Economy · Enviroment · News · Real Estate

Public Transportation…

With all the economic and environmental concerns we have today, public transportation is a hot topic.  When shopping for real estate, public transportation may be something you want to consider.  Staying informed about C-Tran’s 20 Year Transit Development Plan could play an important part in deciding where you want to live and invest in real estate. Knowing where C-Tran is going to put a new transit center, add or eliminate a route, or where they are going to close a transit center could effect your decision to buy a property. This information could also effect the salability and/or value of your current home if you are considering selling.

Public transportation plays an important role in our community. C-Tran has been providing public transportation within Clark County for 29 years, connecting Vancouver, Camas, Washougal, Battle Ground, Yacolt, Ridgefield, La Center, and Portland (Oregon).

For more information, check out C-Tran’s website at: http://www.c-tran.com

Advertisements
Economy · News · Real Estate

Oregon Increases Taxes on the Wealthy…

Oregon’s top earners may be preparing for a mass exodus now that Oregon has voted to target the wealthy to solve their deficit problems.

It is possible SW Washington will see businesses and high income earners relocating over the border to avoid the new tax increases. Prior to this tax increase being passed we talked to several people from Oregon that said, “If Oregon increases our taxes, we are out of here.”

Time will tell if Oregon’s tax increase will cause a wave of top earners to move across the border into SW Washington. At a time when Washington has it’s own deficit problems, a move like over the border could benefit Washington state greatly.

Regarding Washington’s budget shortfall, Governor Chris Gregoire said “I will do my best to avoid any new taxes that slow our economic recovery. I will balance, as best I can, my interest in keeping new taxes down, while still protecting programs that I believe the vast majority of us agree are just too important to eliminate. We need a combination of reduced funding for services and raising revenue.”

Avoiding new taxes may sound very appealing to Oregon’s high income earners.

Law/Regulations · Mortgage · News · Real Estate

FHA Financing Changes…

Most of the changes have to do with tightening the regulations on the lenders.  The key changes that directly effect the FHA buyer are:

  • FHA upfront mortgage premium will increase to 2.25% from 1.75%.
  • If a borrower has a credit score below 580 they will be required to have a 10% down payment, while the minimum down payment for all other qualified buyers will be 3.5%.
  • Sellers concessions will be reduced from from 6% to 3%.
  • Feb. 1, 2010 the 90 holding rule on properties is being lifted for 1 year (some restrictions still apply, refer to HUD for more information).

In my opinion, the best loan out there is the VA Home Loan.  If you’re VA eligible, it’s the way to go right now. An eligible vet can purchase a home with ZERO down provided they qualify for the loan (income to debt, credit score, work history, etc.).

There’s still time to take advantage of the tax credit. Let’s talk!

For more info about FHA loans, check out hud.gov.

News · Real Estate

Big Improvement to First-Time Buyer Tax Credit Proposed

According to the National Association of Realtors:

Shaun Donovan, secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, on Tuesday, May 12, 2009, said that the Federal Housing Administration is going to permit its lenders to allow home buyers to use the $8,000 tax credit as a down payment.

Previously, most buyers wouldn’t receive the funds until after they filed their tax return, and that deterred some people from using the credit. The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® has been calling for the change.

“We all want to enable FHA consumers to access the home buyer tax credit funds when they close on their home loans so that the cash can be used as a down payment,” Donovan says. His remarks came in an address to several thousand REALTORS® gathered Tuesday morning at “The Real Estate Summit: Advancing the U.S. Economy,” at the 2009 REALTORS® Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C..

He says FHA’s approved lenders will be permitted to “monetize” the tax credit through short-term bridge loans. This will allow eligible home buyers to access the funds immediately at the closing table.

More details are expected this week!  If you’d like more information about this program as it unfolds, contact me.

News

Home Sales Gain…

Market Moving Upward

CNN Reports Stocks Shoot Higher as Home Sales Gain:

Futures indicated a positive open for U.S. stocks on Monday helped by strong gains in Asia and anticipation that this week’s bank stress test results will be relatively benign.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/30558646/