Prior to the federal government shutdown earlier this year, IRS interpretations of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) were issued for expenses and depreciation for real estate, confirming that the time is right for building something, even if not a wall. From the start it was evident the TCJA benefited real estate investors, and recent interpretations underscore these benefits.
This is a good time to get out and start investing in real estate. Roll up your sleeves, and get to work as an active investor, or more passively through private lenders (our firm is one of the many). To help you make an informed decision, below are some of the key changes in federal rules that make investing in real estate even more attractive.
1. A cap in the mortgage interest deduction allows homeowners to deduct interest for the first $750,000 of mortgage debt, or the first $1 million if purchased before December 25, 2017.
This deduction remains one of the best tax benefits available for the real estate asset owned by most Americans. Contrary to many pundits, I expect the new ceiling will contribute to a modest rebound for luxury property. Last year, we saw a slowdown in the luxury market as homebuyers took a wait-and-see approach to interest rates, TCJA’s limit on property tax deductions and the stock market. Many baby boomers refinanced and remodeled their homes instead of upgrading, but now the lower cap reduces the tax benefit of using a home equity loan this way.
Here’s why: Say your first mortgage is $800,000. While you can keep deducting its interest, now, because of the new cap, you can’t deduct interest on a new home equity line. Wealthy homeowners now have more impetus to sell their home and plow the proceeds into a down payment for a new mortgage up to $750,000, especially since there’s more clarity around interest rates, the new tax code and the stock market.
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Developers and builders should look at desirable neighborhoods where prices have leveled off but not declined. I think you’ll find many with pent-up demand due to historically low inventory. The normalization of prices should spur demand from luxury buyers who’ve been on the sidelines. If you’re an investor, look for bargains among REITs that invest in residential real estate, or put your money to work at lending firms.
2. If you invest in real estate as an individual, sole proprietor, partnership, LLC or…