Friday, April 16, 2010

Going, Going, Gone..... Before You Knew It!

California has come up with a new tax credit of up to $10,000 for first time home buyers as well as on new homes or homes never previously lived in. The program does not officially start ...and you can't even apply for it until May 1, 2010 but rumours are swirling that all the funds in the program maybe gone before the month is out.

The total tax credit allocation for all taxpayers is $100 million for first-time homebuyers and $100 million for new homes, both on a first-come, first-served basis. Needless to say if you want your share of these funds the time to act is May 1st. Call your lender now and be prepared to take advantage of this very generous incentive plan.

If you need A lender recommendation please see California Lenders

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

This Month In Real Estate

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Home Warranty Can Save You Thousands

Common place in the Palm Springs market area is the home warranty. Usually paid for by the sellers it covers the buyers on the systems in the property for the first year of home ownership.

I usually recommend that you ask for and get one of these warranties. Whenever you are buying a new home it is an unknown quantity. You have no idea about the complexities of the systems. While a good home inspection can help you avoid making a costly decision up front, what about afterward? Machines are not infallible. Perfectly good equipment from a good manufacturer can fail suddenly. If it is no longer under warranty what do you do then?

The basic way the Home warranty plans work is that they cover repairs on your systems for a minimal service fee of around $50. That is regardless of the extent of the work performed. The advantage here is clear as most service calls these days start around $75.

I have had several clients who had new AC systems installed and water heater tanks. Repairs that would have meant thousands of dollars of out-of-pocket expenses all covered by the Home Warranty plan.

In the climate we enjoy in Palm Springs pool equipment and air conditioning equipment is essential to our way of life. Having those major systems covered, is worth it, to me to keep a home warranty plan in force.

A couple of important points to understand:

Home Warranty service is not done on an emergency basis. You have to schedule appointments during regular business hours

Home warranty will not replace your regular homeowners insurance but it may complement it so always check with them for coverage questions.

After the first year of service you will have the option to renew the plan or you may go with another company.

Often times home warranty companies have agreements with major appliance retailers and you can get a discount on new appliances/ home improvement projects if you are considering those.

Listed below are two companies who have provided good service to my clients in the past. Please feel free to contact me if you have any more questions or need more information.

New Short Sale Plans Offered By Feds

Certain Banks are now eligible to provide HAFA short sale plans to borrowers. Essentially this is an attempt by the Feds to make short sales a more organized and fair process for the primary homeowner who, for whatever reason, finds themselves having to sell in a short sale scenario.

In order to qualify you must meet these guidelines:

 The property is the borrower’s principal residence;
 The mortgage loan is a first lien mortgage originated on or before January 1, 2009;
 The mortgage is delinquent or default is reasonably foreseeable;
 The current unpaid principal balance is equal to or less than $729,7501;
 The borrower’s total monthly mortgage payment (as defined in Supplemental Directive 09-01) exceeds 31 percent of the borrower’s gross income.

You will be hearing lots about this new program and confusion is bound to exist as the program get up and running and Realtors, lenders and the general public start to digest the complexities of the program.

Two advantages I see right away are the release of liability on the forgivben debt. In other words no tax bill coming on the difference between what you borrow ed and what the bank was paid off.

And homeowners who move throught he program will then be eligible for up to $3,000 relocation money.

A disadvantage I see is that you have to try a loan modification first through the HAMPA plan. This is another Federal program designed to try and modify your loan and keep you in the home. The biggest problem with these is that the debt is just shifted around and not forgiven or removed. This does not solve the issues for most homeowners.

To read about the entire HAFA program use this link

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Happy Easter!

Wishing you and your loved ones a very happy and safe Easter Sunday.

Many of us know the Christian celebration of Easter as told in the bible. But did you now that the Easter bunny and Easter eggs have their roots in the 1600's in Germany? Children would create colorful "nests" around their house and if they had been good the Easter Bunny (who was actually consider a Hare not a Rabbit) would leave eggs. The immigrants to the Pennsylvania Dutch country were the first to introduce this custom to the United States.

It is also thought that the tradition was tied to Spring time, the vernal equinox and the images of fertility that springtime and new litters of rabbits brought on.

It has been just picture perfect in the Desert this week and while the glorious scent of the citrus blossoms is starting to fade you can still catch it in some places. Just one more thing that makes living in the Desert So great.

If you are in the Desert Today don't forget the last day of the Kraft-Nabisco LPGA at Mission Hills in Rancho Mirage.

[caption id="attachment_485" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Easter Eggs"][/caption]


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