Keep Track of what you pay: Rental Property and 1099 IRS Forms

An owner of one or multiple rental units must start tracking all vendors doing at least $600 worth of work for the owner. If you are such an owner, federal law now mandates you to send all the providers of services an IRS 1099 form for the year. The Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 expanded the requirement to all property owners.

If you own a property that you rent out, you are required by law to record the amount you pay them over the course of the year. Once the amount you pay to a particular provider reaches $600, you will have to file a 1099 form before January 31, 2013. Providers for a rental property include independent contractors, such as plumbers, electricians, painters, cleaning services, gardeners, landscapers, repair people, and people holding similar employment.

It is always a good idea to keep track of your finances, especially when you hire others to perform work for you. Keeping records for each individual provider can help avoid disputes with the provider and will help you comply with the new law. Late filing or failure to file the 1099 will cost you $250 in fines. If you would like help to understand or comply with the law, please call our offices today.

Florida ranked first in 2011 home sales to Canada

According to the National Association of Realtors 2011 Profile of International Buying Activity, Florida is one of the top choices because of their favorable winter climate. “In fact, 58 percent of all international sales in 2011 came from just four states: Florida at 31 percent, followed by California at a distant 12 percent, Texas accounted for nine percent and Arizona at six percent.”

Location, location, location- even for international buyers this what they look for. “Forty-three percent of those surveyed report a favorable location as their clients’ most important factor when choosing where to purchase. That was followed by 27 percent who stated their clients’ top reason to buy in the U.S. was that they view U.S. real estate as a profitable investment.”

“The NAR profile also showed that in the 12-month-period ending March of 2011, Canadians accounted for 23 percent of all foreign buyers – the largest of any country. In a 2010 article, Canada’s largest daily newspaper The Globe and Mail reported that a vast majority of Canadians were paying cash for their purchase.”

“There are few lenders who have a mortgage process tailored for Canadians looking to purchase a home in the U.S.,” said Sheila Blom, Florida mortgage market manager for M&I, a part of BMO Financial Group. “Our parent company is based in Toronto, so naturally we have relationship products specifically designed to meet the needs of Canadian customers for purchasing or refinancing their primary residence, second home or investment property in the U.S.”

If you are interested in purchasing property in the U.S. specifically Florida, contact us today, we will be happy to guide you in the right direction throughout the whole real estate process.

Information from this article was obtained from the Florida Realtor News & Events.

Are Short Sales Making a Comeback?

Short sales occur when banks allow the owner to sell for less than the amount owed on the mortgage.” One type of short sale is a pre-foreclosure sale, which increased by 15% in the fourth quarter of 2011 over the same period the previous year. One reason for the growth in short sales was the decline in sales of bank-owned properties “amid concerns about legal challenges to foreclosure processing.” Miami, in particular, experienced more pre-foreclosure sales than bank-owned sales.

If you have a troubled loan or another reason for needing help making a short sale, do not hesitate to call Boyer Law Firm. We can help you obtain the result you are looking for.

Information for this article was obtained from http://blogs.wsj.com/developments/2012/03/01/short-sales-stepping-out-report-shows/.

America’s Economic Recovery Depends Largely on the Willingness of Consumers to Spend

Economic reports from January show slight increases in salaries and wages, as well as increases in personal income. Experts said that these slight increases reflect a “pickup in employment.” Does this mean that consumers will use this extra money for spending? Some reports have shown that many American’s have been using this newfound cash to “pad their savings.” In addition to saving money, rising gas prices have also played a part in the delay of economic growth. As it now stands, the average price of a gallon of gas during the “peak travel season” is expected to be $3.62. There is a 25 percent chance that the average price of a gallon of gas could be over $4. However, gas prices and saving money have not entirely kept people from spending some of their hard-earned cash.

February sales for a number of retailers were reportedly much higher than expected, including well-known names like Target and the Gap chain of stores, which includes Banana Republic and Old Navy. In addition to well-known stores, the automakers of General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler all outpaced their expected sales for the month of February. The increased number of auto sales comes “despite higher gas prices and reduced promotional incentives from many manufacturers.” The recent number cannot be taken as gospel and relied completely to lead the nation’s economy out of the woods, but when you are lost in the woods it is good to hope and a guide.

Information for this article was obtained from http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/americans-earning-more-but-spending-still-in-question/2012/03/01/gIQAtxLXlR_story_1.html.

Housing, Economy Trending up in 2012, spending to remain the same

Economists have put out a report recently stating that they expect to see improvements in certain areas of the country’s economy in 2012. Just a few months ago, they predicted that new housing construction would “break ground” on 660,000 new homes, but they now report they expect at least 700,000 new homes, an increase of 15 percent. They are also calling for increases in business spending as well as the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, or GDP.

Business spending, according to the economists, is supposed to grow this year, along with industrial production. If their predictions are correct, this can mean an upturn for the nation’s economy as a whole and provide a sense of stability for consumers and those seeking to purchase homes in the next year or so. However, the economists also believe that consumers will continue to “penny-pinch” this year, and we will not see an increase in spending for another year or so. In terms of consumer confidence only time will tell, but for the time being things seem to be trending in the right direction.

Information for this article was obtained from http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/economists-see-more-reasons-for-optimism-this-year-but-maintaining-slow-growth-expectations/2012/02/26/gIQA4FlZcR_story.html

Clients and Lawyers Seek French Boutique Firms

The French legal market is global in nature. As such, French firms, both large and small, service international clients on a routine basis, but many attorneys and clients are looking to smaller, more specialized boutique firms. There are a number of reasons both client and attorney are seeking out the smaller firms.

Whether it is a young lawyer or an experienced partner, there are incentives to enter a boutique firm rather than a large international firm. The boutique firms offer a better “life/work balance” as more freedom. There are less people to report to, no overseas management to keep in the loop, and much lower overhead to continue operating. Another reason is that boutique firms often have a “niche”, which is historically the role of boutique firms, especially in France. This enables attorneys to work in a particular area of law and become more than competent in the area; they become experts.


The fact that attorneys at boutique firms in France are able to specialize in a particular area is often what draws potential clients. Clients can get the same knowledge of law and practice at a large international firm, but often at a higher price within a more complex billing structure. The small size of the firm also enables the attorneys to communicate more effectively with one another, as well as with the client. Being able to communicate more effectively with clients allows boutique firms to create a more personal and loyal relationship with their clientele.

Boyer Law Firm works with attorneys and clients overseas, and provides services to foreign and domestic clients here in the States. We are here to provide clients with the know-how and efficiency of a large firm, but with more of the feel of a boutique firm serving an international clientele.

Information for this article was obtained from Corporate Counsel Magazine.

Rural Florida Homeowners can refinance at Lower Interest Rates

The USDA is heading a pilot program similar to the one the President recently announced, but there are differences in favor of rural homeowners needing to refinance. Two reasons are that the money has already been set aside for this program and the USDA will not need to jump through any hoops at the Congressional level. The program will also allow rural homeowners that are “underwater” refinance to save around “three to four percent” all without going through “an appraisal, inspection, or credit report.” With all of the benefits that homeowners stand to gain, there seem to be only two requirements homeowners must meet.

To be eligible for the program homeowners must have made their mortgage payment “on time for 12 consecutive months.” The other requirement is that they must have a “direct loan with the USDA or USDA guarantee on a commercial bank mortgage.” If homeowners in rural Florida meet these two requirements, they may be on their way to saving hundreds of dollars each month and possibly thousands over the coming year. The program is also set up to help rehabilitate “affordable multi-family rental housing” and help low-income residents find affordable housing.

Information for this article was obtained from http://www.floridarealtors.org/NewsAndEvents/article.cfm?id=272304.