The Fiscal Cliff And Your Mortgage Interest Deduction

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“”Tell Congress to Do No Harm to Housing! Protect the Mortgage Interest Deduction!””

That was the headline of an email that I received last week from the National Association of REALTORS (NAR).  Pretty subtle.

NAR’s membership – REALTORS like myself – have a vested interest in motivating people to buy homes.   Putting the agenda aside for a moment, here are NAR’s primary talking points on the issue:

  • As the leading advocate for housing and homeownership, NAR firmly believes that the mortgage interest deduction (MID) is vital to the stability of the American housing market and economy.
  • NAR is actively engaged to ensure that the nation’s 75 million homeowners will continue to receive this important benefit, and we will remain vigilant in opposing any plan that modifies or excludes the deductibility of mortgage interest.
  • Reducing or eliminating the MID is a de facto tax increase on homeowners.

Obviously, reducing or eliminating mortgage insurance deductions will be a tax increase for anyone with a mortgage, and I understand NAR’s motivation to fight this.  It’s the first point that I’m a little murky on.  Is the mortgage interest deduction really vital to the stability of the U. S. housing market?  I ask that with all seriousness, and with no interest in getting overly political.

Would you sell your home if you could no longer deduct mortgage interest?

Would you decide not to buy a home if you could no longer deduct mortgage interest?  Would you decide to buy a less expensive home?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for taking advantage of any deduction that limits my own personal tax liability.  I guess I’ve just always viewed the mortgage interest deduction as the cherry, not the actual sundae itself.

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Jon Effron is widely regarded as one of the leading Realtors in Atlanta, working with both buyers and sellers throughout the metro area to maximize their real estate investments. In 2014, Jon was the #1 individual agent at Keller Williams Intown, one of the largest brokerages in Intown Atlanta. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Jon was the Vice President of Development at Tujay Group, an Atlanta real estate development firm. His career pre-real estate included stints at, eGroups (now Yahoo! Groups) and Elite Traveler magazine, where he served as the Vice President of Marketing.