Sunday, December 21, 2014

Fed signals patience; CPI posts largest drop in 6 years; the week ahead …

A closely watched statement from the Federal Reserve this week set the stage for the central bank to pivot away from its longstanding near-zero interest rate policy and potentially begin to make gradual interest rate hikes in mid-2015. Other economic data released revealed a drop in consumer prices, an increase in leading indicators, and a slowdown in residential construction.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Why I Inspect Monthly

I feel bad for this landlord. He depended on a property manager to watch out for his interest. But now you can see why I make it a point to go inside all rentals monthly. You just have to check your State’s law on how much notice, if any, you must give.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

How Other Countries Pay for Long-term Care

Long-term care is a difficult problem for the United States to solve because it is expensive. We spent $207 billion on long-term care in 2010, about 8 percent of overall health care spending.

And the cost will continue to rise …

As the Baby Boom generation grays, projections estimate that demand for long-term care will rise from the 12 million Americans who use it today up to 27 million in 2050.

Click here for an overview on how other countries are coping.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

How NOT to collect past due rent

As a landlord I’ve had to use a number of tactics in dealing with deadbeat tenants. But hitting a tenant with a hammer, like this PA landlord did, was never one of them.

Amity landlord arrested for allegedly hitting tenant with hammer over rent money

Saturday, December 13, 2014

PPI falls; retail sales beat expectations; the week ahead

Amid falling energy costs, the producer price index (PPI) was down 0.2% in November from October, the third monthly decline in the last four months. That could explains why retail sales in November increased 0.7% from upwardly revised October results, beating expectations.

Now analysts are focusing on the Fed’s meeting next week looking for signs of an interest rate increase.

To read more,
click here.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

An Important Tax Point About Points

If you bought a rental property this year, the most common deductions you’ll have include mortgage interest, real estate taxes, and insurance. Mortgage points, however, are treated somewhat differently.

Points are also known as loan origination fees or premium charges. Each point is 1% of the loan amount. It’s a sneaky way of charging you upfront interest on your mortgage. You would think that since you’ve paid this interest you could deduct it in the year paid. Not so …

You must deduct points over the length of the loan. Your CPA should know how to calculate this. I use TurboTax, which will amortize the expense each year for you.  

IRS Publication 527, pages 4 and 5 offer further explanation.