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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.

Sue Miller, abr, rsps, sfr, bpor
Associate Broker
Realty ONE Mountain Desert

1971 McCulloch Blvd., North
Suite 102
Lake Havasu City, AZ 86403
928-706-4SUE (4783) Direct
480-247-4722 Fax


What Clients Are Saying

I can’t say enough positive things about Sue Miller and the sale of my house! Sue is a true professional...extremely hard working, punctual and follows through exactly as she says she will. She made the selling of my house pain free and a positive experience. I can’t say enough good things about Sue Miller! Trude Jackson
I was sizing down for retirement and Sue pointed out things I would not have thought of when we were house shopping. She always responded quickly to any questions or issues I had when we were working out loan details. She was always positive with each step we took as buying a condo is a little trickier then a house in Lake Havasu City. She went well and beyond to assist me in this next step of my life. And she is still helping me as I needed a contractor to help me with some changes in my new home and she has referred me to an awesome individual. I would recommend her to anyone who is buying or selling a home and she is so knowledgeable and knows who to contact should there be issues that need to be addressed when purchasing or selling a home, Michelle Bryan
Dear Sue, This is to "Thank You" for your professional, timely, and energetic help in selling our condo in Sonrisa recently. You were recommended to us by another satisfied client of yours and we are so glad they made that recommendation to us. Everything they said about your service and ability was true. As you know the sale of our condo involved some involved details that needed your experience and guidance. And it had to all be done in record time. You were more than helpful and made sure our sale was completed properly and professionally in record time. I am very pleased to offer you the following testimonials. We couldn't be happier with your guidance, energy, and the outcome. We are very, very happy we selected you as the realtor to sell our condo and would recommend you strongly to anyone wanting a professional real estate experience. Ron and Gloria Hughes
Sue is extremely knowledgeable in the all aspects of real estate transactions. She also knows the Lake Havasu City area thoroughly. She works relentlessly on behalf of her clients! We moved here from out of state, and Sue spent a long 14 hour day researching & viewing homes in our price range with my husband until they found just the right home! When a questionable appraisal nearly caused our contract to fall through, Sue went above & beyond her duties, nearly sacrificing her own position, to assure that the issue was rectified. I firmly believe that any other realtor would have advised us to "move on" to another property. Sue's dedication & high ethical standards guided us through a rather messy short sale process. The bottom line is, Sue got us the home we wanted! Thank you Sue, from the bottom of my heart! You made it happen for us! Mike and Judy McClintock
Thank you so much Sue for both helping us to buy our home in Lake Havasu and selling it at top dollar when the time came for us to leave. I don't think we could have found a more knowledgeable real estate agent. No one fights for their client like you do and if we were to move back to Lake Havasu you would be the first person we would call, and would gladly recommend you to anyone looking to buy or sell a home. David and Karen Porter
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