Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Celebrating the Holidays

With a few more houses on the market than what is normal for the holiday season, the question keeps coming up about decorating. My advice, over and over, is to keep it simple and elegant. That goes for inside decorating as well as outside.

Speaking of outside decorating, the Democrat and Chronicle has put together a map of notable holiday light displays. To check out that map, go here: http://php.democratandchronicle.com/maps/holiday_lights

Best wishes to you and yours for a safe holiday full of love and laughter. I'm spending the weekend with the Shelsby family in Maryland but will be back to work the beginning of next week.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Just Listed: 51 Briarcliffe Dr, Irondequoit

Just hit the market on this cold, blustery Rochester morning! (details at www.RochestersBestHomes.com/931215 )A beautiful 3 bedroom home on a simply gorgeous street in West Irondequoit. With beautiful hardwoods through, this home has lots of period charm plus many important updates, such as a newer roof and vinyl siding. And once the weather breaks, you'll enjoy the professionally landscaped yard with patio and trellis. Priced for a quick sale at $139,900!

Give me a call at 585-756-7457 to set up a private showing on stop by the open house Sunday afternoon, 1 till 4 pm. Snooze and you will loose on this one!

Friday, December 11, 2009

140 Days and Counting

When the weather outside is frightful, you can usually count on the real estate phone going to sleep. Not this year! I worked with three different buyers yesterday during the raging snow storm. And of the 7 houses I showed, three of them were new to the market this week. That’s not a typical December day for Rochester, NY.
With less than 140 days to be under contract to qualify for the home buyer federal tax credit, it seemed like a good time to highlight the program. Of course, you will want to consult with your tax advisor or attorney for more specific advice, as the following points are very general.
• Your purchase agreement for a home must be signed no later than April 30, 2010, and the transaction must close before July 1.

• First-time buyers receive a credit of 10 percent of the purchase price, up to $8,000. A first-time buyer is defined as an individual and/or spouse that has not owned a principal residence in the U.S. within the last three years.

• Buyers who owned and lived in their principal residence for at least five consecutive years of the last eight can receive credit of up to $6,500 when they contract to purchase a home before April 30, 2010, and close before July 1.

• The upper income limit to receive the full credit is raised to $125,000 for individuals and $225,000 for couples.

• If the purchase price is more than $800,000, the buyer is not eligible for the credit.

• There is no minimum income for claiming the credit. You qualify for the full credit even if you won’t owe any taxes for 2009 or 2010.

• You can claim the credit when you file your 2009 or 2010 tax return. The law does allow you to apply the credit to your down payment but currently, I know of no bank in New York that will provide such a loan.

If you or someone you know is considering a purchase in time to qualify for the tax credit, please call me as soon as possible. We anticipate an early spring rush this year with lots of competing offers and so now to the time to get pre-qualified and define your search criteria.

Keep warm!

Mary Shelsby

ReMax First


Monday, December 07, 2009

Getting Ready to List Your House

Right now, I'm getting more phone calls from people wanting to sell their home than individuals that want to buy a home. That's a change and I think it's been brought on by the federal tax credit for repeat buyers that have owned their current resident for at least 5 years. Of course, there are a million things to do to get your house ready for the market....cleaning, organizing, de-cluttering and just making it look like a model home. It's a ton of work, I know.

There is also a lot of paperwork that needs to be organized and available for closing and since you will be busy packing all your belongs, I recommend that you get the following items in order before you list your home. They include:

• A payoff statement (or recent bill showing balance due) from all mortgages on the property.
• Two sets of keys to the house.

• A copy of all certificates of compliance for improvements to the property, such as fences, pools, sheds, finished basement or attic, new bathrooms, etc.

• Twelve months of utility bills (or one month if on a budget plan).

• Copy of property tax bills.

• Completed Property Condition Disclosure.

• Copies of any environmental testing done, i.e. lead testing, radon testing.

• Contact information for your real estate attorney.

• A list of appliances that you plan to offer with your property.

• Copy of all transferable warranties, such as for a newer roof or appliances.

If you'd like more information about getting your home on the market, don't hesitate to call me. My office number is 585-756-7457.

Mary Shelsby
ReMax First

Friday, December 04, 2009

Home Buyer Tax CREDIT, not deduction

I've made a few phone calls this week to individuals that might want to take advantage of the Federal Tax Credit being offered to qualified home buyers and was very surprised at how uninformed and/or misinformed the general public is about this program.

Most importantly, this is a tax credit, not a deduction on your income tax. For most first time home buyers, the credit is for 10% of the purchase price up to $8000. That means if you are eligible for a refund, your refund will be increased by the amount of the tax credit. And if you owe Uncle Sam, your bill will be reduced by the amount of the tax credit. Sweet, isn't it?

Some existing home owners that buy a new primary residence will also qualify for a tax credit of 10% of the purchase price, up to $6,500. These home buyers must have resided in their previous property for 5 of the past 8 years. There are income requirements for both tax credits and deadlines to be met. For a fact sheet on the program, shoot me an e-mail or call your tax preparer.

The other good news for home buyers is that interest rates have hit a new all time low, with fixed rates for a 30 year mortgage going as low as 4.71% and 4.29% for 15 year mortgages. It's just a matter of time before these start going up and so if you're in the market to refinance or purchase, give me a call today.

Both the tax credit and interest rates are have a profound effect on the Rochester real estate market. I've been on three listing appointments this week and have started working with 2 new buyers, all very unusual for the time period between Thanksgiving and New Years!