The Fiscal Cliff Bill and its Impact on the Real Estate and Mortgage Industry

The Fiscal Cliff Bill and its Impact on the Real Estate and Mortgage Industry

With only three hours to spare before the midnight deadline on January 1, the Senate avoided the Fiscal Cliff by agreeing to a deal. Technically, the government went over the cliff, since the Senate’s version didn’t formally pass until two hours after the deadline, and the House of Representatives didn’t approve the deal until close to 24 hours later. However the changes noted in the deal, also known as H.R. 8, will be retroactive as of January 1.

Here are a few of the provisions in the Fiscal Cliff Bill that affect the real estate and mortgage industries:

  • Filers making below $110,000 can still deduct mortgage insurance premiums through 2013–and this was made retroactive to cover 2012.
  • Mortgage cancellation relief–which is for home owners or sellers who have some amount of their mortgage debt (on their primary residence) forgiven by their lender in a situation such as a short sale, foreclosure or modification–was extended for one year to January 1, 2014.
  • The 10% tax credit (limited to $500) for homeowners for energy improvements (energy efficiency tax credit) to existing homes is extended through 2013 and made retroactive to cover 2012.
  • The rate for Capital Gains will remain at 15% for individuals at the top rate of $400,000 and $450,000 for a joint return. Gains over and above these amounts will be subject to a 20% tax. Remaining in place is the $250/500K exclusion for the sale of a principal residence.
  • Individual estates will have the first $5 million dollars exempted and family estates will have $10 million exempted.
  • Qualified leasehold improvements on commercial properties have been extended through 2013 and retroactive to cover 2012 and are subject to a 15 year straight-line cost recovery.

To understand how all of this impacts your specific situation, contact your tax professional. And if I can answer any questions for you, give me a call or send me an email anytime.

Sincerely,

Rich Bersani
FrontGate Mortgage

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It’s That Time of Year…Again, Part 2

It’s That Time of Year…Again, Part 2
By Jason W. Womack, MEd, MA – Workplace Performance Expert

In It’s That Time of Year…Again, Part 1, we explored the first two areas that are important to evaluate each new year:  your mindset and your network. Here’s more information:

YOUR SYSTEMS and TOOLS: What are you using? What aren’t you using? What system or tool do you need (or need to learn) to do your work more effectively?

Your productivity and time management is intricately tied to how you use your gear, systems, and tools. Consider taking time to learn how to maximize one or two of your technologies. Consider purchasing a system or tool you have been thinking about for a while and take time at the beginning of the year to save time throughout the year.

For example, use your cell phone to take pictures during the first dozen or so meetings you go to next year. Take pictures of the whiteboard and/or flip charts. Then, when you do your weekly debrief, review those pictures to see if there are any new thoughts or ideas to add to next week’s planning.

Move into this year by focusing on the past one. Consider the areas of productivity that will make the biggest difference not only to what you get done, but how you get those things done.

Jason W. Womack, MEd, MA, is a workplace performance expert. For more information, visit www.womackcompany.comand http://www.twitter.com/jasonwomack.