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Will tax reform affect home sales?

Homeowners, buyers and sellers are no doubt wondering how the tax reform legislation will affect them. The plan, which is expected to lower income tax bills next year for many households, is the most significant overhaul to the tax code since 1986, but several provisions have a direct impact on the housing market.

Standard deduction: The new law increases the standard deduction to $12,000 for single filers and $24,000 for joint filers. For many homeowners, it no longer makes sense to itemize deductions.

Mortgage interest deductions: The new law caps the limit on deductible mortgage debt at $750,000 for loans taken out after Dec. 14. [Loans made before that date can continue to deduct interest on mortgage debt up to $1 million.] Homeowners can refinance mortgage debts that existed before Dec. 14 up to $1 million and still deduct the interest as long as the new loan does not exceed the amount refinanced. Mortgage interest on second homes can be deducted but is subject to the $750,000 limit.

State and local property taxes: The new law limits the property tax deduction to $10,000.

Capital gains exclusion: Home sellers can exclude up to $500,000 for joint filers or $250,000 for single filers for capital gains when selling a primary home as long as the homeowner has lived in the residence for two of the past five years.

Here’s what’s new in new homes:

A bright spot on the horizon: 

The Villages at Brightleaf

Highly anticipated and already a huge hit with West County homebuyers, The Villages at Brightleaf is preparing to make its grand entrance in Wildwood.  Located at the juncture of highways 100 and 109 opposite Wildwood Town Center, the 78.5-acre, multi-product, “lifestyle” community ultimately will consist of four distinctive villages, each offering a variety of single-family home designs by Fischer & Frichtel and Consort Homes.

Brightleaf’s gala grand opening is scheduled for the weekend of Feb. 10-11, and Fischer & Frichtel will be unveiling two display models in Woodland Village, the first of the home builder’s fashionable enclaves. Arranged around two cul-de-sacs, this village is highlighted by a mix of walkout and in-grade settings, many backing to dense woods.

Future residents of Brightleaf will enjoy a living environment that is unique in every sense of the word.  Plans call for sidewalks lining both sides of the streets, planting of additional trees and landscaped, irrigated islands embellishing the main parkway. Technically part of the master-planned Town Center complex, Brightleaf also is subject to strict architectural guidelines, and Fischer has developed a design portfolio specific to this exciting new community.

Starting from the mid-$480’s, the Woodland Collection features 10 versatile, free-flowing plans, with 2,081 to 3,840 square feet of luxurious living space, all including a three-car garage, James Hardie siding, architectural shingles and attractive exterior detailing.

Now nearing completion, a split-bedroom Woodside ranch and 1.5-story Wyndham represent the collection in the display court. The Woodside [an expanded version] illustrates several of the spatial options available with this popular plan, and the four-bedroom Wyndham is being shown with a step-up bonus room on the upper level.

Beyond its curb appeal and impeccable architectural styling, The Villages at Brightleaf offers a vibrant lifestyle, with abundant green space, common areas, and a pedestrian bridge that provides direct access to the upscale shopping, dining and entertainment facilities of Wildwood Town Center. Walking/biking trails will lead to the area’s newest recreational amenities, including Wildwood Community Park. Babler State Park and Rockwoods Reservation are just minutes away. And for families with school-age children, public education is provided by Rockwood Schools Districts.

Prior to the grand opening, Fischer & Frichtel’s sales center, (636) 236-9318, is located next to Dierberg’s in Wildwood Town Center. Later this spring, Fischer  will also be introducing Orchard Village, low-maintenance single-family homes with provided yard maintenance. For complete details or to join the interest list for advance information, visit www.fandfhomes.com.

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