How long do I have to keep this stuff?

“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 … Continued

Rent your home tax free

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 … Continued

Before you pay cash for a home

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 … Continued

Homeowner Equity and Wealth Accumulation

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 … Continued

Skip the Starter Home

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 … Continued

Your Refund Could Open the Door

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 … Continued

Transferring Property Prior to Death

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 … Continued

Is It Time to Cancel the Mortgage Insurance?

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 … Continued

Make Your Best Offer FIRST

This strategy is not about trying to negotiate the best price; it is about beating out the competition and buying the home. It may be difficult to understand until you have lost a few homes to better offers but when the reality of the situation is that there are not that many homes on the … Continued

Home Insurance and Mortgage Insurance

Many homeowners with mortgages pay for both types of insurance but only one of them protects the owner. Homeowner’s insurance covers damage to your property and losses from fire, burglary, vandalism, and other named natural disasters. When an insured has a loss, they file a claim with the insurance carrier which would be subject to … Continued

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