Top 7 Tax Write-Offs

Home ownership provides many home tax deductions, tax credits and other breaks that aren’t available to renters. Check out our top 7 list of tax breaks.

Mortgage Solutions of Georgia can help you with any home financing, however, If you wish to learn more, please contact a tax professional.

1. Who is doing your taxes?
Whether you do your own taxes with a tax calculator or have a professional prepare them, you can write off fees on your miscellaneous tax deductions list. Costs can include tax return preparation and electronic filing fees. In order to qualify, however, the preparation fees must exceed 2 percent of your AGI (Annual Gross Income).

2. Home Mortgage Interest Deduction
One of the biggest home tax breaks is the mortgage interest deduction. As a homeowner, it covers interest paid on loans of up to $1 million, or $500,000 if you’re married but filing a separate return.

3. Did you buy a new home and pay mortgage points?
If you itemize, you can deduct the points — or prepaid interest — you paid to purchase or build your primary home. Typically, if you can deduct all the interest you paid on your mortgage, you can also deduct all of the points.

4. Property Tax Deduction
Property taxes are one of the many big tax breaks for first-time homebuyers. You can claim all taxes paid from the date of sale onward. Taxpayers who itemize deductions on Schedule A are also eligible to deduct real estate taxes paid on a primary residence, said Laurie Samay, a New York-based certified financial planner with Palisades Hudson Financial Group.

5. Do you work from home?
You can deduct certain expenses for using a part of your home for business. To qualify for this deduction, you must use part of your home for one of the following:
• Primary location for trade or business
• Main location for meeting with patients or clients
• Storage facility for inventory or product samples for your business or trade
• Rental use
• Day care facility

6. Moving Expenses
If you meet the IRS distance and time tests after you relocate for a new job, you can take a moving-expense deduction. Military personnel who were required to move as part of their service obligations do not have to satisfy any distance or time qualifications.

7. Not home related, but applause to those that Volunteer…
You can deduct certain expenses for charity work, like the cost of gas and oil if you use your car to get to and from the place you volunteer. If you don’t want to calculate the value per mile, ask your tax professional what the standard per rate mile is. You can also deduct the cost of purchasing and maintaining uniforms you wear to a place you volunteer or parking in a garage if that’s required.

Home Safety Tips for Holiday Lights

5 Home Safety Tips for Holiday Lights

Out with the old: Inspect old lights that have been sitting in storage for the past year and get rid of any with frayed cords or loose connections. Always remember to unplug the lights before you try to replace any bulbs.

One is enough: Make sure to use the correct length of extension cords and not to connect multiple ones together.

Exterior Lights: If you are hanging lights outdoors, make sure to keep electrical connectors off the ground and away from any rain gutters, especially the metal ones! You can use plastic clips instead of metal nails to hold your lights in place.

Rush Hour: During the holiday season, electricity rush hour is also right after work, be sure to turn on your lights after 7pm to avoid the surge. Using a timer helps.

Sleep tight: To avoid fire hazards, turn off holiday lights when you leave the house unattended or when going to bed.

Home Winterization Checklist

Now that the colder weather seems to be here to stay, use this checklist to help keep your home warm this winter.

House Interior
o Check and apply caulk or weather stripping to drafty doors
o Get furnace serviced
o Get chimney swept
o Replace furnace filter
o Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
o Reverse ceiling fans so blades are turning clockwise
o Flush hot water heather
o Set thermostat for winter
o Close vents in unused rooms
o Check attic for at least 12 inches of insulation
o Protect window wells with plastic shields

House Exterior
o Clear away debris from downspouts
o Check outdoor lighting and replace bulbs
o Clean gutters
o Check vents and opening
o Split and stack firewood
o Clean debris from roof
o Inspect roof and fixe damage
o Rake away debris from around foundation
o Check heating fuel level and refill
o Buy ice melt and sand
o Move sensitive potted plants indoors
o Install exterior faucet covers

Fast USDA Turn Time!


**Call us today and ask about the changes to credit requirements for USDA loans!



Attention Agents!!!!

You read that right….6 DAY TURN AROUND TIME ON ALL USDA LOANS!!! That means we can get your USDA loans closed FAST!

Call us today! 770.924.1111

Q & A with The Go To Guys…..When can you purchase a home after Bankruptcy?


Dear Go To Guys,
When Can I Repurchase Again After Bankruptcy?

This is a question we often get asked. It all depends on which type of financing you are looking to get.

Conventional: For a chapter 7 Bankruptcy it is 4 years and 2 years for a chapter 13 bankruptcy, before a buyer can repurchase again using Conventional financing.

FHA: For a chapter 7 Bankruptcy it is 2 years and 1 year for a chapter 13, before a buyer can repurchase again using FHA financing. Or, see above for how a buyer can qualify again after just 1 year if they experienced an economic event.

VA: For a chapter 7 Bankruptcy it is 2 years, and 1 year for a chapter 13 bankruptcy, before a buyer can repurchase again using VA financing.


If you have additional questions about purchasing a home after Bankruptcy, call The Go To Guys at 770.924.1111.

Also, for more information, see our blog:…/how-to-buy-a-home-…/

Just got engaged?


Did you know that FHA allows couples to set up a “Bridal Registry Account” if they are planning on getting married soon and want to accumulate funds for their down payment to buy a home? This is a great way for “married-to-be” couples to come up with their down payment to buy a home.

Just like registering at Target or Pottery Barn, the FHA Bridal Registry program allows you to register a down payment account. Then, your friends and family are able to make gift payments into an interest bearing account on your behalf.

Not only can your gifts earn interest, but they can be used as a down payment towards an FHA Loan.

Here’s how it works:
-Open a savings account at your bank prior to the wedding.
-Give Friends and Family the banking information where the gifts will be deposited.
-The gift funds can go towards the FHA required 3.5% down payment.
-There is no requirement that you be married prior to closing on your new home.

One last advantage is that there are NO gift letters or other documentation required other than proof of your savings account named “bridal registry account.” It’s that simple.

Call us today so we can get you preapproved for your FHA loan 770.924.1111.

Buying a home AFTER Bankruptcy….


Declaring Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is often devastating and can turn your home buying plans upside down. Most home loan applicants think that if they have had a Bankruptcy in the past that they can never buy a home in the future and this is simply not the case. In fact, more people have prior Bankruptcies than what you might think. Filing for a Bankruptcy may be a low point in your life, but with proper preparation, patience and financial planning, you might be able to purchase a home sooner than expected. If you have had a Bankruptcy and want to purchase a home, here are the steps you need to take to get yourself in a position to purchase.

Discharge and Organize:
First things first: The bankruptcy must be discharged. If you are still in the process, it will be difficult to get a mortgage lender will speak to you.

Once your bankruptcy is discharged, organize and scrutinize your credit report. If there are debts that have been paid back but still appear on your report, contact the credit agency and have them corrected. While you’re at it, check for other mistakes on your credit report. You are entitled to one free credit report from each of the big three credit rating agencies each year—Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. If there is an error, dispute it online via the particular credit agency’s website.

Use Secured Credit Cards:
The fastest way to start rebuilding your credit score after a bankruptcy is to prove to creditors and other lenders that you can be trusted to pay back the money you owe them. You can do this by opening the right kinds of credit and managing it well.

A great place to start rebuilding your credit is by obtaining a secured credit card. A secured credit card gives you credit limited to the amount you have on deposit with the issuing bank. So, if you have $20 to $500 to place in an account with the issuing bank, then the bank will limit your credit each month to the amount of that deposit.

More Tips to Remember While Building Credit…..
Use only a small portion of your credit.
Don’t max out your credit cards and don’t apply for too much credit at one time.
Move slowly and build up your credit with on-time or even early payments.
At the end of every month, pay enough on your credit card to drop the balance down to $10.

-Pay all your bills on time and save money.
-Stay at the same job for a good length of time.
-Remove any outstanding tax liens.

Wait at Least Two Years:
Here’s where you will need patience: You should wait at least 24 months after your bankruptcy is discharged to apply for a mortgage. You may be able to get a mortgage sooner but the terms, like interest rates, won’t be as attractive as they would be if you waited two years. Since you might be paying that mortgage interest for up to 30 years, you will save money if you wait long enough after the discharge to get a good interest rate.

Finally Applying For a Mortgage:
After the two-year period, make sure you are fully prepared to apply for a loan. Your lender will want you to meet certain criteria before agreeing to lend you money: A good debt-to-income ratio, stability and time on the job. Money in the bank and no bounced checks help tremendously, of course. Any retirement plans or 401(k) assets makes your credit look good as well.

If you are seeking a home loan in the State of Georgia and would like to talk to a Loan officer about your particular situation, please call us at 770-924-1111

The VA Loan….4 reasons why it is the best.


If you are a Veteran of one of the great military institutions and have served enough time to earn your Certificate of Eligibility, a VA home loan is most likely right for you! Here is an interesting fact, although some ill-advised experts will contend that 100% financing or low down payment programs led to the housing crisis, did you know that the 100% VA loan has the lowest rate of loan default out of any loan product on the market? The VA loan is the best financing product on the market, here are 4 reasons why:

100% Financing.
The VA loan entitles eligible Veterans to receive no down payment 100% financing on their home loans. This allows the Veteran to retain their personal savings making them better equipped to deal with life’s little emergencies that most likely will occur down the road. After all, life happens right?

NO Monthly Mortgage Insurance.
With most loan products, if you won’t put down 20% you must pay monthly mortgage insurance on your loan which is included in your monthly mortgage payment. Most all government backed loans such as FHA or USDA have required monthly mortgage insurance, but not VA loans. This increases the affordability of a home that the Veteran chooses, making it easier for them to maintain on time payments to the lender.

Flexible, Make Sense Underwriting Standards.
The VA has established make sense underwriting guidelines giving Veterans additional leeway when it comes to credit issues. They have the shortest seasoning guidelines on foreclosures, short sales, and Bankruptcy’s of any government backed loan. With that being said, the Veteran still must meet minimum credit standards established by the VA and the mortgage lender. Just because a Veteran has his/her Certificate of Eligibility is not an automatic loan approval. However working with a Loan Officer who has an extensive knowledge of the VA guidelines can be the difference between a loan approval and a loan denial. Although the VA has their own underwriting guidelines, not all VA Lenders have the same guidelines and you will find that credit score requirement vary greatly from lender to lender.

Low Rates
The VA does not establish mortgage rates or actually lend any money themselves to make a mortgage loan, rather mortgage rates are established by each individual lender. However, VA loan rates are some of the most competitive rates in the business.

If you are a Veteran and would like to explore your options to purchase a home using your VA Entitlement, we would love the opportunity to earn your business. Please call 770-924-1111 for a FREE, no obligation credit consultation.

Your Monthly Mortgage Payment


When you own a home, the responsibility goes deeper than just making monthly principal + interest payments to the bank. Real estate taxes and homeowners insurance are due, too.

Principal and interest payments are typically due monthly to your lender; real estate taxes are due to your local taxing authority; and homeowners insurance is due to your insurer.

Depending on how you manage these four parts, you may get a lower rate.

What Is PITI?
When a mortgage lender is trying to determine your ability to repay, one area at which it looks is your total monthly housing payment.

Your total monthly housing is calculated as follows:
•Your monthly mortgage principal payment
•Your monthly mortgage interest payment
•Your annual real estate tax bill, pro-rated to a monthly figure
•Your annual homeowners insurance bill, pro-rated to a monthly figure

Collectively, these elements — principal, interest, taxes, insurance — are known as PITI.
PITI can vary from day-to-day, and from home-to-home. This is because mortgage rates change daily, which change a home’s principal + interest payment, and because every home’s tax bill and insurance bill are different.

Many mortgage programs such as the FHA Streamline Refinance and various VA home loans require monthly pro-rated tax and insurance bills to be included within the monthly mortgage payment, a loan trait known as “escrowing” taxes and insurance.

Find Your Monthly Escrow Payment
Escrows are a part of your mortgage payment and you’ll want to know your obligation. It’s best to use a calculator because, although the math is simple, you want to make sure you get it right.

First, find your home’s real estate tax bill(s), noting that in some areas, you may receive statements from multiple different taxing authorities. Find the sum of these statements and add to it your annual hazard insurance premium.

If you are a home buyer and don’t know what your hazard insurance premium will be, estimate 1% of the purchase price. This will yield an estimate which is likely larger than your actual premium, but when building a budget, it’s often better to estimate on the high-side.
Next, divide your sum by the 12 months in a year.

These monies are paid along with the mortgage payment’s principal + interest portion.

Call your favorite Go To Guys for any questions regarding your payment or escrow! 770.924.1111