Events: The Montgomery County Alabama Delinquent Tax Sale, June 6 – 7, 2012

May 29th, 2012

Events:  The Montgomery County Alabama Delinquent Tax Sale, June 6 – 7, 2012

The Montgomery County Alabama delinquent tax sale is the biggest county tax sale here in the River Region every year, and this year the delinquent tax sale will be June 6th – 7th.  I was talking to one of my clients who read my previous post about the two Alabama delinquent tax sale classes we’re holding this Saturday, June 2, and she asked me, “Can you REALLY buy houses at the delinquent tax sale?”

My answer to her was, of course, yes you can.

When I first met this client, she told me that, once she bought her house and settled in, she wanted to sit down with me and talk about buying investment property.  She wasn’t in a hurry, and she didn’t have a lot of money, but investing in real estate is something she had wanted to do for a long time.  She had heard about buying delinquent tax sale properties, and she told me that she is now interested in learning more about them.

She knew that delinquent tax sale properties were an investment, but she didn’t understand how the process worked, how much the delinquent tax sale properties cost, what you get at an Alabama delinquent tax sale, and how much money she could make from these delinquent tax sale properties.

That’s when I told her that you can often times buy these Alabama delinquent tax sale properties for just the amount of taxes due, and that, in Alabama, the law gives tax sale investors a 12% annual interest return on the price they paid, on up to 15% of the property’s tax appraised value during the redemption period.  Twelve percent annual interest return.  Annually.  For every year during the redemption period.  That’s more than the stock market, more certainly than a savings account, more than the rate that property values are rising in the area, and more than just about any other investment plan or program out there.

Twelve percent annual interest return!  Guaranteed by law!

That got her attention, and it should have.

Alabama delinquent tax sale properties can be a very important part of your real estate investment portfolio.  But you can’t just go into the delinquent tax sale and start bidding without being prepared.  If you don’t know what you’re doing, you can lose your investment or even be sued!  It’s important for you to learn what you need to know BEFORE buying properties at the Montgomery County Alabama delinquent tax sale!

The Montgomery County Alabama delinquent tax sale is June 6th – 7th.  We’re giving two classes on June 2, just a few days before the sale, so that what you learn will still be fresh.  These classes will teach you how the process works, what you get at the delinquent tax sale, what you can and cannot do with Alabama delinquent tax sale properties, how mobile homes are different, all about redemption rights, things that can get you in trouble, and much more!  You NEED to know this information before you attend the Montgomery County Alabama delinquent tax sale on June 6th – 7th!  Don’t miss out and potentially make a very expensive mistake!

 

 

Events:  The Montgomery County Alabama Delinquent Tax Sale, June 6 – 7, 2012

Learn to Buy Tax Sale Properties in Alabama! Classes on June 2, 2012

May 25th, 2012

Learn to Buy Tax Sale Properties in Alabama! Classes on June 2, 2012


Have you wanted to start investing in Alabama real estate but didn’t know where to start?  Have you heard about buying tax sale properties in Alabama, but didn’t know what they were or how to get started?

It’s important for you to know what you’re doing before you begin investing in real estate in Alabama, especially investing in tax sale properties in Alabama. In this case, what you don’t know CAN hurt you.

So on June 2, 2012, we’ll be holding two classes to teach you what tax sale properties are, how to make the numbers work for you, and problems and pitfalls to avoid to keep you out of trouble.

 Tax Sales: The Basics Class

The first class, Tax Sales: The Basics, will teach you about buying tax sale properties in Alabama, how the process works, how to quickly and easily target the best properties for you, how to determine what type of tax sale properties investor you want to be, what you actually get at the tax sale, and how to make the numbers work for you so that you can be successful.

 Tax Sales: Problems and Pitfalls

The second class, Tax Sales: Problems and Pitfalls, will teach you about common problems and pitfalls that can occur with tax sale properties in Alabama, steps that you can take to protect your investment, some things you can and can’t do with tax sale properties in Alabama, and things that can get you sued.

Both classes are being held June 2, 2012.  These are live classes, not webinars. We’ll have time at the end of each class for questions.  There is no one else offering live classes like this that will teach you how to buy tax sale properties in Alabama!  Alabama laws are unique, and you need a local expert familiar with buying tax sale properties in Alabama to guide you.  These classes are suitable for anyone wanting to buy tax sale properties anywhere in Alabama.

Go to the classes page on our website for more information and to register.  These two classes on buying tax sale properties in Alabama will not be offered again in 2012, so don’t miss out!

 

Learn to Buy Tax Sale Properties in Alabama! Classes on June 2, 2012


Three Bedroom Prattville Homes for Sale Under $200,000 in the Daniel Pratt Elementary School District

February 11th, 2011

Three Bedroom Prattville Homes for Sale Under $200,000 in the Daniel Pratt Elementary School District

 

     For military buyers who are relocating to Maxwell AFB and Gunter Annex in Prattville, Montgomery, and the River Region, finding reasonably-priced homes for sale in Prattville is important.  It can be hard to sift through so many houses on market, and many military buyers want to find nice, reasonably-priced homes near Maxwell AFB and Gunter Annex within the popular Daniel Pratt Elementary school district.

 

     Prattville is about a 20 minute drive from both Maxwell AFB and Gunter Annex.  That makes for a nice, easy commute on work days.  Many military buyers are making the decision to live in Prattville.  And being able to find several three bedroom Prattville homes for sale under $200,000 in the Daniel Pratt Elementary school district to choose from makes Prattville even more attractive.

 

     To make it easy for military buyers or anyone else to quickly find three bedroom Prattvile homes for sale under Easy as pie to search for homes for sale in Prattville$200,000 in the Daniel Pratt Elementary school district, I’ve created a simple page on our website that makes searching for these homes for sale as easy as pie.  All of the listed three bedroom Prattville homes for sale under $200,000 in the Daniel Pratt Elementary school district are shown on the page.  You don’t even have to search for them.  They’re right there.  The listings are updated constantly, so you can bookmark the page and come back to it as often as you like.  Easy as pie!

 

Click here to search for three bedroom Prattville homes for sale under $200,000 in the Daniel Pratt Elementary school district.

 

     If you want to see more houses on the market in different price ranges or in different areas, you can search for homes for sale in Prattville on our website.

 

Three Bedroom Prattville Homes for Sale Under $200,000 in the Daniel Pratt Elementary School District

Do I Have to Pay a Real Estate Tax On My New Home In Prattville Alabama? Part 2

February 10th, 2011

Do I Have to Pay a Real Estate Tax On My New Home In Prattville Alabama? Part 2

 

In yesterday’s blog, we talked about the new Federal 3.8% Medicare tax on the capitol gains you make when you sell your home in Prattville, Montgomery, and the River Region, AL, and we used an example to see how the tax is calculated.  Then we asked what happens if the amount of capitol gains (profit) you make when you sell your home is over the $250,000 limit ($500,000 for married couples)?

That’s where another rule, the income limit, applies.  The law says this new Federal Medicare tax only applies to people IRS real estate tax in Prattville ALwhose AGI (adjusted gross income) is more than $200,000 per year ($250,000 for married couples). So if you sell your house and make a profit of more than $250,000, then you need to look at your income to see if you’ll have to pay the tax.  As long as your AGI, including the capitol gain you made when you sold your house, is at or under $200,000 ($250,000 for couples) then you won’t have to pay the tax.  Let’s look at an example:

Let’s say when you sell your house you make a capitol gain of $300,000.  This capitol gain is $50,000 more than the limit according to the law from yesterday’s post.  But you still might not have to pay the Medicare tax because the law allows you to keep $250,000 of the capitol gain without paying any tax on it.  So the other $50,000 profit you made gets counted as part of your AGI.  As long as your AGI, including the profit you made on selling your home, is $200,000 or less that year, you won’t have to pay the tax.

So let’s continue with the example we used above and start with the $50,000 amount of excess capitol gain you made when you sold your house.  Add this amount to your AGI.  If your AGI plus the excess capitol gain totals more than $200,000 then you will have to pay the tax, but only on any part that is over the AGI limit.  If your AGI plus the excess capitol gain totals $200,000 or less, then you won’t have to pay the real estate tax.  It’s that simple.  Consult your accountant or tax preparer for advice specific to you and your situation.

The new Federal Medicare tax on capitol gains from selling a home don’t go into effect until January 1, 2013.  And you’ll still be able to deduct your mortgage interest every year on your income taxes like you have previously been able to.

That nasty rumor about everyone having to pay a real estate tax when they sell their home really scared a lot of people.  But now, looking at some examples of how the new law applies, you can see that the new Federal real estate tax on excess capitol gains from the sale of a home is really not so scary after all.

Why would a real estate agent who works only for buyers write a blog about something that might happen when you sell your home?  The answer is simple.  When you buy a home for sale in Prattville, Montgomery, and the River Region, AL, you think about what might happen in the future when you sell your house.  Remember that as Guaranteed Buyer’s Agents, we help you buy smart so you can make a bigger profit when you sell your home later.

 

Do I Have to Pay a Real Estate Tax On My New Home In Prattville Alabama? Part 2

 

 

 

Do I Have to Pay a Real Estate Tax On My New Home In Prattville Alabama? Part 1

February 9th, 2011

Do I Have to Pay a Real Estate Tax On My New Home In Prattville Alabama? Part 1

 

There’s a nasty rumor going around out there.  Recently someone started a rumor that soon every home owner will have to pay a real estate tax when they sell a home in Prattville, Montgomery, or the River Region, AL.  They claim that this real estate tax was hidden within the Federal health care bill.  They even called it a “sales tax.”

But it’s not true.  At least, not the way the rumor told it.  While it is true that there is a 3.8% Medicare tax that high income households MIGHT have to pay when they sell real estate, it only applies to people whose income and proceeds from the sale of their house are over the limits that already exist.  There are two tests that will apply.  The first is the capitol gains test, which looks at how much capitol gain (profit) you make when you sell your home.  The second test is an income test, and we’ll talk about that next time.

All of this might sound a little confusing, so let’s look at an example.

Right now, individual people who sell their homes don’t have to pay any tax on the capitol gains (or, in other words, the profit they make on selling their home) as long as the amount of the capitol gain is less than $250,000.  For married couples, the limit is $500,000.  So let’s say you bought your house 10 years ago and paid $100,000.  Let’s say that you want to sell it now, and that you are willing to pay 3% of the price toward closing costs and 6% of the price toward real estate commissions (real estate commissions and the terms of the contract are all negotiable are aren’t set by law). So if you sell this house you bought 10 years ago for $384,615 or less, you won’t have to pay the tax.  Here’s why:

Start with the sellPrattville & Montgomery Capitol Gains Taxing price of $384,615 and subtract the amount you have agreed to pay for closing costs.  Then subtract the amount you agreed to pay for real estate commissions.  This leaves $350,000.  Don’t forget to subtract the price you paid for your house 10 years ago, which is $100,000.  So after everything is subtracted, in our example you made a profit (or a capitol gain) of $250,000 when you sold your home.  Since the capitol gain you made is $250,000 or less, this means you won’t have to pay the new Federal 3.8% Medicare tax on the profit you made. Remember, these numbers are just an example. Your numbers may be different.

So what happens if you make a capitol gain MORE than $250,000 when you sell your house? We’ll cover that in the next post, “Do I Have to Pay a Real Estate Tax On My New Home In Prattville Alabama? – Part 2.”

 

 

Do I Have to Pay a Real Estate Tax On My New Home In Prattville Alabama? Part 1

 

 

 

Special Financing Assistance for Hardest Hit Homeowners in Montgomery, Prattville, and the River Region, AL

January 12th, 2011

Special Financing Assistance for Hardest Hit Homeowners in Montgomery, Prattville, and the River Region, AL

 

Normally I post helpful information about buying homes for sale in Prattville and Montgomery, AL and the rest of the River Region. But today I want to post something a little different that is very important for anyone living in Prattville or Montgomery (or, in fact, anywhere in Alabama) that might help you if you are having trouble making your mortgage payments.

The Federal government previously announced this year that it will be making prattville & montgomery homeowners pay mortgageapproximately $2 billion (yes, that’s two BILLION dollars) available to homeowners in Alabama who are unemployed or underemployed and are having trouble making their mortgage payments.  When you first buy your home for sale in Prattville and Montgomery, AL, you go through a process of qualifying for the loan with the mortgage company.  But things can change after you’ve closed on your loan and moved into your new home.  With the recent changes in the economy, some homeowners have had their hours cut back or even lost their jobs.  And that can make it hard to pay your bills, including your mortgage payment, every month.

Now there’s some help.

The Alabama Housing Finance Authority, who will be managing the program, has created a new website where you can apply for this new Federal special financing assistance at Hardest Hit Alabama.  The website has details about the program, including information on how the program works and how to apply.  Basically, the special financing assistance program is an interest-free mortgage that will help you pay your monthly mortgage payment.  There are eligibility requirements for this assistance which include: 

  • Homeowners must be eligible for unemployment assistance through the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations.  Self-employed people aren’t eligible.
  • The maximum household income cannot be more than $75,740 per year.
  • Homeowners must owe less than $258,690 on their home loans.
  • Homeowners must live in their house as their primary residence.  Vacation and second homes are not eligible.
  • If you sell your house and make money on the sale, then you may have to pay back some or all of the assistance you received.
  • Homeowners must appy online at the website.  You cannot apply in person or by phone.
  • The total amount of assistance for each homeowner is for up to 12 months or $15,000, whichever is less.
  • If you continue to meet the eligibility requirements while you’re receiving the special financing assistance, you won’t have to pay the money back.
  • Your original home loan can be through any lender.  The Alabama Housing Finance Authority is managing the special financing assistance program for all eligible homeowners, even if they got their original home loan through another lender.

Special financing assistance for Prattville & Montgomery homeowners

This special financing assistance for hardest hit homeowners in Montgomery, Prattville, and the River Region, AL is not yet available statewide. Keep checking the website for announcements when the special financing assistance will be available in your region of Alabama.

Two billion dollars sounds like a lot of money, but it won’t last very long once the special financing assistance program is completely rolled out.  So if you are interested in applying for this special financing assistance for hardest hit homeowners in Montgomery, Prattville, and the River Region, AL, you should go ahead and apply as soon as possible before it’s all gone.

Special Financing Assistance for Hardest Hit Homeowners in Montgomery, Prattville, and the River Region, AL

 

Montgomery AL Local Business Spotlight – Eastside Grille

September 5th, 2010

Montgomery AL Local Business Spotlight – Eastside Grille

 

Normally I write about homes for sale in Prattville AL.  But recently some friends and I found ourselves hungry on a Friday evening, and, being already in Montgomery, we decided to head over to Eastside Grille for dinner.  Eastside Grille is located at 6667 Atlanta Highway, at the intersection of Atlanta Highway and McLemore Road (map below).

 

steaks grillingEastside Grille is known for their “meat and three” lunches throughout the week: one meat and three vegetables – tasty, filling, and very reasonably priced. But this was dinner time on a Friday evening, and I was thinking about steak. I couldn’t resist the siren call of the cow, it being a Friday night, being out with friends, and wanting to have a good meal and a good time.  We couldn’t have had a better experience.

 

This particular Friday evening was a little cooler than normal, a little breezy, and a little cloudy.  Just perfect weather for sitting outside on the patio.  It has been horrendously hot this summer, with day after day after day of 95+ degree heat.  Mix that in with high humidity, and you’ve got a sauna waiting for you every time you set foot outside.  It just takes your breath away and turns every social gathering into an endurance contest, all the while feeling like you’re trying to breathe under water.  But this particular evening was different.  There were thunderstorms in the distance, and although we didn’t get any rain (the storms were moving away from us), we did get the benefit of cooling breezes blowing in off the storms.

 

The patio at Eastside Grille is exactly that.  A fenced in large patio with a small tiki-type bar at one end and a small stage at the other end where they have live music at night on Wednesdays through Saturdays during the warmer months.  The fence is decorated with rope lights, giving the place a festive look.  There’s nothing stuffy about Eastside Grille.  The seating is fluid.  Waitstaff moved tables around to accommodate groups of all sizes.  While we were there, there were couples, small groups of friends, and a couple of larger family groups with small children.  Everyone enjoyed both the music and the food.

 

The food.  Oh, the food.  Remember that siren call of the cow I mentioned earlier?  Well, I answered it and ordered a Black Jack Sirloin, an 8 oz. sirloin steak cooked to order (medium for me) along with a choice of two sides.  I chose the baked potato and house salad.  The house salad was a lot larger than I was expecting – I like a good salad, and this one didn’t disappoint.  But let’s focus on the main part of the meal, though, the steak.  This steak arrived grilled exactly to order, and covered with a slice of cheese, a little hot sauce for seasoning, and grilled button mushrooms and onions piled on top.  Tender and flavorful, it was beyond delicious!

 

Good food, good service, good atmosphere, all enjoyed with good friends.  If you’re out on the Atlanta Highway and wondering where to go to have a good meal and a good time, give Eastside Grille a try.  I think you’ll enjoy it.

 

Montgomery AL Local Business Spotlight – Eastside Grille

 


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What Are You Doing for Labor Day? Fun Labor Day Activities in Prattville AL

September 5th, 2010

What Are You Doing for Labor Day?  Fun Labor Day Activities in Prattville AL

 

Labor Day this year is on Monday, September 6, 2010.  If you have been spending your spare time searching for homes for sale in Prattville AL, this weekend is time to take a little break and relax and have some fun.

 

Prattville AL has many of the conveniences of big city life, but Prattville is proud of its small town heritage.  Like many small towns across the southeast and even across the entire country, there are lots of fun Labor Day activities in Prattville AL this year.

barbecue chicken

 

When you hear the phrase “fun Labor Day activities in Prattville AL” what is the first thing that comes to mind?  Well, for most people, that first thought is “Barbecue!”  This year, like many others in the past, the Prattville Service League is sponsoring fun Labor Day activities in Pratt Park.  The first item on the list is, of course, the barbecue.  You can get delicious chicken or pork plates for only $8.00 each.  Other mouth-watering offerings include camp stew and even bulk pork. 

 

But the barbecue is not all.  In addition, there will be bingo, craft vendors, a country store and a kids area.  The kids area will include face painting, inflatables, a cake walk, and pony rides.  There will also be entertainment throughout the day. There really is something for everyone at Pratt Park this year, and lots of fun Labor Day activities for kids and adults. 

 

iced teaIf large group activities aren’t to your liking and you’d rather do your celebrating at home, then your options for fun Labor Day activities are limited only by your imagination.  You can always fire up the grill and cook out hamburgers and hot dogs.  Pair them with some cool homemade cole slaw or potato salad and you’ve got a nice meal. Or, if you don’t want to do much of anything at all, you can always just sit in a comfortable chair on a cool covered porch, reading a good book and drinking a refreshing glass of iced tea. Ahhhhh, relaxing!

 

So what are you doing for Labor Day?  Whether you choose to join in the fun activities in Pratt Park or you choose to celebrate at home, make your Labor Day celebrations this year lots of fun!

 

What Are You Doing for Labor Day?  Fun Labor Day Activities in Prattville AL

 

 

 

 

Credit Score and Home Loans – Prattville, AL – Part 2

September 2nd, 2010

Credit Score and Home Loans – Prattville, AL – Part 2

 

Yesterday we talked about two of the five categories that make up a credit score.  Today we’re going to talk about the other three categories and tie everything together.  Remember that having a good credit score is really important if you want to buy a home in Prattville, AL or anywhere else in the River Region.  Yesterday we talked about the first two categories, Payment History and Amounts Owed.

 

Credit Score and Home Loans - What Makes Up Credit ScoreThe third category that makes up your credit score is Length of Credit History. This category looks at the length of time each of your accounts has been open and also the time since your last activity on each account.  So your accounts that have been opened longer get a higher score in this section than the accounts that you have just recently opened.  Having too many accounts that have been opened recently may lower your credit score in this section, so the best advice for home buyers is don’t open any new accounts right before applying for a home loan.  The Length of Credit History category accounts for 15% of your credit score.

 

The fourth category that makes up your credit score is New Credit.  This category looks at the number of accounts you have recently opened, the number of inquiries into your credit report by creditors, and how long ago that you re-established positive credit history after a previous time of payment problems.  Having lots of inquiries by creditors on your credit report makes it look like you have gone all over town trying to find someone to give you credit or give you a home loan.  This can really lower your credit score in this category. 

 

The final category is Types of Credit Used, which looks at the different types of credit accounts you have, such as credit cards, store credit cards, auto loans or other installment loans, consumer finance accounts and other mortgages, and also looks at the number of accounts you have of each type.  Having too many of one type of account, such as consumer finance accounts, compared to the other types of accounts, makes your credit history look unbalanced, so your credit score for this category may be lowered if your credit accounts look unbalanced.  The New Credit and Types of Credit Used categories both account for 10% of your credit score.

 

So there you have it.  The most important thing you can do is pay your credit accounts on time every month.  Remember that Payment History accounts for 35% of your credit score.  The next most important thing you can do is keep your Amounts Owed under 50% of your available credit on revolving accounts such as credit cards.  Home buyers save money on home loansDoing these two things every month will help bring your credit score up dramatically in as little as six months to a year.  And when you’re eager to buy a home, having your credit score up as high as possible will help you get the best interest rates and open up the most home loans programs for you, which can possibly save you thousands of dollars over the life of your home loan.

 

Now that you know more about what goes into your credit score and how credit score and home loans are tied together, you can keep a closer watch on what you do with your credit cards, loans, and finance accounts every month, which will help you buy a home in Prattville, AL or somewhere else in the River Region.

 

Credit Score and Home Loans – Prattville, AL – Part 2

 

 

 

 

Credit Score and Home Loans – Prattville, AL – Part 1

September 1st, 2010

Credit Score and Home Loans – Prattville, AL – Part 1

 

Once you have ordered your own credit report and looked it over to make sure the information on it is correct, you might be wondering what goes into calculating your credit score.  After all, your credit score is going to affect what type of home loan you can get and even the interest rate you can get.   Credit score and home loans are tied together tightly.  So having a good credit score is really important.  And it’s important whether you’re buying a home for sale in Prattville, AL or anywhere else in the River Region.

 

FICO credit score percentage chartSo what factors go into calculating your credit score?  According to FICO, the Fair Isaac Corporation, your credit score is made up of five categories.  Each one of these categories carries a different weight, or different level of importance, in calculating your credit score. Even though lenders look at more than just your credit score when deciding whether to give you a home loan, such as your income and how long you’ve had your job, credit scores are a big part of the home loans process.

 

The first category in calculating your FICO credit score is your Payment History. This category is made up of all your credit accounts as well as public information such as bankruptcies and judgements.  So if you have other mortgages, credit cards, store credit cards, auto loans, student loans, or any other credit accounts, they will be included here.  If you pay these accounts on time, then the credit score for this category may be raised.  But if you have accounts in collections, accounts you pay late, or accounts you have defaulted on, then the calculation takes this into effect and lowers the credit score for this category.  The Payment History category accounts for 35% of your credit score.

 

Next is the Amounts Owed category.  This category looks at the amounts you owe on your accounts, the number of accounts that you owe balances on, and how much of your available credit you are using.  For instance, if you have a credit card that has a $5,000 credit limit, and you owe $3,000 on it, then the calculation thinks that you are using too much of your available credit for that credit card.  The general rule of thumb is that if you are using more than 50% of your available credit, then the calculation may lower the credit score for this category.  The Amounts Owed category accounts for 30% of your credit score.

 

This gives you a start on how your credit score is calculated.  In the next post, we’ll look at the other categories used to calculate your FICO credit score and look more closely at how credit score and home loans are tied together for buying a home for sale in Prattville, AL.  There is more helpful information on homes for sale on the Buyer’s Choice Realty website.

 

Credit Score and Home Loans – Prattville, AL – Part 1