Archive for August, 2008

The First Day of School is Here!

Saturday, August 23rd, 2008

Westport’s schools in top shape for incoming students… but some of the kids don’t want summer to end.

Kings Highway Elementary at the moment is problem free with the ventilation but Elliot Landon, the Schools Superintendant, said the “we are still studying the matter”.

Long Lots is ready and Coleytown Elementary will be finished before school begins.

First-Time HomeBuyers Credit!

Saturday, August 23rd, 2008

As part of the “Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008″ that was recently signed into law, Congress has created a new, temporary federal incime tax credit to provide an incentive for the first-time homebuyers.

The highlights of this federal tax credit are as follow:

  The amount of the federal tax credit is 10% of the cost of the home, up to a maximum credit  of $7500. In essence, this is an interest-free loan that enables consumers to receive a tax credit on a dollar-for-dollar basis on their personal income tax return in the calendar year following the year of closing on their home. They begin paying the tax credit back the year after that and make equal installments during the next 15 years. If the homeowner sells the home at any point during the 15-year payback period, then the remaining amount is recaptured, unless they sell the home at a loss, at wich point the balance is forgiven.

First-time homebuyers is defined as an individual who has not owned a primary home at any time during the past three years, but who may have done so previously.

Certain income limits do apply, the amount of the credit is the same for all taxpayers, married or single.


Selling a Home in a Buyer’s Market

Saturday, August 2nd, 2008

Although home appriciation has leveled off in some markets, seller can still get good prices for their homes. The sale may take a bit longer, but a little creativity  and a good agent can help sellers move homes without having to drop the price.

Some suggestion for sellers who want to speed the process:

Price Your Home According to the Current Market. Just because a house comparable to yours sold for a very high price last year does not mean you will be able to realize the same price when selling your home now. Work with a full service real estate professional to determine the appropiate, competitive listing price for your home. Remember that in this market, your sales associate may encourage a list price in accordance with others currently on the market, rather than those previously sold.

Make Your Home More Marketable. When a buyer sees your house for the first time, a critical first impression is made. If applicable, maximize curb appeal by trimming trees and planting flowers. A fresh exterior coat of paint might also prove valuable. consider neutral colors for interior walls and carpets.

Conduct a full Home Inspection. If repairs are required, it is a good idea to go ahead and fix the problems. In a situation when more houses are available on the market, the seller may take a pass on a home that needs too many repairs.

Offer a “Seller’s Contribution”. A seller can sweeten the deal by offering assistance to the buyer in ways that do not require lowering the sking price. these tactics can help your home to stand out from the crowd. For example:

- Offer to buy down the interest rate on the buyer’s mortgage.

-Offer to pay a portion of the closing costs.

It is generally more financially advantageous to do this than dropping tha asking price by $30-, $20-or even just $10,000.