2010 February :: The Construction Management Pro

2-24-10 – New Homebuyer Credit Form Released

February 24, 2010

This is a re-post:

New Homebuyer Credit Form Released; Taxpayers Reminded to Attach Settlement Statement and Other Key Documents

The IRS expects to start processing 2009 tax returns claiming the homebuyer credit in mid-February after it completes the updating and testing of systems to meet the law’s new requirements. The updates allow the IRS to put in place critical systemic checks to deter fraud related to the homebuyer credit.

Some of these early taxpayers claiming the homebuyer credit may see tax refunds take an additional two to three weeks.

In addition to filling out a Form 5405, all eligible homebuyers must include with their 2009 tax returns one of the following documents in order to receive the credit:
* A copy of the settlement statement showing all parties’ names and signatures, property address, sales price, and date of purchase. Normally, this is the properly  executed Form HUD-1, Settlement Statement.
* For mobile home purchasers who are unable to get a settlement statement, a copy of the executed retail sales contract showing all parties’ names and signatures,  property address, purchase price and date of purchase.
* For a newly constructed home where a settlement statement is not available, a copy of the certificate of occupancy showing the owner’s name, property address and date of the certificate.

In addition, the new law allows a long-time resident of the same main home to claim the homebuyer credit if they purchase a new principal residence. To
qualify, eligible taxpayers must show that they lived in their old homes for a five-consecutive- year period during the eight-year period ending on the purchase date of the new home. The IRS has stepped up compliance checks involving the homebuyer credit, and it encouraged homebuyers claiming this part of the credit to avoid refund delays by attaching documentation covering the five-consecutive-year period:

* Form 1098, Mortgage Interest Statement, or substitute mortgage interest statements,
* Property tax records or
* Homeowner’s insurance records.

The IRS also reminded homebuyers that the new documentation requirements mean that taxpayers claiming the credit cannot file electronically and must file paper returns.

Normally, it takes about four to eight weeks to get a refund claimed on a complete and accurate paper return where all required documents are attached. For those homebuyers filing early, the IRS expects the first refunds based on the homebuyer credit will be issued toward the end of March.

James H. Kennedy, CPA
GreenbergKennedy, LLP CPA’s
1214 Chambers Ave.
Cherry Hill, NJ 08002

Phone (856) 662-5555

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2-10 – Crawl Spaces

February 10, 2010

On 1-4-10 I wrote a post conering the USGBC recommendation regarding ventilation of crawl spaces. I have done some additonal research on the subject. The main problem with crawl spaces come from moisture and temperature variances. Comparative studies conducted on crawl spaces conclude that encapsulation and conditioning systems perform better than crawl space vents in preventing moisture problems, and improve a home’s energy efficiency and indoor air quality. Vented crawl spaces have been the norm for many years. One paper shows why this traditional building technique is now problematic. Read more 

To keep moisture out of crawl spaces, the walls and floors need to be sealed with a vapor barrier. If ductwork is installed in the space, it should have its seams properly sealed. This is done to prevent the introduction of humidity. In addition, the floor above should be insulated. The floor acts like a heat sink causing the occupants to feel colder. Floor insulation then reduces the tendacy to increase the ambient air temperature. lastly, the crawl space should be provided with conditioned air from the homes HVAC system. Ok, what if the home has no central air or hot air system? Conventional wisdom is that if properly sealed, conditioning the crawl space in older homes is not necesarry. However, the space does need a dehumidifier to ensure low relative humity.

With a properly sealed crawl space, the accumulation of noxious gases could be a problem (radon and carbon monoxide). This space needs to be monitored and if this becomes a problem it would be necessary to follow the EPA recommendations for the mitigation of radon gas. This means the installation of an exhaust fan; and you thought this was going to be complicated and costly :~)

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965 Lalor St., Hamilton, NJ

February 6, 2010

This property is now listed for sale! This little property has had it’s share of challenges. This Charming Semi-Detached was just completely renovated! New items include Windows, Kitchen, Bathroom, and Carpet! Walk into the front entrance and find a 3 season enclosed porch; into the nice size living room then dining room with large open archway entrance; through the dining room you will find the eat-in kitchen that was just completely renovated including Ceramic Tile Floor, New Cabinets, New Countertop, New Tile Backsplash, and New Appliances (gas range, and Refrigerator). Up the stairs you will find a Large Main Bedroom, good size 2nd bedroom, and Full Bath that has New Ceramic Tile Floor, New Vanity/Sink and Toilet. Through the 2nd Bedroom lead steps to the finished 3rd floor and 3rd Bedroom with Plenty of room and nice light! A fenced backyard, driveway with plenty of room for 2+ cars, fenced yard, and full basement (plenty of room for storage), finish off why this home is one that sets itself apart from all the rest. The property is listed at $149.900. We will see what the market thinks. Financing provided by the Bank of Princeton.

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