•March 28, 2009 • Leave a Comment
It certainly looks that way! Starting July 1, the traditional suburbia lifestyle as we know it will be changing for new communities in VA. State officials say that all new streets should have through access linking them to neighboring subdivisions, schools, and shopping areas. Why would they do such a thing?
- Improves Safety: Quicker response time through easier access for emergency vehicles.
- Lower Road Maintenance Cost for Government: The Transportation Department maintains and plows almost all of VA’s roads. In the future, only the new subdivision roads that meet the new connectivity requirements will be maintained by the state. This will free up more money for other projects.
- Less Congestion: Having more ways to access the same place will allow for less congestion on the main roads.
The new restrictions will also require dramatically narrower roads. Under the current guidelines, roads that were 36′ with at least 3 homes on them would be maintained by VDOT, but under the tighter guidelines new roads will be set back to 24′. Officials say this will decrease speeding, decrease storm water runoff, & cost less for maintenance.
As expected, this change is controversial to some. It can be argued that cul-de-sacs provide safety against crime as there is no escape to a main road for a criminal targeting a cul-de-sac home. Many homeowners with children may choose to buy cul-de-sac homes for this same reason. They argue it is peace of mind when allowing the children to play outside. The other positive to the parents is that there is typically less traffic on a cul-de-sac than on a through street.
Cul-de-sac homes often tend to be a hot commodity in the real estate world & it appears they will soon be even that much hotter! Grab your newly constructed home on your quiet cul-de-sac now while you can & reap the rewards of the coveted marketability factor later!
For additional information, please, feel free to contact me directly. www.JenniferMallam.com.
References: The Washington Post, www.washingtonpost.com
My Fox, www.myfoxdc.com
The Virginia Gazette, www.vagazette.com
•March 20, 2009 • 2 Comments
If you have heard of the 2009 First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit I am sure you, like many others, are wondering just what is this tax credit & does it apply to you? If you haven’t heard of this incredible opportunity, please, allow me to explain!
First, let me clarify what “first-time home buyer” means here. First-time home buyer refers to someone who has not had any ownership interest in a home in the three years previous to the day of the 2009 purchase. Now that we cleared that up, here are the high points:
- The purchase must occur between January 1, 2009 and December 1, 2009.
- The $8,000 is in the form of a tax credit and does not have to be repaid. (Repayment may apply if you sell the home within 3 years of the claimed purchase.)
- The credit applies only to the buyer’s principal residence and it must be located in the U.S.
- The full $8,000 credit applies to home purchases of $80,000 or more. If the home you purchase is less than $80,000, you can receive a credit of 10% of the purchase price. For example, if your home purchase is $70,000 you will receive a $7,000 credit.
- Income restrictions apply. Individuals filing single are elegible for credit if their income is no more than $75,000. Married couples filing jointly may have income no more than $150,000. (There are some exceptions.)
- If the buyer’s income tax liability is less than the $8,000, they will receive the difference back as a refundable credit! What does that mean? For example, if the buyer only owes $6,000 the IRS will send a check for the $2,000 as a refund!
As if all of this was not good enough, there’s more! If you have not filed your return for 2008 yet and you did make a qualifiable purchase in 2009, you can claim the $8,000 credit on your 2008 return! Here’s the way this works:
- If the purchase was made between January 1, 2009 and April 15, 2009, the $8,000 credit can be claimed on the 2008 return due April 15.
- You can file an extension for 2008 as late as October 15, 2009.
- If you have already filed your 2008 return before the 2009 purchase, you can make an amendment.
For additional information, please, feel free to contact me directly. www.JenniferMallam.com
Remember, always consult a tax professional.
Resources: National Association of Realtors, www.realtor.org
Virginia Association of Realtors, http://www.varealtor.com/portals/0/docs/consumerinformation/First-Time_Home_Buyer_Credit_09.pdf