Unless you’re Warren Buffett, the answer is probably, “Yes!” Read more
Hey there, homeowner! We’re happy you’ve got a slice of the American dream, and you’ll get the tax breaks that go along with it. In fact, some of these tax incentives apply to even a second home. Ooh la la!
Whether you bought, sold or just happily lived in your home this year, we’ll walk you through all the tax stuff you need to know.
Just skim the “If you …” headers to find the sections that affect you.
If You Paid Interest on Your Mortgage … Read more
Typically, many buyers are eager to move and get settled in before the school year and holidays begin but that doesn’t mean you should be discouraged. While the spring is considered a peak selling period, I recall looking for a home in the winter months and successfully closing just after the New Year. Read more
We have received many questions about a possible 3.8% tax which will be put on home sales beginning in 2013. We want to do our best to clarify this situation for everyone. We are not accountants and give you this information just as a simple answer to the misconception. Understand that, when it comes to IRS regulations, you should check with your accountant for the most accurate and up-to-date information.
A little history on the confusion. Fact Check.org explains it this way:
The truth is that only a tiny percentage of home sellers will pay the tax. First of all, only those with incomes over $200,000 a year ($250,000 for married couples filing jointly) will be subject to it. And even for those who have such high incomes, the tax still won’t apply to the first $250,000 on profits from the sale of a personal residence — or to the first $500,000 in the case of a married couple selling their home. Read more
Between slumping prices and low mortgage rates, it’s a good time to look for real estate bargains. But thanks to tightened lending standards, legions of young would-be homebuyers aren’t exactly in a position to take advantage of the opportunity. That’s where their parents come in: One in three first-time buyers received either a gift or a loan from their families to help buy a home in 2011, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Such a move can provide significant financial benefits to child and parent alike. But you need to proceed carefully to maximize the tax and estate-planning advantages and avoid unpleasant family conflicts.
The most straightforward way for a parent to lend a hand is to simply give your child some cash. There is a limit, however, to how much money the federal government will let you give away tax-free in any one year. In 2012, a taxpayer can give $13,000 to an individual without triggering so-called gift taxes. Married couples may underwrite their child to the tune of $26,000 a year. Read more
Regardless of the current state of our economy and the housing market, buying a home is still a great investment. However, the resulting taxes that accompany owning a home can lead to confusion and uncertainty.
In most cases, you need to itemize your taxes in order to take advantage of all the tax breaks that accompany home ownership. This might seem overwhelming, but the benefits of completing this process make up for the inconvenience. Read more
Each of these towns offers amenities galore for the post-work crowd — plus a cost of living that’s pretty darn sweet.
1 of 25
Marquette, Mich., offers a walkable downtown.
% over 50: 30%
Median home price: $145,000
Top state income tax: 4.35%*
Cost of living index: 95
As lovely as it sounds to sip margaritas on the beach, doing it year round can get old. This picturesque town on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula offers outdoor fun for all seasons. With an average of 141 inches of snow a year, there’s plenty of the white stuff for cross-country skiing and other winter sports. In summer, you can grab a kayak and start paddling on Lake Superior.
And when outdoor activities grow tiresome, you can count your savings. A new three-bedroom townhouse with panoramic lake views recently sold for about $375,000. That’s more than twice the price of the typical home here — but 30% less than a similar property might have cost near Seattle.
There’s also plenty of low-cost and free activities. Retirees can take advantage of a wealth of offerings at Northern Michigan University in town. People 62 or older can attend classes free, and the affiliated Northern Center for Lifelong Learning offers low-cost diversions, from bird watching to dinner clubs.
If all that excitement causes heart palpitations, you’re in the right place: Thomson Reuters ranks Marquette General Health System among the nation’s top 50 cardiovascular hospitals.