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[18 May 2006 | No Comment | 420 views]

To understand the capital gains tax, we must begin by understanding exactly what is meant by “capital gains”. Capital gains is the income that a person gets from the sale of an investment. These investments may take the form of a piece of real estate property like a house or a farm. It can also be a family business or even a work of art. The capital gain is basically defined as the difference between the money that is realized from the sale of an asset and the price that was paid for it.
The amount of the tax that is imposed varies and actually depends on a variety of factors, which even include how long the seller has owned the investment/property as well as what type it is. The capital gains tax will not be asked for until the investment/property is actually sold. For instance, if the stocks in your …

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[18 May 2006 | No Comment | 362 views]

How much income tax did you pay last year?
If you are like most people, you will say the amount of tax you paid on April 15. Others will say none, they got a refund!
It is amazing that so many people are unconscious of the fact that taxes are their biggest expense. In most households, it totals more than housing, clothing and food.
To figure out how much tax you really paid, look at your pay stub and multiply the total taxes taken out, federal, state, local and social security, then multiply by 12 or 52, depending on whether you are paid monthly or weekly. Add or subtract any additional payments you made on April 15 or deduct your refund from the annual total.
Shocked? You should be.
Ever heard of “Tax Freedom Day?” That is the day in the year when the average American has made enough money to pay his taxes for …

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[18 May 2006 | No Comment | 421 views]

After you scraped together a modest deposit for your new home you may think you’re home and dry. Think again. On top of there’s the surveyors and solicitors to pay. Then the government want a slice. You’ve got to pay stamp duty at 1% of the property’s price (if the house costs more than £250,000 the rate of stamp duty increases – see the information at the foot of this article). Phew! You’re lucky you’ll just make it – you’ll be a homeowner at last!
Then out of the blue the mortgage lender sends you a new bill – another £1,500 please Sir. They’ve called it a Higher lending Charge (HLC) and it’s charged if you borrow more than 90% of the value of the house. About 75% of all mortgage lenders charge it and £1,500 is about the average they ask for.
And guess what – they money you pay won’t …

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[18 May 2006 | No Comment | 442 views]

After last years crisis of confidence the buy-to-let market is again booming. Earlier worries that interest rates were on the up and property values would crash are firmly behind us. So, fuelled by rising rental yields confidence, landlords have been snapping up new properties and remortgaging for cheaper deals.
In the final three months of last year, rental incomes increased by an average of 3.3%. At the same time the rental yield, income as a percentage of the property’s value, edged up from 6.42% to 6.45%. The latest report from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) also shows that the value of new buy-to-let mortgages increase by 47% in the second half of 2005 over the preceding six months whilst the number of these mortgages rose by 39%.
Indeed, we expect the boom to extend throughout 2006. It will be powered by the steady increases in house prices, a healthy demand from …

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[18 May 2006 | No Comment | 379 views]

The Internet has simplified the process of shopping for a mortgage. Shopping for a mortgage online allows anyone with the know-how the ability to access lenders and loan offers once available only to mortgage brokers.
Before you start shopping online make sure your credit is in order. Request copies of your individual credit reports verify their accuracy. Pay down the balances on your credit cards and close the accounts; this will improve your credit score by reducing your debt to income ratio.
Using the Internet to shop for a mortgage will allow you to easily compare multiple loan offers at one time. You need to be careful when doing this so the lenders do not access your credit until you are ready to apply for the loan. Too many credit inquiries from lenders can hurt your credit score and adversely affect the interest rate you qualify for.
Be careful who you give your …

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[18 May 2006 | No Comment | 288 views]

Home loan refinancing is a situation whereby a borrower acquires a new home loan in order to replace an existing one.
What are the benefits of refinancing your existing home loan?
The three main benefits of home loan refinancing are outlined below.
1. Refinancing enables you to lower your current mortgage payments.
2. Refinancing your home loan helps you to benefit from a lower interest rate.
3. Refinancing can also help a home owner to consolidate their debt and hence save some money in the long run.
A bad credit means a higher risk from the lenders’ point of view, and it calls for a higher interest rate when getting a mortgage. So basically when one takes a loan with a bad credit history, the interest rate tends to be high. Over time, as one’s credit history improves, once can refinance their mortgages and get better rates. For the bad credit home loan refinancing to be …

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[18 May 2006 | No Comment | 326 views]

Before you decide on which mortgage company to provide your home loan, you need to know more about the inner workings and how they operate. This will enable you to know more about who you are dealing with, what loan packages they can offer, and the general terms of those packages. With some good basic information, you will be able to better understand what you can get, and if there are any issues that are not clear to you, you will be able to ask the right questions, all of which will enable you to decide if the loan is suitable for you.
Minimum Requirements of Mortgage Loans
It is important to note that the lender will stipulate minimum requirements on the funds used for mortgage loans, and in turn, the mortgage company is obliged to use follow these requirements.
The key lenders are Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae. If the …

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[18 May 2006 | No Comment | 355 views]

There is a fast and easy way to lower the payments on your existing FHA mortgage. It will not take money out of your pocket for closing costs. There is no appraisal required. As long as you’ve made your existing FHA mortgage payments there is no credit qualifying. You don’t even have to be working and making an income to get it.
An FHA Streamline loan option is already built into your existing mortgage. One feature it offers is that you can get a new lower rate loan, if it is available, without reappraising your property. You just need to take the step to contact an approved FHA lender to get the details and see what it could mean to you in monthly payment savings. You will have a new mortgage process to go through, but it is abbreviated since there is no appraisal involved. On the mortgage application the sections …

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[18 May 2006 | No Comment | 336 views]

These days, many lenders understand that irresponsibility is not the only reason why people become bankrupt. High cost of living, education, healthcare, and homeownership; as well as some other uncontrollable things which happen in life such as job loss, divorce or sickness means that bankruptcy can happen to anyone, even to those who are financially prudent. As a result, many lenders are willing to take a chance with high-risk borrowers by offering credit, loans and mortgages to people who have experienced a bankruptcy.
Life after bankruptcy is about starting over and working hard to create a better credit record. When someone who was once declared bankrupt is applying for a mortgage, the lenders scrutinize how they have handled their finances in the past one to two years.
So, what are the key tips for getting your life and financial situation back on track after bankruptcy?
1. Spend your money wisely; make an effort …

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[18 May 2006 | No Comment | 359 views]

Mortgage interest and real estate taxes are tax deductible and any one with a mortgage can enjoy this tax benefit.
Taxes can be complicated, and it is recommended that you learn about the benefits, the drawbacks and how to file your taxes properly. To enjoy the tax benefits, you can either wait for a big payout after you file your income-tax return, or adjust what is withheld from your paycheck each month.
During the early years of the home mortgage, most of your monthly repayments go towards your interest, with little payment towards the capital. Tax benefits are therefore very useful for first-time home buyers, especially during the early years of acquiring the mortgage.
As you pay more on the amortized home mortgage over a longer time frame, more of each monthly payment goes towards paying the principle, and less towards interest. This means that with time, you lose some of your interest …