Q & A: Tax Considerations

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  1. Are taxes on second homes deductible?
  2. Are there tax credits for first-time home buyers?
  3. How do you choose between buying and renting?
  4. What is a mortgage credit certificate?
  5. What is the best time to buy?
  6. What services and fees do HOA dues cover?

Are taxes on second homes deductible?

Property taxes paid on a second home can be tax deductible. To see if you qualify to deduct your second home taxes, speak with a financial advisor.

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Are there tax credits for first-time home buyers?

First-time home buyer tax benefits have been offered in the past on both state and federal levels. Speak with your real estate agent to find out if there are any current programs available.   

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How do you choose between buying and renting?

There are pros and cons to owning a home, as well as to renting. Owning a home can be very expensive - utilities are often higher and you are responsible for all maintenance and repair fees. But, there are tax benefits to owning a home, there can be a financial return, and you have the pride and joy of having your own place to call home. On the other hand, renting can be very inexpensive and gives you the ability to move easily if needed. But, your rent most likely will rise each year and you must follow your landlords regulations. The decision between renting and buying often comes down to two factors: affordability and time. If purchasing a home would cause financial stress to your life, it is often best to rent for the time being and begin saving for a down payment. And, if you do not plan to live in the home for more than a few years, renting may be cheaper than buying. If you are unsure what path is right for you, schedule a meeting with a financial advisor to review your options.

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What is a mortgage credit certificate?

A Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) allows qualifying homeowners to claim a tax credit for a portion of their mortgage interest. Availability, qualification standards and guidelines vary by state and local government; contact your local housing department for more details.

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What is the best time to buy?

The best time to purchase a home is dependent on both your personal life and financial status. Financially you should have enough money in savings to cover the down payment, closing and moving fees with ample savings left over to cover any miscellaneous or unexpected costs. In addition you should be at a stable point of life where you don’t see yourself moving in the next five or more years and you are ready for the responsibilities of homeownership.

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What services and fees do HOA dues cover?

A Homeowners Association (HOA) is an organization that manages, directs and/or supervises a residential community. HOAs are found in condominium communities, town home communities, as well as neighborhoods. An HOA will set and enforce the rules and stipulations of the community. In addition, HOAs are often responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the grounds and common space. But, each HOA has different membership regulations and fees, and therefore buyers should carefully research such stipulations prior to purchasing a home within an HOA community.

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