Homeowner Tax Deductions

Homeowner Tax DeductionsAbout this time every year we are reminded that taxes are coming due.  We recently received most of our W2’s, 1099’s, etc…now it is time to either send it all to the accountant or do it ourselves.  Of course, the CPA’s are typically well versed in deductions and most of the software to do it ourselves is programmed to find deductions.  However, just as a reminder lets take a look at some of the important homeowner tax deductions not to miss.

Mortgage Interest – This is almost a can’t miss for most homeowners.  It may likely be your biggest deduction when it comes to your home.  You may be able to deduct all the interest if you are married and filing jointly if you have a mortgage up to $1 million!

Points – If you purchased a home you can deduct the points, if you paid any, in acquiring the mortgage.  If you refinanced, you can deduct them as well, only not all at once but rather over the life of the loan.

Property Taxes – If you paid property taxes then that amount can be fully deductible.  Most people may have taxes paid out from the mortgage company which collects towards paying each month.  Make sure the taxes were fully paid from that account before deducting.

Moving Costs – If you moved due to a new job then as long as you meet some criteria such as the new job being at least 50 miles further away from the old home than the old job was, then many of the costs in the move may be deducted.

Selling Costs – If you sold your home then you may have deductions.  If you had a taxable gain, then many of the selling costs, including broker fees, may be deducted.

There may be many homeowner tax deductions not mentioned here.  Many of these points can be found at  the IRS website where you can search the publications for further details.  Remember that owning a home has many benefits and some of those are the tax benefits!  If you would like help with your next move, please get in touch and I would be happy to help.  You can begin that search by clicking the button below.

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The following article provides general information and is not to be construed as specific tax advice.  You should seek tax advice from a qualified tax professional as this information may not pertain to your specific situation.

Buying a Home During The Holidays

There are many things that we can agree can be stressful.  For many people, the holidays are a time of year that can be very busy and exciting at the same time. Same is true for buying a home.  Weather it is a first home, move up or investment.  Buying a home is a huge purchase and can be one of the most stressful events in one’s life.  So, what about buying a home during the holidays?  Can it get any more difficult than that?

Christmas treeMoving and house hunting are never easy. However, there are plenty of good reasons for buying a home during the holidays.  For starters, taxes.  Many sellers may need to sell by the end of the year for a tax benefit and same is true for buyers.  If you find that you can benefit with your tax situation by buying before the end of the year, then buying a home during the holidays is just going to be part of your celebration!

Competition is another good reason for buying a home during the holidays.  Or, maybe a lack of competition is a better way to look at it.  We all know that the Spring market is the busiest season for most areas when it comes to real estate.  Demand seems greater, and the number of buyers out there competing for the few listings make it tougher to negotiate  with sellers or even get an accepted offer! So buying a home during the holidays can be far less competitive and possibly a better situation to negotiate with sellers.

Mortgages.  If you are in the market to buy a home, you need to definitely meet with a mortgage advisor and get pre-approved before heading out to look.  But once you do, buying a home during the holidays can likely speed up the approval process in getting your loan done.  With fewer buyers in the market at this time of year, the mortgage process is less bogged down, and your loan can move much faster towards final approval!

Of course, fewer homes typically tend to be on the market during the holiday season. With that in mind, you may not find the perfect home but it shouldn’t stop you from looking if you are in the market.  Unless you must buy before the end of the year then you can just keep looking.  Many sellers understand the advantage of listing their home at this time of year, and so they put their home on the market now, and it may be the right home for you.  Looking for your next home and possibly buying a home during the holiday season may be the best time of year for you.

We all get busy this time of year, and many folks take time off during the holidays.  I am available if you would like to take advantage of the market.  Besides, it’s always fun to see the homes decorated and the faces of my customers when they find the right home to add to their holiday cheer!  Let me know if I can help you this year.

 

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How Credit Scores Affect Mortgages

Credit Score RangeI think we all are aware that our credit score plays a big role in attaining a mortgage, or not.  Lenders check and re-check these scores in the process of determining a loan.  Poor credit scores can certainly influence the denial of a mortgage in many cases. Let’s look at how credit scores affect mortgages.

So what exactly are these scores and how are they calculated?  Can I get a copy of my scores?  These questions are important to ask yourself if you may be considering a mortgage or a refinance of your existing mortgage.

Your credit score, or FICO score is a number anywhere between 200 and 800 generally, which is used to rate you based on a number of criteria.  These credit scores are drawn from the main three reporting agencies, Equifax, TransUnion and Exprerian. These reporting agencies simply report what you have done in managing your credit in the past or the new credit you have or want.  They look at the type of credit (revolving, mortgage, auto..), length of credit and of course, payment history to issue a credit score based on these factors.

So what does a potential mortgage lender look at to determine a loan for you?  How do credit scores affect a mortgage? Clearly, they will want to see that your payment history is decent.  It may well factor into how you will pay them.  They will also want to see if you have a mixture of credit types that you have managed such as revolving credit, installment loans and even previous mortgage loans.  They will also put weight into the amount of credit you have. This can indicate how much in debt you can become should you use all the available credit.

Your credit score ends up being a big part of getting a mortgage.  There are other factors such as income, overall debt and others that accompany the credit score to help determine a mortgage for you and even at what interest rate.  It is important to know and understand your credit report and your credit score.  You can get a copy of your own report for free at Annual Credit Report and I would recommend doing so just to make sure it looks correct and help you make a plan to improve it if needed.

If you are in the market for real estate or considering it, please get in touch.  I can help guide you through the process and refer you to my mortgage partners that are experienced and excellent at finding the right financial fit for you and your lifestyle.  I can put it all together and help you find the right investment at the right price. Just get in touch and we can go from there.

Calling all HUD buyers $100 Down Payment Is Back!!

If you have been looking to buy a HUD owned home here in Denver and maybe times are a little tight on cash for you right now, well HUD just announced that effective immediately, all accepted offers beginning October 19, 2011 will be available for $100 down payment!

This HUD incentive is available for the next 12 months here in the Denver Real Estate market.  There are some requirements of the program of course.  Primarily, this incentive is NOT for investors.  This is a HUD program for owner occupant buyers using FHA insured financing and purchasing at the full current list price.

Loan amounts can’t exceed the full purchase price and there are other details to the program.  So for the most part, you will need some money, but with this program very little!  This is a great way to buy a HUD home if you need some help getting into a home and beginning to set yourself on the path to home ownership.

If you would like more information on this great HUD incentive program, please contact me and I would be happy to help.  Also, if you would like help finding a HUD home in the Denver market, I can certainly help with that.  Since the program requires the contract to be at full current list price, you want someone in your corner to make sure values are there and help guide you through this process.  I can help.  Give me a call, text or email.

 

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Home Buyer’s Tax Extension To September Signed Today by the President

While I do not personally have any Denver real estate home buyer clients that had not been able to close by the previous June 30th deadline, I know that the interest level is huge, as I see my blog statistics from the last week or so as I have been posting on the possibilities of extensions for the home buyers tax credit.  Crazy numbers of hits to the site.

So I will tell you, that today, July 2nd, President Obama did sign into law a 3 month of extension until September 30th for all existing contracts that were already Under Contract by April 30th and met all other criteria.

I repeat, this is only for existing contracts that met previous criteria.  Nothing new.

You can read more here. Obama Signs 3 Month Extension of Homebuyer Credit

 

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Steve Scheer, REALTOR®

Denver Realty Partners –

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If you would like more information on the Denver area or more information on Denver real estate, contact Steve at 720-849-6101.

Attention Investors and Buyers – 90 Day Rule Waived

Some good news for Denver real estate investors and buyers. HUD has eased the requirement of the “90 day rule” which required a seller to have held title to a property for at least 90 days prior to being purchased by a buyer using FHA financing.  HUD had previously allowed homes owned by foreclosing institutions to waive this rule.

This change can now allow investors and buyers to take advantage of buying homes for resell to an FHA buyer, even within 90 days!  There are, of course, certain stipulations to this waiver.

However, this is more great news from FHA that it intends to look for ways to continue to support a housing recovery. The waiver begins February 1, 2010 and extends for one year at this time.  If you feel you qualify and want more information on how to take advantage of this opportunity, let me  know and  I can get you started in the right direction.  There are still a lot of investment opportunities in the Denver real estate market.

Steve Scheer, Denver Realty Partners
Real Estate in Denver & The Suburbs

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If you would like more information on the Denver area or more information on Denver real estate, contact Steve at 720-849-6101.

Can First Time Home Buyers Still Buy A Home in the South Denver Suburbs?

home sweet home

First Time Home Buyers in Denver

With the increase of the price of homes over the last several years and perhaps the economic crunch hitting savings a bit, can this really be done? Can first time home buyers in Denver purchase a house?

Perhaps. It depends on you.

If you have been planning for this, keeping your debt low and credit history excellent then you really can buy your first home here.

Of course, what I run into often are people not satisfied with needing to start out in anything less than what mom and dad have, or friends, etc… 

This is where you need to look hard at the magic reality mirror and ask yourself what you can comfortably afford. I always say that it is better to hop on at the caboose than to miss the whole train.

Owning your home and building equity over time can do amazing things for your life.  But you may need to buy something less than you imagined at first and build from there.  Or maybe not.  It depends on your financial situation.

So once we realize that we aren’t going to get the same first time house our cousins did 8 years ago, are there affordable homes in this area for first time buyers?  Yes.  There are real estate options in almost all areas of the south Denver metro area – Denver, Englewood, Littleton, Lone Tree, Highlands Ranch, Centennial, Parker, Aurora and even into Castle Rock – you have options! 

Some options are condo’s or townhomes, some are single family homes that may need some work or may be bank owned deals.  It really depends on what level your first home will be.  If you do decide to go the bank owned or short sale route, you are going to need to bring with you a whole lot of patience as purchasing a home needing bank approval on a contract can take much longer than one would like.

There are still so many financing options available, even with the recent credit crunch.  You definitely need to be working with a trusted mortgage professional that will counsel you on the loan programs that will best fit your lifestyle and goals without stretching you too far.

Just remember what I said earlier, look for what you can comfortably afford, not as much as you can qualify for, there is a difference!  If you need help finding a great lender, just let me know.  I have established relationships with a number of mortgage pro’s that will do just that.  Keep your best interests in mind and work to find you the best solution to owning your first home.  Give me a call anytime, I’ll be happy to help.

So get searching for your Denver dream home – yes, it may be a first time home, but you will still be living the dream of owning a home!

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Steve Scheer, REMAX Masters, Inc.
Denver Real Estate – Denver & The Suburbs

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