Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Charlotte NC Real Estate Investments

What are you waiting for?????

With prices this low and the tax credit on the table, what are you waiting for????

Phones are ringing with prospective buyers looking at Real Estate Investments. Real Estate is tangible, it’s real, and you can touch it, buy it, sell it, look at it and use it. Not so with Stocks and Bonds.

Investing in real estate has always been a smart tool for increase wealth.

Short Sales, Forclosures and REOs, what are you waiting for????

Call me today for our latest Hot Property list..

Get off the fence.. Make the move, step up to Real Estate.

Rich Ferretti
Broker/Realtor ABR, QSC, e-PRO
Jamison Realty
500 W. John Street
Matthews, NC 28105

Office: 704-846-DONE (3663)

Fax: 704-847-DONE (3663)

Cell: 704-564-0807


Tax Break for First-Time Homebuyers

Hello eveyrone, Mike Rodman has written a great article covering the Tax Break for First-Time Homebuyers.



Date: March 3, 2009

From: Michael L. Rodman, CPA

Expanded Tax Break Available for 2009 First-Time Homebuyers

IR-2009-14, Feb. 25, 2009

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service announced today that taxpayers who qualify for the first-time homebuyer credit and purchase a home this year before Dec. 1 have a special option available for claiming the tax credit either on their 2008 tax returns due April 15 or on their 2009 tax returns next year.

Qualifying taxpayers who buy a home this year before Dec. 1 can get up to $8,000, or $4,000 for married filing separately.

“For first-time homebuyers this year, this special feature can put money in their pockets right now rather than waiting another year to claim the tax credit," said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. “This important change gives qualifying homebuyers cash they do not have to pay back.”

The IRS has posted a revised version of Form 5405, First-Time Homebuyer Credit, on The revised form incorporates provisions from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The instructions to the revised Form 5405 provide additional information on who can and cannot claim the credit, income limitations and repayment of the credit.

This year, qualifying taxpayers who buy a home before Dec. 1, 2009, can claim the credit on either their 2008 or 2009 tax returns. They do not have to repay the credit, provided the home remains their main home for 36 months after the purchase date. They can claim 10 percent of the purchase price up to $8,000, or $4,000 for married individuals filing separately.

The amount of the credit begins to phase out for taxpayers whose adjusted gross income is more than $75,000, or $150,000 for joint filers.

For purposes of the credit, you are considered to be a first-time homebuyer if you, and your spouse if you are married, did not own any other main home during the three-year period ending on the date of purchase.

The IRS also alerted taxpayers that the new law does not affect people who purchased a home after April 8, 2008, and on or before Dec. 31, 2008. For these taxpayers who are claiming the credit on their 2008 tax returns, the maximum credit remains 10 percent of the purchase price, up to $7,500, or $3,750 for married individuals filing separately. In addition, the credit for these 2008 purchases must be repaid in 15 equal installments over 15 years, beginning with the 2010 tax year.

Stop the Negative Press-Charlotte NC Housing Market.

From Tony Crumbley, the Charlotte Chamber's vice president for research:

It seems all we hear today is how bad the economy is in Charlotte. The stock market is declining, houses are being foreclosed, banks are laying off workers. Clearly the vast majority of the community is experiencing the "half empty glass" syndrome.

We are placing the blame on the lending institutions and the real estate community, when, in fact, the real culprit is the lack of consumer confidence driven by daily negative media. It's time someone puts in perspective just how "bad" our economy really is.

Money magazine recently compared 1932 with 2008. Some highlights: GDP was -13 percent in 1932 versus 1.6 percent in 2008; unemployment was 23.6 percent compared with 6.1 percent; inflation was -9.9 percent compared with 4.2 percent.

The nation is a long way from the bread lines of the 1930s. The reason it took so long for the feds to call the recession is because the American worker is still producing positive growth.

We in Charlotte are considerably better off than the rest of the nation. There are few places in the world one could be today and have such a positive quality of life and economic future.

Housing across the nation has seen a price decline of nearly 17 percent over the past year. Only recently has Charlotte seen any decline, which totals 3 percent.

The next time you drive past the downtown skyline, take a look at all the construction cranes. Charlotte will have a record year in 2008 for value of new non-residential construction.

The cost of living in Charlotte is 7 percent less than the national average. This is one reason nearly 40,000 people a year move to Mecklenburg County. All we hear on the news is the increase in unemployment. The fact is there are more people employed in Charlotte today than were employed a year ago. Charlotte is still creating jobs and will continue to do so. 2008 will see an increase of 12,000 new jobs in Charlotte.

Companies looking at opening a new operation in Charlotte continue to keep the Chamber's economic developers busy. Each week on average 10 new companies seek information about the city and the Chamber staff hosts four visits by companies for a closer look.

In spite of all the banking turmoil, Charlotte continues to prosper from the banking community. In the beginning of 2008, Charlotte was the nation's #2 banking center, and it still is. When the dust settles there will be more people working in finance in Charlotte than ever before.

Lastly, let's look at our airport, often beaten up for its seemingly high ticket prices and full parking lot. Those full lots should tell you something and all that red dirt along I-485 should reinforce your conclusion. 2008 was a record year for passenger enplanements at Charlotte/Douglas International Airport, on track to surpass 17 million, an increase of 5 percent from 2007.

Why aren't we reading and hearing about these positive indicators? The list is out there and continues to grow. When will this community understand that the "glass is half full" and consumer confidence will return?

Charlotte Real Estate Market

Charlotte in same predicament as Wall Street

February 14, 2009 6:57 PM ET

clip_image001All Associated Press news

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (AP) - The financial collapse has hit hard in the city known as Wall Street South.

For years, Bank of America Corp. and Wachovia Corp. helped turn Charlotte into a financial powerhouse. Now, the big banks have thrust it into the same predicament as the real Wall Street — the city is losing thousands of jobs and an unquantifiable amount of prestige. Residents who invested heavily in the banks have seen their wealth dissipate and lifestyles change radically.

"It's kind of sad, disheartening because the banks have been the backbone of Charlotte for so long," said Carl Clayton, a 55-year-old retired school teacher.

The loss of so many bank jobs is causing upheaval in other industries. Consumers who have been laid off or fear being out of work are curtailing their spending, forcing restaurants and retailers to close — among them Morton's, a high-end steakhouse, and a 15-month-old Home Depot Design Center. Even some of the Charlotte's lively night clubs have shuttered their doors.

"There's a bit of a state of disbelief," said Bob Morgan, president of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce. "We are seeing things happen that no one else has contemplated before."

Charlotte remains the second-biggest U.S. bank town by assets — second to New York, and in front of San Francisco. But, Morgan said, "we don't know what the city is going to look like once we emerge."

"We do know that tremendous wealth has already been lost."

A big reason why is the amount of banking shares owned by people who have worked for Wachovia, now owned by Wells Fargo & Co., and Bank of America. Both have used their stock to compensate employees.

Bank of America's shares have been among the hardest hit among financial companies. The company has lost more than 56 percent of its value since it closed on its acquisition of investment bank Merrill Lynch & Co. at the beginning of the year. The stock is down nearly 85 percent from a year ago.

Last year, before Wachovia was acquired by Wells Fargo, its shares had slid 85 percent.

Clayton estimates he has lost about $60,000 because of stock holdings in the two banks, along with other North Carolina banks, including BB&T Corp.

"I had a lot of bank stock, but now it's gone," Clayton said. "What wealth I had, is gone."

Residents and employees never expected such a downfall. Wachovia, once headquartered in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, joined the Top 5 ranks of national banks after it was acquired by Charlotte-based First Union Corp. in 2001. The combined company took Wachovia's name.

Banker Hugh McColl Jr. led NationsBank Corp. through some 70 acquisitions starting in the early 1980s. His biggest coup was San Francisco-based BankAmerica Corp., a financial institution bigger than NationsBank. He adopted the name and also moved the headquarters to Charlotte.

Some say Charlotte's troubles began in 2006, when Wachovia acquired mortgage lender Golden West Financial Corp. for roughly $25 billion at the height of the housing boom. With that purchase, Wachovia inherited a $122 billion portfolio of deteriorating mortgages, leaving the company with huge losses. Charlotte residents were unnerved as they watched Wachovia falter and then be taken over by Wells Fargo in what amounted to a fire sale late last year.

Down the street, at Bank of America, things were looking just as bleak. A series of bad bets in the investment banking unit over the past year sank companywide profits, and as Bank of America completed its acquisition of struggling investment bank Merrill Lynch & Co., shareholders watched its stock price slide to historic lows.

Both Wells Fargo and Bank of America have said they remain "committed" to Charlotte.

Wells Fargo, based in San Francisco, has said Charlotte will be its eastern headquarters, though it remains unclear exactly what that means. The fear is that Wells Fargo, as it completes its integration of Wachovia, will keep shedding Charlotte positions. Wachovia has about 20,000 employees in the city.

Bank of America, meanwhile, with about 15,000 employees in Charlotte, is eliminating some 35,000 jobs companywide.

North Carolina already has nearly 400,000 unemployed workers. The jobless rate was 8.7 percent in December, the highest since 1983, according to the most recent available data.

Charlotte, with a population of nearly 700,000, is the 20th-largest city in the country. About 45 percent of the residents of its home county, Mecklenburg, make more than $50,000 a year, according to data supplied by the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce.

Outside the downtown offices buildings filled with bank employees, there's a sense of disbelief as people huddle together drinking coffee or smoking cigarettes and then shuffle off to their jobs. When a reporter approached employees for interviews, they declined to speak, or said they didn't want to give their names, worried about keeping their jobs.

Charlotte relies on the banks for more than employment — its lifestyle, even its skyline has depended on Wachovia and Bank of America.

Wachovia sponsors the city's annual PGA tournament, among the most popular on tour, while Bank of America's name is on the football stadium and the bank is a sponsor of one of NASCAR's top auto races. Both fill towering downtown office buildings — Wells Fargo, now by way of Wachovia, is building a 48-story headquarters and adjoining city arts campus. The bankers and traders who work for both helped create the demand — and now vacancies — for the high-rise condos near by.

"I have received more calls over the past month from people wanting to list their homes, with a majority of them having financial problems," said Rich Ferretti, a broker at Jamison Reality in Matthews, a suburb of Charlotte.

Stores in the city's affluent SouthPark area are less crowded on the weekends. And a recent happy hour at Capital Grille, located just across from Bank of America's headquarters, was sparsely attended.

Charlotte also faces civic and philanthropic repercussions. Unlike Wachovia, Wells Fargo's executives have few North Carolina ties. Bank of America typically offers up the lead gift on projects.

"We will honor our existing commitments and we are still in the process of determining any future commitments," Wells Fargo spokeswoman Mary Eshet said.

Now, the city is waiting for major changes.

"A lot of our friends work for the banks," said Leslie Hunter, a 38-year-old mother of two. "People are not stopping everything, but their awareness has increased."

After being laid off from his bank consulting job 11 months ago, Jim Edwards' daily routine of networking, applying for jobs and going to the gym keeps his spirits up.

"I've been out of work and living on my retirement income," said the 62-year-old, who added it's been a struggle finding employment because no one is hiring.

While many unknowns remain, Mayor Pat McCrory is optimistic.

"Charlotte does have very strong resilience and I anticipate that a lot of the talent that's moving out of the banks will stay," he said in an interview with The Associated Press.

Some job relief may be moving in. GMAC Financial Services and Morgan Stanley are rumored to be looking to move at least parts of their companies to the Charlotte area.

GMAC Financial Service's chief executive, Al G. de Molina, used to be Bank of America's chief financial officer. Morgan Stanley has already hired at least four former Wachovia executives to help the New York-based firm's retail banking expansion effort.

McCrory wouldn't talk about the two firms, but said the large amount of talent in Charlotte will "attract others in the financial services industry to set up here."

"We're going through a major adjustment, but when the economy rebounds, I think Charlotte will rebound the quickest," he said.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Rich Ferretti

Broker/Realtor ABR, QSC, e-PRO

Jamison Realty

500 W. John Street

Matthews, NC 28105

Office: 704-846-DONE (3663)

Fax: 704-847-DONE (3663)

Cell: 704-564-0807


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