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Tax Tips: DeductingMoving Expenses If you moved in 2001, chances are you're ecstatic that the hassle of moving is finally over. But don't put it too far out of your mind - if you or your spouse got a new job or transferred to a new work location, you might be able to deduct your moving expenses from your taxable income. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that about 16 percent of all relocations in 2000 were work-related - a new job in a new community or state, or a move to ease a stressful commute. Before you start counting the dollars you might save, you must first pass the
Mortgage RatesU.S. averages as of March 29, 2002:
30 yr. fixed: 7.18%15 yr. fixed: 6.69%1 yr. adj: 5.11%30 yr. jumbo: 6.98%-->
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IRS' moving deduction test. In order to qualify, there are two major criteria you must meet - the move must be close to the time you begin work and your new home must be closer to
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How Your Credit Affects Your Homeowners Insurance If you've researched or gone through the process of getting a home loan, you know how important it is to have a good credit history. But did you know insurance companies also use your credit habits in determining whether they'll provide you with insurance and how much you'll pay? Insurance companies have traditionally used many factors in determining how much of a risk you are to get into an accident or incur losses resulting in claims. For example, insurers will look at your driving record and how long you've been driving when you seek auto insurance. Likewise, when you apply for homeowners insurance, they'll look at the age, size, and construction of your home. Through the years insurers have found a person's credit information to be a highly accurate predictor of risk, according to the Insurance Information Institute, a non-profit organization supported by the property and casualty insurance business.
Why Wait To Buy A Home? If you're a potential first-time buyer wishing you'd taken the home buying plunge while rates were low, it's not too late to dive into the market. In fact, even with interest rates on the rise, waiting to purchase a home could end up costing you money. Here's why. Let's say you're interested in buying a house that costs $100,000, but you believe interest rates might fall if you waited one year to purchase. Would you really save by waiting? Probably not. If you were to purchase today, principal and interest payments on a $90,000 loan (after a 10% down payment) would be $660.39 at 8.0% interest. But if rates did fall over the next year, say by one-half percent to 7.5% interest, you would have lost money by waiting. Appreciation at even a meager 3% annual increase has now elevated the cost of the home by $3,000 to $103,000. That means that you'll need $300 more down payment for a 90% loan. And a larger loan could mean more closing costs plus a higher mortgage amount could make loan qualifying tougher. Don't forget that based on the type of home you wish to purchase, it might not be as readily available later especially if you purchase in a strong seller's market.
The Economic ImpactOf Housing It is well known that home ownership is important to the fabric of our society. But what may not be so well known is the importance housing has on the economy. Not only is it a key engine of national gross domestic product, it creates jobs at the local level, boosts tax revenues for state and local governments and increases sales for all kinds of businesses. According to the National Association of Home Builders, investment in housing -- that is, the creation of new subdivisions and apartment communities -- accounts for 4.3 percent of GDP. And housing sector consumption -- expenditures for housing such as monthly payments and utilities -- was responsible for 9.7 percent. That's a total of 14 percent, a share that "has varied little over the past 50
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