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Real Estate…The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Written by Larry on March 22, 2012 – 6:31 pm -

Ok, this has nothing to do with Real Estate except the title being an analogy…
If you remember the Movie with Clint Eastwood you will love watching and listening to this live!
Wait for the whistling….and leave a comment if you liked it!!

 


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Warren Buffet Says To Buy Brevard County Homes Now

Written by Larry on February 28, 2012 – 5:20 am -

Ok, so Warren Buffet did not mention Brevard County but he did say that he highly recommended investing your money (that is probably going down in value as it sits in the bank) in real estate. Unless you are living under a rock, you know that Warren Buffet is one of our nations financial geniuses. His motto is to do the opposite of what the masses are doing if you want to be successful. Watch the short video below to see what Mr. Buffet has to say about buying homes in today’s market.

If you want to read the entire blog click here.

 
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9 Documents That Can Help Reap Real Estate Tax Breaks For Home Owners

Written by Larry on February 4, 2012 – 5:20 am -

                                                                                              Technically speaking, April 15th is tax day. But for Americans who expect a refund – including many homeowners who want to cash in on real estate-related tax perks – filing sooner holds the promise of getting that check in hand, stat.

If you count yourself in that number, here’s a handy guide for 9 pieces of paper you should be sure to round up as you prepare to file, in order to reap every penny of the tax rewards you’ve earned by virtue of owning a home.

  1. Mortgage Interest Statement – IRS Form 1098. The meatiest real estate tax deduction on the books is the one that allows you to deduct 100 percent of the mortgage interest you paid in a year – including prepaid interest or points you might have paid at close of escrow, if you bought a home last year. By now, you should have received in the mail a Form 1098 from your mortgage lender that reports how much that interest totaled up to in 2011.  If you itemize your taxes and claim a mortgage interest deduction, you must include this form with your tax form when you file.

(If you haven’t received yours yet, most lenders that have online account management services also post the form digitally in your secure account on the web. Just login like you would to make your monthly payment, and look for a notice that says you can now download your 2011 Form 1098.)

  1. Property Tax Statements.  In addition to deducting your mortgage interest, if you own a home you are eligible to deduct the property taxes you pay to your local city, county and/or state.  You are not allowed to deduct some of the other miscellaneous expenses that some localities bundle up with the taxes they collect, like waste management and local assessments for things like street lighting, libraries and sidewalk construction.  To get this deduction right, the best practice is to have your property tax statements at hand and make sure you’re only deducting what’s allowed.

If you bought your home this year, it’s highly possible that you might not even have received a property tax statement yet – if that’s the case, look to #3, below.

  1. Uniform Settlement Statement (HUD-1).  If you bought or sold a home last year, right after closing you should have received a form called the HUD-1 Settlement Statement (hint: it’s usually on legal-sized paper and contains an accounting of credits and debits for you and your home’s buyer or seller). That form documents a number of line items which might help you out at tax time, including prepaid interest, the prorated property taxes you paid at closing, and closing costs like original fees and discount points. Some states offer tax credits for buying a foreclosure; check with your tax pro to find out if any such credits apply to you. If so, this statement might be your ticket to lower taxes.

And here’s another handy hint – if you can’t find your copy, you might have gotten it on a disk – and you can always email your real estate or escrow agent for a copy, as well.

  1. Moving Expense Receipts.  Moving expenses are tax deductible, if your move is closely related, both in time and in place, to the start of work at a new or changed job location and you meet the IRS’ time and distance tests. Long story short, your new home must be at least 50 miles farther from your new workplace than your old home was from your prior place of work, and you must work essentially full-time. So, if you bought or sold a home and moved in 2011, you’ll need to include receipts from expenses you incurred making the move (meals not included) in your tax prep paperwork.
  1. Cancellation of Debt Statement – IRS Form 1099. Homeowners who lost a home to foreclosure, or divested of one by negotiating a short sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure with their lender might receive some version of Form 1099 from their lenders, charging them with income in the amount of the mortgage debt that has been cancelled. You see, if you borrow money from someone, then they cancel the debt, that money you originally borrowed becomes income in the eyes of the IRS – and income is, as you know, taxable.
  1. Utility statements for home office.  For the average everyday homeowner who works at their employer’s place of business, utilities are not deductible (sorry!). But if there is a part of your home that is “regularly and exclusively” used for business, you might be able to claim that portion of your home as a home office, and deduct some portion of your home utilities and costs of painting and repairs, as a result.Talk with your tax provider about what expenses are allowable to be claimed under your home office deduction, and whether or not you should take it.
  1. Income and Expense statements from rental properties.  Some of you have elevated the art of home ownership to a business!  If you are a landlord, your tax situation is more complicated than that of the average bear; you’ll need to have complete income and expense statements when you put your tax returns together. It might actually behoove you to consult with a tax professional to make sure you are appropriately depreciating the property over time and not taking deductions that will expose you to the risk of audits, as well as to begin cultivating a long-term tax strategy for your real estate portfolio.
  1. Contractor receipts from energy efficient home improvements.  Under the Nonbusiness Energy Tax Credit, homeowners who have made improvements to their homes that fall within a list of energy efficient upgrades might be eligible to claim tax credits. If, during 2011, you installed energy efficient improvements such as insulation, new dual-paned windows and furnaces, you might be eligible for a tax credit of 10 percent of the cost of these upgrades, up to  $500 – only $200 of which may be used to offset the cost of windows.
  1. Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC).  If you own a home you bought in the last few years using a Mortgage Credit Certificate issued by a local housing authority, that Certificate may entitle you to a pretty hefty tax credit, based on a percentage of the mortgage interest you paid – on top of your mortgage interest deduction. MCCs apply as long as you live in the home and have a mortgage on it, but they only apply to defray taxes you actually owe – you can’t use them to get a refund.  In any event, your mortgage credit certificate, if you have one, is a must-have document as you start putting your tax prep plan in play.

No matter what your tax situation is, if you own a home, it absolutely cannot hurt to get some professional help and advice to make sure you maximize your deductions, while minimizing your exposure to audit. And you should always consult with a tax attorney or certified public accountant regarding your tax liabilities and implications when you buy, sell, short sell or lose a home to foreclosure.

P.S. – You should follow Trulia and Tara on Facebook!


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Possible Foreclosure Solution – Principal Debt Reduction

Written by Larry on January 21, 2012 – 3:40 am -

Foreclosure Solutions

Pollible Foreclosure Solutions for Home Owners

 

 

 

 

 

 

Olick – robo signings turned political

“For over a year now, state attorneys general have been
negotiating some kind of settlement deal with the nations four
largest lenders, as well as several smaller ones.  The settlement
pertains to faulty foreclosure processing, first uncovered in
October of 2010 and now commonly referred to as ‘Robo-signing.’
Rather than dozens of lawsuits, the states initially were looking
to assess one great punishment on the lenders and thereby appease
borrowers who felt they were wronged. The banks were looking for
wider immunity from securitization issues, and that is largely
what has held up the negotiations for so long.

Now, suddenly, after umpteen ‘we’re close to a deal’s,
apparently we’re now really close to a deal, largely because
the State of the Union address is next Tuesday, and this is an
election year. So at a meeting of Mayors Wednesday, the Secretary
of Housing and Urban Development, Shaun Donovan, mentioned that a
settlement would include principal reduction for about a million
borrowers.  ’With few other tools to help housing, the
administration sees the deal as a way to take credit for helping
underwater borrowers without exposing taxpayers to loss,’ says
Jaret Seiberg at Guggenheim partners, noting that the deal may
not fully be in place by Tuesday, but a ‘framework’ could be
announced. ‘If this deal does score enough political points, then
it will dampen calls for the administration to roll out more
housing help such as a mass refinancing. As we remain dubious
about the real impact of a deal, our view is that the
administration will face pressure this spring to do more. That
means more refinancings of GSE loans will still be on the table,’
he adds.

Of course we already know the basic framework of the deal, which
would involve up to $25 billion from the banks, though only a
small portion of that would be a cash settlement. The bulk of the
money would be used to do principal write downs, short sales, and
more aggressive loan modifications. Unfortunately, several key
states, including Massachusetts, California, New York, Delaware
and Nevada have expressed serious concerns about the deal
currently on the table, and some bank sources are telling us that
without California and New York, it’s hard to see how there
would be a deal.  If there is a deal, beyond the politics, it
could have a larger effect on the state of the housing market and
its recovery.

Remember, this deal is about foreclosure processing, which has
been nearly stalled in many states. ‘To that end, it will give
banks some increased certainty about their ability to foreclose
in those states that sign on to the agreement. As a result, we
may see foreclosures ramp up fairly quickly in those states,’
says Josh Rosner of Graham-Fisher.  Rosner calls the deal
‘somewhat nonsensical,’ even without knowing the full details, as
he believes it offers no assurances to any state regarding
specific amounts of relief, not to mention leaving questions
about the credibility of the monitoring, oversight, compliance
and enforcement of the deal terms. ‘The expected political
calculus is that the public will see the headline and will not
bother to watch the operationalization or follow-through,’ says
Rosner.

My concern is about this principal reduction headline. Yes, the
banks processed foreclosures using improper methods, having one
person sign off on thousands of documents that were never read.
Yes, there was a huge breakdown in accountability and a huge lack
of attention paid to struggling borrowers. The trouble is, after
going over these cases, the bottom line is that the vast majority
of the foreclosures were and are valid. People didn’t pay their
mortgages. So now you’re offering cash back to these borrowers,
perhaps even their homes back, while others in the very same
position, who may have had their foreclosures processed
correctly, get nothing.”

If you are facing foreclosure please take a few minutes to review your
options on our webiste here: http://brevardrealestateinfo.com/short-sales/

 

 


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North Brevard County Horse Property for Sale, Mims FL

Written by Larry on January 20, 2012 – 3:51 pm -

3455 FLOUNDER CREEK RD
Mims, FL 32754
North Brevard County Horse Property for  Sale
Price : call for price
Bedrooms : 4
Bathrooms : 4
Square Foot : 3,200
Lot Size : 274,863
County : United States
Property Type : Detached
Year Built : 1980
MLS Number : 631583

click for more information and pictures

Property Description
CALL 24 HR HOTLINE FOR UPDATE PRICE!
1-866-993-3162 x4395
This North Brevard county horse property sits on a 6.5 acres of beautiful pasture land. The home is sitting in a lovely hammock with mature oaks. You are actually getting 2 homes with this Brevard County horse property. The 2nd home is a mother-in-law suite with a 2 car garage. This is a very unique property and if you are looking for a North Brevard horse property be sure to watch the video to see all the amazing features of the great home.
Equal Housing Opportunity.

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Government Increases The Cost To Purchase Homes Again…

Written by Larry on January 12, 2012 – 12:12 pm -

You have to wonder what is going on in the heads of our politicians…they all know the housing market is leading this nation into depression and they are literally doing nothing to try to help the industry recover.  If you know of something they have done, let me know.   Instead, they are being counter productive, passing bills and laws that are increasing the cost for a person to buy a home in today’s floundering market.   In effect, they are taxing the already disastrous real estate market one more time…go figure.

The video below and it will explain in detail what our politicians did…let me know if it makes sense to you below in a comment.


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How Safe Is Your Home? Interesting Burglery Statistics.

Written by Larry on January 8, 2012 – 5:23 am -

I came across this interesting infographic in the Washington Post recently called “Anatomy of a Burglary,” which reveals some fascinating statistics about break-ins, including a few ways to protect your valuables and deter thieves.

Some interesting facts:

•    Most burglaries occur between 10AM and 3PM.
•    The typical house burglar is a male teenager who lives within a couple of miles of your home.
•    Burglars spend on an average between 8 and 12 minutes inside your home.

Not only did the graphic detail the most common entry points for a burglar, but it also offered these helpful tips for protecting your home:

•    A home with a security system is 3 times less likely to be broken into than a home without a security system. (Even if you don’t have one, buying the stickers for them can deter an amateur.)
•    Consider alternatives to the master bedroom for hiding valuables. It’s the first place most burglars go.
•    Burglars want to spend fewer than 60 seconds breaking in. Anything you can do to lengthen that time will increase the likelihood they’ll pass on your house.
•    The appearance of an unoccupied home is what typically attracts burglars. Not bringing the garbage cans back up a few days after trash day can be a big sign you’re not around.

For a detailed look at the infographic, visit the Washington Post site here:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/artsandliving/homeandgarden/features/2007/burglary-070507/graphic.html

Protect your home and your valuables! Common sense is often enough to keep you from becoming a victim.  And remember: Keep an inventory of your possessions for insurance purposes.

Quality of your neighborhood got you nervous? Looking to move to a nicer zip code? I’d be glad to help you find a safer home. Contact me! 321-252-9767 or findlarry@gmail.com


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Is National Debt a Concern?

Written by Larry on December 22, 2011 – 7:25 pm -

National DebtI am really concerned about the national debt, it is a measure of how good or bad our country is doing and right now it ain’t lookin’ too good!

I hate to talk politics, but I just heard this and then verified it…did you know that from George to George (George Washington to George W. Bush) the U.S. amassed a whopping 10 Trillion+ in national debt!!! Now get this…from 1/1/2009 (when Obama became president) up to today(3 years later) the US went ANOTHER WHOPPING 5 Trillion in debt for a total of 15 Trillion+!!  This is very scary!  You naysayers can see this for yourself by visiting this site.

http://www.treasurydirect.gov/NP/BPDLogin?application=np

This needs to stop immediately or this country WILL be Bankrupt!  We have to vote out every politician who has been in office while our country is being financially raped!  I do not care if they are Republican, Democrat, Independent or any other party, they need to go NOW!

Stepping off soapbox…


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Are We Bumping the Bottom of the Real Estate Market?

Written by Larry on December 14, 2011 – 7:53 am -

Here are some interesting numbers about the US Housing Market that we need to pay close attention to.

I pulled this from Zillow and I am not a real fan of the data because I have found that it seems to be a bit behind what is really happening. It is probably due to the fact they pull a lot of information from tax rolls that are not always updated in a timely manor.

The chart below indicates that home values are still declining a small amount -0.3% based on Month to Month figures
and -5.1%  for the Year to Year figures.  In other words values fell only 5.1% so far this year.

Looking at the M to M figures you can see a bouncing pattern which in my opinion (and Zillow’s opinion) is showing some stabilization.  It is kind of like reading stock market charts…

Click here for a host of additional charts and information from Zillow.

Finally interest rates are still at all time lows and you can get into a home for less money out of pocket that what it cost you to put up front for a rental home and you will also be paying less that what you would pay monthly for a rental home…so what is stopping you from purchasing a home?

Click HERE to Learn How to Purchase a Home With Little or NO MONEY Out-of-Pocket!

 

 


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Totally Remodeled 4 Bedroom Home Titusville FL – 4775 Cocoanut Dr.

Written by Larry on December 4, 2011 – 10:38 am -


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