If you’ve been considering buying a home it’s critical to understand the amazing tax benefits you’ll enjoy. Talk to your CPA to get professional advice, but here are what the benefits look like:
- The Purchase. The IRS says that in most cases loan discount points and origination fees are tax deductible to the buyer, regardless of who pays them. Look at lines 801 and 802 of your settlement statement and see how you hit the jackpot.
- Mortgage Interest. In general, you can deduct interest charged on a loan used to acquire or improve your principal residence in the year that it is paid. In the early years of a loan, most of your monthly payment is interest, so this can really add up. If you are in a 28% federal tax bracket, this can have the effect of lowering your borrowing costs by almost a third.
- The Sale. If you have owned and occupied your principal residence for at least two of the past five years, you can earn up to $500,000 on the sale of that house and pay no federal income tax whatsoever. That’s assuming you are married – singles get up to $250,000 tax free. You can do this as often as every two years for the rest of your life with no limit on the number of times you do it! The one restriction is that you MUST own and occupy the house as your principal residence.
Buyers – October News
As discussed in the October news post, the lack of quality inventory on the market, helping private sellers move their properties quickly and for a good price. So if you’re a buyer, how do you play this market? There are at least two reasons why buying in the near future could make a lot of sense for you.
The first is that homes prices are still down from their highs in 2006. They’re down about 32% nationally and 8% locally. Add to the equation record low interest rates and the
result is that housing affordability is at the lowest level on record! To repeat: the combination of lower prices and record low interest rates means the average buyer in Denver has NEVER seen homes more affordable than today. That alone is what’s gettingmany of my clients off the fence and interested in looking for a home again.
The second reason is that while there certainly is a lack of move-in ready, non-distressed properties on the market, there are still LOTS of bank-owned and shortsale properties for sale. So if you’re looking for a deal and don’t mind waiting out a shortsale (or putting on your overalls and painter’s cap) you just might get a phenomenal deal. Buyers who are willing to put up with these hassles can get a terrific buy on a home at very low interest rates and position themselves wonderfully for the inevitable housing recovery. It does take patience. It does take grit. But if you’re willing to sift through the chaff to find your golden nugget of wheat, call me and let me show you what’s out there.