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Gold Coast Schools is dedicated to keeping you up to date on news and information related to the Florida construction industry. Below you will find how-to articles, updates from the Construction Industry Licensing Board (CILB) meetings, interesting news stories related to the construction industry, and much more.

Captial HillLegislative Minefield Ahead: Congress targets the $250,000/$500,000 Capital Gains Exclusion

July 10th, 2017 / By Ken Harney

Most of your clients probably don’t need a heavy ‘sell’ on the financial and tax benefits of owning a home – after all, if they’re working with you as an agent, they probably know about the mortgage interest deduction and write-offs of property tax payments plus the potential for long-term capital gains.

But here’s an ominous cloud on the horizon: The much-loved $250,000/$500,000 tax-free capital gains exclusion for home sales could be on the legislative chopping block. Neither of the two major tax reform plans now before Congress – the House Republicans’ “Blueprint” and the Trump White House’s overhaul proposal – makes mention of the tax-free exclusion….

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Fannie’s DTI Change Opens the Door for First-timers and Millennials

June 19th, 2017 / By Ken Harney

If you work with clients who want to buy a house but are carrying a ton of debt – student loans, car loans, credit cards, etc. – check out this good news: Fannie Mae, the single biggest source of mortgage money in the U.S., is raising its debt-to-income (DTI) ratio ceiling, opening the door to home purchases for potentially thousands of people currently squeezed out.

Starting at the end of July, Fannie Mae’s automated underwriting system will green light applicants whose debt ratios exceed the present limit – 45 percent – moving it up to 50 percent. Applications started now should be able to qualify….

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BewareLurking Dangers for Licensees in Co-Marketing Arrangements

June 1st, 2017 / By Ken Harney

There was an alarm bell in the night a few weeks ago from the federal government, aimed directly at real estate agents and brokers. Did you hear it? More importantly, did you get the message?

The alarm was sounded by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Based on an investigation of “co-marketing” practices by agents at two major brokerages, a nationally-known lender and a mortgage servicer, the CFPB imposed fines and requirements for repayments to consumers totaling close to $4 million. Individual agents – and the CFPB said there were more than a hundred of them involved – were not fined. But the agency made it clear that RESPA, the federal anti-kickback law, prohibits giving and receiving  anything of value in exchange for referrals of business. In other words: Individual agents, not just brokers, could be the targets of upcoming actions.

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