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24th July 2011

Finally My Case Will Be Heard

Something is finally happening with the Hopkins house.  Unfortunately it is costing me a ton in legal fees.  I’m so glad that there will be some sort of resolution soon.  This investment has been a complete nightmare.  I will be writing more on my blog to update everyone and besides..its been a loooong time since I’ve written on this property.  For now, I will speak with my lawyer before I start putting too much information in print.

For now.. Happy Investing friends!

posted in Complete Rehabs, Hopkins Project | 0 Comments

4th May 2010

Searching For Clues to This Crazy Market?

Its always interesting to watch the analysts and the reporters search for fundamental reasons for a pull back in the markets.  Everything from the Greek bailout, Goldman Sachs charges, failed Terrorist attacks to valuation of the markets.  They do a very impressive job of finding reasons.   This last week of trading has been schizophrenic to say the least.  Take the Dow Jones Industrial Average for the last week.  Last Tuesday it was down 220 points, Wednesday and Thursday combined up 180, back down 163 on Friday, up 146 on Monday, and finally down 220 today.  Sure there is a fundamental answer to this craziness….  and you’lle buy “this watch” (pointing to empty wrist) for a dollar

Whatever the reasons, fundamental or technical, the real trick here is trying to find the right spot to get back in your long trades.   Of course this depends on whether or not this really is a correction and also that you’ve already sold your positions.   In today’s market, if you manage your own investment portfolio or consider yourself a trader, you really need to pay attention to what technical analysts refer to as levels.  Technicians like to use tools such as Fibonacci Retracements, previous support levels, percentages, trend lines, etc to determine when a market will stop selling.  Of course the way this thing is going we could be right back up 180 tomorrow and we’ll be talking about a bull market all over again…

posted in Trading, economy | 0 Comments

25th March 2010

Head Fake in the Markets..Traders Beware

Today’s market looks like a typical “head fake” that you get when the market is stretched a bit.  The markets have been up  24 out of 34 days since the end of the 8 percent correction in early February.   Days like this can make trading painful but if you anticipate them they can be very good. 

 The day started strong as the SPX Index (Standard and Poors 500) jumped 6 points in the first three minutes.  The SPX then retraced and jumped again another 4 points above the previous intraday high to 1180.6.  This looks like a very strong market right?  Not so fast because at 1:30 EST the market (SPX) dropped 10 points to 1170.05 and now sits at 1169 at 3:40 pm.  This is not a market for inexperienced traders.  This is the kind of market that hedge funds and other institutional players use to trap traders.  The market is stretched and with earnings season around the corner there are possible head winds awaiting.  The big boys are never caught with thier pants down but they still need to make their numbers.

If you take a look at the MACD  on a 5 minute chart of the SPY (the ETF that tracks the SPX) you may have seen this coming in time to stop out of any long trades you were holding. If you’re good you might have reversed and shorted the market here as well.  At around 12:10 PM the trigger line crossed below the MACD avg and the histogram also turned down.  The SPY then reversed and turned up to a new high of the day but the trigger line never crossed back over the MACD line and the histogram never crossed above the zero line to green.  This should have kept you out of the long trade (assuming you use the MACD indicator on a 5 minute chart) and possibly kept you in a short trade.  Shortly afterwards the SPY turned right back down and crossed back under the zero line.  Any traders that shorted the market here made a very nice profit.    You can bet some institutional traders had a very good day trading the market while some others..well not so good.

This kind of day will catch even he best traders.  Keep your stops tight or stay on the sidelines until there is some real direction again in the market.  Check out this article for more on the MACD.

posted in Trading | 0 Comments

26th February 2010

Tax Season 2010 vs Tax Year 2009 vs Tax Return..oh my

I am a tax professional yet I always find myself confused about these phrases, especially when speaking to a client.  In fact it is very common for folks to be confused about the difference between a “tax season” and a “tax year” and don’t even try to figure out the tax return year.  Well allow me to clear it up for those that are still confused, I think… 

Tax Season

The Tax Season is commonly used to describe the time between January 1 and April 15 of each year.  This is the time that we all file our personal taxes for the previous tax year.  Just to add to the confusion, tax seasons also occur within a tax year. 

Tax Year 

The tax year is simply the year in which you earned income and therefore must pay Uncle Sam a portion.  Each year is a different tax year.  At the time of this writing we are in Tax Season 2010 for Tax Year 2009.  Sure this is Tax Year 2010 but we don’t really care until Tax Season 2011 right..??

When in a conversation with your tax professional, she may ask a question about last years tax return.  This often confuses my clients because they don’t know if I’m referring to tax season or tax year.  If you are confused by this question ask your tax professional which they are referring to, year or season.  More than likely she is asking you about your previous years tax return. 

Tax Return

This is when it really gets confusing so I typically stay away from associating a year with the phrase tax return.  So how do we refer to “tax returns” when it comes to the year.  Afterall tax reurns are filed during a tax season but they are accounting for taxes paid during the previous tax year.  Well here it is.  The “tax return” year is the same as the “tax year”.  Next time your tax pro asks you about a previous tax return just replace the word return with the word year and it all makes sense..right?

posted in Taxes, Tips | 0 Comments

5th November 2009

Home Buyers Tax Credit Extended

Both the Senate and the House have officially passed the extension of the Home Buyers Tax credit today.  The extension includes existing home owners for up to $6500 credit.  Up next President Obama.  More news to come.

posted in Home Buying, Real Estate Market, economy | 3 Comments

29th October 2009

Home Buyers Tax Credit To Include Existing Home Owners

The battle to extend the First Time Home Buyers tax credit has taken an even better twist.  Senate Democrats are not only in favor of extending the original credit but are also seeking to include existing home owners as well.  This is very good news for those that have not already taken advantage of the credit but even better for those that did not qualify under the previous plan.  The new proposal is to include a $6500 tax credit to existing home owners if they have lived in their current home for at least 5 years.  The buyers must make under $125,000/year single and $250,000/year married filing jointly.  According to a Senator Harry Reid aide Regan Lachapelle, the new proposal still faces some resistance from Republicans.  More information to come.

posted in Financing, Home Buying, economy | 2 Comments

14th May 2009

Homeowners can use the $8,000 Tax Credit as a Downpayment.

According to Shaun Donovan, secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Federal Housing Administration is going to permit its lenders to allow homeowners to use the $8,000 tax credit as a down payment on a new home.   “We all want to enable FHA consumers to access the home buyer tax credit funds when they close on their home loans so that the cash can be used as a down-payment,” Donovan said.    FHA’s approved lenders will be allowed to “monetize” the tax credit which in turn will allow eligible home buyers to access the funds immediately at the closing table vs. waiting for the credit on their 2009 tax returns. 

Anyone looking to take advantage of Tax credit but was unable to come come up with the down payment can now get in the game.  So what are you waiting for?  For more information read here.  

UPDATE:  May 18:

It looks like it may not be etched in stone just yet.   The Boston Globe  reported on Thursday that the letter was rescinded by HUD and.or FHA.   More news to come..

UPDATE May 29:

Its official HUD announced on Friday that first time home buyers can use the credit as a down payment.  According to NAHB economist Robert Dietz, lenders purchase tax credits from the buyers and then collect the rebate from the IRS.   This appears to be a better option than the bridge loans offered by some states prior to this announcement by the feds.

posted in Financing, Home Buying, economy | 0 Comments

29th April 2009

House For Sale in Baltimore Maryland

It’s been a while since my last post but I promise I won’t be long winded this time.  I’ve decided that I’m going to sell Old E Baltimore project.  The work has been done for over a month but with a few loose ends to tie up.  The house has a new furnace, hot water heater, toilets, tub, tile, refrigerator, oven, cabinets, carpet, deck, fencing, flooring, carpet, rails, and the list goes on.  It’s a great opportunity for an investor looking to get a rehabbed house with 4 bedrooms in the city.  Currently through section 8, the new owner could be looking at over 1100 dollars per month and a mortgage payment of less than $550.  My next post on this property will include pictures but if anyone is interested in seeing the house, feel free to click on the About Fliprent link at the top and click the Contact Me link to send me an email.  You can also leave a comment on this article if you choose to.

Ideas, Ideas.  I’ve decided to go forward with a business idea that I’ve had for a while.  I’m going to need to put some cash into it considering how difficult it is to get a business loan in the current economy.  Liquidity is a beautiful thing when you need access to quick capital.  There was a time, just a few years ago when a residential real estate investment was considered relatively liquid.  Today is another story. 

posted in Home Buying, Old E Baltimore Project, Property Acquisition, Real Estate Investing | 2 Comments

31st March 2009

Banks Walking Away From Foreclosures Too?

It appears that more than just homeowners are walking away from foreclosures.  Apparently banks are too.   This is thought by many to be the next wave of the housing crisis.

On another note the Old E. Baltimore project is mostly done but I still need to get past the inspections for city and section 8.   I’m on my fourth plumber now and counting.  Hopefully this one will get it right and actually pass the inspection.  Once that’s done I’ll post pics but its probably not a good idea to post them before.  Most of the work on this one was done prior to my purchase so the inspection is always a crap shoot.  It really just depends on the inspector and his/her mood.

posted in Mortgages, Old E Baltimore Project, economy | 0 Comments

5th March 2009

How to Lower My Mortgage Payment?

Let the games begin!  Today, March 5 is the official first day that home owners can call their mortgage companies to apply for mortgage relief under the new Homeowner Affordability and Stability plan by the Obama administration.  Administration Officials said that homeowners could actually start making calls yesterday and banks like JPM Chase and SunTrust reported call volume increases of 150 and 50 percent respectively.   Homeowners will need to be patient as lenders scramble to get their systems in place to handle the huge increases in call volume.  Some callers have reported waiting for several hours before getting through to speak with a real person.  Banks such as Bank of America and Wells Fargo have given high marks to the plan along with many economists who think that the new guidelines will help with the current crisis.  Under the plan homeowners with loans as large as $729,750 may see their interest rates cut to as low as 2 percent.   The refinancing part of the program is expected to reduce payments for up to 5 million homeowners but is limited to loans owned or backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  Homeowners must also apply by June 2010. 

Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Financing, Foreclosure, economy | 2 Comments

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