Just in time for Christmas we have good news gifts for buyers, sellers and homeowners!

For Sellers, it’s looking much more positive thatpricing will start moving up in the next 6 months.Why? Well, everything we’re hearing lately seems to be all good news for housing, locally and nationally! Buyers take note, there has seldom been as good a time to buy as right now. Yes that sounds very “used car-like” but I would be remiss if I didn’t get the word out to you while you can still get such an incredible combination of market conditions which favor you.

The big gift this year is that the economy is starting to rock! Gas prices have plummeted which can only be good news for business and consumers as inflation is held in check. This should be an encouragement for more hiring throughout the economy creating greater consumer confidence. When consumers are confident, consumers buy!  The stock market is currently giddy with the continued bull market run. This is having the affect of bolstering consumer confidence and increasing personal wealth.

Another big gift to 2015 Sellers and Buyers is that the local housing market will benefit from the release of more buyers who had been in the foreclosure and short sale “penalty box” not being able to buy as a result of a completed short sale or foreclosure.

For buyers, the “Millennials” are finally going to “get it” this next year and embrace the gift of affordable housing. Believe it or not, they will start buying homes again. Parents that could mean an extra room or two in the house, lower food and utility costs. As rentals remained tight, the average rent price increased 5% this past year. And with mortgage rates starting to dip below 4%, even they will realize what a gift this is.

      New: First time homebuyers (only one needs to be a first time buyer) can now obtain a new mortgage for 3% cash down payment and up to $417,000. Do you realize that a 30 year fixed rate mortgage for $300,000 is a monthly payment (Principle and Interest or P&I) of $1432 (plus taxes and insurance)? And remember millennials, we still have the mortgage interest deduction which could effectively lower your monthly payments on that $300,000 by $240 per month, making that monthly payment of P&I under $1200!

Even the government has gotten into the gift giving mode as well. Just this past week, Congress, via a bill known as the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014, passed both houses of congress, and extended the Mortgage Debt Relief Act through the end of this year. If you recall, this Act had not been extended in 2013 which left many folks who recently completed a short sale wondering if IRS was going to tax them for “debt relief.” That’s now been settled through this year. The Act also allows a tax deduction for pre-paid mortgage insurance premiums if a buyer of a home in 2014 paid this. This is especially common for the FHA buyer. The bill provides for a retroactive one-year extension which expires on December 30th of this year and would be effective for those filing 2014 returns this year.

So folks, 2015 has the promise of being a wonderful gift for buyers and sellers. Are you ready? If so, let us know!

     We wish you a Merry Christmas and terrific holidays for all of you!