Thursday, March 19, 2020 / by Vanessa Saunders
By Vanessa Saunders, MBA, MIMC , Broker Owner, Global Property Systems
We have written before about the hazards elderly homeowners face when taking out reverse mortgages. A reverse mortgage is actually a loan you take out against your home. You must be 62 or older to qualify, and the amount you borrow is determined by your age, the interest rate and the value of your home.
Homeowners often forget that they still have to pay homeowners insurance, property taxes, and keep the home in good repair. Also, the upfront fees on a reverse mortgage can be quite high, so if borrowers don’t plan on staying in the home for a long time, a good bit of the home equity will go to fees, with very little benefit to the borrower.
One of the tragic things that often comes up is if one spouse is not listed as a borrower on the reverse mortgage. When the borrowing spouse dies before the other, the surviving spouse may be forced from the home to repay the reverse mortgage. It’s sad to see eld ...
Tuesday, December 10, 2019 / by Vanessa Saunders
Do you have dreams of moving abroad? Maybe you plan to retire somewhere tropical where island breezes and warm sand are a part of every day living? Or perhaps finding a little bit of paradise overlooking Tuscan vineyards or Spanish olive groves for you to visit a few months out of the year? If you've ever thought of buying a little place of your own in another country, first you need to do some homework. Below are five things to consider when you plan your great escape.
1. How's the economy?
Moving overseas can be a good idea in an area with a low cost of living. But first, you should look into what it costs to live in paradise. Analysis by experts is available from the World Population Review's website . Plan ahead and budget accordingly.
2. Foreign Property Ownership Laws
Not every country allows just anybody to own real property like the United States. According to financial consulting firm SmartAsset, "Even if the country you’re interested in allows foreigners ...
Thursday, September 19, 2019 / by Vanessa Saunders
What better time to pack up and head to sunny Italy! A bill that included very generous tax incentives for people interested in relocating to Italy has been made into law. The ‘Decree of Growth’, also known as the ‘lavoratori impatriati’ regime, is aimed at any type of worker, regardless of their qualification or skill level. It expands on the previous version, which only included managers, executives and entrepreneurs.
Passed under ‘Law 58’, the decree reduces the amount of taxable income to just the first 30% of the worker’s employment income for the first five years. This leaves that 70% that a worker can keep tax free. And that's just for starters.
If an individual chooses to relocate to southern Italy or to the islands of Sicily and Sardinia, the incentives would be even greater. Taxable income for those new residents is just 10% in the first five years – meaning that 90% is untaxed.
Buy a house or have a dependent child a ...
Monday, July 8, 2019 / by Vanessa Saunders
The first wave of the Baby-Boomers, 80 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964 is now squarely into retirement age. According to the Urban Land Institute, 40 million boomers — some 8,000 every day — will turn 65 by 2020. Up and down the Hudson Valley, the 2010 census counted 333,145 seniors living in nine of the Valley’s counties; that number will increase to 477,825 — an 18.9 percent jump — by 2030, according to Cornell University. As they get older, members of this generation are downsizing and requiring specialized care en masse. Consequently, the growing demand for appropriate housing far outpaces the supply. For senior citizens not interested in moving out of the area yet needing affordable, safe house, selling the family home and renting is gaining in popularity.
As reported in Hudson Valley Magazine, Joe Czajka, Senior Vice President for Research, Development & Community Planning and Executive Director of the Center for Housing Solutio ...
Monday, July 8, 2019 / by Vanessa Saunders
I recently read a blog from a REALTOR® who works for one of the major brokerage companies in the U.S. She included a suggestion to buyers to write a letter to a home seller, introducing themselves and gushing about how much they love the house. In a housing market like the one that currently exists in the Hudson Valley - very few houses for sale and lots of buyers competing for them - some real estate agents do suggest that their buyers write a letter to the sellers of a home they're interested in to personalize their offer. Introduce yourself. Tell the sellers how much you love the house, how it's perfect for your family. Mention the pets too because warm and fuzzy wins the race.
Apparently some of my colleagues don't realize that writing a "We love your house" letter can get you into big trouble.
First of all, the sellers don't need to know who is buying their house any more than the buyers need to know the sellers. It's none of their business. More importantly, such a le ...