That’s literally the million dollar question. Many of our colleagues think that it will not be passed as the House version did this week. Some have good points and others just wishful thinking.
Many agents have voiced an opinion  that the mortgage deduction will be indexed for the higher cost coastal states, but we feel that’s exactly the targeted group this limitation is designed to hit—so we doubt we’ll see relief their. The senate bill may uphold the million dollar cap on mortgage interest—we’ll see.
We’d be surprised if in this administration, a dramatic negative shift in policy towards homeownership would emerge, but then this administration has been anything but predictive.
If it does pass as the House version stands, we’re not as worried about future homeowners—they’ll get over it and only the ones currently looking into buying a home will even know what’s going on. But for the millions of homeowners who bought their homes counting on the tax relief as the only way they can sustain their payments—therein lies the problem.
Assuming our homes are hovering around a median home price of $1,600,000. A buyer today could write down up to $1,000,000 in mortgage interest, which would be $42,174 in interest the first year. With the new proposed plan, that deduction drops in half to $21,087—resulting in an additional tax liability of around $7,380.50 a year, and that equates to as if they purchased a home for $125,000 more than what they had bargained for. Or another way to look at it. Is home prices (not values) on the Peninsula just went up over $125,000 overnight—so much for making more affordable housing.
Most regular folks are still purchasing homes with mortgages, and most mortgages are higher than in the above example. Obviously, the higher the mortgage, the more of a disparity this system creates in the allowable deduction.
What will real home values do? Probably not much since demand still outstrips supply in today’s market (locally). But the market for vacation homes—a huge segment in San Francisco for example—could drop precipitously since there will be NO deduction for second home mortgage interest. So a silver lining exists for the rich, and they could have a great opportunity to buy into vacation homes at diminished prices—all cash of course.

Drew & Christine Morgan are REALTORS/NOTARY PUBLIC in Belmont, CA. with more than 20 years of experience in helping sellers and buyers in their community. They may be reached at (650) 508.1441 or emailed at info@morganhomes.com.

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The information contained in this article is educational and intended for informational purposes only. It does not constitute real estate, tax or legal advice, nor does it substitute for advice specific to your situation. Always consult an appropriate professional familiar with your scenario.

 

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