Classified Realty Group



Posted by Classified Realty Group on 1/22/2019

Buying your first home is probably one of the biggest purchases you’ll make in your life. But, it does come with its advantages. Among them are tax breaks and deductions that you can take advantage of to save money if you play your cards right.

In today’s post, I’m going to cover some of the tax breaks and deductions that first-time homeowners should seek out this tax season to help them lower their tax bill.

Mortgage points

While earning points is a good thing on the basketball court, it can be a financial drain on a mortgage. Mortgage points are what buyers pay to the lender to secure their loan. They’re usually given as percentage points of the total loan amount.

If you pay these points with your closing costs, then they are deductible. Taxpayers who itemize deductions on their IRS Form 1040 can typically deduct all of the points they paid in a year, with the exception of some high-income taxpayers whose itemized deductions are limited.

PMI costs

If you’re one of the many people who made a down payment of less than 20% on your home, odds are that you’re going to be stuck with PMI, or private mortgage insurance, until you pay off at least 20% of the loan balance.

The good news is that homebuyers who purchased their home in the year 2007 and after can deduct their PMI premiums. However, the state on premium insurance deductibles is something that frequently comes up in Congress, so homeowners should ensure that these deductions are still valid when filing their taxes.

Mortgage interest

Mortgage interest accounts for the biggest deduction for the average homeowner. When you receive your Form 1098 from your lender, you can deduct the total amount of interest you’ve paid during the year.

Property taxes

Another deductible that shouldn’t be overlooked by first-time buyers is local property taxes. Save the records for any property taxes you pay so that you can deduct them during tax season.

Home energy tax credits

Some states are offering generous tax credits for homeowners who make home improvements that save energy. There are a number of improvements you might qualify for, including things like insulation and roofs, as well as photovoltaic (PV) solar panels.

IRA Withdrawals

Many first-time buyers withdraw from an IRA account to be able to make a larger down payment on their home or to pay for closing costs. In most other cases, withdrawing from an IRA will count as taxable income. However, if your IRA withdrawal is used toward a down payment or closing costs, the tax penalty is waived.


Keep these tax breaks and deductions in mind this tax season to help you save money and get a larger refund.





Posted by Classified Realty Group on 1/8/2019

If you plan to pursue your dream house, it generally helps to evaluate housing market data. In fact, there are many reasons why homebuyers should assess real estate market data, and these include:

1. You can learn about mortgage interest rates.

Mortgage interest rates rise and fall frequently. As a homebuyer, you'll want to do everything you can to identify the lowest-available mortgage interest rates. And if you study the housing market, you may be better equipped than ever before to do just that.

In addition, it often helps to meet with banks and credit unions. These financial institutions can help you track mortgage interest rates and provide you with mortgage insights that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere. Plus, banks and credit unions can help you get pre-approved for a mortgage and ensure that you have finances in hand when you pursue your dream residence.

2. You can reduce the risk of spending too much to acquire your ideal house.

Let's face it – you want to buy your dream house, but you don't want to break the bank to do so. Fortunately, if you understand housing market data, you may be able to avoid the temptation to overspend on a house.

Examine the prices of available houses and recently sold homes in areas where you want to live. By doing so, you can establish a price range for your dream residence and find out whether you're preparing to enter a buyer's or seller's market.

3. You can quickly and effortlessly navigate the homebuying journey.

The homebuying journey may prove to be long and complicated, especially for those who fail to prepare for it. Luckily, housing market data can give you a better idea about what to expect as soon as you kick off your search for your ideal house. Then, you can use this information to identify and address potential homebuying hurdles faster than ever before.

For those who are unsure about how to collect and analyze housing market data, there is no need to stress. If you collaborate with a real estate agent, you can get the help the you need to discover your dream house.

A real estate agent can provide you with the right housing market data, at the right time, every time. He or she also will allocate the necessary time and resources to explain the importance of assorted housing market data and paint a picture of the current state of the real estate sector. That way, you can take a data-driven approach to buying a house.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent is available to take the guesswork out of the homebuying journey. This housing market professional will keep you up to date about new houses as they become available and ensure that you can find a terrific house that matches your budget.

Ready to make your homeownership dream come true? Use real estate market data, and you can become an expert homebuyer in no time at all.




Categories: Buying a Home   Real estate  


Posted by Classified Realty Group on 12/25/2018

Conducting an in-depth home search may prove to be difficult, particularly for individuals with limited time and resources at their disposal. Fortunately, there are lots of things that you can do to streamline your home search and discover your ideal residence without delay.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you seamlessly navigate the homebuying journey.

1. Create Homebuying Criteria

Not all homes are created equal, and the dream house for one buyer may differ from the dream house for another. However, if you craft homebuying criteria, you can define your dream house and map out your property search accordingly.

Think about the features you want to find in your dream residence. For instance, if you want to own a house that features a dazzling backyard, you can explore residences that offer this feature. On the other hand, if you want to purchase a home that boasts multiple bedrooms, you can search for residences that provide plenty of space.

Consider where you want to reside, too. By doing so, you can narrow your home search to residences in a select group of cities and towns.

2. Know Your Homebuying Budget

Get pre-approved for a mortgage – you'll be happy you did. If you enter the real estate market with a mortgage in hand, you'll know exactly how much you can spend to acquire your dream residence. Then, you can search for houses that fall within your price range.

Obtaining a mortgage will require you to meet with banks and credit unions. You should review mortgage options from a variety of banks and credit unions, as this will allow you to select a mortgage that complements your finances.

Don't hesitate to ask mortgage questions, either. Banks and credit unions employ home financing specialists who are ready to respond to your mortgage queries. Plus, these specialists can offer home financing insights to help you make an informed mortgage selection.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent understands the challenges associated with finding a great house at an affordable price. Thankfully, he or she can make it easy for you to conduct an in-depth home search in no time at all.

Typically, a real estate agent will keep you up to date about new houses that become available in your preferred cities or town. If you want to view any of these homes, a real estate agent will set up a house showing. And if you find a home you want to buy, a real estate agent will help you craft a competitive offer to purchase this residence.

As you get set to search for your dream home, you should try to prepare as much as you can. By using the aforementioned tips, you can simplify the process of conducting a comprehensive home search. Best of all, you can use these tips to discover a wonderful home that is sure to serve you well both now and in the future.





Posted by Classified Realty Group on 12/17/2018

Looking for the perfect place to call home? Is your vision of home that iconic white-picket fence ranch in the suburbs? Or, do you love the walkability of an urban neighborhood? Do you dream of a large backyard with room to host the neighborhood barbecue? How about being near to great schools? Extensive libraries or museums? Sports facilities? A neighborhood park? A nearby school?

Every year, various rankings for cities make it into the new: Best Cities to Live in America; Where to Life; Best Places to Live; Best Small Towns; Best Cities for Millennials; Top Ten Cities for [insert demographic here]. 

Investigate before you head across town … or across the country. 
The perfect location for someone else may not be the perfect home for you. Before chasing someone else’s dream, consider these factors that might better inform your home search:

Think about what’s important for you.
Do you value more space, better schools, a larger home? Or, does being near family and long-time friends give you a sense of “home,” of belonging? Do you want to be nearer work, so the commute is shorter, giving more time for “life”? These are not new questions. Families have moved from cities to the suburbs and back again for decades.

Consider what you might be giving up.
Moving to the city might mean access to cultural events, restaurants, a short commute, while the suburbs might offer that large home with a yard, or the perfect school. In either event, a move might take you away from friends, or give you the opportunity to make new ones.

Is it Family Friendly?

The criteria researchers use to determining a location's "family friendliness" include:

- Job market
- Commuter times and delays
- Crime rates
- School rankings
- Median household income
- Cost of living index
- Home affordability
- The percentage of homeownership

Different cities rank differently in each category in different years, so don’t just rely on the most recent reports to determine where you might want to live. Check back over the past few years and look for trends … Are the schools improving? Is there more dedicated greenspace? Has public transportation improved? Are the demographics change?

If you have school-age children, don’t just look at the elementary schools. In no time at all, your starry-eyed first-grader will be approaching graduation. It’s not all about academics either. Children need exposure to other opportunities and extra-curricular activities as well.

On the other hand, if you’re thinking of starting a family, you also need to check out hospital maternity suites (or birthing alternatives), daycare facilities, toddler playgrounds and opportunities for young parents to gather.

Of course, none of the lists, rankings, and surveys matter if the commute from your job is so long that you’ll miss out on all your kids’ ballgames and activities.

The perfect place for you to call home and to raise a family might be a new place where you’re sharing a new adventure together … but it might just be the neighborhood you know best and have already called “home.”

No matter what you determine, utilizing an expert real estate professional can match you up with the perfect place you, and your family will make into the home you’re looking for. 





Posted by Classified Realty Group on 1/5/2016

A foreclosure used to be a major black mark on your credit record and meant you could not obtain financing to buy another house for seven years. There is hope that if you have suffered through a foreclosure your ability to qualify for another mortgage may not be as compromised as you think. Today most buyers will only have to wait three years and depending on the reason you lost your house, the wait could be even shorter. Some potential buyers they may qualify for a mortgage as soon as 24 months after the fact if the foreclosure was the result of "extenuating circumstances". Extenuating circumstances could be a serious illness or the death of a wage earner. Things that are not considered life-changing events are divorce, a business failure or too much debt. Waiting the required time period after extenuating circumstances won't automatically qualify you for a new loan you also have to demonstrate that you can handle credit and afford the payments.