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78% of 1st time buyers

by The Barringer Team

Just getting back to reality from our Vacation in Maui and was getting up to speed on everything and came across this on CNBC Take a Look.

http://www.facebook.com/ext/share.php?sid=59503931863&h=u3wZ5&u=zFr7-&ref=mf

With Highest Regards,


Bill Barringer

Team Leader

Aloha from Maui II

by The Barringer Team

 Aloha Family and Friends,

Just wanted to catch you up on our trip.  We leave Maui tomorrow. So sad. The weather is just getting normal this week. Pleasant 80's and very mild wind.  Bill and I really are enjoying the time here. 

 

Highlight of our trip was the trip we made to Molokai.   Molokai is a smaller neighbor island just 8 miles from Maui. It is a very rural island with a population of just 8,000.  There are no traffic lights and only one road. It is famous because of Father Damien and his work with the Leprosy Colony on the peninsula of Kalaupapa. We really wanted to go to the colony and pray at Fr. Damian's grave, but the only way down there is either to hike the 1,700 foot high cliff with 28 switch backs or take a mule down.  We decided to wait till they have plane service.

 

We went over on the ferry from Lahaina at 7am. The ride over was pleasant all though a bit rough.  We sat on top so we could see whales and sat next to a sweet elderly lady going over by herself.  Bill had her cracking up the whole way but once the boat took an extreme dip we almost lost Shirley!  She gripped the seat back in front of her and the man in the seat gave her a look  and she told him "Don't even think about it, this seat back is MINE!: My hand is not moving until we hit the dock." Bill and Shirley just laughed the whole way. Bill kept making jokes like he was going to hit the Airport for the trip back and Shirley agreed, She did not sign up for this, It was a Great time and as always in times of stress you have to have a sense of humor and we did make it over and we buddied up with Shirley the rest of the Trip. She reminded Bill so much of his late mother, Virginia. This lady was tough traveling all by herself from Seattle she is a widower, and was groomed to the hilt, her nails done and hair done not taking anything off of anyone. It was a delight being with her, a sweet lady. 

 

We took a tour via bus and our tour guide was Rudy who has lived in Molokai all his life.  It was a great tour, we went to the coffee ranch and visited a natural Macadamia Nut farm.  Lunch at the Molokai Hotel was good too.  After that we went to St Joseph's Church, one of the three churches that Fr. Damian built. It is restored to the condition that it was built. I have to tell you that both Bill and I felt such a presence of God there that it brought tears to our eyes. We stayed a while to pray and one of our prayers was answered that day! (more on that later)

 

It truly was an experience that we will never forget, especially the boat ride back. To travel 8 miles it took 1 hr 45 min! Talk about rough... we just wanted it over.  Got back to Lahaina by 5:30.

 

We are really going to miss this place. But its time to get back to realality...until next year.

 

Much malaho,

 

Pat

 

P.S. please enjoy the pictures!

Banks are taking advantage

by The Barringer Team

Here is an article about the banks and how they are taking advantage of the current market.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29649275/

Aloha from Maui

by The Barringer Team

Bill and I are enjoying our annual trip to our favorite place, Maui, Hawaii.  We have a total of 3 weeks here this year.  We are on Kaanapaili Beach at the Marriott Ocean Club.  It feels like home as this would be our second home if we could swing it.   Never the less, it is good to charge our batteries after the very busy 2008 we had. 

The weather has been unusual for Maui this year. Everyone we spoke with said that the sun has only been out for 1 day in the 2 weeks that they have been here. Lots of clouds and wind and rain.  The sun is out today and it looks like a good day.  We have been watching the whales from our balcony everyday. This is whale season and they are here. At any given time you can see a spout and a mom and calf breaching.  We have seen as many as 5 whales in groups just playing in the water. We are going to schedule a trip to Moloka'i to tour Father Damien's colony this week coming up.

We still have 9 days left here before we return to Tracy so we will make the best of it and enjoy till next year. Back at the office, of course, Brian, Nicole and Carissa are maning the fort and doing a great job.  So don't hesitate to give them a call if you need any information or have a friend or loved one to refer to us as now is the time to buy a home!

The real estate market here in Maui has slowed as most of the country has. Prices are down just a little, maybe 5% and there are foreclosures, but not as much as home.

We look forward to returning home and of course to our dogs, our babies, who we miss. Especially Molly, Bill's daughter!:-)

Aloha for now,

Pat

P.S. Enjoy these pictures of our wonderful view from our condo!

 

Frequently Asked Questions About The Home Buyer Tax Credit

by The Barringer Team

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 authorizes a tax credit of up to $8,000 for qualified first time home buyers purchasing a principal residence on or after January 1, 2009 and before December 1, 2009.

The following questions and answers provide basic information about the tax credit.  If you have more specific questions, we strongly encourage you to consult a qualified tax advisor or legal professional about you unique situation.

  1. Who is eligible to claim the tax credit?
  2. What is the definition of a first-time home buyer?
  3. How is the amount of the tax credit determined?
  4. Are there any income limits for claiming the tax credit?
  5. What is "modified adjusted gross income"?
  6. If my modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) is above the limit, do I qualify for any tax credit?
  7. Can you give me an example of how the partial tax credit is determined?
  8. How is this home buyer tax credit different from the tax credit that Congress enacted in July of 2008?
  9. How do I claim the tax credit? Do I need to complete a form or application?
  10. What types of homes will qualify for the tax credit?
  11. I read that the tax credit is "refundable." What does that mean?
  12. I purchased a home in early 2009 and have already filed to receive the $7,500 tax credit on my 2008 tax returns. How can I claim the new $8,000 tax credit instead?
  13. Instead of buying a new home from a home builder, I hired a contractor to construct a home on a lot that I already own. Do I still qualify for the tax credit?
  14. Can I claim the tax credit if I finance the purchase of my home under a mortgage revenue bond (MRB) program?
  15. I live in the District of Columbia. Can I claim both the Washington, D.C. first-time home buyer credit and this new credit?
  16. I am not a U.S. citizen. Can I claim the tax credit?
  17. Is a tax credit the same as a tax deduction?
  18. I bought a home in 2008. Do I qualify for this credit?
  19. Is there any way for a home buyer to access the money allocable to the credit sooner than waiting to file their 2009 tax return?
  20. If I’m qualified for the tax credit and buy a home in 2009, can I apply the tax credit against my 2008 tax return?
  21. For a home purchase in 2009, can I choose whether to treat the purchase as occurring in 2008 or 2009, depending on in which year my credit amount is the largest?

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 31, 2009.  For the purpose of the tax credit, the purchase date is the date when closing occurs and the title to the property transfers to the home owner.

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 home ownership 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 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 it 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% of the home's purchase price up to a maximum of $8,000.

4. Are there any income limits for claiming the tax credit?

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 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. What is "modified adjusted gross income"?

Modified adjusted gross income or MAGI is defined by the IRS.  To find it, a taxpayer must first determine "adjusted gross income" or AGI.  AGI is total income for a year minus certain deductions (known as "adjustments" or "above the line deductions"), but before itemized deductions from Schedule A or personal exemptions are subtracted.  On forms 1040 and 1040A, AGI is the last number on page 1 and first number on page 2 of the form.  For form 1040-EZ, AGI appears on line 4 (as of 2007).  Note that AGI includes all forms of income including wages, salaries, interest income, dividends and capital gains.

To determine modified adjusted gross income (MAGI), add to AGI certain amounts such a s foreign income, foreign housing deductions, student loan deductions, IRA-contribution deductions for higher education costs.

6. If my modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) is above the limit, do I qualify for any tax credit?

Possible.  It depends on your income.  Partial credits of less than $8,000 are available for some taxpayers whose MAGI exceeds the phase-out limits.

7.  Can you give me an example of how the partial tax credit is determined?

Just as an example, assume that a married couple has a modified adjusted gross income of $160,000.  The applicable phase-out to qualify for the tax credit is $150,000, and the couple is $10,000 over this amount.  Dividing $10,000 by $20,000 yields 0.5.  When you subtract 0.5 from 1.0, the result is 0.5.  To determine the amount of the partial first time home buyers tax credit that is available to this couple, multiply $8,000 by 0.5.  The result is $4,000.

Here's another example: assume that an individual home buyer has a modified adjusted gross income of $88,000.  The buyer's income exceeds $75,000 by $13,000.  Dividing $13,000 by $20,000 yields 0.65.  When you subtract 0.65 from 1.0, the result is 0.35.  Multiplying $8,000 by 0.35 shows that the buyer is eligible for a partial tax credit of $2,800.

Please remember that these examples are intended to provide a general idea of how the tax credit might be applied in different circumstances.  You should always consult your tax advisor for information relating to your specific circumstances.

8. How is the home buyer tax credit different from the tax credit that Congress enacted in July of 2008?

The most significant difference is that this tax credit does not have to be repaid.  Because it had to be repaid, the previous "credit" was essentially an interest free loan.  This tax incentive is a true tax credit.  However, home buyers must use the residence as a principle residence for at least three years or face recapture of the tax credit amount.  Certain exceptions apply.

9.  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 69 of their 1040 income tax return.  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.

10.  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.

11.  I read that the tax credit is "refundable".  What does that mean?

The fact that the credit is refundable means that the home buyer credit can be claimed even if the taxpayer has little or no federal income tax liability to offset.  Typically this involves the government sending the taxpayer a check for a portion or even all of the amount of the refundable tax credit.

For example, if a qualified home buyer expected, notwithstanding the tax credit, federal income tax liability of $5,000 and had tax withholding of $4,000 for the year, then without the tax credit the taxpayer would owe the IRS $1,000 ion April 15th.  Suppose now that the taxpayer qualified for the $8,000 home buyer tax credit.  As a result, the taxpayer would receive a check for $7,000 ($8,000 minus the $1,000 owed).

12.  I purchased a home in early 2009 and have already filed to receive the $7,500 tax credit on my 2008 tax returns.  How can I claim the new $8,000 tax credit instead?

Home buyers in this situation may file and amended 2008 tax return with a 1040X form.  You should consult with a tax advisor to ensure you file this return properly.

13.  Instead of buying a new home from a home builder, I hired a contractor to construct a home on a lot that I already own.  Do I still qualify for the tax credit?

Yes.  For the purposes of the home buyer tax credit, a principal residence that is constructed by the home owner is treated by the tax code as having been "purchased" on the date the owner first occupies the house.  In this situation, the date of first occupancy must be on or after January 1, 2009 and before December, 31, 2009.

In contrast, for newly-constructed homes bought from a home builder, eligibility for the tax credit is determined by the settlement date.

14.  Can I claim the tax credit if I finance the purchase of my home under a mortgage revenue bond (MRB) program?

Yes.  The tax credit can be combined with the MRB home buyer program.  Note that first time home buyers who purchased a home in 2008 may not claim the tax credit if they are participating in an MRB program.

15.  I live in the District of Columbia.  Can I claim both the Washington, D.C. first time home buyer credit and this new credit?

You can claim only one.

16.  I am not a U.S. citizen.  Can I claim the tax credit?

Maybe.  Anyone who is not a nonresident alien (as defined by the IRS), who has not owned a principal residence in the previous three years and who meets the income limits test may claim the tax credit for a qualified home purchase.  The IRS provides a definition on “nonresident alien” in IRS Publication 519.

17.  Is a tax credit the same as a tax deduction?

No.  A tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction in what the taxpayer owes.  That means that a taxpayer who owes $8,000 in income taxes and who receives an $8,000 tax credit would owe nothing to the IRS.

A tax deduction is subtracted from the amount of income that is taxed.  Using the same example, assume the taxpayer is in the 15% tax bracket and owes $8,000 in income taxes.  If the taxpayer receives an $8,000 deduction, the taxpayer’s tax liability would be reduced by $1,200 (15 % of $8,000), or lowered from $8,000 to $6,800.

18.  I bought a home in 2008.  Do I qualify for this credit?

No, but if you purchased your first home between April 9, 2008 and January 1, 2009, you may qualify for a different tax credit.

19.  Is there any way for a home buyer to access the money allocable to the credit sooner than waiting to file their 2009 tax return?

Yes. Prospective home buyers who believe they qualify for the tax credit are permitted to reduce their income tax withholding.  Reducing tax withholding (up to the amount of the credit) will enable the buyer to accumulate cash by raising his/her take home pay.  This money can then be applied to the down payment.

Buyers should adjust their withholding amount on their W-4 via their employer or through their quarterly estimated tax payment. IRS Publication 919 contains rules and guidelines for income tax withholding.  Prospective home buyers should note that is then the individual would be liable for repayment to the IRS of income tax and possible interest charges and penalties. 

Further, rule changes made as part of the economic stimulus legislation allow home buyers to claim the tax credit and participate in a program financed by tax-exempt bonds.  Some state housing finance agencies, such as the Missouri Housing Development Commission, have introduced programs that provide short-term credit acceleration loans that may be used to fund a down payment.  Prospective home buyers should inquire with their state housing finance agency to determine the availability of such a program in their community.

20.  If I’m qualified for the tax credit and buy a home in 2009, can I apply the tax credit against my 2008 tax return?

Yes.  The law allows taxpayers to choose (“elect”) to treat qualified home purchasers in 2009 as if the purchase occurred on December 31, 2008.  This means that the 2008 income limit (MAGI) applies and the election accelerates when the credit can be claimed (tax filing for 2008 returns instead of for 2009 returns).  A benefit of this election is that a home buyer in 2009 will know their 2008 MAGI with certainty, thereby helping the buyer know whether the income limit will reduce their credit amount.

Taxpayers buying a home who wish to claim it on their 20085 tax return, but who have already submitted their 2008 return to the IRS, may file an amended 2008 return claiming the tax credit.  You should consult with a tax professional to determine how to arrange this.

21. For a home purchase in 2009, can I choose whether to treat the purchase as occurring in 2008 or 2009, depending on in which year my credit amount is the largest?

Yes.  If the applicable income phase-out would reduce your home buyer tax credit amount in 2009 and a larger credit would be available using the 2008 MAGI amounts, then you can choose the year that yields the largest credit amount.

"Frequently Asked Questions About The Home Buyer Tax Credit." First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit. 2009. NAHB. 9 Mar. 2009 <www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com>.

Tracy Area Market Report 2/2/09 vs. 3/3/09

by The Barringer Team

Local Market Stats

The following information is from the local MLS database, as of March 3, 2009 as is compared to (February 2, 2009).  If you are interested in a little more market information feel free to give us a call, we are always happy to talk about the market.

 

Tracy, CA

ACTIVE Status

Total # of residential properties for sale in the city of Tracy: 593 (625)

# of REO (foreclosures): 208 (250)

# of Short Sales: 311 (298)

Average # of days on market: 87 (90)

The median price of all homes for sale in Tracy: $224,975 ($238,900)

The average price of all homes for sale in Tracy: $295,311 ($302,782)

Lowest priced home: 1bd/660 sq. ft./$54,900

Hghest priced home: 7bd/8,065 sq. ft./$1,700,000

PENDING Status

Number of properties currently under agreement: 344 (335)

# of REO: 273 (254)

Average pending price: $224,533 ($228,593)

Average pending home is 4 bedrooms, 2,008 square feet at a price of $224,533 that stays 57 days on the market.

SOLD Status

Residential property sold over previous 30 days: 124 homes or $26,789,383 in sales (124 homes or $29,065,342 in sales)

REO's sold in the last month: 103 (104)

Average sale price: $216,043 ($234,398)

Median sale price: $223,750 ($225,000)

High: 482K (6bd, 3,299 sq. ft. home)

Low: 37K (1bd, 502 sq. ft. home)

Weston Ranch, CA

 ACTIVE Status

Total # of residential properties for sale in Weston Ranch: 192 (203)

# of REO (foreclosures): 85 (99)

# of Short Sales: 91 (89)

Average # of days on market: 64 (60)

The median price of all homes for sale in Weston Ranch: $139,900 ($139,950)

The average price of all homes for sale in Weston Ranch: $144,833 ($148,721)

Lowest priced home: 1bd/795 sq. ft./$19,900

Highest price home: 6bd/43,650 sq. ft./$375,000

PENDING Status

Number of properties currently under agreement: 158 (164)

# of REO: 134 (143)

Average pending price: $138,887 ($147,378)

Average pending home is 4 bedrroms, 1,936 square feet at a price of $138,887 that stays 46 days on the market.

SOLD Status

Residential property sold over previous 30 days: 63 homes or $9,307,955 (67 homes or $9,583,058)

Average sale price: $147,475 ($143,031)

Median sale price: $145,000 ($137,750)

High: 240K (6bd/3,000 sq. ft home)

(225K (5bd/3,000 sq. ft. home)

Low: $88,700 (3bd/1,070 sq. ft. home)

(64K (3bd/1,120 sq. ft. home)

 

Mountain House, CA

ACTIVE Status

Total # of residential properties for sale in the city of Mountain House: 102 (101)

# of REO (foreclosures): 15 (24)

# of Short Sales: 74 (64)

Average # of days on market: 57 (58)

The median price of all homes for sale in Mountain House: $331,950 ($324,900)

The average price of all homes for sale in Mountain House: $329,081 ($325,661)

Lowest price home: 2bd/1,260 sq. ft./$161,500

Highest price home: 5bd/3,914 sq. ft./$477,604

PENDING Status

Number of properties currently under agreement: 57 (40)

# of REO: 36 (25)

Average pending price: $308,799 ($327,806)

Average pending home is 4 bedrooms, 2,589 square feet at a price of $308,799 that stays 50 days on the market.

SOLD Status

Residential property sold over previous 30 days: 16 homes or $4,713,250 in sales (18 homes or $5,769,000 in sales)

REO's sold in the last month: 14 (13)

Average sale price: $294,578 ($320,500)

Median sale price: $294,500 ($330,000)

High: 380K (5bd/3,107 sq. ft. home)

Low: 189K (3bd/1,460 sq. ft. home)

Lathrop, CA

ACTIVE Status

Total # of residential properties for sale in the city of Lathrop: 171 (195)

# of REO (foreclosures): 81 (94)

# of Short Sales: 79 (79)

Average # of days on market: 63 (77)

The median price of all homes for sale in Lathrop: $174,900 ($185,375)

The average price of all homes for sale in Lathrop: $193,834 ($209,555)

Lowest price home: 2bd/995 sq. ft./$70,000

Highest price home: 4bd/4,165 sq. ft./$1,075,000

PENDING Status

Number of properties currently under agreement: 166 (149)

# of REO: 129 (127)

Average pending price: $196,353 ($200,271)

Average pending home is 4 bedrooms, 2,233 square feet at a price of $196,535 that stays 64 days on the market.

SOLD Status

Residential proerty sold over previous 30 days: 48 homes or $9,698,950 (42 homes or $8,302,600)

REO's sold in the last month: 45 (38)

Average sale price: $202,061 ($197,681)

Median sale price: $190,375 ($197,500)

High: 330K (6bd/3,969 sq. ft. home)

Low: 66.5K (3bd/1,144 sq. ft. home)

Below are links to previous Tracy Area Market Reports:

2/2/09 vs 1/2/09 http://www.tracyrealestateexpert.com/Blog/Tracy-Area-Market-Report-2209-vs-1209

1/2/09 vs. 12/1/08 http://tracyrealestateexpert.com/blog_post.asp?post=20478

12/1/08 vs. 11/3/08 http://www.tracyrealestateexpert.com/blog_post.asp?post=19465

11/3/08 vs. 10/1/08 http://www.tracyrealestateexpert.com/blog_post.asp?post=18625

10/1/08 vs. 9/2/08 http://www.tracyrealestateexpert.com/blog_post.asp?post=17634

9/2/08 vs. 8/1/08 http://www.tracyrealestateexpert.com/blog_post.asp?post=16678

8/1/08 vs. 7/9/08 http://www.tracyrealestateexpert.com/blog_post.asp?post=15614

 4/4/08 vs. 3/4/08 http://tracyrealestateexpert.com/blog_post.asp?post=9503

3/14/08 vs. 2/14/08 http://tracyrealestateexpert.com/blog_post.asp?post=8914

3/14/08 vs. 2/14/08 http://tracyrealestateexpert.com/blog_post.asp?post=8913

2/14/08 vs. 1/11/08 http://tracyrealestateexpert.com/blog_post.asp?post=8227 

2/14/08 vs. 1/11/08 http://tracyrealestateexpert.com/blog_post.asp?post=8226

10/30/07 http://tracyrealestateexpert.com/blog_post.asp?post=5779

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The Barringer Team
Century 21 M&M and Associates
912 W 11th Street
Tracy CA 95376
209-833-7777
800-984-7282
Fax: 209-229-7426
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