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Archive for April, 2011

Foreclosures in Atlanta

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

There’s a new bill in Congress, The Housing Recovery Act of 2011, or H.R. 1526, which is aiming at getting the backlog of foreclosures sold, by allowing buyers to use retirement funds for purchases.

The new bill aims to clear the growing foreclosured properties’ backlog by allowing buyers to dip without penalty. The bill would amend the IRS tax code, so that qualified individuals could use distributions as a down payment to purchase residences that have been in foreclosure status for one year or more.

Typically, pulling funds out of an IRA, 401k, or similar retirement accounts prematurely would call for early distribution penalties, but Florida Congressman (and real estate agent) Bill Posey is hoping the IRS will waive it for the greater good. US Rep. Posey introduced the bill in the US House last week, and it was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.

If it is passed, it will come with a few requirements:

  1. The subject property must have been in foreclosure for one or more years;
  2. The retirement funds must be used within 120 days of the close of purchase;
  3. The foreclosed property must be held be the buyer for a minimum of two years to avoid any early distribution penalties. It will not allow investors to “flip” properties.

The bill is aimed at promoting sustainable homeownership, while giving homeowners a tax break. Let’s hope the Congress can move on this!

Atlanta Home for sale: focusing on price, condition or marketing to get it sold

Sunday, April 10th, 2011

It has been said before, but what sells homes are price, condition and to a smaller extent, marketing. That’s why I was so surprised to see this.

I have a ready-to-buy-now client and wanted to show a particular home to them. The listing agent posted only 8 pictures on our mls (we have 26 slots available). The kitchen looked filthy; the sink was filled with dirty dishes and the counters were cluttered with more dirty dishes and junk. The other pictures of the home were not much better. The agent also posted this home as a short-sale.

For the area, which is inside the perimeter near Buckhead and Brookhaven, the home is priced well, but the home’s condition and the agent’s pictorial marketing are both horrendous. I don’t understand why an agent would take a listing if there isn’t going to be any effort on either party to get it sold! So who is at fault: the seller for the poor condition or the agent for allowing the home to show poorly or the agent’s bad internet pictures?