Monthly Archives: November 2009

Frequently Asked Questions About the Home Buyer Tax Credit for Members of the Military

Congress has acknowledged the unique circumstances affecting members of the military, the foreign service and the intelligence community by making the following exceptions that apply to both the $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers and the $6,500 tax credit for repeat home buyers. Continue reading

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Frequently Asked Questions About the Repeat Home Buyer Tax Credit

The Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009 has established a tax credit of up to $6,500 for qualified move-up/repeat home buyers (existing home owners) purchasing a principal residence after November 6, 2009 and on or before April 30, 2010 (or purchased by June 30, 2010 with a binding sales contract signed by April 30, 2010).

The following questions and answers provide basic information about the tax credit. If you have more specific questions, we strongly encourage you to consult a qualified tax advisor or legal professional about your unique situation.

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Frequently Asked Questions About the Extended First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit

The Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009 has extended the tax credit of up to $8,000 for qualified first-time home buyers purchasing a principal residence. The tax credit now applies to sales occurring on or after January 1, 2009 and on or before April 30, 2010. However, in cases where a binding sales contract is signed by April 30, 2010, a home purchase completed by June 30, 2010 will qualify.

For sales occurring after November 6, 2009, the Act establishes income limits of $125,000 for single taxpayers and $225,000 for married couples filing joint returns.

The income limits for sales occurring on or after January 1, 2009 and on or before November 6, 2009, are $75,000 for single taxpayers and $150,000 for married taxpayers filing joint returns.

The following questions and answers provide basic information about the tax credit. If you have more specific questions, we strongly encourage you to consult a qualified tax advisor or legal professional about your unique situation. Continue reading

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Creig Northrop Featured in The Baltimore Business Journal

A Realtor reflects: Market is ‘going in the right direction’
By: Rachel Bernstein (Baltimore Business Journal Staff)

Even in a down economy, Creig Northrop’s name and face remain ubiquitous in local real estate, appearing in all the usual advertising platforms and some new ones, including a sponsorship of a new youth soccer complex in Ellicott City.

Northrop runs four offices in Howard, Carroll and Montgomery counties and has been in the business for more than 20 years. Northrop, 42, learned from his mother, also a real estate agent, while working for her in the 1990s, taking cues from her traditional style while also developing his own marketing ideas.

After selling 838 homes in 2007, Northop’s team sold 757 homes in deals totaling $415.5 million in 2008. This year, the group looks to surpass those numbers. He chatted with the Baltimore Business Journal on a variety of topics, including the success of the first-time homebuyers’ tax credit — part of the federal government’s efforts to revive sputtering home sales and the economy — and what his dream home is missing.

On fluctuations in the real estate market … Ultimately, what I see, real estate is going in the right direction, which means [homes are] selling. I think we’re on a good timetable selling properties. That’s the positive end of it. It’ll be another year to see [home value] appreciation, any noticeable appreciation. But for the first time, in the past 30 days, inventory’s been down, which certainly helps raise prices, having that limited inventory.

One of the things that helped for the past 60-day surge was the first-time homebuyer tax credit. It’s been a real plus. And what happens after that, the person that sells that townhome ends up buying a single-family [home], then a mid-range house, then high-end. It helps the whole economy. That market eases up, prices become reasonable, so first-time buyers right now are seeing a very heated-up market. And if you were debating on selling, now’s the time.

On what the first-time homebuyer tax credit has meant for business … I’ll quantify to give you a sense of it. We’ve sold over the past three to four months over 300 homes. Ultimately, what that tells you, sales prices are lower and [sales have] been the best for a couple years, since 2005. Things are selling again, but it’s not about raising the values yet, they’ve been stabilizing.

On curb appeal and other selling strengths … In the first ten seconds, a potential buyer’s going to determine whether they’ll buy [a house] or not. I certainly spot location right away. Then appearance from the front — whether the door needs to be painted, if it’s cracked in the foundation. You’re going to look for other things when you see it going in and if it’s worth the full price on a first impression.

How it sits on the lot, too, and any determining factors, resale values. We just had a client buy a single-family for under $400,000, at a 4.5 percent interest rate, and the seller paid all closing costs. He got the $8,000 tax credit, so it was a great buy. It’s building equity for the future. And after 2011, you’ll see a lot more appreciation [in home values].

On marketing to the three classes of buyer … In total, we’ve got 60 employees, 40 full-time agents, 20 administrative employees, who work on creating virtual tours [of homes online], marketing, our Web site.

The way I see it, there are three sets of buyers: old school, new school and eco-boomers.

A lot of them don’t know how to use the Internet in the first set, and my mom falls in that class. She doesn’t know how to turn the VCR on. So news and print are still valid for them. It’s still important.

In the second set, it’s about having good Internet presence, so we drive everything back to our [Web] site. For the eco-boomers, they don’t leave messages, they’re about texting. All of the information comes right to your phone when you send a text to us.

On the down economy … It’s affected everyone, not just sellers. In terms of real estate, it divided who was professional. Some who were in it as a hobby, or part-time, got out. Sellers have become more aware of values. So now they’re pricing property correctly.

On what his dream home is missing … Your dream home changes over time, as you go through different ages. If I had to say something I still want in a house, it’d be a tennis court. To be able to have it right in my backyard.

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NFL Picks – Week 10

Creig’s picks for the tenth week of NFL games.

Have you entered the Creig Northrop Team & BaltimoreSun.com Office Football Pool Challenge? You could win up to $25,000 each week! View the details, and enter to win now! Continue reading

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NFL Picks – Week 9

Creig’s picks for the nineth week of NFL games.

Have you entered the Creig Northrop Team & BaltimoreSun.com Office Football Pool Challenge? You could win up to $25,000 each week! View the details, and enter to win now! Continue reading

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Senate and House Approve Tax Credit Extension and Expansion!

*UPDATE: President Obama has signed the bill into law*

First Time Home Buyers now have until April 30, 2010 to purchase a new home to be eligible for the $8,000 credit.

Great news from Capitol Hill today as Congress has just passed legislation to extend the $8,000 First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit until April 30, 2010! The bill also provides new legislation for a $6,500 tax credit for Move-up or Trade-down buyers that have currently owned a home for at least five years. The legislation was added to an extension of unemployment benefits and was passed by the Senate on Wednesday night. President Obama is expected to sign the legislation into law Friday morning.

View a brief summary of the tax credit extension and expansion legislation.

Start your home search now!

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