One of the overlooked aspects of the recent home buyer’s tax credits approved by Congress is the credit that is available for the “move-up” or repeat home buyer. Many people are aware of the up to $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers, but there has not been a real concerted effort to let people know about the up to $6,500 tax credit available to buyers who sold their previous home and are “moving up.”
The law defines a tax credit-qualified move-up home buyer (“long-time resident”) as a person who has owned and resided in the same home for at least five consecutive years of the eight years prior to the purchase of the move-up home. Repeat home buyers do not have to purchase a home that is more expensive than their previous home to qualify for the tax credit.
The homeowners who fall in to this move-up category, would have purchased their homes in 2002 or prior, which means they bought their homes prior to the real estate madness of 2005 to 2007 and probably made some money, or at least didn’t lose money. For those who fall into this category, you have until April 30, 2010 to take advantage of this one-time tax credit. If you have lived in your current home for five of the last eight years, and are interested in moving up, time is running out to sell your home and make the move-up purchase.
Find out more about the Move-Up/Repeat Home Buyer Tax Credit
Lyle Plocher is a licensed Real Estate Broker with the Urban Connection Realty team at HomeSmart. Lyle can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week I finally broke down and bought an iPhone. I bought it because it just works. For the last few months, I have been rotating between Android phones, then bought an iPod Touch and a Verizon MiFi so that I could have an iPhone-like experience without actually giving in to the AT&T machine. By the time I put my phone, iPod Touch, MiFi, my wallet and my keys in my pockets as I walked out of the house, they were literally overflowing. God help me if I tried to squeeze a Metro pass or some change in there.
Sure, my Android phone plus iPod Touch plus MiFi combination had the features I needed to check in on Yelp, read Facebook posts and check my Google Voice messages, but it was a real pain in the ass to find a place for everything, not to mention the trouble that went into managing three different sets of batteries.
This electronic experience caused me to reflect on my recent post about why people move away from Phoenix to places like Seattle, Portland and San Francisco. I think the reason people move from Phoenix to these cities is because, like an iPhone, they just work. In Portland you just jump on the streetcar to get wherever you want to go in the central city. Need to go further? Hop on the extensive light rail system. Restaurants, bars, and shopping are all oriented around public transit and dense neighborhoods. It just works.
In Phoenix, things are a bit more like the Android phone, iPod Touch, MiFi combo. Sure you can make it to a dense neighborhood, but that is a rare experience, and almost considered an oddity by those who aren’t committed to the city’s central core. Public transport connections outside of the single light rail line are sparse and unreliable. And don’t even get me started about the light rail segment between Phoenix and Tempe, on which I am generally asked to disembark and get on the next train at least 30% of the time.
Is this a standard Phoenix bitch session? Not at all. There is a charm to the Android ecosystem. It is complicated, it asks a lot of you and you feel clever when you master it. But, it is a hell of a lot easier to just get the phone that everyone has, that everyone has apps for and just works.
The goal of a thriving Downtown in Phoenix should be to make our town an iPhone. Get businesses, people, leaders, kids, neighbors and friends talking about how we can make living, working and shopping Downtown an enjoyable experience. And, for the love of God, let’s keep the trains running on time.
Last week’s games
01/22/09 Bulls 115, SUNS 104
01/23/09 SUNS 112, Warriors 103
01/25/09 Jazz 124, SUNS 115
01/26/09 Bobcats 114, SUNS 109
This week’s games
01/28/09 SUNS vs Mavericks, 8:30 p.m., TNT
01/31/09 SUNS @ Rockets, 5 p.m., My45
02/01/09 SUNS @ Hornets, 6 p.m., My45
02/03/09 SUNS @ Nuggets, 8:30 p.m., ESPN
Should I stay or should I go now?
Should I stay or should I go now?
If I go there will be trouble
An’ if I stay it will be double
So come on and let me know
These lyrics from The Clash describe how I feel about the current situation with All Star Power Forward/Center Amar’e Stoudemire and the only team he has ever played for, the Phoenix Suns. If he stays, he’ll have to agree to take less than the max. If he goes, he’ll more than likely get the max from some foolish team. If he leaves, there will be trouble, as there are still plenty of Suns fans that like him and would like him to remain a member of the Suns. If he stays, it will be double, as even more people think Stoudemire isn’t worth the max and it’s time for both parties to part ways. So, I’d like someone to come on and let me know, preferably sooner rather than later.
If I had to guess now, I’d say the Suns will move Stoudemire before the February 18th trade deadline. Is this what I want? Not really. Do I understand where Phoenix is coming from? Yes.
I’d love for the Suns to keep Stoudemire, but not if he won’t take less money. He’s simply not worth that. Originally, I thought Amar’e would be willing to play in Phoenix for less, however it’s not looking that way now. He has the tools to be a max guy, but he doesn’t bring it every night and that’s the frustrating thing. Amar’e will put together games where he gives you 25 points and 13 rebounds, but then there will be those nights where he barely cracks double figures scoring and pulls down three boards. If STAT expects to make the same as guys like LeBron James and Dwayne Wade, he needs to bring it every night.
Last week, I defended keeping this team together. I said we shouldn’t blow things up. I still believe that, but I wouldn’t be against shaking things up, which we could do by dealing Stoudemire. The Suns just have to do things wisely. Don’t dump Stoudemire just for cash. Hold out until some team gives us the perfect combination of young talent, draft picks and cap space. If the Suns play their cards right, they can turn this Stoudemire situation into something special for the present and the future.
Currently, we hold the ninth seed out West. Only a few games separate us from the fourth spot. If the Suns trade Stoudemire for someone like Antawn Jamison of the Washington Wizards, we’d still have enough talent to make some noise out West.
We don’t own our draft pick (it was part of a previous trade) for the upcoming draft, so I believe getting into the playoffs this year is essential. We can’t afford to give a young, upcoming team (Oklahoma City) out West a lottery pick. So, Steve Kerr, I beg you, do the right thing. Don’t talk to the Spurs, Bulls, Pistons or Cavaliers. They have nothing to offer that can help us now or in the future. Only listen to the Nets if they’re willing to either part with Brook Lopez or their first-round pick this year (unprotected!). Listen to Miami, Washington, Houston and Minnesota, but wait it out until one of them makes the perfect pitch.
The Suns have plenty of options available to them. Hopefully, they choose the right one.
From the Arizona Room is a weekly column examining the historic, reuse and infill structures in Downtown Phoenix. The inspiration for this column stems from the ever-expanding resources in Burton Barr Central Library’s Arizona Room (located on the fourth floor). For further information on this and other historic structures in the area, visit the Arizona Room during normal library hours.
409 W. Jackson St. in SoDo/Warehouse
If you’ve ever stepped foot in the Icehouse, you know it’s a relic from the Phoenix of old. The open cathedral entrance, grandiose in scheme, depicts the kind of early 20th century architecture that is rare form for Phoenix. Constructed in 1910, the building was first known as the Constable Ice Storage building (hence the name it was rechristened most recently).
The loading dock of the building, now a functional outdoor space for filming and photo shoots, was the original loading point for trains and trucks transporting produce heading east. The site manufactured 300-pound blocks of ice, used to keep the mobile storage units cool. Jackson Street, right on the tracks, was the perfect location for such a facility.
The building itself, broken up into several warehouse-sized rooms, is made of reinforced concrete. The pedimented temple front entrance (now known as the Cathedral Room), facing Jackson Street, is indeed part of the original structure. The structural piers on 4th Avenue remain in excellent condition. The building, converted for different uses over and over, retains its shell, which turns 100 this year.
Though it was used for years as a storage facility for the Phoenix Police Department, it has been a transitional arts space since 1990. Hardly turnkey, the building is purposefully intended to be a blank canvas for artists, performers and clients to create their own vision.
Sources: Phoenix Historic Building Survey by Charles Hall Page and Associates, Sep. 1979; The Icehouse
Is there a historic property in Downtown Phoenix you’d like to see in From the Arizona Room? Email me at email@example.com with the address and a brief description.
If you love the smell of Pad Thai and chillin’ with the business class, Wild Thaiger is your place. At least that is what my first thought was when clamoring through the front door. Plus, any place that adorns its walls with tiger faces must be amazing.
Nestled up on Central Avenue just south of Thomas, this place is supposedly one of the premier Thai food destinations in the Valley. From the smells that had my nose tingling, I would agree. Honestly, I had not ever tasted Thai food until I moved out here. I suppose it is too racy for the South. Who knows.
Anyway, I decided to wet my whistle with a signature drink. Considering that Wild Thaiger seems to think highly enough of a drink to christen itself the same name, my palate felt certain to be riveted.
I felt that shocking my system with a little Tom Ka Gai was the perfect kick-start. Chicken soup in a light coconut broth sounds a little odd, but it absolutely rocked my gullet. Certainly the bar was set high for my imminent drink.
Garnished with a Three Musketeers fruit salad (an orange and a cherry speared with a blue sword), this drink was definitely not the manliest drink ever. A creation of spiced rum, orange and pineapple juices, Wild Thaiger had the makings of something quite tasty. I don’t feel like it delivered on the high hopes that I had set in mind. Not that it wasn’t good, but shouldn’t something that you prize enough to name your restaurant after be absolutely breathtaking? Honestly, if I’m going to brave the insults that can be lofted at me for ordering a girly drink like this, my taste buds had better vacation in the land of splendor. I expected to hear an angel chorus erupt and a tear to cling to my eye. Did any of this happen? Nope. To be honest, I struggled a little to finish it off.
From what I witnessed, you should definitely come here to have the food conquer your appetite, but maybe you should wait on their signature drink.
The Wild Thaiger couldn’t drag me away… all right, I apologize but it had to be done.
Wild Thaiger is located at 2631 N. Central Ave. in Midtown — light rail station at Central/Thomas. 602.241.8995