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The tax plan proposed by Republican members of Congress, and endorsed by the president, has generated a flurry of news stories. And rightly so. If passed, it would be one of the largest tax overhauls in recent years. Here’s a look at how the proposed tax bill could affect state income taxes and real estate property taxes for New Jersey residents.

How the Tax-Cut Bill Could Impact New Jersey

At the time this article was published, Republicans in the Senate were inching closer to passing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1). It has already cleared the House.

The proposed legislation would cap property tax deductions at $10,000 for most New Jersey homeowners, eliminate the deduction for state income or sales taxes, and cut the mortgage interest deduction in half (from $1 million to $500,000) for newly originated mortgages.

Some residents of the state could be negatively impacted by the proposed tax bill. According to a study released in early November, more than one in four New Jersey residents would see higher taxes under the Republican bill, as it would curtail the federal deduction for state and local taxes. Among states nationwide, that’s one of the highest percentages of residents that would see a tax increase (due to reduced deductions).

This is why some groups in New Jersey, including the state’s chamber of commerce, are now opposing the proposed tax bill.

Tom Bracken, president of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, said that ...


This is the second in a two-part tutorial that explains the different types of mortgage loans in New Jersey. Last time, we looked at the differences between fixed and adjustable-rate mortgages. This article explains the key differences between FHA and conventional home loans in New Jersey.

The primary difference between conventional and FHA loans has to do with insurance backing:

  • FHA loans are insured by the government, through the Federal Housing Administration. This insurance protects mortgage lenders from losses resulting from borrower default. But the government backing benefits borrowers as well, as we will discuss in a moment.
  • Conventional loans are originated (and sometimes insured) solely within the private sector. Unlike FHA loans, the government does not insure or guarantee these mortgage products against losses. So you can think of a New Jersey conventional loan as a “non-government-backed” mortgage option.

Advantages of FHA Home Loans in New Jersey

The FHA loan program is managed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). According to current HUD guidelines, borrowers who use this mortgage program can make a down payment as low as 3.5% of the purchase price or the appraised value.

This is one of the primary advantages to using an FHA loan when buying a house in New Jersey. It allows you to make a relatively low down payment / ...


For a lot of New Jersey home buyers, the down payment can be the biggest hurdle to buying a home. But it might only be a perceived hurdle. The truth is there are several mortgage programs available in New Jersey that offer low down-payment requirements.

Additionally, borrowers might be able to obtain gift money from a family member or borrower from a 401k. Those are just some of the ways you could buy a home in New Jersey with little to no money down.

Buying a Home With Little Money Down, Using FHA

House prices across New Jersey have risen steadily over the last few years. According to the real estate information service Zillow, the median home value for the state rose 5% over the last 12 months alone (ending in October 2017).

As a result, many home buyers in New Jersey are seeking ways to reduce their upfront, out-of-pocket expenses when buying a house. Some prefer to buy a house in New Jersey with little to no money down. Here’s how you might accomplish that goal.

Despite common misconceptions, you don’t necessarily need a down payment of 20% or more when buying a house in New Jersey. There are mortgage loans available that offer a much lower upfront investment.

The FHA loan program is one of those financing strategies that offers a low down payment. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which manages this particular mortgage program, allows borrowers to make a down payment as low as ...


The tax plan created by some members of Congress, and endorsed by the president, could change the way mortgage interest deductions work in New Jersey and across the nation. Here’s an update on the current rules for mortgage interest deductions in New Jersey, and the proposals that could potentially alter them in 2018.

Mortgage Interest Deductions in New Jersey: A Popular Tax Break

Mortgage interest deductions are a hot topic among home buyers and homeowners in New Jersey, and it’s easy to understand why. The average homeowner could save thousands of dollars per year by using a mortgage interest deduction. Nationally, they add up to approximately $70 billion per year, according to recent reports.

They are essentially a form of subsidy, through which homeowners can file a tax deduction for the interest they pay on their home mortgage loans.

Under the current tax law, homeowners in New Jersey and nationwide are allowed to claim a deduction for mortgage interest paid. These deductions can be applied to a principal residence as well as one additional residence. They are typically capped at $1 million for the first mortgage, and $100,000 on a second mortgage.

Change Could Reduce Number of Homeowners Who Benefit

The tax reform package supported by President Trump could change how mortgage interest deductions work in New Jersey, which is why some groups are opposing the change.

The Republican-sponsored bill would essentially cut ...


Home buyers in more expensive real estate markets, like some in New Jersey, often have to use jumbo mortgage loans when buying a house. Which begs the question: What is considered a jumbo loan in New Jersey? What’s the threshold or limit?

Depending on the county where you plan to buy a home, a jumbo loan might be anything above $424,100 or $636,150. See the next section for a county-by-county breakdown.

What Is a Jumbo Loan in New Jersey?

By definition, a jumbo loan is when the amount being borrowed exceeds the conforming loan limits used by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These limits are established by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA0, which regulates Fannie and Freddie.

Loan limits are based on median home values, which means they can vary from one county and region to the next. When a person borrows more than these limits, it is considered to be a jumbo mortgage product.

So let’s get specific. What is considered a jumbo loan in New Jersey? Depending on where you live, the conforming limit for your county is either $424,100 for $636,150 (as of 2017). So a jumbo mortgage would be anything above those amounts. These are referred to as the “floor” and “ceiling” limits.

Here’s how it breaks down by county:

  • Floor areas: The conforming loan limit is $424,100 in the following counties: Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Mercer, Salem and ...

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