Some homeowners, who were not able to sell during the recession, chose to rent their homes instead. In some cases, they didn’t need to sell their home at the depressed prices and opted to rent it until the market recovered.
It’s a valid strategy but there are time restrictions that could have serious tax implications for some homeowners.
The section 121 exclusion for gain in a principal residence requires that the home is owned and used as a main home for at least two years during the five year period ending on the date of the sale. This allows a homeowner to rent their home for up to three years and still have some part of the exclusion available.
The sale of a home with a $200,000 gain that qualifies as a principal residence would result in no tax being paid by the owner. Comparably, a rental property with the same gain could have a $30,000 or higher tax liability depending on the length of ownership and tax brackets of the investor.
The housing market has dramatically improved in the last year. If you have a gain in a home that has been your principal residence and it has been rented less than three years, you might want to consider selling it while you qualify for the exclusion.
If you are considering a sale on your principal residence that has been rented, consult with your tax professional for advice on your specific situation. For additional information, see IRS Publication 523.
It’s estimated that 10% of the homes sold in 2013 will be to buyers who lost a home in the past five years. Approximately 500,000 buyers who may have thought they wouldn’t own a home anytime in the near future will be homeowners again.
It’s estimated that several million of these previous homeowners will purchase again in the next eight years. This kind of activity will contribute significantly to the housing recovery.
Some people thought that the housing crisis would cause a shift in values placed on owning a home but the boomerang buyers definitely don’t support that theory. Having a home of your own, where you can raise your family, share with your friends and feel safe and secure is still part of the American Dream.
The rising rents, increasing prices and low, low mortgage rates are also influencing buyers into the market. In many cases, it is cheaper to own that to rent.
All new buyers, including those who have experienced foreclosures or bankruptcies, must have good credit history and the ability to repay the loan. It just may not take as long to reestablish the credit as some would-be buyers might have thought.
We’re constantly bombarded by lenders to refinance our mortgage under a variety of programs. The volume of offers can almost make you numb to the rational consideration.
There are common rules of thumbs that homeowners and agents use such as not refinancing more often than every two years or there must be at least 2% savings from your previous mortgage rate may not always be accurate.
The reality is that if you can refinance for a lower rate and you’ll be in the home long enough to recapture the cost of refinancing, it should be considered. The costs of previous refinancing that haven’t been recaptured by monthly savings may need to be added to the costs of the new refinance.
Take a look at the chart that shows the average rates according to Freddie Mac for 2012. They are lower today than they were in January of 2012 and for the ten years before that.
Refinancing may save you a substantial amount of money, especially if you’re going to be in your home for a long time. It is definitely worth investigating. To get a quick idea of what your savings could be, use this refinancing calculator.
After spending the holidays with family and friends, this is a time of the year to start thinking about changes to make in our lives, both personal and in business. I wanted to share one of mine with you.
My goal is to become your REALTOR® for life. I want you to think of me first when you need to buy or sell and that you’ll recommend me to your friends too. That kind of trust has to be earned and I’m committed to helping you be a better homeowner even when you’re not buying or selling.
The strategy is simple. A well-informed homeowner will make better decisions. I’ll periodically offer information through articles and social media on a wide variety of home-related topics like maintenance tips, tax law changes, financing suggestions, insurance, equity building strategies, and rental property investments.
Please contact me if you need a recommendation on a service provider. My experience has built a list of reputable and reasonable contractors that you can rely upon. When you have any kind of home-related questions, I hope you’ll have the confidence to call me.
Happy New Year. I sincerely look forward to helping you or your friends.