Home-Equity Loans: What You Need to Know

A home-equity loan, also known as a second mortgage, lets homeowners borrow money by leveraging the equity in their homes. Home-equity loans exploded in popularity in the late 1980s, as they provided a way to somewhat circumvent the Tax Reform Act of 1986, which eliminated deductions for the interest on most consumer purchases. With a home-equity loan, homeowners could borrow up to $100,000 and still deduct all of the interest when they file their tax returns. The problem for homeowners Read more [...]

7 Small Home Flaws That Can Be Big Deals for Buyers

After living in the same home for a while, it's amazing what you can get used to. A creaky floorboard, for instance. A chipped tile that you've been meaning to replace but haven't gotten around to. A doorknob that needs a little coaxing to turn. No big deal, right?Well, these small flaws can be huge deal breakers when you decide to sell your home.“Prospective buyers are going to add all the ‘flaws’ they find to the price of the property, and that’s when they start trying Read more [...]

Five Home-Staging Tips to Sell Quickly!

There are two rules when it comes to selling a home: price it well and make it look amazing. If you aren’t sold on the latter, open up the KW Mobile Search App and scroll through the properties for sale in your area. You will quickly see that today’s buyer is flooded with options. In order to catch the eye of Mr. or Mrs. Buyer, you will have to press upon your clients the importance of home staging. Luckily, a client’s guard should come down as soon as you start equating staging and professional Read more [...]

What Is a Wet Bar vs. Dry Bar—and Does Either Belong in Your Home?

What is a wet bar and what is a dry bar? Both are designed to make entertaining at home easy by providing an area to prepare beverages for guests, but the big difference is a wet bar has a sink so glasses can be more easily rinsed.The difference between a wet bar and dry bar may seem like a simple concept, but there's more to it than plain old plumbing. Here's what homeowners will want to know when they consider having these features in their house.What is a wet bar, and why Read more [...]

7 Things Interior Designers Really Wish You Wouldn’t Buy (You’ve Got at Least One)

One of the most satisfying parts of buying a home is filling it with brand-new furniture. But before you plunk down your credit card on that red leather couch or Eames-knockoff coffee table, listen up: Interior designers would like to sit you down and share some items they really, really wish you wouldn't get.Why? Because these professionals see, client after client, home after home, what works and what doesn't. And, rather than silently cringe at seeing yet another horribly Read more [...]

Five Things to Know If You Want to Prepay Your Property Taxes

The Internal Revenue Service’s Wednesday guidance upended many taxpayers’ plans of paying their 2018 property taxes early to claim a federal deduction before the new tax law takes effect in January.If you’re thinking of prepaying—or if you have already prepaid—here are a few things to keep in mind:1. Check your tax-assessment datesMake sure your local tax office has assessed your property for 2018. Many jurisdictions will bill taxpayers several times throughout the year. Read more [...]

Tax Law Could Further Slow Down a Bank Favorite: Jumbo Mortgages

The jumbo-mortgage market has been a bright spot for the banking industry in recent years. The tax law could take some of the shine off it.The tax-code overhaul, among its many other consequences, eliminates some of the benefits of homeownership, particularly for high-end homes. And the borrowers who buy those homes are exactly whom banks have been targeting.“The banks really like jumbo mortgages,” said Guy Cecala, publisher of the trade publication Inside Mortgage Finance. Read more [...]

How Tax Law Will Help Some Housing Markets

The tax overhaul is expected to create winners and losers among housing markets across the U.S., dealing a blow to high-cost coastal regions but potentially fueling demand in places in the middle of the country.The law caps the amount of property and state income taxes filers can deduct, a provision that hits places like New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and California especially hard. It also limits the size of a loan on which homeowners can deduct mortgage interest to $750,000, Read more [...]

Americans Anxious About Homeownership Under New Tax Plan

Now that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has made it through Congress and the Senate, and is just a presidential signature away from becoming the law of the land, exactly how do Americans view the prospects of the landmark legislation?With lots of nervousness, it turns out. According to a realtor.com® survey completed earlier this week, Americans are anxious about the tax bill's potential effects on homeownership—and might even consider changing their plans to buy or sell a home.In Read more [...]

Try This Home-Equity-Line-of-Credit Hybrid

Traditionally, if you wanted to borrow against the equity in your home, you could either get a fixed-rate home equity loan or draw money against a home equity line of credit (HELOC), a closed-end line of credit with a variable interest rate. Now there’s a third choice: the HELOC fixed-rate option. In fact, some of the biggest lenders, such as Bank of America Corporation and Wells Fargo Company, have used it to replace home-equity loans, possibly because of new mortgage regulations Read more [...]