Thursday, March 1, 2012

Buy now (in March) and save $264/ year in payments!

Want to save more money by buying now rather than after April 1, 2012?

FHA mortgage insurance is increasing to a 1.75% up front mortgage insurance premium (currently 1%) and 1.25% for the monthly mortgage insurance premium (currently 1.15%) on April 1st, 2012.

I calculated the increase in payment on a $170,000 sales price home and it would be $22/month ($264/year, $3168 over 30 years).

Buy now (in March) and protect yourself from this increase.  :)

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

How long do I keep my tax forms, home and mortgage records?

How long do I keep my tax records? 

Since we are into tax filing season, and as a homeowner who has accumulated paperwork from purchasing my home and refinancing several times, I wanted to do some research into how long I needed to keep my records in case I had an IRS audit. 

Unless it suspects fraud, the IRS generally cannot launch an audit more than three years after an individual tax return (six years for those who own their own business). 

Nonetheless, it is best to keep all copies of your annual returns forever.  Tax returns will come in handy if you get into an argument over your income with the IRS or with the Social Security Administration (SSA with filing for benefits at some future time).

How long do I keep my home documents?

Keep the final settlement statements you received when you first purchased your home.  Keep these until you sell the home.  Because home improvement costs can be added to the "adjusted cost basis" of your original purchase price, keep your receipts and cancelled checks on home improvements you have made.  This record keeping can save you thousands of dollars in taxes by offsetting taxes you may owe when you sell. 

If you take a home office deduction, keep copies of records for at least 3 years in case of an IRS audit.

How long do I keep mortgage records?

Mortgage statements can be shredded as can past refinance records; save your most current mortgage refinance papers and the rest can be tossed.  As I mentioned above, save your original purchase documents until you sell the home. 

Call or e-mail me and I can refer you to a CPA or book keeper if you need additional help with questions you might have.  Happy tax filing!  :)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Warren Buffett says buy a house now!

In two recent interviews with Warren Buffett he again stated the obvious: Buy a house now!  Make sure you read the last paragraph of this post to hear another compelling reason to buy now!

Warren's reasoning comes from a unique idea he has of  "short-selling" your dollar with real estate investments.  With the value of the dollar depreciating 79% since 1990 (if you had a dollar in 1990, to buy the same stuff today, you need $1.79).  What does he mean when he says to short sell your dollar by investing in real estate? 

Here's why a real estate investment protects your dollar so well: Sure, values have dropped over the past 3 years, on average (nationally) by 42%, but they haven't dropped 79%!  That's a 37% return on your dollar IF it was invested in real estate in arguably the worst real estate market we have seen since the great depression.  He has a good point. 

With home values low, best mortgage rates in history, and the home affordability index the best since 1943, what better time to purchase a home than right now?? 

Want to save more money by buying now rather than after April 1, 2012?  Warren Buffett didn't even talk about another factor of investment savings to take advantage of in the month of March (possibly because he doesn't need an FHA loan? lol).  FHA mortgage insurance is increasing to 1.75% up front (currently 1%) and 1.25 monthly (currently 1.15%) on April 1st, 2012.  I calculated the increase in payment on a $170,000 sales price home would be $22/month ($264/year, $3168 over 30 years).  Buy now and protect yourself from this increase.  :)

Monday, February 27, 2012

You are a true professional in your business! Loan Closing February 10. 2012

Marty you are a true professional in your business!

While working with you last year with my rental refinance and on this loan, you have always been timely with processing, underwriting and closing updates.

When I needed a response, you were always quick to get back to me about my question.

You have been a pleasure to work with and thank you for your help!

Pam Martinez
Loan Closing February 10. 2012