INVEST YOUR RENT: Why Pay Your Landlord’s Mortgage?

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The only one who benefits from a rent check is the landlord. Renters never see that money again, while homeowners usually profit when they sell. In addition, renters can’t use any of their rent payment as a tax deduction, like homeowners can. If you or someone you know is renting, it’s time to put that rent check to better use!e mortgage-interest deduction is probably the best financial argument for buying rather than renting. Consider this example:If you can afford a mortgage payment of $1,000 (principal and interest only), you can buy a house for $151,426 if you put 10% down on a 30-year mortgage at 8% interest ( current rate for great credit is 4%) . If your payments started in January, you would pay $10,862 in interest for the first year in the home. That entire amount is deductible on your federal income tax return! Assuming you are in the 27.5% tax bracket, you would save $2,989 in taxes, or $249 per month. So your $1,000 payment is really only $751 when you factor in the homeowner’s tax advantage.

Can A Renter Really Afford To Buy?

shells5The real question is whether renters can afford not to buy. The tax savings alone make the purchase of a home a wise financial decision. But let’s go a step further.

Using the same example, a 10% down payment would create an immediate equity of $15,142. Assuming the $151,426 house grows in value by just 3% a year, in five years it would be worth $175,544. The original loan amount would then be down to $129,565, yielding an equity of $45,980. In addition, remember the nearly $3,000 tax savings every year. The total value of your equity and tax savings would be almost $61,000 after five years.

Pick A Loan

To take advantage of the financial benefits of homeownership, renters must first find out how much buying power they have. We can help. Call us for information about the whole range of mortgage options now available, including low- and no-down-payment loans, and programs that allow buyers wrap home-improvement costs and closing costs into the mortgage.

Plan Ahead

Although some lenders allow buyers to use up to 41% of monthly income to purchase a house, beware of becoming “house rich and cash poor.” Be sure to budget for homeownership costs beyond the mortgage, including expenses for:

decorating and furnishing
homeowners insurance
property taxes
homeowners association fees (if any)
utilities-power, water, sewer, cable, trash pick-up
yard tools, supplies and general upkeep
home repairs, supplies, cleaning and upgrades.

Today, homeownership is a wonderful dream-come-true for more people than ever before. Let us help turn those dreams into a home to be proud of.

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Categories: Buying Wilmington NC real estate, mortgage interest deductions, tax advantage, tax advantages to buying real estate, tax exemptions, why pay your landlords mortgage, Wilmington NC Neighborhoods, Wilmington NC real esatate

TAX MOVES: Seven Smart Strategies For Today’s Tax Game | Wilmington NC real estate

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Major tax law changes enacted In 1997 can mean huge tax savings if you play the game right. Here are seven smart ways you can use to take advantage of Uncle Sam’s latest tax breaks for homeowners:

1. Sell Your Current Home

Own and live in your home at least two of the last five years — then sell it. You’ll owe absolutely no tax on the profit (capital gains) for gains up to $500,000 (if married filing jointly) or $250,000 (if filing singly). There’s no longer a need to wait until you’re age 55 to sell or at any age to “roll over” your profit by buying a home that costs at least as much as the home you sold.

2. Retire On A Budget

Now when you move, you can replace your old home with one that fits your needs and your budget. Perhaps you want less house because your children have left the nest, or you’ve retired or there’s been a divorce. Under the new tax rules, you can quit worrying about paying a hefty capital gains tax when you scale back.

3. Relocate Without Renting

Before, people who moved to lower-cost-of-living areas had three choices: (1) convert the old home to a rental unit until moving back; (2) sell the old home and buy a “mansion” in the new town to defer paying capital gains tax; or (3) sell the old home, buy a similar-size home in the new town or rent a home and pay capital gains tax. Now, those who transfer can sell a home as often as once every two years and still claim the capital gains exemption on the profits. There is even a special exception to the two-year rule if you must sell your home due to a change in place of employment. This helps families that have frequent job-related moves to different parts of the country.

4. Take Your Freedom Overseas

If your family follows a job to a foreign land, you can sell your home here before you leave without rushing to purchase a new home immediately. Then, when you return, you can find a home at your convenience that fits your current needs, rather than trying to squeeze back into your old home before you can sell. If you have already been away, but lived in your old home for two of the last five years, you can still benefit from the tax law change if you sell now.

5. Selling Serially

Young families and those inclined toward fixing up can buy a home, improve it, and sell it again two years later at a profit without paying taxes on the gains. Repeating the cycle is now a good way for new homeowners to build equity toward the dream home they want. Also, investors can buy a property, rent it out, then convert it to their principal residence; live there for two years and then sell it, keeping the profit. However, depreciation allowed on the rental after May 6, 1997 will be taxed at 25%.

6. Vacation Villas

Capital gains taxes on summer homes, ski lodges and other second residences now can be avoided if you move in for two of the five years before the sale. First, claim tax-free profit when you sell your main home. Then move into your vacation home and make it your primary residence for at least two years. When you sell the vacation home, you can pocket those profits, too.

7. Try A Tax Deferred Exchange

Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code allows property owners to exchange one qualified property for another without owing any tax. Let’s say an investor has a property with several small rental units. The investor can exchange that multi-unit property for a large house, which should be rented out for at least a year. Then the investor can move into the house and convert it to a primary residence. That way, any gain from both the multi-unit property or the large house is tax free, except for rental depreciation after May 6, 1997. Note it is necessary for a qualified intermediary to handle a 1031 exchange transaction.

Here’s some helpful advice on record keeping: Even though most sellers can now buy up or buy down with little worry about tax implications, profits that exceed limits are taxable in the year of sale. And some states are continuing to tax capital gains from home sales. So don’t be tempted to throw away receipts you collected to help lower taxes on capital gains. Your old receipts can help serve as proof of capital repairs, pre-sale fix-ups and other expenditures that reduce your gains and lower your taxable profits.

We invite you to call us with any real estate questions.  If you would like to search all Wilmington NC real estate please visit or on your mobile at


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Copyright © 2017 Wilmington NC Real Estate Guide. All rights reserved. Disclaimer: All content on this blog is my own opinion and should not be treated as fact or relied upon when purchasing or selling real estate.