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Ok...What if I gave you $24k to buy a home..would that help?

by Jeremy Larkin

Some time back I posted an entry titled "If I Gave you $10,000  to Buy a House, would you do it?"  I was of course referring to the St. George / Washington County Home Buyer "grant" of $10,000. It was exciting news for the time.

That news now pales in comparison of the combined incentives available for buyers in this current market, particlularly FIRST TIME home buyers (defined as anyone who has not owned a home in the past 3 years.)

Let's take a brief look at those options:

$8000.00 First-time home buyer tax credit - Detailed summary HERE.

You literally get either an $8000.00 check from the US Govt, or a credit in the same amount against your tax liability if you buy a home between Jan 1, 2009 and Dec 31, 2009. (Assume you owe nothing in taxes, you're getting $8k. Assume you owe say $4000.00, you're getting $4000.00)

Who gets it? First-time home buyers only. Does it have to be paid back? NO. The "old" tax credit (from way back in the pre-historic age of 2008 and President Bush) was $7500.00 and had to be paid back. Not this one, it is yours to fix your home up, go to Disneyland, stuff in a mattress, whatever.....forever. Income qualifications are broad and very few will make too much for this.

$10,000 Home buying grant in Washington County / St. George -Email us for Details

This is an income qualified "grant" and also depends on how many people in your household. If you are couple with no children, $32,000 is the cutoff. I believe it goes up $5000.00 per child thereafter. The key stipulation with this program is that is has to be paid back in full if you sell or refinance the home in the first 15 years after.

$6000.00 Utah "Home Run" New Homes Grant - Just signed into law LAST NIGHT by Governor Jon Hunstman. Detailed summary HERE.

There are only 1600 of these babies available and then the pot of gold is gone. The funding comes from President Obama's stimulus package and the $$ that was allotted to Utah. The premis is this: Offer a $6000.00 incentive to those who buy a vacant, never-been-lived-in home, so we can get some of this vacant inventory "mopped up.'

Unlike the Washington County incentive, this does NOT have to be paid back and income limits are HIGH: $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for married couples.

Total Incentives to buy: $24,000

Kind of makes me wish I were buying....

Not only that, it has also upset alot of people who feel like their hard-earned tax dollars are being used to pay their neighbors an incentive to go buy a home. There is some truth to that I'm sure, but as a member of the industry who looks at vacant homes all day long I have to support these measures.

Additionally, we have actually arrived at a place where owning IS cheaper than renting for many people, and if not literally so, it is effectively the case based on all of the tax benefits of owning a home. (not to mention getting an $8000.00 check after closing!)

Sorry to sound like just another home-peddling realtor, but we are truly heading into the "Perfect Home-Buying Storm." I read a report this week that showed the following: Since they began tracking interest rates in 1971, obtaining a (legitimate) loan has never been more affordable....ever. Add to that (now) low pricing and these incentives and I can't see why a qualified individual would wait.....for what?!

In closing, let me illustrate how these incentives "hit home." I put a contract together on a foreclosed property with a young first-time buying family just yesterday. The home had been on the market JUST 1 day and will need several thousand in maintenance items to be really "livable" by most people's standards, (carpet, paint, some appliances, yard cleanup, etc).

Now the average family buying their first home will do everything they can to come up wtih their downpayment, but as for making alot of repairs, which almost all foreclosures require, most people don't have it!

As a young family with 1 baby and consistent, but "limited" income, that $8000.00 will come in very handy for them.

What say you?


Utah Ranked #1 for Recovery

by Jeremy Larkin

I love good news, don't you? In a period of NEVER-ENDING financial pain, death, destruction and just generally bad news once again my beloved Beehive State is a ray of light.

In second edition of a report called "Rich States, Poor States: ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index", Utah was just ranked #1 in terms of its' forecasted ability to recover economically.

Here are the top and bottom 5:



















1. Utah






46. New Jersey







2. Colorado






47. Maine







3. Arizona






48. Rhode Island







4. Virginia






49. Vermont







5. South Dakota






50. New York


Sorry New York - things don't look bright for you. And they beat up on California of course for more over-spending, tax hiking and general stupidity in policy-making.

Full Article HERE.


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Contact Information

Photo of Jeremy Larkin - The Larkin Group Real Estate
Jeremy Larkin - The Larkin Group
Keller Williams Realty
50 E 100 S, Suite 300
St. George UT 84770
Fax: 435-359-5085

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