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Take the Standard Deduction & the Home

Now that the standard deduction is increased to $12,200 for single taxpayers and $24,400 for married ones, many homeowners are better off with the standard deduction than itemizing their deductions to write off their mortgage interest and property taxes. There was some speculation that without the tax advantages, homeownership is not the investment it once […]

Understanding Reverse Mortgages

Reverse mortgage loans are like traditional mortgages that permits homeowners to borrow money using their home as collateral while retaining title to the property. Reverse mortgage loans don’t require monthly payments. The loan is due and payable when the borrower no longer lives in the home or dies, whichever comes first. Since no payments are […]

Downsizing in 2020

Approximately 52 million or 16% of Americans are age 65 and over. It is easy to understand that some of them are thinking of downsizing their home because they don’t need the same space they did in the past. It can be liberating to divest yourself of “things” that have been accumulated over the years […]

Another Source for a Down Payment

Borrowing from a 401k, 403b or the cash value of life insurance policy is a common financial strategy. While taxpayers are not allowed borrow from either a traditional or Roth IRA, they can withdraw funds before age 59 ½ for specific purposes like a first home purchase, qualified higher education expenses or permanent disability without […]

Anticipating the Cost of a Home

The largest expenditure a buyer has when purchasing a home is the down payment which can range from zero for veterans or 3.5%, 5%, 10% and 20%. With mortgages come closing costs which can be another 2-4% and must be paid at settlement in cash. Most mortgages require an escrow account to pay the property […]

Personal Finance Review

Even if Benjamin Franklin never actually used the expression “a penny saved is a penny earned”, the reality is that it has been a sentiment for frugality for centuries. He did say: “Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship.” At the end of the day, it is not about how […]

an Investment Perspective on a Home

Looking for an investment that will turn $10,000 into $80,000 in seven years? Sound too good to be true? What if I told you that you could live in it every day during that seven years? Would that sound even better? A $300,000 home purchased today on an FHA loan would have a $10,500 down […]

Understanding the Mortgage Interest Deduction

Mortgage interest paid on your principal residence is deductible today as it was in 1913 when 16th amendment allowed personal income tax. The 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act reduced the maximum amount of acquisition debt from $1,000,000 to $750,000. Acquisition debt is the amount of debt used to buy, build or improve a principal […]

Title Insurance

Most people who have car, home and health insurance have probably made claims and wouldn’t consider being without it. However, it might be difficult to find a homeowner who has made a claim on their title insurance which could lead a person to think that it may not be necessary. Title insurance covers the largest […]

7 Reasons to Buy a Home

Some people don’t need a reason to buy a home, they just want it. That can be enough justification by itself. Other people need some solid logic before they’re ready to make the commitment. The following reasons might help you to make a decision. Pride of ownership … among the most popular reasons given by […]