Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better person. Benjamin Franklin
As the year fades, life gives you another year to surprise the world with your talent; work hard and think big. We hope 2018 fills your life with success, kindness, and good luck. The GoldCoast Mortgage Team
The Trump tax cuts have eliminated the real estate tax deduction over $10,000 for 2018. This caused the mad rush at city and town halls the last few weeks to pre-pay 2018 real estate tax.
For folks who do not have a tax liability over $10,000 this does not seem like a smart play. Additionally, the IRS is saying they won’t allow the deduction in 2017 on tax billings that were not in 2017.
One big change not to be overlooked by anyone with a balance on their Home Equity Line of Credit is the cut to the interest deduction on a HELOC. It appears that the interest paid on a HELOC (established both before or after 2018) will not be deductible.
The old and new mortgage deduction law is outlined nicely in A Guide to 2018 Tax Changes published recently by The Annenberg Public Policy Center. The article is a valuable resource and covers all aspects of the tax law changes in 2018 from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
Previous law: Taxpayers who itemize their taxes can deduct interest payments on mortgage debt of up to $1.1 million. That includes up to $100,000 of home equity debt.
New law: For current mortgage holders, there is no change. But the deductible limit drops to $750,000 for new debt incurred after Dec. 31, 2017. Also, homeowners may not claim a deduction for existing and new interest on home equity debt, beginning Jan. 1, 2018. The mortgage deduction changes expire after 2025.
If you're carrying a balance on your HELOC it may prove best to convert it to a primary fixed rate mortgage as early in 2018 as possible. Primary mortgages (in first position) will be deductible up to $750,000. There does not appear to be a difference between a first mortgage that was used to acquire your residence or one that was used to consolidate a HELOC (refinance).
Consulting with your accountant or tax professional is recommended prior to engaging in any financial strategy.
John Donlon is the Co‐Founder of GoldCoast Mortgage, Inc., one of the earliest licensed mortgage corporations in the nation. GoldCoast was founded, and fiercely protects, their extreme service model which puts the client’s needs ahead of corporate needs. In an age of technology-based applications you will find their guidance, knowledge, and process very enlightening, comforting and efficient. GoldCoast Mortgage Service, Inc. agents are licensed and arrange residential and commercial mortgages in MA, NH and ME.
I co-founded GoldCoast Mortgage in 1999. The name was selected at a meeting at the now defunct Goat Hill Grill and drawn from the North Shore region described by author Joseph Garland as “Boston’s GoldCoast”. Born in Beverly and I have never strayed far. After a brief stop in Salem my wife Kellie and I wound up Danvers where we’ve been caring for a 1st period farmhouse for close to 20 years. I enjoy local coffee shops and often arrive to them without a mobile phone so that I can focus on the person I’m with. I’ve become addicted to hand splitting firewood (maul) and process about 6 cord/year. We vacation in PEI Canada where we’ve gotten use to red dirt roads, absence of street lights, a brilliant evening star scape, and mastering four hour meals.
I have four children from grade school to high school and enjoy teaching them by example. The biggest gift we can give anyone is that of our attention.
I’ve handled recorded instruments on over a billion dollars’ worth of real estate. My appetite for learning, perfecting and growing is indefatigable. Whether that’s a blessing or a curse I’m often first car in the lot and/or the last to leave. If I can share lessons on real estate to save my clients heartache, then I have fulfilled my role as their advisor.
Jeff is a lifelong resident of the state of Massachusetts, he grew up in Millis, a small town southwest of Boston, MA. His first experience with the North Shore came with his freshman year at Salem State College in 2003 and he has remained a loyal resident of Salem ever since. At Salem State; Jeff earned a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice, played for the championship winning lacrosse team and met his wife Janelle.
Spending his college summers working at a marina in Salem, MA has secured Jeff's love of living near the ocean and spending time on Salem Harbor. Jeff has held jobs in sales and customer service since graduation. He has moved to GoldCoast Mortgage from New York Life, handling insurance and investments for his clients around Massachusetts.
Jeff joins GoldCoast Mortgage as a loan officer focusing on real estate financing needs for homebuyers, homeowners, business owners, executives, and public plus private employees. GoldCoast Mortgage is a proudly independent mortgage broker servicing over 5,000 clients with precision, compassion and education.
Matthew Teeter is a licensed Mortgage Loan Originator and Trusted Advisor for GoldCoast Mortgage. He has extensive lending and consumer finance experience working as an originator, processor and servicer over the course of his tenured career. His versatility allows him to bring a well-rounded approach to better assist throughout the process from application to closing. He is also a Notary Public for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
A lifelong resident of the North Shore, Matthew graduated from Beverly High School with honors and went on to attend Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and Salem State University. His involvement in non-profit organizations including the YMCA and the March of Dimes Foundation also demonstrates his willingness and desire to help others succeed and achieve their goals through networking together. In addition to real estate, finance and investing, he enjoys the outdoors, travelling and staying active through sports, fitness and hiking.
Matthew brings a positive attitude to everything he does and it shows in his work ethic. Whether you are purchasing or refinancing, you can count on him to help you incorporate your mortgage needs to meet your life's short-term and long-term goals. Contact Matthew and count on him as your trusted advisor for your next real estate transaction.
I've lived all my life in the Greater Boston area. Somerville is my hometown and holds my heart. I've lived for over a decade in each of Medford, Cambridge and Arlington where I live now with my wife of 24 years and daughter.
When I am not helping people with their home needs I love spending time with family. I “attempt” to play the guitar with my daughter, Sydney, and I love taking her fresh water fishing (we practice catch and release). We are all avid Patriots fans; we love the Red Sox, Celtics and Bruins too Any place near the ocean is a great place to be for us to be.
I'm proud of my New England roots and equally proud to call Massachusetts my home. I am willing to share, teach, coach, research and problem solve for my clients benefit. I’m proud of the service level I maintain and have faith in the service and reputation of company that I have decided to align with.
A Realtor who enjoys our marketing perspective asked us recently, "Do you think the Zillow Instant Offer program will come to Massachusetts?"
The quick answer is “No”. The Zillow Instant Offer program is only being tested in depressed real estate markets in Orlando and Las Vegas. The program would never work in the red hot real estate market in Massachusetts.
Instant Offer and other seemingly quick real estate transaction sites like Quicken’s "Rocket Mortgage" attempt to remove the service, consultancy, experience phase of a real estate project that Buyers Broker’s and GoldCoast clients receive for free. Some of our clients adamantly declare this aspect of our service saved them from making a retirement-delaying, quality-of-life altering mistake.
Instant Offer wouldn’t work in New England for many other reasons. Our topography, littered with granite droppings, results in home plots that are a lesson in geometry with everything from trapezoids to figure-8 shaped lots. Our homes range from Colonial Era construction into several periods and multiple design trends spanning centuries. As a result, it is common to find a first period farmhouse amidst a contemporary subdivision that contains wetlands.
Massachusetts homes are too wiggly to accurately predict value from an algorithm. Instant Offer needs a semi-homogenous product to work. Our subdivisions are built around rivers, train tracks, hills, some on top of hills. Stone walls and trees were commonly used to anchor metes and bounds. How do you accurately calculate square footage when there is boulder under half the house? Is a house in a historical district worth more, or less?
Will some people flock to an easy solution – leaving money on the table and forgoing the big picture? Yes, but I challenge you with this: Were they the right customers for you in the first place; clients who understand and appreciate the value you bring to the project?
Being in a professional service industry I recognize the importance of my role. Most of the Realtors and brokers I work with do so as well.
John Donlon is the Co‐Founder of GoldCoast Mortgage, Inc., one of the earliest licensed mortgage corporations in the nation. GoldCoast was founded, and fiercely protects, their extreme service model which puts the client’s needs ahead of corporate needs. In an age of technology based applications you will find their guidance, knowledge, and process very enlightening, comforting and efficient. GoldCoast Mortgage Service, Inc. agents are licensed and arrange residential and commercial mortgages in MA, NH and ME.
This is a non traditional checklist. One that you won’t see on any other website or real estate platform. It comes from the experience learned by our team from personally working on thousands of transactions over multiple decades. We are facilitators, and while licensed as (and only as) mortgage loan officers, we routinely help lubricate transactions across the finish line by sharing our intellectual property, knowledge and alerting our clients to “road hazards” along the home buying process. We call it, “Providing Safe Passage to a Real Estate Goal.”
We have only two things on our Home Purchase Checklist: WHY? and YOU.
Let’s talk about YOU first. YOU are the most important party in this transaction. Everyone else will fall behind you in the importance hierarchy. This house, home, or condo is your purchase. You need to lead and control your goals and mission, otherwise someone else will. Your priorities come first; any vendor or service provider who attempts to put their priorities ahead of yours should be cut from your team. I need to apologize in advance to several sales people I’ve met over the years #sorrynotsorry.
It’s OK to be selfish. Defend your needs in the transaction. Allow NO questions to go without an answer that you are satisfied with. Are we good here? Let’s look at #2 now.
Nobody want a mortgage – they really don’t. They don’t want 360 unrelenting payments and a quarter or half-million dollar burden. Being invoiced every 30 days without fail regardless of illness, job status, or economy. If given a choice most would opt for NO mortgage.
What our clients really want are things that only a home can provide. Stability, privacy, or a garage because you’re sick of scrapping windshields. The ability to host and cook for guests. To shorten up a commute instead of sacrificing 20+ days per year to the windshield gods. To be closer to your grandchildren, ski out your door and the list goes on. A mortgage is simply a tool to get to these things.
The first thing you will need to know (mostly about yourself) is WHY you are buying. Home buying being a huge sacrifice you need to know that the things you are about to sacrifice (money and time to name just two) are less important than the goal motivating you to purchase your home.
I like to start with a top 10 list of priorities. Where does homeownership fall on that list? Below health? Above retirement savings? Material items such as a house or a condo will not add or detract from relationships, but only magnify them. Are there right and wrong reasons to buy a home? Absolutely. Yet the bigger mistake is buying without a knowing the Why.
A home can enhance your quality of life, or it can eat you alive. If you don’t truly know why you’re purchasing the home, then it is apt to be the later. Start with the answer to the Why and you will change your entire homeownership experience. Then lean on your trusted advisors for the mechanical aspects of the checklist such as the smoke alarms certificates and final meter readings.
John Donlon is the Co‐Founder of GoldCoast Mortgage, Inc., one of the 70th earliest licensed mortgage corporations in the nation. They were founded, and fiercely protect, their extreme service model which puts the client’s needs ahead of corporate needs. In an age of technology based applications you will find their guidance, knowledge, and process very enlightening, comforting and efficient. GoldCoast Mortgage Service, Inc. is licensed and arranges residential and commercial mortgages in MA, NH and ME.
In this molten real estate market, it's increasingly common for the seller to ask the buyer to waive the home inspection contingency. Is this financial suicide? This is not an easy question to answer.
New marketplaces call for new strategies. At GoldCoast Mortgage we know you need to live somewhere and buying a home comes with many risks. If your personality type cannot handle risk. The following strategy is probably not for you.
While any attorney might unilaterally say no to the waiver. We adopt a pragmatic approach.
We met Jay Mercier, one of the home inspectors we recommend, this week for coffee. He recently completed a post purchase inspection. The hardest of his life. He unearthed $35,000 in urgent repairs and devastated the home buying experience for a young couple. Most of the expense he could spot from the bottom step of the stairs down to the basement.
In a warm market, we've seen the home inspection used to renegotiate price. A broken dishwasher and ungrounded outlets used to mean a price reduction.
In a hot market, there are backup buyers ready to take your place. Renegotiation isn't an option but using our strategy at least you know not to buy a lemon.
In a molten market, buyer beware, the buying process is akin to an auction.
So, what can you do?
Train yourself as your own home inspector? This can be tough as laws and rules change. A successful inspector is an observant, experienced, investigator. We like service providers that have done thousands of inspections.
If you're forced to waive the inspection contingency in order to buy your dream home consider the following strategy:
A) Don't get set up. Homes that are fatally flawed tend to become blended into the crowd in a molten marketplace. This "slip it through" phenom is more likely in a For-Sale-By-Owner setting.
B) Don't ignore your instincts. Be wary of smells, taste of the tap water, recent renovations or fresh paint without expansion or improvement.
C) Consider a home inspector in tow. Schedule a meeting with a reputable home inspector, explain your dilemma and create a strategy. The strategy is you don't want to get roasted. Set your definition of roasted with the inspector. Is it a new roof, infestation, mold, asbestos, defunct furnace, structural integrity or failing chimneys? Then hire the home inspector to accompany you to the showing. A thumbs down means your definition of roasted is met. Thumbs up means "all clear" on major issues (no visible fatal flaws).
This strategy is not a home inspection; you're renting the inspectors experience. If you cannot handle the expense of smaller items or if you think $1,000 in inspector fees is expensive, this strategy is not for you. We use $1,000 as an example of needing to rent the inspectors experience more than once in the home buying process.
Home ownership and competitive buying represent risks. Do the best to minimize yours.
John Donlon is the Co‐Founder of GoldCoast Mortgage, one of the 70th earliest licensed mortgage corporations in the nation. They were founded, and fiercely protect, their extreme service model which puts the client’s needs ahead of corporate needs. In an age of technology based applications you will find their guidance, knowledge, and process very enlightening, comforting and efficient.