Real estate round-up: October 25

October 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Check in every business day for the latest edition of Real Estate Round-up, where we post a list of our favorite real estate news stories from DC and beyond.

Headlines from the DC Metro Area:

One real estate company offers a “bike-mounted tour”
Washington City Paper

Bikeability is a huge selling point these days, so it's not surprising to see realtors getting on board (following the architects, who are starting to include Bikeshare in their renderings).

FHA rules for condos make buying, selling difficult
Washington Post

FHA-insured mortgages have become a mainstay of condominium unit financing in the past several years, and now account for 40 percent of all purchase loans for condos in some metropolitan markets.

How value capture financing will revitalize White Flint
DC Streets Blog

Not only are the White Flint developers looking to include more mixed-use development in the community, they want to build new local streets to fill in a viable street grid and redesign the eight-lane Rockville Pike into a “21st century boulevard” with wide sidewalks, bike lanes, six rows of trees, and dedicated transit lanes.

How to find the best refi rate? Shop around
Washington Post

Consider speaking with someone in each of these categories: a big national bank; a credit union; a qualified and highly recommended mortgage broker (check with your local real estate agents; they usually have a list); an online lender; and a small regional lender.

National real estate news stories:

How to derail a mortgage refinance
Bankrate.com

A mortgage refinance is trickier than it was a few years ago. Here are five ways to mess up.

12 questions on Obama's refi plan
Wall Street Journal

The Obama administration is revamping a program that's designed to let more homeowners refinance their mortgages even if they don't have any equity.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Real estate round-up: October 19

October 19, 2011 Leave a comment

Check in every business day for the latest edition of Real Estate Round-up, where we post a list of our favorite real estate news stories from DC and beyond.

Headlines from the DC Metro Area:

Arlington tries to preserve 'essential' historic properties
Washington Examiner

Unlike most communities, which label only specific buildings or properties historic, Arlington ranks all buildings over 50 years old as historically significant.

Loan options for home improvement projects
DC Urban Turf

Today, with the low cost of building materials and contractor services, coupled with historically low interest rates, it is possible to finance $50,000 in home improvements for less than $350 a month through 203K or conventional home loans.

What $725,000 buys you in DC
DC Urban Turf

In What X Buys You this week, UrbanTurf takes a look at properties on the market in the $715,000 to $725,000 range to give readers an idea of what type of homes are available in this price point in the DC area.

National real estate news stories:

Next generation “less confident about home ownership”
Wall Street Journal

A new paper by Federal Reserve Bank of Boston economists used consumer sentiment data collected in the Michigan Survey of Consumers over the summer to try to find out how the housing market's terrible state of affairs was affecting the willingness to buy a new home.

Male agents list more homes, female agents list pricier ones
Inman News

In a blog post about the findings, Trulia said that “the average list price isn't necessarily a reflection on how aggressive the agent is on pricing. In some cases, it could mean that women take on inherently more expensive homes/neighborhoods than men, and vice versa.”

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Categories: Uncategorized

Real estate round-up: October 18

October 18, 2011 Leave a comment

Check in every business day for the latest edition of Real Estate Round-up, where we post a list of our favorite real estate news stories from DC and beyond.

Headlines from the DC Metro Area:

A foreclosure escape hatch?
Washington Post

A bill introduced Oct. 5 would waive the penalty if the purpose of the distribution is to make loan payments to avoid loss of a primary home to foreclosure.

Buyer's experience: The 90-day rule
DC Urban Turf

If you feel tempted to buy a home that was purchased and renovated in a relatively short amount of time, you should probably be wary for many reasons, but one is that most lenders will not approve loans for a home that is back on the market less than 90 days after it was purchased.

Optimistic signs for Spring 2012
Washington Times

If current trends continue during the next six months, we could see a rise in home prices during the more-active spring market to come.

National real estate news stories:

Housing inventory hits 4-year low
Wall Street Journal

Falling inventories are typically a sign of health because that leads to less downward pressure on home prices.

4 experts forecast 2012 housing market
HSH.com

We asked top real estate experts Ilyce Glink of Thinkglink.com, Paul Bishop of the National Association of Realtors, Barbara Corcoran of the Today show, and Dan Green of TheMortgageReports.com to share their thoughts on the housing market in 2011. Here's their takeaway on what to expect.

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Categories: Uncategorized

5 tax deductions for Florida landlords

October 17, 2011 Leave a comment

The first thing most people think of when they hear the words “real estate investing” is buying cheap houses, fixing them up and reselling them at market prices. However, if the current housing market isn't really conducive to home sales, then it is important for an investor to be able to adapt.

A lot of investors dislike the thought of being a landlord, saying that there are just too many headaches to deal with. Luckily, there are a lot of benefits of renting out properties as well, including tax deductions. The following list details five of the available tax deductions for landlords.

  1. Tax Deductible Property Repairs � If you have ever rented a home, you know that there is a lot that can go wrong. Anything that needs fixing on a rental property, such as roof repairs, tile replacements, or any other necessary repairs are tax deductible.� This makes it easier to deal with costly repairs throughout the year.

  2. Insurance Premiums � Insurance is a requirement; it's nice that for investors who are renting out the property, the premiums can be deducted from the income at the end of the year.

  3. Property Depreciation � Property values of real estate fluctuate, but generally houses appreciate rather than depreciate. This makes the fact that you deduct the depreciation of the property over time on your taxes.

  4. Tax Deductible Interest � Interest that investors pay on mortgages and other loans used for properties is tax deductible. Not only that, but if you have a credit card used solely for spending on repairs, renovations, or anything on the property, the interest is deductible on your taxes as well.

  5. Cost of Services � Perhaps one of the biggest reasons that many investors don't want to be landlords is because they would have to deal with tenants. Hiring a project manager is the perfect way to deal with that aversion. The costs of these and other services such as lawyers and accountants are tax deductible.

These are only five of the top tax deductions available to landlords who rent out their properties. There are so many reasons to rent out properties instead of selling them: residual, steady monthly income, as well as the extra tax benefits. Many of these tax deductions are not available for the everyday home buyer. Enjoy the benefits of being a landlord, and remember not to put all of your eggs in one basket.

About the author:
Jennifer Hill and the agents at Realnet of Tampa Bay are experts at finding the best investment properties or sale. Don't fall for the trap of buying investment properties without researching a property thoroughly.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Real estate round-up: October 14

October 14, 2011 Leave a comment

Check in every business day for the latest edition of Real Estate Round-up, where we post a list of our favorite real estate news stories from DC and beyond.

Headlines from the DC Metro Area:

Father battles Fairfax County zoning laws for sons' treehouse
Washington Post

County officials say the Grapin family violated zoning regulations that try to ensure that everyone lives in a safe, well-kept neighborhood.

Washington not ready for electronic real estate transactions
Washington Examiner

The next big tech thing for homebuyers and sellers may be start-to-finish online real estate transactions, but industry experts said the Washington area is not ready to make that jump just yet.

Shirlington Crest reduces prices by $60K
DC Urban Turf

While reminiscent of DC's iconic row houses, with brick exteriors and classic stonework, Shirlington Crest townhouses are designed with a modern sensibility that means open floor plans, high ceilings, spacious master suites, luxurious bathrooms and two-car garages.

Your next place: Solar Decathlon edition
DC Mud

While saving the planet is obviously more important than improving the “vibes” of your sunroom, there's a parallel there with the green retrofitting that some people are calling the “Third Industrial Revolution.”

National real estate news stories:

Mortgage pro: Don't let one denial stop you
Hsh.com

There are hundreds of lenders in the U.S. and each has its own series of overlays. Some are strict while some are loose, and most can be found on Google. If your loan has been turned down for any reason, start a search for new mortgage lenders. Your loan may be approvable–you just have to find the right bank.

Get a mortgage with little money down
Bankrate.com

First-time homeowners often aren't in the position to pay tens of thousands of dollars for a down payment, either. Luckily, options exist to help new buyers get mortgages without selling their organs to come up with the cash.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Real estate round-up: October 13

October 13, 2011 Leave a comment

Check in every business day for the latest edition of Real Estate Round-up, where we post a list of our favorite real estate news stories from DC and beyond.

Headlines from the DC Metro Area:

Mortgage interest deduction hangs on, but how long?
Washington Examiner

Opposition from real estate organizations to reducing or eliminating the deduction remains strong in the face of a fragile housing market and a weak economy.

White House puts O Street Market on fast track
Washington City Paper

Of the 14 projects nationwide that “will be expedited through permitting and environmental review processes,” the District's own City Market at O Street (former home to a crumbling Giant supermarket) will be one.

New EYA condos to be built in Alexandria office building
DC Urban Turf

Potential buyers of the building initially felt that it could accommodate 100-150 residential units, but that number has been pared down, and the final product will likely be somewhere in the 50-75 condos with large floorplans.

National real estate news stories:

10 tips for high value home appraisals
Wall Street Journal

Lowball appraisals can kill deals. They can also kill a refinancing application. If it comes in too low, it's not worth refinancing or you might need to put in a whole lot more equity.

Mortgage lenders to get more insight into borrower pasts
Inman News

Mortgage lenders will soon have access to new details about a prospective borrower's past — such as past rental applications, inquiries to pay-day lenders, and missed child support payments — that will be factored in to a new credit score.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Real estate round-up: October 12

October 12, 2011 Leave a comment

Check in every business day for the latest edition of Real Estate Round-up, where we post a list of our favorite real estate news stories from DC and beyond.

Headlines from the DC Metro Area:

Appraisal guidelines now available for energy-saving home repairs
Washington Post

The Appraisal Institute, the country's largest and most influential association in its field, published the long-awaited addendum Sept. 29. It's designed to be attached to any standard appraisal report covering a property with significant green features.

Window-filled contemporary in Alexandria
Washington Times

The home at 2200 Shiver Drive in Randall Estates, designed and built in 1966 by Jerome Lindsey, an architect from Howard University, includes elements of Bauhaus and Frank Lloyd Wright's architectural styles.

Best new listings: Mount Pleasant Logan Circle and Dupont Circle
DC Urban Turf

This week's edition of Best New Listings looks at a Mount Pleasant two-bedroom with no set condo fees, a 3,500 square-foot four-bedroom townhouse in Logan Circle, and a three-bedroom penthouse just south of Dupont Circle.

National real estate news stories:

Supreme Court to consider mortgage fees lawsuit
Wall Street Journal

At issue is how to interpret the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, a 1974 law that sought to address abuses in the mortgage industry by prohibiting kickbacks or referral fees in connection with the settlement process.

Just get a title search?
St. Augustine Record

A title search is part of the risk assessment the title insurance company does before issuing the policy. The title company does not want to have to pay out that policy; therefore, it has a vested interest to find any and all complications to the ownership title.

Condo buyer frustrated by seller's road blocks
Sun Sentinel

Casual real estate observers figure the South Florida housing market is flush with homes for sale and that anxious sellers are begging for any offers. But that's not the case these days as the region's housing climate steadily improves.

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Categories: Uncategorized