December 2009

Roundhouse Deli

December 28, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Where else can you go to be immortalized?!?

Not only does the Roundhouse Deli have great food and a comfy Old Roseville atmosphere, BUT they will also take your (kids)  picture and put it on their wall-of-history to be seen and remembered forever – something they’ve been doing for over 3 decades! It’s so fun to go into the Roundhouse Deli and see old pictures of people you know “back in the day.”  The Deli is family owned and operated and has a train theme, as it sits smack-dab across the street from train roundhouse/hub.  This is a great place to sit outside and check-out the trains.

Wishing you a Happy Holiday Season!

December 23, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

elves at primecal 2

HOT REAL ESTATE DEAL – Price drop from $345,000 to $199,900 (Roseville)

December 17, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Federal First Time Home Buyer & Repeat Buyer Tax Credit QUESTIONS & ANSWERS Explained

December 7, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

 About a month ago, Kyle and Kelly (my brothers) made the big jump into homeownership. They bought their house together, after experiencing Uncle Sam’s interest in their incomes as gainfully employed college graduates, in need of a tax write-off.  Shortly after closing their purchase, they started asking me:  “Hey Davey, how do we get that $8,000 tax credit from the government?”

I gave them the following information:

All new first time home buyer and repeat buyer Tax Credit are effective immediately. Closings occurring on or before April 2010 qualify for the new & improved first time home buyer and repeat buyer tax credit.

First Time Home Buyers

The $8,000 first time home buyer tax credit applies to home buyers that purchase homes at $80,000 or more. Anything less than $80,000, the tax credit that applies is 10% of the purchase price.

Repeat Buyers

  • There is NO PROVISION that stipulates that the Repeat Buyer must purchase a home more expensive than the one sold.
  • There is NO PROVISION that says the Repeat Buyer must sell the home before the new one close
  • Qualifying sale of existing principal residence must be any five-consecutive year period during the eight-year period that ended on the date the replacement home is purchased.

New Income Limits

  • For home purchases on or after November 6 2009, new income limits raised to Modified Adjusted Gross Income of $125,000 for a full refund and phase out adjustment up to $145,000 for single taxpayer.
  • Modified Adjusted Gross Income of $225,000 and phase out adjustment up to $245,000 for married taxpayers.

Purchase by a Dependent

There was no age limitation on the original bill and amended for the November Tax Credit. Taxpayer must be at least 18 years old to qualify for the credit. For married taxpayers, the taxpayer shall be treated as meeting the age requirement if the taxpayer or spouse meets the age requirement.

Repeat Buyers

There is no criteria that home buyers must “move up” in house. Only that they lived in the house for the past 5 out of 8 years as a primary residence. The new purchase price must not exceed $800,000.

For 2008 Purchases

For home purchases in 2008, the tax credit works as if it is a 15-year no-interest loan up to $7,5000. The total amount of tax credit equals 10% of home purchase price.

For 2009 Purchases

For home purchases in 2009, the tax credit is 10% of purchase price to a
maximum of $8,000. On or after November 6 2009, repeat buyers qualify also.

Tax credit:

  • Applies to taxpayer’s principal residence.
  • Reduces taxpayer’s tax bill, dollar for dollar.
  • Is fully refundable which means if the taxpayer is eligible and owes no
    tax, taxpayer will receive a full refund.

When to File For This Tax Credit

First time home buyers who purchase a home in 2009 can claim the tax credit on 2008 tax return by filing for an amended return or 2009 tax return. Credit may not be claimed before closing.

The credit is claimed using Form 5405 with an original or amended tax refund.

To file an amended tax return, use Form 1040X.


FEATURE Jan 1 – November 30, 2009
Rules as enacted February 2009
December 1 – April 30, 2010
Rules as enacted November 2009
First-time Buyer – Amount of Credit $8000 ($4000 married filing separate) $8000 ($4000 married filing separate)
First-time Buyer – Definition for Eligibility May not have had an interest in a principal residence for 3 years prior to purchase -Same-
Current Homeowner – Amount of Credit No Provision $6500 ($3250 married filing separate)
Effective Date – Current Owner No Provision Date of Enactment
Current Homeowner – Definition for Eligibility No Provision Must have used the home sold or being sold as a principal residence consecutively for 5 of the previous 8 years
Termination of Credit Purchases after November 30, 2009.(Becomes April 30, 2010 on Date of Enactment.) Purchases after April 30, 2010
Binding Contract Rule None Written binding contract to purchase is in effect on April 30, 2010, the purchaser will have until July 1, 2010 to close
Income Limits $75,000 – single, $150,000 – married, Additional $20,000 phase out $125,000 – single, $225,000 – married,
Additional $20,000 phase out
Limitation on Cost of Purchased Home None $800,000
Purchase by a Dependent No Provision Ineligible
Antifraud Rule None Purchaser must attach documentation of purchase to tax return

Law Professor: Walking Away From Mortgages Is The Only Way to Get Banks to Negotiate

December 1, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

We recently came across this blog post and found it to be very interesting. As real estate professionals however, we stress the importance of going through the proper steps before concluding that walking away from a mortgage is the  BEST option.  The preferred option would be a loan modification or short sale – which would be less detrimental to you and your credit and better serve your (neighborhood) community home values.

From John Amato’s virtual online magazine Crooks and Liars
By Susie Madrak Monday Nov 30, 2009 6:00am

I’ve been saying this all along to people: The only real obstacles are in your head. There’s no reason in the world to keep throwing good money after bad.

Banks won’t negotiate with borrowers until more people start to do this:

Go ahead. Break the chains. Stop paying on your mortgage if you owe more than the house is worth. And most important: Don’t feel guilty about it. Don’t think you’re doing something morally wrong.

That’s the incendiary core message of a new academic paper by Brent T. White, a University of Arizona law school professor, titled “Underwater and Not Walking Away: Shame, Fear and the Social Management of the Housing Crisis.”

White argues that far more of the estimated 15 million American homeowners who are underwater on their mortgages should stiff their lenders and take a hike.

Doing so, he suggests, could save some of them hundreds of thousands of dollars that they “have no reasonable prospect of recouping” in the years ahead. Plus the penalties are nowhere near as painful or long-lasting as they might assume.

“Homeowners should be walking away in droves,” according to White. “But they aren’t. And it’s not because the financial costs of foreclosure outweigh the benefits.” Sure, credit scores get whacked when you walk away, he acknowledges. But as long as you stay current with other creditors, “one can have a good credit rating again – meaning above 660 – within two years after a foreclosure.”

Better yet, you can default “strategically”: buy all the major items you’ll need for the next couple of years – a new car, even a new house – just before you pull the plug on your current mortgage lender.

“Most individuals should be able to plan in advance for a few years of limited credit,” says White, with minimal disruptions to their lifestyles.

What kind of law school professorial advice is this? Aren’t mortgages legal contracts? In an interview, White said that in so-called anti-deficiency states such as Arizona and California, mortgage lenders have limited or no legal rights to pursue defaulting homeowners’ assets beyond the house itself. In other states, lenders may decide it is not worth the legal expense to pursue walkaways, or consumers may be able to find flaws in the mortgage documents, disclosures or underwriting to challenge the original contract.

The main point, he says, is that too often people’s “emotions” get in the way of clear financial thinking about mortgages, turning them into what he calls “woodheads” – “individuals who choose not to act in their own self-interest.” Most owners are too worried about feelings of shame and embarrassment following a foreclosure, and ignore the powerful financial reasons for doing so.

Buttressing these emotions is a system that White labels “the social control of the housing crisis” – pressures and messages continually sent to consumers by the “social control agents,” namely banks, government and the media. The mantra these agents – all the way up to President Obama – pound into owners’ heads, says White, is that “voluntarily defaulting on a mortgage is immoral.”

Yet there is an inherent imbalance in the borrower-lender relationship which makes this morality message unfair to consumers: Banks set the rules during the housing boom, handing out home loans with no down payments, no income checks, and inflated appraisals. Now that property values have dropped 20 percent to 50 percent in many areas, banks have been slow to modify troubled mortgages and reluctant to reduce principal debts.

Only when homeowners cut through the emotional fog and default strategically in large numbers, White argues, will this inequitable situation be seriously addressed.