Dwell Downtown Austin Blog

Homebuyer Tax Credit Changes – Comparison Chart

Posted in Real Estate Finance by Bryan Cady on November 6, 2009

Congress has extended and expanded the homebuyer tax credit. The modifications in the column labeled “December 1 – April 30, 2010” become effective when President Obama signs the bill. All changes made to the current credit become effective on that date, as well.

Homebuyer Tax Credit Changes – Comparison Chart

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Bel Air Lofts near Downtown Austin – Close Out Specials

Posted in Austin Steals and Deals, Condos, South Austin Condos by Bryan Cady on November 5, 2009

Bel Air Condos - Austin, Texas near Downtown

Recently The Bel Air Condominiums in central Austin, Texas near downtown, were auctioned; however, there were a few units that were held back and/or came back to market because of individuals not being able to obtain financing. There are currently 3 units available at essentially auction prices. For example, you can get a 2-bedroom with a rooftop terrace for $232,800. The original list price was $349,900…this amounts to a $117,100 discount!

The Bel Air Condos are FHA approved.

Homebuyer tax credit extended for first-time home buyers

Posted in Real Estate Finance by Bryan Cady on November 5, 2009

After the Senate gave final approval last night without a dissenting vote, the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly this afternoon to pass legislation containing an extension and expansion of the homebuyer tax credit, completing Congressional action and sending the tax credit to President Obama for his signature, possibly as early as tomorrow.

The $8,000 homebuyer tax credit for first-time buyers, due to expire in 25 days, will be extended through April 30 of next year and buyers will have an additional two months, until the end of June, to close. First-time buyers who are in the process of making a purchase will no longer need to worry about qualifying for the $8,000 credit if they close after the November 30 deadline. The new legislation increases the income limit for couples with income up to $225,000, a nearly $55,000 increase above the level in existing law.

For the first time, the new legislation makes buyers who already own a home eligible for a credit. A $6,500 maximum credit will be available to existing homeowners who have lived in their current residence for five of the prior eight years. The legislation limits eligibility for the existing homeowner credit to homes worth $800,000 or less.

The legislation takes effect December 1 and is not retroactive. Both credits are available only for primary residences, not second homes or investment properties.

In the House debate, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) took the floor to say the homebuyer tax credit was helping a new generation of Americans live out their dream of homeownership and financial independence. Debate on the homebuyer credit was overwhelmingly positive and the legislation passed 403 to 12.

However, several leading economists have voiced concern about the $16.7 billion cost of the credit and the wisdom of spending up to $400,000 per homebuyer to stimulate real estate sales and White House support for extending the credit has been lukewarm at best. However, it is virtually certain that the President will sign the legislative package, which contains an expansion of unemployment benefits as well as the tax changes.

In the Senate, the homebuyer tax credit was amended to a bill expanding unemployment benefits by 20 weeks for those who have exhausted their benefit. The latest unemployment numbers are due out tomorrow and Congressional leaders are rushing the unemployment bill to the White House so that the President can show compassion by signing on the same day more job losses are announced.

The legislation included provisions added to address complaints of fraud. The Internal Revenue Service is given greater authority to oversee the process to root out fraud, and provisions are added in response to past abuses of false sales or underage buyers. An investigation by the Treasury Department’s Inspector General for Tax Administration found that more than 580 children, some as young as four years old, had received $627,000 in first-time homebuyer credits. The IRS has identified 167 suspected criminal schemes and opened nearly 107,000 examinations of potential civil violations of the first-time homebuyer tax credit.

The legislation also contains a provision supported by the National Association of Home Builders which will help larger companies strapped for cash with net operating losses (NOL). Ordinarily these companies can carry back these losses for only two years to qualify for a tax refund. The provision would make this process extend the carry-back to five years for either 2008 or 2009. The tax break will now apply to losses in either 2008 or 2009, and the income cap will come off.

Source: RISMEDIA, November 6, 2009

Downtown Austin Plan – Town Hall Meeting Notes

Posted in City of Austin by Bryan Cady on November 4, 2009

Notes from the October 10, 2009 Town Hall Meeting are now available at http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/downtown/downtownaustinplan.htm.

You will also find a notice of the upcoming November 14, 2009 Town Hall Meeting on Downtown Austin Plan Parks and Open Space.

Imagine Austin: Invitation to the Austin Comprehensive Plan Forums

Posted in City of Austin by Bryan Cady on November 4, 2009

The City of Austin has begun its comprehensive planning process called “Imagine Austin”. This is a vital opportunity to get involved and help shape the future direction of the city. The comprehensive plan lays out the vision for the community and answers critical questions such as “where are we going” and “how do we get there”. If you’re concerned about transportation, affordable housing, land development, the environment, the economy, etc., you will definitely want to be involved.

Below are details regarding community forums taking place the week of November 9th where you can weigh in with your thoughts about Austin’s future. Visit http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/compplan/ to sign up to get notices directly from the City of Austin or for contact information for City of Austin staff members.

The Truth about the Future of Downtown Austin Condos

Posted in Condos, Downtown Austin Condos by Bryan Cady on May 6, 2009
Downtown Austin Sites & Development Potential

Downtown Austin Sites & Development Potential

As a follow up to my most recent post, here is a more compelling visual indicating that overbuilding of downtown Austin condos in the Central Business District (CBD) is not very likely.

Bryan Cady, urbanspace Realtors, LLP

Is Downtown Austin Overbuilt?

Posted in Condos, Downtown Austin Condos by Bryan Cady on May 1, 2009
Downtown Austin Sites & Development Potential

Downtown Austin Sites & Development Potential

Is Downtown Austin overbuilt? I get asked this question a lot. In my opinion, NO. But before you take my word for it, take a look at the latest Downtown Austin Sites & Development Potential map created by the Downtown Commission. You will immediately notice that once you account for sites that cannot be developed as well as sites that have Capitol View Corridors slicing through them, there is simply a limited amount of development opportunities in downtown Austin. Maybe the question should be: Why is downtown Austin under-built?

Bryan Cady, urbanspace Realtors, LLP

Brazos Place Condos Auction – Austin, TX

Posted in Austin Steals and Deals, Condos, Downtown Austin Condos by Bryan Cady on April 30, 2009
Brazos Place Condos - Austin, Texas

Brazos Place Condos - Austin, Texas

If you have kept up with downtown Austin real estate, you have heard about the Brazos Place Condos auction that will take place on Sunday, May 17, 2009. Will prospective bidders really get the deals touted in the headlines? In short, this auction is a marketing decision to generate buzz, and it has been successful at that; however, in order to get a “deal” you will need to do your homework in advance, so you avoid making emotional decisions that go hand-in-hand with auctions. So the question is…what constitues a great deal? This will be different for different people; however, I suggest having two numbers with you when at the auction: 1) a price cap of around 20-30% off list price and 2) a price cap based upon a cash flow analysis with 100% down and other assumptions specific to you.

Here is a brief overview of Brazos Place Condos…

The project name is Brazos Place and is located at 800 Brazos St (Austin, TX 78701). It is a recently completed, office-to-condo conversion with a total of 74 units. It is well appointed and amenity-rich. Here is a brief list of the amenities:

– 24/7 concierge
– Complimentary valet parking
– Ground floor retail in lobby
– Exercise facility
– Rooftop terrace

Here is a brief summary of the auction process…

Auction Date: May 17, 2009 (Sunday)
Start Time: 1:00 PM

1. Schedule a time with me to preview the property in advance
2. Register with auctioneer no later than Thursday, May 14, 2009 at 5PM
3. Prequalify for your home loan with Bank of America Mortgage
4. Review all of the purchase and sale documents (Email me for a PDF of these documents)
5. Have a cashier’s check for $2,500 made payable to Heritage Title Company. In short, you need a cashier’s check for $2,500 to gain access to the auction as well as a personal check to make up the difference for the 3% earnest money deposit requirement if you are the winning bidder. If you are not the winning bidder, the $2,500 is fully refunded. (Email me for terms & conditions)

If you’d like a list of available homes, a copy of the project brochure or the detailed terms & conditions for your convenience, Email me.

-Bryan Cady, urbanspace Realtors, LLP

360 Condominiums – Closeout Specials

Posted in Condos, Downtown Austin Condos by Bryan Cady on March 1, 2009

360 Condominiums in the heart of the West End Market District in Downtown Austin has only 2 developer-owned units available for sale at significant discounts.

360 Condos