Friday, July 16, 2010

A Collection of Animals in Real Estate Listings: Part II


  1. Dastardly El Bee, pickin on the kitty cats. lol

  2. I just pray that these owners are responsible and loving enough to not abandon their animals when getting foreclosed on or short selling. The animals did nothing wrong and many are now victims due to people's ignorance and greed. You stick with your critters through thick and thin. If homeless people can do it, we should be able to as well.

  3. Is that second dog stuffed?


  4. El Bee, could you school me on a blog when you have a few?

    This article will probably interest you regardless:

    But I was particularly interested in the "myth" that you don't save in tax deductions from the purchase of a home.

    I'm really scratching my head about THAT one.

    Here is what that section said:

    "I'll get a tax deduction." While the government provides a tax deduction for mortgage interest as well as other tax credits related to energy-efficient appliances and other green technologies, these benefits do not outweigh the expenses. Many homeowners find that even with the availability of a mortgage interest tax deduction, their tax return isn't affected because they are better off taking the standard deduction.

  5. Mike,

    I don't own, so I can't relate any personal experience. But I have heard from some people that the mortgage interest deduction isn't all that great. The primary reason is that there are so many other ancillary costs associated with homeownership. Lawn care, repairs, upgrades, pool maintenance, special assessments, busted appliances, leaky roofs, insurance, etc. etc. It makes it pretty much a wash.

    When you are a renter, you don't have to worry about any of that shit except for some utilities (homeowners have to worry about ALL utilities). And homeowners have to fret about special assessments, future increases in parcel and property taxes, increased utility rates, etc. You don't find that stuff on a bank's mortgage calculator.

    And the article doesn't mention any of that! Meaning buyers aren't thinking about it either. The one I consistently hear from my homeowner friends and family is: "You have no idea how many, and how quickly, little expenses add up when you own."

    That is why I personally calculate the pre-tax payment as a better comparison for rent vs. buy. That's more "real-world" and provides some cushion for unanticipated costs. That way, any tax write-off not offset by ancillary costs is pure gravy.

    You can calculate the after-tax payment, but you can't COUNT ON IT, know what I mean? Like the article said, some people find out (after they've purchased, mind you!) that there is NO BENEFIT to itemizing and taking the interest write-off -- they're better off just taking the standard deduction! Could you imagine?!

    As we're seeing in this current economic bust, too many people lived on the edge. And they are one unemployment spell or pay cut or busted water heater away from losing their house. Always always always plan for the unexpected.

  6. I invite anyone to share their personal experiences with the deduction. Maybe it's like hitting the lotto every April??

  7. Thanks for that El Bee... the part that particularly blew me away, is the part that said that some found the standard deduction to be better than the itemized mortgage deduction.

    I certainly realize (though don't know much) that there are other expenses that can pop up, in ADDITION to the property tax, assessments, HOA, etc....

    But I've NEVER heard that there was no tax benefit from paying a mortgage.

    Perhaps I'll go to a tax site and run the numbers using both methods. No scratch that, because I've heard it's a little difficult to do the mortgage filing, and I have ZERO experience with that.

    I'm going to see if I can find more info on the web. I'll report back.

  8. The mortgage interest deduction is usually offset by the property tax in OC. Deduction comes in April, Taxes are due twice a year. The benefit goes away over time as interest gets less toward the end of the loan and more of the payment goes toward principle.

    Renters pay the property tax in each payment. Renters are usually renting from someone who bought a long time ago, have low prop 13 taxes, and aren't underwater.

    Basically the deduction is a Realtor trick to get you to buy. You can work out the economics for yourself. Housing only a part of living.

  9. ocholdout, would love for you to elaborate..

  10. Read the Itemized Deductions form. Property tax is one of the lines, it's deductable, adds to the overall tax benefits. Do you think the bastards in Washington DC want to reduce or even eliminate some tax deductions for nothing?