New FHA loan limits

The Federal Housing Administration recently published new loan limits.  This is GOOD NEWS for buyers out there who are taking advantage of the favorable real estate climate.

Limits for single-family homes in some of the big metropolitan areas:

Los Angeles $729,750

Chicago $410,000

San Francisco $729,750

New York $729,750

Dallas $271,050

Houston $271,050

Denver $406,250

Philadelphia $420,000

Phoenix $346,250

DC $729,750

For more information, email info@mangledmortgage.com

First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit

The first-time home buyer tax credit will help us burn through some of the short sale and foreclosure inventory on the market.  The tax credit has been through several iterations.  Here are the broad strokes:

-The tax credit does not have to be repaid.

-The tax credit is only for first-time buyers.

-The tax credit is 10% of the purchase price, with a maximum of $8,000.

-So far, this only applies to property purchased in 2009.

-To qualify, single people can’t make more than $75,000 and couples can’t make more than $150,000.

For a list of frequently asked questions on the tax credit details, visit the tax credit FAQ page.

Home sale statistics

The US Commerce Department reported today that new home sales fell 10.2% in January, which is a record low.

The National Association of Realtors reported that sales of existing homes fell 5.3%.

What does this mean?  The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has its work cut-out for it.

Everyone agrees that things are likely going to get worse before they improve.  Eight hundred billion dollars and change might not be enough to make an impact worth noting.

Progress should be celebrated, although it makes me wonder how much more money we’ll have to print to make the government program work.  Printing more money is easy, but creating a bailout mentality for America is the part where I take exception.

If we eliminate the efficiency of capitalism, the smart money will eventually go elsewhere. Until that happens, we are living in one of the best times to buy real estate in the history of the United States.  The smartest people I know are buying as much real estate as they can.  The first-time home buyer tax credit makes it easier for many people.  Our record low mortgage interest rates help too.

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