Does the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act apply to all debts?

Congress passed a bill including, The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (Sec. 202) which extends the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act through December 31, 2013. This legislation extends dozens of other tax cuts that have expired or are set to expire at the end of the year, including one that extends homeowners’ ability to deduct the cost of mortgage insurance on a qualified personal residence.

Under the federal tax code, all types of forgiven debt are treated as income, subject to regular taxes. Because of the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act, homeowners who get their mortgage debt forgiven through either a short sale or loan modification won’t be taxed on the amount forgiven up to $2 million. This law was set to expire December 31, 2012. If it hadn’t been extended, any forgiven amount of debt would be considered taxable income, which would be devastating for homeowners who are already experiencing financial hardship. If you're in search of mortgage relief, a short sale is still a better option than foreclosure. 

The recommmendatiion to all my investors selling in a short sale, make sure you have a very sharp CPA! If you are in search of mortgage relief contact me at kgblady@cfl.rr.com. My team and I helped so many investors relieve mortgage distress in 2012, please reach out and let us help you!

Zillow Buys Hot Pads for Cool 16 Million Cash

Zillow just announced that it has acquired HotPads, the San Francisco-based rental and real estate search site for $16 million in cash. 

 

According to the Tech Crunch article, Zillow plans to create one single database for rentals that will be available on Zillow, HotPads and the company’s other properties. HotPads, will continue to exist as its own brand and Zillow will commit additional engineering resources to help the company grow.

 

Between Zillow Rentals and HotPads, Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff  expects the company can now offer a rental marketplace at scale – something that wasn’t previously available to users in the highly fragmented rental market. For Zillow, this is also an opportunity to build a relationship with a younger audience – the kind that’s shopping for a first rental but not ready to buy yet. Once they get to the point where they are looking to buy, they will hopefully come back to the Zillow brand.

 

What does this mean to Showcase Property Management? I believe Zillow and HotPads will provide our rentals even greater exposure in a rental market that just keeps expanding. Our investors rely on us to quickly place tenants in vacant properties. The more exposure we have the great chances we have of finding qualified tenants. 

Visit RentWithKaren.com to search for rentals in Brevard County, FL

Zillow Offers Guidelines: Investing in Real Estate

With all the short sales and foreclosures it makes it an ideal time to buy real estate. I came across an excellent post on Zillow, Investing? 6 Types of Properties to Pursue which offers solid advice on scoping out investment properties.

Leonard Baron says, “Too many people buy fixer-uppers thinking they’ll add value by doing a renovation. Then they get mired in a much more expensive and time consuming property than they ever expected. More money into the property means lower investment returns for you and less wealth-building than you expected.”

Investors get mesmerized by a “cheap price” however price is just one factor in the equation. Location, location, location is still very important, along with the rental demand. What about resale, will the property sale easy in the future?

Our Turnkey Operation was created to help investors purchase prime rental properties. Our rehab team can help with properties that need CPR, (Carpet, Paint, Repair). Once repairs are complete we put it on the market for rent.

Whether you’re a long time investor who wants to add to your existing portfolio, or a newbie venturing into investing in rental properties for the first time, contact me. I am confident you’ll be impressed with how easy we make it to invest in real estate.

Promote Business from Your Home

feature post by Karin Morel

Tenants and Owners working from home, I am excited to share the facts about “promotional specialty advertising.” Look at your desk be sure to look inside your desk drawers……go ahead …If I was a betting girl; I’d say you have numerous custom promotional products at your finger tips.

Here’s what I collected from my desk:

A pen, mouse Pad, ruler, coaster, sticky notes, computer cleaner….. just ti name a few.

It’s simple: Promotional Specialty Advertising protects and promotes your brand as well as your identity. The best part promotional items can bring you more customers. One of the key advantages of using promotional products, is the frequency of exposure.

Imagine….your “identity or brand” featured on a product that is used on a daily basis.

Here are a few items to consider:

Dry Erase Memo Board: This item is offered in a full color imprint. With both sides imprinted; you can communicate a HUGE amount of information. We included our “menu items” (show board) from our “Appetizers”, “Entrees” and “Desserts and Extra’s”.

USB Drives: What better way to show properties and have your contact information ALL uploaded nicely for your clients viewing pleasure.

Jar Opener: Sure….this might look like an ordinary “jar opener”….. “not so”….it’s also a lint brush, cell phone holder…..works great on your dash board…..and it also works as a great “sink stopper”.

Keychain: How impressed will your client be when your present him or her with a “gift boxed” silver key chain with you logo engraved; they will think fondly of you daily and who knows; that could lead to a great referral for you!

For more information about pronoting your business from home contact Karin Morel with from All Promotions, Inc. …..your home for Mugs, Magnets and More!”

321-409-5310  / http://AllPromo.com  / Karin@allpromo.com

Owners with No Equity Refinance with HARP

Many of our owners at Showcase Property Management who are struggling with an upside down mortgage are ecstatic when they learn they may be able to refinance using HARP. My sales administrator, Agi Anderson has been working closely with Chris Brown who is with Certified Mortgage Planners. Chris is one of Florida’s leading experts on HARP, the Home Affordable Refinance Program, one of the only programs available to help investors struggling with mortgage distress. There are qualifications to be eligible for HARP, you must have a Fannie or Freddie backed loan. Watch the short video below and Chris Brown will explain how to check if your loan is Fannie or Freddie backed:

Our aim is to help owners with mortgage relief. If you don’t qualify for HARP and you think you may want to sell, just email me at kgblady@cfl.rr.com and I will have Agi Anderson get in touch touch to explain the short sale process.

5 things to Know About Investor Financing for Real Estate

Feature post by Tim Horr, Thomas Louis Mortgage

As a mortgage broker I come across people who eager to invest in properties and take advantage of the current real estate values. With mortgage interest rates currently at a 40 year low and home prices so reasonable. It makes sense to invest in real estate because it really is a great time to buy Brevard County investment properties.  It’s a no brainer if you plan to pay cash, but if you want to leverage and obtain financing there are parameters to follow. Here are the top 5 things you need to know before you move forward on financing an investment property.

  1. You will need a relatively high credit score 680 at a minimum. Investor financing is the most credit scrutinized of any loan.
  2. The optimum purchase is with 25% down. You can get in with just 20% down but  I highly recommend  25% down. Once you see the numbers you will agree.
  3. You will have to qualify with your current monthly debt and the new mortgage. The new mortgage debt will include principle, interest, taxes, insurance and any homeowners association fees.
  4. Avoid trying to secure financing for condominiums in Florida. Hopefully this trend will end in a few years. But currently condo’s are real hard to secure financing.
  5. Use a local mortgage professional like myself to help you with your financing. And most importantly , once you own the investment property I highly recommend you hire Karen Gunn Bardot and her team to manage your investment property.

I have been a licensed Mortgage Originator since 1997 and have helped many investors who were new to investing and those who are pros. I can say confidently, now is the time  to invest in real estate, the real estate opportunities are ideal to  expand and diversify your portfolio. . . and Brevard County is excellent choice.

Tim Horr  | Thomas Louis Mortgage | 321-698-0417 | tim.horr@gmail.com | TimHorr.com

The Value of BNI Relationships

It’s been more than two years since I joined the BNI Beeliner’s and since that time I have participated in hundreds of referrals with business professionals who have become my friends as well. BNI, which stands for Business Network International is a professional organization that provides a positive, supportive, and structured environment to exchange quality business referrals. BNI is the largest business networking organization in the world. Members have the opportunity to share ideas, contacts and most importantly, business referrals.

We believe in a “givers gain philosophy” which works well for smaller companies. We know we can rely on each other when we recommend our services. Our relationships are built on trust, knowing each others businesses and counting on each other to be committed to the BNI standards.

As a property manager I am in need of the many services provided by the members in my group which include lawn and pool service, roofing, accounting and the list goes on with value services offered by 42 member professions. Tenants, owners and even my staff benefit from the relationships I have nurtured  with my BNI affiliation.

The BNI systems help members build their business referrals. When it comes to generating sales, business owners agree that solid referrals beat cold calls every time. It’s the proven-successful training and tools that help us maximize our results and grow our business. Belonging to BNI is like having dozens of sales people working for you …because all of them carry several copies of your business cards around with them. When they meet someone who could use your products or services, they hand out your card and recommend you. It’s as simple as that!

The BNI Beeliner’s chapter is one of the most sought after chapters in Brevard County Florida, only one member of a profession is permitted in the group. We currently have an opening for florist, banker, travel agent, staffing service, carpet cleaner, caterer, dentist, event planner, nail artist, office supply, fitness trainer, jeweler, massage therapist, optometrist, photographer, and sign company.

Do you have a business for one of the openings in our BNI Beeliner’s chapter? I invite you to be my guest come evaluate the top networking group in Brevard County, FL, just leave a comment below and I’ll get in touch to coordinate a convenient date.

Why Vinyl Plank is the Best Choice for a Rental

feature post by Kevin Hotaling, Finest Floors of Brevard

When choosing a floor covering for an investment property, there are many factors to consider.  Typically the first concern is cost, followed by durability and then looks.  Usually, the least expensive option is carpet.  However, carpet generally does not stand up well to the rigors of a rental situation.  This means that the landlord usually has to replace the floor covering after every tenant.  This also means that the tenant may have to be more careful for fear of not getting their security deposit back.  This is where vinyl plank comes in.  Here are some of the features of vinyl plank:

1. PVC Construction

2.Durable Vinyl wear layer

3. Glue down installation

Benefits of vinyl plank include

1. Very water resistant

2. Has 10 yr-20 year warranty

3. Damaged plank easily replaced (floor will last longer)

4. Some have “nano silver technology” prohibits mold/mildew growth

5. Ease of maintenance

6. Peace of mind for owner and tenant

Choosing a vinyl plank as your next floor covering would be a wise decision. There would most certainly be a higher up front cost in choosing a vinyl plank (versus a carpet), but the benefits and durability of the plank would negate that cost.  The cost of floor covering for that unit over time would be reduced as the need to replace the existing floor covering would also be greatly reduced.  Overall, vinyl plank is a great choice for homes as well as rentals because of its durability, ease of maintenance and ease of repair.
Video has contact information for Finest Floors of Brevard.

Short Sales and Foreclosures Shift Rental Market

All of the short sales and foreclosures taking place leave people in need of a home to rent, making it a great time for investors to purchase investment properties, not just in Brevard County, FL, but anywhere in the sunshine state. The post The New Growth Business; Becoming a Landlord states, “Investors from Warren Buffett to mega financiers like GTIS Partners to small-time wholesalers are looking to cash in on the U.S. Housing market.”

Typically investors worry about vacancy rate, but the distressed property real estate market has created a huge demand for rental properties which is likely to be in place for the next 10 years. At that time the market will rally back to stability, making it an ideal time to sell, perhaps to the tenants who are renting the property.

Buying investment property still requires expertise of what will be most rentable for the long haul and saleable in the future. There are constants in real estate investing that are timeless, meaning buying property because it’s cheap, doesn’t always provide the greatest rate of return.

The shift in the rental market makes it an ideal time to invest. Drop us a reply below to get a list of the ideal investment properties to purchase in Brevard County, FL.