Fred A. Collins, LLC (Wagner Realty) Real Estate Agent

RAINER

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Fred A. Collins
LLC
location_on Palmetto, FL — Wagner Realty
Get to Know Fred A. Collins

CHOOSING YOUR REALTOR®

The most important decision you will make in the sale of your home is the REALTOR® you choose.

1.        Be sure to find someone you feel comfortable with. If you don't feel you can ask questions or go to your REALTOR®, you have the wrong person.

2.        Choose a local REALTOR®.  We have lived and worked in Palmetto area for 35 years.  I've been active in the local schools, civic associations and youth clubs.

3.        Look for a REALTOR® who tells you what he or she knows from experience in the market, and not what they think you want to hear. Flattery may sometimes get the listing, but it doesn't sell the home!

 Hello and thank you for visiting! It is my goal as your full service real estate professional specializing in the Central and Gulf Coast areas of Florida, to provide you with superior service at all times. My local expertise and extensive real estate experience will benefit you whether you are serious about buying or selling a home at this time, or are a returning client checking out the many homeowner resources I offer. Knowledge. YOU DESERVE THE BEST.  When you use me as your REALTOR®, you are getting someone who has exceeded the basic training requirements to sell Real Estate in Florida.  I'm a licensed Real Estate Broker, I'm also a Licensed Mortgage Broker as well as a Licensed Florida Notary Public. My customers are getting the most qualified individual in the business to assist them.  I've found that having first hand experience handling delicate negotiations, maintaining and exceeding professional competence helps you avoid legal pitfalls that could cost you money. Then I utilize my skills at orchestrating sophisticated marketing strategies to give my customers "the ultimate real estate professional".  I've built my success by delivering this exceptional service, one customer at a time. Will Exceed, Excell & Astonish  Integrity. Every aspect of my life, from personal to professional matters is approached with a strong foundation in faith and the highest standards of integrity.  Some might consider it an old-fashioned way to do business; but for me, its the only way.  Leadership.My background as a Manager in customer service for a top 10 Fortune 500 Company has given me a strong foundation that benefits my customers.  I have the vision and commitment to deliver the personalized service and outstanding results you deserve.  Buying a home? I look forward to helping you select the home of your dreams by taking time to listen to your needs and desires. Selling a home? My real estate expertise and many effective marketing programs will give you the exposure and edge you need to sell your home quickly for top dollar.  Let me show you how I turn JUST LISTED into JUST $OLD Returning Client? I appreciate the opportunity to continue to serve you and hope you take advantage of the valuable resources I provide. Come back to visit often! If you have dreams           ....I have the solutions LOOKING FOR A Mortgage? Want to refinance your Home? Need information about Loans.  I can provide that information and help you find the right loan that meets your needs! REMEMBER TO THANK A VET! Fred A. Collins LLCBroker AssociateWagner Realty(941) 518-9421Current License & Memberships held by Fred A. Collins:License Real Estate BrokerLicense Mortgage BrokerLicense Notary Public State of Florida

Member:National Association of Realtors®Florida Association of Realtors®Manatee Association of Realtors®Greater Tampa Association of Realtors®National Association of Mortgage BrokersProject Management Institute (PMI)Florida Notary AssociationWhat is a short sale?A short sale is a transaction in which the lender, or lenders, agree to accept less than the mortgage amount owed by the current homeowner. In some cases, the difference is forgiven by the lender, and in others the homeowner must make arrangements with the lender to settle the remainder of the debt.Why is the number of short sales rising?Due to the recent economic crisis, including rising unemployment, and drops in home prices in communities across the nation, the number of short sales is increasing. Since a short sale generally costs the lender less than a foreclosure, it can be a viable way for a lender to minimize its losses.A short sale can also be the best option for a homeowners who are "upside down" on mortgages because a short sale may not hurt their credit history as much as a foreclosure. As a result, homeowners may qualify for another mortgage sooner once they get back on their feet financially.What challenges have short sales presented for REALTORS®?The rapid increase in the number of short sales, and the short sales process itself present a number of challenges for REALTORS®. Major challenges include:Limited experienceMany REALTORS® are new to the short sales process; a difficulty which is compounded by many lenders' lack of sufficient and experienced staff to process short sales. Even if the REALTORS® are experienced, most servicers are under-staffed and still not adequately trained, making negotiating a short sale particularly difficult. Absence of a uniform process and applicationCurrently, both short-sales documents and processes are lender-specific, making it very difficult and time-consuming for REALTORS® to become knowledgeable and efficient in facilitating these transactions.  Multiple lendersWhen more than one lender is involved, the negotiations are much more difficult. Second lien holders often hold up the transaction to exert the largest possible payment, in exchange for releasing their lien, even though in foreclosure they will get nothing. As a result of these challenges our members have reported difficulties with: unresponsive lenders; lost documents that require multiple submissions, inaccurate or unrealistic home value assessments, and long processing delays, which cause buyers to walk away.What is being done to address or eliminate these challenges?On May 14, 2009, the Obama Administration announced its upcoming Foreclosure Alternatives Program. Among other things, the new program: Establishes financial incentives for servicers, sellers, and second lien holders to encourage the completion of short-sale transactions. Requires that a timeline, of no fewer than 90 days, be set to allow a homeowner to sell a home, without threat of foreclosure action. Requires the short sale agreement to specify reasonable and customary real estate commissions and costs to be deducted from the sales prices. (The servicer must agree not to negotiate a lower commission after receiving an offer.) Will provide standardized documents, including short-sale agreements and offer acceptance letters. The Foreclosure Alternatives Program is anticipated to launch in late July.For more information on all the short-sales provisions included in the program, see NAR's Short Sales Incentive Summary and the government's Foreclosure Alternative Program fact sheet (PDF 44K). 

FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYER TAX CREDITFrequently Asked Questions In 2008, Congress enacted a $7500 tax credit designed to be an incentive for first-time homebuyers to purchase a home. The credit was designed as a mechanism to decrease the over-supply of homes for sale. For 2009, Congress has increased the credit to $8000 and made several additional improvements. This revised $8000 tax credit applies to purchases on or after January 1, 2009 and before December 1, 2009. Tax Credits -- The Basics  1. What's this new homebuyer tax incentive for 2009? The 2008 $7500, repayable credit is increased to $8000 and the repayment feature is eliminated for 2009 purchasers. Any home that is purchased for $80,000 or more qualifies for the full $8000 amount. If the house costs less than $80,000, the credit will be 10% of the cost. Thus, if an individual purchased a home for $75,000, the credit would be $7500. It is available for the purchase of a principal residence on or after January 1, 2009 and before December 1, 2009.2. Who is eligible? Only first-time homebuyers are eligible. A person is considered a first-time buyer if he/she has not had any ownership interest in a home in the three years previous to the day of the 2009 purchase.3. How does a tax credit work? Every dollar of a tax credit reduces income taxes by a dollar. Credits are claimed on an individual's income tax return. Thus, a qualified purchaser would figure out all the income items and exemptions and make all the calculations required to figure out his/her total tax due. Then, once the total tax owed has been computed, tax credits are applied to reduce the total tax bill. So, if before taking any credits on a tax return a person has total tax liability of $9500, an $8000 credit would wipe out all but $1500 of the tax due. ($9,500 - $8000 = $1500)4. So what happens if the purchaser is eligible for an $8000 credit but their entire income tax liability for the year is only $6000? This tax credit is what's called "refundable" credit. Thus, if the eligible purchaser's total tax liability was $6000, the IRS would send the purchaser a check for $2000. The refundable amount is the differencebetween $8000 credit amount and the amount of tax liability. ($8000 - $6000 = $2000) Most taxpayers determine their tax liability by referring to tables that the IRS prepares each year.5. How does withholding affect my tax credit and my refund? A few examples are provided at the end of this document. There are several steps in this calculation, but most income tax software programs are equipped to make that determination.6. Is there an income restriction? Yes. The income restriction is based on the tax filing status the purchaser claims when filing his/her income tax return. Individuals filing Form 1040 as Single (or Head of Household) are eligible for the credit if their income is no more than $75,000. Married couples who file a Joint return may have income of no more than $150,000.7. How is my "income" determined? For most individuals, income is defined and calculated in the same manner as their Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) on their 1040 income tax return. AGI includes items like wages, salaries, interest and dividends, pension and retirement earnings, rental income and a host of other elements. AGI is the final number that appears on the bottom line of the front page of an IRS Form 1040.8. What if I worked abroad for part of the year? Some individuals have earned income and/or receive housing allowances while working outside the US. Their income will be adjusted to reflect those items to measure Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI). Their eligibility for the credit will be based on their MAGI.9. Do individuals with incomes higher than the $75,000 or $150,000 limits lose all the benefit of the credit? Not always. The credit phases-out between $75,000 - $95,000 for singles and $150,000 - $170,000 for married filing joint. The closer a buyer comes to the maximum phase-out amount, the smaller the credit will be. The law provides a formula to gradually withdraw the credit. Thus, the credit will disappear after an individual's income reaches $95,000 (single return) or $170,000 (joint return). For example, if a married couple had income of $165,000, their credit would be reduced by 75% as shown: Couple's income $165,000 Income limit 150,000 Excess income $15,000 The excess income amount ($15,000 in this example) is used to form a fraction. The numerator of the fraction is the excess income amount ($15,000). The denominator is $20,000 (specified by the statute).In this example, the disallowed portion of the credit is 75% of $8000, or $6000 ($15,000/$20,000 = 75% x $8000 = $6000) Stated another way, only 25% of the credit amount would be allowed. In this example, the allowable credit would be $2000 (25% x $8000 = $2000)10. What's the definition of "principal residence?" Generally, a principal residence is the home where an individual spends most of his/her time (generally defined as more than 50%). It is also defined as "owner-occupied" housing. The term includes single-family detached housing, condos or co-ops, townhouses or any similar type of new or existing dwelling. Even some houseboats or manufactured homes count as principal residences.11. Are there restrictions on the location of the property? Yes. The home must be located in the United States. Property located outside the US is not eligible for the credit.12. Are there restrictions related to the financing for the mortgage on the property? In 2009, most financing arrangements are acceptable and will not affect eligibility for the credit. Congress eliminated the financing restriction that applied in 2008. (In 2008, purchasers were ineligible for the $7500 credit if the financing was obtained by means of mortgage revenue bonds.) Now, mortgage-revenue bond financing will not disqualify an otherwise-eligible purchaser. (Mortgage revenue bonds are tax-exempt bonds issued by a state housing agency. Proceeds from the bonds must be used for below market loans to qualified buyers.)13. Do I have to repay the 2009 tax credit? NO.14. Do 2008 purchasers still have to repay their tax credit? YES. 15. How do I apply for the credit? There is no pre-purchase authorization, application or similar approval process. All eligible purchasers simply claim the credit on their IRS Form 1040 tax return. The credit will be reflected on a new Form 5405 that will be attached to the 1040. Form 5405 can be found at www.irs.gov.16. So I can't use the credit amount as part of my downpayment? No. Congress tried hard to devise a mechanism that would make the funds available for closing costs, but found that pre-funding would require cumbersome processes that would, in effect, bring the IRS into the purchase and settlement phase of the transaction.17. So there's no way to get any cash flow benefits before I file my tax return? Yes, there is. Any first-time homebuyers who believe they are eligible for all or part of the credit can modify their income tax withholding (through their employers) or adjust their quarterly estimated tax payments. Individuals subject to income tax withholding would get an IRS Form W-4 from their employer, follow the instructions on the schedules provided and give the completed Form W-4 back to the employer. In many cases their withholding would decrease and their take-home pay would increase. Those who make estimated tax payments would make similar adjustments. Some "Real World" Examples  18. What if I purchase later this year but can't get to settlement before December 1? The credit is available for purchases before December 1, 2009. A home is considered as "purchased" when all events have occurred that transfer the title from the seller to the new purchaser. Thus, closings must occur before December 1, 2009 for purchases to be eligible for the credit.19. I haven't even filed my 2008 tax return yet. If I buy in 2009, do I have to wait until next year to get the benefit of the credit? You'll have a helpful choice that might speed up the process. Eligible homebuyers who make their purchase between January 1, 2009 and December 1, 2009 can treat the purchase as if it had occurred on December 31, 2008. Thus, they can claim the credit on their 2008 tax return that is due on April 15, 2009. They actually have three filing options.If they purchase between January 1, 2009 and April 15, 2009, they can claim the $8000 credit on the 2008 return due on April 15.They can extend their 2008 income-tax filing until as late as October 15, 2009. (The IRS grants automatic extensions, but the taxpayer must file for the extension. See www.irs.gov for instructions on how to obtain an extension.)If they have filed their 2008 return before they purchase the home, they may file an amended 2008 tax return on Form 1040X. (Form 1040X is available at www.irs.gov)Of course, 2009 purchasers will always have the option of claiming the credit for the 2009 purchase on their 2009 return. Their 2009 tax return is due on April 15, 2010.20. I purchased my home in early 2009 before the stimulus bill was enacted. I claimed a $7500 tax credit on my 2008 return as prior law had permitted. Am I restricted to just a $7500 credit? No, you would qualify for the $8000 credit. Eligible purchasers who have already claimed the $7500 credit on a 2008 return for a 2009 purchase may file an amended return (IRS Form 1040X) for the 2008 tax year. This amended return will enable them to obtain the additional $500 credit amount.21. If I claim my 2009 $8000 credit on my 2008 tax return, will I have to repay the credit just as the 2008 credits are repaid? No. Congress anticipated this confusion and has made specific provision so that there would be no repayment of 2009 credits that are claimed on 2008 returns.22. I made an eligible purchase of a principal residence in May 2008 and claimed the $7500 credit on my 2008 tax return. My brother, who has never owned a home, wishes to purchase a partial interest in the home this spring and move in. Will he qualify for the $8000 credit, as well? No. Any purchase of a principal residence (or interest in a principal residence) from a related party such as a sibling, parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle is ineligible for the tax credit. Since you and your brother are related in this way, he cannot qualify for the credit on any portion of the home that he purchases from you, even if he is a first-time homebuyer.23. I live in the District of Columbia. If I qualify as a first-time homebuyer, can I use both the $5000 DC credit and the $8000 credit? No; double dipping is not allowed. You would be eligible for only the $8000 credit. This will be an advantage because of the higher credit amount, plus the eligibility requirements for the $8000 credit are somewhat more easily satisfied than the DC credit.24. I know there is no repayment requirement for the $8000 credit. Will I ever have to repay any of the credit back to the government? One situation does require a recapture payment back to the government. If you claim the credit but then sell the property within 3 years of the date of purchase, you are required to pay back the full amount of any credit, including any refund you received from it. A few exceptions apply. (See below, #24). Note that this same 3-year recapture rule applies, as well, to the $7500 credit available for 2008. This provision is designed as an anti-flipping rule.25. What if I die or get divorced or my property is ruined in a natural disaster within the 3 years? The repayment rules are eased for many circumstances. If the homeowner who used the credit dies within the first three years of ownership, there is no recapture. Special rules make adjustments for people who sell homes as part of a divorce settlement, as well. Similarly, adjustments are made in the case of a home that is part of an involuntary conversion (property is destroyed in a natural disaster or subject to condemnation by eminent domain by an authorized agency) within the first three years.26. I have a home under construction. Am I eligible for the credit? Yes, so long as you actually occupy the home before December 1, 2009. WITHHOLDING EXAMPLES: Note: The impact of estimated tax payments would be the same. Sally plans her withholding so that her withholding is as close as possible to what she anticipates as her income tax liability for the year. When she fills out her 1040, her liability is $6000. She has had $6000 withheld from her paycheck. She also qualifies for the $8000 homebuyer credit. Result: Sally's withholding satisfies her tax liability and reduces it to zero. She will receive a refund of the full $8000. Situation 2: Nick and Nora file a joint return. Nick is self-employed and makes estimated payments; Nora has taxes withheld from her salary. When they compute their taxes, their combined withholding and estimated tax payments are $11,000. Their income tax liability is $9800. They also qualified as first-time homebuyers and are eligible for the $8000 refundable tax credit. Result: Ordinarily, their combined estimated tax payments and withholding would make them eligible for a refund of $1200 ($11,000 - $9800 = $1200). Because they are eligible for the refundable tax credit as well, they will receive a refund of $9200 ($1200 income tax refund + $8000 refundable tax credit = $9200) Situation 3: Cesar and LuzMaria both have income taxes withheld from their salaries and file a joint return. When they file their income tax return, their combined withholding is $5000. However, their total tax liability is $7200, generating an additional income tax liability of $2200 ($7200 - $5000). They also qualify for the $8000 first-time homebuyer tax credit. Result: Cesar and LuzMaria have been under-withheld by $2200. Ordinarily, they would be required to pay the additional $2200 they owe (plus any applicable interest and penalties). Because they are eligible for the refundable homebuyer tax credit, the credit will cover the $2200 additional liability. In addition, they will receive an income tax refund of $5800 ($8000 - $2200 = $5800). If they owed penalties and/or interest, that amount would reduce the refund. Situation 1:Making Home AffordableUpdate: Foreclosure Alternatives and Home Price Decline Protection IncentivesOn Feb.18th the Obama Administration announced the Making Home Affordable (MHA) Program, a comprehensive plan to stabilize the US housing market and offer assistance to up to 7 to 9 million homeowners by reducing mortgage payments to affordable levels and preventing avoidable foreclosures.As promised, two weeks later on March 4th, the Administration published detailed program guidelines and authorized servicers to begin modifications and refinancings under the plan immediately. On April 28th, the Administration announced additional details related to the Second Lien Program and strengthening Hope for Homeowners. Fourteen servicers, including the five largest, have now signed contracts and begun modifications and refinancings under MHA. Between loans covered by these servicers and loans owned or securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, more than 75 percent of all loans in the country are now covered by the MHA program.Today we are providing a program update, including additional details on Foreclosure Alternatives and Home Price Decline Protection Incentives. Foreclosure Alternatives will help to prevent costly foreclosures by providing incentives for servicers and borrowers to pursue short sales and deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure in cases where a borrower is eligible for a MHA modification but unable to complete the modification process. This program will assist homeowners who cannot afford to stay in their homes by helping them to avoid foreclosure and relocate to a home they can afford. Building on insights developed by the FDIC, Home Price Decline Protection Incentives will provide additional payments based on recent home price declines, and therefore will incentivize additional modifications in areas where home prices have been falling. By increasing MHA modifications and the use of alternatives to foreclosure, we will reduce the negative impact of foreclosure, minimizing damaging costs for financial institutions, borrowers and communities.Home Price Decline Protection Incentives and Foreclosure Alternatives, together with the other comprehensive elements of the Making Home Affordable program, will help to stabilize property values for homeowners in neighborhoods hardest hit by foreclosures. Based on estimates of the relationship between foreclosures and home prices, the Home Affordable Modification program could help to bolster home values for the average homeowner by as much as $6,000.Foreclosure Alternatives and Home Price Decline Protection Incentives1. Foreclosure Alternatives for Borrowers Eligible for MHAShort Sales/Deeds-In-Lieu Program to Facilitate Foreclosure AlternativesIncentives for servicers to pursue alternatives to foreclosuresBorrower incentives to cover relocation expenses to homes that are affordableStreamlined process combining short sales and deed-in-lieu transactions2. Home Price Decline Protection Incentives to Protect Against Falling Home PricesIncentives to support modifications in markets hardest hit by falling home pricesProvides incentives for modifications by providing payments based on recent declines in home prices to reduce the risk of loss to lenders from modifications compared to alternatives that could result in the loss of homeownership1.Foreclosure Alternatives for Borrowers Eligible for MHA but Unable to Sustain a Modification: For eligible borrowers unable to retain their homes through a Home Affordable Modification, MHA will provide incentives to borrowers, servicers and investors to encourage short sales and deeds-in-lieu. Both allow families and servicers to avoid the costly foreclosure process, and to minimize the negative impact of foreclosures on borrowers, financial institutions and communities.Short Sales/Deeds-In-Lieu Program to Facilitate Foreclosure AlternativesWhen a borrower meets the eligibility requirements for a Home Affordable Modification (HAMP) but does not qualify for a modification or cannot maintain payments during the trial period or modification, the servicer may consider a short sale, and if that is unsuccessful, a deed-in-lieu (DIL).Both a short sale and a DIL provide an opportunity for borrowers and servicers to avoid the foreclosure process. In a short sale, a servicer allows the borrower to sell the property at its current value, even if the sale nets less than the total amount owed on the mortgage. Approval of a short sale requires the borrower to list and actively market the home at its fair value. The sale must be an arms length market transaction with all proceeds (after selling costs) applied to the discounted mortgage payoff. If the borrower actively markets the property but is unable to sell it within the agreed upon time period, a servicer may consider a DIL. With a DIL, the borrower voluntarily transfers ownership of the property to the servicer - provided the title is free and clear.Short sales and DILs are complex transactions involving careful coordination and close cooperation among a number of parties -- servicers, appraisers, borrowers, purchasers, real estate brokers, title agencies and often mortgage insurance companies and junior lien holders. A short sale or DIL usually provides a better outcome for borrowers, investors and communities. However, due to the complexity of and time required for completion of these transactions, servicers historically have often opted to pursue foreclosure instead, even where a short sale or DIL would have provided a substantially better outcome for borrowers, investors and communities.The MHA Foreclosure Alternatives Program simplifies and streamlines the short sale and DIL process by providing a standard process flow, minimum performance timeframes and standard documentation. To compliment a standardized approach, Treasury provides incentives to borrowers, servicers and investors to pursue short sales and DILs.How The Home Affordable Short Sale/DIL Program Works:Borrower Eligibility. Borrowers will be eligible for the Foreclosure Alternative Program if they meet the minimum eligibility criteria for a Home Affordable Modification but did not qualify for a modification or were unable to sustain payments under a trial period plan or a modification. Prior to proceeding to foreclosure, participating servicers must evaluate each eligible borrower to determine if a short sale is appropriate. Considerations in the determination include property condition and value, average marketing time in the community where the property is located, the condition of the title including the presence of junior liens and a determination that the net sales proceeds are expected to exceed the investor's recovery through foreclosure Incentive Payments.Servicers may receive incentive compensation of up to $1,000 for successful completion of a short sale or DIL.Borrowers may receive incentive compensation of up to $1,500 to assist with relocation expenses.Treasury will also share the cost of paying junior lien holders to release their claims, matching $1 for every $2 paid by the investors, up to a total contribution of $1,000 by Treasury.Standardized Documentation: The program will publish streamlined and standardized documentation, including a Short Sale Agreement and an Offer Acceptance Letter. These documents will outline specific marketing terms, describe the rights and responsibilities of all parties and establish clear timeframes for performance. Creating one standard set of documents that the industry can use is expected to minimize the complexity of these transactions and significantly increase use of the short sale option.Property Valuation: The servicer will independently establish both property value and the minimum acceptable net return in accordance with investor guidance and will provide instruction to the borrower regarding the list price and any permissible price reductions. The price may be determined based on either: (1) an appraisal performed in accordance with USPAP and/or (2) one or more Broker Price Opinions either of which must be dated within 120 days of the Short Sale Agreement.Minimum and Maximum Duration: Under the program, servicers will allow borrowers at least 90 days to market and sell the property, with possibly more time based on local market conditions. The property must be listed with a licensed realtor experienced in selling properties in the neighborhood. Marketing of the property may run concurrently with the foreclosure process, however no foreclosure sale can take place during the marketing period specified in the Short Sale Agreement as long as the borrower is acting in good faith to sell the property. There will be a maximum marketing period of 1 year for the property, provided any longer period not otherwise delay foreclosure sale, to ensure diligence by servicers and borrowers in moving as quickly as possible to complete the short sale and deed-in-lieu process.Selling Commissions and Fees: Reasonable and customary real estate commissions and selling costs that may be deducted from the sales price will be specified in the Short Sale Agreement. The Servicer will agree not to negotiate a lower sales commission after an offer has been received.Fees and Charges: Servicers may not charge borrowers fees for participation in the Foreclosure Alternative Program.Property Eligibility: Any junior liens, mortgages or other debts against the property must be cleared for the property to be sold as a short sale or deeded to the servicer. The servicer can proceed with a short sale or deed-in-lieu if there is a reasonable belief that all liens on the property can be cleared.Program Expiration: Eligible borrowers will be accepted until December 31, 2012. Program payments will be made upon successful completion of a short sale or DIL.Deed-in-Lieu: At the servicer's option, the Short Sale Agreement may include a condition that the borrower agrees to deed the property to the servicer in exchange for a release from the debt if the property does not sell within the time specified in the Agreement or any extension thereof. In this case the borrower would have 30 days to vacate the property and would be entitled to $1,500 to assist with relocation expenses, in addition to any other funds the servicer may provide to the borrower.2.Home Price Decline Protection Incentives to Protect Against Falling Home Prices: This initiative provides lenders additional incentives for modifications where home price declines have been most severe and lenders fear these declines may persist. These incentives will encourage servicers to undertake more modifications by assuring that incremental investor losses will be partially offset.To encourage the modification of more mortgages and enable more families to keep their homes, the Administration, building on insights pioneered by Chairman Bair and the FDIC, has developed an innovative payment that provides compensation based on recent home price declines, structured as a simple cash payment on every eligible loan. Home Price Decline Protection (HPDP) incentives are designed to address investor concerns that recent home price declines may persist. Together the incentive payments on all modified homes will help cover the incremental collateral loss on those modifications that do not succeed. HPDP payments will be linked to the rate of recent home price decline in a local housing market, as well as the average cost of a home in that market.Increases Number of Loans that Are Modified: Making Home Affordable will make payments totaling up to $10 billion to to encourage lenders, servicers and investors to modify rather than foreclose by addressing concerns that home price declines will persist in the future. This should increase the number of modifications completed under the MHA program in markets hardest hit by falling home prices.How The Program Works:Payments will be based on the total number of modified loans that successfully complete the modification trial period and remain in the modification program.Each successful modification will be eligible for a HPDP incentive, up to a cap for HPDP incentives of $10 billion.If the trial modification remains successful, 1/24th of the HPDP incentive will accrue to the lender/investor each month for up to 24 months. HPDP incentive payments will be made at the end of the first and second year of the modification.·Calculation of HPDP Incentives: HPDP incentive amounts will be calculated based on a formula incorporating:Declines in average local market home prices over recent quarters prior to the quarter in which the loan was modified based on housing price indices; andThe average price of a home in each particular market, since the potential loss due to a given rate of home price decline will be larger in higher cost areas.The $7500 credit in 2008 was more like an interest-free loan. All eligible purchasers who claimed the 2008 credit will still be required to repay it over 15 years, starting with their 2010 tax return. Some Practical Questions There is no repayment for 2009 tax credits.

Certifications

When you decide to buy a home, You can be assured that I will assist you in getting the best deal possible for you. Buying a new home is a source of anxiety, frustration -- and a huge sense of accomplishment. You didn't pick the house that was best for someone else; you picked the one that's right for you! That's how I do my work also, helping you find what best fits your needs.  I can help you get in getting prequalified for a home loan. 

I give all my customers the personal attention they deserve and will treat you with the respect due a valued customer.  I understand you're making a commitment in buying a new home, So I make a commitment to you. I will be with you throughout the home buying process. 

YOUR LOCAL REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONAL

Fred A. Collins LLC

Broker Associate

Wagner Realty

Lic. Mortgage Broker For Sellers Selling your home shouldn't be a stressful ordeal. Making the smart move of choosing a REALTOR® is your first step to ensuring that your investment in your home pays off. My services and experience allow you to focus on your move while I manage your home sale from our initial consultation to the closing deal, and beyond. I pride myself on repeat business and hope you'll come to understand why. What I will do for youRecent Home SalesGetting the highest priceClosing Costs As Your Agent, I Will: Complete a comparative market analysis that will compare your home's value to that of your neighbors. Compile a comprehensive plan detailing all the efforts I will employ to sell your home, including Internet and local media. Present your home to as many qualified buyers as possible getting your home maximum exposure. Help you stage your home and generate curb appeal to ensure you get the highest price. Assist with obtaining offers and help you in negotiating the best deal as smoothly as possible. Help you find your next home and answer all of your questions about the local market area, including schools, neighborhoods, the local economy, and more.

Recent Home Sales

What are homes selling for on your street? E- mail me some basic information, such as street address, city and state and and I will send you a list showing what neighborhood homes are selling for, free of charge, or if you like I can provide you with a more detailed analysis of the value of your home.  Just let me know which report you would like to receive.

Getting the Highest Price for Your Home

Curb appeal is key and could make a difference whether people stop and take a flyer, or drive right by. Here are a few tips to increase the curb appeal of your home. Staging your home is important. Many buyers will stay in your home longer if it's staged appropriately. We have compiled some ideas to present your home in the most effective manner.

Closing Costs to Expect:

Title insurance fees depend on the sales price of the home. Broker's commission is a full-service fee and will cost anywhere between 5% to 7%. Local property transfer tax, country transfer tax, state transfer tax, and state capital gains tax are the charges that you'll pay for the privilege of selling your home. Credit to the buyer of unpaid real estate taxes for the prior or current year are variable and depend on when you close and when your taxes are due. FHA fees and costs are all fees are now negotiable between an FHA buyer and seller. Home inspections fees are in some circumstances paid for by the seller and include pest, radon and other inspections. Miscellaneous fees can accrue from correcting problems noticed during the home inspection. Find out how much your closing costs could be. Call (941) 518-9421

If you're a first-time home buyer you've probably had friends, family and coworkers attempt to advise you on the best reasons to purchase a home. However, you may still be wondering if buying a home is the right move for you. This is a valid concern and having reservations about purchasing a home is normal. However, the more you understand about the home-buying experience, the less intimidating the entire process will be.

Listed below are eight good reasons why you should purchase a home:

  American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

 The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act offers an $8,000 dollar tax credit for aspiring first-time (within the last three years) home owners who find their goal stubbornly elusive. But, like so many of the good things in life, time is of the essence. Buyers who wish to take advantage of this outstanding opportunity to get 8 grand back from the government must purchase a primary residence on or after Jan 1, 2009 and before Dec. 1, 2009.

 Breaking news: HUD Secretary Donovan announces that the $8,000 tax credit may be used as a downpayment!

 Who Qualifies?First-time home buyers who purchase homes between January 1, 2009 and December 1, 2009.

To qualify as a "first-time home buyer" the purchaser or his/her spouse may not have owned a residence during the three years prior to the purchase.

 Which Properties Are Eligible?The 2009 First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit may be applied to primary residences, including: single-family homes, condos, townhomes, and co-ops.

 How Much Will the Credit Be?The maximum allowable credit for home buyers is $8,000. Each home buyer's tax credit is determined by two factors:

The price of the home-the credit is equal to 10% of the purchase price of the home, up to $8,000.

The buyer's income-single buyers with incomes up to $75,000 and married couples with incomes up to $150,000-may receive the maximum tax credit.

If the Buyer(s)' Income Exceeds These Limits, Can He/She Still Get a Credit?Yes, some buyers may still be eligible for the credit.

 The credit decreases for buyers who earn between $75,000 and $95,000 for single buyers and between $150,000 and $170,000 for home buyers filing jointly. The amount of the tax credit decreases as his/her income approaches the maximum limit. Home buyers earning more than the maximum qualifying income-over $95,000 for singles and over $170,000 for couples are not eligible for the credit.

 Will the Tax Credit Need to Be Repaid?No. The buyer does not need to repay the tax credit, if he/she occupies the home for three years or more. However, if the property is sold during the three-year period, the credit will be recouped on the sale.

Asset Appreciation

 Unlike most things one may purchase with their money - cars, boats, stereo equipment - a home will not usually depreciate in value over time. In fact, real estate has proven to be one of the most valuable investments a person can make and owning land is still one of the few ways to acheive true wealth. By purchasing a home and investing in that property you will not only be providing a stable environment in which to grow and mature but you will also be sewing the seeds of financial independance. Although real estate moves in cycles, sometimes up, sometimes down, over the years, real estate has consistently appreciated. Many people view their home investment as a hedge against inflation.

 Pride in Ownership

 Pride of ownership is the number one reason why people yearn to own their home. It means you can paint the walls any color you desire, turn up the volume on your MP3 player, attach permanent fixtures and decorate your home according to your own taste. Home ownership gives you and your family a sense of stability and security. It's making an investment in your future.

 Mortgage Interest Tax Deductions

Home ownership is a superb tax shelter and our tax rates favor homeowners. As long as your mortgage balance is smaller than the price of your home, mortgage interest is fully deductible on your tax return. Interest is the largest component of your mortgage payment.

 Property Tax Deductions

 IRS Publication 530 contains tax information for first-time home buyers. Real estate property taxes paid for a first home and a vacation home are fully deductible for income tax purposes. In California, the passage of Proposition 13 in 1978 established the amount of assessed value after property changes hands and limited property tax increases to 2% per year or the rate of inflation, whichever is less. Click here for more info.

 Preferential Tax Treatment

 If you receive more profit than the allowable exclusion upon sale of your home, that profit will be considered a capital asset as long as you owned your home for more than one year. Capital assets receive preferential tax treatment.

Capital Gain Exclusion

 As long as you have lived in your home for two of the past five years, you can exclude up to $250,000 for an individual or $500,000 for a married couple of profit from capital gains. You do not have to buy a replacement home or move up. There is no age restriction, and the "over-55" rule does not apply. You can exclude the above thresholds from taxes every 24 months, which means you could sell every two years and pocket your profit--subject to limitation--free from taxation.

 Mortgage Reduction Builds Equity

Each month part of your monthly payment is applied to the principal balance of your loan, which reduces your loan obligation. The way amortization works is that the principal portion of your principal and interest payment increases slightly every month. It is lowest on your first payment and highest on your last payment. On average, each $100,000 of a mortgage will reduce in balance the first year by about $500 in principal, bringing that balance at the end of your first 12 months to $99,500. It is advisable to pay extra on your mortgage every month and specify that the extra amount goes to pay down the principal. This way you can pay off your mortgage in less time, saving you thousands of dollars in interest charges over the life of the loan.

Equity Loans

 Consumers who carry credit card balances cannot deduct the interest paid, which can cost as much as 22%. Equity loan interest is often much less and it is deductible. Consumers can borrow against a home's equity for a variety of reasons such as home improvement, college or medical bills. Some state laws restrict home equity loans.

Selling your home shouldn't be a stressful ordeal. Making the smart move of choosing a REALTOR® is your first step to ensuring that your investment in your home pays off. My services and experience allow you to focus on your move while I manage your home sale from our initial consultation to the closing deal, and beyond. I pride myself on repeat business and hope you'll come to understand why. What I will do for youRecent Home SalesGetting the highest priceClosing CostsAs Your Agent, I Will: Complete a comparative market analysis that will compare your home's value to that of your neighbors. Compile a comprehensive plan detailing all the efforts I will employ to sell your home, including Internet and local media. Present your home to as many qualified buyers as possible getting your home maximum exposure. Help you stage your home and generate curb appeal to ensure you get the highest price. Assist with obtaining offers and help you in negotiating the best deal as smoothly as possible. Help you find your next home and answer all of your questions about the local market area, including schools, neighborhoods, the local economy, and more. Recent Home SalesWhat are homes selling for on your street? E- mail me some basic information, such as street address, city and state and and I will send you a list showing what neighborhood homes are selling for, free of charge, or if you like I can provide you with a more detailed analysis of the value of your home.  Just let me know which report you would like to receive.Getting the Highest Price for Your HomeCurb appeal is key and could make a difference whether people stop and take a flyer, or drive right by. Here are a few tips to increase the curb appeal of your home. Staging your home is important. Many buyers will stay in your home longer if it's staged appropriately. We have compiled some ideas to present your home in the most effective manner.Closing Costs to Expect: Title insurance fees depend on the sales price of the home. Broker's commission is a full-service fee and will cost anywhere between 5% to 7%. Local property transfer tax, country transfer tax, state transfer tax, and state capital gains tax are the charges that you'll pay for the privilege of selling your home. Credit to the buyer of unpaid real estate taxes for the prior or current year are variable and depend on when you close and when your taxes are due. FHA fees and costs are all fees are now negotiable between an FHA buyer and seller. Home inspections fees are in some circumstances paid for by the seller and include pest, radon and other inspections. Miscellaneous fees can accrue from correcting problems noticed during the home inspection. Find out how much your closing costs could be.

Shopping for the right mortgage  Get the best mortgage loan for you.   When you decide to buy a home or refinance a mortgage, it's a big step. You can be assured that I will find the loan program that's best for you.Buying a new home is a source of anxiety, frustration -- and a huge sense of accomplishment. You didn't pick the house that was best for someone else; you picked the one that's right for you! That's how I do my work also, finding the mortgage loan that best fits your needs.  "Less paperwork and more personal attention" means you enter a frustration-free zone from application to decision. Getting the right mortgage loan is like getting the keys to your new house!  I can help you get there. I'll work with you to find the best financing that lets you buy the home you want. We'll consider both your current budget and housing plans in order to find ways to save you money.  Give me a call today and lets get you in the home of your dreams.  Fred A. Collins LLC REALTOR®Broker AssociateWagner Realty(941) 518-9421YOUR LOCAL REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONAL Fred A. Collins LLC Real Estate Broker Associate Lic. Mortgage BrokerLic. Notary Public State of Florida With inventory diminishing daily and multiple offers being extremely common, it is of great importance that you position yourself to have the best chance to get your offer accepted.  Enhance your chance of getting the home of your choice by doing the following:  First, get pre-approved for the purchase. This takes very little time and is of great value. At this time, identify the price range for which you qualify and which fits your lifestyle. Submit a strong competitive offer. Submit the offer as if there will be multiple offers. Include substantial earnest money deposit. Acceptance of an offer is sometimes determined by the amount of the deposit. A larger amount may signify a bigger commitment to the seller.  Minimize or eliminate contingencies; the fewer contingencies, the stronger the offer.  Make a buyer profile available.  Include time on the job, flexibility, and reason for purchasing seller's home.   Be prepared to preview a new property quickly. Homes sometimes sell in hours. Be prepared to make decisions quickly and be accessible to change the terms instantly. Buyer and agent need to have instant communication access via office phone, voice mail, fax, pager or cellular phone. The following are some items you should have with you when applying for a mortgage:    Copy of your Purchase & Sale Agreement. Your present mortgage information. Two-year history of employment and verification of all income sources. If self-employed, copies of past two years Federal Income Tax Returns. Information about your checking, savings and credit card accounts. Name, account number and outstanding balance of each of your debts. Application deposits. Information about any assets, including information regarding any other assets that will be used as funds to close. If FHA - Copy of Social Security card and photo ID. If VA - Certificate of Eligibility or DD214If Employee Relocation Client. Include relocation information and copy of offer, promissory note and copy of check on bridge loan. I learned a long time ago that the mortgage business is not all about numbers and interest rates. It's about people and their dreams. I don't trust my dreams to just anyone and I don't expect you to, either. That's why I'd like an opportunity to demonstrate my knowledge and ability as well as earn your friendship and trust... So you will be able to do business with someone you can trust and depend on.Thank you for time and I hope the information below will be beneficial to you.  Please feel free to call with any questions.The following are some good questions to discuss with your lender when applying for a home loan:  Are both fixed-rate and adjustable mortgage loans available? What is the interest rate? How long can I "lock-in" the financing at the current interest rate? Is a float down lock available in case rates drop after I have locked in? What are the other fees a lender may charge me in conjunction with my loan? Are funds for a second mortgage available? On adjustable loans, how often will the interest rate be adjusted? Is there a maximum limit on each rate change? How often will the monthly payment be adjusted?  Is there a ceiling on payment adjustments?  Can the term of the loan be extended?  What is the maximum rate that can be charged over the life of the loan?  Is there any potential for negative amortization?  Is there a pre-payment penalty clause? This involves extra charges for paying off the loan before maturity. About 80% of all loans in the United States are paid off early.  What is the "grace" period?  How late can a monthly payment be made before a late charge is assessed?  What will happen if a payment is missed?  If you sell your house, will the new buyer (if he/she qualifies) be able to assume your mortgage at the same interest rate?  Do you have to pay "points" to get your new mortgage?  Usually lenders charge points for the cost of giving you a mortgage loan. A "point" is 1% of the loan.  Will the lender require mortgage insurance?  Is the loan serviced locally or is the servicing sold? Ask for a written "good faith deposit".  Send change of address to: Post Office, Charge Accounts, and Credit Card Accounts, Friends & Relatives, and Subscriptions.  Remember that your notice requires several weeks for magazines. Notify your bank. Transfer funds, arrange check cashing in new city. Insurance: Notify new location for insurance coverage (life, health, fire, auto, homeowner's.) Automobile: Transfer car title, car registration, car tags, driver's license, state windshield sticker, and motor club membership. Utilities: Gas, light, cable TV, water, telephone get refund of any deposits made. Arrange for immediate service in new town. Arrange final reading and change of name for billing. Delivery People: Cancel laundry, newspaper and milk. School: Ask for copies or transfer of children's records. Ask For:Medical records of family and pets. Drug and Eye Contact or Glasses Prescriptions to be transferred. Doctor and Pharmacist recommendations. Letters of Introduction to transfer memberships. Pet requirements in new city. Empty freezer; plan use of foods. Defrost freezer-refrigerator. (Place charcoal to dispel odors.) Have appliances serviced for moving. Clean rugs or clothing, before moving; have them "moving-wrapped." Check with your moving counselor: insurance coverage, packing and unpacking labor, arrival day, various shipping papers, method and time of expected payment. Plan for special care needs of infants. Plan garage sale. On your moving day: Carry currency, jewelry, documents yourself; or use registered mail. Plan for transporting pets. (They are poor traveling companions if unhappy.) Make sure you can be found if they become lost. Carry traveler's checks for quick available funds. Tell close friends or relatives your route and schedule (including overnight stops). Use them as "message headquarters." Double check closets, drawers, and shelves (to be sure they are empty). Arrange to leave keys with new tenant, owner or agent. effort to give your home a solid advantage over competing properties.   Pay attention to detail now because first impressions count with buyers. You only have one chance and it starts with what often referred to as "curb appeal".  Some tips to create a better curb appeal are:  Create A Buying Mood. Turn on lights. Turn on air conditioner/heater. Open the drapes. Light the fireplace.  Exterior Appearance Keep lawns cut. Trim hedges and shrubs. Weed and edge gardens. Clear driveway and clean up oil spills. Clean out garage. Touch up paint. Make repairs where needed Create Space. Clear halls and stairs of clutter. Store surplus furniture. Clear kitchen counter and stovetop. Clear closets of unnecessary clothing. Remove empty boxes and containers.  Maintenance Repair leaking taps and toilets. Clean furnace and filters. Tighten doorknobs and latches. Repair cracked plaster. Touch up paint. Clean and repair windows. Repair seals around tubs and basins. Replace defective light bulbs. Oil squeaking doors. Repair squeaking floorboards.  Squeaky Clean Clean and freshen bathrooms. Clean fridge and stove (in and out). Clean around heating vents. Clean washer and dryer. Clean carpets, drapes and window blinds.  At The Front Door Clean porch and foyer. Ensure doorbell works. Repair screen on door. Fresh paint or varnish front door. Repair door locks and key access effort to give your home a solid advantage over competing properties.   Pay attention to detail now because first impressions count with buyers. You only have one chance and it starts with what often referred to as "curb appeal".  Some tips to create a better curb appeal are:  Create A Buying Mood. Turn on lights. Turn on air conditioner/heater. Open the drapes. Light the fireplace.  Exterior Appearance Keep lawns cut. Trim hedges and shrubs. Weed and edge gardens. Clear driveway and clean up oil spills. Clean out garage. Touch up paint. Make repairs where needed Create Space. Clear halls and stairs of clutter. Store surplus furniture. Clear kitchen counter and stovetop. Clear closets of unnecessary clothing. Remove empty boxes and containers.  Maintenance Repair leaking taps and toilets. Clean furnace and filters. Tighten doorknobs and latches. Repair cracked plaster. Touch up paint. Clean and repair windows. Repair seals around tubs and basins. Replace defective light bulbs. Oil squeaking doors. Repair squeaking floorboards.  Squeaky Clean Clean and freshen bathrooms. Clean fridge and stove (in and out). Clean around heating vents. Clean washer and dryer. Clean carpets, drapes and window blinds.  At The Front Door Clean porch and foyer. Ensure doorbell works. Repair screen on door. Fresh paint or varnish front door. Repair door locks and key access As part of its plan to stimulate the U.S. housing market and address the economic challenges facing our nation, Congress has passed legislation that grants a tax credit of up to $8,000 to first-time home buyers.Here is more information about how the 2009 First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit can help prospective home buyers become part of the American dream.Breaking news: Tax Credit Can Be Used on Closing Costs.Who Qualifies?First-time home buyers who purchase homes between January 1, 2009 and December 1, 2009.To qualify as a "first-time home buyer" the purchaser or his/her spouse may not have owned a residence during the three years prior to the purchase.Which Properties Are Eligible?The 2009 First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit may be applied to primary residences, including: single-family homes, condos, townhomes, and co-ops.How Much Will the Credit Be?The maximum allowable credit for home buyers is $8,000. Each home buyer's tax credit is determined by two factors:The price of the home-the credit is equal to 10% of the purchase price of the home, up to $8,000.The buyer's income-single buyers with incomes up to $75,000 and married couples with incomes up to $150,000-may receive the maximum tax credit.If the Buyer(s)' Income Exceeds These Limits, Can He/She Still Get a Credit?Yes, some buyers may still be eligible for the credit.The credit decreases for buyers who earn between $75,000 and $95,000 for single buyers and between $150,000 and $170,000 for home buyers filing jointly. The amount of the tax credit decreases as his/her income approaches the maximum limit. Home buyers earning more than the maximum qualifying income-over $95,000 for singles and over $170,000 for couples are not eligible for the credit.Will the Tax Credit Need to Be Repaid?No. The buyer does not need to repay the tax credit, if he/she occupies the home for three years or more. However, if the property is sold during the three-year period, the credit will be recouped on the sale.What Should You Do If You Think a Servicer Isn't Following the Making Home Affordable Program GuidelinesMembers have called NAR asking what to do if they think that servicers are not following the guidelines for the Obama Administration's Making Home Affordable Program for modifying eligible mortgages and refinancing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgages. Here are the recommended steps to take:1) First, go to www.makinghomeaffordable.gov, the official Treasury website for the Making Home Affordable Program. At the site, determine whether the loan is owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac by clicking "Loan Look Up" on the ribbon on the top of the home page. Only the holder of the loan is allowed to perform this , so do in the presence of your client or after obtaining their written permission.If the loan is a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan, call (1) 1-800-7Fannie or (1) 1-800-Freddie, as appropriate, describing the specific inconsistency. Do this whether the issue relates to the refinancing or the loan modification program.2) Next, if the loan is not owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac you can determine if the servicer is participating in the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) by going to the website and clicking "Contact Your Mortgage Servicer" on the top ribbon. To date, 16 servicers are participating, covering more than 80% of all mortgages.If the servicer is participating, the first step is to contact the servicer using the phone number or email address listed on the site so you can appeal the issue to a supervisor. Be sure to identify the specific provision of the guidance that you believe is not being followed. If the supervisor cannot or will not correct the problem, call 1-800-7Fannie to report the disagreement. Fannie is administering the program for the Treasury Department and will work to resolve the issue.Making Home Affordable Program Website (consumer friendly)www.MakingHomeAffordable.govSite for Detailed Information on Making Home Affordable and Other Government Programswww.FinancialStability.gov Making Home Affordable ProgramNAR Detailed Summary (PDF: 112K)Key ComponentsComplianceTreasury Dept. GuidelinesFannie and Freddie GuidelinesModification of Second MortgagesThe Foreclosure Alternatives ProgramRelated ResourcesRight Tools, Right NowForeclosure Prevention and Response ProgramShort SalesRCA Advocacy for Economic StimulusFinancialStability.govMakingHomeAffordable.govRecovery.gov FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYER TAX CREDITFrequently Asked QuestionsIn 2008, Congress enacted a $7500 tax credit designed to be an incentive for first-time homebuyers to purchase a home. The credit was designed as a mechanism to decrease the over-supply of homes for sale. For 2009, Congress has increased the credit to $8000 and made several additional improvements. This revised $8000 tax credit applies to purchases on or after January 1, 2009 and before December 1, 2009. Tax Credits -- The Basics 1. What's this new homebuyer tax incentive for 2009?The 2008 $7500, repayable credit is increased to $8000 and the repayment feature is eliminated for 2009 purchasers. Any home that is purchased for $80,000 or more qualifies for the full $8000 amount. If the house costs less than $80,000, the credit will be 10% of the cost. Thus, if an individual purchased a home for $75,000, the credit would be $7500. It is available for the purchase of a principal residence on or after January 1, 2009 and before December 1, 2009.2. Who is eligible?Only first-time homebuyers are eligible. A person is considered a first-time buyer if he/she has not had any ownership interest in a home in the three years previous to the day of the 2009 purchase.3. How does a tax credit work? Every dollar of a tax credit reduces income taxes by a dollar. Credits are claimed on an individual's income tax return. Thus, a qualified purchaser would figure out all the income items and exemptions and make all the calculations required to figure out his/her total tax due. Then, once the total tax owed has been computed, tax credits are applied to reduce the total tax bill. So, if before taking any credits on a tax return a person has total tax liability of $9500, an $8000 credit would wipe out all but $1500 of the tax due. ($9,500 - $8000 = $1500)4. So what happens if the purchaser is eligible for an $8000 credit but their entire income tax liability for the year is only $6000? This tax credit is what's called "refundable" credit. Thus, if the eligible purchaser's total tax liability was $6000, the IRS would send the purchaser a check for $2000. The refundable amount is the differencebetween $8000 credit amount and the amount of tax liability. ($8000 - $6000 = $2000) Most taxpayers determine their tax liability by referring to tables that the IRS prepares each year.5. How does withholding affect my tax credit and my refund?A few examples are provided at the end of this document. There are several steps in this calculation, but most income tax software programs are equipped to make that determination.6. Is there an income restriction? Yes. The income restriction is based on the tax filing status the purchaser claims when filing his/her income tax return. Individuals filing Form 1040 as Single (or Head of Household) are eligible for the credit if their income is no more than $75,000. Married couples who file a Joint return may have income of no more than $150,000.7. How is my "income" determined? For most individuals, income is defined and calculated in the same manner as their Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) on their 1040 income tax return. AGI includes items like wages, salaries, interest and dividends, pension and retirement earnings, rental income and a host of other elements. AGI is the final number that appears on the bottom line of the front page of an IRS Form 1040.8. What if I worked abroad for part of the year? Some individuals have earned income and/or receive housing allowances while working outside the US. Their income will be adjusted to reflect those items to measure Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI). Their eligibility for the credit will be based on their MAGI.9. Do individuals with incomes higher than the $75,000 or $150,000 limits lose all the benefit of the credit? Not always. The credit phases-out between $75,000 - $95,000 for singles and $150,000 - $170,000 for married filing joint. The closer a buyer comes to the maximum phase-out amount, the smaller the credit will be. The law provides a formula to gradually withdraw the credit. Thus, the credit will disappear after an individual's income reaches $95,000 (single return) or $170,000 (joint return). For example, if a married couple had income of $165,000, their credit would be reduced by 75% as shown: Couple's income $165,000 Income limit 150,000 Excess income $15,000 The excess income amount ($15,000 in this example) is used to form a fraction. The numerator of the fraction is the excess income amount ($15,000). The denominator is $20,000 (specified by the statute).In this example, the disallowed portion of the credit is 75% of $8000, or $6000 ($15,000/$20,000 = 75% x $8000 = $6000) Stated another way, only 25% of the credit amount would be allowed. In this example, the allowable credit would be $2000 (25% x $8000 = $2000)10. What's the definition of "principal residence?" Generally, a principal residence is the home where an individual spends most of his/her time (generally defined as more than 50%). It is also defined as "owner-occupied" housing. The term includes single-family detached housing, condos or co-ops, townhouses or any similar type of new or existing dwelling. Even some houseboats or manufactured homes count as principal residences.11. Are there restrictions on the location of the property? Yes. The home must be located in the United States. Property located outside the US is not eligible for the credit.12. Are there restrictions related to the financing for the mortgage on the property?In 2009, most financing arrangements are acceptable and will not affect eligibility for the credit. Congress eliminated the financing restriction that applied in 2008. (In 2008, purchasers were ineligible for the $7500 credit if the financing was obtained by means of mortgage revenue bonds.) Now, mortgage-revenue bond financing will not disqualify an otherwise-eligible purchaser. (Mortgage revenue bonds are tax-exempt bonds issued by a state housing agency. Proceeds from the bonds must be used for below market loans to qualified buyers.)13. Do I have to repay the 2009 tax credit? NO.14. Do 2008 purchasers still have to repay their tax credit?YES. 15. How do I apply for the credit? There is no pre-purchase authorization, application or similar approval process. All eligible purchasers simply claim the credit on their IRS Form 1040 tax return. The credit will be reflected on a new Form 5405 that will be attached to the 1040. Form 5405 can be found at www.irs.gov.16. So I can't use the credit amount as part of my downpayment?No. Congress tried hard to devise a mechanism that would make the funds available for closing costs, but found that pre-funding would require cumbersome processes that would, in effect, bring the IRS into the purchase and settlement phase of the transaction.17. So there's no way to get any cash flow benefits before I file my tax return?Yes, there is. Any first-time homebuyers who believe they are eligible for all or part of the credit can modify their income tax withholding (through their employers) or adjust their quarterly estimated tax payments. Individuals subject to income tax withholding would get an IRS Form W-4 from their employer, follow the instructions on the schedules provided and give the completed Form W-4 back to the employer. In many cases their withholding would decrease and their take-home pay would increase. Those who make estimated tax payments would make similar adjustments. Some "Real World" Examples 18. What if I purchase later this year but can't get to settlement before December 1?The credit is available for purchases before December 1, 2009. A home is considered as "purchased" when all events have occurred that transfer the title from the seller to the new purchaser. Thus, closings must occur before December 1, 2009 for purchases to be eligible for the credit.19. I haven't even filed my 2008 tax return yet. If I buy in 2009, do I have to wait until next year to get the benefit of the credit?You'll have a helpful choice that might speed up the process. Eligible homebuyers who make their purchase between January 1, 2009 and December 1, 2009 can treat the purchase as if it had occurred on December 31, 2008. Thus, they can claim the credit on their 2008 tax return that is due on April 15, 2009. They actually have three filing options.If they purchase between January 1, 2009 and April 15, 2009, they can claim the $8000 credit on the 2008 return due on April 15.They can extend their 2008 income-tax filing until as late as October 15, 2009. (The IRS grants automatic extensions, but the taxpayer must file for the extension. See www.irs.gov for instructions on how to obtain an extension.)If they have filed their 2008 return before they purchase the home, they may file an amended 2008 tax return on Form 1040X. (Form 1040X is available at www.irs.gov)Of course, 2009 purchasers will always have the option of claiming the credit for the 2009 purchase on their 2009 return. Their 2009 tax return is due on April 15, 2010.20. I purchased my home in early 2009 before the stimulus bill was enacted. I claimed a $7500 tax credit on my 2008 return as prior law had permitted. Am I restricted to just a $7500 credit?No, you would qualify for the $8000 credit. Eligible purchasers who have already claimed the $7500 credit on a 2008 return for a 2009 purchase may file an amended return (IRS Form 1040X) for the 2008 tax year. This amended return will enable them to obtain the additional $500 credit amount.21. If I claim my 2009 $8000 credit on my 2008 tax return, will I have to repay the credit just as the 2008 credits are repaid?No. Congress anticipated this confusion and has made specific provision so that there would be no repayment of 2009 credits that are claimed on 2008 returns.22. I made an eligible purchase of a principal residence in May 2008 and claimed the $7500 credit on my 2008 tax return. My brother, who has never owned a home, wishes to purchase a partial interest in the home this spring and move in. Will he qualify for the $8000 credit, as well?No. Any purchase of a principal residence (or interest in a principal residence) from a related party such as a sibling, parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle is ineligible for the tax credit. Since you and your brother are related in this way, he cannot qualify for the credit on any portion of the home that he purchases from you, even if he is a first-time homebuyer.23. I live in the District of Columbia. If I qualify as a first-time homebuyer, can I use both the $5000 DC credit and the $8000 credit?No; double dipping is not allowed. You would be eligible for only the $8000 credit. This will be an advantage because of the higher credit amount, plus the eligibility requirements for the $8000 credit are somewhat more easily satisfied than the DC credit.24. I know there is no repayment requirement for the $8000 credit. Will I ever have to repay any of the credit back to the government?One situation does require a recapture payment back to the government. If you claim the credit but then sell the property within 3 years of the date of purchase, you are required to pay back the full amount of any credit, including any refund you received from it. A few exceptions apply. (See below, #24). Note that this same 3-year recapture rule applies, as well, to the $7500 credit available for 2008. This provision is designed as an anti-flipping rule.25. What if I die or get divorced or my property is ruined in a natural disaster within the 3 years?The repayment rules are eased for many circumstances. If the homeowner who used the credit dies within the first three years of ownership, there is no recapture. Special rules make adjustments for people who sell homes as part of a divorce settlement, as well. Similarly, adjustments are made in the case of a home that is part of an involuntary conversion (property is destroyed in a natural disaster or subject to condemnation by eminent domain by an authorized agency) within the first three years.26. I have a home under construction. Am I eligible for the credit?Yes, so long as you actually occupy the home before December 1, 2009. WITHHOLDING EXAMPLES: Note: The impact of estimated tax payments would be the same. Sally plans her withholding so that her withholding is as close as possible to what she anticipates as her income tax liability for the year. When she fills out her 1040, her liability is $6000. She has had $6000 withheld from her paycheck. She also qualifies for the $8000 homebuyer credit. Result: Sally's withholding satisfies her tax liability and reduces it to zero. She will receive a refund of the full $8000. Situation 2: Nick and Nora file a joint return. Nick is self-employed and makes estimated payments; Nora has taxes withheld from her salary. When they compute their taxes, their combined withholding and estimated tax payments are $11,000. Their income tax liability is $9800. They also qualified as first-time homebuyers and are eligible for the $8000 refundable tax credit. Result: Ordinarily, their combined estimated tax payments and withholding would make them eligible for a refund of $1200 ($11,000 - $9800 = $1200). Because they are eligible for the refundable tax credit as well, they will receive a refund of $9200 ($1200 income tax refund + $8000 refundable tax credit = $9200) Situation 3: Cesar and LuzMaria both have income taxes withheld from their salaries and file a joint return. When they file their income tax return, their combined withholding is $5000. However, their total tax liability is $7200, generating an additional income tax liability of $2200 ($7200 - $5000). They also qualify for the $8000 first-time homebuyer tax credit. Result: Cesar and LuzMaria have been under-withheld by $2200. Ordinarily, they would be required to pay the additional $2200 they owe (plus any applicable interest and penalties). Because they are eligible for the refundable homebuyer tax credit, the credit will cover the $2200 additional liability. In addition, they will receive an income tax refund of $5800 ($8000 - $2200 = $5800). If they owed penalties and/or interest, that amount would reduce the refund. Situation 1:Sold up shortHow to Succeed at Short SalesUnfortunately, short sales are a reality for home owners who owe more than their property is worth. If you have patience, persistence, and a knack for problem-solving, this niche could be for you.BY MARIWYN EVANSYou're so happy you got the listing - at least until the sellers inform you the price you're suggesting based on your careful CMA just isn't enough. Why? They owe more than that on their mortgage and home equity loans. Welcome to the world of short sales.Flat or falling home prices, home-equity credit lines, 100-percent financing that sucked out equity, and spiking interest rates on adjustable mortgages are converging to create a regrettable, but expanding, niche for real estate practitioners: the short sale.To help you gain a better understanding of short sales and what it takes to specialize in this growing area, we took a look at some of the most common questions on this topic that you and your customers likely will face today. Armed with this information, you can decide whether short sales are an avenue worth exploring for your business.What is a short sale? A short sale occurs when the net proceeds from the sale of a home are not enough to cover the sellers' mortgage obligations and closing costs, such as property taxes, transfer taxes, and the real estate practitioner's commission. The seller is unwilling or unable to cover the difference.Some - although by no means all - short sellers may also be in default on their mortgage loans and be headed for foreclosure. However, home owners who bought at the top of the market or who took out large amounts of equity with a refinance and who now need to sell because of divorce or job transfer may also find themselves upside down, owing more than the home is currently worth when closing costs are factored in.Tip: Losing your home can be very emotional and most people don't want to face up to the reality until foreclosure sets in. "You have to have to have a very soft sell approach, but still keep sellers focused on getting forms and paperwork complete," says Sheryl Thomson, associate broker, Exit Island and Beach Realty, Merritt Island, Fla.Other sellers simply don't understand that if they have assets, such as stocks or a high-salaried job, a lender is not going to let them just walk away from a short sale without signing a note to repay what they owe, says Steve White, broker with Keller Williams VIP Properties, Santa Clarita, Calif.How do I know it's short? A CMA will be your first indicator, but you also need to ask the seller what their outstanding debt is and calculate the cost associated with a sale - from transfer taxes to your commission. This will give you an estimate of the net proceeds that will be realized, often called the net sheet. This information can then be entered into a HUD-1 Settlement Statement to calculate out the final, negative result at closing. Some lenders also have their own forms.Check with the title company and the lender to get exact figures on closing costs and loan balances and to find out what procedures they have in place. If they can afford it, sellers should also consider getting a home inspection to determine what repairs are needed on a home and how this might affect its value, says White.Tip: Get the seller to send a brief letter to all mortgage holders, giving them permission to speak with you. Otherwise, privacy laws will prevent them from talking to you about the loans, says Larry Hollingsworth, associate with HomeCity Realty, Dallas/Frisco, Texas, and a short-sale course instructor. It's also critical to build a relationship with the seller's lender. Once you have credibility, the entire process becomes easier, he says.Who do I and the seller need to talk to about the problem? If there are a first and second mortgage or a home equity line of credit, you may have to talk to more than one lender to get approval for a short sale. In addition, you may also need approval from the entity that holds the pool of loans if the mortgage has been securitized."The presence of two lenders makes a short sale more complicated since it's often the lender holding the second, or junior, mortgage that has to absorb most of the loss," says White, who with Gina Covello, e-Pro®, broker associate at Keller Williams Realty, Studio City, Calif., teaches a course called "The Anatomy of the Short Sale."Opinions differ, but most experts suggest that you let the lender involved know as soon as possible of the potential short sale. Others say you should wait until you have an offer because you'll get no action until then. "Without a viable purchase offer, your deal won't be considered by mortgagees," says Margot Cole-Murphy, broker with RE/MAX Equity Group, Portland, Ore.Tip: Be sure you contact the bank's loss mitigation department, which will be the group to decide whether to accept a short sale, rather than the collection or customer service department, which is only interested in recouping past due loan payments. "Finding the decision maker is often one of the biggest initial challenges in a short sales," says Thomson.What information will the bank need to decide whether to accept a short sale? The sellers' submission package should include W-2 forms from employers (or a letter explaining the seller is unemployed), bank statements, two years of tax returns, and other financial documents outlining income and debt obligations. The bank will also need comps or a broker's price opinion showing your estimate of value.In addition, the sellers should submit a "hardship letter," explaining the circumstances that make it impossible for them to pay the full amount of the loan. The seller needs to be able to show true financial hardship. Someone with the assets or the income to pay is unlikely to be considered, say most interviewees.Tip: In preparing the package, be careful about discrepancies between the seller's income and the income used to obtain the loan, cautions Lance Churchill, an attorney and instructor on short sales and REOs with FrontLine Seminars. A big gap may indicate mortgage fraud, unless employment circumstances have drastically changed.What are the options besides a short sale? Thanks to programs such as those proposed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to assist subprime borrowers, many lenders are more willing to offer loan modification options. This option can extend the term of the loan, add on delinquent payments to the loan principal, and/or reduce the interest rate to make the loan more manageable for the home owner.Another option is a repayment plan that requires home owners to increase their monthly payments until the loan is current, says Loni Parmelly, a real estate practitioner and consultant who specializes in short sales. Parmelly also is author of Success in Short Sales (2004), a book she sells on her Web site. It may be possible to refinance an adjustable rate loan with a Federal Housing Authority or conventional fixed loan. Note that lenders will not postpone a foreclosure just because a property is listed, although they may postpone if you have a reasonable offer in the works.Tip: The ideal candidate for a short sale is still making loan payments and has a credit rating worth preserving. Otherwise, it may not be worth going through the complicated process, says Steve Pierce, broker and operating principal of Keller Williams Benchmark Properties, Fremont, Calif.How should I price a short sale property?In general, most short sale experts say to price the property at or near fair market value, although a few will begin with the total payoff amount owned by the seller. How frequently prices are dropped will depend in part on whether the property is in preforeclosure. Most banks have a formula for what percentage under market value they will accept, say interviewees. Figures cited vary from 8 percent under to almost 20 percent under."I always price the property 10 percent lower than comparable to peak buyer interest and initiate buyer activity," says Cole-Murphy, who's also founder and curriculum developer for Real Estate Pro Guides, a line of educational books for practitioners. However, it's important for buyers to understand that the bank will not give away the property, she says.Tip: Most lenders will want to get a broker's price opinion or even an appraisal to see what the property is worth before you and seller set a list price. One way to help ensure that the bank's estimate of value is realistic is to offer comps of recent sales - both traditional and REO, says Churchill, who is also the author of The Foreclosure Specialist: A Real Estate Agent's Complete Guide on Working in the Foreclosure Market (Valco Press, 2007)."Practitioners who do BPOs are rated in part on how close their estimates are to the final sale price, so they usually welcome information on legitimate comps," he says.What and how should I disclose about the short-sale property to prospective buyers?Opinions vary on this topic, although most experts favor disclosing that a property is a short sale in the comments section of the MLS listing. Others suggest waiting to disclose the need for lender approval of the sale until a buyer is ready to make an offer. Debra Allen, ABR®, e-Pro®, with Prudential Arizona Properties, Gilbert, Ariz., uses a disclosure form prepared by her brokerage just for short sales. She also had a special sign rider for the yard sign made indicating a property is a short sale.Tip: Watch out for unethical investors who will try to convice an owner facing foreclosure to sign a quit-claim deed for the property, and then lease the property, warns Jim Cacioppo, broker/owner of Grand Realty Group. Grayslake, Ill. In such cases, the former owners will still be liable for the mortgage payments, even though they no longer own the house.How long does it take to complete a short sale? Although response times vary from lender to lender, it can take two weeks or as long as 60 days to receive an approval of a short sale from a lender. That's why it's critical that buyers and their representative understand and accept that time frame before they make an offer.An addendum to the California Association of REALTORS® purchase contract includes a provision allowing either party to cancel a short-sale contract within a set period if the seller hasn't gotten the deal approved, says White. Properties with securitized loans (which are the majority these days) may require a longer time to get an approval of a short sale because of the possible need for approval from the entity holding the pool of securities, says Churchill.Tip: Keep in mind that the purchase contract on a short-sale property is a legally binding agreement once the earnest money has been deposited. Without language in the contract stating that the lenders must approve the offer and release all liens on the property, the seller may face a legal problem for failing to execute the contract if the short sale is not approved, says Hollingsworth.What can the seller and I do to make a short sale more attractive to a lender? Getting a lender to approve a short sale is primarily a question of economics. You have to provide hard numbers to show that the amount of money a bank will realize on the short sale is better than the amount it may recoup from foreclosing on the property and selling the property as an REO, says Todd Ruckle, ABR, RE/MAX Associates Inc., Newark, Del.A 2002 study by Craig Focardi of the Tower Group estimated that the entire cost of a foreclosure was $58,759 and took 18 months. Other factors that can influence a bank's decision include the liability risk it assumes by owning the property after foreclosures, the money tied up during the holding period for a foreclosure and REO resale, additional costs associated with an REO such as attorneys' fees, and the additional reserves it will need if REOs rise in the bank's portfolio.Tip: A buyer that is willing to close in 30 days and who can make a substantial down payment may make the deal more attractive than a buyer who wants 95 percent financing, notes Michael Termine, GRI, CRB, associate broker, Prudential Rand Realty, New York City. All buyers should be preapproved for a mortgage before submitting the offer.However, to avoid unnecessary costs, buyers should wait on having a home inspection and an appraisal for the loan until after the bank has accepted the short sale proposition, say Cole-Murphy. Genuine hardship, such as a lost job or high medical bills from an illness may also have an influence, says Covello.What are the seller's options if a short sale is rejected by the lender? There are a variety of reasons a bank will reject a short sale - from too low a price to too many files on the loss mitigator's desk. You can look for another buyer or even try resubmitting the same contract. "Banks don't want to take properties back in foreclosure, so they are going to do everything they can to make it work," says Pierce. You also need to prepare your seller in advance for the possibility of foreclosure if a short sale fails, says Parmelly.Tip: A short sale might be rejected if the loan is less than a year old. In such cases, the servicer that's bought the loan can often require the original lender to buy it back, says Hollingsworth.What financial or credit liabilities will a seller have as a result of a short sale?Many lenders ask sellers to sign a promissory note for all or part of the difference between the proceeds of the short sale and the debt obligation as a condition to a short sale. In such cases, the note gives lenders the right to sue a seller and attach other assets if the note is not paid when due.It's particularly important to understand this distinction if you work in states such as California that have a nonrecourse mortgage, says Churchill. In such states, the lender cannot pursue a deficiency judgment against a seller for any deficiencies after a property is foreclosed. Because of this distinction, sellers who are already in default on a mortgage and do not have the resources to pay off a separate promissory note after a short sale might be better off letting the lender foreclose, he says. If you are working in a state in which mortgage loans are nonrecourse, be sure and alert your seller-clients to this distinction.Tip: Having a portion of a loan forgiven may have an adverse affect on the seller's credit. Encourage your client to try and sign a lease on an apartment before credit is further damaged, suggests Roberta Murphy, an associate broker with Windermere Exclusive Properties, San Diego.What tax liabilities will a seller have as a result of a short sale? One often overlooked aspect of short sales is that a seller must count any amount forgiven by the lender as income and pay taxes on that income, even if no actual money was received. The IRS requires lenders to submit a Form 1099 stating the forgiven amount. Sellers who meet the Internal Revenue Service definition of insolvency (either in bankruptcy or with debts exceeding assets) will not have to pay taxes on the forgiven amount.Tip: The U.S. House of Representatives has introduced the Mortgage Cancellation Tax Relief Act (H.R. 1876), which would eliminate taxes on any debt forgiven on a principal residence through either short sale or foreclosure. The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® has been working to support this bill.What compensation will I receive as the real estate salesperson or broker in a short sale?Banks are going to want you to discount your commission. "It's the first place they'll look to save on closing costs," says Ruckle. Rates offered can vary, but are typically 1 percent to 2 percent below averages in the market, say interviewees. However, says Hollingsworth, more lenders now seem willing to pay a full commission on sales.Tip: When you offer cooperative compensation through the MLS, be sure you also advise potential cooperating brokers that the gross commission established in your listing agreement is subject to court or lender approval and could potentially be reduced. You might also indicate in the remarks or comments field how you'll share the compensation you receive with the successful cooperating broker in the event the gross commission is reduced, instead of locking yourself to a specific percentage of compensation to the cooperating broker, says White.Where can I find clients if I'm interested in specializing in short sales?Word of mouth remains the biggest source of new business, experts say, but you can also promote your services to individuals attending credit counseling classes (now required prior to filing bankruptcy), to people who receive state notices of loan defaults, and to home owners named on lists of ARMs that will be resetting in the next few months. To find buyer clients, creativity is a plus. For example, Thomson is developing a monthly "Short Sale Hot Sheet" she e-mails to investors.Tip: FSBOs are another good source since many upside-down sellers think they can't afford to pay a commission and so try to sell on their own. Many don't realize that in a short sale, the lender pays the broker's commissions, says Churchill.Are short sales for me? With many more adjustable rate mortgages ready to reset to higher loan amounts in the next couple of years, short sales represent a growing sector of the market. However, because sales are time consuming, they aren't for everyone. "I always say that if you're going to succeed in short sales, you need the 3 Ps - patience, persistence, and problem solving," says Cacioppo.Published June 2007, REALTOR® Magazine Online   The $7500 credit in 2008 was more like an interest-free loan. All eligible purchasers who claimed the 2008 credit will still be required to repay it over 15 years, starting with their 2010 tax return. Some Practical Questions There is no repayment for 2009 tax credits.

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Manatee County Home Expert Fred Collins Broker Associate Your Local Real Estate Professional. Call (941) 518-9421. Licensed To Sale Real Estate In Florida