Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Is this a good time to buy a house?​

Because I am a Real Estate Broker and an Income Tax Preparer people ask me if now is a good time to buy a House.

Though home ownership is not for everyone most people don’t realize that buying a house in this current market is the best time and if this Window of Opportunity is missed a great deal of wealth will be lost.

Window of Opportunity for investing in Real Estate

Historically Real Estate prices go up then they go down then they go up just to come down again.  A smart investor always buys when the prices are down and sells when the prices are up.  Nobody knows if we are at the bottom of the Real Estate Market or if there is more softening in the home prices.
One thing I know for sure is this: To buy a home at today’s prices the money needed is not very much.  Many people are finding out that at today’s low fixed rates over 30 years the home payments are the same or lower than what they are paying in rent.
If you qualify for a home payment that is the same or lower than what you are now paying in rent then why not pay for something comparable that is yours?  It does not matter if the prices go down because eventually the prices will go back up.  You do not lose unless you sell.
Owning a home will also give you the related tax benefits that will lower your taxes and allow you to keep more of your money.
If not now then when?
Call me at 714 744 5495 for a free pre-qualification.  Who knows, this may be your path to becoming a homeowner.
Loans guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) require very small down payments.   Most home loans today have fixed interest rates for a period of 30 years.  At today’s Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) the monthly payments including taxes and insurance (PITI) and the down payment amounts could be very affordable.

Keep your records

Keeping good records helps you

Having a good record keeping system which you keep up-to-date will help you:

• Keep track of qualified expenses.

• Save time and accountancy costs.

• Pay the correct amount of tax.

• Receive the correct amount of benefits or credits.

• Avoid paying any extra tax or penalties.

The records you need to keep

The sort of records you need to keep depends upon the type of tax credit you plan to claim.

How to keep your records

The law does not say how you must keep your records. You must keep some original paper documents which show that tax has been deducted. You can keep all original documents; however, records can be kept electronically (on a computer or any storage device, such as disk, CD, memory stick, or microfilm) as long as the method you use:

• Captures all the information on the document (front and back).

• Allows the information to be presented to the government in a readable format, if they need to see it.

How long to keep your records

As a general rule, you should keep your records for as long as you have credit available to be used plus a minimum of four years (in addition to the year a credit amount is claimed).

IRS Rules and Guidelines for donations

IRS Rules and Guidelines for donations

Rules for Clothing and Household Items
To be deductible, clothing and household items donated to charity generally must be in good used condition or better. A clothing or household item for which a taxpayer claims a deduction of over $500 does not have to meet this standard if the taxpayer includes a qualified appraisal of the item with the return. Household items include furniture, furnishings, electronics, appliances and linens.
Guidelines for Monetary Donations
To deduct any charitable donation of money, regardless of amount, a taxpayer must have a bank record or a written communication from the charity showing the name of the charity and the date and amount of the contribution. Bank records include canceled checks, bank or credit union statements, and credit card statements. Bank or credit union statements should show the name of the charity, the date, and the amount paid. Credit card statements should show the name of the charity, the date, and the transaction posting date.
Donations of money include those made in cash or by check, electronic funds transfer, credit card and payroll deduction. For payroll deductions, the taxpayer should retain a pay stub, a Form W-2 wage statement or other document furnished by the employer showing the total amount withheld for charity, along with the pledge card showing the name of the charity.
These requirements for the deduction of monetary donations do not change the long-standing requirement that a taxpayer obtain an acknowledgment from a charity for each deductible donation (either money or property) of $250 or more. However, one statement containing all of the required information may meet both requirements.