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Tag: taxes

Will Your Children Own A Home?

Will Your Children Own A Home?

Long ago, when I was a child, no material possession was more important than a home. Whether the house was large or small ownership was a way to say that you had a stake in the American system, that you had full citizenship. The symbolism of ownership was enormous. Many people came to America precisely […]

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Real Estate: Why Paperwork Should Be Paper

Real Estate: Why Paperwork Should Be Paper

Millions of settlements will take place this year and a growing number of them will involve the use of electronic documentation, a development which will be cheered by those who hope to speed the closing process and save a few trees while we’re at it. Unfortunately, and I don’t mean to dash anyone’s hopes, the […]

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Rent Affordability Drops As Incomes Fall

Rent Affordability Drops As Incomes Fall

While stock market values soar, executive bonuses rise and big corporations continue to shelter massive profits the fate of many renters continues to decline: a new study by the Center for Housing Policy shows that one-in-four tenants now spend at least half their income on rent. The big question raised by the report is just […]

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Estate Taxes Little Threat To Rich & Famous Homeowners

Estate Taxes Little Threat To Rich & Famous Homeowners

Almost 2.5 million people passed away in 2010 and few of them took estate tax worries to their graves. The IRS tells us that just 15,000 estates filed tax returns in 2010, down from 108,000 in 2001. Estate tax filing has dropped 86% not because we are living longer, dying less ¬†or have become poorer […]

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FHA Reverse Mortgage Restrictions Lie Ahead

FHA Reverse Mortgage Restrictions Lie Ahead

For a number of years the reverse mortgages insured by the FHA were a successful product in the sense that borrowers got their cash and the FHA had few claims. However, the FHA reverse mortgage program does not work in isolation — it actually requires rising home values. The typical reverse mortgage is outstanding for […]

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How The Mortgage Interest Deduction Can Be Cut, Sliced & Diced

How The Mortgage Interest Deduction Can Be Cut, Sliced & Diced

Is it time to end the mortgage interest deduction? For the first time in years the question is a matter of serious debate in Washington. Right now residential mortgage interest deduction (MID) is generally allowed on first- and second- home debt worth as much as $1 million plus an additional $100,000 for a home equity […]

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How Does Rental Ownership Impact FHA Mortgage Borrowing?

How Does Rental Ownership Impact FHA Mortgage Borrowing?

How does owning rental property impact an FHA mortgage application? Two ways. First, you cannot use FHA financing to acquire an investment property, at least if we define “investment property” as someplace you don’t live. However, you can get an FHA mortgage for a property with two, three, and four units. As long as you […]

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Five Reasons Commuting Is Dead

Five Reasons Commuting Is Dead

Driving to and from work each day is bad for your health, commuting news most of us intuitively understand. A report published by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine says that those with lengthy drives each day are likely to be both overweight and suffer from higher blood pressure. If there is any good news […]

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Why The Buffett Rule Is Just A Start

Why The Buffett Rule Is Just A Start

Should the incomes of the rich and famous be taxed on the basis of the Buffett Rule? That’s the latest question on the political front, a question which explains just how distorted our political conversation has become. The Buffett Rule would tax incomes of $1 million or more at the rate of at least 30%. […]

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Mardi Gras, Mortgages & Muffulettas

Mardi Gras, Mortgages & Muffulettas

Is New Orleans really back? New Orleans may well be the comeback story of our time. A city brutalized by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 is now a place you’d really like to see. What makes New Orleans interesting? Judging from a recent trip you have to point to three things: Mardi Gras, mortgages and muffulettas. […]

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