Quicken needs more advance Home Asset Accounting

The buying and selling of a home is a complex financial transaction.  Do a search on home purchase, home sale, etc here on Quicken's site and you'll see hundreds of pages (i.e. thousands of posts) of questions asking how to deal with home purchase and sale transactions in Quicken. And in almost all cases the recommendations provided are workarounds to what Quicken should natively handle from an accounting perspective.

The root of the problem in Quicken is its inability to track (and report on) cost basis and value.  Cost basis needs to include the purchase price plus other expenses at the time of purchase plus capital improvements (e.g. add a deck to the house).  Then as the value of the house rises or falls Quicken needs to track (and report on) this as unrealized gains/losses.  Then when a house is sold Quicken needs to track (and report on) the sales price and all related costs (which increase the cost basis) and then track the difference in sales price minus cost basis as a realized gain and report it accurately to tax programs.

That is the internal accounting but to facilitate this Quicken should provide a Home Purchase Wizard and a Home Sale Wizard (maybe modeled after the paycheck wizard) where line items commonly included in the purchase or sale can be identified and accounted for appropriately.  In the US these items are listed on a HUD-1 or Closing Disclosure or ALTA (same information - just different names).

For example, sales commission, property taxes, recordation fees, admin fees, insurance, property taxes, mortgage(s) amount (which should feed a new mortgage in the case of a purchase or pay off a mortgage in the event of a sale), escrow account (set up for new home purchase for those that escrow insurance/property taxes), PMI, income taxes withheld (for sales), points, cash back to buyer, prepaid items back to seller, etc. Some of these have tax impacts and some do not and currently none of this can be tied to tax line items for easy tax reporting (i.e. tax schedule or tax summary).

If Quicken could add this functionality there are tens or hundreds of thousands of users who would benefit.
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  • edited October 2016
    I certainly that this would be of value but question whether Quicken is robust enough to deal with a 5 - 20 year history; also, which of the many products will have it as a feature and what will happen if a user purchases various versions (e.g. Home and Business versus Deluxe) or only purchases the product occasionally rather than every update? In the past Quicken has created specialty products like medical tracking (I think). Would this be a better way to go?
  • K.O. (Win-Premier)K.O. (Win-Premier) SuperUser
    edited December 2017
    Agree that if Quicken added this functionality that historical data (e.g. the home I purchased in 1993) would not necessarily have the information required to accurately report cost basis.  That happens all the time when improved functionality occurs.  A user could always go back and delete/re-enter transactions to bring all transactions inline with new functionality if it were important to them.

    As to which version (Deluxe vs. Premier vs. H&B) I guess that is Quickens call but home purchase/sale is pretty basic functionality so IMO it should not be pushed up into H&B but should be in Deluxe (or Premier at the highest).

    I don't see this as a specialty product because home purchase/sale is part of basic personal finance and the tracking/accounting/taxation really isn't special as it relates to your net worth and accounting.
  • smayer97smayer97 SuperUser
    edited August 2018
    And I would ask that this not be limited to the Windows version but is also made available in the Mac version.

    If you find this reply helpful, please be sure to click "Like", so others will know, thanks.

    (STILL using QM2007, Canadian user since '92)

    Have Questions? Check out these FAQs:
  • NotACPANotACPA SuperUser
    edited December 2018
    Quicken is ENTIRELY able to track all of the items listed in Kevin's original post.  YOU, the user of Q, just needs to set up those categories and assign them to the appropriate transactions.

    You also need a HOUSE asset category to track the initial cost basis, and any changes in that asset over the years.

    Q can't possible know those amounts, those transactions, unless you input them.  There's no place that they can be downloaded from.

    I know this because I've done exactly that for over 30 years of using Q ... which is a PERSONAL finance manager that requires the PERSON to take responsibility for their own records.
    Q user since DOS version 5
    Now running Quicken Windows Subscription
    Retired "Certified Information Systems Auditor"
  • K.O. (Win-Premier)K.O. (Win-Premier) SuperUser
    edited October 2016

    Quicken is ENTIRELY able to track all of the items listed in Kevin's original post.  YOU, the user of Q, just needs to set up those categories and assign them to the appropriate transactions.

    You also need a HOUSE asset category to track the initial cost basis, and any changes in that asset over the years.

    Q can't possible know those amounts, those transactions, unless you input them.  There's no place that they can be downloaded from.

    I know this because I've done exactly that for over 30 years of using Q ... which is a PERSONAL finance manager that requires the PERSON to take responsibility for their own records.

    Seriously.  Common man.  How do you think I know about all the transactions in my post.  I know about them because I have encountered them and have entered them (on the buy side and now on the sell side) into Quicken.  So please, if you're going to opine without knowing the knowledge of the original post author then please refrain and if you think I don't account for my own personal finances you are sadly mistaken.

    And yes, there are always ways to do pretty much anything but it's clear by all the posts that it's extremely complicated because so many intelligent people who take their personal finances seriously can't figure it out.  One post that I saw suggested the user create 2 accounts (1 for the cost and one for the gains) which is ridiculous. 

    Nowhere in my post did I claim quicken should download or know the amounts related to the items I listed.  The suggestion is for Quicken to provide a way to help facilitate the transaction(s) (e.g. buy and sell wizards) and to handle the accounting (and tax lines) related to it (e.g. capital improvements and sales expenses that reduce the cost basis) so that the information can be readily available to the user when they have to file their taxes.
  • thecreatorthecreator SuperUser
    edited December 2016

    Quicken is ENTIRELY able to track all of the items listed in Kevin's original post.  YOU, the user of Q, just needs to set up those categories and assign them to the appropriate transactions.

    You also need a HOUSE asset category to track the initial cost basis, and any changes in that asset over the years.

    Q can't possible know those amounts, those transactions, unless you input them.  There's no place that they can be downloaded from.

    I know this because I've done exactly that for over 30 years of using Q ... which is a PERSONAL finance manager that requires the PERSON to take responsibility for their own records.

    Hi @ Kevin Osborn ,

    Sort of like a template for Splits for a given use, where it would be up to the Users to fill it the exact details.
    thecreator - User of Quicken Subscription R18.16 & Quicken 2017 HBRP
  • K.O. (Win-Premier)K.O. (Win-Premier) SuperUser
    edited October 2016

    Quicken is ENTIRELY able to track all of the items listed in Kevin's original post.  YOU, the user of Q, just needs to set up those categories and assign them to the appropriate transactions.

    You also need a HOUSE asset category to track the initial cost basis, and any changes in that asset over the years.

    Q can't possible know those amounts, those transactions, unless you input them.  There's no place that they can be downloaded from.

    I know this because I've done exactly that for over 30 years of using Q ... which is a PERSONAL finance manager that requires the PERSON to take responsibility for their own records.

    Exactly.  Many people would seriously struggle to enter a paycheck correctly with all the related deductions and additions if it wasn't for the paycheck wizard and its helpful entries.  Buying/selling homes have complexities of their own.
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