McArthur New Homes Utah - In The News


"Now that we are in our home, we love it even more! We have found that the construction is excellent. We are very happy with the design and layout as well. "

-- Bruce & Angie

McArthur Homes Wins GuildMaster 2011

For the third consecutive year, McArthur Homes has been recognized as a Guildmaster by GuildQuality, Inc., the leading firm offering customer satisfaction surveying and measurement to the home building industry. Only 154 home builders, remodelers, developers and contractors throughout North America received this award which recognizes businesses for their exceptional customer satisfaction.

The GuildQuality Guildmaster Awards celebrate service excellence among home builders, remodelers, developers, property managers, home services contractors, and real estate professionals. Once a year, GuildQuality bestows upon a handful of its members an award for exemplary quality and customer service. Award winners differ in their types of work and price ranges, but all have a lengthy track record of exceptional customer feedback. In granting awards, GuildQuality considers two primary metrics for each candidate: the percentage of customers who would recommend and the percentage of customers who responded.

Upon being notified of the award, Dave McArthur remarked, "We would like to thank all of our homeowners for participating in the GuildQuality surveys. We couldn't have achieved this great recognition without your help. We are so proud to hear our homeowners say time and time again that they would recommend us to their friends and family. We couldn't ask for a better award or recognition than that!"

McArthur Homes is a local, family-owned home builder in Utah with neighborhoods in Eagle Mountain, Lehi and Herriman. For more information, visit our website www.mcarthurhomes.com or email kristi@mcarthurhomes.com.

McArthur Homes & Habitat for Humanity 2011

McArthur Homes, and many of our contractors and suppliers, helped complete the Habitat for Humanity home this year with the Salt Lake Home Builders Association. Last week, we turned over the new home in Utah to the new owners, the Yussuf Family. The home was approximately 2000 SF, 6 bedrooms, 4 baths, and built entirely with donated materials and labor from HBA member suppliers and contractors. It is amazing that even in these difficult times, commonly called the Great Recession, that so many people and organizations are still willing to donate so much to help others. It really is amazing! Seeing the joy in the faces of the family – especially the kids – made all the effort worth it, many times over.

Jazz Play CJ Miles visits Herriman Towne Center by

Utah Jazz basketball player, CJ Miles, visited McArthur Homes' newest model home in Herriman Towne Center last Friday, March 18th. CJ was there to sign autographs and visit with future homeowners in this fantastic new neighborhood.
Herriman Towne Center already hosts the county’s largest recreation center, a new state of the art library, and new elementary school. Future plans include more parks, retail and office space, and a transit center all right within the community!…. But most importantly, brand new homes are being built from the low 200’s.

Happy Holidays from McArthur Homes

McArthur Homes would like to wish you and yours all the best at this holiday season. We hope you are enjoying time with loved ones during this special time.

To celebrate the season, McArthur Homes is offering you up to $15,000 to use towards your new home. Use this money towards closing costs and/or options in the Design Studio such as granite countertops, hardwood floors, designer lighting or tile flooring.

Take a look at our brand new communities and move-in ready homes. Or check out all of our neighborhoods and floorplans on www.mcarthurhomes.com and start the process of building and personalizing your brand new home. Hurry, this holiday offer ends December 31, 2010.

Up to $15,000 in incentives to be used for either Design Studio options or closing costs.
Up to $15,000 on base home prices above $250,000.
Up to $12,000 on base home prices above $200,000.
Up to $9,000 on base home prices below $200,000.
Closing cost option is limited by maximum seller loan contribution limits.

Click here to email me for more information on $15,000 incentive, or for any questions regarding building a new McArthur Home.

FREE Credit Repair from McArthur Homes

McArthur Homes is teaming up with Nitro Credit to offer you free credit repair when you purchase a new McArthur Home. We'd like to help you improve your credit so that you can get the best interest rates and qualify for a loan to build your dream home. We will pay your start-up fees and reimburse you the monthly fees once you close on your new McArthur Home. Some restrictions apply. For more information, email kristi@mcarthurhomes.com

Credit Repair Seminar on November 6th

McArthur Homes and Nitro Credit are teaming up to sponsor a FREE Credit Repair Seminar. We'll give you tips to build or improve your credit now. PLUS, if you RSVP to jesse@mcarthurhomes.com, you'll be entered to win 6 Months of FREE Credit Repair from Nitro Credit.
Saturday, November 6th at 10:00am
Thanksgiving Meadows Clubhouse
3790 N. Bluegrass Boulevard
Lehi, Utah
For more information, contact jesse@mcarthurhomes.com

McArthur Homes Receives 2010 Best of South Jordan

NEW YORK, NY, August 3, 2010 -- McArthur Homes has been selected for the 2010 Best of South Jordan Award in the Residential Construction category by the U.S. Commerce Association (USCA).

The USCA "Best of Local Business" Award Program recognizes outstanding local businesses throughout the country. Each year, the USCA identifies companies that they believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and community.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2010 USCA Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the USCA and data provided by third parties.

About U.S. Commerce Association (USCA)

U.S. Commerce Association (USCA) is a New York City based organization funded by local businesses operating in towns, large and small, across America. The purpose of USCA is to promote local business through public relations, marketing and advertising.

The USCA was established to recognize the best of local businesses in their community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations, chambers of commerce and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to be an advocate for small and medium size businesses and business entrepreneurs across America.

Interest Rates as low as 4.375%

Okay, so everyone was holding their breath anticipating where LeBron James would end up playing basketball. This topic has been discussed for months. But, the more important question for all of us is have we seen the bottom for interest rates? My guess is YES. The week started out with the European Banks showing a stronger position. French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde stated that after “stress” tests, European Banks are “solid and healthy. You may recall after the U.S. Banks went through their tests, the positive results helped boost stocks nearly 40%. A jump in our stock prices will most likely cause bond prices to fall. Claims for unemployment benefits were lower this week as well. Bonds have been priced for perfection and so any misstep in economic news provides a good reason to take out profits, which we have seen the last couple of days. I believe bonds have been overbought and so there could be a dark cloud hovering in the near future. This morning an executive board member on the European Central Bank stated, “the worst of the sovereign debt crisis seems to be over.” The jury is still out as Italy might be the next country to reveal debt problems. But for now enjoy these historic low interest rates.

Pierre Alley
Utah Mortgage
Work: 801-561-4700 Fax: 801-561-8585 Cell: 706-9763
Pierre@utahmortgageloan.net / www.utahmortgageloan.net

Federal Tax Credits Expire April 30th, 2010

The Federal Tax Credit deadlines are quickly approaching. To qualify for the credits, your new home must be under contract by April 30th, 2010 and closing must occur by June 30th, 2010.

If you are unsure whether you qualify for a Federal Tax Credit of $6,500-8,000 email kristi@mcarthurhomes.com or view more information at www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com.

2010 Energy Star Leadership in Housing Award

McArthur Homes earns award for building new homes that protect the environment through energy efficiency

South Jordan, Utah – McArthur Homes is pleased to announce that it has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with a 2010 ENERGY STAR Leadership in Housing Award. This award recognizes the important contribution McArthur Homes has made to energy-efficient construction and environmental protection by building more than 75 ENERGY STAR qualified homes last year. Collectively, these homes will save our customers approximately $33,078 on utility bills each year.

The environmental benefits of these ENERGY STAR qualified homes are equal to the equivalent of:
• Eliminating the emissions from 36 vehicles;
• Saving 219,336 lbs of coal;
• Planting 60 acres of trees; or
• Saving the environment 430,162 pounds of CO2 per year.


To earn the ENERGY STAR, a home must meet strict guidelines for energy efficiency set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. These homes are at least 15% more energy efficient than homes built to the 2004 International Residential Code (IRC), and include additional energy-saving features that typically make them 20–30% more efficient than standard homes.

ENERGY STAR qualified homes offer homebuyers all the features they want in a new home, plus energy-saving features like effective insulation systems, high performance windows, tight construction and ducts, properly-sized and installed efficient heating and cooling equipment, efficient products, and third-party verification of energy performance.

“Most homebuyers focus on what's outside the walls,” said Sam Rashkin, National Director for EPA's ENERGY STAR Homes Program, “but they also need to look behind the walls for the energy-efficient features found in ENERGY STAR qualified homes that help ensure comfort, quiet, improved indoor air quality, and low utility bills for years to come.”

More than one million ENERGY STAR homes have been built in the United States since the program first began labeling homes in 1995. Thanks to the dedication of our partners, families living in ENERGY STAR qualified homes will save more than $270 million this year on their utility bills, while avoiding greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 370,000 vehicles.

About McArthur Homes McArthur Homes is a local homebuilder that builds single family homes in Salt Lake and Utah counties. Currently they are building in neighborhoods in West Jordan, Lehi and Eagle Mountain. They will soon break ground at the new Herriman Town Center. McArthur Homes offers brand new attached single family homes priced at the mid 100’s and detached single family homes starting in the high 100’s. They have built over 1700 new homes since 1993 and were awarded Best of State 2009 for residential construction. For more information on the company or currently available neighborhoods, visit their website at www.McArthurHomes.com

About ENERGY STAR ENERGY STAR was introduced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1992 as a voluntary market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through increased energy efficiency. Today, ENERGY STAR offers businesses and consumers energy-efficient solutions to save energy, money and help protect the environment for future generations. More than 17,000 organizations are ENERGY STAR partners committed to improving the energy efficiency of products, homes, buildings and businesses. For more information about ENERGY STAR, visit www.energystar.gov or call toll-free 1-888-STAR-YES (1-888-782-7937).

3 Reasons NOW Might be the Best Time to Buy

A recent article sights low interest rates, soon-to-expire Federal Tax Credits and low home prices (possibly rising) as 3 great reasons to consider buying a home now. The article, by Jim Gallagher, suggests that now could be an ideal time for first-time home buyers and move-up buyers. From RISMEDIA.com:

If you have a good job and good credit, the next few months might be a good time to go house hunting. Fence-sitters take the risk that Congress may let a rich tax credit expire, and that interest rates may rise. Buyers and sellers should consider the following factors as they consider jumping into the housing market.

Mortgage rates are blissfully low, and that may not last. Read more...
The home buyer tax credit expires on April 30, 2010 and no one knows if Congress will renew it a second time. Read more...
There are indications that home prices are near a bottom in some areas and may actually be rising a bit. Read more...


Interested in finding a new home? View floor plans and quick move-in homes by McArthur Homes.

McArthur Homes Realtor Appreciation Luncheon

We would like to thank all of the real estate professionals who joined us for our "Fall in Love" with McArthur Homes Realtor Luncheon on February 16th. The event was a huge success with over 70 agents visiting our Thanksgiving Meadows community.

The event featured lunch by Cafe Rio and exclusive limousine tours of our Thanksgiving Meadows and Thanksgiving Village neighborhoods in Lehi. We were also able to showcase several move-in ready new homes that will be available for buyers looking to take advantage of Federal Tax Credits.

If you would like to be added to our VIP Realtor list to receive notice of our promotions and events, please email kristi@mcarthurhomes.com.

FHA Increases Upfront Premiums

FHA has increased their upfront mortgage premium from 1.75% to 2.25%. This change will affect all borrowers who receive a case number on or after April 5, 2010. In order to receive a case number, borrowers are generally required to have a contract with a property address and closing date. This means that by choosing a new home now, you would save $1,000 on a $200,000 FHA loan, over choosing to purchase after April 5, 2010.

In addition, borrowers will be required to have a minimum FICO score of 580 in order to qualify for FHA’s 3.5% down payment program. Borrowers with less than a 580 FICO score will be required to put at least 10% down.

Find out more from our preferred new home lenders.

FHA proposes changes to loan requirements

FHA has proposed several changes to their current loan requirements, which may make it more difficult for some borrowers to receive an FHA loan in the future. The good news is that now is an excellent time to move on a new home, before changes take effect and while you can also take advantage of generous Federal Tax Credits.

Proposed changes include:
Reducing the maximum permissible seller concessions from 6% to 3%
Raising the minimum FICO score (credit score) for new FHA borrowers
Increasing the amount of up-front cash that a borrower has to bring to closing

Details and public guidance for these changes should be available by the end of January.

Homebuyer Tax Credit Extended and Expanded

The Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009 has extended the tax credit of up to $8,000 for qualified first-time home buyers purchasing a principal residence. It also authorized a tax credit of up to $6,500 for qualified repeat home buyers.

First-time home buyers are defined as those who have not had an interest in a principal residence for 3 years prior to purchase. Repeat buyers may qualify for up to $6500 if their previous home sold was their principal residence consecutively for 5 of the 8 previous years.

The Act extends the current credit to homes under contract by April 30, 2010 and closed by July 1, 2010.

Income limits have also been increased to $125,000 for single purchasers and $225,000 for those who are married.

For more information on how to take advantage of this fantastic government incentive, contact kristi@mcarthurhomes.com. Other rules and eligibilty requirements may apply. For tax information and advice please contact your tax advisor.

876 Utah Grants of $4,000 Still Remain

According to Utah Housing, 876 grants still remain for the Utah Home Run Grant program. These grants are available to anyone purchasing a brand new home. Contact any McArthur Homes representative for more information.

Deadline approaching for $8,000 Tax Credit

The November 30th deadline for those looking to take advantage of the $8,000 Federal Tax Credit for new homeowners is quickly approaching. Only 44 days remain until the $8,000 disappear. For most this is not nearly enough time to negotiate and wait on a short sale listing. However, you can take advantage of 10 beautiful brand new McArthur Homes that will be completed in time for the deadline. On most you can even choose your own carpet and appliances! Contact kristi@mcarthurhomes.com for more information.

$4,000 Home Run 2 Grant Announced Friday

Fantastic news! Governor Herbert has just announced the Home Run Grant 2 Program. Similar to the original Home Run Grant, this program will offer $4,000 grants to those purchasing a new home. The even better news is that this grant can be used for homes that are under construction or for a new contract on a home to be constructed.

Here are some facts about the new grant:
What is the $4,000 Home Run 2 Grant?
The Home Run 2 Grant is a mortgage assistance program that grants $4,000 to home buyers who wish to: (A) have a new home constructed, (B) have a partially-constructed home completed, or (C) purchase a newly-constructed home. It must be the primary residence of the home buyer. Homes that have been previously occupied do not qualify.

How is Home Run 2 different from the first Home Run program?
The first Home Run program, which ended in June 2009, provided a $6,000 grant to eligible home buyers. Home Run 2 provides a $4,000 grant. The first program required that homes be ready for occupancy upon closing. Home Run 2 buyers have two additional options. They can purchase a home that is contracted for construction or partially finished and contracted for completion. Homes that have been previously occupied do not qualify.
When a Home Run 2 Grant Commitment is issued, if the Eligible Home is fully constructed, the Commitment expires 10 calendar days after the date of issuance (unless that day falls on a weekend or holiday and then it is the following business day). If the Eligible Home is somewhere in the construction process, the Commitment expires on June 30, 2010.
All other aspects of the program are materially the same as the first Home Run program, as summarized below.

Who is eligible to receive a $4,000 Home Run 2 Grant?
•Home buyers who did not receive a $6,000 grant under the previous $6,000 Home Run Grant Program.
•Home buyers (any person taking title) must meet the following income restrictions:
Single person, maximum income, $75,000
Married couple, maximum income, $150,000
If more than one unmarried person is taking title to the Eligible Home, each such single person is subject to the $75,000 income limit.
Income calculations will be determined by the Adjusted Gross Income as verified by the Approved Lender using the 2008 IRS Federal Income Tax transcript obtained directly from IRS or from an authorized third-party vendor.
•Home buyers must occupy the purchased home as a primary, permanent residence.
•If home buyers need a mortgage loan to purchase the home, the loan must be a fixed interest rate, amortizing mortgage loan with a term of 30 years or less.
•The Home Run 2 Grant Program is effective only for home purchases closed after a Home Run 2 Grant Commitment has been issued for that specific transaction. The grant funds may not be issued for homes purchased prior to obtaining the Home Run 2 Grant Commitment.

For more information, contact a Community Sales Manager or email kristi@mcarthurhomes.com.

New Thanksgiving Meadows Homesites Available

With Phase One of Thanksgiving Meadows nearly sold out, McArthur Homes has just released the second phase of home sites for reservation, many of which are situated in prime cul-de-sac locations. Thanksgiving Meadows offers home owners quick access to I-15 and nearby recreation at Thanksgiving Point. As a homeowner at Thanksgiving Meadows, you will enjoy access to the community clubhouse with swimming pool, BBQ patio and state-of-the-art fitness facility. Contact Tim Sweat at 801-766-4462 for more information.

Additional Utah Grant Money Coming Soon?

In a recent Salt Lake Tribune article, Lt. Gov. Herbert indicated that additional funds may become available to further boost the Utah housing market. The following is quoted from the Salt Lake Tribune Article by Robert Gehrke:

Lt. Gov. Gary Herbert said Tuesday he is considering a second round of state stimulus to the housing market, similar to the $6,000 Home Run Grant incentive to homebuyers that helped generate $376.7 million in home sales in the past three months.

"Housing led us into the recession and housing will lead us out," Herbert, a past president of the Utah Association of Realtors, said in a statement. He is expected to become governor should Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. be confirmed as U.S. ambassador to China.

The specifics of the new stimulus program are still being worked out with a working group, led by Utah Housing Corporation CEO Grant Whitaker, that convened last week.

Jason Perry, Herbert's transition director, said the lieutenant governor wants to make sure any additional housing stimulus is specifically tailored to have the best possible impact.

Perry would not comment on specifics, but one possibility the group is considering would be a smaller grant that could be given to more people and could potentially include the purchase of existing homes. The Home Run grant was limited to purchase of a new, never-lived-in home.

Another option would use state funds to provide an advance on the $8,000 federal tax credit to first-time homebuyers, who would then have to repay the state when the federal money arrived.

Perry said that the governor would have the authority to implement the new program without further approval by the Legislature.

McArthur Homes wins Best of State 2009

McArthur Homes was recently awarded the 2009 Best of State for Residential Construction in the entire state. Judges recognized their innovation and business practices, successful business management in a challenging market, and remarkable achievement in customer satisfaction. The Best of State organization awards business throughout the state of Utah for achieving great success in a variety of industries, from dining, entertainment and education to construction, technology and community service. It is a great honor to recognized by this organization who seeks out the “Best of the Best!”

2009 Energy Star Leadership in Housing Award

McArthur Homes IS RECOGNIZED WITH A 2009 ENERGY STAR® LEADERSHIP IN HOUSING AWARD

McArthur Homes earns award for building new homes that protect the environment through energy efficiency

[South Jordan, Utah – McArthur Homes is pleased to announce that it has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with a 2009 ENERGY STAR Leadership in Housing Award. This award recognizes the important contribution McArthur Homes has made to energy-efficient construction and environmental protection by building more than 79 ENERGY STAR qualified homes last year. Collectively, these homes will save our customers approximately $35,313 on utility bills each year.

The environmental benefits of these ENERGY STAR qualified homes are equal to the equivalent of:
• Eliminating the emissions from 39 vehicles;
• Saving 234,156 lbs of coal;
• Planting 64 acres of trees; or
• Saving the environment 459,227 pounds of CO2 per year.

To earn the ENERGY STAR, a home must meet strict guidelines for energy efficiency set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. These homes are at least 15% more energy efficient than homes built to the 2004 International Residential Code (IRC), and include additional energy-saving features that typically make them 20–30% more efficient than standard homes.

ENERGY STAR qualified homes offer homebuyers all the features they want in a new home, plus energy-saving features like effective insulation systems, high performance windows, tight construction and ducts, properly-sized and installed efficient heating and cooling equipment, efficient products, and third-party verification of energy performance.

“Most homebuyers focus on what's outside the walls,” said Sam Rashkin, National Director for EPA's ENERGY STAR Homes Program, “but they also need to look behind the walls for the energy-efficient features found in ENERGY STAR qualified homes that help ensure comfort, quiet, improved indoor air quality, and low utility bills for years to come.”

About McArthur Homes McArthur Homes is a locally owned and operated family business building new homes for Utah families along the Wasatch Front since 1993. McArthur has been an Energy Star partner since 2001 and has built hundreds of Energy Star qualified homes. According to Ron McArthur, “Our buyers appreciate the monthly savings on their utility bills, and also enjoy knowing that the home is better for the world and the environment”. McArthur is currently building Energy Star homes in West Jordan at Amberly and in Lehi across the freeway from Cabella’s. More information is available online at www.mcarthurhomes.com.

About ENERGY STAR ENERGY STAR was introduced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1992 as a voluntary market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through increased energy efficiency. Today, ENERGY STAR offers businesses and consumers energy-efficient solutions to save energy, money and help protect the environment for future generations. More than 12,000 organizations are ENERGY STAR partners committed to improving the energy efficiency of products, homes, buildings and businesses. For more information about ENERGY STAR, visit www.energystar.gov or call toll-free 1-888-STAR-YES (1-888-782-7937).

1,378 Utah Home Purchase Grants Still Available

As of Saturday, April 11, 2009 there are 1,378 grants still available for Utahns purchasing a new home. These $6,000 grants, along with low interest rates and competitive prices, have helped boost the Utah New Home Market. The grants are available on a first come-first serve basis so contact a McArthur Homes Community Sales Manager quickly for more information.

100% Recommendation Rate Achieved by McArthur

As part of our continuing commitment to customer satisfaction, McArthur Homes uses an independent survey company, Guild Quality, to measure Customer Satisfaction in our home owners. In the latest report, Guild Quality indicated that 100% of our home buyers surveyed in the past twelve months were willing to refer McArthur Homes to a friend or relative. We would like to thank all of our home owners for participating in the survey and for scoring their experience so highly.

Governor Huntsman Signs Bill for New Homes Grant

Salt Lake City –
Utah Governor Jon Huntsman today signed Senate Bill 260, Housing Relief Restricted Special Revenue Fund. Upon his signature, he immediately directed the Utah Housing Corporation to begin dispersing 1,600 $6,000 grants to homebuyers purchasing a newly constructed home.

With more than 3,000 unsold newly built homes available and 18,000 Utah construction workers who lost jobs last year, this program is intended to directly deal with the most distressed area of our economy.

“It is up to the states to use the federal stimulus money in a way that truly has a beneficial impact on our economy. This is an immediate stimulus targeted at the weakest area of Utah’s economy,” Governor Jon Huntsman said. “This investment of $10 million will result in 8,800 jobs in the market and $324 million in wages into our economy. This boost is critical for us to reverse our current position.”

Additionally, Governor Huntsman is directing $1.8 million of discretionary federal stimulus money to provide foreclosure prevention and mitigation services through the Department of Community and Culture. Currently in our state, 15,000 homes are in foreclosure, doubling since 2007. The funds will be dedicated to prevention efforts through training and counselors.

The Home Run Program will be administered by the Utah Housing Corporation. The details of the program can be found at UtahHousingCorp.org.

$6000 Down Payment Assistance for New Construction

Senate OKs bill to help buyers of new homes.

March 10th, 2009 @ 8:00am
By Mary Richards

SALT LAKE CITY -- The Utah Senate has approved a measure that would give Utahns financial help with the down payment when buying a brand new home.

Senate Bill 260, sponsored by Sen. Scott Jenkins, R-Plain City, would give people $6,000 for the down payment on a new home. The Standard Examiner reports the money would come from the $10 million Utah is set to receive for housing assistance from the federal stimulus package. The money would go to more than 1,600 buyers on a first-come, first-serve basis.

It's an effort to help homebuyers and home builders by reducing the number of new homes sitting on the market since a housing boom declined about two years ago.

The grants would apply only to a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage for people who make no more than $75,000 a year. It's for first-time homebuyers and existing homeowners who qualify.

Realtors and economists say this program could really help the housing market. The University of Utah's Bureau of Economic and Business Research told the Standard Examiner the program could create 8,000 jobs in Utah's housing sector and add $27 million in income tax revenue for the state.

The bill now moves on to the House for consideration.

For more information on financing, contact Scott Smith, McArthur Homes' preferred lender.

$8000 Tax Credit for 1st Time Home Buyers

By Les Christie, CNNMoney.com Staff Writer
Last Updated: February 17, 2009: 12:13 PM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) --
There's a nice windfall for some homebuyers in the economic stimulus bill awaiting President Obama's signature on Tuesday. First-time buyers can claim a credit worth $8,000 - or 10% of the home's value, whichever is less - on their 2008 or 2009 taxes.

A big plus is that the credit is refundable, meaning tax filers see a refund of the full $8,000 even if their total tax bill - the amount of withholding they paid during the year plus anything extra they had to pony up when they filed their returns - was less than that amount. But there has been a lot of confusion over this provision. Adam Billings of Knoxville, Tenn. wrote to CNNMoney.com asking:

“I will qualify as a first-time home buyer, and I am currently set to get a small tax refund for 2008. Does that mean if I purchased now that I would get an extra $8,000 added on top of my current refund?"
The short answer? Yes, Billings would get back the $8,000 plus what he'd overpaid. The long answer? It depends. Here are three scenarios:

Scenario 1: Your final tax liability is normally $6,000. You've had taxes withheld from every paycheck and at the end of the year you've paid Uncle Sam $6,000. Since you've already paid him all you owe, you get the entire $8,000 tax credit as a refund check.

Scenario 2: Your final tax liability is $6,000, but you've overpaid by $1,000 through your payroll withholding. Normally you would get a $1,000 refund check. In this scenario, you get $9,000, the $8,000 credit plus the $1,000 you overpaid.

Scenario 3:Your final tax liability is $6,000, but you've underpaid through your payroll withholding by $1,000. Normally, you would have to write the IRS a $1,000 check. This time, the first $1,000 of the tax credit pays your bill, and you get the remaining $7,000 as a refund.

To qualify for the credit, the purchase must be made between Jan. 1, 2009 and Nov. 30, 2009. Buyers may not have owned a home for the past three years to qualify as "first time" buyer. They must also live in the house for at least three years, or they will be obligated to pay back the credit.

Additionally, there are income restrictions: To qualify, buyers must make less than $75,000 for singles or $150,000 for couples. (Higher-income buyers may receive a partial credit.)

Applying for the credit will be easy - or at least as easy as doing your income taxes. Just claim it on your return. No other forms or papers have to be filed. Taxpayers who have already completed their returns can file amended returns for 2008 to claim the credit.

Interest Rates in 1st Quarter of '09

As many of you know, mortgage rates have improved significantly over the past 45 days. We saw extreme volatility in rates during the fourth quarter of 2008, where 30 year fixed rates ranged from 5.75% to nearly 7% within a short period of time. Thankfully they are now in the 5% range, largely due to actions by Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve.

On December 30 the Fed announced that they would invest nearly $500 Billion dollars between January and June of 2009 to purchase Mortgage Backed Securities from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae. Banks and mortgage companies issue loans to home owners, they then pool multiple loans together, securitize them, and resell these Mortgage Backed Securites (MBS) as investments that most of us own through our 401k's and other investment accounts. The demand and purchase of these MBS dictate what home loan rates are. So the Fed's commitment to purchase these MBS has is a direct way for the government to lower mortgage rates and make housing more affordable and stimulate further selling of new and existing homes.

Scott Smith Loan Officer

Office: (801) 676-5531 Cell: (801) 209-3850 Scott.Smith@flagstar.com

McArthur Homes' Sales Up in 2008!

McArthur Homes had a fantastic year in 2008. Despite headlines of "Doom & Gloom" for 2008, our home sales were up over 64% in 2008 compared to 2007! That’s right, an increase of over 64%! Beautiful neighborhoods in great locations offering unbeatable values have contributed to making 2008 a fantastic year for McArthur Homes buyers.

Amberley, an affordable town home community in West Jordan

Lone Tree, a single family community nestled between hills at the Ranches in Eagle Mountain

& Thanksgiving Village, a golf course community at the Thanksgiving Point Golf Course.

Coming up in 2009 we are looking forward to the GRAND OPENING of our newest community, Thanksgiving Meadows. This neighborhood will feature manor homes and single family homes, an amazing community clubhouse with swimming pool and great proximity to Thanksgiving Point in Lehi. Look for more info on our Grand Opening, coming up February 7-14th.

McArthur Homes Receives Best of South Jordan Award

This year we were awarded a 2008 Best of South Jordan Award! The following is from a press release announcing our achievement:

"McArthur Homes has been selected for the 2008 Best of South Jordan Award in the Home Builders category by the U.S. Local Business Association (USLBA).

The USLBA "Best of Local Business" Award Program recognizes outstanding local businesses throughout the country. Each year, the USLBA identifies companies that they believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and community."

Click here for more information on the many other awards that we have received.

First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit

Opportunity of a Lifetime for First-Time Buyers!

For aspiring home owners who find their goal stubbornly elusive, newly enacted legislation providing a tax credit of as much as $7,500 for first-time home buyers might just be the opportunity of a lifetime.

But like so many of the good things in life, time is of the essence for buyers who want to take advantage of this outstanding opportunity. Only homes purchased on or after April 9, 2008 and before July 1, 2009 are eligible. Use the links below to learn more about the tax credit.

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What bubble? Places where housing is hot

Ten areas where job growth, weather help keep the market humming along.

Home prices nationwide posted their biggest drop in 16 years last month, according to the National Association of Realtors.

But someone forgot to tell the folks in Salt Lake City. There, the median home sale price jumped 21 percent in the second quarter this year, versus the same period last year.

It's not that Salt Lake City is entirely immune to the national housing downturn. In fact, new housing permits are down this year, and there is a glut of Macmansions, says John Taylor, investment specialist at Commerce CRG, a unit of developer Cushman & Wakefield. But with more people moving into the area, thanks in part to a percolating job market, demand for affordable existing homes is still healthy, while commercial construction is up 40 percent from last year. Apartment vacancy rates are less than 2 percent, and longtime residents worry about a land grab from commercial property investors flocking in from California and Las Vegas. "We are in the middle of a construction boom," says Taylor.

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