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Nicki Conway
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Coldwell Banker Global Luxury Blog

Monday, April 16, 2018   /   by Nicki Conway

Case Study - Housing Decisions During Retirement

A couple is planning to tour the United States in a travel trailer during their first few years of retirement. They are going to sell their current home now and purchase another home when they finish their travels.


An interesting exercise is to determine the optimum time of selling the home: now or when they're ready to buy their replacement home.


If they intend on traveling for more than three years, then, it may be a good decision to sell prior to the sojourn to avoid paying taxes on the gain in their home. IRS allows for a temporary rental of a principal residence while still keeping the $250,000/$500,000 capital gains exclusion intact. A homeowner must own and use a home for three out of the previous five years which means that it could be rented for up to three years, but it would need to be sold and closed before that three-year window expires.


If the travel will be less than three years, there is an option of selling now or later. Using the example below, the home ...

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Monday, April 02, 2018   /   by Nicki Conway

Waiting to Buy a Home Will Cost More

With the first quarter of 2018 in the books, the 30-year fixed rate mortgage is nearing what Freddie Mac predicted it would be in the second quarter. If this pace continues, rates will exceed the five percent mark expected by the end of the year.
The Fed has had its first of an expected three raises for this year and two more are expected in 2019. While these rates are not directly related to mortgages, they certainly have an effect.
Delaying the decision to purchase or refinance could be an expensive missed opportunity. A $270,000 mortgage at 4.44% has a principal and interest payment of $1,358.44 per month. If the rate were to rise one-percent in the next twelve months, the payment would be $1,522.88.
The $164.44 increase would cost a homeowner an additional $13,812.97 in seven years and close to $60,000 over the full term of the loan.
The question facing people is "what would you spend $164.44 each month if you had acted sooner to get the lower rate?"
If you're curious to know ...

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Monday, March 05, 2018   /   by Nicki Conway

You Income Tax Refund Could Make a Difference

One of the silver linings to filing your income tax return is finding out that you are going to receive a refund. If you happen to be one of these fortunate taxpayers, your next decision is what to do with it. With the average tax refund around $3,000, it could be the difference that makes a home a reality sooner rather than later.

Many would-be buyers think it takes 10% or more down payment to purchase a home, but actually, it can be much less. There are VA and USDA mortgages that have no down payment for qualified buyers. FHA has a 3.5% down payment program and FNMA has 3% down payment mortgages for qualified creditors.

Closing costs for originating new mortgages can easily range from two to three percent of the purchase price but most lenders will allow the seller to pay part or all of them based on the agreement in the sales contract.
While the average tax refund might not cover the down payment on the median price home, it certainly helps. Your refund could make it as simpl ...

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Monday, February 26, 2018   /   by Nicki Conway

Fair Skies on the Horizon

HOW THE NEW TAX LAWS WILL AFFECT REAL ESTATE



Buyers who have been concerned about what might happen to the tax laws affecting home ownership should feel more comfortable about moving forward with their decision to purchase. The 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act passed by Congress and signed by the President continues to treat real estate as a favored investment.


Whether it is for a home to live in as your principal residence or to use as rental property, the tax laws are in place but other dynamics to be concerned with are not; mortgage rates are expected to rise as well as prices.


Reasons to buy now:


1. The mortgage interest deduction is intact for most taxpayers.


2. The capital gain exclusion for principal residences up to $500,000 remains in place.


3. Taxpayers can elect annually to take newly increased standard deduction or itemize deductions whichever will benefit them the most.


4. The house payment with taxes and insurance is most likely cheaper t ...

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Monday, February 19, 2018   /   by Nicki Conway

An Historical Mortgage Perspective

In 1968, mortgage rates were 8.5%. The next year, rates went down to 7%. Homeowners could buy a 15-20% larger home for the same payments if they could find someone to assume their mortgage.
FHA and VA mortgages were very popular in certain price ranges and they allowed anyone to assume the mortgage regardless of the credit. If you could find a person to take over your note, you were free to qualify for another mortgage.


In October 1981, mortgage rates reached 18.63%. A $250,000 mortgage had a monthly principal and interest payment of $3,896.46. As astronomical as that rate sounds, people were still buying homes and were good investments.
Four years later, they were still over 12%. The monthly payment was $2,571.53. Believe it or not, people were excited to be paying only 2/3 what they had to pay a few years earlier.

Fast forward to late 1991 when the rates went below 9% and that same payment was to $2,015.16. At the turn of the 21st century, rates were 8.15% and that made the ...

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