Investing in Real Estate With No Money Down—Is It Possible?

Posted on 3rd Sep 2016 20:41:23

Analysts of the subprime mortgage that occurred ten years ago identified an important factor underpinning the crisis:  interest rates were low, home prices were rising, and buyers were thus eager to enter the real estate market. Lenders were eager to lend as well because mortgages could be bundled and securitized by investment companies like Goldman Sachs.

The Tax Benefits of Residing in an Investment Property

Posted on 3rd Sep 2016 20:06:07

Commercial properties for investment are primarily those that contain more than four units, or where a storefront on the ground level is the main commercial draw and the residential units are secondary. One to four family homes, in turn, are seen primarily as residences; owners rent the non-residential unit(s) to long term tenants.

How to File an FBAR

Posted on 3rd Sep 2016 20:04:18

As we all know, April 15th is the critical filing deadline for your income taxes. There is another important deadline which many of our clients must be aware of as well: June 30th, which is the date by which all United States citizens are required to file a Foreign Bank Account Report (FBAR).

Guide to FBAR Penalties

Posted on 3rd Sep 2016 20:03:05

Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) penalties can be severe. When people find out that the penalties could be up to 50% of their account balance, or $100,000, they rightfully become very frightened and upset. FBAR penalties can be complicated, but this guide will help you understand.

Decreasing Property Taxes on Family Homes

Posted on 3rd Sep 2016 19:51:29

The New York School Tax Relief Program (STAR) is an important benefit for homeowners interested in reducing their property taxes. It is quite easy to fulfill the requirements, so everyone who is eligible should apply.

The Differences between a Maintenance Fee in a Co-op and a Common Charge in a Condominium

Posted on 3rd Sep 2016 18:48:34

Whether you decide to buy a co-op or a condominium, there is one thing you cannot escape: a monthly charge that you will have to pay. When it’s a co-op, the monthly fee is called a maintenance charge or maintenance fee, and in a condominium, it is referred to as a common charge or common fee. Although they are calculated similarly, they also have some significant differences. Co-ops and condos are not uncommon on the New York real estate scene, so it’s important to understand them.

Home Construction and Renovations

Posted on 3rd Sep 2016 18:45:27

Without question, it is exciting to undertake a home renovation project that promises to refresh a space or give new life to a house. But these projects can be a daunting trap for the unwary. The matter of financing is key, because the home owner must be able to afford the project(s) to be undertaken.

Selling an Investment Property: The 1031 Exchange

Posted on 24th May 2016 08:06:51

When the owners of investment properties sell, they are typically required by the Internal Revenue Code to pay taxes on the profit they gained from making the sale, but Internal Revenue Code Section 1031 creates an exception to this general rule that enables sellers to defer taxes by reinvesting to exchange the property with another property of a similar type also used for investment purposes.

The Tax Benefits of Owning Property as a Primary Residence and Investment

Posted on 24th May 2016 08:04:58

Many homeowners who bought properties both as a primary residence and for investment purposes lost their homes to foreclosure during the recent subprime mortgage crisis. Nonetheless, that should not deter those who are interested in this shrewd investment strategy, as long as they are willing to learn the lessons from the crisis and pursue more effective strategies.  Purchasing real estate as a primary residence and an investment property requires careful planning, because there are risks; however, there are great benefits for those who do it correctly in terms of both income and tax benefits.

Is Dual Agency a Trap for Real Estate Buyers?

Posted on 24th May 2016 08:01:35

Imagine if you hired somebody to find you a car to buy, and that person found one where he or she just so happened to represent the seller. Would that seem odd to you? It seems odd to us, yet many people allow a real estate agent to convince them that they can represent both the buyer and seller fairly in the same real estate transaction. Dual agency is a risky proposition, and we advise clients against it when asked.

Fraudulent Conveyances of Real Estate in New York

Posted on 24th May 2016 07:59:51

We sometimes have requests by clients and potential clients to review proposed real estate transactions to ensure there is no issue with a fraudulent conveyance. A fraudulent conveyance can occur when somebody transfers payment as an attempt to evade creditors or transfers property that is the subject of a legal judgment or a pending legal judgment. New York law allows judgments to act as a lien on real property for ten years, and it can be extended for another ten years by the creditor. In this circumstance, owners of real property sometimes want to transfer property to prevent the possibility of a twenty-year lien.

Short Sale Fraud and What You Need to Know

Posted on 5th Apr 2016 17:43:00

It is unfortunate, but short sale fraud has become commonplace due to the overwhelming number of foreclosures following the 2008 financial crisis. There are many ways in which short sale fraud is committed. Specifically, it may involve a scheme to defraud the potential buyer or seller of a home, or to improperly receive money from a lender.

Misconceptions Surrounding the 1031 Exchange

Posted on 5th Apr 2016 17:19:10

Section 1031 of the United States Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. § 1031) allows for the exchange of certain types of property to defer taxes on capital gains for investment real property and personal property.

Co-op Conversions in New York

Posted on 5th Apr 2016 16:27:27

The New York State Attorney General explains how co-operatives work: "Purchasers of a Cooperative buy shares in the apartment corporation allocated to a particular apartment. Ownership of the shares entitles the purchaser to a long term proprietary lease for the apartment. Maintenance charges are based upon the number of shares in the corporation allocated to an apartment."

Purchasing a Condominium

Posted on 5th Apr 2016 16:06:24

Condominium purchases are ideal for those buyers who want to have a stake in property ownership but, for any number of reasons, do not want to own a single-family home. Perhaps the price of single-family homes is prohibitive, or home maintenance might pose a difficulty.

Understanding the Basics of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Law

Posted on 21st Mar 2016 10:28:41

Chapter 7 is the most common type of bankruptcy. The trustee cancels most or all of your debts, and this can be a miracle for people who desperately need help. It’s not appropriate in every situation, however.

One- to Three-Family Houses: Taxes on Small Homes

Posted on 8th Mar 2016 12:54:28

New York City relies heavily on real property taxes for funding government operations – they’re the largest single revenue source for the support of municipal and school district services. In a recent report of property assessments for 2017, the total assessed values of properties crossed the $1 trillion mark as a result of New York City's status as a high value real estate market, with 89 percent of the increase reflecting market forces. Assessments are based on an estimate of a property's current market value as determined by recent sales -- the market value of similarly situated properties nearby. These assessments and tax bills are public records, easily accessed online using the block and lot information prescribed to each parcel of real property in New York City.  

What Role Do Contingencies Play in Your House Purchase Contract?

Posted on 8th Mar 2016 12:45:18

“Contingent” means that something is dependent on another event that may or may not happen. Contingencies help the buyer – and sometimes the seller – in a home purchase by making the purchase dependent on the occurrence of certain potential events. Four contingencies are commonly found in home purchase contracts.

What Disclosures Do I Have to Make When Selling My Home?

Posted on 8th Mar 2016 12:18:12

New York law requires that an owner disclose certain property defects or conditions when selling a house. It used to be that a New Yorker could be silent about defects without facing liability -- the burden was on the buyer to inspect the property, review public records and hope for the best. Those days are over and some disclosures are now required.