Shopping for a New Home During Tax Season: What You Need to Know

February 28, 2023

homebuyer filing taxes


Buying a new home is an exciting experience, but it can also be a stressful one. There are many factors to consider when shopping for the perfect house, including finances, location, and lifestyle. One of the most crucial things to keep in mind during this process is your tax filing status. Filing your taxes correctly is essential if you want to qualify for a mortgage. Even small mistakes on your tax return can have significant consequences on your loan qualification. That's why it's vital to talk to both your agent, lender, and tax advisors before submitting your returns.

Your lender can provide you with valuable insights into how your tax filing may impact your ability to obtain a mortgage. They can help you understand what documentation you need to submit, how much money you need to save for closing costs, and what type of loan program is best suited for your needs. If you do not have a preferred lender already, talk to your real estate agent who can provide you with options for the best lender to understand your unique situation.

Meanwhile, consulting with your tax advisor will ensure that you're filing accurately and taking advantage of any deductions or credits available. Your tax advisor can also help you determine how much house you can afford based on your income, expenses, and other financial obligations.

Finally, be sure to leverage your real estate agent to help you find the right property that fits nicely within your budget and your overall financial goals.

Below are three critical factors to consider while house hunting during tax season:


Understand The Impact Your Taxable Income May Have on Your Purchasing Power

Your tax return provides a snapshot of your income, expenses, and potential debt, which lenders use to determine how much they are willing to lend you. If you overstate your income or under-report your expenses on your taxes, it may appear that you can afford a more expensive home than you actually can. On the other hand, if you claim too many deductions or credits, it could reduce your taxable income and make it seem like you cannot afford as much house as you really can. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that your tax filings are accurate and up-to-date when considering purchasing a new home.

Maximizing Deductions to Afford More of a Home

Maximizing your deductions can help you reduce your taxable income and increase the amount of money you have available to afford a new home. One way to do this is by itemizing your deductions instead of taking the standard deduction. This may be beneficial if you have significant expenses such as mortgage interest, property taxes, or charitable donations. 

Additionally, contributing to a retirement account like an IRA or 401(k) can also lower your taxable income and potentially increase the amount of home you can afford. However, it's important not to overstate your deductions or engage in any fraudulent behavior as it could result in costly penalties and legal consequences. Seeking advice from a tax professional can help ensure that you are maximizing your deductions while staying within legal and ethical boundaries.



Using Your Tax Refund for Your Home Down Payment

If you receive a tax refund, it can be an excellent opportunity to put that money towards your home down payment. Depending on the amount of your refund, it could significantly increase the amount of money you have available for your down payment and reduce the size of your mortgage. Rather than spending your refund on discretionary items, consider putting it into a high-interest savings account or using it to pay off any outstanding debts that could negatively impact your credit score when applying for a mortgage. By being strategic with how you use your tax refund, you can help set yourself up for success when buying a new home.

In conclusion, buying a new home requires careful planning and preparation – especially during tax season. By consulting with an experienced real estate agent, a qualified lender, and your tax advisor early in the process, you'll be better equipped to make informed decisions about financing options that suit both your budget and long-term goals. 

At Aspire Los Angeles, we know that having the right team behind you to help you find your dream home – that fits nicely within your budget – is an important part of the house-hunting process. 




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