According to a survey from the California Association of Realtors, nearly 40 percent of recent first-time homebuyers said they would not have purchased a home if the federal tax credit for first-time homebuyers was not offered, and 70 percent said it was either "very important" or "most important."

The $8,000 credit is expiring Dec.1.

“It is clear that the federal tax credit for first-time homebuyers is working, as evidenced by the spike in home sales in recent months,” said CAR President James Liptak. “This tax credit is arguably the most successful strategy employed by the government’s efforts to stimulate the housing market.

“Because the tax credit has helped so many first-time buyers become homeowners, it is critical that Congress extends the credit beyond the Dec. 1 deadline and includes all buyers, not just first-timers,” he said.

“While affordability has improved in California over the past two years, it is still lower than affordability nationally. As a result, the tax credit is an even bigger factor in California compared with elsewhere in the country,” added Mr. Liptak. “Going forward, the credit will be even more important to the housing recovery.”

While the deadline is not until Dec. 1, buyers need to put in their offer by the end of September in order to qualify, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Georgia, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, introduced Senate Bill 1678 extending credit to June 1, 2010.


Analysts are expecting another wave of foreclosures due to the readjustment of many option ARM mortgages.

An adjustable-rate mortgage is a mortgage loan where the interest rate on the note is periodically adjusted.

It can be adjusted for a variety of reasons including rates on one-year constant-maturity Treasury securities, the Cost of Funds Index and the London Interbank Offered Rate.

Adjustable rates take some of the risk from the lender to the borrower and tend to be used when unpredictable interest rates make fixed rate loans difficult to obtain.

In the Bay Area, one in five people taking out a loan chose option ARM.


Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage announced a new partnership with CoreFact Marketing Systems, a Bay Area direct mail company that leverages marketing technology to help the company’s 3,600 real estate agents grow their businesses.

“In order to be successful in today’s competitive real estate marketplace, Realtors can’t continue to market themselves or their listings in traditional ways,” said Rick Turley, president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in the Bay Area. “We think that CoreFact’s technology platform will give our sales associates yet another competitive advantage over agents at other companies.”

Mr. Turley was named president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in the San Francisco Bay Area this year.

Prior to becoming president of for the Bay Area, Mr. Turley was the top executive for the company’s North Bay operations, San Francisco and the Peninsula. In his expanded role, he will now also oversee the East Bay, Silicon Valley and Monterey Peninsula. Mr. Turley will oversee the daily operations of 49 offices and more than 3,000 sales associates.

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Santa Rosa hired Robin Kallman as its newest sales associate. In her new position, Ms. Kallman will specialize in residential sales in Sonoma County.

Coldwell Banker has acquired nine real estate companies nationwide since the beginning of the year.


W Real Estate moved from its downtown location on the corner of Fifth Street and Mendocino Avenue to 500 Bicentennial Way.

North Coast Title is taking the downtown space.


Submit items for this column to Jenna V. Loceff at jloceff@busjrnl.com, 707-521-4259 or fax 707-521-5292.