American tax law offers a significant capital gains tax exemption that allows taxpaying homeowners to unlock home equity and end the spiraling cycle of “investing up.” First-time buyers enjoy expanded rules for Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA) and 401(k) plans, rules that allow penalty-free withdrawals to purchase a home.
Every two years, married sellers of principal residences who file joint federal income tax returns are allowed a $500,000 exclusion ($250,000 for singles) from capital gains tax. For sales that took place after May 6, 2003, the maximum capital gains tax rates for profits above the exclusion dropped from 20% to 15% for higher income taxpayers, and from 10% to 5% for lower income taxpayers.
Homeowners can now consider several new options. People who find themselves at an empty-nester stage (no children at home) in a four or five bedroom home with a large equity have been able to unlock their equity dollars, using the income to help their children buy a first home, take a luxury cruise, remodel the house or purchase a second home for vacation or retirement.
Consult your tax advisor for advice regarding your particular circumstance.
Do These Real Estate Tips Really Apply to YOU?
I’ve learned these tips through years of experience as a top real estate agent. But I know that YOUR situation might be different. That’s why I’m here.
It’s my job to personally advise homebuyers and sellers. Ask me if any tip that I’ve included here really applies to your situation.