Jeff’s Carlsbad Blog for First Time Home Buyers


NEW Tax Credits for California Homebuyers

Posted in Financial,Taxes,What do I Buy? by Jeff Dowler on March 26, 2010
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Here is some great news if you are planning on buying a home, or thinking about it.


New legislation signed yesterday by the Governor approved new state tax credits for:

  • First Time Home Buyers


  • Buyers of NEW homes (i.e., new construction or never occupied before)

The NEW TAX CREDIT is up to $10,000. And if you time it right you COULD receive up to $18,000 (provided you meet all the qualifications) if combined with the current federal program that is ending soon. You would need to CLOSE on your new home ON or AFTER May 1, 2010 and ON or BEFORE June 30, 2010.

Let me know if you have questions or need help making your home buying dream a reality! It’s important to also consult a tax professional to see if you qualify and what the tax implications might be. The credit for Californians is paid out over 3 years.

READ MORE: California Home Buyers – New Tax Credits Coming Your Way


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All content copyright © 2010 Jeff Dowler “The California Relocation Dude”

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Here’s How to Get in Touch with Me if You Need to!

Posted in Personal Stuff,Realtor's Job by Jeff Dowler on March 21, 2010
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Communication these days is pretty complex, given all the options.

I wrote this article for buyers and sellers who are interested in getting in touch me with me, for whatever reason, about the different ways we can communicate. Some of this is pretty obvious, but hopefully it will be useful to you if the need is there.

Want to Get in Touch With Me? Here’s How

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All content copyright © 2010 Jeff Dowler “The California Relocation Dude”

Update on the California (Southern California Real Estate Market)

Posted in market reports by Jeff Dowler on March 20, 2010
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Here’s is some encouraging information, with some concerns, about the California real estate market. Rather than reproduce it here, check out the link:

Update on the California and Southern California Real Estate Market (as of January 2010)

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All content copyright © 2010 Jeff Dowler “The California Relocation Dude”

Are YOU Interested in Buying an REO?

I just wrote an article that may interest you IF you are interested in buying an REO…or perhaps have little choice because of price range.

There are some important questions that I like to ask, so these might be useful for you to consider so you can decide IF buying an REO is right for you.

If nothing else, it will help you be prepared for the issues you need to confront during the search.

SO YOU WANNA BUY AN REO? ARE YOU REALLY READY?

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All content copyright © 2010 Jeff Dowler “The California Relocation Dude”

Misconceptions About the First Time Home Buyer’s Tax Credit

Posted in FAQs,Financial,Taxes by Jeff Dowler on February 13, 2010
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First of all, don’t forget that this credit is not going to last forever.

The DEADLINE to get the credit is APRIL 30, 2010 (You must have your new home under contract by that date, i.e., a binding sales contract, and CLOSE by the end of June).  So if you are going after a short sale, you may lose out given what we know about how these transactions get delayed.

A misconception is the amount of the credit for first time home buyers.

Folks often think it is an automatic $8000. Buy a $60,000 condo and you get a credit of $8000.

WRONG. Unfortunately.

BUT, the credit is UP TO $8000 based on the purchase price of the home, with the credit being 10% of the purchase price.

THIS IS A CORRECTION TO MY ORIGINAL POST (thanks to a recent reader) So an $80,000 purchase yields a credit of $8,000, depending, of course on income (there are limits in the plan) and your personal tax situation.

Another important point is the ARM’S-LENGTH TRANSACTION – you can read more about this in an article by a friend of mine, MISSY CAULK, in Ann Arbor, Michigan (It must be an Arms-Length Transaction to Claim the Tax Credit). BTW if you are looking to by OR sell a home in Ann Arbor, Missy is THE REAL ESTATE AGENT to call. Tell her I sent you!

READ MORE about the first time home buyer’s tax credit and commonly asked questions.

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All content copyright © 2010 Jeff Dowler “The California Relocation Dude”

North San Diego County Community Market Reports for January 2010

Posted in market reports by Jeff Dowler on February 9, 2010
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Here’s the first round of real estate market reports for January 2010 for some North San Diego county coastal communities – more to come.

CARDIFF

CARLSBAD

ESCONDIDO

ENCINITAS

OCEANSIDE

SAN MARCOS

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All content copyright © 2010 Jeff Dowler “The California Relocation Dude”

Changes Coming in FHA Loans

Posted in Financial,Mortgage info by Jeff Dowler on January 31, 2010
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Many first time buyers pursue FHA loans because they do not qualify for other conventional loans with higher down payment requirements, issues with credit scores and other issues. Indeed many home sales in the last year have been FHA financed.

Because of some financial issues, FHA has announced some changed in their loan qualifications and requirements. For example:

  • Those with credit scores of less than 580 will be required to put down 10%. Those with at least a score of 580 will still be able to put down just 3.5% (the current amount)
  • The up-front mortgage insurance premium will rise from $1.75% to 2.25%

You can read the FHA full press release here.

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All content copyright © 2010 Jeff Dowler “The California Relocation Dude”

When Do I Move into My New Home?

Posted in FAQs,The purchase process by Jeff Dowler on January 29, 2010
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When do I get to move into my new home?

A seemingly simple question with what you would think has a simple answer.

Not necessarily.

It depends on what is negotiated in the contract  in your particular area, what is standard practice, what you want versus what the seller wants, and so much more.

I wrote an article this morning to generate some thoughts from other agents around the country on this matter, since it can get rather complex. While you normally can take possession of your home upon closing, so much can happen. And there are lots of situations that may necessitate some other arrangement, either for the seller or the buyer.

So check out the article over the next few days to see what folks have to say. It will give you some things to think about.

CLOSE OF ESCROW or SETTLEMENT = MOVE IN DAY. MAYBE (a debate)

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All content copyright © 2010 Jeff Dowler “The California Relocation Dude”

New Changes in FHA Mortgages

Posted in Financial,Mortgage info by Jeff Dowler on January 21, 2010
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Lots of buyers, especially first time home buyers, have used or want to use a FHA loan to purchase their home. A primary reason is the low down-payment that has been a hallmark for FHA for sometime (recently raised from 3% to 3.5%).

If you are currently qualified, or hope to use an FHA loan, LISTEN UP.

There are some new changes in FHA Mortgages.

Jeff Belonger is a mortgage broker and friend in Philadelphia who writes often about FHA. Rather than try to summarize these changes, I suggest you hop on over to his article about FHA Loans.

READ MORE about FHA on the HUD website.

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All content copyright © 2010 Jeff Dowler “The California Relocation Dude”

Homeowner’s Insurance Questions

Posted in Financial,Homeownership,Insurance by Jeff Dowler on January 20, 2010
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When you are investigating home owner’s insurance for your new home purchase during the transaction, you may need to know several things for the potential insurance provider:

1. Where is the location of the nearest FIRE HYDRANT and how far is it from the house

2. What FIRE DEPARTMENT is responsible for the area

3. How far is the NEAREST FIRE STATION from the house

I highly recommend getting several quotes. I would check with your current insurance provider (there may be a discount for multiple insurance policies) as well as 1 or 2 others so you get the BEST RATE and the BEST COVERAGE.

Search for Homes Community Information First Time Home Buyers Relocation Services and more How to get in touch with me

All content copyright © 2010 Jeff Dowler “The California Relocation Dude”

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