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Military Tax Credit

by Sam Cachola
Home Buyer Tax Credit Extended for Military Personnel 

The popular Home Buyer's Tax Credit has expired for all Americans, except for three very deserving groups: the brave men and women of the uniformed services of the U.S military, members of the Foreign Service of the U.S., or employees of the intelligence community who are actively serving outside of the U.S. on "official extended duty." 

Official extended duty is defined as any period of extended duty outside of the United States for at least 90 days during the period beginning December 31, 2008 and ending before May 1, 2010. 

That's right. Thanks to the Worker, Home Ownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009, which was signed into law by the President on November 6, 2009, qualified military service members have one extra year to take advantage of The Homebuyer's Tax Credit of up to $8,000 for first-time buyers and up to $6,500 for certain repeat buyers. This means qualified military members must be under contract on a purchase by April 30, 2011 and close on the deal by June 30, 2011. 

Qualified military buyers can also utilize this tax credit along with other available benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), making this dollar-for-dollar tax credit extremely financially attractive with today's lower home prices and lower interest rates. That's because the VA allows qualified military borrowers to purchase certain homes in certain areas with no money down and no private mortgage insurance.

To be a qualified first-time home buyer and receive a tax credit of up to $8,000, the buyer and his or her spouse cannot have owned a home in the last three years. Unlike the Home Buyer Tax Credit for civilians, however, the maximum purchase price of a home is $800,000 under this program – anything over that and the tax credit is invalid. The credit phases out for individual taxpayers with modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) between $125,000 and $145,000 or between $225,000 and $245,000 for joint filers. 

To be a qualified "repeat buyer" or non first-time buyer and receive a tax credit for up to $6,500, a buyer must have lived in his or her current residence for five out of the last eight years. The rest of the requirements are generally the same as the $8,000 tax credit. 

You served your country, let us serve you. If you or someone you know is looking to purchase a new home and may qualify for this incredible opportunity, please don't hesitate to give us a call right away.

Samuel Cachola (Former Marine)
Broker/Owner Licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia
Homes For Heroes Virginia Affiliate
Accredited Buyers Representative (ABR)
Certified Residential Specialist Member (CRS)
Top Producer 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
Reality Realty Professionals, LLC
44 Mine Road Suite 2-169
Stafford VA 22554
703.785.1158 (c)
703.842.8005 (f)
540.628.0028 (0)
E-mail: Sam@SamCachola.com
Skype: SamCachola
Web: www.SamCachola.com | www.RealityRealtyProfessionals.com/Homes-for-Heroes
Reality Realty - Making your family's dreams a reality!

Extension Of Tax Credit for Military!

by National Association of Home Builders

The Home Buyer Tax Credits Have Expired

The $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers and the $6,500 tax credit for repeat home buyers have expired. (However, service members who were on official extended duty outside of the United States for at least 90 days between Jan.1, 2009 and May 1, 2010, may qualify for a one-year extension.)

For home purchases where a binding sales contract was signed by April 30, 2010, otherwise qualified buyers have until June 30, 2010 to complete the purchase.

Although the home buyer tax credits have expired, the National Association of Home Builders will continue to maintain this website as a public service.

Samuel Cachola (Former Marine)
Broker/Owner Licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia
Homes For Heroes Virginia Affiliate
Accredited Buyers Representative (ABR)
Certified Residential Specialist Member (CRS)
Top Producer 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
Reality Realty Professionals, LLC
44 Mine Road Suite 2-169
Stafford VA 22554
703.785.1158 (c)
703.842.8005 (f)
540.628.0028 (0)
E-mail: Sam@SamCachola.com
Skype: SamCachola
Web: www.SamCachola.com | www.RealityRealtyProfessionals.com/Homes-for-Heroes
Reality Realty - Making your family's dreams a reality!

Its not all about houses! Military Spouse Preference!

by Sam Cachola

OPM finalizes hiring preferences for military spouses

The Office of Personnel Management has finalized a rule allowing federal agencies to hire the spouses of some military service members without requiring them to compete for jobs.

"The intended effect of this rule is to facilitate the entry of military spouses into the federal civil service as part of an effort to recruit and retain skilled and experienced members of the armed forces and to recognize and honor the service of members injured, disabled, or killed in connection with their service," OPM director John Berry wrote in notes on the regulation, published in the Federal Register on Wednesday.

The rule allows agencies to appoint the husbands or wives of members of the armed forces to jobs without comparing them to other candidates under three conditions: if a service member is transferred to a new location permanently, becomes completely disabled during active duty (though the injuries do not have to result from combat), or dies during an active-duty assignment. If the spouse is killed during service, the widow or widower must remain unmarried before receiving an appointment.


RELATED STORIES

President Bush proposed the idea of a special hiring authority for military spouses in his 2008 State of the Union address. He issued an executive order creating the authority last September, and OPM began work on the regulation in December.

Shortly after he was sworn in, President Obama ordered a review of all Bush-era regulations that had not yet been implemented. OPM has decided not to move forward with certain regulations, like one that would have eliminated a requirement that federal employees serve a year in certain pay grades before they became eligible for promotions. But Berry has said one of his priorities is to guarantee and strengthen protections for veterans in the hiring process.

Defense Department spokesman Lt. Col. Les Melnyk said a large number of military spouses could be eligible for appointments under the hiring authority. About half of all service members are married, he said, and about a third of active-duty members are transferred every year. (Some, he noted, are posted to locations, such as South Korea, where their families typically do not move with them.)

"The majority of [military spouses] do want to have a meaningful job," Melnyk said. "This is another way to help our spouses achieve that goal," and as a result, to improve service members' satisfaction with their military experience.

Randy Erwin, legislative director for the National Federation of Federal Employees, said the union did not have a position on the rule. But Max Stier, president of the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service, praised the regulation.

"When you think of the family stresses that military service creates, the idea that we might be able to use civilian employment to make service easier seems to me to be a smart one," he said. "I think we also have to recognize that we have to make sure it's not sufficient to create these authorities, we have to make sure agencies really understand that they are there and are encouraged to use them."

Michael Mahoney, head of OPM's staffing group, said agencies would receive training and guidance on implementing the new hiring authority, and expected they would be ready to begin using it by the time the regulation becomes effective.

Samuel Cachola (Former Marine)
Broker/Owner Licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia
Homes For Heroes Virginia Affiliate
Accredited Buyers Representative (ABR)
Certified Residential Specialist Member (CRS)
Top Producer 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
Reality Realty Professionals, LLC
44 Mine Road Suite 2-169
Stafford VA 22554
703.785.1158 (c)
703.842.8005 (f)
540.628.0028 (0)
E-mail: Sam@SamCachola.com
Skype: SamCachola
Web: www.SamCachola.com | www.RealityRealtyProfessionals.com/Homes-for-Heroes
Reality Realty - Making your family's dreams a reality!

Should I Buy a Home Now?

by Sam Cachola

I'm often asked if this is a good time to buy a home. Some clients are concerned that home prices may fall further than they have already. They are assuming that the best course of action is to wait for the bottom in the market and then buy. The problem with this approach is that you don't know where the bottom is until you see it in the rear view mirror, meaning until you've missed it!

Home prices are one factor in determining your cost of ownership, but so are interest rates and financing availability. Even though interest rates have gone up in the last six months, they are still near historic lows. Since your monthly mortgage payment is a combination of paying down your principal and paying the interest owed, if home prices come down a little further but interest rates up, it could cost you even more to service a mortgage on an identical home!

While a home is a major investment, it is also the center of your personal life. It's important to live in a home that reflects your taste and values, yet is within your financial "comfort zone." To that end, it may be more important to lock in today's relatively low interest rates and low home prices, rather than to hope for a further break in prices in the future.

Please give me a call if I can be of any assistance in determining how much home you can afford in today's market.

Samuel Cachola (Former Marine)
Broker/Owner Licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia
Homes For Heroes Virginia Affiliate
Accredited Buyers Representative (ABR)
Certified Residential Specialist Member (CRS)
Top Producer 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
Reality Realty Professionals, LLC
44 Mine Road Suite 2-169
Stafford VA 22554
703.785.1158 (c)
703.842.8005 (f)
540.628.0028 (0)
E-mail: Sam@SamCachola.com
Skype: SamCachola
Web: www.SamCachola.com | www.RealityRealtyProfessionals.com/Homes-for-Heroes
Reality Realty - Making your family's dreams a reality!

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Reality Realty Professionals, LLC,
Sam Cachola Broker/Owner
44 Mine Rd Suite 2-169
Stafford VA 22554
Cell: 703.785.1158
Office: 540.628.0028
Fax: 703.842.8005