More Programs Hit The Block For First Time Buyers

Norton Working to Bring Back First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit

Buying your first house in D.C. can be a daunting and expensive undertaking. In the past, there was a $5,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit that made the purchase worth it, but it expired in December 2011. Now D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton is working to reinstate it, reported UrbanTurf yesterday:

However, first-timers can still hold out hope. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton is working towards getting the credit re-instated, her press secretary Scott McCrary told UrbanTurf. While there is no timeline in place, the Congresswoman’s intention should be hopeful to future buyers.

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New tax credit created for first-time home-buyers

Iowa Finance Authority Director Dave Jamison

Iowa Finance Authority Director Dave Jamison

The Iowa Finance Authority is offering a new tax credit for new homeowners who fall under limits on annual income and the purchase price of their home. Iowa Finance Authority director Dave Jamison says it’s a credit linked to the mortgage interest new homeowners are paying.

“Yet another way that Iowans who meet our program guidelines can experience the many benefits of home ownership,” Jamison says.

Jamison’s agency was created in 1977 to help provide down-payment assistance to first-time homebuyers. With today’s incredibly low-interest rates, however, there’s been less demand for assistance. Jamison used untapped Iowa Finance Authority funds to create these “Mortgage Credit Certificates.”

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First Time Home Buyer Directory Features a Wealth of Programs and Incentives

Boston, MA — (SBWIRE) — 01/21/2013 — First time home buyer programs remain available in most states, despite the problems caused by the subprime mortgage crisis, housing price decline, record number of foreclosures, and fiscal cliff belt-tightening of late. Jennifer Cribsly, a successful real estate investor and creator of the site first time home buyer, is a first time home buying expert who discusses how individuals, couples and families can tap into thousands of dollars of assistance available through various grants, down payment programs, and other state and local first time home buyer incentives.

Her website features a state directory of all the programs available in each state, right down to the local level. Besides statewide programs, many cities and counties have additional programs above and beyond those offered by state agencies. The directory is very user friendly, easy to navigate, and registration is not required.

Programs and grants available to prospective home owners are arranged by state and include full contact details, program descriptions, dollar amount of assistance available to each buyer, and hyperlinks to application pages. Everything that the first time home buyer needs in order to tap into both public and private funding sources is provided in a comprehensive manner.

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First time home buyers have brighter days to look forward to as more and more states, counties and cities allocate funds for first time buyer incentives. Armed with public assistance for down payments and closing costs, first time buyers remains the most active segment of the housing market.


Maryland Real Estate Market Heating Up

Work starting on Columbia mall expansion

Maryland Real Estate

Maryland Real Estate

Work on a 40,000-square-foot expansion of The Mall in Columbia will begin Tuesday morning.

The project includes redevelopment of 30,000 square feet of existing retail space. When it’s all completed, it will feature a 70,000-square-foot open-air “lifestyle center” much like an old-fashioned Main Street.

The 1.6 million-square-foot mall first opened in 1971 as one of the centerpieces of James Rouse’s visionary new community in Howard County. General Growth Properties bought the mall from the Rouse Co. in 2004.

Since then, it has continued to evolve with the addition of new stores and restaurants. But the massive expansion is the first major redevelopment since it opened. The biggest change will be demolition of the massive L.L. Bean store there along with some parking spaces to make way for the new, outdoor-based public gathering and retail space.

Howard County Executive Ken Ulman and members of the County Council will be present for the groundbreaking set to begin at 9 a.m. on the second level where J. Crew once sold its trendy togs.

CBRE announced this week that it had recently brokered the $13.5 million sale of a Class A industrial property at 1021 Swan Creek Dr. in Curtis Bay.

The property was sold by Swan Creek 5R LLC to Hartz Mountain Industries. It is leased by Nissan North America, MD.

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D.C., Maryland And Virginia Real Estate: Retreats, Escapes And Other Peaceful Properties

Video, DC Real Estate, DC Vacation Homes, Maryland Skiing, Maryland Real Estate, Maryland Vacation Homes, Virginia Real Estate, Virginia Vacation Homes, Log Cabins, DC News

WASHINGTON — You’d probably feel a lot more relaxed right now if you could get away from it all.

Really, really far away from it all, like all the way to a seven-bedroom lodge right on a Maryland ski slope. Or a five-bedroom house built in the 1700s that sits on 180 acres in rural Virginia. Or a two-bedroom log cabin on a creek in West Virginia.

We’ve got plenty of properties in this week’s real estate slideshow for those who like their seclusion a little closer to the nation’s capital, as well. Be sure to check out the enormous condo on the Potomac with an indoor/outdoor fireplace — it goes from the living room to the patio — and the striking contemporary with its own private boat dock on Lake Barcroft, where your only concerns will be enjoying your surroundings and avoiding rabid beavers.

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Real estate business picking up in Ocean City as inventory of unsold condos drops in resort

OCEAN CITY, Maryland — Real estate in Ocean City is moving off the market at a brisk pace.

Data from the Coastal Association of Realtors shows a 25-percent reduction in the inventory of unsold condominiums in Ocean City, including multi-million-dollar properties.

The data from CAR also shows that contracts are up 14 percent year to date, with settlements up 5.6 percent.

Inventory decreased sharply from March through November after being flat, at about 1,150 units, from last December to last March.

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National News For 2013 Home Buyers

WHEDA rolls out $111.4M homebuyer tax credit: CRE Guide

Home Buyer Tax Credit

Home Buyer Tax Credit

Homebuyers later this year can begin using a new $111.4 million tax credit program that the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority is in the midst of creating.

Also this week, we have a 400-acre land buy in Delavan and a new indoor youth baseball facility planned in West Allis.

The WHEDA program for homebuyers, announced Jan. 2, has never been tried before in Wisconsin, said Geoffrey Cooper, WHEDA director – single family. It essentially offers a federal tax credit on at least 25 percent of the interest payments on a home mortgage to eligible buyers. People buying houses in low income areas can qualify for a tax credit of 40 percent.

“It’s a good, rich subsidy,” Cooper said.

The credit would count toward federal income tax payments. The 25 percent credit on the interest payments amounts to a monthly savings of $72.28 on a $100,000 mortgage at 3.5 percent interest.

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Property Trax: Free first-time home buyer education classes resume Jan. 8 in Madison

Home buyer education classes return for the new year starting Tuesday and continuing twice a month through November.

Each free class is made up of two sessions, held on the second and third Tuesday night of each month, totaling seven hours of instruction. Participants must attend both sessions to receive a certificate of completion, which is required to receive financial assistance under most down payment programs.

In January, for example, that means the second part of the class will be Jan. 15.

Classes are held at Project Home’s Training Center at 1966 South Stoughton Road, Madison.

Each session runs from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. To register, call 608-246-3737.

The purpose of the class — aimed largely at first-time potential buyers, though anyone may attend — is to learn more about the pros and cons of homeownership from objective professionals and industry experts, organizers said. The program is led by Ellen Bernards, a financial educator with the non-profit GreenPath Debt Solutions, with funding by the Home Buyers Round Table of Dane County.

Bernards on Thursday said 31 people already had signed up for Tuesday’s session, with room for up to 50.

The first night of each class covers general topics including budgeting/money management, credit scores and how to improve them, an overview of special lending programs and down payment assistance, fair lending practices, what to consider when shopping for a home and working with a real estate agent.

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New class for first-time home buyers

The Lynn Housing Authority & Neighborhood Development, in partnership with Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy, is offering a first-time home-buyer class this month. Sessions will be held Thursdays in the housing authority’s Community Room, 10 Church St., from 6-9 p.m. on Jan. 10, 17, 24, and 31. Participants will receive information on applying for a mortgage, home inspections, purchasing foreclosed properties, short sales, down-payment assistance, deleading, and other topics.

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Ups and Downs of The Texas Real Estate Market

North Texas housing supply at lowest point since 2000

A surge in November home sales has dropped the inventory of houses on the market in North Texas to the lowest level in more than a decade.

Area real estate agents last month sold 5,709 pre-owned single-family homes through their multiple listing service, up 18 percent from November 2011.

With the latest increase, home sales are up 17 percent for the first 11 months of 2012 compared with the same period last year.

This year’s strong sales have reduced the supply of houses on the market in North Texas to 3.9 months.

That’s the lowest level since the summer of 2000, according to figures from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University and the North Texas Real Estate Information Systems.

While pre-owned home sales in North Texas have been rising for almost 18 months, housing analysts caution that the big increases won’t continue unless more properties are put up for sale.

“We can’t have the sales if we don’t have the listings,” said Dr. James Gaines, an economist with the Real Estate Center. “In some markets, the Realtors are desperately hunting houses for the clients to buy.”

The inventory of pre-owned single-family homes for sale has dropped below two months in some North Texas residential districts, including Coppell, Grapevine and Allen.

A six-month supply of houses on the market is considered a balanced inventory. And the month’s supply of homes on the market is now almost half what it was in North Texas in 2009.

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Texas Municipal Retirement places $300 million with 4 real estate managers

Texas Municipal Retirement System, Austin, committed a total of $300 million to four real estate managers, confirmed spokesman Bill Wallace.

The $20.1 billion pension fund committed $100 million to a separate account managed by Harrison Street Securities, a REIT subsidiary of real estate investment management firm Harrison Street Real Estate Capital; and $50 million to Harrison Street Core Property Fund, an open-end real estate fund managed by the same firm that invests in specialized niche sectors.

The pension fund also committed $100 million to Mesa West Core Lending Fund, a direct lending real estate fund managed by Mesa West Capital, and $50 million to Smart Markets Fund, a core real estate fund managed by Core and Value Advisors, an affiliate of Stockbridge Capital Group.

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Hundreds face loss in Texas real estate

Some 500 Israelis may lose NIS 35 million they invested in U.S. real estate, Global Paragon, the company that organized the investment, warned them on Tuesday.

In an e-mail, the company said its unit in Israel and Houston were in dire financial straits. The e-mail said Global Paragon was closing its marketing office in Israel and would now confine its activities to managing its Houston assets.

However, the e-mail also stated that the company might to be able to continue managing these assets and advised investors to appoint representatives to decide whether to continue with the company or sell their positions.

“We failed as a company. The assets need to be sold off,” Yaron Cohen, who ran the company’s Israeli sales office, told TheMarker bluntly. He maintained that the company had nothing to hide and that investors were welcome to see its financial reports.

The investors may still be able to rescue some of their capital. TheMarker learned yesterday that the Hagshama Fund, which has NIS 300 million to invest in real estate, is offering to take control of Global Paragon at a valuation of $11 million to $14 million. It is also promising to invest another $7 million in renovating the Houston properties.

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