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Real Estate Industry News: Tax Reform Plan Affects Housing

Housing experts point out the irrelevancy of mortgage deduction risks due to a tax reform plan that encourages homeowners to take a standard deduction instead of itemizing. At the same time, landlords and investment property owners continue to receive a property tax and mortgage interest deduction.

If predictions come true that more people will rent instead of buying a home, it’s a better time than ever to buy an investment property. The latest real estate industry news points out the mortgage interest deduction has often spurred home buying, particularly with people who reduce their tax liability by itemizing deductions. According to an article by therealdeal.com, homes throughout the United States are selling at the fastest clip in the last three decades.

However, the latest tax reform measures would likely shake up the housing market.

Reducing the inventory of homes

The inventory of homes is already at a low, but tax reform will likely cause an even greater inventory crisis. Experts point out the new tax rules would say people don’t have to pay capital gains on home sales if they’ve resided in a home for 5 of the last 8 years. A person may only sell once every five years in order to reap the capital gains exclusion.

Currently, homeowners simply need to live in a home 2 years in the past 5 year period immediately preceding the sale. Home flippers who waited the full 2 years will have to come up with a new plan for overcoming the capital gains taxes.

Catering to the rental market

While wealthy people grabbed a lot of the inexpensive homes for sale during the housing decline, a number of everyday investors got into the landlord business in recent years. People who own rental properties continue to deduct mortgage interest and property taxes as part of their expenses. Landlords that provide their tenants with utilities also deduct electric, water, and other utilities.

With tax reform protecting landlords, it’s a great time to hunt for an investment property. Some of the most lucrative rentals are starter homes with three or four bedrooms, at least two bathrooms, and between 1,000 and 2,000 square feet of living space. When buying a rental, look for fenced backyards and laundry rooms.

While tax reform will likely impact the housing market, experts point out that it’s still better to own than to rent. Homeowners continue to build equity which creates greater wealth. Although most middle-class people will take the standard deduction instead of itemizing, tax reform is not likely to derail the American dream of home-ownership.

At Sunbelt Real Estate, we show aspiring homeowners the steps on the “housing ladder” so they can build wealth. For more of the latest real estate industry news, please contact us.

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An Indispensable Tip: Review Your Inspection Report

Signing off on your new home is exciting. But it’s also a bit daunting. Much responsibility awaits and there are many repairs, improvements, and potential time bombs to keep track of. A comprehensive list of all your home’s needs and features is invaluable. Fortunately, if you were on top of things during the buying process, you have a home inspection report. You’ll do well to keep it handy and review it after you move in.

Having your prospective home inspected before you buy is critical. If you skipped it before you bought, having it done ASAP is still essential. The inspector will compile a report and provide you with a copy, usually as an electronic document. As you get unpacked and settled it’s easy to forget about the issues highlighted in the report. This is why it is important to keep it readily accessible. Printing out a copy and hanging it on the refrigerator is a good way keep track of it and serves as a daily reminder. It will serve as your master reference list of maintenance issues.

The report usually contains notes on which issues are the most pressing. Looking it over with pen or highlighter in hand is a good idea. That way you can rank maintenance issues and take notes as you go. Take a break from arranging furniture and unpacking boxes and review your report shortly after moving in. This way you won’t overlook the most urgent problems and you can make arrangements for a professional to tackle work you can’t do yourself. With most maintenance issues, patience is not a virtue. The longer you wait, the worse (and the more expensive) the problem will get.

A home inspection usually covers appliances. If your report shows some of them are reaching the end of their typical life expectancy, you’ll be prepared. You can carry out research on brands, models, and features as well as ask around to find out what others have used and been happy with. This should help you get a head start on shopping and be better able to hold out for a good deal on exactly what you want. This sure beats getting caught off guard when an appliance quits unexpectedly.

Your home inspection report is an invaluable tool throughout your time as a homeowner. In many ways, it is like an owner’s manual tailored for your specific home. Reviewing it thoroughly and periodically in the first few months of home ownership will get you on solid footing for any maintenance issues that may come up.

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Buying A Home: Why You Should Be House Hunting NOW

Buying a home is one of the biggest purchases you will make in your lifetime. Many buyers jump headfirst into house hunting without any real guidance or understanding of how the housing market works. At Sunbelt Real Estate our dedicated agents are eagerly anticipating your call, armed with knowledge and insight into the real world of home-buying. If you’re considering buying your first home, a vacation home, or just exploring your options for the future, we strongly urge you to do it with the help of our qualified professionals who wants only the very best for our clients.

Reasons to Buy in Today’s Economy

  • Appreciation: House values are higher than ever in today’s economy. Historically speaking, values have risen at a rate of 5.2% yearly but in most recent years, values are rising at an astronomical 7%, which in turn will create a higher demand for housing in the very near future, thus raising the equity in your home.
  • Low-Interest Rates: Due to the economic crash, home loan rates are at an all-time low, making it easier than ever for you to get into a new home.
  • Zero Down Options: Tying into low-interest rates for mortgages are zero down options that many financial institutes now offer. If a zero down option is not available, many places are still offering lowered down payments, such as 1% or 3%, contrary to the popular belief that 20% down is required.
  • Bad Rental Market: With prices of rentals soaring, what better time to buy your own home? Paying on your mortgage instead of paying someone else’s mortgage just makes more sense logically and financially. Rental prices are expected to go up even more in the next few years, depending on your area, whereas with a fixed-rate mortgage, you pay the same amount every month!

Tips and Tricks on Buying

  • Hire An Agent: Agents can effectively choose houses that suit your individual needs without wasting your time; short sale properties and the like can be a headache to home buyers and skilled agents will know what properties to look at to avoid wasting your time.
  • Get Loan Pre-approval: Having financing in places makes it possible for you to put in an offer on a home you love immediately without the worry of having someone else put in an offer first. This is not always necessary but it can alleviate stress on you, the homebuyer, and many sellers who often times won’t entertain offers from individuals without assurance that the buyer can get a loan.
  • Negotiate Offers: Negotiating is a big part of buying a home and with the help of a real estate agent, the process can go smoother than ever. You may need to negotiate up if there are many offers on a property or negotiate down if the seller’s asking price is too high for the area or if the home had issues that would need to be tended to upon purchase.

Why Sunbelt?

Sunbelt Real Estate has been helping home buyers find their perfect home for the past 20 years. Sunbelt serves the Connecticut area into New York’s Metro area, as well as Florida and international areas. With a vast knowledge of many different areas and properties, Sunbelt is sure to satisfy your needs and provide you with a purchase you can be happy and confident in. Contact us today so we can help you move into the home of your dreams!

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Buying A Luxury Home: Amenities That Are Right For You

Cicero‘s early Roman proverb, “A man’s home is his castle” is still applicable today. Why not make your home the castle you have always dreamed of? When you are looking for that perfect castle, remember this will be your home. Choose what is perfect for you.

More is less. You should feel breathless upon entering your home. Search out those unique details and hidden touches. Those are what will make you stand apart from others. Plan for family and friends enjoying your home. Guest rooms and outdoor spaces will make your look glorious. As the kitchen and living areas are at the center of your world, make sure they are perfect for you and your family.

Consider the property. You want to feel the privacy and security of your own space. Make sure there is ample space to live your dreams. Walk around in the space to smell, breathe, envision the energy you will expend there. Look at the views you will enjoy. Check out the neighborhood.

Take into account your lifestyle. You want to live close enough to what you love, yet far enough to have your own haven. Consider all who will be living in your home. Acknowledge the needs of each one to have harmony and beauty within your luxury.

Think about how the technology will meet your needs. Do you desire entertainment, communication, and high security? Or would you be more content with a rustic, unplugged lifestyle? Have space to work hard and be able to unwind and play just as hard.

Contact Sunbelt Realty to help you find that perfect castle to make your home.

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Three Tips for Buying a Luxury Home

Buying a luxury home is a big investment, one that you should not go into without the proper preparation. Whether this is your first luxury home or you have lived in a luxury home for years, finding the right home for your family’s need is essential. If you are considering purchasing a luxury home, there are several things you should do.

Do Not Settle

When you are fresh out of college and not making a lot of money, you may need to settle for a home that is not entirely what you had envisioned. When the time comes to purchase a luxury home, though, you are investing a large amount of money. You should not have to sacrifice that third bathroom, give up on the idea of a large yard, or buy a home in a less-than-desirable neighborhood. Your luxury home should be something you love.

Be Willing to See the Potential

On the surface, it may seem contradictory to say that you should not settle but that you should also be willing to see the potential. Even a luxury home, though, may have a few things that you need change. Do not allow the lime green walls or the outdated kitchen cabinets to scare you away from an otherwise wonderful home. See the home’s potential. Small fixes are not going to cost very much to change. Even larger fixes may not be big deal if they are factored into your home budget. Be willing to see how a home that is not quite perfect yet could be perfect, especially if it is in a neighborhood that you like.

Work with the Right Agent

While some people are lucky enough to stumble upon their perfect home on their own, most people need the assistance of an experienced real estate agent to find the right luxury home for their family. For the most effective home buying experience, be sure to partner with Sunbelt Real Estate during your home search.