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It's Time for the Crystal Ball

by Colleen Lawler

Regardless of who wins the election in November, there are probably changes on the horizon for homeowners.  With such a huge deficit, Washington will be looking at everything we hold dear as a possible revenue producer.

First, mortgage interest deductibility.  Chances are we will see something that limits deductibility over a threshold yet to be determined.  The most likely scenario will lower the amount you can deduct over a level of income...perhaps $200,000-$250,000.

 

Mortgage interest for second homes.  At first glance, if you can afford a second home, why should you get to deduct the interest?  On a second look, the second home market has a huge impact on economies in some areas.  On third look, I wonder how many legislators have second homes...hmmmm?!

 

Equity Loan Interest.  Within certain guidelines, this interest is currently deductible...I think this will be one of the first deductions to go to the wayside, it's an easy target. 

 

No matter what, the times, they are changing.  Be sure to pay attention to all these discussions, be sure to vote.  Be sure to have a conversation with a tax advisor along the way!

Forecasting The 2012 Housing Market

by Colleen Lawler

     Believe it or not, there are more than a few forecasts that the real estate market is showing signs of life.  Stephen Kim at Barclays Capital says "...the pieces for a housing rebound next year are beginning to fall into place."  Even a very modest rebound could be very easily derailed, but here are some factors the experts are taking into consideration:  Rents are rising enough to consider buying, inventory levels are lower, affordability is at a record high, delinquencies may be peaking, job growth is slowly accelerating, and consumer confidence is also better than it has been. 

     In the St Louis market, some areas will continue to struggle with falling values in the new year.  In areas where inventory remains high and higher foreclosure rates prevail, it will be some time before values stabilize.  Overall though, the number of homes sold has risen steadily year to date compared with last year, and declining prices do show an encouraging trend. 

     There are very good opportunities to buy and sell right now, but buying is certainly a lot more fun that selling!  The old adage "it's both a price war and beauty pageant" has never been more true.  This is a "shoulda-coulda-woulda time, where people will look back and wish they had taken advantage of current interest rates to either upsize or downsize into a great home. 

    

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Colleen Lawler & The IrvineTeam
Coldwell Banker Gundaker
111 Chesterfield Towne Centre
Chesterfield MO 63005
Office: 636-391-2100
Toll Free: 800-791-3276
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