Monday, July 28, 2008

Vacation Home Mortgage: Tax Deductible Interest?

Did you know that the interest you pay on a vacation home is general deductible from your itemized federal tax return -- but only up to a limit of $1 million? That $1 million ceiling means the "total amount" counted as "home acquisition debt" at any time on your main home and second home" combined. If you are married and filing separately, it is only $500,000. For full details, see the IRS publication 936 Part II, which is available on the IRS Web site.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Bailout May Hurt New Vacation Home Buyers

The federal housing bailout bill, just passed by the House to relieve foreclosures and expected to be signed by President Bush, may not be great for "those who buy a vacation home, or one that they rent out, planning to make it their main residence at a later time," MarketWatch quotes Riverwoods, Ill. tax advisors group CCH. Why? The answer is complicated, for the CCH opinion, see
this article.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Your Vacation Getaway in Bulgaria?

Even as the US market for second homes swoons except for a few brave souls and overseas value buyers, new overseas markets bloom, says SecondSpace, Inc., a "global online marketplace for second homes and recreational retreats." It has "expanded the selection of vacation home and land listings on its flagship Web sites, and" so that buyers "from around the world can now search more than 200,000 new listings" in "burgeoning second home 'hot spots' in Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, Europe and India. " The organization mentions Bulgaria and Romania for the bold investor.

The 2,000 square-foot house in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria, shown above, has 6 bedrooms and is listed for 33,000 Euros -- or less than $53,000 at today's conversion rates. Never heard of Stara Zagora? Me neither, but one travel outfit says it's an ancient Roman city, 3 hours from Bucharest, and is known as a "town of lime-trees and poets."

Labels: , , , ,

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Does Your Second Home Waste Energy?

Two studies in super-affluent Colorado communities show that second homes and condos "use as much energy per square foot per year as fully occupied units," even though second homes remain empty an average of 277 days annually, the Aspen Times reports. The studies were released in 2007 in Aspen (where an estimated 58 % of homes are not primary residences) and this month in nearby Snowmass Village (estimated 61-68 % second homes.)

The head of the local Sopris Foundation, which commissioned the studies, told reporter Scott Condon she'd like to see local officials exert “bold leadership” to cut energy use by such means as banning heated driveways and sidewalks and/or limiting house sizes. One expert also is quoted as saying owners can be taught to save energy with easy steps like "drastically" turning down hot water heaters when not using a home.

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, July 07, 2008

Pt. Mansfield, TX: 2nd Home Investor Hotspot?

Here's a spot for second-home investors that you might not have heard about: the fishing village of Port Mansfield, Texas, about 61 miles north of Brownsville on the shore of Laguna Madre.

"Most of the buyers are second-home investment buyers," The Brownsville Herald quoted Patsy Nolte, who runs SeaWatch Realty, as saying. "People are still discovering Port Mansfield." Even now, with the real estate market collapse nationwide, sales are still hot here, according to Nolte, who said she sold about a dozen homes here so far this year.

An oddity: "the Navigation District leases the land that's luring newcomers here," the Herald says. Port Director Mike Wilson said leases go for monthly charges of $3 per square-foot along the harbor to annual fees of $3 to $6 a square foot in other parts of town. The 30-year leases can be renewed any time, Wilson is quoted as telling reporter Fernando Del Valle of the Valley Evening Star. "Under the terms of the lease, you agree to certain (conditions). You're not as in-control of property as you would if you have a title to land. We have ordinances much like a town does," Wilson is quoted as saying.

Labels: , , ,

Blog Directory - Blogged Free PageRank Checker