GREAT TIME TO BUY: IN DC

Okay so you missed the $8,000 tax credit back in April and you are bitter because you were really counting on that.  SO WHAT.  As of this week interest rates have hit an all time low of 4.69%.  This is incredible but for some reason we aren’t seeing a flurry of buyers!?!?!?!? Last week the rate was at 4.75% and thought a .06% difference doesn’t seem to be much it really is.  This can save you thousands over the lifetime of the loan.  In addition DC still has a first time home buyer tax credit of $5,000! This is honestly the BEST TIME ever to buy.  If you are on the fence you shouldn’t be.

Language taken directly from the Office of Tax and Revenue

This federal tax credit is available to first-time homebuyers in the District of Columbia. The credit is the smaller of:

  • $5,000, if single, married filing jointly, head-of-household, or qualifying widow(er) ($2,500, if married filing separately) or
  • The purchase price of the home.

In general, you may claim the credit if:

  • You purchased a main house during the tax year in the District of Columbia, and
  • You (and your spouse, if married) did not own any other main home in the District of Columbia during the 1-year period ending on the date of purchase.

Income restrictions and other qualifications may apply. You must file the federal form 1040 to claim this credit. For more information, contact the Internal Revenue Service at (800) 829-1040 or visit the local IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center at 500 North Capitol Street, NW, Washington, DC.

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Ted Kennedys DC Home For Sale!

Almost one year ago the Lion of the Senate passed and now his former DC home is for sale.  For only $8,000,000 you can live in the house that once provided shelter for one of this countries biggest political families!

http://www.redfin.com/DC/Washington/Undisclosed-address-20008/home/9997210 – after going to the link click on the link for virtual tour to see photos.

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Home Buying / Selling Classes

There is a lot of effort that goes into buying and selling and its important that you as the buyer/seller have a good understanding of the market and what the process entails before moving forward.  A lot of real estate companies will actually offer free classes.  YES THIS IS ABSOLUTELY A TOOL FOR THEM TO GET MORE BUSINESS.   YES MOST COMPANIES WILL BE SENDING YOU EMAILS AND GIVING YOU PHONE CALLS AFTER THE CLASS.  But walking away from these classes you WILL have a better understanding of the way things work.  I highly recommend checking one out if you are in the market to buy or sell.  I did a quick search and here are some links I found:

http://www.redfin.com/buy-a-home/home-buying-class – Redfin Home Buying Class

http://www.pingg.com/rsvp/ggjydve43yh6ftx6c – Redfin Home Selling Class

http://blog.wethmangroup.com/2010/04/15/free-first-time-home-buyer-seminar-in-arlington/ – Wethman Group Class in  Arlington

http://katie.yourkwagent.com/atj/user/AdditionalGetAction.do?pageId=137475

http://www.menkitigroup.com/seminars/ – Home Buying Seminars form the Menkiti Group

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Senate Approves $8k Tax Credit Extension

By Corey Boles and Martin Vaughan, Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- The U.S. Senate voted Wednesday to approve an extension of a tax credit for homebuyers as lawmakers continue to debate a wide- ranging bill of tax policy extensions and federal program renewals.

The measure was backed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.), whose state has been among the hardest hit by the housing crisis over the last three years.

Reid, who is seeking his fifth term in November, is facing a tough re-election fight.

The amendment was added to a $140 billion tax bill that renews a series of popular tax credits targeted at businesses and individuals, continues federal programs including jobless benefits and a flood insurance program, boosts fiscal aid to states and averts reductions in payments to doctors who treat Medicare patients.

The vote to add the amendment was 60-37.

The homebuyers credit was agreed to last year as a means to kick start the moribund U.S. housing market, which was facing both historic foreclosure levels and a glut of unsold properties.

While the market has shown signs of stabilizing, it is still grim in some of the worst affected parts of the country.

The measure provided up to $8,000 for first-time homebuyers and a maximum of $ 6,500 for repeat purchasers as long as the property they are buying is to be their primary residence.

Under the amendment, house purchase contracts would still have had to be entered into by April 30 in order to qualify for the tax rebates. But buyers would now be given until Sept. 30 to close the purchase.

According to an aide to the majority leader, the cost of the extension would be $140 million over 10 years. But the amendment also includes language ending the ability of businesses to take a deduction on damages paid in settling a lawsuit or judgment, a change that would raise $315 million over the next decade. This would mean the net impact of the change would be to reduce cost of the bill by $175 million over that period.

-By Corey Boles, Dow Jones Newswires; 202-862-6601; corey.boles@dowjones.com

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PROPERTY AUCTION: SWEET DEALS!

I saw signs for this around town and totally forgot to post.  I would like to thank a friend of mine and new home owner in Columbia Heights for forwarding the following information to me:

Auction: 1pm, Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Walter E Washington Convention Center, Room 103
Buyer’s Seminar: 2pm, Wednesday, June 23
DHCD, 815 Florida Ave NW
RSVP by June 21 to Katie@AlexCooper.com or (800) 272-3145

The DC Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) has announced a real estate auction of DC Government-owned vacant property in Shaw and elsewhere in the District. Each participant will be required to present a bidder registration fee in the amount of Fifteen Thousand Dollars ($15,000) for each property that they intend to bid on and purchase.

Eighteen properties, including single-family and multi-family buildings and vacant lots, will be offered for sale to home owners, non-profits, and District of Columbia Certified Business Entities. The properties will be sold absolute to the highest bidder for the purpose of redeveloping the properties into habitable residences and adding those residences to the District of Columbia’s tax rolls. The properties are located in Wards 1, 2, 5, 6, 7 and 8.

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Stealing Capitol Hill!

This unit has been listed for 55 days.  It went off the market (under contract) and came back on recently  This home was originally listed at $649,000 and is now reduced to $629,000.  It’s a two home building and Unit B is the top two floors.  This unit is huge and classy.  On the first floor you have an open but separate dining room / family room, kitchen and private office or it can be used as a 3rd bedroom.  The home has wooden floors throughout and very spacious closets.   In the family room aka living room there is a gorgeous fire place which is rare in town homes like this.   There are two master suites on the upstairs level!  Only drawback…..small kitchen but whatever LOOK WHERE THIS PLACE IS LOCATED.  You walk outside your door and you are steps to the Hart Senate Office Building and Union Station.  This is a prime location on Capitol Hill and should not be sitting this long!

CHECK OUT THE LISTING: http://www.redfin.com/DC/Washington/200B-Justice-Ct-NE-20002/unit-39/home/9891485

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Shops at Georgetown Park: Is it or isn’t it happening? How will it change the surrounding area?

Have you been to the Georgetown Mall recently and wondered what the heck was happening!!!!!  I was most startled when I noticed that Arby’s was no longer there! When a national chain like Arby’s pulls out, that spells trouble.   Arby’s isn’t the only casualty in that mall though.  On a recent weekend I was walking thru and noticed that half of the mall was sitting the vacant.  The scene was very stale and very old.  For years this mall has been in much need a makeover.  Little did I know a makeover was in the works but recently fell thru.  It still appears as if things will move forward but this project has supposedly been on hold for years now…so we shall see!

If it does move forward what could it mean?  Well most directly impacted would be the homes at 1080 Wisconsin Ave (connected to the mall).  First of all these condos are gorgeous and secondly they are in the heart Georgetown.  A massive redevelopment of that mall would do wonders for those homes.  So if you see any listings in that area keep a watchful eye.  My only critique about 1080 Wisconsin is that the condo fees are very high but all utilities besides electric are included so not too shabby!  Here is a link to the most recent article in the Washington Business Journal: http://washington.bizjournals.com/washington/blog/2010/06/capmark_cancels_shops_at_georgetown_park_auction_taps_jll_to_market_property.html

Right now there are (3) units listed in 1080 Wisconsin Avenue.  Each unit has been on greater than 60 days and in my opinion price reductions are needed if sellers expect to move these units!

DC7284171 http://www.redfin.com/DC/Washington/1080-Wisconsin-Ave-NW-20007/unit-3017/home/9924760

DC7248575 http://www.redfin.com/DC/Washington/1080-Wisconsin-Ave-NW-20007/unit-1011/home/9924703

DC7304756 http://www.redfin.com/DC/Washington/1080-Wisconsin-Ave-NW-20007/unit-2017/home/9924734

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