Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sales Tax on Property Sales starts in 2013

Under the new Health Care Bill if you sell your house after 2012 you will pay a 3.8% sales tax on it. This is approximately $3,800 on a $100,000 home, or $3,800 per every Hundred Thousand dollars.

You say you weren't aware this was in the Obama Care bill? Well, you aren't alone. Till just recently there were more than a few members of Congress that weren't aware of it either.

"I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes,"
President Obama, September 12, 2008

Notice he doesn't say Property Tax in that speech. Because maybe he had a plan already. Or, most likely plans change and a trusted advisor thought this was a good way to raise money, from everyone. Who knows whose bright idea this was, a trusted advisor, an epiphany, a passing thought or maybe a random blog post seen while surfing the net.

It states Obama Care will impose a 3.8% Medicare tax on unearned income, on the sale of single family homes, townhouses, co-ops, condominiums, and even rental income. Ok so it's not a Sales Tax but a Medicare Tax having the money go to the Medicare Trust Fund part of the Social Security system. Plus if your annual gross income is under $200,000 you "should" still be ok. However, what happened to Commercial Property, why are they excluded? Looks to me like they could get more money that way and leave the family dwellers alone, even if they do make over $200K a year. The National Association of Realtors called this new Medicare tax on unearned income "Destructive" and "ill-advised" and warned it would hurt job creation and growth.

Usually I do not talk politics at all, but when I announced this on my show (Central Florida Real Estate Show ) a few months ago many people did not hear about this new bill. There are many people out there these days that just don't realize what they voted for.

Fear not, just because you did not hear about it, it may still not affect you. Once you look into the Bill you'll see that the tax is only on some real estate transactions and not all. It will be more likely to affect those that read Forbes but not those that read the Gazette.

Paul Antonelli

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Solution to Automate Mandated Foreclosure Mediation Process in Florida

eMASON announced today that its Clarifire® application has been implemented by Fannie Mae as the technology solution for its servicers‘ use in complying with the foreclosure pre-filing mediation process mandated by the Florida Supreme Court‘s administrative order. The advanced web-based application provides secure, automated workflow for its loan servicers and business partners involved in the mediation process - including retained attorney firms, mediation case managers, and counselors - all on one consolidated platform.
 Clearwater, Florida - December 27, 2010

Clarifire automation will help servicers improve the prospect and cycle times associated with assisting borrowers by offering mediation and related workout options early in the loan‘s delinquency as required by the state. The Florida Supreme Court mandates that servicers offer mediation to homestead residential borrowers before a summary judgment can be filed and a foreclosure sale held.
-We are extremely proud to provide our advanced technology to this important Florida Mediation initiative to assist borrowers in need,‖ said Jane Mason, president and CEO of eMASON, Inc. -Clarifire automation delivers an innovative and standardized approach to managing workflow, centralizes communication and documents, and allows all parties in the Mediation process the ability to work together on one platform for complete auditability, gain in efficiencies, and reduction in costs.‖
The technology will also expedite the process for Fannie Mae loans where mediation is either not accepted by the borrower or does not result in an agreement or a workout as outlined by the initiative. Florida is the first state to receive the benefit of Clarifire automation for processes related to pre-filing mediation.
Currently, more than 25,000 users rely on the Clarifire application to automate their workflow. eMASON‘s Clarifire application bridges gaps between built technologies and provides many advantages to the Florida Pre-filing Mediation process, including:
Automated Workflow: Clarifire automates workflow between all parties seamlessly, and presents tasks in priority order, streamlining the each step of the process from the referral of mediation to recording the workout and post-mediation session results to the case in the application.
Increased Visibility: The application provides all parties secure and increased visibility and auditability of the status and progress of loans in mediation, and increases servicers‘ ability to meet compliance requirements of the mandated program.
Work Presented on Role-based Dashboards: All work is managed on role-based dashboards to manage tasks, monitor deadlines, manage and respond to overdue deadlines and exceptions, and gain visibility into their loan pipeline - all in real-time.
Streamlined Communication: The application centralizes and improves communication between all participants (reducing/eliminating the need for external faxes, emails and phone calls).
Documents Centralized and Automatically Routed: Clarifire provides automated generation, transmission, access, and storage of documents at the case level.
Automated Notifications: All parties are alerted of key milestones via automated notifications, such as when case documents are available for review within the application, as well as scheduling and tracking of mediation and counseling sessions.
Enhanced Tracking and Reporting: The technology automates tracking and reporting capabilities, captures key compliance metrics, and allows generation of customized reports.
eMASON is one of the nation‘s fastest-growing private companies as ranked in the ‗Inc. 500.‘
From the eMason Press Release 12/28/10

Paul Antonelli

Will we see our properties appreciate the year?

In an email question posted on the website, do you think we will see our properties appreciate in the new year? If you are to believe some of the reports and forecasts, property appreciation is expected in about 40 percent of the major metropolitan areas in the country.
Places like Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Iowa, and few others in the Midwest, you will probably have happy days ahead in terms of appreciation. However, places like Florida and Nevada will still continue to see the greatest depreciation.  As I tell people all the time; "Florida lead the nation in increases between 04 & 06. That is why we are now having the biggest decreases". It's a leveling off. In 04 - 06 people were paying Artificially Inflated prices for property In Florida; we are now down to 1999 prices.
No one has a crystal ball of what will really happen in real estate in 2011. However, I'm seeing a lot more reports and predictions that there will be flat growth in real estate values. A few have even boldly said depreciation could continue by as much as 5 percent before bottoming out. And some say we are to expect as much as 15% here in Florida.
Don't freak out by this potentially bad news. You could ask this question to 5 different encomiasts and get 3 different answers. Add in the point that our market is changing every day and you really need to do your homework and watch the trends and really see what is happening at any given point in the year.
Paul Antonelli

Finally Some Good News For Those That Want A Mortgage

   Last month, on average, only about half of all the people that applied for a mortgage actually got approved for one. Just to show that getting a house these days is the easy part, it's getting a mortgage that is the tuff past, or at least it was. Even when you have to sell a home in places in and around the Kissimmee  St. Cloud corridor of Central Florida, where you can now buy a home for between $40K and $150K. People were not qualifying for a mortgage. I can't blame the banks; they simply don't want what happened in 04-06 to happen again.  Here in Florida we lead the nation in increases of property values during that time. Even in my community, prices of the new homes were going up an average of $10K a month. So of course, it's only natural that Florida leads the nation in decreases today. Between 04 and 06 in some areas of Central and South Florida we had over 100% appreciation in home values. Today in most areas it has been between a 40% to 60% drop in values.  Now of course there are three states that have beaten our numbers some months in 2010, but it's not a record that I think anyone really wants top prize for.
  Yesterday morning (1/15/11) an announcement came in from our mortgage rep. Colleen Mitchell that Wells Fargo has revamped their Mortgage Policy. When all other banks are raising their mortgage approval guidelines, Wells went the other way.  Stupid move, hell no! Even if only half of the people that could not get a mortgage before applied again and got approved, Wells wins. Not only will Wells win but everyone wins. Think about it, we can sell more homes and get the economy moving again.
  We know this has had an effect on business already, because the announcement came mid-morning and by 1pm showing requests on at least a dozen of my listings had multiple requests.  And half of the teams' listings had the same. 
     Finally we have something with a positive effect on business in general.  Personally I'm jazzed that this will help all around business and especially those people that have under a 600 credit score that can really buy a home. Yes you read that right, under a 600 credit score. Hey, stuff happens we know it does. I had someone that was approved for a mortgage and was ready to close. The bank ran the credit the week before closing and because she paid a credit card bill one day late she could not qualify anymore. With the Wells new guidelines she would be in that house, if it happened now. There are still some caveats that you will have to talk with your Wells rep about. If you don't have a Wells rep, call Colleen Mitchell. Not only will you be happy you did but so will your clients.
Happy Selling
Paul Antonelli
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