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Going through a foreclosure can be a traumatic experience, but it doesn’t mean you’ll never own a home again. Getting a mortgage if you have a foreclosure on your record has its challenges but is not impossible to overcome- your dream of homeownership is not just a fantasy.  While your credit will take a big hit after foreclosure, you may be able to get another mortgage after some time passes. It is key to remember that, getting a loan isn't the same for each boomerang buyer; it depends on the circumstance of the individual's foreclosure or short sale and their credit history since the event.

More than five million American families lost their homes to foreclosure between 2007—the year when the crisis kicked up—through the end of last year. Foreclosures and most negative credit events stay on credit reports for up to seven years. For those who lost their homes in the early years of the crisis, credit scores are improving as the black marks drop away, improving their ability to borrow again.

It is certainly possible to obtain financing in today’s environment and still get competitive interest rates as long as the borrowers fulfill certain credit obligations. It’s important to note however a bankruptcy, foreclosure and a short sale aren’t the same event. A ...


Spring is finally here and as the weather continuing to get warmer; do you find yourself thinking about a vacation? As you dream about venturing to that ideal destination make sure you also dream about the process of packing luggage, long flights and crowded hotels. What if you vacation became more permanent? Have you been wondering how much fun a beachfront or vacation home might be but really haven’t gotten too deep in the details? 

A vacation home is considered a “non-owner occupied” property and you’ll need a down payment of at least 20% when using conventional financing. However, there are other options with lower down payments as long as the  property is considered a vacation, or second home and not primarily used as a rental property. For income tax purposes, a second home becomes an investment property if the unit is rented out for more than two weeks each year.

Many people assume they must own a primary residence before owning a vacation home, but this isn’t a rule you must follow. What’s really important is matching your housing choices to your lifestyle.

You may live in a city and want lots of space that you can’t afford there. You could rent a modest condo in the city, and buy a large vacation home outside the metro area.

When buying a vacation home you’ll need to get ...


April 15th is quickly approaching and it is time to ask yourself, what has your apartment done for you lately?  When it comes to evaluate the benefits of owning versus renting, the benefits you reap or don’t can easily indicate which is better for you in the financial long-term. One of the main advantages of owning instead of renting is when it’s time to file your income taxes. It’s quite an impact and so much so you may wonder why you didn’t buy sooner. Note however, for personal income tax advice you need to speak with your tax preparer but here are some general tax advantages you’ll soon discover.

Mortgage interest is a tax deduction. That means when you begin calculating your taxable income, mortgage interest is deducted from that amount, lowering your overall income tax bill. Your lender will send you a 1099-INT form that will show how much interest you paid over the previous year and you use that amount when figuring your taxes. And because most of the monthly payment in the early stages of a home loan is dedicated toward interest, most of your payment will be tax deductible. For example, say you have a 30 year loan and borrow $250,000 at 4.00%. Your payments are just shy of $1,200. Your first payment of $1,193 includes $360 toward the loan balance and $833 to interest. Over just the first year alone your mortgage interest tax deduction is $9,919.

Now compare that mortgage payment ...


Many people aren’t aware of the fact that, in most situations, there really is no gift tax. Here’s why…

$14,000 Annual Exclusion

The federal government gives each of us an allowance to gift anybody $14,000 per year without incurring any gift tax. This $14,000/year replenishes every year, and it’s $14,000 per person. So, theoretically, I could gift every person that I know $14,000 today, and then another $14,000 next year and the year after, and there would be NO gift tax.

$5,450,000 Lifetime Exclusion

What most people don’t realize, is that there’s a second allowance of $5.45mm! In other words, let’s say that I want to give you $114,000. That’s $100,000 more than what I can give you out of my $14,000 annual bucket. That’s not a problem at all, because I also have the $5,450,000 bucket. The $5.45mm bucket is called my “Lifetime Exclusion.” If I use any of it during my lifetime, I simply reduce my estate tax exclusion by that amount.

So in our example, if I gift you $114,000, I would take $14,000 out of my annual bucket and $100,000 out of my lifetime bucket. My annual bucket replenishes each year. But my lifetime bucket does NOT replenish. In fact, I must reduce my lifetime ...


Tax Tips When Owning a Home

Feb 22
2:20
PM
Category | Blog

Did you just close on your new home? It was a fun journey, wasn’t it? You applied for your mortgage and with your preapproval letter in hand you went shopping and found the perfect home. You now have a place to call your very own and you’re no longer paying your landlord’s rent. But now that you’re all moved in and settled, it’s also time to start thinking about income taxes and as a homeowner, there are some tax advantages you now have that you didn’t when you were a renter.

You probably know this already but perhaps the single biggest advantage is the mortgage interest deduction. What you probably didn’t know is that very early on with a new mortgage, the bulk of your monthly payment goes toward interest to the lender and less to the principal balance. That means almost all of your monthly payment in the early years is an income tax deduction. Interest is deducted from your gross income, reducing your income tax obligation. For example, with a 30 year term on a $300,000 loan at 3.75%, the principal and interest payment is $1,389 and in just the first year, your total interest paid is $11,155 which is the amount that will be deducted from your taxable income.

Your new lender will send a form 1099-INT which will list the amount of interest paid during the previous year. If you just closed in December and are ready to file but have not yet received ...


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