Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Get the most out of your homebuying tax credit

WASHINGTON – June 10, 2009 – When it comes to the $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers, it seems there’s a new program every week to help tap that money today.The credit can be claimed on 2008 or 2009 tax returns. Homebuyers who get a loan backed by the Federal Housing Administration can use the money to cover closing costs and other fees, and at least 10 states offer ways to use the tax credit faster.

Income considerations: The tax credit, for home purchases made through end of November, comes with income thresholds, $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for joint filers. After those limits, the credit begins to phase out. If you bought a home this year and expect your 2008 income to be lower than next year’s, it makes sense to file for the credit this year using a 2008 amended return.

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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Workshop to Help First-Time Home Buyers at UNF

I felt this was important and wanted to share.

JACKSONVILLE, FL -- U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez has teamed up with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to offer a first-time home buyer forum to provide information about first-time home buyer programs. It says the program will provide information about first-time home buyer programs, FHA loans, tax credits, and credit counseling.

The forum will be held this Saturday, June 6th, 2009 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the University of North Florida.

An RSVP is required to attend the forum because of limited space. If you are interested in attending, please call (904) 398-8586 or email

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Pending home sales jump 6.7 percent, Jacksonville Business Journal

Lower prices and attractive mortgage rates are breathing new life into housing, with one measure of sales posting its fourth increase in the last five months.

Pending sales of existing homes, or contracts signed but not closed, rose 6.7 percent in April, according to the National Association of Realtors. April's pending sales were up 3.2 percent from a year ago, the NAR says.

The biggest increase in April was in the Northeast, where pending sales jumped 32.6 percent from the previous month.

The NAR's pending home sales index is a forward looking gauge, and the group cautions that it is more volatile than actual closed sales.

"The relationship between contracts on pending home sales and closings on existing home sales is taking longer than in the past for several reasons," said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.

"Mortgage processing time has increased, it is taking many months to close on those homes requiring short sales with lender approval, and some sales are falling through at the last moment."

Still, Yun believes the housing market has already bottomed out in some areas.

The group last week reported closed sales of existing homes rose 2.9 percent in April.
The NAR's housing affordability index was also at its second-highest level on record in April.

Information from Jacksonville Business Journal, June 2, 2009