Real Estate Capital Gains Exclusion

Home ownership has historically held many tax benefits and one of the biggest perks has been the ability to exclude profits realized from the sale of a home from the 15% capital gains tax. To qualify for this exemption the homeowner must have owned the property for at least two years and have lived in […]

New Bill Would Help Short Sale Process

A bill introduced in the House of Representatives this week could substantially improve the process of short sales by putting time limits on bank responses. Titled “Prompt Decision for Qualification for Short Sale Act of 2011”, this legislation would impose a deadline of 45 days on lenders to respond to requests for short sales. To […]

Beware of Foreclosure Scams

More home owners are falling prey to scams that promise to “stop the foreclosure” and “save your home.”

The Federal Trade Commission has released a report to help borrowers avoid falling victim to such scams, here are a few of its tips:

1. Watch for outlandish claims. “Eliminate your debt!” and “We guarantee […]

Vacant Home Insurance

Not many homeowners may be aware but many insurance companies have clauses in their coverage which will deny or limit claims when a house is vacant for an extended period of time. Sellers of a property that are leaving the home empty prior to finding a buyer should check their insurance policy to make sure […]

Existing Home Sales Rise Again

January existing home sales rose 2.7% nationally in January to an annual rate of 5.36 million. This is the third consecutive month that existing home sales have continued to rise and they also now sit above levels of one year ago by 5.3% when sales were at a 5.09 million annual rate. According to National […]

Mortgage Interest Deduction: Who Benefits Most?

The mortgage interest deduction (MID) has come under attack recently by some experts who have advocated its elimination as a deficit reduction method of saving costs to the government. Some of the speculation centers on the MID being foremost a benefit to the wealthy. However, the MID primarily benefits middle-income households, with 65% of families […]

Form 1099 Reporting Requirements to Expand

Last year Congress enacted the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 that has expanded the number of people who may be required to file a Form 1099-MISC. This specifically will target many property owners who receive rental income. Beginning in 2011, recipients of rental income from real estate will be subject to the same information […]

Housing Prices Are Down, Why Is Home Insurance Not?

Many homeowner and prospective purchasers may wonder why insurance rates haven’t fallen on par with the declining value of home prices these last few years. Very simply put there is no direct correlation between the market value of a home and its insurance cost. The primary determining factor for insurance rates are the replacement costs […]

The REALTOR© Difference

Much of the time the term REALTOR© is used in a general sense to denote a real estate licensee. However, only about half of all licensed real estate agents are REALTORS©. In order to become a REALTOR© a real estate professional must distinguish themselves by learning and voluntarily agreeing to be bound by professional Standards […]

Energy Efficient Tax Credits

The recently signed tax deal between Congressional Republicans and President Obama which extended the Bush-era tax cuts also included a revised extension of the energy efficient improvement credit. Certain energy efficient improvements to windows, insulation, etc. made throughout 2010 are eligible for tax credits of up to 30% of the cost with a lifetime cap […]