As a member of the National Association of REALTORS, I receive news about Real Estate. This article clarifies mortgage interest deduction on a home equity loan.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued a news release(link is external) clarifying that in many cases, interest paid on home equity loans remains deductible under the new tax reform law. Many questions have arisen on this issue, as many media reports on the new tax law indicated that as of 2018, interest is no longer deductible on home equity loans. The IRS stated that “despite newly-enacted restrictions on home mortgages, taxpayers can often still deduct interest on a home equity loan, home equity line of credit (HELOC) or second mortgage, regardless of how the loan is labelled.” The key factor is that the proceeds of such loans must be used to buy, build, or substantially improve the taxpayer’s home that secures the loan. Interest on a home equity or other loan used for personal living expenses (e.g. paying off credit card debt, education, or vacation expenses) would not be deductible.
According to a Merrill Lynch study, “an estimated 4.2 million retirees moved into a new home last year alone.” Two-thirds of retirees say that they are likely to move at least once during retirement. As one participant in the study stated:
“In retirement, you have the chance to live anywhere you want. Or you can just stay where you are. There hasn’t been another time in life when we’ve had that kind of freedom.”
The top reason to relocate cited was “wanting to be closer to family” at 29%, a close second was “wanting to reduce home expenses” at 26%. A recent Freddie Mac studyfound similar results, as “nearly 20 percent of Boomers said they would move closer to their grandchildren/children compared to 13 percent who said they would move to a warmer climate.”
Not Every Baby Boomer Downsizes
There is a common misconception that as retirees find themselves with fewer children at home, they will instantly desire a smaller home to maintain. While that may be the case for half of those surveyed, the study found that three in ten decide to actually upsize to a larger home. Some choose to buy a home in a desirable destination with extra space for large family vacations, reunions, extended visits, or to allow other family members to move in with them. According to Merrill Lynch:
“Retirees often find their homes become places for family to come together and reconnect, particularly during holidays or summer vacations.”
If your housing needs have changed or are about to change, meet with a local real estate professional in your area who can help with deciding your next step.
Another great article from Keeping Current Matters!
In the latest Rent vs. Buy Report from Trulia, they explained that homeownership remains cheaper than renting with a traditional 30-year fixed rate mortgage in the 100 largest metro areas in the United States.
The updated numbers actually show that the range is an average of 5% less expensive in Orange County (CA) all the way up to 46% in Houston (TX), and 36% Nationwide!
Other interesting findings in the report include:
- Interest rates have remained low and even though home prices have appreciated around the country, they haven’t greatly outpaced rental appreciation.
- Some markets may tip in favor of renting if home prices increase at a greater rate than rents and if – as most economists expect – mortgage rates rise, due to the strengthening economy.
- Nationally, rates would have to rise to 10.6% for renting to be cheaper than buying – and rates haven’t been that high since 1989.
Buying a home makes sense socially and financially. If you are one of the many renters out there who would like to evaluate your ability to buy this year, meet with a local real estate professional who can help you find your dream home.
Keeping Current Matters
Insightful article by Myles Udland, recently published in the Business Insider.
With inventories down and supply tight — as of February the outstanding stock of existing homes would only last 4.4 months at the current selling rate — the lowest price points in the market are being disproportionately affected, preventing millennials from buying homes and pushing up rent inflation.
In commentary published Monday, Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist at Trulia, noted that inventory for both starter homes and trade-up homes — the two lowest price brackets in the housing market — is down about 40% in the last four years.
Overall, the total number of homes sitting on the market is down to around 860,000, down from 1.4 million 2012.
In short, the US housing market is facing a severe lack of supply that will either be resolved by higher prices (and more inflation) or more building.
Study Again Finds Homeownership to be a Better Way of Producing Wealth
Keeping Current Matters wrote this great article
According to the latest Beracha, Hardin & Johnson Buy vs. Rent (BH&J) Index homeownership is a better way to produce greater wealth, on average, than renting. The BH&J Index is a quarterly report that attempts to answer the question:
Is it better to rent or buy a home in today’s housing market?
The index examines the entire US housing market and then isolates 23 major markets for comparison. The researchers use a “’horse race’ comparison between an individual that is buying a home and an individual that rents a similar quality home and reinvests all monies otherwise invested in homeownership.” Ken Johnson Ph.D., Real Estate Economist & Professor at Florida Atlantic University, and one of the index’s authors states:
“The nation as a whole is in buy territory. Continued near record low mortgage rates, unsteady stock market performance, and rents (on average) now out pacing the cost of ownership (maintenance, taxes, insurance, etc.) all combine to favor owning and building wealth through home equity over renting and reinvesting in a portfolio of stocks and bonds.”
Dallas, Denver and Houston currently remain deep in rent territory but, “there is some degree of good news from these markets for homeowners as the cost of renting is now increasing at a faster rate than the cost of homeownership — reducing the advantage of renting over buying.”
Buying a home makes sense socially and financially. Rents are predicted to increase substantially in the next year, so lock in your housing cost with a mortgage payment now. To Find Out More About the Study: The BH&J Index and other FAU real estate activities are sponsored by Investments Limited of Boca Raton. The BH&J Index is published quarterly and is available online at http://business.fau.edu/buyvsrent.
Here is another great article from Keeping Current Matters:
Future Home Values: Where Do The Experts Think They Are Headed?
Today, many real estate conversations center on housing prices and where they may be headed. That is why we like the Home Price Expectation Survey
. Every quarter, Pulsenomics
surveys a nationwide panel of over one hundred economists, real estate experts and investment & market strategists about where they believe prices are headed over the next five years. They then average the projections of all 100+ experts into a single number.
The results of their latest survey:
Home values will appreciate by 3.7% over the course of 2016, 3.3% in 2017 and 3.2% in the next two years, and finally 3.1% in 2020 (as shown below). That means the average annual appreciation will be 3.3% over the next 5 years. The prediction for cumulative appreciation slowed slightly from 21.6% to 17.7% by 2020. The experts making up the most bearish quartile of the survey still are projecting a cumulative appreciation of 10.9%.
Individual opinions make headlines. We believe the survey is a fairer depiction of future values