Monday Morning Reads

Housing Monday Morning Reads

Foreclosure Deal Gets Closer – WSJ (paywall)

Vegas Rental Market Is In Trouble… Saturation Point? – Patrick.net

HUD Secretary Expects “Substantial” Payment of Foreclosure Fraud Settlement with MBS Investor Money - Firedoglake

Deal Is Closer for a U.S. Plan on Mortgage Relief – NY Times

State asks homeowners to stop deducting some taxes – SF Gate

Federal and state laws generally limit the real estate deduction to ad valorem taxes, which are calculated as a percentage of the property’s assessed value. Any tax that is a flat amount per property or benefits a specific property is generally not deductible. There are some minor exceptions, however, and property tax statements do not spell out which charges are not deductible.

Until this year, almost everyone, including tax preparers, ignored this law and deducted 100 percent of property taxes, says Mary Canning, dean of the taxation and accounting schools at Golden Gate University.

“We weren’t looking at the bills,” says Canning, who also has a tax practice. “Nobody was trying to do anything deceptive.”

Once uncommon, nondeductible charges began creeping on to California property tax bills after Proposition 13 in 1978 sharply limited general property tax increases. Since then, many local governments and school districts have been raising money with voter-approved parcel taxes and other charges that are not deductible.

Atlanta BofA Tower Auction Highlights Foreclosures – Bloomberg

Unemployment & Greece

Greek talks descend into finger-pointing – Felix Salmon

Greece and Europe not quite sure if there’s a deadline or if it’s been passed – Reuters

A Few Thoughts on the Employment Situation - Barry Ritholtz

…after Friday’s solid NFP release, some unusual — and to be blunt, quite silly — commentary was about the intertubes. Quite frankly, it embarrassed its authors, whom I would categorize into three distinct cliques: The PermaBears, the Political Knaves, and the Consistently Wrong (some people belong in more than one category).

Why the official 8.3 percent unemployment rate is a phony number—and what it means for Obama’s reelection – The Enterprise Blog

The January jobs report is out and it seems pretty strong, at least superficially. The unemployment rate fell to 8.3 percent from 8.5 percent, the lowest rate since February 2009. And the economy added 243,000 jobs, the most since April 2011.

But does anyone believe an “official” unemployment rate of 8.3 percent really gives an accurate picture of the U.S. labor market? Even though the unemployment rate fell, so did the labor force participation rate (as more Americans became discouraged and gave up looking for work).

Things Are Not O.K. – Paul Krugman

The main thing standing in the way of a housing bounce-back is a sharp fall in household formation — econospeak for lots of young adults living with their parents because they can’t afford to move out. Let enough Americans find jobs and get homes of their own, and housing, which got us into this slump, could start to power us out.

Misc.

The value of friendship (facebook) – Economist

Why Morning Routines Are Creativity Killers – Time

The only thing most of us do right in the morning, in fact, is drink coffee.

(I’ll promote anything that supports my coffee habit)

The Fiat Superbowl Commercial WAS the Best…

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Greg Fielding

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J. Rockcliff Realtors

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About Greg Fielding

I am a longtime real estate agent who has pretty much seen it all during the housing boom as bust. With experience in selling high-end property and low-end foreclosures, raw land, short sales, development work, apartment buildings, and working with investors, I bring a well-rounded perspective to my work.I also have started to do some paid real estate consulting. If you have questions or just need some good real estate advice, book an appointment at http://whattodorealestate.com/In addition to selling real estate, my insights have been featured in The New York Times, The Big Picture, and regularly on Patrick.net. I have also done consulting work with ForeclosureRadar.Starting my career, in 2003, I have sold homes throughout Alameda and Contra Costa counties, specializing in Danville, Alamo, Blackhawk, San Ramon, Dublin, Pleasanton, Walnut Creek, Lafayette, and Orinda. I live in Danville with my three kids.


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