Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Down-Payment Gifts Save Taxes!

Down-Payment Gifts Save Taxes!

What could be a better gift than tax-free help with a down-payment on a home?

Did you know that parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and even friends can start to pass along/gifting their estates while reducing inheritance taxes and getting to see their family enjoy the benefits of their gifts? 

NOTE: The following information was provided by a loan officer and a accountant, however you should always talk
with a tax expert and financial adviser about your specific goals and financial situation.

Gifts are involved in approximately 25% of all of the mortgage loans that are transacted. Gifts from

family members and relatives are allowed under IRS and lending guidelines but lenders do not report the parties involved to the IRS.

Under current IRS guidelines (please consult your accountant for tax advice and ramifications) each parent or relative can give up to $15,000 (up from $14,000 last year) to each child or relative every year. That would mean that a mother and father can each give $15,000 a year to each son, daughter, and/or grandchild that would amount to $30,000 a year in total. 

If both sets of parents want to help with the down-payment on a house; each of the parents can give each borrower a gift of $15,000 per year. That would add up to $60,000 for both of you! That is a significant amount of tax-free money to help you buy a home for your family! Of course, a gift can also be less than $15,000, so give what you can.

That amount is per calendar year and not based on every twelve months. That would mean that they could give $60,000 (or more) in December 2018 and an additional $60,000 (or more) in January 2019. With only a couple of monts left in 2018, this is the time to bring up the subject with your family. What could make them happier than helping you buy a house and saving money on taxes?

For most types of mortgage loans, you will need to have 5% of the amount of the down-payment on your own, however, there are exceptions. To find out the exceptions and details about how gift money can be applied to your down-payment contact a reputable mortgage broker.

Visit to see homes for sale, get the latest real estate market reports, and learn about having your own buyer agent on your side. 

About the author: Marilyn Messenger, a licensed real estate broker, Certified Residential Specialist, and Accredited Buyer Representative, and Certified Luxury Homes Marketing Specialist is  associated with Andrew Mitchell and Company in Concord has been representing home buyers and sellers in Wayland, Sudbury, Maynard, Stow, and Concord MA since 1993. for more. 

Monday, October 08, 2018

Columbus Day Sales in Full Swing - Houses Too!

Yes, retail stores are starting their holiday sales on Columbus Day! Too soon? Well, maybe, but not for homeowners who want to sell their houses and homebuyers who want move before the holidays or at least before the winter...who wants to be moving in the snow and ice?

Serious sellers who are putting their houses on the market now need to make sure they are pricing their homes realistically and those who have been on the market for a while and over estimated what buyers would be willing to pay need to reduce their prices; and many are doing that. We're seeing price reductions everyday in towns where you may not expect it - Concord, Weston, Newton, Arlington, Wayland, etc.. Luxury home buyers have some especially good opportunities right now. If you are planning to buy a house and want to be in for the holidays or soon after, Columbus Day is the day to get going!

Unlike shopping for clothing, electronics, mattresses, or even a car where you can get same day
pickup or take possession within a couple of days, it takes time to close on a house. If you're selling you need to get the house ready and your agent needs time to market the property in order to secure the right buyer. If you are buying, you need to contract with a buyer agent, decide on a property, do your due diligence, have your home inspection, have your attorney review documents and have your mortgage approved and cleared to close.

 The timeline from offer acceptance to closing on a home is generally 45 to 60 days. Some lenders can get everything done in 30 days if all of your paperwork is in order and the appraisal can be completed quickly, but that is too stressful for most buyers and most offer 45 to 60 days. Even cash deals can take a couple of weeks - title searches and paperwork still need to be completed by attorneys, etc.

The Fall real estate market is in process and if you want to be home for the holidays, take a page from retailers and start now. Oh and about those great retail sales, it's a good idea to hold off on your purchases and not run up debt on your credit cards. Lenders don't like to see a lot of new debt when they are reviewing your eligibility for a mortgage. They'll be plenty of bargains, especially on home-goods, after the holidays... and you'll have a great time filling your new home! Check out homes for sale and contact me if you'd like to be home for the holidays -

About Marilyn -

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Summer Surprises! What Really Happened in Real Estate...

More Sales and More Price Changes in Sudbury
There were lots of headlines and news stories during the summer about fewer homes sales and higher prices.

While that is true for most places, all real estate is local and you may be surprised that Y-T-D through 7/31, there were actually more sales and either flat or lower sale prices in some of the towns west of Boston. The other data that is not reported are price reductions; even in the hot seller's market, there were price reductions. Reading headlines can be misleading and there were home-sellers who thought they could list their houses for whatever price they wanted and after a while on the market realized that correct pricing matters in any market. 

Contact me anytime if you are interested in information about other towns or specific properties.
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Monday, July 30, 2018

Summer Mark-Downs in August - Appliances, Furniture, Clothing...And Houses Too!

August is mark-down time! ! Appliances, home furnishings, back to school items, clothing, gas grills, air conditioners...just about everything goes on sale in August making it a great time to get the deal you've been waiting for and that may include the dream home you've had your eye on but thought the price was a too high for you to make an offer.

Sure, the housing market is still hot and there are some bidding wars happening and buyers need to be prepared to step up, but as hot as the market may be, things are slowing down. August is always the time of year when we see price reductions. Sellers who were overly optimistic when they priced their houses finally recognize that they may not sell for the amount they wanted and are ready adjust their expectations. They know that they've missed out on the buyers who needed to be in for the start of the school year and if they are serious about moving, they will do what is necessary.

Back in May, I wrote a post entitled  "Price Reductions in a Hot Market" that talked about the fact that price reductions were happening and some of the reasons why. Many of those houses have sold but others still have not. There were sellers who held off adjusting their prices and waited until July and going into August are ready to make a deal! And by the way, you may be surprised to hear that these reductions are happening in towns you never thought you would see them in - Concord, Sudbury, Wayland, Weston, and even Newton!

Concord - 87 price reductions during the 12 months ending 7-30-2018
Sudbury - 127 Price Reductions during 12 months ending 7-30-2018

So whether you were one of the many buyers who lost out to higher bids in the Spring or just starting to look and wondering if you'll be able to get an offer accepted, this is the time! Remember though, markets change continuously and come mid-September, they'll be a whole new group of buyers competing again. If you want to take advantage of August sale month, visit where you can see homes for sale and contact me to talk about which sellers might be ready to make a deal!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Hot Times for Condos!

Everyone has heard by now that the real estate market is as hot as the weather this summer! The demand for condominiums, including townhouses, detached single-family, duplex, and high-rise and mid-rise apartment-styles is especially high. This is partly due to the lack of supply of single-family homes for sale but also because condominiums offer the easy life-style that is attractive to first-time buyers, down-sizers, and anyone who wants to enjoy the benefits of home-ownership without a lot of the work.

The Regency at Stow, still under construction, is sold out!
New communities that are being built for active adults/55+ are selling out faster than they can be completed. The Regency at Stow, a 66 unit development is sold out. Highcrest at Meadow Walk near the Whole Foods in Sudbury is also moving fast with 13 units already under contract. There have also been resales at Mohoney Farms and Dudley Brook in Sudbury; and at WestRidge in Hudson. 

SOLD at WestRidge - Single family condo - $595,000
As the supply of non-age restricted condominiums continues to remain low, prices are continuing to rise!

Year-to-date, the median sale price of $454,950 for all styles of condominiums in Middlesex County is up 7.05% over last year and the average price of $510,365.42 increased by 5.60%.

Good news for sellers but tough times for buyers who need to be prepared to step up and in many cases be willing to compete, especially for units that are completely updated and move-in ready. For buyers who are willing to do some updating on their own, competition is a bit less fierce.

If you are looking for easy living in a great location near Concord, Acton, and Sudbury, here is an excellent opportunity at Deer Hedge Run in Maynard that's listed for $290,000 with 3 finished levels plus a full basement, 2016 furnace and a/c, an eat-in kitchen, open-concept living/dining room, and parking directly in front of the unit. Click for details.


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