News, Events, Tips and Resources from The Jamisons
When you buy real estate in Pennsylvania and sell it for a higher price, the difference between the selling price and the purchase price is known as capital gain. In other words, profit from selling a property for a higher price is the capital gain on the property. Capital gains may be short-term or long-term.
Short-term gain: If you sell your property within 3 years after purchasing it, the gain is called short-term capital gain.
Long-term gain: When a gain occurs from selling a property after 3 years of its purchase, it is a long-term capital gain.
Calculation of capital gain: Capital gain is the difference between the selling price or the transfer price and the total cost of acquisition of the property.
The cost of acquisition includes purchase price of the property, cost incurred in registration of the real estate property in Pennsylvania, its repairs, storage expenses, etc. In short, all the expenses of capital nature are part of the cost of acquisition.
The transfer price includes commission or brokerage paid by the seller, registration fees, cost of stamp papers, traveling and litigation expenses incurred while transferring the real estate property in Pennsylvania.
Capital gains tax:
Capital gains tax is charged on the gain that you make on selling a real estate for profit in Pennsylvania. It is calculated by subtracting the cost of acquisition of real estate from the transfer price of the property. The difference is added to your taxable income and charged according to the tax bracket you fall into.
The tax rates for short-term and long-term capital gains are often different. You must be alert of the tax structure of Pennsylvania to know what tax bracket you fall under and what tax rates are applicable for your capital gains.
Criticism: It is often argued that capital gains tax results in double payment of taxes. The property’s value that is sold might have been included in the value of assets sold by you while calculating wealth tax. Thus, including capital gain in the income tax statement in the same year may result in double-payment of taxes.
For more read at http://taxfoundation.org/article/high-burden-state-and-federal-capital-gains-taxes
Discussions of mortgages often focus on interest rates, but there is a much more basic decision to make. Should you go with a 30 year mortgage term or a 15 year mortgage term?
30 Year vs. 15 Year Mortgages
Any discussion of mortgages tends to turn on two points. How can you qualify for the most money with the lowest payment? How can you get the lowest interest rate for the mortgage? While these are two important issues, there is an addition one that people fail to consider, resulting in significant wasted money.
The term of a mortgage is extremely critical for a couple of reason. First, it sets the length of the obligation you are undertaking. Second, it defines the amount of interest you are going to pay over the life of the loan. These are huge issues when it comes to building equity.
The longer the loan, the more total interest you are going to pay. The trade off, of course, is you are going to have smaller monthly payments the farther you stretch out the obligation. While this may sound like a good goal when you first get the mortgage, it can backfire on you in the long run.
Most people focus on interest rates as a way to save money on mortgages. This is a valid approach, but playing with the length of the loan is a better way to save money. If you can cut the payments in half by going with a shorter loan, you can save huge amounts on the total interest repaid to a lender.
The decision on the term of the loan is relatively simple, but entirely dependent upon your personal situation. There is no absolutely correct choice. First, you need to determine if you can comfortably afford the higher payments that come with a shorter term loan. In general, a 15 year mortgage will have payments 20 to 25 percent higher than a 30 year loan. Of course, you will pay the loan off faster, to wit, be building equity in the home quicker.
The modern mortgage industry has a variety of different term length products. When applying for a loan, take the time to evaluate the different terms to see if you can find a loan that is perfect for your situation.
Which mortgage term and type are you considering?
The best homeowner insurance is the insurance that best meets your needs. The insurance shopper that takes the time to understand the basic elements of home insurance will have much more confidence and sense of satisfaction when making an insurance purchase. The homeowner policy has been around for a long time and so most of us have a general concept on how the policy works. The more you know about the market value of your home and the approximate cost to rebuild it the better off you will be when shopping for the homeowner policy.
This kind of knowledge is the foundation for determining what kind of policy to purchase. The age of your home has a direct bearing on the market value. The older homes built in the 1900’s have much lower market values today because most of them have depreciated. The market value for an older Victorian style home may be $50,000 but the actual cost to rebuild that home may be $200,000. The older homes that depreciate in market value are insured with actual cash value policies. They are often called market value policies. These policies will reimburse you for the market value of your home when there is a total loss. The market value policy is the best homeowner policy for the older home that has depreciated.
The replacement cost policy is better designed for newer homes or homes under construction. The replacement cost of a home and the market value are almost the same. Replacement cost is applied to the dwelling and most often to the contents of the dwelling. Replacement cost will repair or replace any loss with like kind and quality of materials without depreciation.
The best homeowner insurance for you will be determined by the age and market value of your home. The discounts for older and newer homes are the same. The protective device discount for deadbolt locks, smoke detectors, and fire extinguisher apply to both types of policies. Fire and burglar alarm systems are additional discounts that could be applied to both older and newer homes. Check our recommended insurers for more details.
If you have high debt, and are in trouble, you have probably heard the term “credit counseling,” but do you understand what it is? Oftentimes this term is used in the same sentence as debt negotiation or debt settlement, but actually, it’s a completely different process. With credit counseling, you will actually work with a professional credit counselor to pay off your debt in lower, monthly payments that you can afford.
The people most likely to need credit counseling are those who are receiving troubling phone calls from bill collectors, or whose accounts have gone to collection agencies. If you think that you may benefit from using a service like this, please read on to find out the best way to work with a credit counseling company.
First, you’ll need to be able to find a good credit counseling company, and not fall victim to one of the many credit counseling scams that are out there. Start by avoiding any ads that promise you quick fixes for your credit report. There is no such thing. Instead, look for a reliable company that is accredited by Consumer Credit Counseling Services.
Next, you’ll have to meet with a professional credit counselor, and provide them with all of the details of your debt. Don’t be tempted to leave anything out because they will need the information in order to create a re-payment plan made just for you.
Now, you can sit back and allow your professional credit counselor to work for you. They will contact all of your creditors and inform them that you are trying to create a plan that will allow you pay off your debts. They will work with them all and coordinate a re-payment schedule that you can live with. Many times, they will be able to lower your interest rates in order to allow for lower payments.
Some credit counseling services offer a debt management system. What is it? Instead of having to keep up with all of the payments yourself, you will have the option of submitting one lump sum payment to the credit counseling service and they will do it for you. One note of caution here: there have been instances of a credit counseling services paying their client’s payments late, and if that happens, your credit report will suffer for it. Knowing that, be sure to check out the company thoroughly, by checking references, before signing up for their debt management program.
What will you pay for all of these services? A reputable Credit Counseling Service will only charge you a small fee, somewhere between nineteen and fourty dollars per month. If they are asking for alot of money up front, they may not have your best intests at heart. Be on the look out for potenial scams.
You should also be aware that working with a credit counseling service can do some damage to your credit report. However, the good does out weigh the bad. After all, it’s much easier to explain an honest attempt to get your finances in order than it is to explain a bankruptcy or a credit report full of charge-offs.
Buying a home is euphoric and scary. On one hand, you are moving into a property you own. On the other, you are committing to the repayment of a lot of money.
How to Avoid Buyer’s Remorse
Buying a property can throw your emotions all over the place. First, you are ecstatic when the seller agrees to your offer. Soon thereafter, you start worrying about the price, potential problems and the commitment you have made to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars over the next 15, 25 or 30 years. It can be a monstrous rollercoaster for your emotions. You need not have buyer’s remorse.
The first issue giving rise to remorse is almost always the purchase price. If it makes you feel any better, the seller almost always thinks they should have asked for more. In truth, the agreed upon price is almost always pretty fair if you obtain a mortgage loan. The lender is not going to give you a loan well in excess of the value of the home, so you can rest assured you probably got a fair price. Yes, you may have paid $10,000 too much, but it is a relatively insignificant amount given the value of the property over time.
The second area of remorse is the payment obligation. Buying a home sounds great until you realize payments of $1,500 or $2,000 are due each month. What if you lose your job? What if someone gets sick? What if, what if, what if… Stop worrying. Life is full of risks and buying a home is a relatively minor one compared to other decisions we have to make. If you default on a mortgage, so what? Yes it is bad, but they are not going to put you in jail. Most successful business people fall on their faces five or ten times before hitting it big. In a worse case scenario, you can do the same.
Remorse can be an all encompassing thing. If you let it take hold of your emotions, you are going to suffer for no reason whatsoever. Remember, real estate is an excellent long term investment. If you keep the property in decent shape and hold on to the property for five or ten years, you will inevitably come out ahead. Stop stressing out and enjoy your new home!
The Jamison Team!
Kevin & Darlene
Finding a rent-to-own house is one of the many ways someone with bad or no credit can buy a house. You will often find them called names like lease/options, lease with option to buy, lease purchase, lease 2 purchase, rent with option to buy, rent to own, or rent to buy homes.
There are a few differences between rent-to-own and lease-option agreements, although many people use the terms interchangeably. With a rent to own (or rent to buy) home, the buyer makes an agreement with the owner that part or all of the rent money will go towards the down payment of the home, and at a certain date, perhaps 2-5 years in the future, the renter will purchase the home, using the money that was set aside as the down payment.
There is usually not much money put down in the beginning, outside of what would normally be needed for a rental home, so this is a good way to get into a home for little or no down payment.
Another advantage to a rent to buy situation is that if you compare how much rent money is applied monthly to the home price, even if it is only 25-50%, it will still be much more money paid on the principal of the house than if you had taken out a loan for it. If you look at how much money goes to the principal payment of a home with a typical mortgage loan, you will find that most of your mortgage payment in the beginning is just paying interest on the loan. A rent to own agreement, where the money goes directly to the payment of the home, could be saving you a lot of money in the long run.
With a lease-with-option-to-buy, a renter signs a lease agreement (often for a shorter period of time, like1-2 years, but it could be longer). The renter/buyer usually pays a sum in cash, usually non-refundable, to the owner in agreement to buy the house at a later date for the price agreed upon. The renter has the option or right to buy the home, so in the end they have a choice and can back out it they want. Some of the rent paid may or may not go towards the purchase price of the home.
This is a technique often used by real estate investors in periods when the interest rate is rising fast. This way they hope to buy the home at a lower interest rate on a later date. In the meantime, they will sublease the home to someone else, who will make the payments for them.
Again, the terms “lease option” and “rent to buy” are pretty much used interchangeably today, so check with the owner to find out exactly what terms they are offering. Or approach an owner with your own offer for renting to own.
If you are a renter who is tired of paying someone else’s mortgage and want to own your own home, this is one of many ways that you can buy a home. One of the drawbacks is that you will still need to purchase the home at a later date. This may be a problem if you have bad credit, because you may still need to qualify for a loan when it is time to purchase the home. If your credit can be repaired in several years, this may be a great way for you to get your home now, and good motivation to clean up your credit for the future.
If you have any questions or concerns about Lease Options or Rent to Own, please call Darlene us at 215-439-5626.
The majority of people these days rely a little bit too much on their credit in order to keep them living in the lifestyle that they are accustomed to. For many people their entire life seems to be run on a line of credit. This is all good but because credit has become such a life line to so many people, they have to resort to loosing almost the entirety of their paychecks from work just to keep their credit going.
Most people are either living with credit debt that is so high it prevents them from getting a home or a car, and others are working just so that they pay their credit limits with credit cards so that they live off of those credit cards until their next paycheck. People who live like this condemn themselves to this repeated cycle of spending and credit for the majority of their lives.
Since most people begin to establish their credit line when they are young, they are predisposed to see the credit as free money. That is of course; until they realize that eventually they will lose it all unless they pay off these ridiculously high limits. It is not uncommon for people with high credit limits to try to fix the balance of one credit card by getting another one and making the payments with the new cards and vice versa. This is a dangerous game to play that usually results in multiple credit debts that have to be fixed instead of one.
Using credit is meant to be a help to you and your life, and not your primary means of supporting yourself. When you decide to get credit, you must do so responsibly. Ideally, you would only use your credit cards in an emergency, but that is rarely the case anymore. Thanks to online shopping capabilities, people are spending more money than ever on their credit cards. Credit is a very tricky thing that can destroy your entire life because it can put you so deep in debt that you can’t get out of it.
If you are already deep in debt because of your credit, you should visit your local debt consolidator for help. If you are just starting out with your credit, the best advice that can be given to you is to be responsible and never spend more between paychecks than you can afford to pay back in full. As long as you keep up on paying your creditors on time and keep a copy of your credit report or score, you can easily maintain excellent credit and avoid bankruptcy.
Blog and stay tuned to our blog post for more information about credit and bankruptcy. Thanks for reading.
The Jamison Team
Kevin and Darlene