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Here is another way of looking at and understanding 'how' changes in property ownership laws could effect you. This information is also available and gathered by the National Association of Realtors. Here are some of the important information my clients, and you , will want to to keep handy when you buy and  when you sell property:

Mortgage cancelation relief is extended until January 1st, 2014.  This is for people doing short sales and not wanting to be taxed on the amount shorted to the bank.

Deductions for mortgage insurance premiums for filers making under $110,000 is extended through 2013 and is retroactive for 2012.

Effecting every homeowner is the energy efficiency tax credit of 10%. The total for this credit is $500 and  was extended through 2013 for improvements- but ONLY to EXISTING homes.

Capital Gains Rate: The C.G.R.  will stay at 15% for those making under $400,000/$450,000  After that tax rate will now be  20%.  The $250,000/$500,000 exclusion for the sale of a single family residence stays in place.

Estate Tax:  The first $5 million in individual estates and $10 million in family estates are now exempt from estate taxes.  After that the rate is 40%.

The market here in Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Durham has improved significantly. Homes are selling faster and in some cases, seeing multiple offers. Having a great negotiator is important now, more than ever, in a real estate sale! My team, and as a result, my clients, have  been so successful because of this and  we had a GREAT year helping our clients find new homes!

If you are looking to buy or sell a home in Chapel HIll, NC or Durham, NC please contact me at www.thesmartmoveteam.com or 919-414-0337, or Masha@MashaHalpern.com

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Masha is a certified member of The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, participates in its annual Leaders in Luxury Conference, and works with The Institute’s thousands of members worldwide to share information about current listings. Masha is also a certified certified member of Keller Williams Luxury International and is also a member of Cyber Stars International – Top Realtors Using Technology – a group dedicated to taking the best and latest technological advances and applying them to real estate advertising and marketing. Masha Halpern can be contacted for a private consultation by calling 919-414-0337 or by visiting www.TheSmartMoveTeam.com.

 

 

 

How the DC Deal Will Affect Your Taxes

by Masha Halpern

With political drama over the "Fiscal Cliff" over for now, home owners should know that several key tax provisions have been left in place. Mortgage interest deductions and mortgage debt forgiveness provisions remain in effect. In addition, you can continue to deduct the amount you pay for private mortgage insurance and take the energy efficiency tax deduction. These could have a big impact on any decision you make to buy or sell this year. Let's take a look at some specifics.

  • The mortgage interest tax deduction has long been a significant reason for people to buy instead of rent. Although there had been some talk about the mortgage interest tax deduction, it was never seriously in trouble.
  • Homeowners in trouble and considering a short-sale will still be able to tax advantage of the won't have to pay taxes on the difference between the principal they owe and the amount the lender accepts. That makes short-sales much more attractive to owners.
  • The Washington deal also reinstated a deduction that lapsed a year ago for people who pay for personal mortgage insurance, which is often required for borrowers who make less than a 20% down payment. The result of the tax credit will save some borrowers hundreds of dollars.
  • The non-business energy property tax credit offers up to $500 off your taxes if you make energy-efficient improvements. Retroactive to January 1st, 2012, it means you can use it on projects you do this year or did last year. There are a variety of restrictions and caveats, which you can read about in this article.

Taken all together, Real Estate experts expect the provisions will help the growing housing market continue to improve in 2013. That's good news if you're in the market. Call me at 919-851-1780 and we can work together to get you the best deal possible in the coming year.

This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company.

Good News For The Real Estate Market

by Masha Halpern

We finally have some good news for the Triangle Real Estate Market! Sales were up 11% over the same period a year ago. Although showings were down 3%, pending sales were up 8 percent. When the federal homebuyer tax credit expired at the end of June last year, sales were down for 6 months but now they seem to be on the rise which is good news as we head into 2012!

There were 19% less homes on the market this November than a year ago. One problem that continues is a lack of qualified buyers.  The average price of homes that sold in November was down 11% from a year ago and the average days on the market for homes that did was up to 129 days from 110 days a year ago. Clearly, it is still a buyer's market.

As we exit 2011, prices still not have rebounded after their huge declines, inventories are still well above normal, and the foreclosure rate is still high but as job gains continue to rise, the real estate market should steadily improve.

The winter months are typically the slowest period of the year however I have a good feeling as we approach the new year. Onward and Upward!

Until then, Masha Halpern & The Smart Move Team wish everyone a Happy and a Healthy 2012!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Owning a Home Equals Tax Breaks

by Masha Halpern

Becoming a homeowner means you not only gain a home, but also a lot of tax advantages.  Many of your home-related expenses can be deducted for any type of home: mobile, single-family, townhouse or condos.  Be sure to consult your tax advisor so that you can be sure to find out which deductions apply to you and your home, so that you don’t miss out on any!  Here are some common ones that may be beneficial to you.

Deducting Loan Points Paid on a Purchase or Refinance

The points you pay on a loan for a home purchase are tax-deductible for the year you made the purchase. You can deduct the points you paid as well as those a seller paid on your behalf if you meet the following criteria:

  • The loan is secured by your primary residence
  • The loan was used to buy, improve or build the home
  • Paying points is a common practice in your geographic area
  • The points are calculated as a percentage of the loan principal
  • The points are clearly outlined on the settlement statement; and the amount of cash you put into the purchase of your home (down payment,   closing  costs  etc.) is at least equal to the amount you were charged for the points you paid on the loan.

Deducting Real Estate Taxes

Real estate taxes are deductible in the year they were paid. They are generally reported on Form 1098, Mortgage Interest Statement, the annual statement from the financial institution holding your mortgage, or on your county real estate tax assessment statement. You should also deduct any prorated taxes collected from you at closing. These amounts are not always included on Form 1098, but may be itemized on your real estate closing statement.

Casualty or Theft Loss

If your home is damaged from a sudden, unexpected event such as a fire, a storm, vandalism, or theft, the loss that is not covered by insurance is deductible subject to a $100 reduction and a 10% of adjusted gross income limitation. A deductible casualty or theft loss reduces the cost basis of your home by the amount claimed as a deduction. The deductible loss is calculated using Form 4684, Casualties and Thefts, and carried to Schedule A as an itemized deduction.

Going Green Means Tax Benefits

Homeowners who make their homes more efficient with energy-conscious purchases may be eligible for tax benefits. A recent tax law change provides a tax credit to improve the energy efficiency of existing homes. The law provides a 10 percent credit for buying qualified energy efficiency improvements. To qualify, a component must meet or exceed the criteria established by the 2000 International Energy Conservation Code (including supplements) and must be installed in the taxpayer’s main home in the United States.

The following items are eligible:

• Insulation systems that reduce heat loss/gain

• Exterior windows (including skylights)

• Exterior doors

• Metal roofs (meeting applicable Energy Star requirements)

In addition, the law provides a credit for costs relating to residential energy property expenses. To qualify as residential energy property, the property must meet certification requirements prescribed by the Secretary of the Treasury and must be installed in the taxpayer’s main home in the United States. The maximum credit for all taxable years is $500 – no more than $200 of the credit can be attributable to expenses for windows. Read more from the IRS on how you may be eligible to receive this tax break.

Each case is different and it is possible you will actually qualify for other deductions you were unaware of, so check with your tax professional so they can help you get the best return! For information on taxes and being a homeowner, visit the IRS where you can learn more about Tax Information for Homeowners.

Tax season is here, as a homeowner you taking advantage of any tax breaks this season?

  

 

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Durham Chapel Hill Area Ranks High In Jobs And Intelligence

by Masha Halpern

According to The Herald Sun, The Durham-Chapel Hill metropolitan area gained 4,600 jobs in the past year. The Durham area had the highest percentage gain of jobs in the state at 1.6% and the lowest unemployment rate at 6.6%.

A new survey by the business site Portfolio.com shows Durham is the fourth smartest city in the nation. Having large universities, which focus on research, attract a talent pool that companies are interesting in tapping into.  The Triangle area has an educated work force. 43% of adults in Durham have attained at least a bachelor's degree.  We are smarter than those 5th graders after all!

The National Board of Realtors said today that the index of pending home resales jumped a record 10% after dropping 1.8 percent in September. Low mortgage rates and reduced prices have finally helped the housing market.

Even though the recession will take years to rebound, housing should be expected to grow in 2011.  That is good news for sellers.  If you are thinking about selling, be smart and list your house with Masha Halpern & The Smart Move Team. 2011 is right around the corner.

Tax Credit Still Available For Veterans

by Masha Halpern

Eventhough the deadline for receiving tax credits for buying a new home expired in April, eligible veterans who are purchasing a new home are still able to receive a credit up to $6500.

Veterans only need to be in contract by April 30, 2011 and close by June 30, 2011 and they are not required to take a VA mortgages to get the credit.

Qualified service members who are ordered on a period of official extended duty have until April 30th, 2011 to get a binding contract on a home in place and until June 30th, 2011 to close. Additionally, a service member who must return to the U.S. for medical reasons before completing his or her tour outside the U.S. may also qualify for the one-year extension.

Eligible parties specifically include members of the uniformed services, Foreign Services or employees of the intelligence community who were on qualified extended duty for at least 90 days during the period beginning after Dec. 31, 2008 and ending before May 1, 2010.

This credit is much needed and can help veteran's who are selling their current home and may need to lower their asking price in order to sell their property. The credits and deductions should serve to both help the housing recovery efforts as well as provide additional benefits to service people and their families.

As with any government credit or incentive, let tax professionals, including resources at the Internal Revenue Service, guide you through the qualifying and deduction requirements.

If you or a military personnel you know has or who have or plan on taking advantage of this extension we would love to hear from you. Will this incentive encourage you to purchase a new home?

 

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For most homebuyers, the deadline a receiving tax credits for buying a home passed in April. The Home Buyer Tax Credit incentive offered a credit of $8,000 to first-time home buyers, along with a “long-time resident” credit of up to $6,500 to repeat buyers. The deadline for the at large credit was April 30th to have a binding contract and June 30, 2010 to close on the home. The closing date deadline has now been extended to September 30th, 2010.

Military personnel have an additional year to get a contract and close on a new home through a special extension for the armed forces and other government employees deployed out the United States.

Qualified service members who are ordered on a period of official extended duty have until April 30th, 2011 to get a binding contract on a home in place and until June 30th, 2011 to close. Additionally, a service member who must return to the U.S. for medical reasons before completing his or her tour outside the U.S. may also qualify for the one-year extension.

Eligible parties specifically include members of the uniformed services, Foreign Services or employees of the intelligence community who were on qualified extended duty for at least 90 days during the period beginning after Dec. 31, 2008 and ending before May 1, 2010.

This bill giving the extension to military families can also assist financially strapped military personnel by making mortgage payments tax deductible.

As with any government credit or incentive, let tax professionals, including resources at the Internal Revenue Service, guide you through the qualifying and deduction requirements.

 

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Homeowners Tax Credit Extended

by Masha Halpern

The popular home buyer tax credit that was originally set to expire on November 30, 2009 will continue to be an incentive for prospective home buyers. This new measure was just signed by President Obama last Friday and offers an $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers that would be extended for up to seven months and expanded with a $6,500 tax credit for buyers who already own a home and have lived in their primary residences for at least five consecutive years.

This bill also increases the qualifying income limits to $125,000 for single tax filers (up from $75,000 previously) and $225,000 for joint filers (up from $125,000). The purchase price of the home is still capped at $800,000.

Under additional provisions included in the bill, taxpayers can claim the credit on purchases completed in 2010 on their 2009 income tax returns. Home buyers will not have to repay the credit as long as the home remains their primary residence for at least three years. This requirement is waived for active duty military personnel who are forced to move due to a military order.

Deadline for qualifying: Purchase agreements must be signed by April 30, 2010, and closings must be final by June 30. Military deadline: The deadline is extended by a year for members of the military who have served outside the U.S. for at least 90 days from Jan. 1, 2009, to May 1, 2010.

Taxpayers can claim the credit on their federal income tax returns. If the credit exceeds their tax bill, the government will issue a payment. Taxpayers who want immediate refunds can amend their tax returns for 2008 to claim the credit.

Displaying blog entries 1-8 of 8

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Photo of Masha Halpern - Boutique Real Estate Real Estate
Masha Halpern - Boutique Real Estate
Keller Williams Realty
101 Cosgrove Avenue, Suite 200
Chapel Hill NC 27514
Direct 919-951-1780
Toll Free 877-478-4669
Fax: 919-928-9030




Masha Halpern of Keller Williams Realty provides real estate services in the Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Durham, North Carolina area including real estate services for buyer, sellers and those relocating to the surrounding areas of Apex, Bahama,Cary, Efland, Hillsborough, Holly Springs, Mebane, Raleigh, and Wake Forest. Search for homes in Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Durham or the surrounding communities.  Request a market analysis for your North Carolina property.  I list and sell residential real estate, investment property, vacant land, lots for sale in Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Durham, North Carolina area.

Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Durham, North Carolina real estate and homes for sale in North Carolina - Masha Halpern & The Smart Move Team

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