Rose Hart's OutSide
Housing Market Update, The OutSide's InSight

It's hard to keep up with the daily financial updates on the housing and mortgage markets and all the various federal, state, county and city efforts to restore the housing market to health. All forecasting surveys are reporting record-breaking results; in foreclosures, losses and lows. Home prices, housing construction starts and the inventory of existing homes have been dismal news, until now...

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Don't Miss Out On What's New!!
Spring typically heralds a surge in housing purchases. This year, the $8,000 Stimulus seems to be working as intended; because buyers are out and using the incentive. For example: If you are a first time home buyer or
anyone who hasn't owned a home in the last 3 years then you qualify for the $8,000 Stimulus. This money can be immediately applied for after closing, and you have to close on the property by Dec. 1st, 2009. For further information please call me or click here. In addition to this federal Stimulus there are local incentives:

St. Louis Park's "Live Where You Work" incentive offers $2500 to people who work in St. Louis Park to buy a home there. St Louis Park also offers an additional $1000 grant to qualified buyers of foreclosed properties. (See http://www.stlouispark.org/housing_authority.htm for details.)

Housing incentives in the City of Minneapolis are primarily through the Community Planning and Economic Development department, the administrator of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program. Incentives include: The Minneapolis Advantage loan program, providing downpayment and closing cost assistance to buyers purchasing homes in key neighborhoods that have experienced mortgage foreclosures; The City Living Program, providing mortgage financing and assistance to help low- and moderate-income buyers purchase homes safely; HOW, The Home Ownership Works Program, using federal funds to provide homeownership opportunities for first-time homebuyers. (For more info see: http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/cped/housing-development.asp)

Bloomington's FHIP (Foreclosed Home Improvement Program) offers $20,000 loans at low interest rates to buyers or owners of foreclosed properties. Residing in the home for five years or more forgives half the loan amount. (Click for more info: http://www.ci.bloomington.mn.us/cityhall/commiss/hra/fhip/fhip.htm)

Underwater Mortgage Loan Modifications
New loan modification programs may help those owners who are underwater. The qualifications are complex and seeking expert advice is recommended.

The Best-Guess InSight Trend Analysis
The downward trend of home prices has been slowing, the foreclosure inventory is clearing from the market with first-time buyer incentives, March of 2009 new construction starts were among the lowest ever recorded, and lenders are reducing prices on foreclosed properties to get them off their books. The stalling of new home construction will put pressure on existing home sales and prices may begin to stabilize or trend upward in some areas after the spring buy-off of existing homes. The best news though, is that mortgages are again available to qualified buyers.

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A Review of the Federal Mortgage Tax Credit

Amount of Credit:
10 percent of the cost of the home or $8,000 whichever is less.

Effective Dates for the Tax Credit:
First-time home buyers would receive up to a $8,000 tax credit for the purchase of any home on or after January 1, 2009 and before December 1, 2009. To qualify, you must actually close on the sale of the home during this period.

Tax Credit is Refundable:
A refundable credit means that if you pay less than $8,000 in federal income taxes, then the government will write you a check for the difference.
For example, if you owe $5,000 in federal income taxes, you would pay nothing to the IRS and receive a $3,000 payment from the government.
If you are due to receive a $1,000 tax refund from the government, your refund would grow to $9,000 ($1,000 plus $8,000 from the home buyer tax credit).
Buyers can take the tax credit on their 2009 tax refund.
If you buy in 2009, you have the option of taking the credit on your 2008 or your 2009 tax returns.

Types of Homes that Qualify for the Tax Credit:
All homes, whether single-family, town homes or condominiums will qualify, provided that the home will be used as a principal residence and the buyer has not owned a home in the prior three years.

Payback Provisions:
No repayment for purchases on or after January 1, 2009 and before December 1, 2009.

Don't miss this opportunity, forward this important information to your friends and family.
Please contact me if you have further questions: Rose Hart, Realtor 612-250-0119
rhart@cbburnet.com

Please be aware that we are not tax professionals and this is not meant to be legal advice. Because tax laws are constantly changing, please contact your tax consultant regarding how or if this credit affects your tax status.