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 …

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 …

“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 …

The economy may be adding jobs, but most new jobs are at the low end of the pay scale, according to Forbes; inflation-adjusted earnings for the average worker actually has not increased in the last ten years. As a result, demand for rentals — both single-family and apartments — will continue to remain high. Real estate investors should concentrate on properties where asking rent does not rise above 25 percent of the average rent, according to Ingo Winzer of Local Market Monitor. That’s where you’ll find the largest concentration of …

As of April 2019, mortgage rates seem to have stabilized, just in time for the spring homebuying season. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate decreased (slightly) to 4.28 percent, according to Bankrate’s weekly survey of large lenders. That’s down from 4.29 percent. Let your homebuyers and refinancers know that these rates are arriving at a 15-month low.  A year ago at the same time, the mortgage rate was 4.49 percent. Most prevalent: zero-down loans and new underwater refinance options that have been unveiled by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, according to …

Existing (as opposed to new) home sales fell 1.2 percent as of January 2019, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). That works out to a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.94 million units. Specifically, existing homes sales are a monthly measure of sales volume and prices of homes considered single-family, condos, and co-ops nationwide. Unlike new homes, existing homes are owned and occupied before being listed on the market. These type of homes make up more than 90 percent of total home sales. The data reported represents completed transactions. …