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Tax credit enables more people to purchase
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Let’s talk turkey. Well maybe that wasn’t such a great choice of words so let’s talk about home sales then?


Last month, the 400 North Board of Realtors reported a slowed sales pace of 21 homes changing hands in the month of September.


This month sales remained flat at 21 for the month of October. Out of the 21 homes sold, there were 11 bank or corporate owned homes sold, four new homes sold (all bank or lender owned), and five resale homes sold.


This month let’s take a look at how the federal government is enticing purchasers to buy homes with the tax credit incentives.


Beginning earlier this year, Washington announced a tax credit of up to $8,000 for first time home purchasers. This tax credit spurred some activity, but lacked an incentive for existing home purchasers to join in and help the sagging real estate economy. After much debate, our very own Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson was able to pen a bill and pass a $6,500 tax credit for existing homeowners along with an extension of $8,000 to new home buyers.


So let’s look at the specific details of how all of this works:


• New homebuyers must be under contract no later than April 30, 2010 and close by July 1, 2010.


• Purchasers must not have owned a home within the last three years.


• Purchasers must make the home their primary residence. Homes must be under $800,000.


• Single purchasers must not have an income higher than $125,000.


• Married couples must not have an income higher than $225,000.


• There is no repayment of this credit if the purchaser lives in the home longer than three years.


• Existing homebuyers have similar rules with the exception of that the home they have been residing in must have been their principal residence for the past five consecutive years out of the last eight.


For more information or clarification, consult your tax advisor or call the Internal Revenue Service at (800) 829-1040.


The home inventory levels continue to be very high. We are averaging just over 400 single-family homes for sale in the county, which equates to about 19.6 months of inventory at the current sales pace.


So let’s get down to the October numbers:


• There were a total of 21 home sales in October.


• The average home sold for $198,220.


• The average number of days the home was on the market was 184.


• At the current rate of sales, there are 19.6 months of inventory available.


These figures were provided by First Multiple Listing Service and reflect all home sales that changed hands through the assistance of a Realtor.


Scott Whelchel

Public Relations Director, 400 North Board of Realtors.