IRS Provides Filing Guidance on First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit

31 03 2009
    First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit Update from the IRS

The IRS released additional information to help home buyers understand the ways they can file to receive the home buyer credit. It is important for taxpayers to know that they must complete the purchase and close or take up residence in the case of new construction in order to be eligible to file for the credit. Here are the four main options listed by the IRS:
1) File an extension.
2) File now, amend later.
3) Amend the 2008 tax return.
4) Claim the credit in 2009 rather than 2008.

There are a number of entities working on ways to advance money to be used for downpayment in anticipation of receiving the credit. NAR is working to provide guidance on these options and how they might work. However, there is no legal way to receive the credit itself from the IRS prior to closing since closing on the purchase is a prerequisite to eligibility for the credit.



Spring (cleaning) is in the air

16 03 2009


We may be overly optimistic, but we’re calling it SPRING in the Minne-apple! The sun is shining, the snow is melting, and OMG-my-windows-are-so-dirty-how-did-I-not-notice-all-winter! It’s time for some spring cleaning! Nothing we enjoy more than clearing all the bulky jackets out of the front hall closet, boxing up scarves, hats and mittens until next fall, putting away clunky boots, and…of course we know it’s going to snow again….it always snows again. But we won’t be wearing boots – nope – not until next year. How is that for tough?!

Once you own a home you get to take your spring cleaning rituals to the next level – you get to get out, and get dirty. Cleaning exterior windows, inspecting your roof for damage caused during winter months, clearing out your gutters and checking your exterior window caulking. Clear your weekend for a little spring cleaning, and you (and your home) will be better for it.

To help you plan your spring cleaning attack, we found this great list – thanks HGTV Canada!

  • Inspect the exterior walls of your entire home. Look for signs of winter damage such as splitting wood, peeling paint, mold, etc.
  • Got brick? It should be cleaned and checked for water damage once a year. Aside from cleaning the surface by use your hose with a spray nozzle to wash off dirt, you need to be on the lookout for mold. If there is mold, mildew, or moss, wash with a solution of 1 cup of bleach mixed with 4 L of water. Use a natural or synthetic bristle brush. Wire brushes leave traces of steel behind that will rust and discolor the bricks.
  • If you use them, remove the storm windows.
  • Clean the windows.
  • Use screens? Make sure they are dust-free and sparkling clean before putting them up.
  • Check the driveway for cracks or winter damage.
  • Clean the steps and the driveway with a spray nozzle hose. If moss is visible, pour vinegar on it and scrub.
  • Inspect the gutters around the house. Remove debris.
  • Inspect the roof, looking for damage and missing or loose shingles. Contact a roofing professional if you need a few replacements.
  • Get your deck ready for use. Clean it with oxalic acid, which will penetrate the wood and kill microorganisms. Once dry (24 hours), treat the deck with a sealant. If boards on your deck are splintered or worn beyond repair, replace them before you seal and stain.
  • Prepare outdoor furniture for use. If you kept the furniture out during the winter months, you need to scrub the surfaces clean. If you stored your furniture, bring it outside and make sure it’s clean.
  • Put on those gardening gloves, it’s time to weed! The first step to a beautiful, clean garden is to remove weeds. It is important to leave a few, however, as they do have a purpose; they are food for insects and create a covered landscape for little critters.
  • If you haven’t removed the covers you placed on your shrubs and trees, and are confident you won’t have another frost, remove the covers.
  • Give your garden it a filled-in appearance until it grows in. Sprinkle mulch around shrubs, trees, and flowerbeds.

    Yeah – you heard it right – we said flowerbeds! Take that snow!

Small kitchen? Smart design….

12 03 2009

A common complaint about older homes that we often hear is that the kitchens are too small. When houses were built in the early 20th century, consumers didn’t expect from a kitchen what they do today. There weren’t dishwashers, and microwaves, and sometimes there weren’t even refrigerators so there wasn’t the need for space there is today. But, we like small kitchens. We think smart design will lead to a highly efficient kitchen – and who needs more than that? Here is a great example of a well-designed small kitchen. And it’s cute to boot!

To read more about this adorable and functional kitchen, check out

p.s. No surprise this is Swedish kitchen. Oh, how we love the Swedes and their smart, simply and stylish design!


Edina Realty Market Update – March 2009

9 03 2009

The trend continues! For the ninth month in a row, pended sales in the Twin Cities area are up over the prior year. January pended sales were up more than 10 percent over last year; for the week ending Feb. 14, they were up 17 percent. Buyers really seem to be taking advantage of opportunities among lender mediated and bank owned properties, which currently account for about 60 percent of sales according to the Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS® (MAAR).

146 – Cumulative days on market

10.3% – Fewer listings on the market than 1 year ago totaling 54,597

54% – Of the inventory that has sold in last 30 days has had a price adjustment

10.3% – Increase in sales over last year

14 – For every sale that takes place, there are 14 more properties that haven’t sold

23 – Showings for every home that sells

5312 Xerxes Avenue South

7 03 2009

Minne-apple presents our newest listing – just came on the market yesterday!

Address: 5312 Xerxes Avenue South, Minneapolis
Price: $279,900
3 bedroom, 1 bathroom, 2 car garage
Square foot: 1460
Highlights: Charming 1 1/2 Story Bungalow in fabulous Southwest Minneapolis! Walk to the Lakes and 50th & France. You’ll love the front porch, brick fireplace, refinished hardwood floors, formal dining & large eat-in kitchen.