Categoriesinfo for buyers

Homebuyer Credit FAQ’s

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the changes to the Homebuyer Tax Credit:

Question: Existing homeowner credit: Must the new house cost more than the old house?
Answer: No. For example, individuals who downsize or move from a high cost area to a lower cost area who meet all eligibility requirements will qualify for the $6500 credit.

Question: I am an existing homeowner. On October 25, 2009, I signed a contract to purchase a new home. I have lived in my current home for more than 5 consecutive years and am within the new income limits. I closed on November 20th. Since President Obama signed the bill before I closed, will I qualify for the new $6500 tax credit?
Answer: Yes. The new income limitations went into effect as soon as the President signed the bill.  The income limit and other eligibility rules will look to your status as of the date of purchase, which is the closing date.  Since the new rules were signed prior to your closing, you should be eligible for the credit (or a portion of the credit if you’re within the phaseout range.)

Question: I am a first-time home-buyer but was not within the prior income limits at the time I entered into my contract to purchase on October 30, 2009. I will be covered, however, by the new income limits. Will I be eligible for a credit?
Answer: Yes. The new income limitations went into effect as soon as the President has signed the bill.  The income limit and other eligibility rules will look to your status as of the date of purchase, which is the closing date. So you should be eligible for the credit (or a portion of the credit if you’re within the phaseout range).

Question: I am an eligible existing homeowner. I have a fair amount of equity in my home. I have found a home with a nonnegotiable price of $825,000. Will I be able to use any of the $6500 tax credit?
Answer: No. The $800,000 cap on the cost of the purchased home is firm at $800,000. Any amount above $800,000 makes the home ineligible for any portion of the credit. The $800,000 is an absolute ceiling.

Question: I owned my home for 10 years, but sold it two years ago year and have been renting since. If I purchase a home, will I be eligible for the $6500 tax credit if I meet all the other eligibility tests?
Answer: Yes. Because you lived in the home for more than 5 consecutive years of the previous 8, you will qualify for the $6500 credit. For example, John and his wife bought a home in 2000 and lived there until 2008 when he got a divorce. Whether John has been renting or bought in the interim, he WOULD INDEED be eligible for the credit because he owned a home and occupied it as his principal residence for 5 consecutive years out of the last 8 years. The keyword here is “consecutive.” As long as he lived in that house for 5 years straight what he did in the last 3 years doesn’t impact eligibility.

Question: I am an eligible first-time home-buyer. I entered into a contract to purchase on November 1, 2009. Do I have to go to closing before December 1? How does the extension date affect me?
Answer: You do not have to close before December 1. Once the legislation was signed, it made it as if the Nov 30 date had never existed. Therefore, so long as the contract closes before July 1, the purchaser will be eligible for the credit.

Categoriesinfo for home owners, referrals

Color: Reinvent Your Space

The nights are longer; the days are darker; the wind and rain make coming home a welcome idea.  But as you open the door to go inside, maybe your home isn’t as welcoming as you’d like it to be; it’s dark, uninspired and even, boring.  If this rings true for you, maybe it’s time to think about purposefully utilizing the power of color in your home.

Color can make a home happier, more inviting, cozier or more spacious.  It can also make it more dramatic and brighter.  Color instantly influences one’s mood, suggests a “feeling”, changes the perception of space and the quality of light.  Color is one of the biggest (and most economical ways) of transforming the look and feel of a home.

When determining the appropriate colors for any space, your lifestyle, personalities, furnishings as well as the availability of natural light a space receives should be carefully considered.  We know how important color decisions are for enhancing interior spaces, and also know that it’s easy to “miss.”  This week we’ve been inspired by Renee Marquardt’s expertise as an interior designer and her focus this time of year on transforming your space through color.  Renee is offering our clients a color consultation for $150 (a $200 value), and we highly recommend you consider calling on her if you are craving a new look and feel for a space in your home.  The assistance of an interior designer who can fine tune the color selections with all of your specific elements in mind is invaluable.

Renee also offers a wide range of services, including help with re-arranging your rooms with the furniture you have up to full service interior design.  With confidence, we refer Renee and Marquardt Interior Design, and feel free to call us to discuss any questions you have.

For further information on color consultation, please contact Renee Marquardt with Marquardt Interior Design at 206.491.9605 or [email protected]

Warm regards,

Windermere Real Estate

Categoriesfinancing, info for buyers, Windermere

Windermere’s New Bridge Loan

Opportunities for “move up” buyers are plentiful in the current market. Unfortunately, many homeowners aren’t able to capitalize because it has become harder to access home equity for down payments. Windermere is attempting to address this issue by offering its own stimulus package~short-term, no interest loans to existing homeowners looking to purchase a new home. Windermere clients have access to an interest free “bridge loan” that allows them to borrow a portion of their equity in their current home as a down payment on the purchase of a new home for up to six months. The result: buyers can make a non-contingent offer without dipping into their own cash reserves.

To create this interest-free program, Windermere partnered with Vintage Loans, LLC and is underwriting the costs of this program. “The federal tax credit has helped thousands of first-time buyers purchase a home,” said Jill Wood, President of Windermere Real Estate. “We want to offer a helping hand so second, third and fourth time homebuyers can buy homes as well.”

The Buy Now * Sell Later Loan is open to property owners in Western Washington to use as a down payment on the purchase of a primary residence. The maximum loan amount is $100,000 for six months or $200,000 for 3 months. There is no origination charge, no interest on the loan and no monthly payment required. The loan is due in full when the borrower’s home sells, or when the loan term ends, whichever comes first. Here is a recent article from the Seattle Times regarding the program.

The limitations of this program lie in that the total of all debt secured by the collateral property, including the bridge loan, may not exceed 65% of the collateral property’s current fair market value. The home buyers able to utilize this program must have a good chunk of equity in their current home, and therefore many of our clients may not qualify.

If you have any questions about this new Windermere loan, or if you’d like to discuss the prospect of “moving up” in home in the future, please just give us a call 🙂

Warm regards,
Windermere Real Estate