Here are the homes and properties that sold this past week and went pending. Have you noticed that the numbers are going up? 19 properties pending this past week – that’s progress!! See more local market data posted regularly on our website HERE. This week we’ll also post the new Market Action Report for the month of January.
Tax Tips: Mortgage Debt Forgiveness
Tax Tips: What If?
HUD officially announced yesterday, yet another increase to the Monthly Mortgage Insurance component of FHA financing. Effective for case numbers assigned after April 18th 2011, the new monthly premium will be an annualized 1.15% of the loan amount, as compared to the current rate of .90%. The increase is part of ongoing efforts to strengthen FHA’s Mutual Mortgage Insurance Reserve Fund, and will result in monthly premiums having more than doubled since October 3rd of 2010. Resultant of legislation passed last August, HUD still has the authority to raise the monthly premium amount to as high as 1.55% without any further congressional approval.
The Practical Impact
- This pending increase will raise the monthly payment for maximum FHA financing (96.5% LTV) on a $250,000 purchase price by $50.00 per month, from the current level, and more than $100.00 per month from where things stood last October.
- Put another way, at an interest rate of 5%, it equates to a decrease in buying power of nearly $10,000 from current levels and about $20,000 since last October.
- These factors, combined with an upward trend in interest rates of late, is significantly affecting the amount of home FHA buyers can afford to buy.
- To receive an FHA case # prior to April 18th, a property address must be assigned to the loan file, meaning that prospective buyers requiring FHA financing will need to be in contract by then to avoid this increase.
Thank you Glen Bremer for providing this important information.Glen Bremer, Mortgage Advisor Alpine Mortgage MLO-254235 Office: 503-718-9856 Cell: 503-502-5373 Fax: 503-718-9857 Email: email@example.com Web: www.alpinemc.com
Published on: Feb 19, 2011
Don’t rouse the IRS or pay more taxes than necessary-know the score on each home tax deduction and credit.
Sin #1: Deducting the wrong year for property taxes
You take a tax deduction for property taxes in the year you (or the holder of your escrow account) actually paid them. Some taxing authorities work a year behind-that is, you’re not billed for 2010 property taxes until 2011. But that’s irrelevant to the feds.
Enter on your federal forms whatever amount you actually paid in 2010, no matter what the date is on your tax bill. Dave Hampton, CPA, tax manager at the Cincinnati accounting firm of Burke & Schindler, has seen home owners confuse payments for different years and claim the incorrect amount.
Sin #2: Confusing escrow amount for actual taxes paid
If your lender escrows funds to pay your property taxes, don’t just deduct the amount escrowed, says Bob Meighan, CPA and vice president at TurboTax in San Diego. The regular amount you pay into your escrow account each month to cover property taxes is probably a little more or a little less than your property tax bill. Your lender will adjust the amount every year or so to realign the two.
For example, your tax bill might be $1,200, but your lender may have collected $1,100 or $1,300 in escrow over the year. Deduct only $1,200. Your lender will send you an official statement listing the actual taxes paid. Use that. Don’t just add up 12 months of escrow property tax payments. If you’re confused about the escrow payments, you could always contact a company dealing with Escrow for Surrogacy Agencies, or your local escrow provider. They will most likely be able to explain the process to you, and ensure you understand how your transactions will work.
Sin #3: Deducting points paid to refinance
Deduct points you paid your lender to secure your mortgage in full for the year you bought your home. However, when you refinance, says Meighan, you must deduct points over the life of your new loan. If you paid $2,000 in points to refinance into a 15-year mortgage, your tax deduction is $133 per year. Using the tax services offered by Dave Burton can help you overcome errors of this nature.
Sin #4: Failing to deduct private mortgage insurance
Lenders require home buyers with a downpayment of less than 20% to purchase private mortgage insurance (PMI). Avoid the common mistake of forgetting to deduct your PMI payments. However, note the deduction begins to phase out once your adjusted gross income reaches $100,000 and disappears entirely when your AGI surpasses $109,000.
Sin #5: Misjudging the home office tax deduction
This deduction may not be as good as it seems. It often doesn’t amount to much of a deduction, has to be recaptured if you turn a profit when you sell your home, and can pique the IRS’s interest in your return. Hampton’s advice: Claim it only if it’s worth those drawbacks, or leave it to the hands of tax experts in dc who will know their way around such judgements. Figures like these may be area-dependant too, so always make sure you get as much information as you can on the local outlook on it. For example, if you need a guide on taxes in New Jersey, you’ll find them here; https://tonewjersey.com/new-jersey-property-taxes – this is purely just an example, but be sure to do plenty of digging online first to find out more.
Sin #6: Missing the first-time home buyer tax credit
If you met the midyear 2010 deadlines, don’t forget to take this tax credit into account when filing.
Even if you missed the 2010 deadlines, you still might be in luck: Congress extended the first-time home buyer credit for military families and other government workers on assignment outside the United States. If you meet the criteria, you have until June 30, 2011, to close on your first home and qualify for the tax credit of up to $8,000.
Sin #7: Failing to track home-related expenses
If the IRS comes a-knockin’, don’t be scrambling to compile your records. Many people forget to track home office and home maintenance and repair expenses, says Meighan. File away documents as you go. For example, save each manufacturer’s certification statement for energy tax credits, insurance company statements for PMI, and lender or government statements to confirm property taxes paid. Additionally, knowing what documents count is also important. If you get confused at any time, you can always consult with H&H Accountants for expert knowledge in tax registration.
Sin #8: Forgetting to keep track of capital gains
If you sold your main home last year, don’t forget to pay capital gains taxes on any profit. However, you can exclude $250,000 (or $500,000 if you’re a married couple) of any profits from taxes. So if you bought a home for $100,000 and sold it for $400,000, your capital gains are $300,000. If you’re single, you owe taxes on $50,000 of gains. However, there are minimum time limits for holding property to take advantage of the exclusions, and other details. Consult IRS Publication 523.
Sin #9: Filing incorrectly for energy tax credits
If you made any eligible improvement, fill out Form 5695. Part I, which covers the 30%/$1,500 credit for such items as insulation and windows, is fairly straightforward. But Part II, which covers the 30%/no-limit items such as geothermal heat pumps, can be incredibly complex and involves crosschecking with half a dozen other IRS forms. Read the instructions carefully.
Sin #10: Claiming too much for the mortgage interest tax deduction
You can deduct mortgage interest only up to $1 million of mortgage debt, says Meighan. If you have $1.2 million in mortgage debt, for example, deduct only the mortgage interest attributable to the first $1 million.
Ultimately, as far as running a business from home is concerned, there are a wide selection of business accounting home office solutions out there to make your bookkeeping more simple. For more information and support, go to www.lutz.us/accounting/.
This article provides general information about tax laws and consequences, but is not intended to be relied upon by readers as tax or legal advice applicable to particular transactions or circumstances. Readers should consult a tax professional for such advice, and are reminded that tax laws may vary by jurisdiction.
G.M. Filisko is an attorney and award-winning writer who was once mortified to receive a letter from the IRS-but relieved to learn the IRS had simply found a math error in her favor. A frequent contributor to many national publications including AARP.org, Bankrate.com, and the American Bar Association Journal, she specializes in real estate, business, personal finance, and legal topics.
The Housing Market Update – Cindy Dick of Willamette Valley Bank
The Obama administration released their ideas on how to overhaul Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration. Currently, all three issue mortgage backed securities that are backed or guaranteed by you the tax payer. This gives these securities very low risk and has great appeal to foreign investors that seek low risk. This is why your mortgage rates are still historically very low.
However, the proposed changes will enable the government to ease away from being such a big player in the mortgage business, moving from 95% of the total market down to as low as only 40% of the total market. By doing so, rates will naturally adjust upward to equalize with the new risk levels. These proposed changes will take a long time to pass and to be put into effect, so take advantage of today’s low rates and loan programs now while housing prices are still very affordable.
Mortgage backed securities (MBS) lost -42 basis points last week which caused 30 year fixed rates to move higher and closed at their highest levels of 2011. As we have discussed several times, mortgage rates are pushed lower when the economy is performing poorly and their is little to no risk of inflation. So, as the economy continues its upward march out of the recession, mortgage rates are pushed upward on the stronger growth and inflationary concerns. We had a couple of strong economic reports last week. The weekly Initial Jobless Claims were much lower than expected and Wholesale Inventories saw stronger gains. Both were positives for the economy and therefore negative for mortgage rates.
February 2011 – Although accounting rules usually don’t end up as front page news, there are some recent proposals to change the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) accounting rules that should have a significant impact on the commercial real estate industry. The rules may make it more likely that companies will choose to own property rather than rent it, and may also change lease negotiations for those who do rent. Regardless of these rules, commercial real estate is still a big industry, especially for those who are thinking about starting a new business. People can take a look at Commercial Property London if becoming a new entrepreneur is something you have your heart set on. Once you get to the accounting/bookkeeping side of things too, you don’t even have to think about working that out for yourselves, you can easily outsource it to https://www.wizzaccounting.co.uk/ or companies alike. All you have to focus on is finding a property and building up your business!
Currently, a lease can be either a capital lease, which is reflected on the tenant’s balance sheet, or an operating lease, which shows up on financial statements in the form of rent as a monthly expense. Owners of a commercial property may want to look for someone like Thomas Mensendiek to find reliable tenants to lease said property; expertise such as this can be really handy, especially with all these changing rules. The proposed rule would treat almost all leases as capital leases. FASB argues that this rule would encourage transparency and give a more accurate picture of a company’s financial condition.
Although the new rules may improve disclosure and transparency, they have the potential to have a significant effect on the commercial real estate and equipment leasing industries. Many large companies have thousands of operating leases and one reason some of them choose to rent rather than acquire property is the way the property is treated for accounting purposes. The new rules would require a company to include virtually all of its leases on its balance sheet, as if it had purchased the property and was making loan payments rather than paying rent. Bear in mind that these changes are for our local area. Be sure to refer to a commercial solicitor in Leeds if you are based there, or to a local expert to assist you to ensure accuracy.
What are the expected effects of these changes?
- The accounting benefits of leasing space versus buying property will be eliminated, so some companies are expected to decide to acquire property rather than lease it. This change should increase the volume of sales activity and 1031 exchanges.
- Financial covenants in loan documents will be affected by this change, so debtors will need to discuss this issue with their lenders in order to ensure that they do not breach the financial covenants in their loan documents.
- As currently written, the rules do not grandfather in any existing leases, so the administrative burden on tenants could be significant during the transition period.
- Because the lease term would affect what is put on the balance sheet, and because some option periods would be included when computing what the lease term is, lease negotiations may be affected. More tenants may want shorter term leases and may consider the accounting rules when deciding whether to ask for options to extend their leases.
These rules are not final, but if they are enacted in their current form, they will have a significant impact on some companies who lease property. There is additional information at www.fasb.org.
Thank you Jim Ogan of First American Exchange for this article.
Business Development Manager
Each month we host Newberg Art Walk at our downtown Newberg real estate office on 1st street. This past Friday on Feb 4th we featured the art of local pastel artist Susan Day and the wine of Folin Cellars of Carlton, Oregon.
There is a great turn-out from the Newberg community (and beyond!) and we sincerely hope that you’ll stop by next month for a glass of wine and a few snacks, a look-see at the wonderful art, and to say hello. We’d love to meet you!
View the short video below to see what you missed, and feel free to drop by anytime during the month of February to view Susan Day’s art. Hope to meet you next time at Newberg Art Walk on March 4th from 5-8pm.
Get an “A” on your Schedule A Form: Dodge these tax deduction pitfalls to save time, money, and an IRS investigation.
Schedule A (http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1040sa.pdf) is the part of Form 1040 you use to list myriad deductions, and the more moving parts, the more prone you are to misinterpretation. To save you heartache, we asked four tax experts to weigh in on the six most common Schedule A mistakes do-it-yourselfers make.
Trap #1: Line 6 – real estate taxes
Your monthly mortgage payment often includes money for a tax escrow, from which the lender pays your local real estate taxes.
The money you send the bank may be more than what the bank pays for your taxes, says Julian Block, a tax attorney and author of Julian Block’s Home Seller’s Guide to Tax Savings. That will lead you to putting the wrong number on Schedule A.
- Your monthly payment to the lender: $2,000 for mortgage + $500 escrow for taxes
- Your annual property tax bill: $5,500
Now do the math:
- Your bank received $6,000 for real estate taxes, but only paid $5,500. It may keep the extra $500 to apply to the next tax bill or refund it to you at some point, but meanwhile, you’re making a mistake if you enter $6,000 on Schedule A.
- Instead, take the number from Form 1098—which your bank sends you each year—that shows the actual taxes paid.
Trap #2: Line 6 – tax calculations for recent buyers and sellers
If you bought or sold a home in the middle of 2010, figuring out what to put on line 6 of your Schedule A Form is tricky.
Don’t simply enter the number from your property tax bill on line 6 as you would if you owned the house the whole year. If you bought or sold a house in midyear, you should instead use the property tax amount listed on your HUD-1 closing statement, says Phil Marti, a retired IRS official.
Here’s why: Generally, depending on the local tax cycle, either the seller gives the buyer money to pay the taxes when they come due or, if the seller has already paid taxes, the buyer reimburses the seller at closing. Those taxes are deductible that year, but won’t be reflected on your property tax bill.
Trap #3: Line 10 – properly deducting points
You can deduct points paid on a refinance, but not all at once, says David Sands, a CPA with Buchbinder Tunick & Co LLP. Rather, you deduct them over the life of your loan. So if you paid $1,000 in points for a 10-year refinance, you’re entitled to deduct only $100 per year on your Schedule A Form.
Trap #4: Line 10 – HELOC limits
If you took out a home equity line of credit (HELOC), you can generally deduct the interest on it only up to $100,000 of debt each year, says Matthew Lender, a CPA with EisnerLubin LLP.
For example, if you have a HELOC for $200,000, the bank will send you Form 1098 for interest paid on $200,000. But you can deduct only the interest paid on $100,000. If you just pull the number off Form 1098, you’ll deduct more than you’re entitled to.
Trap #5: line 13 – Private mortgage insurance
You can deduct PMI on your Schedule A Form, as long as you started paying the insurance after Dec. 31, 2006. (Also, this is also a good time to review your PMI: You might be able to cancel your PMI altogether because you’ve had a change in loan-to-value status.)
Trap #6: line 20 – casualty and theft losses
You can deduct part or all of losses caused by theft, vandalism, fire, or similar causes, as well as corrosive drywall, but the process isn’t always obvious or simple:
- Only deduct losses that are greater than 10% of your adjusted gross income (line 38 of Form 1040).
- Fill out Form 4684, which involves complex calculations for the cost basis and fair market value. This form gives you the number you need for line 20.
Bottom line on line 20: If you’ve got extensive losses, it’s best to consult a tax pro. “I wouldn’t do it myself, and I’ve been dealing with taxes for 40 years,” says former IRS official Marti.
Barbara Eisner Bayer has written about personal finance for the past 17 years. She works hard to translate IRSese into plain English. She has unbounded respect for CPAs.
Article From HouseLogic.com, Published: October 14, 2010
Buying a house, refinancing it, getting a loan from places similar to https://nocreditcheckloansonline.net/installment-loan-no-credit-check/, getting a job—they’re all dependent on your FICO credit score. It pays to learn how it’s calculated.
How are FICO credit scores computed?
FICO uses five broad categories to calculate credit scores, and each category is weighted accordingly:
|Length of credit history||15%|
|Types of credit in use (is it a “healthy” mix?)||10%|
Why are there three FICO credit scores?
There are three main bureaus that collect data on your credit history and run Credit History Checks: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. FICO takes data from each credit bureau and runs it through its system. This leads to three different FICO credit scores because:
- Each agency may have information one or both of the others don’t have. For example, a collection agency may have reported a bad debt to only one of them.
- Errors that occur just in one agency’s data may affect that agency’s results, but not the results from the other two.
And to make it even more complex, many lenders augment their credit decisions by adding particular criteria they want to consider. Your best bet when it comes to making sure you’re accepted, is to get your score as high as possible using something like the Fingerhut store (read the review here). You can always fight your case as long as you can prove that you are reliable with a strong score.
Also, although FICO is the best-known credit score, there are many others. Some lenders generate their own credit scores using data from the same three credit bureaus. Experian, in fact, has developed its own scoring system separate from FICO.
However, FICO remains the most common; when big lenders refer to your credit scores, they’re usually referring to the FICO scores.
Why can a credit check by itself reduce a FICO credit score?
FICO’s research shows that more credit shopping, resulting in more inquiries, correlates with a higher risk of future default. However, multiple queries in a short period for one purpose—such as when you’re shopping for a HELOC—would count as only one inquiry.
The FICO score ignores any mortgage, student loan, or auto loan inquiries made within the previous 30 days. The system limits itself to inquiries made in the 11 months before that, and reduces similar inquires within any 45-day window to a single inquiry. For example, if you approach five banks over two weeks on a HELOC, it will only count as one inquiry.
The inquiry formulas can get rather complex; the FICO site has more details.
How long does major negative information stay on my credit report?
Generally, the impact of adverse information on a FICO score lessens over time.
|Foreclosures||7 years, with rebound beginning in as little as 2 years.|
|Deeds in lieuand short sales||7 years—they usually appear on credit reports as foreclosures.|
|Late payments||7 years. It doesn’t matter what the late payments are for. Recent late payments hit your credit score harder than older ones, and the amount and frequency of the late payments are also factors.|
|Bankruptcies||7 years (10 years for “full discharge of debt”—i.e., if you’re absolved of your full debt, the bankruptcy stays on your credit report for 10 years). Because they often involve more than one account, bankruptcies generally have a greater negative impact on your credit score compared with a foreclosure, short sale, or deed in lieu.|
How does loan modification affect my FICO credit score?
Until November 2009, if you were in a loan modification program, your credit report likely notes that you have made only a partial payment. This significantly lowered your FICO score.
However, in modifications made since November 2009, the credit reporting system was changed to reduce the credit score hit. But as of October 2010 FICO hadn’t completely bought into this system and may at some point decide that everyone in a loan modification program, whether under new or old rules, deserves a significantly lower score.
For now, your best bet is to obtain your free credit reports, as noted later in this article, and see how your particular situation was reported and handled.
Do reductions in credit card or HELOC limits affect my credit score?
The impact will be unique for each consumer. The FICO formula considers many aspects of your balances and behaviors, including whether you have a high percentage of available credit at the time the report was pulled.
For example, if you have high debt and use a substantial proportion of your available credit, you’re at a greater risk. Opening a new credit card to increase available credit, after another card was reduced, may backfire and reduce your credit score.
Do lenders have to tell me if they’re basing a quote on my bad credit score?
New regulations taking effect in 2011 require lenders to tell you if they’re giving you a particularly high interest rate or other less favorable loan term than other borrowers who qualify for the best deals. In the past, the lenders may not have told you that you were getting an especially high rate—you were penalized without knowing it.
Starting in January, you’ll be forewarned.
Then if your credit score is lower than you expected, you can investigate it—maybe it’s just an outdated report or a simple mix-up. At least you’ll know the deal before signing on the dotted line.
But don’t wait until you apply for a loan to discover your credit is a mess. By law, you can get a free report from each agency once a year at Annualcreditreport.com. (And no, this isn’t the company advertising with the slacker band on TV.) This is the only site authorized by the Federal Trade Commission to provide free reports.
However, these reports don’t include your FICO scores. You can purchase TransUnion and Equifax FICO scores from MyFico.com for $15.95 each. (Experian continues to provide a FICO score to lenders but no longer sells its score on a retail basis.) Some consumers will qualify for free FICO scores starting in mid-2011 or early 2012.
Published on: Feb 5, 2011
Tonight is the big night at our Newberg real estate office!
About Folin Cellars
Folin Cellars is a family owned and operated winery focusing on producing 100% Estate grown warm climate varietals including Viognier, Tempranillo and Syrah. They produce their wines using minimal intervention with an emphasis on handcrafted blends highlighting our unique vineyard site. Great care is taken in the vineyard to ensure only the highest quality fruit goes into the wines. They currently produce approximately 500 cases of wine.
Folin Cellars has a tasting room in historic downtown Carlton, Oregon where you can enjoy samples of their current release selections. They are located at 118 West Main Street, Carlton, Oregon 97111 and are open weekends and by appointment. To make an appointment please call 503-349-9616.
Folin Vineyards is located in the Rogue Valley AVA, approximately 10 miles North of Medford, 5 miles east of the I-5, on the scenic Rogue River. Utilizing the most innovative vineyard management practices, Folin Vineyards produces grapes for some of Oregon’s most noteworthy winemakers as well as being the exclusive source for Folin Cellars wines.