Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Taylor Lorimier Classic Golf Benefit Tournament

The Grant Hickman Team grabbed our clubs to participate in the Taylor Lorimier Classic Golf Benefit Tournament Saturday, September 6, 2008.

Friends of the Lorimier Family and Mid Rivers Golf Course hosted the benefit golf tournament in honor of Taylor Lorimier, a 10 year-old girl from Florissant diagnosed with Leukemia in 2004. Taylor finished her treatment in May of 2007. While the Lorimier family is doing well despite the medical and financial obligations for a cancer of this type, they continue hosting the golf tournament to help other children in need by donating the annual tournament proceeds to organizations who help families in similar predicaments.

The golf tournament was an excellent opportunity to raise the awareness of Leukemia and its effects on our youth and, at the same time, help families in need. This year’s tournament raised more than $4,500.

Pictured from Left to Right: Golfers Chad Blatz, Ryan Bowles, Grant Hickman, Cary Knobbe with Taylor Lorimier and friend.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

It is time to start looking!

Right now is the time to start looking around your neighborhood. The Grant Hickman Team brings you up-to-the minute access housing market and trends in your neighborhood.

Use the MLS Market SnapShot form to enter information about your home. In less than 30 minutes, we will send you a personalized report to your email address. Learn how fast homes in your neighborhood are selling right now! Explore actual selling prices compared to listing prices. See how many houses in the neighborhood are unsold.

The professionals in the Grant Hickman Team interpret a number of local market trends and relate them to your personal plans. The MLS Market SnapShot is another Real Service we are excited to share with you.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Housing rules change for EVERYONE

The recently passed H.R. 3221, American Housing Rescue and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008 is aimed to improve the housing industry, and mainly reward first time home ownership.

The Grant Hickman Team has studied the changes in law and is ready to assist all buyers and sellers. Multiple home owners, veterans, and first time buyers should call The Grant Hickman Team to learn how the new law directly affects you. Below are a few of the changes.

The First Time Homebuyer Credit is more of a loan, with a zero-percent interest rate, to be repaid over 15 years. The credit allows first-time homebuyers of a principal residence in the United States to take a tax credit of 10 percent of the purchase price of the residence (not to exceed $7500).
• The credit will begin to phase out if single taxpayer’s income exceeds $75,000 per year or the couple’s income exceeds $150,000.
• The credit is to be paid back over 15 years and applies to residences purchased between April 9, 2008 and July 1, 2009.
• This is a refundable credit. That means, even if your total tax liability is zero, you can file to get this money directly from IRS.

Beware though; homeowners should know that if they sell the home in less than 15 years, the owner would have to repay the remainder of the credit immediately.

Other changes affect more than just first time homebuyers. H.R. 3221 will most likely affect every homeowner in one way or another. Some borrows may qualify to refinance into lower-cost government-insured mortgages. Veterans and current soldiers have more options and an increased VA Home Loan limit.

Other changes from the law include new standard deduction rules. Existing homeowners, who do not itemize, will be allowed an additional standard deduction for real property taxes, on both state and local property taxes paid (aprox. $500 or $1,000 for joint filers).

On January 1, 2009, vacation homes and rental properties will be considered “non-qualified” in new tax provisions. Owners of multiple homes should contact The Grant Hickman Team to learn about the new provisions, including capital gains taxation for non-excluded portions of the home.

Lastly, effective January 1, 2010, your credit and debit card payments to merchants will be reported to you and the IRS. The report will consist of your total annual gross payment card receipts. It is believed this change will correct income reports and raise more than $9.8 billion over ten-years, which will help supplement, other programs within H.R. 3221.

These are just an overview of some of the changes enacted by H.R. 3221. You need to call your area experts with The Grant Hickman Team, to learn how the H.R. 3221, American Housing Rescue and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008 personally affect you.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Around St. Charles County

• September 6: Quilts on Main, Downtown St. Charles, 9am – 5pm. FREE
• September 6: Bluegrass Festival, Frontier Park St. Charles, 7pm – 10:30 pm. FREE
• September 19 – 21: MOSAICS Festival of the Arts, Downtown St. Charles. FREE
• September 20 – 21: Irish Fest, Frontier Park St. Charles, 10am - . FREE
• September 20 – 21: Pioneer Days, Daniel Boone’s Home Defiance, 9am – 5pm. Admission
• September 20: Harvest Festival, Augusta, 11am – 10 pm. FREE
• September 26 – 28: Oktoberfest, Frontier Park St. Charles. FREE
• September 27: The Blast (family fun), New Town St. Charles. FREE