WASHINGTON – March 16, 2010 – U.S. servicemen out of the country for 90 days (since 2008) may have an extra year to get the tax credit, up to $8,000, for buying a home.
The active-duty rule is not new. It’s part of the current tax credit law, though its use is limited. The qualification must be for “official extended duty outside the United States for at least 90 days after 2008 and before May 1, 2010.”
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Tax credit extended for active duty military

WASHINGTON (AP) – March 16, 2010 – Housing construction fell in February as winter blizzards held down activity in the U.S. Northeast and South. The decline highlighted the challenges facing builders as they struggle to emerge from the worst housing slump in decades.
The Commerce Department said Tuesday that construction of new homes and apartments fell 5.9 percent in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 575,000 units, slightly higher than the 570,000 economists were expecting. January activity was revised up to a pace of 622,000 units, the strongest showing in 14 months.
Homebuilders are trying to emerge from a severe housing downturn. A rebound in housing is seen as critical to sustaining the overall economic recovery. Click below for full story

Housing construction drops 5.9% in February

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – March 16, 2010 – A study by the California Association of Realtors shows a decrease in the number of consumers who say they would use the same real estate agent again to 22 percent in 2009 from 79 percent in 2004. When asked why they would not retain their previous agent, 64 percent said their homes languished on the market and 51 percent were upset that their house fetched less than they had expected.
The study findings show that sellers with unrealistic expectations blame their agents when a transaction does not go as planned, but agents often are indeed at fault for failing to inform sellers about current market realities when it comes to pricing and financing.
In the short term, agents can expect consumers to prefer working with individual agents, believing that a large brokerage cannot provide the personal response and service they so desire. Agents also need to drum up the courage to turn down overpriced listings that likely will not sell.
Over the long term, Realtors must focus on skill, hard work, and the use of technology to provide personal service and deliver the information of most interest to clients. Moreover, agents should immediately respond to calls and e-mails, listen to their prospect’s wants and needs, and make good on their requests.
Source: RISMedia (03/16/10) Parker, Mike
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Report: Only 22 percent of homebuyers happy with their agent