So far I like what I’ve seen from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) signed by President Obama last Tuesday. From a Tax perspective it appears to contain some very good relief for the average American citizen. Some of the highlights from the new plan include a new refundable credit of up to $800 for lower and middle income America. Unless you make more than 95k single or 190K MFJ, you should qualify for this credit.
Also included in the ARRA economic stimulus plan is an expanded Hope Credit. The new credit is called the American Opportunity Tax Credit. The new credit can be taken for all 4 years of college instead of the first two and has been increased to a maximum of $2500. The best part of this credit may be that up to 40% of the credit is refundable. This means that it can be added to your refund or perhaps even result in a refund even when the taxpayer would have otherwise owed. Also parents with Section 529 plans for their kid’s college will be happy to know that computers and Internet access are now considered qualified higher education expenses for purposes of the section 529 distributions.
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posted in Home Buying, Real Estate Market |
The Old E Baltimore project is finally moving again. The old contractor is out of the way, at least for now. The new guys have the deck, fencing exterior doors and most of the patch up work completed. The punch-out work can sometimes take just as much time as the larger projects. I must admit that the majority of the delay is due to my inability to get around. Getting back on my feet took several months and is still a work in progress. Health problems can derail a business, especially when you are the business. Make sure you plan for situations like these by having at least six months of mortgage payments in savings. Also look into purchasing long/short term disability.
The last items on the list are the range, refrigerator, gutters/down spouts, plumbing and cleanup. The plumbing work is a story all by itself. The problem is mostly due to the contractor’s use of the toilet even though it was not working. I’m not even sure if the toilet is any good, let alone the fact that the water isn’t even on in the house. The toughest part of this real estate investing business is working with contractors. If you have a weak stomach, find something else to do. Needless to say this will be a messy job for the next plumber. I sure hope he has a mask…
Next up on the list will be the city inspections, followed by the section 8 inspections. I’m sure I’ll have a whole new to do list soon.
posted in Old E Baltimore Project, contractors |