Home Ownership and Real Estate Planning Strategies

Post Date: 8/24/11
Last Updated: 8/24/11

Summary

The following is an example of information that will be included in the new publication, Planning Strategies, published by the authors of TheTaxBook.

• In making the decision to buy or rent a home, compare the cost of renting versus buying a home. Compare similar properties. Comparing a single-family home with an apartment is not useful. Include all costs such as property taxes, insurance, utilities, maintenance, and the tax savings that owning a home will generate. Also consider the appreciation in the value of the home over time.
• Buying the home late in the year may not generate enough tax deductions in year one to itemize. Thus, the value of deducting points in one year would be lost. Instead, if the taxpayer does not have enough to itemize in year one, choose to amortize the points on the purchase of the home over the life of the loan.
• Online mortgage calculators are designed to calculate the effect of refinancing a mortgage. The calculators show the amount that will be saved, compared with the costs incurred, to help the borrower determine whether the refinancing offer is right for him or her.

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