Archive for the ‘General’ Category

$100M CA tax credit may last only weeks!

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I’m working with clients right now who this directly applies to. IF the tax credit is important to you, as a buyer, it’s that much more important to try to get in contract immediately. If there is not an extension, or new funds are not applied to the program, it may be too late already for some to take advantage.

Note: Applications for the California tax credit must be faxed to the FTB after escrow closes. So, with that said, if you enter into contract today & have a 30 day close, the money may be there. (4-15-10 contract date / 30-day close 5-14-10 / projected money depletion: 5-10-10 * 5-20-10)

Read more below…

The $100 million allocated for California’s first-time homebuyer tax credits may be depleted in about 10 to 20 days or sooner, according to C.A.R.’s Economics team.  California’s Franchise Tax Board (FTB) plans to begin accepting applications on May 1, 2010 for tax credits up to $10,000 for first-time homebuyers and for homes that have never been previously occupied.  However, the total tax credit allocation for all taxpayers is $100 million for first-time homebuyers and $100 million for new homes, both on a first-come, first-served basis.

C.A.R.’s forecast of 10 to 20 days to deplete the $100 million allocation for first-time home buyers is based on estimated May sales figures and other parameters.  It does not take into account the possibility that buyers scheduled to close escrow in April may delay closing until May to take advantage of the tax credit.  If a shift in closings from April to May occurs, the first-time homebuyer tax credits may be depleted even more quickly than indicated above.

Courtesy: C.A.R.

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NO MORE STATE TAX ON FORGIVEN DEBT !!!

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Senate Bill 401:

“Qualified principal residence” indebtedness is defined as debt incurred in acquiring, constructing, or substantially improving a principal residence. It includes both first and second trust deeds. It also includes a refinance loan to the extent the funds were used to payoff a previous loan that would have qualified.

The tax breaks apply to debts discharged from 2009 through 2012. Californians who have already filed their 2009 tax returns may claim the exemption by filing a Form 540X amendment.

Taxpayers who do not qualify for the above exemptions (e.g., second home or rental property) may nevertheless be exempt under other provisions. Most notably, taxpayers who are bankrupt are exempt from debt relief income tax. Also, taxpayers who are insolvent are exempt from debt relief income tax to the extent their current liabilities exceed current assets.

If you would like more info on this, please contact me. Thanks!

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Breaking News! Schwarzenegger signs homebuyer tax credit bill!

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This is a fantastic boon to first time homebuyers.  Some will be able to double dip!  It’s good until the end of the year (or up to the $100m allotment, which analysts say could be no more than 6mos!) and will keep our market moving when the federal tax credit expires April 30.

Good job Governor Schwarzenegger!

image courtesy SacBee

Schwarzenegger signs homebuyer tax credit bill

By JUDY LIN Associated Press Writer

Posted: 03/25/2010 03:35:52 PM PDT

Updated: 03/25/2010 05:20:08 PM PDT

SACRAMENTO, Calif.—Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Thursday signed a bill aimed at selling California’s vacant homes and encouraging new construction by extending a $10,000 state tax credit for first-time homebuyers.

The governor signed a bill the state Legislature passed on a bipartisan vote earlier this week. It provides a state tax credit to first-time homebuyers who buy new or existing homes from May 1 until the end of 2010.

Homebuyers can claim 5 percent of the purchase price against their California taxes, or up to $10,000.

To view the whole story: http://www.mercurynews.com/news/ci_14758523?source=email&nclick_check=1

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Pet Owner Sues Bank of America!

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A home owner in Gibsonia, Pa., about 15 miles north of Pittsburgh, has sued Bank of America because it sent a contractor to turn off the utilities in her home and secure the property because it erroneously believed she was in default.

In the process, the contractor took home owner Angela Iannelli’s 11-year-old Blue and Gold Macaw, Luke — a loss that she said caused her to worry so much that she had to take prescription medicine for anxiety.

Initially, Bank of America was not helpful in finding the lost parrot, and a bank representative allegedly hung up on Iannelli, telling her that they were “tired of hearing” from her.

Iannelli, who is suing for $50,000 in damages, was ultimately able to drive 80 miles to the contractor’s office and rescue the bird.

This week, Bank of America apologized for the incident.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, James R. Hagerty (03/11/2010)

Tips to improve your home’s energy efficiency

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Here are some easy ways to seal your home and make your rooms more comfortable

In unfinished areas of your basement, seal where the cement meets the wood frame at the top of the basement wall.
Seal around windows and door frames. You should use good caulk that will last a long time.
Weather strip doors and windows so they close tightly.
Seal with spray foam insulation around pipes and wires that pass into your home.
Sealing can’t do the job alone

Maximize your home’s energy efficiency by improving your insulation, moisture control and allowing proper ventilation. Balancing all these aspects of your home’s airflow will create a healthier home and pay for itself quickly, even in a newer home.

Improve the air flow and insulation of your home

The air flow in your home can be the single, most important factor affecting your energy costs, comfort and health. Of course weather factors change that rate, but while your home needs to have adequate ventilation to be healthy, significant, uncontrolled air leakage is the biggest energy waster and does not promote comfortable living.To make your home energy truly efficient while allowing it to ventilate at the proper level may require hiring an energy analyst. They will use particular diagnostic tools to assess your air leakage.

If you feel comfortable doing it yourself, you first need to find out where your home isn’t – but should be insulated, the type of insulation you have, the R-value and the depth of that insulation. Good places to check first are the garage, basement, crawlspaces and attics. You can inspect the exterior walls using an electrical outlet (refer to safety procedures and more details regarding this on a Web site such as www.Energy.gov).

If you have a newer home, the insulation may be found on the outside foundation or basement walls. You may have to contact the original builder to determine if this type of insulation was used.

If you decide you need to add insulation anywhere in your home, make sure you select the proper R-value and the type of insulation necessary. A further explanation of this can be found on www.Energy.gov. You can even use a calculator on this site to find out your payback period for adding insulation and the potential cost.

source: HWA

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