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Now is the perfect time to buy a home or invest in real estate in the Greenville, NC – Pitt County area.

The Pistol Tingen Real Estate Team can help you locate a variety of well-priced properties, as well as direct you towards a multitude of financing options currently available. Contact us at (252) 321-6161 so we can show you that the timing is perfect and financing choices are still available!

See for yourself--take a moment and review our brief True – False Test below.  We think you’ll be surprised by the answers.

True or False 

1. “I have to have a large down payment to purchase a home.”
     False.
  There are several loans available that require little or NO Money Down Payments
2. “I have to have perfect credit to qualify for a home loan.”
     False.
  Loan programs are available for many buyers with mid range credit scores.
3. “Homes are not a good investment now.”
     False.
  The September 2008 average sales price of a single family home in Pitt County was      higher than for September 2007.

Current economic fundamentals show that this is a good time to buy a home. 

Here are the Top 4 Ways to Buy a Home Now!

1.  USDA Offers 100% Financing
     You may even be able to financing closing costs!
2.  3% Down FHA Loans
      Easy Underwriting guidelines still available!
3.  100% Veterans Loans
     Qualifed Veterans are exempt from 1st Time Homebuyers Requirements! 
4.  NC Housing with Down Payment Assistance
    
You may borrow  $7,000  for down payment and closing costs with no interest and deferred payments!  Income and sales price limits may apply.  Contact The Pistol Tingen Team for a referral to a Mortgage Specialist who can assist you.

Plus, the once-in-a-lifetime $7,500 tax credit available to many First Time Buyers, makes a home purchase today an even greater investment!

First-Time Buyer Tax Credit: A Reason to Buy Now

When you combine the tax credit with today’s continuing low interest rates, large selection of for-sale inventory, and low home prices, now is a perfect time to buy a home.

How the Tax Credit Works

The First-time Home Buyer Tax Credit was passed this year as part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (H.R. 3221) on July 30 and targets any individual or household that hasn’t owned a home for at least three years. Taxpayers can take the credit on their 2008 tax return if they bought their house this year after April 9.

It’s worth up to $7,500 and can be taken in a single tax year. Authorization for the credit ends July 1, 2009, so if you wait to buy in the first half of 2009, you can take the credit on your 2009 tax return.

The actual credit amount is set as a percentage of the home purchase amount. That percentage amount is 10 percent, so you can get 10 percent of the home price credited against your tax liability, up to a maximum $7,500.

Income limits are $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for households. Individuals whose income exceeds the $75,000 limit but isn’t more than $95,000 can still take the credit but on a reduced basis. The same thing applies to households earning up to $170,000.

Any house is eligible as long as it’s a primary residence and is in the United States.

Buyers Have 15 Years to Pay Back

To help keep the program cost effective for taxpayers, the federal government requires the tax credit to be paid back in small, 6.67-percent increments over 15 years. For that reason, some analysts have likened the credit to a 15-year, interest-free loan to help make home buying affordable.

There’s one restriction on the type of financing that home buyers can use if they plan to take the credit. That restriction is on tax-exempt mortgage financing. That only applies if the home buyers are using below-market interest-rate financing from a public agency or nonprofit that’s funding the loan using proceeds from a tax-exempt mortgage-revenue bond issue. For most buyers, this won’t be an issue. It’s mainly an issue for low-income buyers using special mortgage financing.

Whether you’re thinking about buying or selling, or if you have questions about the Greenville, NC – Pitt County real estate market, please call The Pistol Tingen Team at (252) 321-6161.

The Reality of Real Estate

by Pistol Tingen


     The media, all brands and flavors, has done a magnificent job of portraying the housing market as distressed and all but out of business.  Yes, there are areas that have been hard hit such as resort markets where property “flipping” was all the rage along with the belief that rising values would never end.  Well, it’s silly to believe that any commodity has an infinite price point and when markets got overbuilt and overpriced, look at what happened.  No one should be surprised.  There are other parts of the country that have faced manufacturing plant closings and other job losses and that has had a dramatic and profoundly negative impact on the housing market.

     But what about North Carolina and, especially, the Greenville-Pitt County area?  North Carolina and our locale are some of the hottest destinations in the country for business, industry and retirement.  There is no reason to believe that is going to change over the long term, and that’s good news for real estate.

     Let’s look at homes from a practical point of view.  A home is somewhere you live. It is something you can enjoy every day. It is something you can improve over time and immediately reap the benefits.  It is also something that affords most families a significant tax break through the mortgage interest deduction.  And as you pay down your mortgage over time, you build equity, or savings, that millions of people have found to be invaluable over the years, aside from long term appreciation.  Is all that gone?  In my opinion, not in the long run and history validates my position.

    So, what has happened here?  The Greenville-Pitt County real estate market has slowed along with the rest of the economy.  That was inevitable.  My opinion is that it will also improve along with the rest of the economy.  Exactly when?  Nobody knows.  In the meantime, and looking over  comparisons of sales activity for the first three quarters of 2007 and 2008, the number of closed single family residential sales has declined approximately 33%, but has outperformed some other markets.  That still represents over 1,100 homes sold – not an insignificant number.   What about prices?  Prices have actually increased in our market from an average of $185, 233 last year to $187,922 this year.  A modest gain, yes, but a gain nonetheless.  The slight price rise we’ve witnessed is  an indication of the value many buyers have seen in local properties for sale, in my opinion.  What about financing with the “collapse” of the credit markets?  The fact of the matter is that mortgage financing is readily available to qualified, credit worthy buyers.   It’s that simple.  And interest rates remain at historic lows, saving individual consumers thousands of dollars in mortgage interest charges.

     So with all that in mind, is it a good time to buy a home?  With low interest rates, realistic prices, homes for sale in all price ranges, the answer is yes.  Just be mindful that real estate, as with other investments, should be viewed from a long term perspective.

Submitted By Richard Lane, Broker-In-Charge
Prudential Prime Properties

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BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HomeServices Prime Properties,   Greenville, NC, 2625 Charles Blvd.

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