When buying a home in Washington, D.C. you should work with a lender familiar with Mortgage Credit Certificates (MCC’s) and who is participating in the MCC Program. A Mortgage Credit Certificate allows eligible borrowers to claim a Federal Tax Credit of 20% of the mortgage interest paid on the mortgage during each calendar year. The remaining 80 percent of the mortgage interest paid for that year may still be claimed as a tax deduction.
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What makes a neighborhood “up and coming” in the DC area? You may have heard of the U-Street corridor and remember that it used to be abandoned buildings and vacant lots. Now it’s where professionals want to live, it’s trendy, and packed with diners and shoppers. Even though it took years of slow transformation, it would have been nice to own property before it got hot. Read the rest of this entry »
The statement that all real estate is local is shown to be true by taking a look at the Washington DC real estate market. This is the market I work the most in mortgage business, and I see the data first hand. Real estate prices seem to be holding up except for a few pockets in some neighborhoods on the edge. Condo sales, as an example, are way up, a 34% increase for 2009! Read the rest of this entry »
Isn’t it always a good time to buy real estate? There are hardly any Realtors, builders or other industry participants who have ever said it is NOT a good time to buy real estate. There are some very good Realtors and builders, I know many, but let’s not forget these people are ultimately salespeople, not investment analysts equipped with the tools to know the real value and direction of real estate. You hire a Realtor to help you buy and sell real estate, but you should make your own determination as to when is the best time to do so. So that means you are left to your own devices as to determining if real estate is a good investment.
We have to discern if we are talking about buying a primary residence or investment property. Since buying investment property is a simple cash flow numbers analysis, I’ll restrict this blog post to buying a primary residence. And when buying a primary residence your first concern should not be if it is a good ‘investment’. You should not go into it looking for investment returns. It is a home, shelter, a place to live, sleep, entertain, raise a family, and enjoy the community and neighbors. But you do want to make a careful decision and get the best possible financial gain from your home that you can. Read the rest of this entry »