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Principal Residence

BUSINESS
By Ilyce Glink and Ilyce Glink,thinkglink.com | August 24, 2008
I am the co-executor of an estate of a relative and was left the house in the will. We have been unable to sell the house. I've been paying the mortgage and costs for a couple of years. I recently decided to move into the house. Will the mortgage companies (original and equity lenders) transfer the house into my name and qualify me for a new mortgage based on my credit? Is it possible to avoid closing costs? What is the best way to approach the mortgage companies? What is the best and easiest way to transfer ownership of the house to me?
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BUSINESS
By KEN HARNEY | August 10, 2008
Deep in the nearly 700 pages of the new housing bill just signed into law is a complicated tax-code change that could affect substantial numbers of people who purchase second homes or rental investment real estate in the coming decade with an eye to occupying them as their main residence later. The bill narrows the use of the code's tax-free exclusion that allows sellers of principal residences to escape taxation on the first $500,000 of their profits (married joint-filers) or $250,000 (single-filers)
BUSINESS
March 9, 2008
Editor's note: Every Sunday through the end of tax season, The Sun will run an edited transcript of Baltimoresun.com's weekly tax advice column featuring experts from the Sparks accounting firm SC&H Group who will answer reader questions. Submit questions at www.baltimoresun.com/taxtalk I sold my house for a big profit. I plan to buy in the near future but I am currently renting. I am spending the profit from the sale. What are the issues related to the profit, length of time to buy and does the new house have to cost more than the old or simply as much as the gain from the sale?
BUSINESS
By DAN THANH DANG | January 29, 2008
The Q: From the local gym to the utility company, almost everyone wants your Social Security number before they'll do business with you. Some have a legitimate reason: for example, credit reporting agencies if you're checking your credit history or requesting a credit freeze. Some don't, like the electric company and phone company. Reader Dale Rains wondered whether all government agencies need the nine digits, too. More specifically, he wondered why he had to provide it to the Department of Assessments and Taxation to get the Maryland Homestead Tax Credit.
BUSINESS
By KEN HARNEY | October 7, 2007
In a tax-Peter-to-pay-Paul move, the House Ways and Means Committee voted to permanently remove the so-called "phantom income" tax penalty that haunts financially distressed homeowners whose debt is partially forgiven by a lender after a foreclosure or a "short sale" to avoid foreclosure. The committee also voted to extend the deductibility of mortgage insurance premiums through 2014 - an important benefit for many borrowers who pay either private mortgage insurance or Federal Housing Administration premiums on their loans.
BUSINESS
December 12, 2004
Some highlights of three laws approved during the Maryland General Assembly's 2004 session: Security deposit interest The Maryland Landlord-Tenant law required landlords of residential properties to accrue simple interest on tenants' security deposits of $50 or more. The law, which took effect Oct. 1, lowers the annual interest rate from 4 percent to 3 percent (House Bill 723). Displaying the U.S. flag Some condominiums, co-ops and subdivisions have restrictive covenants that prohibit or restrict owners and tenants from displaying insignia, including flags, on the exterior of their homes or residential apartments.
BUSINESS
December 14, 2003
Some readers have inquired about capital gains taxes on the sale of a residence. One reader writes that she sold her Glyndon home to her daughter in July. There was no down payment and the reader is carrying the mortgage. Her daughter is repaying the loan at the rate of $300 a month plus interest. The reader asks if she has to pay capital gains taxes on the sale. Another reader writes that she has owned a house in New York since 1990. In 1993, she married and moved to Maryland. She rented the house until 2002, when she returned to New York and moved back into the home.
BUSINESS
September 28, 2003
When nonresidents sell real property in Maryland, they are supposed to pay income tax on capital gains realized on the sale. A new law that goes into effect Wednesday requires that a percentage of the net proceeds of the sale (total payment) be withheld from the funds received by the nonresident and paid to the clerk of court. The withheld amounts will be 4.75 percent for individuals and 7 percent for entities. The new law enforces collection of the tax from nonresidents by requiring every deed to include a statement of the seller's total payment.
BUSINESS
By KENNETH HARNEY | June 29, 2003
A FEDERAL court decision is focusing new light on an issue that could affect large numbers of American homeowners who expect to cash in their equity tax-free. In a nutshell: Is it possible for you to own two or more homes, but fail to qualify any one of them as your "principal residence" for federal capital gains tax purposes? Could you be forced to pay tens of thousands of dollars in capital gains taxes because you have multiple homes, but no principal residence? A U.S. District Court in Arizona says the answer is yes. And that answer should set off alarm bells among the millions of Americans who own at least two houses, and plan to pocket hefty sale profits tax-free from one or more of them.
BUSINESS
By KENNETH HARNEY | January 26, 2003
CONGRESS and the White House may be poised to send hundreds of thousands of men and women in the armed forces to war in the Middle East. But neither branch of the federal government has managed to rectify the most glaring tax code inequity affecting home owning members of the military. When service personnel are out of the country or away from their homes for extended periods, they frequently face capital gains burdens that most civilians do not. Under the current tax code, members of the armed forces who are transferred overseas or to domestic military installations cannot count the home they own as their "principal residence" because they are no longer "using" or occupying it. Yet, to qualify for the maximum $250,000 (single-filing home sellers)
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