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Indiana Real Estate Market Reports for October

by O'Neil & Company Realtors

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13 Reasons to Sell Your Home During the Holidays

by O'Neil & Company Realtors

This time of year there are always a number of myths and opinions about listing and selling your home during the holidays. We always receive a number of questions about selling during the holiday season. The fact of the matter is that it's not always that bad of an idea. In fact, here are our 13 Reasons to You Should Sell Your Home During the Holidays.

1.      There is less competition for buyers.

2.      Winter prospects are more serious buyers.

3.      Your home looks better during the holidays, decorated and festive and very "homelike."

4.      One of the highest percentages of "listings sold" to "listings taken" occurs during this time of year.

5.      Expanded Home Buyer Tax Credit, for First-Time Home Buyers and Existing Home Buyers (specified criteria applies as defined by law).

6.      You may receive more money for your home now because you have less competition.

7.      Throughout the holiday season, you may restrict showings during your personal family events.

8.      Buyers have more time to look at homes during the holidays, especially during vacations.

9.      January is traditionally the biggest transfer month and you must be on the market to capture that market.

10.  By selling now you can have a delayed closing or extended occupancy until the beginning of the following year if you want it.

11.  When you sell during the winter you have an opportunity to buy during the spring, when many homes are on the market.

12.  You may have fewer actual showings, but more qualified and motivated prospects.

13.  Corporate transfers, who need to buy a home now, can't wait until spring.

If you have questions about these or about selling your home during the holiday season, please call or email!

Homebuyer Tax Credit Extension

by O'Neil & Company Realtors

NAR Issue Brief Homebuyer Tax Credit


National Association of REALTORS® Government Affairs Division 500 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Washington DC, 20001

FEATURE Jan 1 – November 30, 2009 Rules as enacted February 2009 November 7 – April 30, 2010 Rules as enacted November 2009
First-time Buyer Amount of Credit $8000 ($4000 married filing separate) $8000 ($4000 married filing separate)
First-time Buyer Definition for Eligibility May not have had an interest in a principal residence for 3 years prior to purchase Same
Current Homeowner Amount of Credit No Provision $6500 ($3250 married filing separate)
Effective Date Current Owner No Provision November 7, 2009
Current Homeowner Definition for Eligibility No Provision Must have used the home sold or being sold as a principal residence consecutively for 5 of the previous 8 years
Termination of Credit Purchases after November 30, 2009. (Becomes April 30, 2010 on Date of Enactment.) Purchases after April 30, 2010
Binding Contract Rule None So long as a written binding contract to purchase is in effect on April 30, 2010, the purchaser will have until July 1, 2010 to close.
Income Limits (Note: Increased income limits are effective as of date of enactment of bill) $75,000 – single $150,000 – married Additional $20,000 phase out $125,000 – single $225,000 – married Additional $20,000 phase out
Limitation on Cost of Purchased Home None $800,000 November 7, 2009
Purchase by a Dependent No Provision Ineligible November 7, 2009
Anti-fraud Rule None Purchaser must attach documentation of purchase to tax return

Home Buyer Tax Credit Extension

by O'Neil & Company Realtors

The Wall Street Journa's Home Buyer Tax Extension Q&A:

The Obama administration blessed the proposed extension of the $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers on Thursday as the Senate neared a compromise that would extend the credit to more potential buyers.

Here’s a primer on who might be able to get the expanded credit, and what it might do for the housing market:

Who gets the credit, and how much can they claim? First-time home buyers are eligible for up to $8,000 on the tax credit, which is the same as the current credit. The Senate version of the bill creates a new credit of up to $6,500 for homeowners who have lived in their homes for five years. That provision would start on Dec. 1.

How long will it last? The tax credits would expire on April 30, 2010, but home buyers under contract by April 30 would be able to qualify as long as they complete the sale within 60 days. Keep in mind, this would be the third iteration of a home buyer tax credit that has been in place since mid-2008. Sen. Johnny Isakson, the Georgia Republican who has been a staunch advocate of the credit, promised that this would be the “last extension” of the credit, according to Dow Jones Newswires’ Corey Boles. “Tax credits like this only work by creating the sense of urgency to take advantage of it,” Sen. Isakson said.

Will the tax credit do anything for the high-end of the market? Probably not. The tax credit phases out for home buyers with incomes above $125,000 for single filers and $225,000 for married couples. Also, homes that cost more than $800,000 aren’t eligible for the credit. Overall, the tax credit is likely to generate only a modest further increase in home sales, says Tom Lawler, an independent economist in Leesburg, Va.  For many well-paid people, he says, it won’t make a big difference: “A household earning around $150,000 is likely to buy a home of $500,000 plus, so a $6,500 credit won’t be much of a factor in pushing such households off the fence.”

What other limits does the credit have? Toddlers are out of luck. Last week’s congressional hearings spotlighted concerns about misuse of the credit, including some 500 tax filers under age 18 who had claimed the credit.

So will the expanded tax credit help sales? That’s a point of debate among housing analysts and economists. Alec Phillips, economist at Goldman Sachs, notes that expanding the credit to people who already own homes doesn’t necessarily make a big dent in the supply of housing on the market. “If these ‘step-up’ buyers already own a home and sell it to finance the new one, that hasn’t reduced the amount of inventory for sale,” he says.

But Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s, thinks the extension is a big deal. Based on a preliminary analysis, he said it should mean at least 500,000 in additional sales, atop the 400,000 he estimates already have been generated by the tax credits (twice the Goldman estimate). “The tax credit is not a very efficient tax cut, but not extending it would do significant damage to the still fragile housing market,” Mr. Zandi said.

By WSJ Staff

NIck Timiraos and James R. Hagerty report:

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O'Neil & Company
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