Kenneth Gunther

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According to this report from ClosingCorp, more than 50% of homebuyers are surprised by their closing costs. Closing costs, or the one-time fees that are paid at the end of a real estate transaction, can add up to 2-5% of the total loan amount. And while the following information and figures can vary from state to state, it’s important to be aware of additional expenses that come with buying a new home. Lender and Third Party Fees  Lender and broker fees come from mortgage lenders. These fees cover credit reports, applications, loan originations, and broker fees. While these fees can vary from lender to lender, by law, they cannot exceed 3% of the total loan amount.  Third party fees are charged on nearly all loans. These include well-known costs such as property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, title transfer fees, and more. Lenders are required to disclose all third-party fees, and many will include those third-party costs in their estimations and prequalification calculators.  However, if you are looking to anticipate the additional costs, here are some common lender and third party fees to be aware of: Application Fee … $925-1,500 Appraisal Fee … $400-1,000 Appraisal Reinspection Fee (Typically for Older Homes) … $175 Credit Report Fee … $50-100 Flood Certification Fee … ~$11 Tax Service Fee … ~$78  Legal, Title, and Government Fees  Additionally, your lender will outline potential attorney fees, determine if a survey fee is required, and amount of taxes due to municipality or seller as you prepare to purchase a property.  ...

When thinking about selling, homeowners often feel they need to get their house ready with some remodeling to make it more appealing to buyers. However, with so many buyers  competing for available homes right now, renovations may not be as vital as they would be in a more normal market. Here are two things to keep in mind if you’re thinking of selling this season. 1. There aren’t enough homes for sale right now. A normal market has a 6-month supply of houses for sale, but today’s housing inventory sits far below that benchmark. According to the National Association of Realtors  (NAR), there’s only a 1.9-month  supply of homes available today. As a result, buyer competition is high and homes are only on the market for about 21 days , during which time many receive multiple offers from hopeful buyers. In a competitive market that’s moving so quickly, it makes sense to sell your house when buyers are scooping homes up as fast as they’re being listed. Spending costly time and money on renovations before you sell might just mean you’ll miss your key window of opportunity. While certain repairs on your house may be important, your best move right now is to work with a real estate advisor to determine which improvements are truly necessary, and which ones are not likely to be deal-breakers for buyers. Today, many buyers are more willing to take on home improvement projects themselves in order to get the home they’re after, even if it means putting in a little extra work. Home Advisor  explains: “When it comes to the number of home improvement projects ...

The term self-employed includes those that own 25% or more of any business entity, corporation, LLC, etc., even if you are a W2 employee of your corporation. In addition, if you receive your income on Form 1099 and report your income on Schedule C, which includes independent contractors, realtors, insurance professionals, etc., you would be deemed self-employed. Effective December 14, 2020, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac updated their guidelines for self-employed individuals as seen on the Fannie Mae Bulletin 2020-03 .  1. Tax Return Requirements Self-employed borrowers must supply the following in regards to their tax returns: Two years of most recent federal tax returns (Form 1040) Two years of most recent W2 forms Two years of most recent business federal tax returns if you own 25% or more of an entity, along with corresponding K1s 2. Profit and Loss Statements Self-employed borrowers will also need to provide a 2020 profit and loss statement, assuming the borrower’s 2020 personal and business tax returns have not been filed. It’s important to note that a year-to-date profit and loss statement (P&L) may also be required for 2021.  The ending period of your P&L must be dated within 60 days prior to the note date. For example, a December 31, 2020 P&L loan must close by the end of February. As the year progresses, P&Ls for portions of 2021 will be required.  The P&L can be prepared by the borrower or a financial professional but must be signed and dated by the borrower. 3. Business Bank Statements The latest change that came from the recent Fannie Mae update is ...

Real estate tax rules can vary greatly depending on the type of property and form of ownership, such as an LLC versus an individual name.  To determine the tax difference between a rental property, vacation home, or an investment property, the IRS considers how often it’s used and for what purpose. In other words, the number of days you personally use the property versus the number of days it’s rented out will determine how you will be taxed. From a tax perspective, investment properties are treated differently than primary residences and second homes. Instead of deducting interest and real estate taxes, costs associated with the property are expensed, or subtracted, from gross rental revenue received, along with the ability to depreciate the asset.  Below are some key documents to gather when preparing your 2020 tax return: Rental Properties For investment properties, the following is a list of some of the documents needed to prepare your tax returns: Documentation on the revenue you received  Form 1098 to document interest paid Your real estate tax bill per calendar year Your homeowners insurance premium paid Renovation costs Management fees Legal and Professional services Repairs HOA fees Advertising Realtor fees Speak with your tax preparer on what supporting documentation is needed to verify the expenses paid. Airbnb, VRBO, and Other Rental Platforms This income is not earned tax-free! Whether it’s one room or an entire house, if you rent a space out for more than 14 days in a year, all the above will apply. This includes the money you receive ...

Even though taxes are due by April 15, 2021 for most taxpayers, you are able to electronically file your taxes much earlier. The IRS will begin accepting electronic returns starting on Feb. 12, 2021, when all taxpayers should have received their information returns, such as W2 and 1099 forms, for the 2020 fiscal year. Whether you’re an existing homeowner, recently purchased a home, or closed on a refinance in 2020, the following documents will be needed to prepare your tax return. Form 1098 The 1098 tax form is the interest statement used by lenders to report the amount of interest paid by borrowers during the calendar year. If you’ve paid more than $600 in interest on your home loan in the past year, you are typically able to deduct that interest from your taxable income. The current deduction limit is $750,000 for a mortgage, meaning that single filers can deduct the full amount and married taxpayers filing separately can deduct $375,000 each.  You should receive the 1098 form from your bank or mortgage servicer for both your first and secondary loans. If you’ve refinanced or had multiple mortgages throughout the year, you will need to furnish all 1098 forms. Real Estate Property Tax Records You may deduct up to $10,000, or $5,000 if you’re married and filing separately, for a combination of your property taxes. Not all lenders provide documentation on the amount of taxes paid in a given year. To determine the amount of real estate taxes paid in the calendar year, homeowners can use the tax bill received from their municipality. Be sure to deduct your property taxes within the year that you pay ...

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