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Infrastructure Improvement Means Real Estate Activity

When the Trump administration released its $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan last month, it set in motion a multi-year process that could eventually lead to considerable investment in communities. Of course, Congress must pass legislation to make much of it happen. Although there are some parts that the administration can do on its own, a lot of the plan will require both authorizing and funding legislation, so how close we get to that $1.5 trillion goal is dependent on what lawmakers can agree on in the next year or two.

Regardless, with the country’s roads, bridges, waterways, dams, and other public projects aging, some projects will be getting funds in the years ahead whether or not the plan is all or partly enacted. The question for you is, how will you get involved? Will you get involved upfront, when projects are in the planning stages, or will you get involved after projects get going? Often, bridge replacement means land transactions, because it’s not unusual for a replacement bridge to be built alongside the existing bridge. That means government might have to acquire or condemn nearby property. Or if a road is widened—will that involve acquisition or condemnation of land?

Property values tend to go up after infrastructure improvements are made. In northern Virginia, expansion of the metropolitan subway system had a tremendous impact on property values along the new tracks. Huge condo, apartment, retail, office, and mixed-use projects followed. It triggered a real estate boom.

The administration’s infrastructure plan is featured in the latest Voice for Real Estate news video from NAR. Access that segment now.

The video also looks at why NAR supports the banking reform bill that passed the Senate a couple of weeks ago, why passage of long-term reform of federal flood insurance is just as much about improving communities as it is about continuation of insurance policies, and why Congress needs to make mortgage debt forgiveness relief a permanent part of the tax code. Cyber crime and association health plans are covered, too.

Access and share video.

Audio: Dealing with Cyberthreats

Steve Spano, president and chief operating officer of the Center for Internet Security, recently visited NAR’s Washington offices to discuss techniques real estate professionals can employ to stay safe online. Listen to his comments below.

Yes, Interest on Home Equity Loans is Still Deductible

There’s been confusion since the big tax law was enacted over the deductibility of interest on home equity loans. NAR has been saying that the interest is still deductible for the part of the loan that’s used for home repairs, renovations, and additions. And that’s the correct interpretation, according to the IRS. The agency confirmed that in a memo about a week and a half ago.

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The part of the loan that’s used on the house to fix something or improve it remains deductible under the new tax law. Loan proceeds that are used for personal living expenses or anything not related to improving the home are not deductible.

The clarification is looked at in the latest Voice for Real Estate news video from NAR.

The video also looks at an important vote in the House on so-called drive-by lawsuits. These are lawsuits filed by people who are using accessibility requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act to extract fees from small property owners. People are sending letters to property owners alleging they have an ADA violation and threatening a lawsuit unless the owner reaches a settlement with them. The person sending the letter typically doesn’t even say what the alleged violation is. The only way the owner can find out is by going to court. Most owners end up settling as the cheaper alternative and if there was ever any violation the owner never finds out what it is.

The House passed a bill requiring people who send these letters to identify what the alleged violation is and to give owners a chance to correct the problem before taking them to court. It’s a solution that addresses a clear abuse of an important law and NAR supported its passage. The bill still has to be taken up in the Senate.

Other topics in the video include NAR’s Commitment to Excellence initiative, which will roll out later this year, to give NAR members a chance to voluntarily assess how well they perform on key aspects of their business, including technology, the Code of Ethics, and the forms and contracts they use.

The video also gives an update on home sales—they’re off to a slow start this year, mainly because of inventory shortages in many markets, especially among lower-cost starter homes—and what’s happening in commercial real estate. Briefly, transaction volume on small cap properties is doing okay but volume on large cap properties is slowing down.

Watch and share video.

Thank you for visiting today. If this is your first visit, take your time and look around. I have plenty of information and resources available to you. If you are a return visitor, thank you. I would love to hear from you and tell you how I can serve all your real estate needs.

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My husband and I were very specific about what we were looking for in a home. We had a general area of north and east of Dallas to locate a home in. Jim took the time to travel to each of the properties we were interested in, making notes about what we liked and didn't like. He also took the time to comp the areas so we could make informed decisions on the offers we made. After 8 months of looking, we finally settled on a house. Jim was helpful throughout the closing process. Also, as a part of our transition, we used Jim's partner, Joni, to sell our existing house. Joni takes the time to physically walk through your home, explain how to prep it, then she physically brings in items to stage it for you. This team was a dynamic duo for making buying and selling the best experience possible. We recommend them to anyone looking to buy or sell in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. ~ Sold 11804 Vienna Apple, The Villages of Woodland Springs ~ Purchased 116 Grant, Fate, TX ~ March 2018 Brain and Karen Resco
We worked with Jim to sell and buy. House sold within first week of listing due to great staging and good knowledge of comps in the area. Jim was willing to show us as many houses as we needed until we found the right one for us. It was a great experience and we would highly recommend his expertise in real estate. Joel and Rachel Peters
Best realtor ever. Jim was very professional and walked me through every step of selling my duplex. He had a great contract before the listing hit. The entire process was seamless, thanks to his knowledge and communication. I recommend Jim to everyone that is thinking of selling.....and some that hadn't thought about it yet Cathey Fickes
I recommend 100% Jim Carter for your real estate needs. He has vast knowledge and expertise in the home buying and selling process. Mr. Carter takes the time to know his clients, listens to their needs and wants, and provides excellent guidance from beginning to end. He provided me with information that I would not have thought of otherwise. He listened, was readily available, and was very patient with me throughout the process. Mr. Carter was a key piece in my success buying a home in this competitive market. - Maria Romero
"Blessed to have had a wonderful agent Joni Baldwin by our side for the sale of our home, and her partner Jim Carter assisted us in finding a beautiful home on Eagle Mountain Lake Tammy Melendez brought in a sweet family and I hope they make as many wonderful memories as we did. Thanks Berkshire Hathaway for making dreams come true. This has been a fabulous team to work with" Find more info on Your HOME Team of BHHS Worldwide at JoniBaldwin.com, TammyMelendezSellsHomes.com, or JimCarterRealEstate.com We'll be happy to help with all your real estate needs! ~ Terry and Dan Spano
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Thank you for visiting today. If this is your first visit, take your time and look around. I have plenty of information and resources available to you. If you are a return visitor, thank you. I would love to hear from you and tell you how I can serve all your real estate needs.