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Households in the US

by Michel Delos Santos

Energy home efficient work worth $500 tax credit

by Michel Delos Santos

Up to $500 for Doing Home "Work"

 

The energy-efficient home upgrades tax credit is scheduled to expire on December 31st this year.  If you need to make improvements to your home, this could be an incentive to do it before the end of the year.  If you have already made qualifying improvements without realizing the tax credit is available, it may seem like a holiday gift you weren't expecting.

The equipment must be installed to qualify for the credit which can put you under a time crunch.  Heating and cooling systems, insulation, windows, doors, skylights, water heaters and home weatherization may qualify.

The Residential Energy Efficiency Tax Credit has been available for purchases since January 1, 2011.  The tax credit is 10% of up to $5,000 of qualifying improvements which would make a maximum of $500 tax credit.

The cumulative maximum amount of tax credit that can be claimed by a taxpayer in the different years this law has been in effect is $500.  If it has been claimed in previous years, the taxpayer is not eligible for this credit for additional new purchases.

For more information, see energy.gov or talk to your tax professional.

"Worst Rental Affordability Crisis" Ever

by Michel Delos Santos

U.S. in 'Worst Rental Affordability Crisis' Ever

DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | TUESDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2013

As rental demand grows, soaring rents are taking a bigger bite out of households’ pocketbooks. 

About half of renters spend more than 30 percent of their income on rent, up from 18 percent a decade ago, according to newly released research by Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. Twenty-seven percent of renters are paying more than half of their income on rent. 

"We are in the midst of the worst rental affordability crisis that this country has known," says Shaun Donovan, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Rising rents mixed with a stunted wage growth has created an affordability problem, the study notes. Between 2000 and 2012, real median rents rose nationwide by 6 percent. However, over that same time period, the real median income of renters fell by 13 percent. 

A shortfall in affordable units is particularly troublesome as low-income renters struggle to find a place, the study notes. 

"Over four years, [there’s been] a 43 percent increase in the number of Americans with worst-case housing needs," says Donovan. "Let's be clear what that means: They're paying more than half of every dollar they earn for housing."

Young professionals are also turning to renting and finding higher rents to be a hurdle to getting ahead. Many have plans for home ownership one day: Nineteen out of 20 people under the age of 30 say they intend to buy a home in the future.

"There is no question that the will toward home ownership remains there — [the problem is] the way,” says Eric Belsky, director of Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. However, rising home prices and mortgage rates, high student loan debt, and tightened credit is holding many back and forcing them to continue to rent. 

Source: The Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies and “Skyrocketing rents hit 'crisis' levels,” CNBC (Dec. 9, 2013)

NAR's Existing Home Sales Report

by Michel Delos Santos

NAR's Exisiting Home Sales Report [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted: 06 Dec 2013 04:00 AM PST

If you are thinking about buying or selling a home, give us a call at (386) 689-4684 or send us an email to explore your options and to find out when is the best time for you to make a move.

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  • 14,027 Houses Sell Every Day in the US!!

    by Michel Delos Santos

    14,027 Houses Sell Every Day in the U.S.!!

    Posted: 02 Dec 2013 04:00 AM PST

    houses with cartThere are some homeowners that might consider waiting for the spring to sell their house thinking that no one buys a home during the winter months. What we should understand is that homes sell EVERY DAY. As a matter of fact, according to the latest Existing Homes Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors, on average 14,027 homes sell daily in this country.

    It is true that more houses sell in the spring than the winter in most markets.  However, it is also true that there will be more competition as many sellers wait to the spring to put their house on the market.

    Thousands of homes sell each and every day in this country. Don’t be afraid to put your house on the market this winter.

    Displaying blog entries 1-5 of 5

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