Home equity loans have regained some of their popularity in the wake of the housing crisis.
But borrowers need to be clear about the extent of their tax deductibility — at least until (and if) Washington completes wrangling over the deficit. You’ll find the nitty-gritty in a 16-page PDF published by the IRS, from which I’ll try to furnish just the broadest of strokes.
Numerous condo and co-op buildings restrict the amount, place or even the contents of notices and other paper that residents want their neighbors to see.
The arguments in favor of the restriction range from preserving dignity and removing clutter to avoiding political disputes.
For years, community association leaders and lawyers were in agreement that since condos are not governments, the First Amendment did not protect condo owners from speaking freely, lawyer and columnist Benny Kass observes in the Washington Post. But a recent court ruling suggests the possibility that courts in some states may rule on the side of building residents, rather than their boards.
Housing recovery will depend on bitter medicine. (Flickr photo by aussiegall)
Experts cannot agree on how long housing’s crisis will continue or how to fix the problem.
You may have noticed my characterization of the situation as a “crisis,” and certainly everything that has happened in housing in the last three years has been tragically dislocating to millions of families and profoundly harmful to the economy. No one knows when it all will end or even how bad things will be when it’s finally over.
The effects of the bursting bubble have thrown lives into chaos and helped make a shamble of the economy, and that’s where the word “crisis” comes in. Whether ameliorating the crisis means that the nation will–or should–return to 68-69 percent home ownership is another matter on which I have written and will consider again below
It’s hard to know where we are. None of the statistical information from a variety of sources is particularly helpful. Anecdotal information is even worse.
When it comes to Manhattan’s housing situation, nothing could be easier than to find rosy predictions–most recently in the New York Times, where various executives were quoted as celebrating a boost in business.