stagnant.
For more details:

Having trouble making payments? Have no fear help is finally on the way.

Bank of America has announced a program for a select group of Countrywide loans where they will forgive the principal. Yea! Let’s hope others will follow.
Please click on the link for the details. http://www.bankrate.com/finance/mortgages/bank-of-america-offers-home-loan-forgiveness-1.aspx

HAFA –Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives
The federal government has recently announced a new program to take effect April 1 2010. It will make the loan modification and short sale process easier and more systemized.
For additional information: http://www.realtor.org/government_affairs/short_sales_hafa

Just yesterday Obama announced and even newer program focusing on people owing more than their home is worth, people underemployed or unemployed. Stay tuned. The details of that are not out yet.

All these programs are great but my solution I think is more of a Win-Win. I propose to reduce the principal to market value and then the bank and owner should share in any equity build up when the home is sold. Under the Lee’s Act, the homeowner stays in their home, we maintain home pricing by putting a stop the deluge of short sales and foreclosures and the banks and homeowners have a chance to make some money down the road. Everyone wins; Homeowner, bank and neighbors by stabilizing home prices and avoiding blight!

Tax Relief for Debt Forgiveness
State Tax Relief for those who incurred debt forgiveness from a lender through the loss of their homes to foreclosures and or short sales is still up in the air. I believe the IRS is ok with it until 2014 but California is still up in the air. Governor Schwarzenegger is asking for a proposal before April 15.
Click the link for additional information. http://www.sacbee.com/2010/03/16/2609494/california-tax-relief-for-forgiven.html

Homeowner Savings
Are you considering purchasing a new appliance. The California’s “Cash for Appliances” begins on Earth day, April 22, 2010 and runs only for a month. Purchase a new energy efficient appliance and recycle your old one and you are eligible to get up to $100 per appliance.
The program highlights are:
Purchases starting Apr 22, 2010 until May 23, 2010

· Claim within 30 days of purchase

· Claim by Jun 22, 2010

  • May be combined with other rebates
  • Must recycle existing appliance
  • State resident

Click on the link for the real details. http://www.energy.ca.gov/recovery/energystar.html or http://www.kcra.com/cash-for-appliances/21363879/detail.html

and More Energy Efficient Savings:
Our federal government still offering a credit if you purchase an energy-efficient product or renewable energy system for your home. You may be eligible for a federal tax credit if you replace water heaters, solar energy, windows, doors, heating and cooling systems and more.
You will find an overview of the federal tax credits for energy efficiency by clicking on the link: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=tax_credits.tx_index

Capital Gains Tax
If congress does not act Capital Gains tax will be increasing by 5% in 2011. They could propose to increase it even more. Due to the economy it is doubtful for them to maintain the current capital gains rate OF 15%. If you are considering selling an investment property today might be the right day. Call me toll free at 877-Lee-Sells. http://money.cnn.com/2010/02/01/pf/taxes/obama_budget_tax_changes/index.htm

So there you have it in a nut shell. Hope you found it enjoyable and helpful. Please, I encourage you to share your good news, comments, updates and questions. If clicking on the links do not work please copy and paste.

Please visit me at: www.leesellsmore.com


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