What changed everything: the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which altered the U.S. tax code more than it had been in several decades. The National Association of Realtors® reports that the new law will bring generally lower tax rates for all individual tax filers. Get used to the new law, because it doesn’t expire until 2025. The bottom line is that buyers may have to make due with fewer allowable deductions and larger amounts of debt. When it comes to mortgage interest, you can deduct interest on qualified residence loans with …

You’ve been an agent for a few years. You’ve become pretty good at what you do. You’re wondering what the next step is. Should you become a broker? There are pros and cons to starting your own brokerage, but before you weigh those, here are some boxes you should be able to check before you consider making that jump.  You’re legally eligible This one is obvious, but just in case you forgot, you need to make sure that you’ve completed the necessary coursework and operated as an agent for long enough …

Real estate deals and developments involving churches are on the rise, according to The Real Deal. Although New York City in particular is seeing this kind of activity increase, churches have been part of the city’s real estate business since the early 1700s. England’s Queen Anne granted Trinity Church 215 acres of land (later to become part of downtown Manhattan), and the Catholic church has long been one of the city’s major landowners. In 2018, the Walt Disney Company paid $650 million to Trinity Real Estate for a five-parcel development …

Millennials — the name given to the generation born between 1981 and 1996 — are understood more accurately when you divide them into two groups. The older portion of the demo are now in their thirties; the younger portion is still in their 20s. Yet realtor.com found something surprising: it’s the younger half who is most enthusiastic about the housing market. The largest part of the Millennial generation was actually born between 1989 and 1993, which means that these “kids” will soon be reaching their thirties. Where they will be …

Find an undervalued property, fix it up and sell it. This house-flipping game is popular among many investors, but of course, like almost anything in business, it’s never as easy as it sounds. However, if you take the real estate maximum of “location, location, location,” you can possibly zero in on where house flipping is most lucrative, and why. Clues to look for, according to auction.com: Property values are trending up for the foreseeable future. Shorter turnaround times from purchase to sale. Labor and construction materials are readily available, at …

Residential properties that include guest houses are generally uncommon, but can offer a variety of benefits when it comes to selling the property. The major advantage of a guest house is that it may increase property value. It’s an added bonus that could be well appreciated by enterprising potential buyers who may see the property as a way to make money. This could be realized as an Airbnb plan or long-term rental. In particular, if the property is located near a vacation spot such as a beach, mountains or tourist …

One of the most challenging sectors in real estate is also one of the toughest businesses there is: restaurants. Since the end of the Great Recession, the U.S. restaurant real estate market has experienced great activity. However, according to QSR, the transactions are starting to taper off. One of the key indicators: vacancy rates. Although the current national vacancy rate is low, they’re expected to rise a bit, to 12.1 percent as of the beginning of 2019, according to Statista data. Locations that were hit hard when it comes to …

First, this may make you feel a little better: audits by the IRS are actually rare. However, in the event that you are audited, there is virtually nothing you can do to stop it. With that in mind, though, CBS News reports that only three percent of Americans who earned at least $1 million last year were audited by the IRS. The main reason for fewer audits: funding cuts. CBS News reports that the agency has reduced its staffing from 100,000 employees in 2010 to just over 79,000. As of …

“Sellers who list their homes earlier in the year tend to get a higher sales price, often above list, and shorter days on market,” says Ali Wolf, director of economic research at Meyers Research. This may be something to keep in mind no matter what state the U.S. housing market is in, but we’re living in unusual times. The market is currently slowing, and homes are in short supply (for now). However, things may swing the other way during the course of 2019. Although the market has been friendlier to …

A short sale happens when a homeowner agrees to sell their property for less than the amount owed on a mortgage loan. This sale cannot happen without the lender’s approval. The usual result is that the seller will continue to owe money to the lender after the sale. However, it’s also considered a viable alternative to foreclosure, with the seller’s credit remaining intact. Usually, a short sale comes into consideration when the seller falls behind in their mortgage payments, often by several months. Rather than let the situation continue to …