Home Buyer Tax Credit Passed by Congress

If you haven’t heard by now the Congress has extended and expanded the homebuyer tax credit.  Both the House and the Senate passed an Unemployment Insurance Extension bill that includes an amendment that extends and expands the homebuyer tax credit.  The bill is expected to be signed into law by President Obama today.

Is anything different about this homebuyer tax credit?

The $8,000 credit for first time homebuyers remains intact but has been expanded to include current homeowners.  If you have sold or currently own a primary residence for 5 of the last 8 years, you are eligible for a $6500 tax credit, $3,250 if married and filing separately.  There have also been some income limits imposed as well as a deadline to be under contract, not close the transaction, by April 30, 2010. You will also notice a limit on the cost of the purchase at $800,000.

The comparison chart below provided by the National Association of Realtors will help. Click here for a PDF of the chart.

Tax Credit Chart

Update: This afternoon President Obama signed the Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009 into law. The law takes effect December 1, 2009.

A Lesson in Poor Customer Service

By now you may have heard about the woman that is being sued for $50,000 in a libel case by Horizon Realty Group in Chicago for a tweet.  If not, here are the basics.

  • On May 12th Amanda Bonnen, her account has been deleted, sent out a tweet that read in part “Who said sleeping in a moldy apartment was bad for you? Horizon Realty thinks it’s okay.”
  • On Monday, July 27th, Horizon Realty Group filed a $50,000 libel lawsuit against Ms. Bonnen.
  • Horizon’s Jeffrey Michael then states “We’re a sue first, ask questions later kind of an organization.” adding that the company has a “good reputation it wants to preserve.”

There you have it, the situation in a nutshell.

Why is this a lesson in poor customer service?

Well, for one, the “sue first” strategy is not a very good customer oriented strategy.  Horizon never contacted Ms. Bonnen nor did they ask her to delete the tweet, they just filed a lawsuit instead.

It is also very obvious that Horizon does not understand social media because Ms. Bonnen only had 22 Followers on Twitter.  Chances are only a fraction of those people saw the tweet which makes this lawsuit a huge overreaction.  However, I think after this fiasco and PR nightmare, Horizon Realty Group will understand the full power of social media.

Ironically, Horizon’s own website states “Over the past 25 years, we have continuously raised expectations by stressing exemplary customer service and constant improvements to our apartments.”

Apparently a $50,000 lawsuit falls under “exemplary customer service.”

How would you have handled the situation?

Scottsdale Realtors® Displaced Pet Rescue

We have all seen or read the stories in the news about pets being abandoned or left behind due to relocation of the family, Shilohfinancial hardship, etc.  As a result the Scottsdale Area Association of REALTORS® has partnered with the Scottsdale REALTORS® Pet Rescue Team to assist in these types of situations. The Pet Rescue Team assists with temporary placement, fostering, adoption and long term placement of the pets.

So, if you know of anyone in the Scottsdale area that would either like to adopt a pet or help with the rescue effort please have them contact the Pet Rescue Team here or call SAAR at 480-945-2651.