Blog Archives

First Time Buyer’s Closing Deadline Extended

Here’s some great news if you’re one of the folks who’ve been trying to buy a home under the First Time Buyer’s Tax Credit that expired April 30th.

Congress has passed a bill extending the June 30th closing deadline to September 30, 2010. This extension applies for Sales Contracts that were in place as of April 30th, but that had not yet closed. This has affected a lot of people trying to buy, especially folks involved in Short Sales (which take longer, since Lender approval is required).

So, perhaps being patient and waiting for your sale to go through will pay off, after all!

David

Alabaster, Helena Home Sales Up In March

More folks want homes!

The number of properties sold in Alabaster and Helena rose sharply in March, compared to February, according to the Birmingham Multiple Listing System. In Helena, March sales were double those for February:

Helena, Alabama, home sales update

Meanwhile, home sales in the Alabaster, Maylene and Saginaw areas were up sharply during March, as well.

Alabaster, Alabama, home sales update

Why the big rise in sales?

  • Buyers are realizing that very little time remains before the end of the First Time Buyer’s Tax Credit (Contracts must be signed no later than April 30th);
  • Loan rates continue to be extremely attractive; and
  • A large inventory of homes remains available in Shelby County, with Sellers motivated to sell
  • Last but certainly not least, the return of spring has no doubt been a welcome change from the extended bitterly cold winter Alabamians had to endure. Most people found going out looking for homes—only to be blasted in the face by freezing wind—to be less than fun.

    For more reasons than one, we’re glad Spring is here!

    David

    Thing of Buying? Better Get Crackin’!

    If you’ve been thinking about buying a home in the Birmingham or Shelby county area, be aware: the clock is ticking…

    The government’s Tax Credit for first time (and many existing) Buyers ends April 30th.
    Time to get off the fence!

    Under current rules, that’s the last day you can have a Contract to buy a home in place and still be eligible for the credit.

    Have you been ‘on the fence’ about buying?

    Here are some of the reasons proving why buying now is such a good idea:

  • Inventory is high…fancy lingo for: “There are lots of homes to choose from!”
  • Sellers are motivated…fancy lingo for: “Many Sellers want to sell and will work with you!”
  • Financing is affordable…fancy lingo for: “Loan rates remain in the 5% range; try to beat that with a stick!”
  • If you’re a qualified Buyer under the Tax Credit, you’ll be getting up to $8,000 back…fancy lingo for “What are you waiting for?

    Whether you’re buying an existing home or want to buy a brand new home, we are seeing some excellent opportunities to own a home in just about all areas in Shelby County.

    Tax Credit Deadline

    In a number of cases, we are seeing such attractive pricing that—provided you meet certain Lender qualifications—you could own your own home, instead of paying rent.

    So, if you’re planning on staying awhile, it doesn’t make sense to rent when you could own your own home.

    Since buying a home can easily take 30 to 45 days or longer, and since the Tax Credit is set to expire in about two months, it’s time to jump off the fence!

    Colleen and I are always available to help with your search and with any questions you have…

    David

  • Birmingham Home Sales Picking Up…

    Here are a few news tidbits involving home sales:

    …Sales in the Birmingham area shot up 46% in November, marking the second straight month of increases over the previous year, according to the Birmingham Association of Realtors. In November, 879 homes sold, compared to 603 in November, 2008;

    …November sales of previously occupied homes surged to their highest point nationwide in nearly three years, according to the National Association of Realtors;

    …Lawrence Yun, NAR’s Chief economist, sees continued progress in 2010, even as some of the government’s efforts to stimulate the housing market ease. “We expect a temporary sales drop [before] another surge in the spring when buyers take advantage of the expanded tax credit,” Yun said. That “hopefully will take us into a self-sustaining market in the second half of 2010.”

    …Roughly 2 million homebuyers have taken advantage of the $8,000 First Time Buyer’s Tax Credit, according to NAR estimates;

    …Sales of new homes, however, dropped 11% in November, their lowest level since April (new home sales represent a dwindling share of the market). Bottom line: If you’re looking for a new home, chances are you’ll find builders extremely anxious to work a deal;

    Overall, analysts feel the housing market continues to recover from its recent downturn, with the government’s assistance programs getting much of the credit.

    If you’re thinking of buying a home in the Birmingham and Shelby Co. area, the market remains very much in your favor, thanks to a large selection of homes to choose from, motivated Sellers, and a continuation of some of the lowest ever interest rates on loans.

    Last, but certainly not least, keep in mind that the First Time Buyer’s Tax Credit, originally set to expire November 30, 2009, has been extended to April 30, 2010. The government has also expanded the program to provide incentives for current homeowners who relocate — click here for details.

    David

    First Time Buyer Tax Credit Extended, Expanded

    Congress has taken a step many people were watching for, and has extended the $8,000 tax credit for people buying a home for the first time. But the extension also carries a big change that could affect you if you own a home right now and want to buy again.

    The credit, which was originally set to expire November 30th, now applies to Sales Contracts in place by April 30th, 2010. Homeowners have an additional 60 days beyond then to actually close the sale.

    If you currently own your home and have lived in it for five consecutive years, the extension provides for a $6,500 credit if you buy another property by the new deadline. In the current market where so many homes have lost value, this may help Sellers frustrated over not being able to get an Offer for as much as they’ve wanted.

    Shelby Co. Homes

    So … either way, the extension is intended to make buying a home more enticing to a larger group of people. That’s exactly why Congress passed the bill, in a continuing desire to stimulate the housing market.

    Another point many buyers are not aware of is the fact that you can still qualify for the credit even if you owned a home previously. The government defines a first time buyer as someone who has not owned a home during the previous three years. So, if you owned a home in, say, 2004, but have not owned your residence since then, you would qualify for the first time buyer’s credit.

    The tax credit’s extension and expansion, coupled with such affordable deals and financing on homes in the Birmingham and Shelby Co. area really do suggest that—unless you plan to move again soon—you’re much better off owning, rather than renting, and—if you qualify as an existing owner and have been wanting to move—now’s the time.

    David