February 2009

There are 17 blog entries for February 2009.

There’s no doubt it is a buyer’s real estate market. As a result, Texas & Pacific Lofts is almost sold out of condo homes. T&P Lofts is now offering special-value pricing on select homes of the remaining inventory.  This means that downtown lofts are available at once-in-a-lifetime pricing. Now is the perfect time to own a piece of historic downtown, in a condo community, with almost every amenity imaginable, including an on-site tavern and grill.  Even the model units are for sale (furnished or unfurnished) with prices starting in the $140's. It also means, for the first time, many people may be able to buy a home of their own. This is the smart time to buy and take advantage of the benefits of owning a Texas & Pacific Loft. T&P is positioned…
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Could you or anyone you know use $8,000 FREE?

The 2009 First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit was just passed into law in February 2009. This credit is available for first time home buyers only who purchase and close on a home in 2009.  A first time home buyer is someone who has not owned a principal residence during the three year period prior to the purchase. So, you could actually have owned a home in the past and still qualify. You also must be a U.S. citizen and file your taxes... AND you don’t have to pay it back! (unless you sell the house within 3 years after you purchase it….)

Of course there is a bit of fine print. If you are single or head-of-household you can claim the full $8,000 credit if your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) is less than

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Dallas-area homes have become more affordable, report says

10:42 PM CST on Thursday, February 19, 2009

By STEVE BROWN / The Dallas Morning News
stevebrown@dallasnews.com

Falling home prices and mortgage rates have made Dallas-Fort Worth even more affordable for residential buyers.

At the end of 2008, more than 67 percent of the homes sold in the D-FW area were affordable for residents earning the area's median family income, according to a new report by the National Association of Home Builders.

That's the D-FW area's highest affordability ranking in four years.

By comparison, about 62 percent of U.S. homes sold in the final quarter of 2008 were considered affordable to U.S. families with a median income of $61,500, said the quarterly

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FORT WORTH — Installation of Avenue of Light artwork will begin on Feb. 24, 2009. Commissioned by Fort Worth Public Art, which promotes tourism and economic vitality through artistic design of public spaces, the sculptures are on Lancaster Avenue between Lamar and Main streets.

Avenue of Light is a series of six, towering stainless steel illuminated sculptures designed by artist Cliff Garten. The sculptures will bring a bold visual rhythm and elegance to the southern edge of downtown Fort Worth, and serve as a catalyst for future economic development along the corridor.

Inspired by the art deco architectural details found in the grand lobby of the Texas & Pacific Terminal on Lancaster facing the installation, Garten used many of the same shapes as

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The scammers are back!  Once again, property owners throughout California are being targeted by a number of private companies who are taking advantage of people during these tough economic times. 

These companies, with names and mailers designed to look like official governmental documents, are soliciting fees ranging from about $80.00 to more than $200.00 to file a homeowner's request for a review of their property’s assessed value for the current tax year, presumably to obtain a lower tax bill on a lower valuation.  While they usually prey on the elderly, immigrants and others who may be confused about how property taxes work, these companies are now sending mass mailers to most homes in California.  

These official looking mailers are usually

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Dallas-area homes have become more affordable, report says

10:42 PM CST on Thursday, February 19, 2009

By STEVE BROWN / The Dallas Morning News
stevebrown@dallasnews.com

Falling home prices and mortgage rates have made Dallas-Fort Worth even more affordable for residential buyers.

At the end of 2008, more than 67 percent of the homes sold in the D-FW area were affordable for residents earning the area's median family income, according to a new report by the National Association of Home Builders.

That's the D-FW area's highest affordability ranking in four years.

By comparison, about 62 percent of U.S. homes sold in the final quarter of 2008 were considered affordable to U.S. families with a median income of $61,500, said the quarterly

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FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYER TAX CREDIT 

As Modified in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

Major Modifications Shaded

February 2009

 

FEATURE

CREDIT AS CREATED JULY 2008

APPLIES TO ALL QUALIFIED PURCHASES ON OR AFTER APRIL 9, 2008

REVISED CREDIT –

EFFECTIVE FOR PURCHASES ON OR AFTER JANUARY 1, 2009 AND BEFORE DECEMBER 1, 2009

Amount of Credit

Lesser of 10 percent of cost of home or $7500

Maximum credit amount increased to $8000

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RATE UPDATE

Zero-points rates on conforming loans up to $417k and super-conforming loans up to $625,500 have improved to start this week as stocks have sold off and mortgage bonds have rallied—when bond prices rise in a rally, yields (or rates) drop. With the government participating in mortgage bond markets, lenders are pricing more conservatively than market levels might suggest because it’s harder than ever to predict which way markets will move. So we continue to see favorable terms on points: one point gets .625% to .875% lower in rate, so borrowers break even on a one-point buydown in 12-18 months. The new stimulus package raises super-conforming loan limits to $729k (more on this below). Jumbos 30yr fixed loans for SFR loans from $729k to $5m are

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 Saturday  ** February 21st ** Soulard **

St. Louis is proudly home to the second largest Mardi Gras celebration in the nation. Beginning in the Soulard neighborhood adjacent to downtown St. Louis some 30 years ago by bored, boozed up regulars at the former Hilary's bar when they decided to march to another establishment carrying all of the Mardi Gras accoutrements and parading down the street with 50 or so friends a piece. Before long hundreds of people were gathering each year at house parties in the Soulard neighborhood and joining in the annual midnight Mardi Gras parade.

St. Louis Mardi Gras
In the Soulard neighborhood
9th and Geyer, St. Louis, Missouri; Tel. 314.771.5110
www.mardigrasinc.com

Now the annual festival has become so large

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This Week in Mortgage Sports


$15K Tax Credit Confusion (Now $8K)
Tax Credit

The new stimulus package has been confusing at best.  The rumor mill is rampant as to whether or not it will include a tax credit for home buyers and “is it refundable”?  I don’t know what will pass, but I would love to see some form of this pass in an effort to bring more buyers off the side lines...Read More

For Common Questions on the Tax Credit, click here

 

 

What is Going on in Texas?

“Here in Texas, we pride ourselves on being different. Better.

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