Atlanta Flood Update
I got this email from [Bill Nemeth, EA([email protected]), and Merry Brodie, EA concerning casualty losses for the Atlanta Flood Victims. They’re enrolled agents (and they’ll be at our HOW TO PROFIT FROM FORECLOSURES event on October 24th)
If the flood victims were in a Georgia county designated a federal disaster area, they have the option of amending their 2008 tax return to show their 2009 casualty loss and get refund money sooner to help them with their clean-up and rebuilding.
Normally, they would place the casualty loss on their 2009 return and get the tax benefit in February or March of 2010.
This is especially beneficial for those taxpayers who did NOT have flood insurance. Their loss is not reduced by any insurance reimbursement.
Stay up-to-date on Twitter: #atlflood
September Job Cuts: 263,000 jobs lost; unemployment rises to 9.8 percent
Employers cut 263,000 jobs in September, after cutting a revised 201,000 in August, the Labor Department reported on Friday morning. Economists expected 175,000 job cuts, and the actual job cuts came in almost 100,000 JOBS HIGHER than what was expected. The national unemployment rate rose to 9.8 percent, a 26-year high. most economists expect the national unemployment rate to hit 10 percent by year’s end, but stay at 9.8 percent through 2010.
As I said on the show this morning – if we have unemployment at nearly 10 percent for another year, combined with all the folks who took unpaid furloughs and outright paycuts, we’re not going to feel like we’re getting out of this recession any time soon – no matter what the pundits say. The economy is in an extremely vulnerable point. I wouldn’t say we’re out of the woods yet.
In my mind, it’s all about jobs and the economy. Right now, 15 million people are unemployed and there are 6 people vying for each job. That’s hardly a healthy jobs market.
Moving to Montana: Good place to get a job?
We had a question today from Kit, who is a truck driver in Atlanta. He’s thinking about moving to Montana. Why Montana? I don’t know. But the unemployment rate is lower in Montana than in Atlanta. North Dakota has the U.S.’s lowest rate of unemployment, at 3.3 percent, and El Centro, California, has the highest rate of unemployment at 28.7 percent (El Centra is on the border of New Mexico and Mexico).
In much of Montana, the unemployment rate is below 5 percent. In the far northwest corner of Montana, in Lincoln County, the unemployment rate is just over 11 percent. If you need a job, go where the unemployment rate is the lowest. That’s the middle of the country, starting at the Canadian border.
If you want to see what unemployment looks like all across the country, here’s a link to a great interactive map that will let you see what the unemployment figures are county by county, all over the U.S.
Section 8 Real Estate Investing: Is it a good idea to invest in Section 8 property?
Kenneth called the show today asking about the pros and cons of the Section 8 housing program. He is wondering whether he should invest in real estate that would be appropriate for Section 8. He has real estate and would have to spend $10,000 to $15,000 to bring the property up to Section 8 requirements.
The folks I know who have invested in real estate and work with Section 8 say it is a maybe thing. Some people have made good money and some people haven’t. A lot depends on what kind of tenants you get.
Dan called in to say he owns 23 rental properties including several duplex buildings. He has had two pretty good experiences with Section 8. He says the key is to treat the Section 8 properties like any other real estate investment. “You have to do your due diligence,” he said. For example? You have to evaluate the lease the housing agency is using and see if you can live with it, he said, adding that if you can get good tenants it helps. “But the properties seem to have more wear and tear.”
How to Find a Good Estate Attorney
Kathy called. Her mom is 92 and she just moved her into an assisted living facility. Her mom sold her house, netted $300,000 and has other assets. Kathy’s first question was about how her mother should invest the money and what kind of taxes her mom might pay. But it turns out her bigger concern really is about her mother’s estate.
Kathy is a single child, divorced with grown children of her own. She said her mother’s will is so old, that she thinks everyone who signed it is probably dead. Her will, too, is probably that old also. I told Kathy she and her mom needed to take some of the $300,000 and go find an estate attorney who can draft up their wills, powers of attorney for health care and financial matters, living wills and any sort of trusts they might need for estate planning purposes.
A simple will might run $1,500 to $2,500, depending where you live and who you use. I told Kathy to contact the local bar association, and ask for the head of the Estate Committee. That person will be an estate attorney and will know loads of other estate attorneys. That’s how you get your recommendations.
Use this method to find a great real estate attorney, litigator, or other sorts of attorneys.
Net Present Value (NPV) Calculations and Loan Modifications and Foreclosure Mediations
I’ve discussed why folks are having a hard time getting mortgage modified in depth in my blog at MoneyWatch.com. Click on these two stories for more detailed discussions of what I think is going on behind the scenes:
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How to Profit From Foreclosures – DON’T MISS OUT
Holly called the show a couple of weeks ago to find out how she can allow some of her employees to profit with the next commercial property she buys. I suggested she join me on October 24, 2009 for our next event, How to Profit From Foreclosures.
Holly, and other folks interested in investing in real estate, might want to start a separate LLC for a new commercial real estate purchase, and give selected employees the opportunity to be come limited members of the corporation while Holly would be the managing partner. (For more details on limited liability companies, simply go to the SEARCH box and type in “LLC” and up will pop hundreds of stories that discuss LLCs and how investors use them.”
The Georgia Association of Enrolled Agents will be at our How to Profit From Foreclosures event on October 24th, and will be happy to answer questions about how this might work, what are the pros and cons of such a move, and how you’d have to report it to the IRS. Mike Rose, Bank of America will be on hand to help you figure out how to finance your foreclosure purchase. Ricky Novak, a 1031 tax free exchange specialist, will be on hand to help you figure out the rules associated with a 1031 tax free exchange.
There may also be other options for Holly, such as simply setting up a profit-sharing plan. But that’s what this day is all about. If you’re interested in buying foreclosures to live in or invest in, you’ll want to meet our experts and have them answer all of your real estate investing questions.
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Taylor Bean Whitaker Mortgage Company Update
We’re continuing to follow what’s happening with Taylor Bean Whitaker. We’re using YOUR comments as the basis for our reporting, so please keep the comments coming.
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