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This is unbelievable. I had to hit the rewind thing on my TV to do a double take. Check this out.

I saw a commercial last night where folks can use their cell phone to take a photo of a check and deposit it into their bank account.

Next, using your cell phone again, you can take a photo of a check you just wrote or printed to pay a bill and click something on your phone and pay the bill… wow!  Let me repeat, use your cell phone, take a photo of your check, and your cell phone allows you to pay your bill with a photo of your check.

I do not understand the details; however, this is a huge wake up call about where and how technology will be become a very big part of making your business more automated and efficient.

I am very much behind the times, especially when it comes to "online banking." Having been told for years you can use online banking to pay bills, write checks, etc. and your bank will do it for free including printing the check, envelope and postage. This seemed too good to be true until I began receiving payments in the mail from folks using this very same method.

Postage ain’t cheap. This got my attention, and we are gradually working toward utilizing these free resources for our business.

If it seems a little far fetched at the moment, as far as the cell phone camera taking pictures of checks…. just think back a bit, 8 track tapes, fax machines, email, internet, cell phones, blue tooth,.. you get the point… keep your eyes and ears open and always have a sponge-like attitude toward education. Absorb it all. 

 July 8, 2010 – A coalition of housing industry groups joined the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) today in announcing plans to file a lawsuit against the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for removing the "opt-out" provision from its Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting rule.

The Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting rule (LRRP) applies to homes constructed before 1978 when lead paint was banned. Its opt-out provision, which expired July 6, let consumers allow contractors to bypass extra preparation, clean-up and recordkeeping requirements in homes where there were no children under 6 or pregnant women, thus avoiding additional costs.

"Removing the opt-out provision more than doubles the number of homes subject to the regulation," said NAHB Chairman Bob Jones, a home builder and developer in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. "About 79 million homes are affected, even though EPA estimates that only 38 million homes contain lead-based paint. Removing the opt-out provision extends the rule to consumers who need no protection."

The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association, the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association and the Window and Door Manufacturers Association joined NAHB in filing the petition for review in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

The group will challenge EPA’s action on the grounds that the agency substantially amended its LRRP regulation without any new scientific data and before the regulation was even put into place on April 22, 2010.

"Even under the original rule, the opt-out provision was not available in homes where small children or pregnant women live," Jones said. "That shows that this change provides no additional protection to the people who are most vulnerable to lead-based paint hazards."

Remodelers’ and other contractors’ estimates of the additional costs associated with the lead-safe work practices average about $2,400, but vary according to the size and type of job. For example, a complete window replacement requires the contractor to install thick vinyl sheeting to surround the work area both inside the home and outdoors – with prep time and material costs adding an estimated $60 to $170 for each window.

"Consumers trying to use rebates and incentive programs to make their homes more energy efficient will likely find those savings eaten up by the costs of the rule’s requirements. Worse, these costs may drive many consumers – even those with small children – to seek uncertified remodelers and other contractors. Others will likely choose to do the work themselves – or not do it at all – to save money. That does nothing to protect the population this rule was designed to safeguard," Jones said    

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Great Short Video to share with your tenants when the air-conditioning goes ka-bloohey.

 
How To Survive Without Air-Conditioning on Howcast

 

 

QUESTION:

Hi Mike, When you put a rental property in a trust.

Can you set up a bank account to receive payments and pay expenses or do I have to get an LLC to do this?

I don’t want the bank to ask for the paperwork and see the beneficiaries. 

Thanks 
Maria

 

ANSWER:

Land Trust is a privacy instrument and is the owner of record.

Your beneficial interest, in our language, is the owner and reports the activity on tax returns.

if you use a LLC, you must have a bank account.

 

Mike

 

Mike

I have recently converted a house I bought in 1988 that was my principal residence till 2009 into a rental unit under my LLC.

How do you suggest that this conversion be recorded so that it is tax advantaged for the LLC.

Meaning, when the property gets sold at some future date the LLC does not get hit with capital gains that is non-existent.

I am thinking of cost basis of the property circa 2009, what should it be?

Since it was a principal residence up until then no depreciation was taken or reported over the 20+ years; there were some improvements done since the house was originally bought; the market value and also the assessed value have gone up and down with the market, at any rate market values are irrelevant – what then would be proper accounting for the property in the books? Would appreciate if you would enlighten me

 

Shaw Ali

 

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ANSWER:

Fantastic Question Shaw!

Long story short, for the time being and in recent years, one could sell their residence for Tax Free Profit. There were some guidelines and limits. For example, a single person was limited to 250k profit and married was limited to 500k. Many investors were using this one tax strategies to generate big chunks of tax free cash about every 2 years.

Odds are, there is a time limit on such a beautiful tax strategy. This date I am not sure of and will have to check with my CPA, and I recommend you to do the same.

As far as the LLC, there are a number of variables to factor including how you are reporting the activity of your LLC. Are you reporting it as a sole proprietorship for tax purposes?

If not, you might be able to sell your residence to your LLC and get “tax free profit” on paper and start your LLC off with a high cost basis.

Either way, please get an expert real estate investor CPA to give you a very precise laser focused to your situation answer and solution.

 

Mike Butler

 

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