Archive for June, 2010

Bill and Paula Braddy

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Amy, Jeff, and Miranda make a great team.  They listened to what we were looking for and worked hard to find the right match to our requirements.  They gave us great tips on judging the quality of construction, picking service providers, decorating tips, and navigated us through the process.  Amy and Jeff are very responsive and did a great job of keeping us informed throughout the process.  They are easy to be around and make a trying process as enjoyable as possible.

They’ll be invited to the housewarming and may even make the Christmas card list.

A very satisfied buyer!

Dealing With IRS Tax Credit Rejections

Friday, June 18th, 2010

Did you or someone you know file for first time home buyers tax credit?   The IRS has been rejecting first-time home buyer claims from anyone who shows a Form 1098 Mortgage Interest Expense in their prior year files.

In many cases, the applicants are entitled to the credit because their previous mortgage interest deduction is for a timeshare, mobile home, boat, or other recreational property.

If you know someone who is in this unfortunate position, here is some advice from Enrolled Agent Eva Rosenberg, who authors the Web site TaxMama.com.

• Respond to the IRS immediately and tell them why their rejection is wrong. Be prepared to prove that the mortgage the IRS is seeing isn’t on a personal residence. First-time home buyers are entitled to own other types of real estate and still get the home buyers credit, so provide proof that the previous mortgage was on something else.

• Send a letter explaining the situation and providing proof of a previous rental or other non-ownership living situation, including copies of rental contracts for the last three years, an old driver’s license showing that address, utility bills, etc.

• Anyone who is rejected after two attempts to explain the problem to the IRS should call the Taxpayers Advocate Service toll-free, (877) 777-4778, their Congressman, and their Senator, Rosenberg advises.

• Home buyers who believe the IRS may view their situation in this way should be proactive, providing proof that they are a first-time buyer when they initially file for the credit.

Source: TaxMama.com, Eva Rosenberg, EA (06/16/2010)

Surge in Pending Home Sales Continues

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

Pending home sales have risen for three consecutive months in Corpus Christi homes, reflecting the broad impact of the home buyer tax credit and favorable housing affordability conditions, according to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.

Corpus Christi Realtors state that the Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator, rose 6.0 percent to 110.9 based on contracts signed in April, from an upwardly revised 104.6 in March, and is 22.4 percent higher than April 2009 when it was 90.6. That follows gains of 7.1 percent in March and 8.3 percent in February.
Pending home sales are at the highest level since last October when the index reached 112.4 and first-time buyers were rushing to beat the initial deadline for the tax credit. The data reflects contracts and not closings, which usually occur with a lag time of one or two months.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said this second round of surging sales from the tax credit extension looks as strong as the original tax credit. “There were concerns that only a small pool of buyers were left to take advantage of the tax credit extension. But evidently the tax stimulus, combined with improved consumer confidence and low mortgage interest rates, are contributing to surging sales,” he said. “The housing market has to get back on its own feet and now appears to be in a good position to return to sustainable levels even without government stimulus, provided the economy continues to add jobs.”

NAR expects a net of 1 million additional jobs in the second half of this year and about 2 million in 2011.

“The home buyer tax credit brought close to 1 million additional buyers into the market, which is now helping the trade-up market and has significantly improved the inventory situation. This stabilized home prices more quickly and has preserved about $900 billion in home equity; in turn, that is keeping additional households from going underwater and risking foreclosure,” Yun said.

Pending Home Sales Index by region:

Northeast: jumped 29.5 percent to 97.9 in April and is 24.5 percent above a year ago.
Midwest: rose 4.1 percent to 104.2 and is 17.9 percent above April 2009.
South: slipped 0.6 percent to an index of 123.9, but is 31.3 percent higher than a year ago.
West: increased 7.5 percent to 107.9 and is 12.0 percent higher than April 2009.

“A big concern surfacing recently is insufficient time to close the deal at the settlement table. Under normal circumstances, two months would be enough time from contract signing to settlement date,” Yun said. “However, the recent housing cycle has brought long delays related to the short sales approval process by banks, and from ongoing appraisal issues.”

He added that there could be a sizable number of home buyers who responded to tax credit incentives, but may encounter problems meeting the settlement deadline by June 30. Because of these market challenges, NAR has asked Congress to provide flexibility on the deadline for closing.

Source: NAR

Richard and Pam Legvold

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

 We were relocating from Amsterdam to Corpus Christi and connected with Jeff and Amy Willis on our first house hunting trip.  We realized immediately that they had both the experience and knowledge to handle a relocating buyer.  Their professionalism and prompt service became a valuable asset to us in our move.  They went the extra mile in showing us the city of Corpus Christi and then the benefits of living in each area.  With their help we found the perfect home and they have continued to help us even after the close.  We would recommend Jeff and Amy to anyone.

Kevin and Michelle Wilson

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Being a Military family, we were relocating out of the country and needed to sell out home in a hurry.  Amy Willis and Associates prepared a comprehensive market analysis and worked closely with us to stage our home properly.  They implemented a complete marketing plan, and we had a contract on the home in 18 days.  I highly recommend Amy Willis and Associates.