Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Opportunity Knocks
Home Buyer Fair and Open Houses
Northshore Mall - Peabody MA
May 2, 2009, 10am-4pm

This Saturday, May 2, 2009, there is a Home Buyer Fair at the Northshore Mall in Peabody Massachusetts, along with open houses of affordable homes throughout the area. Geared toward first time home buyers, this fair is designed to give buyers the tools they need to purchase a home.
  • Learn why it's a great time to buy a home in Massachusetts.

  • Meet Lenders, REALTORS, and homebuyer counseling agencies. (Armstrong Field Real Estate will be there!)

  • Learn how to obtain affordable, fixed-rate loans with no hidden surprises with only 3% down.

  • Take advantage of the $8000 first time homebuyer tax credit (expires November 30, 2009)

  • Tour open houses of affordable homes.

For more information, go to: http://www.masshomefair.com/


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit a Hit!

$8000 Tax Credit is a Hit With First Time Home Buyers!

Preliminary figures from the Internal Revenue Service suggest that 1.4 million home buyers are taking advantage of the $8000 tax credit that the government is giving to people to purchase their first home, and claiming it on their 2008 tax return. It looks like the program will meet and most likely surpass the goal set by lawmakers of providing 2 million home buyers with the credit. The tax credit expires on November 30, 2009.

A first time buyer buyer is defined by the IRS as someone who has not owned a primary home in the last 3 years. Someone who owns a vacation home or income property may still qualify for the tax credit.

IRS Form 5405 will allow qualifying buyers to claim the credit on either their 2008 (through an amendment) or 2009 tax returns, so many people purchasing homes this year won't be claiming the credit until next year. The credit is equal to 10 percent of the purchase price of the home, and is capped at $8,000 for homes purchased this year.
On the North Shore of Massachusetts we are seeing a incredible increase in activity from home buyers, with properties under agreement up 32% over last month. The driving force is the bottoming of home prices combined with mortgage interest rates in the 4's and the fact that the $8000 tax incentive will be gone before you know it.

Smart home sellers are placing their properties on the market now, knowing that after November 30th most home buyers will have already made their purchase and will be living in their new home with their $8000 tax credit check in hand. If you have a home on the market after November 30, 2009 - Good Luck! It will be a tough sell unless you have a home that is not something that a first time home buyer would purchase. That would mean most properties priced above $400,000. The most active properties are those that are priced below $325,000.

Jim Armstrong

Thursday, April 02, 2009

First Time Home Buyers - Don't File Your 2008 Tax Return!

First Time Home Buyers -
Don't File Your 2008 Tax Return!

If you already did, don't fret. You can still amend it. I've been talking about the 1st time home buyer tax credit that the federal government is giving to 1st time home buyers that close by November 30. 2009. Well, did you know that you don't have to wait until you file your federal return in 2010 to receive this credit? That is why I am telling you to hold off on filing your 2008 federal tax return until after you buy a home. You can file an extension and receive another 6 months to look for your dream home - until October 15th! This only applies if you are due a refund. If you owe taxes to the IRS then, unfortunately, you still need to pay those by April 15th. But you can still get your Tax Credit quicker (see below)

Now if you haven't filed your 2008 tax return yet, and you buy a home by October 14th, you can file your taxes the next day and have that $8,000 check in your hands in 7-10 days! (along with any other refund due you) How many of you think that you will have some expenses after you buy your new home (repairs, updates & improvements, new furniture, etc.). All of you, I'm sure.

Now if you have already filed your tax return, don't worry. All that means is that you will have to wait a little longer for your tax credit check. When you close on a new home (using an Armstrong Field buyer agent, of course!) you can file an amendment to your tax return and have your check before your 2nd mortgage payment is due. The IRS is telling us that it is taking about 8-10 weeks to process amended tax returns. As we get closer to the November 30th deadline, you can bet that time is going to be longer.

The Massachusetts Association of REALTORS is predicting that come this summer that home buyers are going to be scrambling to find a home to take advantage of the tax credit. Remember, you must close by November 30, 2009 at the latest. If you close on December 1st - no $8,000! That means you need to have an accepted offer by October 15th at the latest. If something happens that delays the closing, it could jeopardize your tax credit. That's why we are recommending that you start seriously looking now.

The other reason to buy a home sooner rather than later is because of competition. Right now, while the market is getting busier, there is nowhere near the frenzy like there is going to be as we move toward the end of the summer and early fall. There are plenty of homes to choose from right now, and we can normally negotiate a price to quite a bit under the asking price. In the summer when the activity picks up and the properties on the market start receiving more homebuyer traffic, the sellers are going to be more choosy, and may hold out for a better offer.

For more information on the 2009 Home Buyer Tax Credit, go to:

Jim Armstrong
Armstrong Field Real Estate