Federal Tax Credit for Qualified First Time Home Buyers – Purcahsed between

This post addresses the Federal Tax Credit for Qualified First Time Home Buyers.  Look for new post for California Tax Credit.

Note that the Federal and California tax credits are very different from each other, and the methods for claiming the credit are likewise very different.

The good news is that the first time home buyer credit allows qualifying home buyers who bought their homes between April 8, 2008 and December 1, 2009 to claim their first home buyer tax credit.

This summary is provided for general information only and does not apply to any individual situation. Remember to advise all buyers who are interested in qualifying for either or both of these credits to consult with their own tax advisors.

FEDERAL TAX CREDIT (FIRST-TIME BUYERS ONLY)

Amount: $8,000 if home purchased in 2009, but no more than 10% of the purchase price of the home (half that amount if married filing separately). $7,500 if purchased before 2009.

Expires: December 1, 2009

Only First-Time Homebuyers Can Claim the Credit: In general, buyers can claim the credit if they are a first-time homebuyer.

 Buyers are considered a first-time homebuyer if:

  • They purchased their main home after April 8, 2008, and before December 1, 2009.
  • The buyer (and spouse, if married) did not own any other main home during the 3-year period ending on the date of purchase.

Main home. A main home is the one the buyer lives in most of the time. Not limited to new construction. It can be a house, houseboat, house-trailer, cooperative apartment, condominium, or other type of residence.

The Credit Cannot Be Claimed If:

  • The buyer’s modified adjusted gross income is $95,000 or more ($170,000 or more if married filing jointly).
  • The buyer is a nonresident alien.
  • The home is located outside the United States.
  • The buyer acquired their home by gift or inheritance.
  • The buyer acquired their home from a related person.

No Repayment of Credit: There is no repayment of this credit if the home is purchased in 2009. However, the buyer must repay the credit if the home ceases to be their main home within the 36-month period beginning on the purchase date. (Note: For homes purchased before 2009, the tax credit is subject to repayment rules.)

Marin County Homeowners should File Homeowner’s Exempion NOW!

foreigndebt2Calling newly minted Marin Homeowners – Do you know….

How to shave $7,000 off your Marin county home’s assessed value from property tax year-in and year-out? 

By filing Homestead Exemption on your primary residency by February 15th each year.

Homestead Exemption

The home has to be the primary residence of the owner(s) or co-owner(s) as of 12:01 A.M. January 1 (lien date). To receive the full exemption, the application has to be filed with the Assessor’s) Office by February 15th. A partial exemption will be approved, if the application is filed between February 16th and December 10th.

If the home is purchased after January 1st, the exemption is applied to the supplemental assessment, unless the prior owner received the exemption on the secured bill.  The claim has to be filed within 30 days of the homeowners supplemental notice. A partial exemption is approved, if the claim form is returned prior to the due date of the first installment of the supplemental bill. More information may be obtained by calling (415) 499-7195.

  1. Veteran’s Exemption

Veterans with a 100% disability due to a service-connected injury or illness are eligible for an exemption of $100,000 on the assessed value of their home. Legislation provides the same for wives of such veterans killed on active duty. A letter of proof from the veteran’s administration has to be presented at the time of application. In addition to the application form, honorable discharge papers, death certificate and a marriage certificate (if applicable) have to be included.

A $150,000 veteran’s exemption is available if the applicant’s annual total household income is less than $40,000. Annual filing is required for any year in which the $150,000 exemption is claimed. More information may be obtained by calling (415) 499-7206 or 499-7204,

There are othe exemptions, such as Church, College, Welfare, etc. 

Please make sure you check and confirm all the details out with the Count of Marin.  See link for County of Marin web page for this subject – www.co.marin.ca.us/depts/AR/main/Administration.cfm

Sylvia Barry, Realtor, ePRO
Marin Realtor for Marin Real Estate 
Marin, San Francisco North Bay
Frankk Howard Allen Realtors 
website: www.SylviaSellsMarin.com
Blog: www.AllAboutMarinHomes.com

MARIN, SONOMA, S.F. BAY AREA REAL ESTATE – Beveldere, Corte Madera, Greenbrae, Kentfield, Larkspur, Marinwood, Mill Valley, Novato, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Sausalito, Tiburon; Cotati, Penngrove, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Santa Rosa.   Starter Home to Luxury Property.  REO (Bank Owned), Short Sale, View Homes, Architecural Distictive Homes. Investment, 1031 Exchange. 

 Make Dreams Real – Rotary Club of Novato Sunrise Youth Services

Dogbone Meadows Dog Park, Novato, Marin County, CA

Dogbone Meadows Dog Park, located on route to Stafford Lake in Novato, is probably the best dog park in Marin County.  Dogs often bring their people when they are on the way to the beaches.

Built by dog lovers, the property is around 1 acre, with tracks for dogs and human alike, and toys for dogs only.  The backdrop is Open Space, part of O’Hare Park, great hiking, horseback riding trails.

This is a morning with unusual heavy fog from West Marin, a beautiful background for the dog park. 

Duke (black, rescued from 2nd Chance Rescue) and Hunter (Golden) love to come here in the morning – Duke after dropping his brother off at local high school, and Hunter, after dragging his mom of his daily 2 hour walk adn play – Hunter will chase the tennis ball and Duke will run along Hunter

Makes Happy Dogs!  

 dogpark43

dogpark21

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Duke’s best friend, Hunter, whose only passion is chasing the tennis ball!

Sylvia Barry, Realtor, ePRO
Marin Realtor for Marin Luxury Real Estate 
Marin, San Francisco North Bay
Frankk Howard Allen Realtors
 
website: www.SylviaSellsMarin.com
Blog: www.AllAboutMarinHomes.com

MARIN, SONOMA, S.F. BAY AREA REAL ESTATE – Beveldere, Corte Madera, Greenbrae, Kentfield, Larkspur, Marinwood, Mill Valley, Novato, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Sausalito, Tiburon; Cotati, Penngrove, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Santa Rosa.   Starter Home to Luxury Property.  REO (Bank Owned), Short Sale, View Homes, Architecural Distictive Homes. Investment, 1031 Exchange.

 

How to Achieve Highest Recyclable Collection Rate in Marin County

As a Novato Resident, surrounded by Open Space, Natural Parks, Bay front; we are proud to be the city with the highest recyclable collection and lowest solid waste rate in Marin county.

The distinction can not be achieved solely by residents with good intention without the service provided by Novato Disposal Service

The Novato Disposal Service provides weekly pick ups of Green (Yard) Recyclables and Blue Recyclables (plastic containers, newspaper, bottles, jars, etc), Bi-Annual (spring, fall) large items, large volume and eWaste free-collections which the neighborhoods overwhelmingly participate and look forward to. 

The service utilizes plants with state of the art equipment to sort, accept and reject wastes, ensuring proper waste recycle to allow for most waste being processed.    

Their website provides timely guidance on recyclable plastics, cans, paper products; safely dispose of cooking oil, fluorescent lights, how to pack for lunches to produce the least solid waste; and where to dispose of hazard waste; etc.   

The Novato Disposal team also participates in chamber and school green activities; and Novato July 4th Parade, putting on a great waste collection routine to promote their recycle program.  

The latest improvement for Novato Disposal Service is the new Garbage Trucks they purchased, allowing for picking up both green and blue wastes on the same route; eliminating double pick ups and providing savings on resources (manpower, gas consumption, ozone depletion).

 

Not only is Novato Disposal Service mindful of local recycling programs, they also participate and donate generously to local schools.  They are the annual supporter for the local high school Safe and Sober Grad Night fundraising effort; where the high school helps residents in recycling their Christmas trees in exchange of a small donation to the worthy cause.  For a week after Christmans, the Novato Disposal donates huge derbris boxes and the drivers to transport and dispose of the Christmas trees.

 

For the ECO minded readers, I encourage you to go to their website to learn more about how to properly recycle and save the environment. 

 

Novato Recycling and Reuse Directories

 

Marin Hazardous and Solid Waste Guide

 

 

Novato Disposal Service – Highest Recyclable Waste Collection

As a Novato Resident, surrounded by Open Space, Natural Parks, Bay front; we are proud to be the city with the highest recyclable collection and lowest solid waste rate in Marin county.

The distinction can not be achieved solely by residents with good intention without the service provided by Novato Disposal Service

The Novato Disposal Service provides weekly pick ups of Green (Yard) Recyclables and Blue Recyclables (plastic containers, newspaper, bottles, jars, etc), Bi-Annual (spring, fall) large items, large volume and eWaste free-collections which the neighborhoods overwhelmingly participate and look forward to.

The service utilizes plants with state of the art equipment to sort, accept and reject wastes, ensuring proper waste recycle to allow for most waste being processed.

Their website provides timely guidance on recyclable plastics, cans, paper products; safely dispose of cooking oil, fluorescent lights, how to pack for lunches to produce the least solid waste; and where to dispose of hazard waste; etc.

The Novato Disposal team also participates in chamber and school green activities; and Novato July 4th Parade, putting on a great waste collection routine to promote their recycle program.

The latest improvement for Novato Disposal Service is the new Garbage Trucks they purchased.  hese new eco-friendly split-body vehicles decrease the number of trips through neighborhoods by one-third, while inside two separate compartments keep the materials separate. Collecting two materials in the dual compartment trucks decreased the amount of fuel and energy used, not to mention reduced traffic on highways and neighborhoods.  This allows for picking up both green and blue wastes on the same route; eliminating double pick ups and providing savings on resources (manpower, gas consumption, ozone depletion).

 
Not only is Novato Disposal Service mindful of local recycling programs, they also participate and donate generously to local schools.  They are the annual supporter for the local high school Safe and Sober Grad Night fundraising effort; where the high school helps residents in recycling their Christmas trees in exchange of a small donation to the worthy cause.  For a week after Christmans, the Novato Disposal donates huge derbris boxes and the drivers to transport and dispose of the Christmas tree.  ( Note – Please come back later for 2011 Christmas Tree pick info)
 
For the ECO minded readers, I encourage you to go to their website to learn more about how to properly recycle and save the environment. 
 
 

Is Your Marin County Home Wildfire Ready?

 

During the high Fire season, it is nice to see the article from S.F. Chronicle highlighing what builders in he Oakland Hills did while rebuilding homes after the 1991 Oakland Fire.  The Oakland Fire “ultimately killed 25 people and injured 150 others. The 1,520 acres (6.2 km²) destroyed included 2,843 single-family dwellings and 437 apartment and condominium units. The economic loss has been estimated at $1.5 billion.”

Along with the article, S.F. Chronicle included a partial list of checklist developed by (of all the places) Travis County, Texas about what how to prepare for a fire: 

I am following suit and quoting below:

Wildfire Preparedness Check List

The more “yes” answers you have, the more prepared you are in the event of a wildfire threat.

The House

  • Fire-resistant roof i.e. metal, tile, composition?
  • Non-flammable siding materials?
  • Home is located down-slope?
  • Wooden deck facing or overhanging level ground?
  • Large glass windows, facing level ground?
  • Deck, porch, vents or house screened to keep sparks out?
  • Chimney extending above the roofline?
  • Chimney spark arrester in place?
  • Roof and gutters clean of debris?

Around the House

  • A fire defensible space (D-space) zone of 30 – 100 ft?
  • Adequate clearance of weeds, tall grasses and brush?
  • Leaves raked?
  • Trees pruned 10 ft up from base of trunk?
  • Debris cleared from beneath trees and near structures?
  • Tree limbs pruned at least 10 ft from roof or within 15 ft laterally from chimney?
  • House location or address clearly marked (3 inch letters)?
  • Small amounts of mulch used near wooden structures?
  • Firewood and other burnable items stored at least 30 ft from the house?

Access

  • Easy access to home by emergency vehicles?
  • Road grade less than 15% (not steep)?
  • Road wide and accommodating to two-way traffic?
  • Road straight with wide turns?
  • Large areas for vehicles to turn around?
  • Short driveway from main road?
  • Home area level and easily plowed or raked for fire line?
  • Multiple roads into and out of developed area for safe and easy access and evacuation?

Water Supply

  • Pressurized hydrants available?
  • Non-pressurized or dry hydrants available?
  • Water sources such as ponds or streams accessible?
  • Power lines buried and not susceptible to fire?
  • Well pumps maintained with uninterrupted electricity?

Ten Quick and Easy Steps to Prepare for a Wildfire

1. Cut grass and weeds, rake leaves and pine needles and remove yard debris and branches.

2. Relocate woodpile and left over building materials at least 30’ from house.
NOTE: It is best to not locate the woodpile directly uphill or downhill of any structure.

3. Signs, address and access are well marked, and visible both night and day. Reflective numbering/lettering that is 3” or larger is recommended.

4. Prune dead and low-hanging tree limbs 6 to 10 feet from the ground around house. Remove all dead vegetation in brush and shrubbery.

5. Store all gas, oil and other chemicals away from the house. This includes propane tanks on BBQ pits.

6. Keep roof and gutters free from leaves and needles.

7. Enclose spaces under porches, decks, foundations and overhangs, and roof/attic vent openings with 1/8” metal screening.

8. Have garden hoses connected on all sides of your house.

9. Place tools (such as ladders, shovels, rakes and hoes) for easy access to fire fighters.

10. Check driveway for adequate clearance for emergency vehicles. (Both height and width).


Marin Real Estate Home Sales 2008 Mid Year Report

p align=”left”>My clients or many Realtors on the National Forum have been asking me about how the market is in general and in Marin county.

My answer is always – Real Estate is LOCAL

No matter how much the media dramatizes the market condition, Marin County House Prices still hold steady. This is especially true for great houses in desirable locations in Southern Marin (such as Belvedere, Corte Madera, Greenbrae, Larkspur, Mill Valley, Ross, San Anselmo, Sausalito and Tiburon), or for that matter, all of Marin.

One of the recent news (will follow up with another blog) is the fact that Marin Land Trust just purchased right to another agricultural zoned land at a prime location so that the owners can stay at the property but any future use, including sale of the land will have a restriction of keeping the land for agricultural purposes.

This helps keeping the Marin developable land to a minimum, future housing supply lower, and the Marin environment healthy and green as our pride and joy.

Cleanest Air in the Country – Novato, Marin County, CA

The News is Out! Renowed for Quality of Life, Marin County Towns were winnders in the 2008 Money Magazine ‘Best Places To Live’ “Clean Air’ category.

Among all the small towns ranked by the Money agazine, Novato won first place, San Rafafel Second and Salinas placed 15 in the ‘Clean Air’ category.

Top 25 in 2008 Money Magazine Quality of Life ‘Clean Air’ Category

And don’t forget, the further North you go in Marin, the sunnier it gets – beats the city 100%

Marin County Summer Cooling Centers

Marin County Summer Cooling CentersThe following information is provided by the Novato Chamber of Commerce.  Since Marin weather is mild in general, so most of home owners do not need nor do they have air conditioner.  This information can be very helpful for the rare, but very  uncomfortable scorching hot days in Marin.

This is very important for the very young, the Seniors or others with health conditions who need to be especially careful when weather conditions change drastically!
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The following facilities have graciously agreed to open their doors as Cooling Centers (to those of any age) in Marin County in times of need.

Hours of operation as a Cooling Center are informally offered and may change when necessary.

Each site is air-conditioned, has water for drinking, a restroom and seating.

Aegis of Corte Madera
5555 Paradise Drive; Corte Madera 94925
Phone: (415) 927-4200 Fax: (415) 927-4200
Hours available as a Cooling Center: 8:30am to 7pm daily (weekends included)

Marin YMCA
1500 Los Gamos Drive; San Rafael 94903
Phone: (415) 446-2101 Fax: (415) 492-9703
Hours available as a Cooling Center: 7am to 7pm daily (weekends included)
http://www.marinymca.org

Aldersly Garden Retirement Community
326 Mission Ave; San Rafael 94901
Phone: (415) 453-7425 Fax: (415) 453-6377
Hours available as a Cooling Center: 9am to 5pm Monday thru Friday

The Margaret Todd Senior Center (MTSC) Primary Cooling Center in Novato
1560 Hill Road; Novato 94947
Phone: (415) 899-8290
Hours available as a Cooling Center: 9am to 5pm Monday thru Friday
For after hour assistance, please call Novato Police Department Dispatch (415) 897-1122

Aegis of San Rafael
111 Merrydale Road; San Rafael 94903
Phone: (415) 472-6530 Fax: (415) 472-3969
Hours available as a Cooling Center: 9am to 5pm Monday thru Friday

Information provided by Marin County Department of Health & Human Services

Marin County Homes Property Tax Reduction – by 06/30

As Marin property prices fall, the homeowners in Marin County are requesting their home to be reassessed, hoping to lower their property tax.

Assitant Assessor-Recorder Rich Benson said most homeowners seeking reassessments should receive assessor’s office response by July 1, 2008.  The office is getting requests from across Marin that involve all values from condos to luxury homes. 

The county assessors’ office expects to received 1,000 requests, which is about 1 percent of all homes and condos. 

State law requires county assessors to roll back assessments if tax values of real estate – those printed on property tax bills – are lower than the current market value. As real estate prices have been sliding, assessors in some counties have ordered reassessments without waiting for homeowners to file requests.

Joan Thayer, Marin County assessor said that the likely candidates for re-assessment are homes purchased after January 2006, when most local prices peaked. 

Richard Benson, Marin County’s assistant assessor, estimated that more than 1,000 homeowners will have requested reductions in their assessed valuations – and thus their property taxes – by the end of June, the deadline for making such requests.

HOW TO DO IT: For questions, call county Assessor-Recorder Joan Thayer, an elected official, at 499-7215, or go to Room 208 of the county Civic Center in Sa-n Rafael on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Information and a form are posted at www.co.marin.ca.us/depts/AR/main/real_property.cfm under “Valuation Review.