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Not Realizing You Bought a Mansion – Congratulations!

Residential Real Estate Attorney Guide Buying Real Estate

Do you remember when buying a house for a million dollars really meant you were buying a mansion? Probably not. But there was a time when the “mansion tax” really meant what it was called. Now it’s just a cruel joke repeated at the closing table when buyers write out checks for 1% of the …

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Posted in Broker Tips, Buyer Tips, General, Taxes | 1 Comment

The IRS Limits the Interest Deduction on Non-Married Couples

Residential Real Estate Attorney Guide IRS Interest

With tax season upon us, a recent IRS ruling has important impact on a subject that will be of interest to many taxpayers who co-own property with a person who is not their spouse. First, let’s review the basic rules on home mortgage interest deduction. Taxpayers who itemize deductions on Schedule A can include interest …

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Posted in Buyer Tips, General, Mortgage, Taxes | Leave a comment

Behind on a Mortgage? Your Lender Might Want to Pay You!

Residential Real Estate Attorney Guide Mortgage

The big banks have come to the conclusion that more foreclosures will not help the sluggishly recovering housing market. It’s about time. A good alternative to foreclosure or bankruptcy for underwater homeowners – those who owe more on their mortgage than their home is worth – is a short sale. In the beginning of the …

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Financing Contingencies: Navigating The Minefield of Real Estate Transactions

Residential Real Estate Attorney Guide Real Estate Transaction

Among the biggest changes we have seen in our market post-Lehman is the return of the financing contingency. Prior to Lehman and the seizing up of the mortgage credit markets, it was quite typical for buyers to “waive” a contingency and accept the risk of financing. With contract deposits typically 10% of purchase price, this …

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Exchange Basics: The Rules for Identifying Replacement Properties

1031 Exchange Residential Real Estate Law

A 1031 exchange is a great way for investor’s to develop significant wealth by deferring capital gains tax on the sale of assets that are replaced with like-kind properties. But this generous benefit of the Internal Revenue Code comes with a caveat: the rules for the safe harbor created must be followed exactly, and errors …

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Becoming More Than Just a Real Estate Salesperson

Salesperson Residential Real Estate

Today’s brokerage clients demand more of their real estate professional than before, and successful agents and brokers recognize this. I deal with many real estate professionals across the spectrum of success, and have noticed that the more talented brokers are the ones who make themselves the single resource that clients trust in connection with all …

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Posted in Broker Tips, General | 1 Comment

An Expert’s Guide to Succeeding in Your Short Sale

Residential Real Estate Lawyer Guide Short Sale

The decision to sell short is an important one. But for underwater homeowners in financial distress, it can sometimes be the best option. In a short sale, the seller remains in control of the transaction, and no legal proceedings are necessary. Unlike a foreclosure or bankruptcy, which are court proceedings and become a matter of …

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Seven Rules for Successful Deals in 2012

Residential Real Estate Lawyer Guide Deal 2012

2011 was a tricky year, and closing deals this year required a much different mind and skill set than in the past. I think 2012 will be even more robust, and with consumer confidence posting record increases, we’re poised for a banner year. As we start the year, I want to share some trends that …

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A Sales Tax on Real Estate Sales? Yes, Well Sort of…

Residential Real Estate Lawyer Guide Sales Tax

The internet can be great for providing information on any number of subjects. And real estate is among the most popular, with “experts” weighing in on any issues raised by (confused) consumers. Recently, there has been a flurry of activity offering “guidance” on the new 3.8% sales tax on real estate. Much of the “analysis” …

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Posted in General, Seller Tips, Taxes | Tagged | 5 Comments

The Casual Landlord: Dealing with the Non Paying Tenant

Residential Real Estate Lawyer Guide Landlord Tenant

The non-paying tenant can be devastating to your financial plans for the property. In addition to the obvious issues of cash flow, a non-paying tenant in possession continues to have access rights, and can interfere with a landlord’s plans to market and sell a property. And eviction is also expensive and time-consuming. And typically the …

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Posted in General, Landlord Tips | Tagged , | 1 Comment