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Friday, October 30, 2009

First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit Extension

Here is the latest on the First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit being extended. As of last night Senate has passed the bill to be extended until April 30th, 2010. This is a great beginning and is looking good but there are still a few more steps. We should know by next weekend. Here is what they are proposing...

-The Tax credit will be extended an extra year for our wonderful men and women who are serving our country over seas.
-For everyone else it will be extended until April 30th, 2010.
-The salary cap that was $75,000 before the credit started to phase out is being raised to $125,000 for single filers and $250,000 for joint filers.
-If you ALREADY OWN a home and have owned it for at least 5 yrs you can qualify for up to $6500 if you sell your house and buy another.

Here is a little more in depth info... Let me know when you are ready to buy or sell! Happy House Hunting!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Phillies Poem

From an E-mail I received...

ObviosLEE we don't have to CHASE the pennant any MOYER but we still have to figure out HOWARD going to bring another one home. We have to keep ROLLINS up the STAIRS because it's WERTH yelling with our hands in the EYRE and hanging off the LIDGE because it will all end in A VICTORINO in 2009. If they follow the MANUEL the PHILLIES fans will be HAPPy and we will RAUUUL.......Go Phillies!!!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Decorating for smaller spaces

A lot of people are downsizing these days, whether by choice or necessity. Having a smaller space presents decorating and design challenges, about which misconceptions abound. The number one misconception? That using white will make your space look larger. Not so, say experts. Another mistaken belief is that less and smaller furniture is the only option open to small-space owners. But decorating limited space is more about placement of furnishings and careful color usage.

Let's start with color. It may seem counterintuitive, but sharp, bright colors work best in smaller spaces, with plenty of negative space between. Experts also advise using splashes color in unexpected places like the insides of bookcases, windowsills and radiators. Try picking one wall in every room as your focal or accent wall and paint it a deeper color than the other three.

When it comes to the kitchen, you can afford to go very bold. One hot trend you've no doubt noticed is the deep red kitchen. Another room people tend to go neutral is the bathroom, but this is another place you can have fun with color.

Here are more tips to make the most of your small space:

1.Use mirrors. This isn't so you can check your hair whenever you want, it's to reflect light and create more depth. It really works. Hang mirrors opposite your windows. Hang groups of mirrors as you would groups of pictures.

2.If you have a studio apartment (meaning just one room), don't be afraid to paint different areas of the room different colors. Use screens, hanging fabric, even detached hanging windows to break up the space.

3.You probably have extremely limited storage space, so the best thing in the kitchen is to hang everything.

4.And speaking of storage, you want to think double duty. Use a trunk for an end table, putting your winter sweaters inside. Buy furniture, such as ottomans and tables, that have storage space inside. Put up plenty of shelving. Just be sure to arrange what goes on the shelves in a visually pleasing way.

5.Go ahead and display your collections. Have antique lunchboxes? Stack them on shelves. It will add color and fun to your space.

6.You must create negative space wherever you can in order to reduce a cluttered, claustrophobic feeling.

7.Use sheer window coverings to let in the light.

8.Most importantly, let your own personal style shine through regardless of how much space you have to work with. Let your space reflect who you are, and visitors won't even notice the size.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Down Payment Strategies

Got You Down?

For many Americans, "coming up" with a down-payment for their first home purchase can be a major roadblock -- and quite often the reason for renting, rather than owning, a home.

A "down-payment" is the difference between the home's purchase price and its mortgage amount. This percentage of the sale price must be paid up-front and can vary by lender, location, and loan program. A higher down-payment generally translates into lower loan interest rate requirements.

Typically, a down-payment comes from personal cash savings, but it can also be a gift that is not to be repaid, or a borrowed amount secured by assets.

While conventional loan down-payments may be close to 20% of the sale price, government loans typically have lower down-payment requirements. This allows potential homebuyers who normally cannot meet down-payment requirements an opportunity to qualify for a mortgage. Keep in mind that down-payments that are less than 20% of the sale price typically require mortgage insurance payments.

Down-Payment Assistance Programs

Fortunately, there are programs and organizations that can help you with your down-payment requirements:

Government Loan Programs - Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) may offer assistance in paying your up-front cash requirements. These programs can significantly reduce your down-payment requirements. You may also want to contact your local Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Builders to find out what local down-payment assistance programs are available.

State Housing Authorities - State agencies may offer down-payment assistance programs in your state.

Private Mortgage Insurance - Private insurance companies that offer you the opportunity to finance some of your down-payment requirements. This allows lenders to accept lower down-payments than they would normally allow.