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Life After the Tax Credit – Getting Creative For Your Clients



Note from the editor: please welcome Anna Altic to the Agent Genius family. Anna will be writing about the emerging trends and methodologies of green real estate, a topic we are extremely fond of and have had many requests to cover more in depth. Anna has NAR’s Green designation and currently chairs the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors environmental committee after successfully petitioning her local MLS to add over 25 searchable green features to input fields. She is highly involved in green civics locally and brings a great passion to the subject that she will be sharing here at AG. Please welcome Anna in the comments!

The final countdown

timepiece prime time clock closeup watchAlright all you Facebook happy agents who keep posting reminders about  the impending demise of the 8k tax credit in your status update.   T minus 35 days and counting until this can no longer be the reason, “NOW is the perfect time to purchase a home.”

If this has worked for you then I say carry on, you fearless FB poster with your message of urgency in the name of government bail out.  Now all we have to do is give you something to talk about.  Alas, Uncle Sam is still on the dole and your new best friend should be the Homestar Energy Efficiency Retrofit Program.

The general concept is that homeowners can receive rebates ranging from a $1000 – $3000 for performing energy efficient retrofits on their homes.  This more than doubles the maximum currently being offered for energy efficient retro fits and the government estimates this will offer up to $600 a year in energy savings to homeowners who participate in the program.

Getting creative for your clients

In addition, there is nothing I have seen so far that would preclude a homeowner from stacking this program with incentives being offered by their state or from their local utilities such as our TVA’s Energy Right Program.   What about energy efficient mortgages or 203k loans? I say you stack that on too!  Get creative, the skies the limit on how a program like this can benefit your clientele, the environment, and the contractors who need the work.

I’ll be watching the progress of this Bill as it moves through Congress so more to come.   In the meantime, sharpen your Ezine, warm up your keyboards and practice some pithy ways to market this in 140 characters or less.

image courtesy of zoutedrop on flickr

Anna Altic – Village Real Estate Services. I’ve called Nashville home for the last 15 years and have been practicing (practice being the key word here) real estate for just over 6 years. In the fall of 2007, I went to a local German Festival that had a home tour, including a LEED certified property, and I instantly became enamored with the idea of eco friendly living (ok, so I’d had a little beer and the dual flush toilet rocked my world). I have since devoted much of my time and energies in to studying and espousing the benefits of better building technology within our local residential market and my proudest accomplishment thus far has been successfully leading the initiative to get over 25 green features added to our MLS search fields.

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  1. Eric Stegemann

    March 29, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    Good article. With everyone in our industry focusing on advertising the tax credit, it’s time to start considering what is next after it will almost certainly not be continued after the expiration. There are numerous other tax / free money incentives beyond the retrofit program as well. Many local areas offer first time homebuyers a 0 interest forgivable loan if they agree to stay in the same home for at least 5 years. These have been underutilized in the past and perhaps now they will be more prominent.

    However, I think Realtor advertising should go back to the fundamentals. Too many agents / brokers have relied on a strategy of marketing based solely on the financial benefit ( We all know the Realtor ad debacle of “It’s a great time to buy, there is lots of inventory and home prices haven’t been this good in years.” And while that’s great to talk about, we need to remember that beyond the fact that the government paid you to buy a home, it’s still a home. A place where you live and grow your family. Advertising for Realtors should be : I’m a Realtor, I offer these services, I know this market well and as proof here’s a short blurb about it.

  2. Duke Long

    March 29, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    Welcome Anna,
    Great article…Loving the GREEN.

  3. Brad Notter

    March 29, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    What most people don’t know is that ACTIVE VETERANS who serve on an official-extended duty service outside of the United States for a minimum of 90 days between December 1, 2008 through May 1, 2010 are granted a 1 year extension for the tax credit.

    Basically, if you served overseas for a minimum of 90 days between these dates you will have until April 30th, 2011 to enter into a purchase contract and must close on or before June 30th, 2011.

    Houston TX Mortgage

  4. Stephanie Crawford

    March 30, 2010 at 3:14 am

    ANNA!!! Congrats! So great to see you here!
    See up at REbar Nashville in a few weeks?

  5. Missy

    April 8, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    Hi Anna, welcome to Agent Genius. I will get to meet you in a few weeks at Rebar Nashville.

    My son is getting his RE in Nashville and will be with me that day.

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Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home

When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?



Looking at the bigger picture

(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).

That said, dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).

They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.

“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”

Click here to continue reading the list of the 12 best places to buy a home…

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Housing News

Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?

With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.



aging housing inventory

aging housing inventory

The average home age is higher than ever

(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.

With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.

Prices of new homes on the rise

Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.

Click here to continue reading this story…

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Housing News

Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?

The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.



zillow move

zillow move

Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes

(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub,, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.

Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.

So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.

1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues

It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.

Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.

2. Two major media brands emerge

Last fall, the News Corp. acquisition of Move, Inc. was given the green light by the feds, and this month, Zillow finalized their acquisition of Trulia.

…Click here to continue reading this story…

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