Jeff’s Carlsbad Blog for First Time Home Buyers


Summary of FEDERAL and CALIFORNIA Tax Credits

Posted in Financial,Taxes by Jeff Dowler on April 12, 2010
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Time is running out to get in on the Federal tax credits.

But if you are able to put a California home under contract BY APRIL 30, 2010 and CLOSE after MAY 1, you could get both the Federal and California state tax credit (up to a total of $18,000!!).

Here’s a handy dandy summary of what you need to know to take advantage of these tax credits.

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Visit my Real Estate Consumer Blog at Carlsbad Real Estate News for lots of information about the general area

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

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”

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”

Homebuyer Credit Extended?? Not yet

Posted in Financial by Jeff Dowler on October 28, 2009
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Word on the news and on the street is that the First Time Homebuyer Credit has been extended to the end of April 2010, plus they have added a credit for SOME move-up buyers. BUT IT IS NOT DEFINITE.

I don’t have the details yet but will share once I do. This is great news for some folks if it becomes fact.

Yet Another Tax Credit

Posted in Financial,Taxes by Jeff Dowler on March 6, 2009
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Tax credits are popping up left and right.

moneysign2

First there is the $8,000 tax credit for first time home buyers that arose out of Obama’s stimulus plan. Good news for some buyers in today’s market.

Now California is providing a tax credit for buyers (first timers or anyone else) of up to $10,000. The requirements are:

  • you must buy a home on or after March 1, 2009 and before March 1, 2010
  • the home MUST be your primary residence
  • the home must never have been occupied (new construction)

This credit program is being run by the State of California Franchise Tax Board, and credits will be allocated on a first come first serve basis until the total monies ($100,000,000) are used up.

Read more on the Franchise Tax Board website.

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If I can provide more information about Carlsbad and surrounding areas, or the housing market in general, or otherwise assist you in your home search, please contact me by phone or text at (760) 840-1360 or email me at JDowler@remax.net.

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First Time Home Buyers Relocation Services and more How to get in touch with me

All content copyright © 2009 Jeff Dowler

What to Know About Property Taxes When You Buy

Posted in Financial,Taxes by Jeff Dowler on December 10, 2008
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One of the big expenses you will have as a first time home buyer will be property taxes.

As part of your due diligence during your search, and once you have an accepted offer, you should be sure you understand how much tax you will be paying so you are not caught unawares.

An estimate of expected taxes should be included when you are getting pre-approved (I would use a fairly aggressive amount) so you truly know the amount you can borrow and can afford based on your budget. Property taxes will amount to thousands of dollars per year.

When you are going to close on your new home, a large portion of the closing costs might be your property taxes. You will be required to pay a pro-rata portion of these property taxes upfront (called an IMPOUND) so that when the semi-annual taxes are due (in California they are paid twice per year) your mortgage company has enough money to pay them.

For example, if you close in December the next tax payment will be due in only a few months, and the mortgage company will not be able to collect enough through your monthly payments in order to pay the full tax payment. So they collect money upfront to ensure they have enough.

The other reason that this is done is that your FIRST mortgage payment is generally not due the month after you close but the second month afterwards. But don’t think you are getting a free month. The lender will collect the pro-rated interest from the time of your closing until your first monthly payment upfront too.

Here is the schedule of impounds that you likely will see and can be expected to pay – keep in mind that this may vary with the lender, who might require more upfront money. Make SURE you know what this amount is before closing so you can plan for your closing costs. Your lender can tell you what upfront money you will need. (this table of information was obtained from a colleague of mine, Michelle Elkins at Nations Title in Carlsbad)

Month of Funding

First Monthly Payment

Tax Impound

November

January

5 months

December

February

6

January

March

7

February

April

2

March

May

3

April

June

4

May

July

5

June

August

6

July

September

7

August

October

8

September

November

9

October

December

4