While most tax costs that affect homeowners are determined by the taxing authorities in each state, The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will affect property ownership for everyone.
Unless Congress does some tinkering with the Act after it was signed into law in December 2017, corporations will receive a massive tax cut as individuals and married couples receive higher standard income tax deductions. Taxable rates are cut in all levels of income for individuals, and the standard tax deduction will double to $12,000. Joint filers will receive a deduction of $24,000.
Homeowners are used to deducting state and local income, property and sales taxes from their federal income tax, but those deductions will be capped at $10,000 annually for homes purchased after December 15, 2017. And the mortgage interest deduction will only be available to those with new mortgages under $750,000, according to Curbed.com, and for existing loans up to $1 million. The same deduction remains in place for second homes, says the The Wall Street Journal.
This could affect homeowners in high-cost areas such as California and New York but proponents of the Tax Act say doubled individual deductions should offset some, most or all of the difference.
Experts are unsure at this point whether or not the changes will affect the housing market, but it could have a terrific impact in some areas, if homeowners decide to wait and see what happens, lowering available inventory and causing prices to rise in mid-cost, high-demand areas like Dallas, Las Vegas and others. As always, please ask your tax professional for the best advice.
The Combustible Adjustable Mortgage
You’ll pay a little more for a fixed rate mortgage for the peace of mind that your principle and interest payment will never increase but that’s not always the most appealing choice for some homebuyers.
The longer you intend to stay in your home,–generally five years or more–the safer you are with a fixed rate. But if you plan to occupy your home for only a short time, the adjustable rate mortgage or A.R.M. might be worth considering. You can buy a more expensive home with a lower interest rate, or you can take the difference in what you’d pay toward a fixed rate and put it into savings, if you’re that disciplined.
On the downside, risk is greater with an A.R.M., depending on its terms–when and by how much the loan adjusts in interest. An A.R.M. isn’t a bargain if you have to come up with several hundred dollars more per month after a short period, or if you have to refinance your A.R.M. into a fixed rate for several thousand dollars a few years later.
A hybrid loan may offer the best of both worlds. A hybrid is fixed for a period of time, such as five, seven or ten years, then adjusts to a new rate when the term ends, giving you plenty of time to sell your home before the first adjustment.
Talk to your lender, share your plans and calculate the differences in a fixed rate and an adjustable rate mortgage.