Archive for October, 2011

North Texas – A Great Place to Live, Work, and Play
October 31, 2011

Okay, forget about the traffic for just a second… North Texas is one of the best places in the US to live, work, and play.  It scores high marks across the board with only  a few exceptions.  Like many businesses, BlueLeaf Realty has put down roots in the heart of North Texas for the same reason so many residents call North Texas home.  There are job opportunities here, there are cultural attractions here, there are great sport’s venues here, and, last but not least, there are wonderful people here as well.  The best part: it’s only getting better.  As a company, BlueLeaf is growing just like the area, and we are embracing agents with the same perspective about service that we have.  Growing a real estate company over the past several years has been no small task but growing pains are a part of every great story.  We look forward to serving the North Texas community for decades to come and look forward to partnering with other North Texas real estate agents who share our MISSION to Deliver Remarkable Service.

Kicking the Can Is Not A Solution
October 23, 2011

Kicking the can down the road has become a trend in residential and commercial real estate but the trend may be hurting more than it’s helping.  It seems that many have been slow to acknowledge the full extent of the long-term consequences of the unrestrained lending practices which occurred between 2001 and 2007.  Now, it seems that many believe that burying their heads in the sand until the mess blows over is a reasonable strategy.  The sad truth is the US economy is still limping along and many banks are still overburdened with non-performing and under-performing real estate loans.  As a result, kicking the can is en vogue.

 Although there have been small signs the economy is truly improving, there are many, if not more, signs which suggest the economic recovery is sputtering.  For instance, lagging home sales have continued to weigh down home builder profits.   In addition, Fed Chairman Bernanke has publicly stated that he is at a loss as to how to explain the sagging economy’s lackluster performance.  Could it be that “extend and pretend” or “kicking the can” is not a viable solution and that, without a housing recovery, the broader economy will merely continue to limp along.  It is difficult to see how kicking the can further down the road is going to accomplish much.  Maybe it’s time to get real about the economic state of affairs which starts by stopping the pretense that things are better than they really are.  Below are a few suggestions:

  • lock in the capital gains tax rate for a defined period of time
  • release trapped real estate assets into the marketplace
  • create tax incentives for investors who purchase distressed assets
  • discontinue governmental policies that encourage moral hazard
  • resist the temptation to over-regulate the lending industry
  • discontinue the practice of bailing out businesses that are deemed too big to fail

Addressing these very core problems in the real estate sector will allow us to make progress without kicking the can, and the broader economy is sure to benefit!

Gifts from the IRS
October 10, 2011

The IRS mostly taketh but some times it giveth as well.  Two great gifts, compliments of the IRS, are the 1031 exchange and the primary residence exclusion, both useful in real estate.  The primary residence exclusion is beneficial for home owners occupying a primary residence for more than two years.  It allows home owners to exempt up to $250,000 in profit if they are single and up to $500,000 in profit if they are married on the sale of their primary residence.  The other, the 1031 exchange, is used most often by real estate investors looking to trade up to a property and defer their payment of taxes.  Both are wonderful gifts that provide investors and non-investors a unique opportunity to keep more money in their own pocket and pay less taxes but both have caveats and certain criteria that must be followed in order to qualify.   Although you don’t typically think of gifts when you think about the IRS, the primary residence exclusion and the 1031 exchange are just that – gifts from the IRS.  Take advantage and don’t look a gift horse in the mouth!  The content of this blog is not intended to provide legal or financial advice.  Always consult your attorney and/or your accountant for specific advice on tax deferral real estate strategies.