Homeowners: Don't panic yet over Senate tax overhaul

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WASHINGTON -- If you hoped that Senate Republicans would treat homeowners and buyers more kindly in their tax overhaul plans than their colleagues did in the House, you were an optimist. It didn't happen. In fact, the Senate tax bill released last week is harsher on residential real estate in some areas than the House version, with two notable exceptions: Senate tax writers retained the current $1 million ceiling on home mortgage amounts that are eligible for interest deductions. The House bill seeks to cut that in half to $500,000. But the Senate's seeming concession has limited value, given that only a small fraction of homeowners in the U.S. have mortgages of $500,000 to $1 million. Also, the Senate bill leaves intact mortgage-interest deductions...

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