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Maple Sweet Real Estate

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      2009 is off to a tumultuous start with investment indicators extreme. After a real estate market free fall across the nation and the associated shock psyche among buyers and investors, there are numerous indicators this April of a new dawn.

      Primary first home single family residence sale prices were down 2.7% from the winter of 2008 as measured from November to February. Second homes and condos both down just over the five per cent mark.While significant, these Vermont figures are moderate compared to 20 large cities at 18.5% below a year ago according to the S&P Case-Schiller home price index.

      The good news: National home sales were up 5% in February alone compared to a year ago according to the National Association of Realtors, and in the north east up 16%. With the cost of money at a six year historic low hovering in the upper fours or just above five per cent, many view this transitional market as at either at the bottom or quite close to the bottom.The first time home buyers $8,000 tax credit included in is one of 10 key provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act signed by President Obama into law on Feb. 17, 2009. This is a clean tax credit that doesn't need to be repaid if the home is lived in for three or more years, in contrast to the former $7,500 tax credit which had to be repaid over 15 years.

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      After a frigid winter, a thaw is in gear. This spring is an extraordinary time for savvy investors to get off the fence and take the plunge with either a purchase or a re-fi. Some sellers are more open to negotiation and inventories are still robust so there is a lot to choose from for the discerning eye. Season of hope, change and opportunity.

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