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“Education is intended to enlighten the understanding.”

I have been thinking about ways to educate readers, so they will be able to make more informed real estate decisions in 2012.  Sometimes when opportunities are plentiful as they are right now, and for the foreseeable future, it can be as difficult as it is when you have to dig around to find favorable circumstances.

This was the case a few years back.  Things were hard then, and many jumped on the chance to be a first-time homebuyer by taking advantage of the Housing and Recovery Act of 2008.

Let’s say you were one of those first-time homebuyers who took advantage of the Recovery Act of 2008.  Well, it’s February, 2012—now what?   It’s past time to begin paying back this no-interest loan—right?  In fact, if you purchased your home in 2008, the first installments were due in the 2010 income tax year.

But wait a minute; in 2009 the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was initiated expanding the first-time homebuyer credit from the original $7,500 to $8,000.  This was aimed at purchases being made during 2009, and before, December 1st of that year.

Then, later in 2009 the Worker, Homeownership and Business Assistance Act of 2009 extended eligibility to taxpayers who had binding contracts to purchase a home before May 1, 2010 and could close on or before July 1, 2010.

Then, the Homebuyer Assistance and Improvement Act of 2010, which was enacted on July 2, 2010, extended that closing date (of July 1, 2010) to September 30, 2010.

If you purchased your home in 2009, you do not have to pay the government back as long as you live in the home (as your primary residence) for at least three years from the date you closed on the loan.

Since then,  it seems that the IRS has released the First-Time Homebuyer Credit Lookup Tool   to help you figure out how much you owe; what, if anything, you owe; how to pay it back and when you have to finish paying it back.

Therefore, I suggest you take a look at the DOT form 5405 along with the instructions for filling out the form, and then take a nap to rest, and let all this digest.

Then, if you still don’t understand any of it, like most of the rest of us——or if you have questions about your FTHBC account, call the FTHBC toll free number at 1-800-919-0352. “It’s the fastest way to get your questions answered,” or so they say.

However, if you are at all ready to move ahead, and your head (pun intended) is in the right place, then you are staring perfect-timing in the face (no rhyme intended)!  You can upgrade to a better home or invest in rental property here on the Emerald Coast, or both.

In a truly remarkable article titled, “Buy a House or Bury Your Money?” Robert Freedman has hit the proverbial nail on the head, if you will, when he so eloquently reports on the difference between property values and interest rates.

There are plenty of ways, when dealing with a really good lender, to upgrade your home and come out ahead while values are moving up and rates are holding.

If you are thinking of buying or selling a home in Panama City Beach, Destin or anywhere in the area—then the Veach Team is prepared to help you find the Florida home of your dreams or the investment property that will put your money to work for you. Contact us today, and let us show you why “Life is a Beach” here in beautiful Destin! And don’t forget to “LIKE” us on Facebook and Twitter – we’d love to talk with you.


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