Posts Tagged ‘Boulder Real Estate’

Facing Foreclosure? Know Your Deductions and Credits

 Facing Foreclosure? Know Your Deductions and Credits

 According to NPR, more than half the nation saw a spike in foreclosures last month. With more and more homeowners facing foreclosures, experts at The Tax Institute at H&R Block offer the following information on credits and deductions, which can provide assistance to individuals prior to and after this unfortunate circumstance.

• Mortgage Debt Forgiveness: homeowners who experienced foreclosure on their primary home may be able to exclude the amount of canceled debt from their taxable income if they meet specific criteria.

• Mortgage Interest Deduction: taxpayers are eligible to deduct qualified mortgage interest on their main home and a second home if they itemize deductions on Schedule A.

o They must be legally liable for repayment of the loan to deduct the loan interest.

o For 2011 filings, taxpayers who could not pay at least 20 percent of their down payment may have been required by their lender to pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI). If the taxpayer qualifies, the PMI may be deductible as mortgage interest.

• Real Estate Taxes: homeowners are able to deduct real estate taxes separately from mortgage interest on Schedule A and from property taxes.

• Non-Business Energy Property Credit: taxpayers may claim energy-efficiency credits for up to 10 percent of the cost of various home energy-efficiency improvements.

• Residential Energy Efficient Property Credit: a nonrefundable personal credit is available for property used to produce energy in a personal residence located in the US .

o The credit is also available for wind energy property and geothermal pumps.

o Real estate taxes must be based on the home’s value and assessed at least annually.

Article printed from RISMedia: http://rismedia.com

 

Joel Thompson RE/MAX Alliance

joelathompson@hotmail.com 303-877-0060

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Survey Finds Women and Men Make Home-Buying Decisions with Head and Heart

Survey Finds Women and Men Make Home-Buying Decisions with Head and Heart

 Square-footage and price are important elements to consider when selecting a home but according to a new survey from Coldwell Banker Real Estate of 1,000 men and women, they both also rely on how they feel and how their lifestyle fits into a home when looking for a place to live. The survey found 28 percent of women and 25 percent of men put more emphasis on their feelings about a home than they do on the layout, square footage, or price. The majority of women (62 percent) and men (61 percent) also know within the first visit if the home is right for them.

“A home is more than square-footage and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and this survey shows just how much emotion can play a role in home buying process,” says Jessica Edwards, Coldwell Banker Real Estate consumer specialist. “When two people are looking for a home together, there are many considerations to take into account. Of course, price and layout matter, but ‘feeling at home’ is an important factor.”

The survey also reveals insights into the roles men and women play at home and finds some interesting differences between age groups.

Women Take Charge of Making a House a Home:

Over half of women (54 percent) say that they take the lead when it comes to decorating.

However, younger men play a larger role in décor decisions than their older counterparts. Forty-eight (48) percent of younger respondents, age 18-44, say decorating is mutual; this decreases to 36 percent for respondents 55 and over.

Women also cook it up in the kitchen. Sixty-eight (68) percent of women say they are the “primary chef” for their household.

Not to be outdone, some men are also putting on the apron—occasionally. Nearly a quarter of men (23 percent) say cooking is their job.

Age Changes How Men and Women Feel “At Home”

Sharing financial decisions may get easier over time. Fifty-four (54) percent of people age 18-44 say major financial decisions are mutual, compared to 60 percent of those 45-54. This increases to 70 percent for people 55 and over.

Interestingly, as age increases, so does contentment with the current status of the home. Almost half (45 percent) of those older than 55 say they are very happy with their home just the way it is, compared to 25 percent of those age 18-44.

More men seem to be focused on making significant changes to the home (9 percent) compared to women (5 percent).

For couples entering the home-buying process, here are Edwards’ tips for harmonious house-hunting:

• Each person should come up with a list of a few things that are most important and then come together as a couple to decide on a list of the top three to five things that are important for the home.

• When looking for a home, communication is key. Consider designating a point person for different aspects of the home-buying process, so that information is not delayed or communicated to just one part of the couple.

• Don’t get too many people involved; typically more people means more stress and what is most important is that the couple is happy with the decisions being made.

• Don’t forget to have fun! Remember that this home will be the place to build memories and a life together.

 

Joel Thompson RE/MAXAlliance

joelathompson@hotmail.com 303-877-0060

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Boulder Area Markets Continue Rebound

Boulder area Market Correction- Numbers are better than we thought

Boulder Area Markets Continue Rebound

March 2012 single family home sales in Boulder area markets improved significantly from February 2012; 270 compared to 172 respectively, up 57%. When compared to the 212 single family home sales in March 2011 there is a strong 27% increase. Condo and Townhome sales improved in March 2012 over February 2012 by more than 42%, 88 units versus 62. And, when compared to March 2011’s 75 units sold, March 2012 saw a 17% increase in units sold. Go to http://www.baraonline.com/sites/bara/files/statistics/March12stats.pdf to view stats.  http://www.baraonline.com/sites/bara/files/statistics/March12PricePoints.pdf to view sales by price point.

Joel Thompson RE/MAXAlliance

joelathompson@hotmail.com 303-877-0060

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February Home Price Index Reports Month-Over-Month Increase

February Home Price Index Reports Month-Over-Month Increase

Excluding distressed sales, month-over-month home prices increased 0.7 percent in February from January, according to CoreLogic®, a provider of information, analytics and business services. The company’s February Home Price Index (HPI) also showed that year-over-year prices declined by 0.8 percent in February 2012 compared to February 2011. Distressed sales include short sales and real estate owned (REO) transactions.

Additionally, the report shows national home prices, including distressed sales, declined on a year-over-year basis by 2.0 percent in February 2012 and by 0.8 percent compared to January 2012, the seventh consecutive monthly decline.

“House prices, based on data through February, continue to decline, but at a decreasing rate. The deceleration in the pace of decline is a first step toward ultimately growing again,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. “Excluding distressed sales, we already see modest price appreciation month over month in January and February.”

“The continued strength of sales activity and tightening inventories in many markets are early and hopeful signs that prices will continue to stabilize and improve in the coming months. In fact, non-distressed home sale prices, which represent two-thirds of all sales, have appreciated by just over 1.0 percent since the beginning of the year,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic.

Highlights as of February 2012
-Including distressed sales, the five states with the highest appreciation were: West Virginia (+8.6 percent), Michigan (+5.8 percent), Florida (+4.7 percent), Arizona (+4.5 percent) and South Dakota (+4.1 percent).

-Including distressed sales, the five states with the greatest depreciation were: Delaware (-11.2 percent), Connecticut (-7.9 percent), Rhode Island (-7.8 percent), Illinois (-7.1 percent) and Georgia (-6.6 percent).

-Excluding distressed sales, the five states with the highest appreciation were: South Dakota (+5.9 percent), West Virginia (+5.6 percent), Maine (+4.5 percent), Utah (+3.7 percent) and Montana (+3.6 percent).

-Excluding distressed sales, the five states with the greatest depreciation were: Delaware (-8.7 percent), Connecticut (-4.9 percent), Nevada (-4.6 percent), Vermont (-4.0 percent) and Minnesota (-3.3 percent).

-Including distressed transactions, the peak-to-current change in the national HPI (from April 2006 to February 2012) was -34.4 percent. Excluding distressed transactions, the peak-to-current change in the HPI for the same period was -24.6 percent.

-The five states with the largest peak-to-current declines including distressed transactions are Nevada (-60.2 percent), Arizona (-49.8 percent), Florida (-48.6 percent), Michigan (-44.0 percent) and California (-43.7 percent).

-Of the top 100 Core Based Statistical Areas (CBSAs) measured by population, 67 are showing year-over-year declines in February, nine fewer than in January.

For more information, please visit www.corelogic.com

Joel Thompson 303-877-0060 joelathompson@hotmail.com

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Housing Affordability Index Hits Record High

 Housing affordability conditions have reached the highest level since recordkeeping began in 1970, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.

NAR’s Housing Affordability Index rose to a record high 206.1 in January, based on the relationship between median home price, median family income and average mortgage interest rate. The higher the index, the greater the household purchasing power.

An index of 100 is defined as the point where a median-income household has exactly enough income to qualify for the purchase of a median-priced existing single-family home, assuming a 20 percent downpayment and 25 percent of gross income devoted to mortgage principal and interest payments. For first-time buyers making small downpayments, the affordability levels are relatively lower.

NAR President Moe Veissi, broker-owner of Veissi & Associates Inc., in Miami, says this latest data underscores buyer opportunities in today’s market. “This is the first time the housing affordability index has broken the two hundred mark, meaning the typical family has roughly double the income needed to purchase a median-priced home,” he said. “For buyers who can qualify for a mortgage, now is a very good time to become a homeowner.”

NAR projects the affordability index for all of 2012 will be at an annual high, with little movement in mortgage interest rates or home prices during the year. “Housing inventory levels have declined to a point where conditions are becoming much more balanced in much of the country,” Veissi said. “If access to credit improves, we could see a much more meaningful increase in home sales and broader stabilization in home prices with modest gains in areas with stronger job growth.”

For more information, visit www.realtor.org

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Joel Thompson, RE/MAX Alliance 303-877-0060

joelathompson@hotmail.com