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Showing posts from February, 2018

Fair Skies on Horizon

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Buyers who have been concerned about what might happen to the tax laws affecting home ownership should feel more comfortable about moving forward with their decision to purchase. The 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act passed by Congress and signed by the President continues to treat real estate as a favored investment.Whether it is for a home to live in as your principal residence or to use as rental property, the tax laws are in place but other dynamics to be concerned with are not; mortgage rates are expected to rise as well as prices. Reasons to buy now:The mortgage interest deduction is intact for most taxpayers.The capital gain exclusion for principal residences up to $500,000 remains in place.Taxpayers can elect annually to take newly increased standard deduction or itemize deductions whichever will benefit them the most.The house payment with taxes and insurance is most likely cheaper than the rent.Rents will continue to rise making the difference even greater in the future.Lock-in the…

Historical Perspective

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In 1968, mortgage rates were 8.5%. The next year, rates went down to 7%. Homeowners could buy a 15-20% larger home for the same payments if they could find someone to assume their mortgage.FHA and VA mortgages were very popular in certain price ranges and they allowed anyone to assume the mortgage regardless of the credit. If you could find a person to take over your note, you were free to qualify for another mortgage.In October 1981, mortgage rates reached 18.63%. A $250,000 mortgage had a monthly principal and interest payment of $3,896.46. As astronomical as that rate sounds, people were still buying homes and were good investments. Four years later, they were still over 12%. The monthly payment was $2,571.53. Believe it or not, people were excited to be paying only 2/3 what they had to pay a few years earlier.Fast forward to late 1991 when the rates went below 9% and that same payment was to $2,015.16. At the turn of the 21st century, rates were 8.15% and that made the paym…

The "Right" Agent and the "Right" Home

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Some buyers think that finding the right home is the critical part of the buying process and that is how they determine which agent to use. While it is important, there may be a broader skill set to consider when selecting your real estate professional.The most recent NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers indicate that 52% of buyers do want help in finding the right home to purchase. There was a time when the public did not have access to all the homes on the market, but the Internet has changed that.Helping to negotiate the price and terms of sale were identified by almost 25% of the buyers. No one wants to pay more than is necessary and the terms of the sale can be as important as the price.The next largest area of assistance that buyers value has to do with financing and the paperwork. Even if a buyer has been through the process before, it very likely could have been several years and things have probably changed. Since the cost of housing is dependent on the price paid for t…

Convincing Advantages with Standard Deduction

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The new tax law doubles the standard deduction and it is estimated that over 90% of taxpayers will elect to use it. However, even without considering tax benefits, homeownership has convincing advantages.Besides the personal and social reasons for owning a home, one of the most compelling is that it is cheaper. Principal reduction and appreciation are powerful dynamics that reduce the effective cost of housing.Amortized loans apply a specific amount of each payment to the principal amount owed to retire the loan over the term. Some people consider it a forced savings account; when the payment is made, the unpaid balance is reduced.The price of homes going up over time is appreciation. While there are lots of variables and it is not guaranteed, it is easy to research the history of an area and make predictions based on supply and demand.Interest rates are still low and can be locked-in for 30 years. Without considering the tax benefits at all, the appreciation and the amortization…