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It’s Not too Late to Refinance

Posted by on May 11, 2021 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

With mortgage rates below 4% since May 2019, you would think that most people would have already refinanced but according to a recent Lending Tree survey, 49% of homeowners say they are considering a mortgage refinance in the next year. The report estimated that over a third of homeowners are have mortgages above 4% and 11% didn’t know what their rate was. Slightly more than a third of the people surveyed regretted missing the opportunity to refinance in 2020 when rates did hit their historical low. Homeowners should not beat themselves...

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Writing a Successful Offer in a Low Inventory Market

Posted by on May 4, 2021 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

With at least 40% less homes on the market currently than there were a year ago, serious buyers have probably experienced the disappointment of losing a home they wanted to buy from increased competition. Today’s buyers are looking for ways to improve their odds of being the best contract without having to use the purchase price as their only tool. Buyers should reconsider, rethink, and re-evaluate their “must have” features and amenities. It is probably unrealistic in a normal market to think you can have the perfect home...

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How long do I have to keep this stuff?

Posted by on Apr 27, 2021 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

“How long do I have to keep this stuff?” is the usual question you ask yourself when feeling that you are running out of room for all this “paper” that may never be needed. The paper receipt you get from your fast-food lunch may go directly into the trash. The prudent consumer may keep it to reconcile it with their monthly statement and then, trash it. The natural hierarchy with receipts and documents associated with purchases is that as the price or value goes up, the more important it is to keep them. The question...

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Rent your home tax free

Posted by on Apr 20, 2021 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

There is a little-known provision in the tax code that allows homeowners to rent their principal residence or second home for up to 14 days a year without having to recognize the income. In this situation, the taxpayer does not deduct the rental expenses associated with the income. There is no restriction on how much you earn. If your first or second home is in a desirable area where people are looking for short-term rentals, it could provide a windfall to the homeowner. In cities where any big sports championships are played, there could be...

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Before you pay cash for a home

Posted by on Apr 13, 2021 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Before you pay cash for a home, ask yourself if there is a possibility, at some point in the future, you might put a mortgage on the home and would want to deduct the mortgage interest on your federal tax return. Current federal tax law allows homeowners to deduct the interest on up to $750,000 in acquisition debt used to buy, build or improve a property. When a person pays cash for a home, the acquisition debt is zero. The only way to increase the acquisition debt is to make and finance the improvements to the home. As with many IRS...

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Homeowner Equity and Wealth Accumulation

Posted by on Mar 23, 2021 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

National homeowner equity grew in the fourth quarter of 2020 by $1.5 Trillion or 16.2% year-over-year based on a CoreLogic analysis. The study was done on the six out of ten homeowners who have mortgages on their home. The fourth quarter of 2020 also saw the number of mortgaged residential homes with negative equity decrease by 8% from the third quarter. Compared to the same quarter in 2019, negative equity decreased by 21%. Equity is defined as the value of the home less the mortgage owed. Negative equity means that the homeowner’s...

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Skip the Starter Home

Posted by on Mar 9, 2021 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

For generations, people have begun their homeowner experience with a “starter” home. Part of the logic may be that by beginning with a smaller home, they can learn what it takes to run the home and discover some of the unexpected costs that come along with it. A slightly longer view into the future could suggest a different strategy. As of March 4, 2021, the average 30-year mortgage rate according to Freddie Mac was 3.02%; up .37% from the week of January 7th this year. At the same time, in 2020, the rate was 3.29% and in 2019, it...

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Your Refund Could Open the Door

Posted by on Mar 2, 2021 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

One of the silver linings to filing your income tax return is finding out that you are going to receive a refund that could literally open the door to owning a home. If you happen to be one of these fortunate taxpayers, your next decision is what to do with it. With the average tax refund near $3,000, it could be the ticket to buying a home sooner rather than later. Regardless of the size of your refund, it can be used toward the down payment or closing costs of the home. Most people think it takes 10% or more down payment to purchase a home,...

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Transferring Property Prior to Death

Posted by on Feb 23, 2021 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Sometimes, as people approach the inevitable, they start trying to get their things “in order”. They may even have a will, but they decide to transfer title to real estate prior to their death which could be an unnecessary expense for the would-be heir. Generally, when property is passed through direction of a will, the heir will receive a stepped-up basis which means that the fair market value of the property at the time of death becomes the cost basis for the heir. If the property were sold for that fair market value, there...

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Is It Time to Cancel the Mortgage Insurance?

Posted by on Feb 16, 2021 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Mortgage insurance benefits the lender if a borrower with less than a 20% down payment defaults on their loan. Most conventional mortgages greater than 80% and all FHA loans require the borrower to have this coverage. Private mortgage insurance on conventional loans can range from 0.5% to 2.25% based on the loan-to-value and the credit worthiness of the borrower. A $350,000 mortgage would have a monthly mortgage insurance premium of $146 a month at the low-end of the scale and over $600 on the high-end. You may request that your mortgage...

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