It’s Friday, let’s sweep! | a bird’s eye view of Seattle’s growth + new email security measures + kcm resources: new tax code

Ballard + Eastlake + Madison Park + Northgate + Sand Point + Wedgwood


Welcome to 2018 everyone! I’m going to jump right in…before we get back to business, a fun bird’s eye view of Seattle’s growth. In January 2015, a 360 webcam was installed on top of the Space Needle. Since then, it has taken a 360 panorama of the whole city every 10 minutes! Curious to take a look? This really is a remarkable birds eye view. Click here.

Let’s begin to unzip a New Year together…FWL will again be dedicated to bringing you weekly fresh relevant content – created to easily digest so that we can continue to educate the people that lean on us for our advisory. #wearewindermere #2018 #gameon

On Monday, January 8th Windermere will begin to introduce New Email Security Measures. Please watch for these updates! Recently, Windermere, and the industry as a whole, has experienced an increase in attempts to access email accounts for the purposes of phishing scams and wire fraud. With your help, and advancements in technology, we now have the ability to significantly improve Windermere’s security in order to protect us from fraudulent activity. First communication will be in your inbox this Monday!

Next item of business as we jump into 2018. The New Tax Code.

The below is taken directly from KCM.  The team at Keeping Current Matters is doing an excellent job of creating a Tax Reform Reference Page. If you are not a KCM member, see your office staff for this resource. Most recently a 12 minute video has been posted to KCM –  “The New Tax Code and It’s Impact on Residential Real Estate.”

Ps, you can email, call or text me for this resource as well.

As Steve Harney likes to say, “It’s not good news. It’s not bad news. I’m just reporting THE news.”  KCM.

What about the three major concerns of real estate practitioners?

1.  Mortgage Interest Deduction

There was concern that the mortgage interest deduction (MID) would be eliminated. That didn’t happen.

However, the bill has made the following changes:

  • Reduces limit on deductible mortgage debt to $750,000 for new loans taken out after 12/14/17 (from the existing $1,000,000). Current loans up to $1 million are grandfathered.
  • Homeowners may refinance mortgage debts existing on 12/14/17 up to $1 million and still deduct the interest, so long as the new loan does not exceed the amount refinanced.
  • Repeals deduction for interest paid on home equity debt through 12/31/25.
  • Interest is still deductible on home equity loans if proceeds are used to substantially improve the residence.
  • Interest remains deductible on second homes, but subject to the limits.
2.  State and Local Taxes (SALT)

There was concern that the state and local tax deduction (which includes property taxes) would be eliminated. That didn’t happen.

The final bill allows an itemized deduction of up to $10,000 for the total of state and local property taxes and income or sales taxes.

3.  Exclusion of gain on sale of a principal residence

There was concern that owners would now need to live in their house for at least 5 out of the last 8 years to claim this exemption. Under the former tax framework, a typical owner, who has lived in their house for at least 2 years out of the last 5 years, would pay nothing in capital gain taxes if they sell the house.

No change. The new code will remain the same as the old.

As we continue to educate ourselves on the New Tax Code, let’s keep this very much top of mind: most families consider homeownership an essential part of the American Dream, and don’t purchase a home based solely on the tax advantages. #keepthisperspective

That’s a wrap for this week, we’ll do it again next week!

In partnership,

Laura Smith, General Manager | Windermere Real Estate Co.

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Ballard + Eastlake + Madison Park + Northgate + Sand Point + Wedgwood

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