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Showing posts from June, 2016

Retirement Funds for Home Purchase

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For the person who has good credit and income but not enough money for the down payment on a home, their qualified retirement program could offer them some help. The rules are different depending on whether it is a 401(k), a Roth IRA or a traditional IRA.Up to half of the balance of a 401(k) or $50,000, whichever is less, can be borrowed by the owner at any age for any reason without tax or penalty assuming the employer permits it. There can be specific rules for loans from 401ks that would determine the repayment; interest is usually charged but goes back into the owner’s account. You can consult with your HR department to find out the specifics.A risk in borrowing against a 401(k) comes if your employment ends before the loan has been repaid. The loan may have to be repaid with as soon as 60 days to keep the loan from being considered a withdrawal and subject to tax and penalty. Even if you continue with the same employer, failure to repay the loan could be considered a withdra…

Choose a Lower Tax Rate

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During campaign season, it is not unusual to hear a candidate criticized because they make a lot of money but pay little in income tax. While it might not seem fair, taxpayers are allowed to arrange their affairs so that they minimize the amount of tax paid.Salary, wages and commissions, along with interest and dividends are taxed at ordinary income rates which can range from 10% to 39.6%. However, capital gains rates, for property held more than 12 months, are much lower ranging from 0% to 20%. Taxpayers in the 25-35% brackets pay LTCG rates of 15%.The profit on rental property enjoys the lower long-term capital gains rates as compared to the profit on “flipped” property which is taxed at ordinary income rates. Investments in rental homes generate income, provide depreciation for tax shelter, have equity build-up due to the amortizing loan, leveraged growth due to the borrowed funds and appreciation. The profits could be considerably higher than alternative investments and the pr…

Increase Your Marketability

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The seller has three tools available to affect the marketability of their home: price, condition and terms. Price is the easiest to adjust for the competing properties, amount of inventory or market conditions. However, lowering the price is not necessarily the best decision when trying to maximize the proceeds of sale.If a home is in poor or outdated condition, updating can be done to make it show favorably with other homes that are currently on the market. Sometimes, sellers rationalize not doing the work by saying they believe the buyers would rather make their own choices. The truth is that most buyers are using all their resources to get into the home and will have to live in its present condition until they can save enough to make the changes they want.Another reason to go ahead and invest the money and effort into improving the condition is that it is difficult for buyers to imagine the home any other way than its current condition. When comparing one home to another, buye…

If you're going to play, GET IN THE GAME

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If competition is a buyer’s biggest concern, for goodness’ sake, get in the game. In a new survey of close to a thousand home buyers conducted by Redfin, affordability is still the number one concern but due to low inventories, competition from other buyers is moving its way up the poll.26% identified affordability while 19% mentioned competition and 15% mentioned low inventory as their respective top concerns.To win, athletes study the competition to come up with a plan and buying a home is not different.Ask what terms are important to the seller before you write the offer.Once you decide to make an offer, do it as fast as you can, hopefully, to be the only one the seller is considering.Make a good (or possibly, your best) offer in the beginning; you may never get a chance at improving it. In highly competitive situations, offer above the list price.Attach your pre-approval letter from a respected lender. This means you’ll need to get pre-approved before you even think about writi…