(877) 413-7214

Follow us on the social network sites for the latest updates on our developments.

Listing Search:

Look forward to it

  • Find Foreclosures, Equity Amounts, and Home Values, Sub2-Financing
  • Owner & Lender Names, and Trustee Contact Info
  • American Customer Support - See why we are a pre-foreclosure investors best friend!

Comprehensive research tools

  • Owner contact information
  • Outstanding loan details and position
  • Property LTV/EQITY
  • Local market trends

We'll help you make the right decisions about real estate investing

  • The largest selection of foreclosures in your area
  • Comprehensive housing data and analysis tools
  • National and local foreclosure trends
  • Property updates and status alerts

Get access to the tools you need to succeed in the foreclosure market

  • The largest selection of foreclosures in your area
  • Short sale listing opportunities
  • National and local foreclosure sales trends
  • Connect with millions of buyers

Find Foreclosures, short sales, auction & bank-owned homes up to 20-50% below market value!

Thank you for visiting FirstHouseFinancial.com! FirstHouseFinancial.com (the “Site”) is operated by The First House Financial Corporation (“we,” “us” or “our”).

By visiting or using the FirstHouseFinancial.com Web site (the "Web site") the user ("User") agrees to be bound by these Terms of Service and that such agreement constitutes a binding contract between User and FirstHouseFinancial.com. If User does not wish to be bound by these Terms of Service, the User should not visit or use the FirstHouseFinancial.com Web site. FirstHouseFinancial.com reserves the right to change these Terms of Service from time to time at its sole discretion. In the case of any violation of the Terms of Service, FirstHouseFinancial.com reserves the right to seek all remedies available by law and in equity for such violations. These Terms of Service apply to all visits to the FirstHouseFinancial.com Web site, both now and in the future. What is the Membership Fee? How long is it good for? First House Financial charges a membership fee($199), this membership is valid for 6 months, then recurs atthe rate of $49.95/month until canceled. Subscription Renewal Reminder emails are issued in 1 week in advance of renewal date and allow for customer to close account automatically. Members are able to access the Members Area Section of our website and search our property databases, and get access to additional services from our agents.


General Disclaimer



Limitation of Liability




User agrees to indemnify and hold harmless FirstHouseFinancial.com, at User's sole expense, against any claim, action, legal proceeding, damages, liability, settlements, expenses (including attorneys' fees) and other costs relating to (i) breach of any of these terms by any party; (ii) User's negligence or misconduct, or (iii) claims that User has infringed the copyright, trademark, trade secret, patent, or other proprietary right of a third party.


Restrictions on Use of Material

The subscription to FirstHouseFinancial.com services is intended for individual or private use only. The commercial resale, electronic extraction or reformatting of information available on the FirstHouseFinancial.com Web site or on any other co-branded Web site, by any subscriber in any capacity, is strictly prohibited and a material condition to the use of the FirstHouseFinancial.com site. Data mining, screen scraping, downloading or any other activity designed to obtain, re-use, reformat, re-sell the proprietary or other foreclosure information contained within the FirstHouseFinancial.com or co-branded Web sites in a commercial manner is strictly prohibited.

FirstHouseFinancial.com reserves the right to immediately terminate any account that is being used in such activity. The reposting, manipulation, display or other Web-based presentation of data obtained through the FirstHouseFinancial.com Web site on the Internet or through email is strictly prohibited and may constitute copyright, trademark or service mark infringement. In the event that any subscriber is determined to be engaged in any activities prohibited in this section, FirstHouseFinancial.com may seek injunction in any court located in Santa Cruz County, California or the United States District Court for The Central District of California. And, the subscriber through the use of this site consents to the jurisdiction of said courts and shall and agrees to be liable for all attorneys fees incurred as the result of any enforcement of any injunction for legal action related to any wrongful action referenced herein.


Trademarks, Service Marks, & Logos

All trademarks, service marks, logos, or other corporate identifications (collectively, "Marks") on this Web site are trademarks or service marks of FirstHouseFinancial.com another entity. User agrees not to use, copy, reproduce, republish, upload, post, transmit, distribute, or modify these Marks in any way. The use of these Marks on or as a link to any other Web site is strictly prohibited without prior written approval by FirstHouseFinancial.com.

Code of Behavior

User agrees not to post on the Web site any content that (a) is libelous, defamatory, obscene, pornographic, abusive, harassing, or threatening, (b) contains viruses or other contaminating or destructive features, (c) violates the rights of others, including protections of copyright, trademark, patent, trade secrets or any right of privacy or publicity, or (d) otherwise violates any applicable law. User will not post on this Web site any links to any external Internet sites that are obscene or pornographic. Any information that you provide to FirstHouseFinancial.com must be true, complete and accurate, must not represent you as someone else or falsely identify any third party, and must not violate any law, statute, ordinance or regulation.

Usage of the subject site shall be limited to non-robotic, non-mechanical or other non-artificial/software based searches which shall not exceed 200 searches per 24 hour period. Violation of this use policy subjects the user to immediate termination of service without refund or pro-rated credit for any subscription fee.

By subscribing to the FirstHouseFinancial.com service, User agrees not to disclose any assigned access code to others. User also agrees not to distribute the information contained in FirstHouseFinancial.com com to any person or organization, by any means, printed, electronic or other.


Notwithstanding any other terms in this Agreement, there are no other Refunds the Company will make other than contained in this "Refund and Cancellation Policy" section of this Agreement.

All request for refunds and cancellations have to be made in writing via USPS Certified Mail addressed to the specified location of Customer Service on the Contact Us page of the Web Site, E-Mail, or Fax to 831-515-5200. Upon approval confirmation will be given. No refund or cancellation will be made unless the Company and the User settle in writing each request for refund or cancellation. All refunds will be issued by check only and sent via USPS Priority mail with signature confirmation. Refund checks will be issued within thirty calendar days of the written agreement between the Company and User. The check will be addressed to the User's address available to the Company.

Requests for refunds will be accepted after 90 days. The request must include at least 5 denial letters from the homeowners you have contacted through FirstHouseFinancial.com The Company has, to its sole satisfaction, verified that the delivered Service was materially deficient in providing the Service as stated in its Service Description on the Web Site at the time of Purchase. The verified deficiencies of the delivered Service were not caused by events outside the control of the Company such as slow internet connections, weather, change of mind/loss of interest, etc.

Links to/from Third Party Sites

This Web site contains links to third party sites. User accesses these sites at User's own risk; FirstHouseFinancial.comis not responsible for the contents, changes, updates, or other links contained in a linked site. FirstHouseFinancial.comprovides these links merely as a convenience, and the inclusion of such links does not imply an endorsement by FirstHouseFinancial.com of the site.

Any third party desiring to link to the Web site must link to the Web site's homepage located at FirstHouseFinancial.com. No one may link to any other page of this Web site without the prior written consent of FirstHouseFinancial.com.


Authorization, Credit Cards, Debit Cards

By signing up to the service provided by FirstHouseFinancial.com and by providing credit card, debit card or ACH transaction information, the User consents to the billing for services/access provided by FirstHouseFinancial.com

No Partnership or Agency

User understands and acknowledges that no joint venture, partnership, employment, or agency relationship exists or is created between User and FirstHouseFinancial.com as a result of use of the Web site.


Governing Law

The contents of this Web site and any claims related to it are governed by the laws of the State of California, without reference to its conflict of laws rules. User consents to the exclusive jurisdiction of the state and Federal courts located in Santa Cruz County, California, and User waives to the fullest extent allowed by law the defense of an inconvenient forum to the maintenance of any action or proceeding.



Unless specifically noted when the information is obtained, FirstHouseFinancial.com does not make available to third parties information that personally identifies its Web Site users. With the exception of: If User linked to this page (or subscription form) from another Web site, information entered here may be disclosed to the owners of such Web site. Other information or ideas that Users transmit to or post on this Web site by any means will be treated as non-proprietary, and may be disseminated or used by FirstHouseFinancial.com its affiliates or the Vendors for any purpose whatsoever. For more detailed information see our Privacy page.


Entire Agreement

By subscribing to the FirstHouseFinancial.com service, I agree not to disclose my access code to others. I also agree not to distribute the information contained in FirstHouseFinancial.com to any person or organization, by any means, printed, electronic or other.

The above Terms of Service constitute the entire and only agreement between User and FirstHouseFinancial.com on the matters described. User understands that User may be subject to further restrictions while using Vendors' Web sites.


First House Financial
755 Baywood Dr. 
Second Floor,
Petaluma, CA 94954 


Use of this website is not intended by persons under 18 years of age. You acknowledge that by registering to use this site and through the submission of information requested, you agree and approve of the terms and conditions of this Privacy Policy and subsequent amendments to this Privacy Policy by your continued use of this website. This Privacy Policy shall govern our use and disclosure of your personal information. If you do not agree and approve of the terms and conditions of this Privacy Policy, you are advised and instructed not to continue and not to complete the registration process (i.e. do not register) or otherwise use or access this site.

This Privacy Policy will provide details and describe how and what information about you is gathered, used, and distributed as a function of this website.

We appreciate that the information you provide to us and that we gather may be personal and private. Some of this information is used to facilitate improvements to our website and to enhance your First House Financial experience. We will/may share information about you with our business affiliates who have provided or may provide goods or services in connection with this site.

First House Financial compiles personal information about you when you register to use this site; when you use or purchase products and services through this site; when you connect or transfer to or from affiliate sites; when you participate in promotions; and when you ask to be provided additional services. The documentation that we gather enables us to analyze our Members interests and preferences, develop new services and enhance current services, improve your experience, and create meaningful affiliate relationships. The type of personal information that First House Financial may gather includes first name; last name; e-mail address; address; city, state and zip code; telephone number; facsimile number; credit card type; credit card number; expiration date of credit card; name on credit card; first name as it appears on check; last name as it appears on check; bank routing number as it appears on check; checking account number; drivers license number; state in which drivers license was issued; date of birth; company name; business telephone number; MLS ID number (if a licensed real estate agent); preferred listings; last five (5) searches; custom saved searches; customer communications, correspondence, e-mails, faxes and customer service/member service memos; customer responses to questionaires and surveys; the Web address where members enter from and exit to; and which pages you visit during your use of this site.

First House Financial may place and access cookies on your computer. First House Financial affiliates that offer goods and/or services on or through this site may place and access cookies on your computer. Cookies placed by affiliates are controlled by the affiliates own privacy policy.

We do not sell or rent your personal information to other companies, entities or individuals without your consent or approval. We do share your personal information in the following events:

* if we are provided your consent or approval;
* to establish and maintain your membership;
* to process payment for goods, services and membership provided to you;
* to assist you in obtaining the goods and services you request;
* to offer promotions, goods and/or services that we believe may be of interest to you;
* to update, improve, modify or enhance the operations of this website;
* in response to a subpeona, court order or other legal process;
* to assist law enforcement or other appropriate entities which we believe in good faith are conducting examinations or investigations of possible fraud or illegal activities;
* to investigate possible violations of our Terms of Use Agreement; or
* pursuant to a transfer of ownership of First House Financial Inc. Your personal information is encrypted and appropriate measures are taken to protect against unauthorized or inappropriate use of your personal information.

You may contact our customer service department to update or correct your personal information at anytime. If you wish to opt out of receiving further communication from us regarding future promotions or other goods and services, please contact our customer service department. Please know that depending on what opt-out choices you select, your ability to maintain your membership and continue to obtain goods and services may be affected. Our customer service department can be reached by e-mail at support@FirstHouseFinancial.com; by telephone at 877-413-7214. The effective date of any opt-out action will be ten (10) business days following the date your opt-out request is received by First House Financial, after which your e-mail address will be added to the suppression files associated with this site.

If you want to request to be removed from further communication with this site, including our Premium Services. We will place your e-mail address on a suppression file associated with this site. Persons whose names appear on our suppression file will have their e-mail addresses checked against all correspondence to be sent by us. Where there is a match, the planned e-mail correspondence will be withheld, and such persons will receive no further e-mail correspondence from us. Your e-mail address will be placed on the suppression list associated with this site following ten (10) business days of the day your opt-out request is received by First House Financial.

We may unilaterally amend this Privacy Policy at any time by posting a new privacy policy on the site. Be sure to check the current terms of any privacy policy in effect by visiting this site. By checking the effective date of the policy, you will know whether the Privacy Policy has been amended. Please note however, that all amended terms, or the new privacy policy shall automatically become effective thirty (30) days after initial posting.

If you choose not to accept or do not agree to be bound by the terms of the revised or amended Privacy Policy, then you must opt out and terminate your First House Financial Membership before the effective date of the revised or amended Privacy Policy. Your failure to take advantage of the opt-out provisions prior to the effective date of the revised or amended Privacy Policy will constitute your agreement and approval to be bound by the revised or amended Privacy Policy after its effective date.

From time to time, we may use your information for new, unanticipated uses not previously disclosed in our Privacy Policy. Please note that if our information practices change at some time in the future, we will use only data collected from the time of the new policy amendment forward for those new purposes.

Special Notification for California Residents

Individual customers who reside in California and have provided their personal information may request information regarding disclosures of this information to third parties for direct marketing purposes. Such requests must be submitted to us at the following mailing address: First House Financial, 755 Baywood Dr. Second Floor, Petaluma, California, 94954. This request may be made no more than once per calendar year. We reserve our right not to respond to requests submitted other than to the address specified in this paragraph.

This Privacy Policy is effective beginning September 30, 2009.

The Top 10 Real Estate Tax Deductions for Homeowners

tax_deductions_mortgage [1]As the time to file income taxes approaches, we need to take a new look at the changing tax landscape for homeowners. The dynamic atmosphere in Washington, D.C. has a different effect each year on which tax breaks are proposed, rescinded, changed, and extended for taxpayers who own a home.

Thanks to the efforts of many real estate industry groups including the National Association of REALTORS® [2], many of the tax benefits that homeowners enjoy–which were on the chopping block over the past few months–have been protected and extended through the 2013 tax season.

Disclaimer – This is only an informational summary of current tax issues in the news. If you need tax advice, please contact a tax attorney or CPA.

1. Mortgage Interest Deduction

The mortgage interest deduction has always been the most-beloved tax benefit of home buyers in the U.S. New homeowners’ monthly mortgage payments are made up almost entirely by interest for the first few years. Their ability to deduct that interest can result in a healthy reduction in tax liability. Affordability for first-time home buyers is directly linked to their ability to deduct the interest on their mortgage.

Homeowners who itemize their deductions can deduct the interest paid on a mortgage with a balance of up to $1 million. While there is some movement to limit the total itemized deductions for taxpayers with higher incomes (over $400,000), the current deductions holds for all tax brackets. Americans save around $100 million every year by deducting mortgage interest on their tax returns.

2. Home Improvement Loan Interest Deduction

The interest on home equity loans used for “capital improvements” to a home can also be a tax deduction. On loans with balances of up to $100,000, the interest is tax-deductible for a homeowner who uses the loan to make improvements to the home such as adding square footage, upgrading the components of the home, or repairing damage from a natural disaster. Maintenance items like changing the carpet and painting a home are usually not included as capital improvement projects.

3. Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) Deduction

Homeowners who make a down payment of less than 20 percent are usually paying some sort of Private Mortgage Insurance. PMI (sometimes abbreviated MIP or just MI), can be a few dollars to hundreds of dollars per month, and it is a large portion of many homeowners’ mortgage payments.

If your mortgage was originated after Jan 1, 2007, and you have PMI, it can be a tax deduction. The deduction is phased out, 10 percent per $1,000, for taxpayers who have an adjusted gross income between $100,000-$109,000 and those above that level do not qualify. The extension of this tax deduction in 2013 was one of many last-second saves by real estate industry advocates.

4. Mortgage Points/Origination Deduction

Homeowners who paid points on their home purchase or refinance can often deduct those points on their tax returns. Points, often called origination fees, are usually percentage-based fees which a lender charges to originate a loan. A one percent fee on a $100,000 loan would be one point, or $1,000.

On a home purchase loan, taxpayers can deduct the entirety of the points that they paid in the same year. On a refinance loan, the points must be deducted as an amortization over the life of the loan. Many taxpayers forget about this amortized benefit over time, so it’s important to keep good records on the deduction of points on a refinance.

5. Energy Efficiency Upgrades/Repairs Deduction

Homeowners can deduct the cost of the building materials used for energy efficiency upgrades to their home. This is actually a tax credit, one which is applied as a direct reduction of how much tax you owe, not just a reduction in your taxable income.

10 percent of the total bill for energy-efficient materials can be used as a tax credit, up to a maximum $500 credit. Insulation, doors, new roofs, and many other items qualify for the energy efficiency credit. There are also individual limits for certain items, such as $150 for furnaces, $200 for windows, and $300 for air conditioners and heat pumps.

6. Profit on Sale of Real Estate Deduction

If you’ve sold a home in the past year, you’re likely aware that individuals can claim up to $250,000 of profit from the sale tax-free, and married couples can claim up to $500,000 tax-free. Of course, there are some requirements to escaping the capital gains tax on this profit.

The home must be a primary residence. This means that you must have lived in the home, as your primary residence, for two of the past five years. You could rent it out for years one, three, and five, while living in it for years two and four. In this way, a homeowner could potentially claim this tax break on multiple homes within a fairly short time frame, but each tax-free sale must occur at least two years apart from the previous tax-free transaction.

7. Real Estate Selling Cost Deduction

For those lucky folks whose profits on the sale of their home might exceed the $250k/$500k limits, there are still some ways to reduce the tax burden. The costs of selling the home can be significant, and those in themselves can be claimed as tax deductions.

By adding up all of the fees paid at closing, capital improvements made to the home while you owned it, money spent to make repairs to damaged property, and marketing costs necessary to sell the home, you can add a significant figure to the cost basis of your home. This basically raises the original price you paid for the home. Your cost basis begins with the original price of the home, and then adds in the improvement and selling costs. When the new cost basis price is compared to your selling price, it reduces your potentially-taxable profit on the home significantly.

8. Home Office Deduction

The home office tax deduction is often cited as a deduction that increases your likelihood of being audited. While the raw numbers might add some credibility to that perception, it’s really the way a home office is deducted that gets some taxpayers into audit purgatory.

This deduction, when used correctly, is just as safe as any other. Homeowners deduct a percentage of their mortgage, utilities, and repair bills in direct proportion to the amount of their home that is dedicated office space.

There are a few hard and fast rules to live by when deducting the costs of your home office. The home office must be your principal place of business (the primary office location where you get the majority of your work done). It needs to be exclusively used for business (it can’t be your kitchen by day and office by night). You need to be realistic with its size and use (unless you enjoy audits).

9. Property Tax Deduction

New homeowners often don’t know that their property taxes are deductible. While it may sound strange to have a tax-deductible tax, the overall effect is that you don’t pay income tax on money that was spent on property taxes.

Homeowners should be careful to only deduct the amount of property tax actually paid to their local municipality for the year. This is not necessarily the amount you paid to your escrow account, and should not include any other city/county fees that might potentially be on the same bill as your property taxes.

10. Loan Forgiveness Deduction

The Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Relief Act of 2007 was created when short sales were becoming a new and growing part of the real estate market. An underwater homeowner might convince their lender to agree to a short sale of their home at $100,000, even though they owe $150,000 on their mortgage. While the lender forgives the extra $50,000 owed after the short sale, the government views it as $50,000 in taxable income (a gift from the lender to the borrower).

The Debt Forgiveness Act temporarily relieved the taxpayer of that burden, but was set to expire this year. Through much effort, it was extended along with many other homeowner tax relief measures this year and homeowners can continue to claim this tax relief in 2013.

IRS-suggested disclaimer: To the extent that this message or any attachment concerns tax matters, it is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law. This message was written to support the promotion or marketing of the transactions or matters addressed herein, and the taxpayer should seek advice based on the taxpayer’s particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor.

Exterior Replacement Projects Provide Biggest Return on Investment for Homeowners, Say REALTORS®

exterior_window_replacement [1]Homeowners looking for the most return on their investment when it comes to remodeling should consider exterior replacement projects. According to the 2013 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report, REALTORS® rated exterior projects among the most valuable home improvement projects.

“REALTORS® know that curb appeal projects offer great bang for your buck, because a home’s exterior is the first thing potential buyers see,” says National Association of REALTORS® President Gary Thomas. “Projects such as siding, window and door replacements can recoup more than 70 percent of their cost at resale. REALTORS® know what home features are important to buyers in your area and can provide helpful insights when considering remodeling projects.”

Results of the report are summarized on NAR’s consumer website HouseLogic.com, which provides information on dozens of remodeling projects, from kitchens and baths to siding replacements, including the recouped value of the project based on a national average. According to the Cost vs. Value Report, REALTORS® judged a steel entry door replacement as the project expected to return the most money, with an estimated 85.6 percent of costs recouped upon resale. The steel entry door replacement is the least expensive project in the report, costing little more than $1,100 on average. A majority of the top 10 most cost-effective projects nationally in terms of value recouped are exterior replacement projects; all of these are estimated to recoup more than 71 percent of costs.

Three different siding replacement projects landed in the top 10, including fiber cement siding, expected to return 79.3 percent of costs, vinyl siding, expected to return 72.9 percent of costs, and foam-backed vinyl, expected to return 71.8 percent of costs. Two additional door replacements were also among the top exterior replacement projects. The midrange and upscale garage door replacement were both expected to return more than 75 percent of costs.

According to the report, two interior remodeling projects in particular can recoup substantial value at resale. A minor kitchen remodel is ranked fifth and is expected to return 75.4 percent of costs. Nationally, the average cost for the project is just under $19,000.

The second interior remodeling project in the top 10 is the attic bedroom, which landed at number eight and tied with the vinyl siding replacement with 72.9 percent of costs recouped. With an average national cost of just under $48,000, the attic project adds a bedroom and bathroom within a home’s existing footprint. The improvement project projected to return the least is the home office remodel, estimated to recoup less than 44 percent.

The 2013 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report compares construction costs with resale values for 35 midrange and upscale remodeling projects comprising additions, remodels and replacements in 81 markets across the country. Data are grouped in nine U.S. regions, following the divisions established by the U.S. Census Bureau. This is the 15th consecutive year that the report, which is produced by Remodeling magazine publisher Hanley Wood, LLC, was completed in cooperation with NAR.

REALTORS® provided their insights into local markets and buyer home preferences within those markets. The 2013 national average cost-to-value ratio rose to 60.6 percent, ending a six-year decline. The ratio represents nearly a three-point improvement over 2011-2012. Lower construction costs are the principal factor in the upturn, especially when measured against stabilizing house values. In addition, the cost-to-value ratio improved nationally for every project in this year’s report and is higher than it was two years ago for both remodeling and replacement projects.

“A REALTOR® is the best resource for helping homeowners decide what improvement projects will provide the most upon resale in their market,” says Thomas. “Each neighborhood is different, and the desirability and resale value of a particular remodeling project varies depending on where you live. When making a home remodeling decision, resale value is just one factor that homeowners should take into consideration. Consult a REALTOR® to make sure you are making the best decision.”

Most regions followed the national trends; however, the Pacific region—consisting of Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington—once again led the nation with an average cost-value ratio of 71.2 percent, due mainly to strong resale values. The next best performing regions were West South Central, South Atlantic and East South Central. These regions attribute their high ranking to construction costs that were lowest in the country. While still remaining below the national average, most remaining regions showed strong improvement over last year. These are Mountain, New England, East North Central, Middle Atlantic and West North Central.

California Association of REALTORS® Launches Tool to Help Buyers Bridge Down Payment Gap

Regional spotlight–In an effort to provide California home buyers with up-to-date information about available home buyer assistance programs, the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.) recently launched California Mortgage Resource Directory [1], a powerful search tool that identifies current mortgage programs in communities throughout the state.

Buyers can search by city or address for public- and private-funded assistance programs including FHA/VA, HUD, affordable fixed-rate mortgages, rehab loans, and more.

“Millions of dollars go unused every year because home buyers are unaware of the various buyer assistance programs available to them,” says C.A.R. President Don Faught. “With California Mortgage Resource Directory, REALTORS® and buyers can quickly connect with any number of home buyer resources without having to search within each municipality individually.”

California Mortgage Resource Directory helps bridge the down payment gap for home buyers and connects them with resources that they may not have otherwise known existed. The new directory is powered by Down Payment Resource, the nation’s only web-based aggregator of home buyer programs.

“With real estate-related searches growing more than 200 percent over the past four years, it’s clear today’s buyers are increasingly using online tools to find financial information,” says Rob Chrane, president and founder of Workforce Resource, creator of Down Payment Resource. “We’re excited to work with C.A.R. to deliver this valuable information to REALTORS® and home buyers alike.”

Living Smart: The Time Is Right for Energy-Efficient Home Improvements

energy_efficient_house_model [1](MCT)—If you’re thinking about replacing your windows this year with more energy efficient options, Washington just upped the incentive to actually get the job done.

As part of the “fiscal cliff” agreement earlier this year, federal lawmakers agreed to reinstate the energy efficiency home improvement tax credits that had expired with 2011.

Homeowners who did not claim the full credit from 2006-11 can now receive 10 percent of the cost, up to a $200 tax credit, for Energy Star qualifying replacement windows purchased between Jan. 1, 2012 through the end of this year. Homeowners can also claim up to a $500 tax credit for other energy efficient home improvements from heating and cooling systems to insulation. More information on the program eligibility can be found at www.energystar.gov.

High-performance, low-emissivity vinyl windows are the top choice for homeowners looking for maximum energy efficiency. They help keep the heat out during the summer and the warm air in during the winter.

“They’ve come so far,” says Dennis Ewton, owner of King County Window & Glass, LLC in Federal Way, Wash. “The standard (vinyl window) is two coats of the low-E (glaze), but now they have three coats of low-E, so that’s a real plus. The low-E is what really works as far as the performance of the window. During the summer, the high performance low-E, the max, will reflect 94 percent of those ultraviolet rays that come in and fade the furniture, carpet and floors, and really heat the place up. It slows that heat transfer down in the winter. A standard low-E reflects about 84 percent.”

Thought the lure of tax savings can be appealing, replacement windows are a significant investment. Don’t neglect your due diligence and rush into this or any other home improvement project. To start, take time to find a reputable and qualified company that is going to explain your options and provide information on which windows do qualify for the tax credit. There are a variety of sales tactics companies use, the most notorious is the high-pressure sales job in which they offer a “discount” on inflated prices in exchange for an immediate decision.

“I don’t like people to do high-pressure sales on me,” says Jamie Schaffer with Superior Replacement Window & Door, Inc. in Cutler Bay, Fla. “It really turns me off. In my business, we operate on a consultative approach. We try to give our customers as much information as possible, so they can make an educated decision. We don’t ever want them to feel pressured to make a decision right there on the spot.”

Another approach is to offer a super-low price quote only to start tacking on extra charges once they get in the house.

“Don’t go by price alone,” says Jeff Wright of Atlas Window & Siding Co. of Lexington, Ky. “There are companies out there that advertise really low prices. Those really low prices are gimmicks to get their foot in the door, then once they’re in there, people find out it’s a really low-end product. It’s like a bait and switch almost.”

Get bids from at least three different window companies and ask the salesperson to provide the pricing and the ratings for each window type in writing. Also, if your home was built before 1978, be sure the window installers can provide proof of EPA certification for lead paint renovation.

If you plan to claim the credit, consult your tax professional to be sure you’re due the credit, buy the correct materials and have the documentation you need to claim your savings.


Foreclosures, Equity Amounts, and Home Values:

  • Foreclosure process overview
  • How to buy foreclosures
  • Bank-owned foreclosures/REO homes
  • How to avoid foreclosures
  • State Foreclosure Laws Comparison
  • 5 Steps to Buying a Pre-foreclosure (Short Sale)
  • Foreclosure glossary
  • Video training and online help
  • Robust property details

Owner & Lender Names, and Trustee Contact Info

We offer exclusive access to Notice of Default, Auction, and Bank-Owned commercial and residential property lists that are updated daily. By purchasing our membership package, you have taken the first step toward empowering yourself with the knowledge towards successful real estate investment or entrepreneurship. Real estate continues to be the number one wealth building strategy in the world today.

American Customer Support


Customer Service:

(877) 413-7214

Online Support:

Customer Service


Market Summary:

There are currently 1,483,104 properties in U.S. that are in some stage of foreclosure (default, auction or bank owned). In February, the number of properties that received a foreclosure filing in U.S. was 2% higher than the previous month and 25% lower than the same time last year.Home sales for January 2013 were down 17% compared with the previous month, and up 4% compared with a year ago. The median sales price of a non-distressed home was $163,000. The median sales price of a foreclosure home was $116,178, or 29% lower than non-distressed home sales.

Sales Prices:

Sales by region:

There are currently 1,483,104 properties in U.S. that are in some stage of foreclosure (default, auction or bank owned).In February, the number of properties that received a foreclosure filing in U.S. was 2% higher than the previous month and 25% lower than the same time last year.

Region Total sales Median sales price Foreclosure savings
Chicago 3,97946.1 % $225,00046.1 % 30,9 %46.1 %
Las Vegas 3,029 46.1 % $130,000 46.1 % 25,3 %46.1 %
Miami 2,98423.7 % $150,00023.7 % 51,6 %23.7 %
Houston 2,80113.7 % $125,00013.7 % 13,7 %13.7 %
Philadelphia 1,88317.9 % $25,50017.9 % 09,4 %17.9 %
Fort Lauderdale 1,86113.4 % $76,30013.4 % 11,8 %13.4 %
Los Angeles 1,67209.2 % $110,00009.2 % 33,4 %09.2 %
Atlanta 1,51931.9 % $183,00031.9 % 40,2 %31.9 %
Orlando 1,51803.5 % $29,80003.5 % 13,1 %03.5 %
Phoenix 1,50925.6 % $51,90025.6 % 19,9 %25.6 %

Request a quote: