Skip to main content

Before you pay cash for a home



Before you pay cash for a home, ask yourself if there is a possibility, at some point in the future, you might put a mortgage on the home and would want to deduct the mortgage interest on your federal tax return.

Current federal tax law allows homeowners to deduct the interest on up to $750,000 in acquisition debt used to buy, build or improve a property.  When a person pays cash for a home, the acquisition debt is zero.  The only way to increase the acquisition debt is to make and finance the improvements to the home.

As with many IRS regulations, there are exceptions to this rule.  If a mortgage is secured on the first or second home within 90 days of the purchase closing, the debt is considered acquisition debt.  The interest on the funds used to purchase the home can be deducted on up to $750,000 of the mortgage balance.

Assuming a borrower has good credit, the ability to repay the loan and the home justifies the loan, lenders are willing to make mortgages for homeowners.  It does not mean that the interest on the mortgage will be deductible.

Additional information can be found in Publication 936, Home Mortgage Interest Deduction, of the Internal Revenue Service at IRS.gov.

To deduct home mortgage interest, you must file Form 1040 or 1040-SR and itemize deductions on Schedule A.  The mortgage must be secured debt on a qualified home in which you have an ownership interest.  Interest on home equity loans is only deductible if the borrowed funds are used to buy, build or substantially improve the taxpayer's home that secures the loan.

If you answered yes or even maybe to the question first posed in this article, contact your tax professional to determine the best way to approach your individual situation.  For more information, download the Homeowners Tax Guide.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Paying Points to Lower the Rate

Two commonly known ways to lower your mortgage payments are to make a larger down payment especially if it eliminates private mortgage insurance and improve your credit score before applying for a mortgage. Another way to lower your payment would be to buy down the interest rate for the life of the mortgage with discount points.   A discount point is one percent of the mortgage borrowed.   Lenders collect this fee up-front to increase the yield on the note in exchange for a lower interest rate. A permanent buy down on a fixed-rate mortgage is available to borrowers who are willing to pay discount points at the time of closing. Let's look at two options on a $315,000 mortgage for 30 years at 4% interest with no points compared to a 3.75% interest rate with one-point.   The principal and interest payment on the 4% loan would be $1,503.86 compared to $1,458.81 on the 3.75% loan.   The $45.04 savings is available because the buyer is willing to pay $3,150 in points.   By dividi

Will Soft Inquiries Hurt Your Credit Score?

Soft inquiries, sometimes known as a soft credit check or a soft credit pull, do not impact your credit scores because they are not attached to a specific application for credit.   They can occur when a credit card issuer or mortgage lender checks a person's credit for preapproval purposes. Examples of soft inquiries are when you check your own credit or one of your current creditors checks your credit.   If you are concerned about the negative impact on your score, specify to the lender that you want a "soft pull" to see if you qualify for preapproval. Soft inquiries may appear on your credit report but should not adversely affect your credit score. Consumers are entitled to one free copy from each major credit bureau, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion, once every twelve months available at AnnualCreditReport.com .   Hard inquiries occur when a borrower makes a new application for credit.   These will impact your credit score and will remain on your credit report

Why a Home Should Be Your First Investment

Real estate has been described as the basis of all wealth.   Without considering income or investment property, buying a home to live in is an incredibly powerful way to build wealth or financial net worth. A home is an asset measured by the size of the equity.   Equity is simply the difference between the value of the home and the amount owed.   There are two powerful dynamics at work to increase the equity which include appreciation and amortization. Appreciation occurs when the fair market of the home increases.   The shortage of available inventory coupled with high demand has contributed to an 18% increase in value in the past year on average for homeowners in the U.S. Most mortgage loans are amortized with monthly payments that include the interest that is owed for the previous month and an increasing amount that is paid toward the principal loan amount so that if all the payments are made, the loan would be repaid by the end of the term. A 30-year mortgage at 3.5% intere