Real Estate

New Real Estate Tax Fact or Fiction?

Have you heard the rumor that a new real estate sales tax was created to help fund the health care plan targeting high wage earners?

Turns out this rumor has just enough truth in it to create chaos. Reality is the majority of people won’t be effected by it, including some high wage earners.

The new “Medicare tax” will affect real estate sellers who would already be taxed on capital gains under current tax laws. It adds to the current capital gains tax IF your adjusted gross income is over $200,000 / $250,000 (filing individually or jointly). If you sell your primary residence, you still have your existing capital gains tax exemption. (So far they haven’t taken that away from us.) For those selling second homes and investment properties, the tax will only be applied to the amount of gain realized.

Click here to read The National Association of Realtors FAQ on this rumor.

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Buyers · dream · Real Estate

Dreaming of Home Ownership?

I’ve heard several media reports that right now it is better to rent than to own in many areas, including the Pacific NW.

I struggle with this information for the following reasons…

  • Interest rates are LOW right now. Why risk rates going up in the future?
  • Home prices are low. If you have time to play the short sale waiting game, there are some excellent short sale deals on the market right NOW!
  • Rent is not fixed. Rent may be low today, but remember a landlord CAN increase your rent in the future.

Ask yourself…

  1. Who really benefits when investors buy up all the short sales?
  2. Have you considered the fact that overall home prices go up when investors buy, fix and sell homes for a profit?
  3. Why should I let investors buy houses at a low price so they can turn around and rent them to me for a profit?

If you’re worried about unexpected home repairs that come with home ownership vs. the convenience of calling a landlord to fix things, consider buying a Home Warranty when you purchase your home. A Home Warranty typically covers systems (heating, plumbing, electrical) and appliances within a home. Structural issues (walls, floors, windows, roof) typically are not covered with a Home Warranty.

Don’t let investors buy your dream home!

Remember, there are tax advantages to home ownership for the owner occupied buyer (you) and the investor.

I recommend investing in your own dream home NOW!

Contrary to what many believe, home ARE selling fast. Start shopping the home market today…

Start DREAMING Today!

Buyers · Real Estate · Selling Real Estate · Statistics

May Market Stats…

The housing inventory (homes for sale) is currently at 6.6 months, which matches April’s housing inventory. The peak of our inventory was 18.6 months back in Feb 2009. Inventory is calculated by dividing the active listings at the end of the month by the number of closed sales for that month.

The average home sale price is down 3% and the median sale price is down 5.4%. Not bad when compared to other parts of the country.

The time it takes to sell a home is down 36.1% compared to May, 2009 stats.  This lower number could have something to do with the first time home buyer tax credit that recently expired on April 30, 2010.  Total market time to sell a home for 2010 is down 19.7% from 2009 statistics.

Interest rates are still incredibly low. If you’re considering  selling your home in the near future and you price your house right, the chances of it selling are high. If you want to buy a home, I highly recommend you talk to a lender first to verify you qualify. Once you’re pre-qualified, start watching the market.

These residential statistics are based on monthly figures reported by RMLS™ of which I am a member.

Economy · Real Estate

Thinking of Moving your Business?

Ever wonder where the best place is to have your business? Consider moving your business to Vancouver, WA!

Check out Forbes special report dated Sep. 23, 2009. Below are the top 10 states reported by Forbes.

#1 Virginia
#2 Washington!!! Consider Commercial Business Opportunities in Clark County, WA!
#3 Utah
#4 Colorado
#5 North Carolina
#6 Georgia
#7 North Dakota
#8 Texas
#9 Nebraska
#10 Oregon

Buyers · Real Estate

Expanding my Territory…

Just launched a new website created for buyers searching the MLS for property in SW Washington. It’s called VancouverWAhomes-ClarkCountyRealEstate.com. This website is a portal to my FREE property search feature. Unlike other sites out there, my site does not require a shopper to initially create an account to use my property search feature. This allows customers time to test my site to determine if they like it.

Non-account search features include:

  • Ability to search based on your personal criteria
  • Share information via social media like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc.
  • Request more information
  • Schedule a showing
  • Map location

After viewing 500 detail pages a customer will be required to create an account. I figure if a customer is looking that hard, they might as well create an account.

Creating an account offers the following features:

  • Save custom searches
  • Save unlimited properties to compare or show others
  • Free customized email updates (only receive the information you want)
  • Organizational tools
  • Private and password protected

You’re invited to check out my site and let me know what you think of it.  VancouverWAhomes-ClarkCountyRealEstate.com

Mortgage · Real Estate

What you may not know about the VA Loan…

The VA home loan is set up so a vet can purchase a home for $0 down. This is possible because VA will allow a vet to get a 100% loan, guaranteed by the government, and will not allow a vet to pay buyer fees. VA loans typically offer veterans excellent interest rates which are often offset by a lender by charging discount points.

What are discount points?
The discount points are prepaid interest that has to be paid to make up for the difference between the FHA/VA rate and the current rate charged on conventional loans. These points cannot be added to loan amount to be paid the vet. Discount points must be paid by the seller or the lender.

Who pays the discount points? Continue reading “What you may not know about the VA Loan…”

Home Repair · Real Estate

Potential Garage Door Security Issue?

Do you use one of those handy garage door opener key pad codes to open your garage?  They are pretty popular these days. Families often use them to let themselves into the house without a key. Pretty handy, but do you ever clean the buttons?

Problem: Over time, the buttons you use for your code will appear cleaner or dirtier than the ones you don’t use. This could give a criminal a clue as to what numbers you use for your code making the odds of guessing your code easier.

Solutions: Periodically inspect your key pad and clean off your key pad when needed, so the dirt doesn’t give away your door code.

Refer to the garage door opener’s owners manual to find out what products are recommended for cleaning.