Monday, September 21, 2009

America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009

America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009
[introduced 7/14/2009]

Some key points to read and note:
· Exempts businesses with payrolls below $250,000 from such requirement.
· Amends the Internal Revenue Code to impose a tax on: (1) an individual without coverage under a health benefits plan; and (2) an employer that fails to satisfy health coverage participation requirements for an employee.

READ MORE: America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009


Need to buy or sell a home?
Contact me, Gary Wasylenko TODAY!
Visit: http://YourHomeStL.com
or call: 314-336-1988 NOW...

Kitchen Redo: Turning a Room from Dated to Dazzling

By Karen Alley
(of ListingBook fame... CLICK HERE to "Search the MLS like a Real Estate Agent")

Updating a kitchen can make your house more enjoyable for your family, but it can also rank high on the list of projects that will get you the most money at resale time.

A minor kitchen remodel ranks third among 16 projects that bring the most resale value to a home, according to the 2006 Cost Versus Value Report by Remodeling Online, the Internet edition of contractor trade magazine Remodeling. The study reports that homeowners recoup 85.2 percent of the cost of a minor kitchen remodel.

The same source shows a major kitchen remodel comes in at seventh place among the projects; it gives at least 80.4 percent of the value back.

Whether you’re a home’s new owner looking to customize the kitchen to your family, or an existing owner who has recognized the need to update, planning can be the most important part of a kitchen renovation.

  1. First, decide on the best timing for your remodel. One family ListingLife talked to found that spring was best because they could cook out on the grill while their kitchen was under reconstruction. Another strategy is to break the job into several phases.
  2. Next, choose a contractor. The National Association of the Remodeling Industry, the only trade association dedicated solely to the remodeling industry, outlines a code of ethics and best practices for its 7,000 members in the United States. NARI also offers homeowners a wealth of advice. For a free copy of the brochure “How to Select a Remodeling Professional,” call NARI’s consumer hotline at 800-611-6274.
  3. Finally, start making the choices that will turn your wish list into a plan. Some will be functional—such as the room’s layout and the placement of utility outlets. Others will be aesthetic. Think about how to make the new kitchen look harmonious with the rest of your house.

Luxury materials and custom cabinetry and tilework can be beautiful, but they also add significantly to cost, NARI warns. You’ll be happiest with your kitchen if it sticks to the budget you and your contractor plan at the beginning.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Search the MLS like a Real Estate Agent.

Listingbook is a powerful tool that allows you to search all properties listed in the Multiple Listing Service.

Get a client account that provides full access to all Listingbook features. This lets you search the MLS just like real estate agents! You can get all photos, virtual tours, schools, area sales and loan calculator.

Finding your dream home has never been easier!

Click here for a DEMO.
(lets YOU make and change searches)
[name: demo password: demo]

Click here to REQUEST AN ACCOUNT.
(fill out the sign up box... top right of page)

Orig. Web Portal Demo
(I set up the searches, but an EASY interface)

Friday, September 18, 2009

House Buying Tips: Finding a House in a New City

Here are some house buying tips to help you approach finding a house in a new city with confidence. Finding a house in a new city is a common occurrence in today’s mobile society. Everyone seems to be moving across the country for a new job or opportunity. But it can be intimidating to figure out which neighborhood is best for you.

Read more here...

Need to buy or sell a home?
Contact me, Gary Wasylenko TODAY!
Visit: http://YourHomeStL.com
or call: 314-336-1988 NOW...

Friday, September 11, 2009

How to Carpe Diem in This Buyer's Market


Believe it or not buying a home hasn’t been sweeter. Despite the dismal unemployment rate and unpromising stock market, for some this is the perfect time to buy a home, explains Diann Patton, the Coldwell Banker consumer real-estate spokesperson.

"This is a buyer’s market," Patton says. "For one, the number of homes on the market is at an all-time high. State and federal governments are offering a number of tax breaks that make many nervous buyers feel right at home. Interest rates have hit lows that we haven’t seen since 1964. And home prices are at levels that were seen in 2003."

Read the entire article.


Need to buy or sell a home?
  Contact me, Gary Wasylenko TODAY!
    Visit: http://YourHomeStL.com
    or call: 314-336-1988 NOW...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

DEADLINE: $8000 Tax Credit - Only 81 Days Left

The federal tax credit is set to expire December 1, 2009.
Keep in mind...
  Dec. 1st is a Monday (what a busy day that will be)
  Thanksgiving is the week prior (not much will get done that week - lol)
  So... if you don't have a contract scheduled to close by Nov. 20th... it will be tight!!!

Read more from Realtor.com
Read more about it at IRS.gov

How the Federal First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit Works:
   • First-time homebuyers receive a tax credit worth 10% of their home purchase, up to $8,000. The credit is claimed on the homebuyer’s federal tax return. The credit is refundable, which means that the homebuyer receives a refund for the amount of the credit minus any federal tax liability.

How the MHDC Tax Credit Advance Loan Program Works:
   • MHDC makes a second mortgage to the homebuyer at the time of closing worth up to 6% of the home purchase price or a maximum of $6,750, which is used to cover downpayment and closing costs. The tax credit advance loan is... Read More...

Visit Mo. Housing Dev. Commission [www.MHDC.com]

Need a loan? Need a Lender? Need a Pre-Approval to start home shopping?
Heartland Premier Mortgage Co is a full service lender. They offer Conventional, Jumbo, FHA, VA and first time homebuyer financing through MHDC.

 * Competitive Rates and Closing Costs
 * Quick Approval Process
 * Personal Attention and Commitment to Quality Service
 * Common Sense Underwriting
 * Construction and Construction Perm Financing

For more information on mortgage loans contact a Heartland Premier Mortgage Co Representative today.
Call Andrew Biro at 314-221-0292
or visit: www.HeartlandPremier.com
Click here for Heartland Premier's Pre-Qualification Application

Need to buy or sell a home?
  Contact me, Gary Wasylenko TODAY!
    Visit: http://YourHomeStL.com
    or call: 314-336-1988 NOW...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Avoid these common tax errors to make sure you don’t make costly financial mistakes.

You want to take advantage of every opportunity to keep your taxes down. But it’s easy to forget the tax impact of many financial decisions. Here are a few of the most common tax mistakes people make and tips on how to avoid them. Because tax rules vary based on income and other factors, you should consult an accountant or financial advisor for advice on your particular situation.

Click here to read the article and all 8 tips.

Need to buy or sell a home?
  Contact me, Gary Wasylenko TODAY!
    Visit: http://YourHomeStL.com
    or call: 314-336-1988 NOW...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Strong Gain in Existing-Home Sales Maintains Uptrend

Washington, August 21, 2009

According to the National Association of Realtors®, for the first time in five years, existing-home sales have increased for four months in a row, and the monthly increase is the largest in years.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said he is encouraged. “The housing market has decisively turned for the better. A combination of first-time buyers taking advantage of the housing stimulus tax credit and greatly improved affordability conditions are contributing to higher sales, he said.

Read the entire release here.

Friday, September 4, 2009

New Regulatory Changes Effective July 30, 2009

RESPA Waiting Period of Seven Days Required Before Loan Closes

Click for PDF file and read more...

New Guidelines from Fannie Mae on the Mortgage Process

Fannie Mae conducted a comprehensive review of current underwriting and eligibility policies with a specific focus on current market conditions, such as increased unemployment, stock market fluctuations, and heightened concern about fraud in the mortgage lending process. As a result, Fannie Mae is updating several policies.
[Click here to view the full document.]

Updates can be found on the Facebook page for The Sibling Group

I've decided that most updates and posts are already on Facebook. Updates can be found on Facebook pages...   The Sibling Group he...