Financial Issues

Financial fluctuations, mortgage rates, laws and tax changes can have major implications on home buying and selling. As the changes and shifts take place, we will keep you posted on the issue here and direct you to more information and late breaking updates.

FYI – There is a separate section of our website devoted just to market research. There are a host of reports for your review. The most comprehensive data that we offer is in our Quarterly Market Watch Report. This report has a multi-page summary about the market in general and includes detailed data on each county, city and town and property type. Others are also available on-line for your review as well. Check it out!


Financial Summaries by Topic

Free Credit Reports Homestead Act Insurance Crisis Links to Financing Sites
 Mortgage 101  Predatory Lending  Prequalifing Buyers  Property Tax Rates
 Refinancing  Reverse Mortgages  Short Sale and Foreclosure  Specialty Mortgages


NY Mansion Tax Changed

For brokers who do business across state lines, New York state has just enacted a change in the mansion tax rate. Previously, it had been uniformly applied on properties sold for over $1 million dollars. Now, the tax rate is a graduated rate that increases as the selling price increases.  The change was prompted by

Save Money with Tax Deduction on Rental Income

On January 24, 2019, NAR released some important information on the 20% business income deduction as it relates to rental income and 1031 exchanges.  Take a look if either of those apply to you: The Internal Revenue Service has issued final rules (link is external) on the 20 percent business income deduction (Sec. 199A of

Big Win for Realtors in IRS 20% Income Deduction

On Wednesday, August 8, the IRS released its proposed guidance on the new 20 percent business income deduction.  A wide range of real estate professionals, including those who are self-employed and those operating through partnerships, LLCs and S corporations, can take 20 percent off the top of any income received through pass-through businesses, provided annual income doesn’t exceed $157,000 for those filing individually, or $315,000 for married couples.

The calculation will depend on how your business is structured. Other limits could also come into play, but the basic structure is very favorable to you as a small business or independent contractor.

The key development from Wednesday’s announcement is the IRS’ new recognition of eligibility for a wide range of real estate professionals, including, as previously stated, those who are self-employed and who are operating through partnerships, LLCs or S corporations.

Realtors were integral to the favorable interpretation in the proposed guidance. Your association made a forceful case—both in a detailed letter sent to the agency on June 19 and in a face-to-face meeting with IRS officials in early August—that certain limitations on the deduction, based on income, were not intended by Congress to apply to real estate professionals. And that’s the interpretation the IRS has taken in its proposed guidance.

As Bloomberg News reported on August 7, “the National Association of Realtors … met with OMB (Office of Management and Budget) and Treasury Department officials to discuss proposed rules outlining computation of the new write-off for pass-throughs.”

NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall had this to say about Wednesday’s annoucement:

Over the past several months, the National Association of Realtors® has worked with the IRS and Treasury Department to ensure real estate professionals can benefit from the Section 199A 20% deduction for pass-through businesses.

We were pleased with yesterday’s announcement, and believe this new 20% deduction will have a significant, beneficial impact on real estate professionals and America’s small businesses. Specifically, we anticipate the deduction to become available to a wide range of real estate professionals, including those who are self-employed as well as those operating through partnerships, LLCs, and S corporations.

This ruling is a victory for many of our 1.3 million members, those who represent all aspects of residential and commercial real estate. NAR continues to review all relevant information in the recently released proposed regulations on Section 199A, and will communicate with our members as new details emerge.

The new deduction is available for tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2017. That means you’ll be able to claim it for the first time on your 2018 federal income tax return, beginning next year.

Look for detailed NAR guidance by mid September. It’s a complicated provision, and how it works for you is going to depend on many factors unique to your business structure and your income. As always, consult with your accountant or tax attorney on how this deduction should be applied in your situation.

Chief Economist’s Take on Rate Hike

The Federal Reserve announced this afternoon it will raise interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point and will likely raise rates two more times this year. The following statement is from NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun, made after the announcement: “We are still in the middle innings of rising interest rates; consumers should expect

What is Tax Season Going to Look Like for You?

In case you missed it, NAR did a great video (Facebook live event they taped), that showed how the tax changes will affect Realtors, Brokerages, commercial property investors and homeowners.  You can view the video here.  (47 minutes, fast forward to minute 4)  Learn about the new 20-percent deduction for pass-through entities, how new expensing

Innovative Solutions for Homeownership

In a stroke of good news, Fannie Mae  announced new policies that will help more borrowers with student debt qualify for a home loan. The new solutions give homeowners the opportunity to pay down student debt with a mortgage refinance, allow borrowers to exclude non-mortgage debt paid by others as part of the loan application