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News about properties and real estate
December 22nd, 2015

Underwater on your mortgage? The HARP program could help

Thousands of Michigan homeowners are still eligible to refinance under HARP in 2016. Wayne County, for example, had nearly 9,100 eligible homeowners as of June 2015.

What would stop someone from making a move and filling out forms to save an extra $100 or $200 a month on a mortgage payment? Especially if that person lived in a hard-hit housing market and could qualify for a limited refinancing deal that arose out of the housing collapse?More than 30,000 Michigan homeowners fall into the bucket of people who could take action to get a break but haven’t yet for a variety of reasons, including being overwhelmed by the rules. Michigan ranks among the top five states in the country with eligible homeowners who could tap into a money-saving federal program offering refinancing relief.

via Underwater on your mortgage? The HARP program could help.

September 20th, 2015

10 Things to Consider Before Buying a Vacation Home

As you schlep your ski gear to your favorite resort for the umpteenth time or search for lodging near your favorite beach on a holiday weekend, you may think how much easier life would be if you had your own vacation home.

An estimated 1.13 million vacation homes were sold in the U.S. last year, the highest number since the National Association of Realtors began collecting the data in 2003. And vacation home sales made up 21 percent of residential transactions in 2014.

While owning a vacation home can make logistical and financial sense, it’s not a decision to be entered into lightly.

via 10 Things to Consider Before Buying a Vacation Home .

September 20th, 2015

Tax Implications for Converting a Primary Residence to Rental Property

f you have outgrown your current residence or want to move for other reasons, you have a few choices to make, such as selling or renting out your home. If market conditions are favorable, you could sell the property, cashing in your equity and making a profit. If getting your equity out of the property isn’t a must, you may also consider using the house to generate income as a rental property.This is the first of two articles about converting a principal residence to a residential income property. While we will be exploring some of the main considerations for this type of conversion, the tax code is very complex, and it is advisable to work with a certified public accountant who can offer advice based on your personal situation.A primary residence is defined as a living space which you inhabit, but may rent out for up to two weeks per year without paying tax on the income.

On the other hand, a rental home is primarily used as an income property, and personal use does not exceed the greater of 14 days or 10 percent of the number of days during the year the home is rented. If you are planning on turning your primary residence into a rental property, there are tax considerations to take into account before making a final decision.

via Tax Implications for Converting a Primary Residence to Rental Property.

August 10th, 2015

Out-of-town buyers reshape Miami real estate design

Out-of-town buyers aren’t just snapping up Miami’s prime real estate — they’re also changing the way luxury developers build.

As more out-of-towners decide they want to put down roots in South Florida rather than simply buy investment properties for the rental market, they’re asking for bigger, better, more expensive designs. Units equipped with quarters for a nanny or maid. Guest suites for visiting relatives and friends. High-tech security with biometric identification.

Those requests come from both Latin Americans, who have driven Miami’s latest real estate boom, and wealthy Americans, who are appearing locally in greater numbers. Some developers, hoping to lure a growing pool of Chinese buyers, are even turning to “feng shui” consultants who specialize in the eastern art of balanced design.

via Out-of-town buyers reshape Miami real estate design

August 2nd, 2015

Rent-to-Own Homes Make a Comeback

Wall Street firms have found a new way to profit from consumers with blemished credit who can’t qualify for a mortgage: let them rent a home first with the option to buy it later.Rent-to-own programs, once run mainly by small operators, were popular with cash-strapped consumers during the 1990s. They faded a decade later when easy lending made it possible for almost anyone to buy a home with no money down, but with lenders setting a higher bar, they are making a comeback.

For investors, it is a chance to profit off the recovering housing market. Consumers get a chance to lock in a home before they have the money together for a down payment. But the price may be higher rent in the interim and a higher purchase price the longer they wait to move from renting to owning.

via Rent-to-Own Homes Make a Comeback.

July 12th, 2015

Seattle’s Luxury Homes Get a Tech Boom Boost

The technology boom is pushing its way north up the Pacific Coast, boosting real-estate prices, sparking neighborhood squabbles and creating new demand for luxury homes asking $1.5 million or more.Real-estate agents say Seattle, the longtime home of software giant Microsoft and online-retailing behemoth Amazon, is attracting more technology firms because it offers a combination of local talent and lower housing prices than the tech centers of California.

In the past year, Best Buy, Alibaba and HBO have announced or opened IT-related operations in the city, according to the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. Amazon will add to its Seattle footprint with two new buildings, while Google, Facebook, Twitter and Hulu have all expanded their Seattle offices in the past few years.

via Seattle’s Luxury Homes Get a Tech Boom Boost.

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