Year End Tax Tips for Homeowners

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YEAR END TAX TIPS

Year-end tax tips for your house 
 
Here are some year-end tax tips. Invest in your IRA, open that Roth account, or buy
business or computer equipment to get that last-ditch deduction. But what about your
house? Luckily, there’s a lot that’s deductible when it comes to buying and selling a
home. If either scenario is on your wish list, these tips ensure that you and Uncle Sam are on good terms when April 15 rolls around.
 
 
When buying a home, what’s deductible?
 
Realtors are quick to point out that homeownership allows a lot of tax advantages not
available to someone who merely pays rent. A homeowner can deduct points used to
obtain a mortgage when buying a home, mortgage interest paid during the year and
property taxes.

Those are the nuts and bolts but, as with all taxes, there are these pesky rules and
guidelines for deductions. Your Realtor is a great source of information on the lay of the
land when it comes to taxes, but it’s wise to hire an accountant to help you wade
through the fine print.
 

Points

Most people get a mortgage when they buy a home. Mortgages have all kinds of costs,
including a loan origination fee. This fee is usually a percentage of the loan amount,
generally expressed as points. For example, one point on a $150,000 loan would be
$1,500. One and a half points on the same loan amount would be $2,250, and so on.
With VA and FHA loans, points are generally broken down into two categories: loan
origination fee (usually one point) and discount points (also a percentage of the loan
balance). Both of these fees are also deductible. One caveat: The loan origination fee
must be expressed as points for it to be tax deductible.

When you buy a home, points are deductible in the year they’re paid, providing they
meet certain conditions. The two main ones are that the mortgage is secured by the home you live in most of the time, and that you used this mortgage to either purchase or build your home.

Read the fine print and be sure your lender isn’t inflating the points to include other
items you would normally be charged. These would include such costs as appraisal fees, title insurance fees, property taxes, settlement fees and so on. If you’re not charged these fees but your "points" are higher than normal, it’s time to get out the magnifying glass.
 
Also, the cash you put into the sale must also exceed the amount charged in points. If
your points tallied $3,000, but you only had to put in $2,000 to close, that’s a red flag for
the fine folks at the IRS.

One more major condition is that the points must be clearly stated on your HUD-1
Settlement Statement. That’s the long document both you and the seller get after closing that clearly lays out all the costs involved in buying your home.
 

Deducting seller-paid points

When purchasing a home, sometimes the buyer negotiates for the seller to pay some
closing costs, including the points. Since the seller pays them and not the buyer, you
might assume they wouldn’t be deductible, but that would be a mistake.

Believe it or not, if the seller pays the buyer’s points, the IRS allows the buyer to deduct
them as an expense on federal tax returns. The catch is that the seller can’t also deduct
them. Paying the buyer’s closing costs, including points, merely reduces the net gain on
the home for purposes in calculating capital gains taxes (which are usually deferred).
 

Second homes and points

Points paid to finance the purchase of a second home must be deducted over the life of
the loan, not in the year in which they are paid. Also, if you make too much money,
there are limits to your deductions, so be sure to check with your accountant.
 

Other deductible closing costs

With two exceptions, other closing costs are not deductible. Those exceptions are prepaid interest and pro-rated property taxes. Since interest is a deductible expense, prepaid interest is deductible. With property taxes, the seller’s last property tax payment may have covered part of the time where you’re the owner of the home. The settlement agent will calculate how much of that last bill you should pay and charge it to you as a closing cost (usually listed as pro-rated property taxes), and that’s also deductible.

The amount you’ll pay in property taxes is based on an assessment of the value of your
house. Generally, tax assessments are adjusted on an annual basis and any changes are mailed to you. It’s a good idea to keep a close watch on the assessment value, since the amount of money that comes out of your pocket is directly tied to it. A large jump in your assessment could be a reflection of a rise in market values in your neighborhood, but it might very well be an error. Keep tabs on what houses are selling for in your area and compare your assessment to the average sold price (using houses similar to yours in size and condition).

All it takes is a little advance planning, and you’ll be relaxed by the time April 15 arrives.

Hope these tips are helpful!
 
Jlyne Hanback, Realtor®
Ebby Halliday, REALTORS®
Talk or text - (214) 909-8008
http://www.WelcometoFrisco.com
   

Existing Home Sales Increase! Great News for North Texas!

Existinghome

Existing-home sales nationwide increased 11.5% in 2013 according to data recently released by the National Association of Realtors.

Closer to home, the North Texas Real Estate Information Systems reports that its MLS sales volume increased 28% in 2013, accompanied by a 10% increase in the number of homes sold.

And, at the Ebby Halliday Companies, sales volume in 2013 increased by 34% over 2012, with a 23% increase in the number of homes sold.

These sales data make it clear that the Dallas / Fort Worth and North Texas real estate market was booming in 2013.

It's also clear that the Ebby Halliday Companies and its sales Associates out-performed the local market in 2013, and the firm expects to continue that trend in 2014.

Visit my web site to find your perfect home!


Dallas Area Homebuilders Can't Keep Up with Demand for New Houses

Hortonprinceton

Less than a 2-month inventory supply is available in the #Dallas area as weather has not been cooperating with construction, as well as a lack of building help in the area. Buying a new #home shouldn't be difficult - let me help you find a new home in spite of the shortage, as my office has new listings on a regular basis! I will help you find your perfect new home; simply call me TODAY! 214-909-8008

http://buff.ly/KQsbi1


Helpful Abbreviations and Their Meanings When Looking for a Home

Smiley
There are lots of abbreviations that you may come across when looking for a home or reading an ad about a specific house, but here is a list of some that you may not know:


4B/2B -- four bedrooms and two bathrooms. "Bedroom" usually means a sleeping area with a window and a closet, but the definition varies in different places. A "full bathroom" is a room with a toilet, a sink and a bathtub. A "three-quarter bathroom" has a toilet, a sink and a shower. A "half bathroom" or powder room has only a toilet and a sink.


assum. fin. -- assumable financing


closing costs -- the entire package of miscellaneous expenses paid by the buyer and the seller when the real estate deal closes. These costs include the brokerage commission, mortgage-related fees, escrow or attorney's settlement charges, transfer taxes, recording fees, title insurance and so on. Closing costs are generally paid through escrow.


CMA -- comparative market analysis or competitive market analysis. A CMA is a report that shows prices of homes that are comparable to a subject home and that were recently sold, are currently on the market or were on the market, but not sold within the listing period.


contingency -- a provision of an agreement that keeps the agreement from being fully legally binding until a certain condition is met. One example is a buyer's contractual right to obtain a professional home inspection before purchasing the home.


dk – deck

expansion pot'l -- expansion potential mean that there's extra space on the lot or the possibility of adding a room or even an upper level, subject to local zoning restrictions.


fab pentrm -- fabulous pentroom, a room on top (but under the roof) that has great views


FDR -- formal dining room


fixture -- anything of value that is permanently attached to or a part of real property. (Real estate is legally called "real property," while movables are called "personal property.") Examples of fixtures include installed wall-to-wall carpeting, light fixtures, window coverings, landscaping and so on. Fixtures are a frequent subject of buyer and seller disputes. When in doubt, get it in writing.


frplc, fplc, FP -- fireplace


gar -- garage (garden is usually abbreviated as "gard.")


grmet kit -- gourmet kitchen


HDW, HWF, Hdwd -- hardwood floors


hi ceils -- high ceilings


in-law potential
-- potential for a separate apartment, subject to local zoning restrictions

large E-2 plan -- this is one of several floor plans available in a specific building


listing -- an agreement between a real estate broker and a home owner that allows the broker to market and arrange for the sale of the owner's home. The word "listing" is also used to refer to the for-sale home itself. A home being sold by the owner without a real estate agent isn't a "listing."


lo dues -- low homeowner's association dues. Be sure to find out how "low" the dues are compared to other dues in the area.


lock box -- locked key-holding device affixed to a for-sale home so real estate professionals can gain entry into the home after obtaining permission from the listing agent


lsd pkg. -- leased parking area. May come with additional cost.


MLS -- Multiple Listing Service. An MLS is an organization that collects, compiles and distributes information about homes listed for sale by its members, who are real estate brokers. Membership isn't open to the general public, although selected MLS data may be sold to real estate listings Web sites. MLS's are local or regional. There is no MLS covering the whole country.


pot'l – potential

pvt -- private


pwdr rm -- half bathroom or powder room


REALTOR® -- a real estate broker or sales associate who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS®. Like me!  :) *NOTE: Not all real estate agents are REALTORS®. 


title insurance -- an insurance policy that protects a lender's or owner's interest in real property from assorted types of unexpected or fraudulent claims of ownership. It's customary for the buyer to pay for the lender's title insurance policy.


upr -- upper floor


vw, vu, vws, vus -- view(s)


I hope these are helpful to you! If there are any others that you would like to ask about, please contact me at jlyne@ebby.com !

 


Mortgage help is free from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

First thing’s first: There is free foreclosure help. If anyone tries to charge you in advance for help or guarantees that they can stop your foreclosure, they’re not legitimate.

If you’re behind on your mortgage, or having a hard time making payments, we want to get you in touch with a HUD-approved housing counselor — they’ve been sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Your counselor can develop a tailored plan of action for your situation and help you work with your mortgage company. They’re experienced in all of the available programs and a variety of financial situations. They can help you organize your finances, understand your mortgage options, and find a solution that works for you.

via www.consumerfinance.gov


What a magnificent and fascinating home!

I am always fascinated by celebrity homes, as I am sure many of us are. This home is a great example of modern elegance. A bargain at just $50,000,000 (insert snarky giggle here!), it is sure to have every feature you could possibly desire. At 23,000 square feet, there is plenty of room for the kids (and everyone else's!)!

Estate
Bob Hope Estate For Sale

 

 


FHA changes will take effect 04/01/2013!

For any clients putting down less than 10% the MI (mortgage insurance) factor will be 1.35% and will remain on the loan for the life of the loan.

For all case numbers ordered after June 3rd, 2013 the MI will stay on the loan for the life of the loan. A loan can close after June 3rd, 2013 and not have the MI remain on the loan for the life of the loan as long as the case number has been ordered before June 3rd.

RULE OF THUMB:

· You have until March 29th, 2013 to have your loan submitted, with a valid contract to underwriting, to avoid the increase in MI.

· You have until May 31st, 2013 to have your loan submitted, with a valid contract to underwriting, to avoid the increase in MI to remain for the life of the loan.

For a more detailed breakdown, visit:

http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/02272012_fha_mortgage_insurance_fees.asp


Common Pitfalls to Avoid When Buying Foreclosures

House10
Common Pitfalls to Avoid When Buying Foreclosures

Due to the mortgage crisis that our country faced over the last several years, there are continually more and more foreclosure properties that are being put up for sale everywhere you turn.  Of course, this can be very tempting for homebuyers as people can sometimes get properties for 30% or even less on the dollar.

However, if you are considering a foreclosure property for your next purchase, then there are some common pitfalls that you will need to avoid along the way to protect yourself and your future asset.  Let’s review some areas to be aware of before making any serious offers. 

Avoid Making Emotional Offers:  When you are planning on putting a bid down on a property, you need to be extremely confident with the home’s current condition, its true market value, and what will be needed to fully restore the property. 

Too many buyers will think that they found a slamming deal and fear that they will lose the home to another bidder.  So instead of taking the time to truly do their homework and complete the proper inspections and analysis, they can end up locking up a property for more than it’s actually worth.

Estimate Neighborhood Values:  Consider what other comparable properties are selling for and talk to a real estate agent who has a working knowledge of the area.  In fact, it’s a wise decision to thoroughly review these questions and any other recommendations your Realtor® may make:
  • Is this neighborhood a desirable location and how are crime rates?
  • What schools would be available for my kids or future buyers?
  • Were there any other foreclosures or investor sales that could negatively affect the future value of my home?
  • How long do I plan on living there and how could that affect things?
  • What type of appreciation should I expect?
Get Preapproved:  Before you even start looking at homes, you must get preapproved on a mortgage in order to know exactly what you can afford.  Sadly, many buyers can miss out on some phenomenal deals or spend hours of wasted time because they avoid this step.  Show banks that you are a serious buyer and have your financing in place!

Get Professional Help:  Not only should you seek the expertise and of an experienced Realtor®, but you may also need guidance from a real estate attorney or financial consultant as well.  Each professional can ensure that you are making the right choices throughout the process and can protect you from any issues you may come across along the way.

Remember that there is a lot more than meets the eye when you are trying to buy a foreclosure property.  Negotiating with the banks, filling out paperwork properly, and undergoing all the necessary inspections can be a very detailed and tedious procedure. 

Monstermistake
Therefore, I encourage you to give me a call today to get started.  My office has years of experience assisting other clients with buying foreclosures for their next home or investment property.  Discover how I can help you to make a smart and profitable investment as well!

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