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Barry Dolowich, Tax Tips: The time for tax planning

As the end of another year rapidly approaches, it is important to review your tax position to ensure that you take advantage of every possible tax saving tool.

Remember, 2018 tax planning in January 2019 will be too late!

The following is a sample of 2018 tax saving and deferral strategies available to you by acting prior to Dec. 31, 2018:

1. Capital gains can be offset by capital losses. Therefore, it is recommended that you review your investment transactions for the year to ascertain your capital gains position. If you have a net capital gain position to date, you may want to review your investment portfolio for a loss position to sell before Dec. 31, 2018, to offset your net capital gain. Likewise, you may want to sell appreciated securities to take advantage of a capital loss position. (Note: Do not forget the capital gain income you may receive through your mutual funds!)

2. Mortgage interest is generally paid in arrears (we pay interest on the first of each month for the prior month’s interest). Therefore, by accelerating the Jan. 1, 2019, mortgage payment by paying it in December 2018, you will be able to deduct the December 2018 mortgage interest in 2018 instead of in 2019.

Report: Mortgage delinquencies back to pre-recession level

While plenty of housing indicators compare home sales from one month to another and look at year-over-year sales, CoreLogic , a property data analytics firm, dug a little deeper to see whether the national housing market has fully recovered from the foreclosure crisis and recession.

The company found that home prices and mortgage delinquencies have returned to their pre-crisis levels and the number of homes sold each year still lags behind pre-crisis levels.

When comparing the number of home sales, including resales and newly built houses, CoreLogic found that the level of sales was the same in 2017 as it was in 2002, before the housing boom, at about 6 million homes annually. However, that comparison ignores household growth patterns. About 15 million more households have been created since the early 2000s, which implies that more home sales are required to meet that demand.

does anyone know how a accelerated home loan mortgage work?

Instead of making a payment monthly, some plans will set it up to pull 1/2 of your payment every other week.