Tax Benefits of Home Ownership and more

Tax Benefits of Home Ownership and more.  Early-Group

When it comes to owning a home, there are several benefits that tax payers may take advantage of when filing their itemized return. Here are just a few to consider when preparing your taxes:

  • When purchasing a home, some closing costs may be deductible. Discount points and origination fees are tax deductible to the buyer. If these apply to your mortgage.
  • If you took out a loan to purchase your home, the mortgage interest is typically deductible in the year in which it was paid. This adds up quickly in most federal tax brackets. Your deduction may be limited if certain circumstances apply in higher tax brackets, or if you took out a mortgage for reasons other than to buy, build or improve your home.
  • Real estate property taxes also provide a tax benefit. In the year you purchase the home, you are entitled to deduct the real estate taxes paid on your settlement statement either to an escrow account or directly to the taxing authority. You may continue to deduct property taxes annually during your home ownership.
  • Mortgage Insurance Premiums (MIP) or Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) may also be deductible when your down-payment is less than 20 percent. Several changes took effect on June 3, 2013 regarding cancellation and increases to the annual MIP, so it is best to consult your accountant or tax preparer to ensure you accurately claim any deductions
  • Do you work from home? If you have a home office that you use only for business, you may have a deduction for a portion of some items such as mortgage, insurance, utilities or other expenses relative to the office space. There are many considerations when deducting home office expenses, and it may or may not be a benefit to you based on your occupation and overall business use.
  • When selling your home, there are potential tax deductions as well as possible implications to consider. Some closing costs may be deductible including and not limited to real estate commissions, title insurance, legal fees, and surveys. Capital gains or losses may apply, and your tax expert can advise you on determining your basis and adjustments.

Some online resources that may be helpful regarding other home ownerships tax benefits include the Internal Revenue Service or National Association of Realtor (NAR).

A recent item to note regarding married tax filings… A new federal ruling now recognizes married same-sex couples just as their heterosexual counterparts for federal tax purposes regardless where they ultimately live. The Supreme Court ruled that married same-sex couples will be treated as married for federal tax purposes, including income as well as gift and estate taxes, but this ruling does not apply to registered domestic partnerships/civil unions. This covers couples who marry in one state and move to another that may not recognize their union. As a result, lawfully married same-sex couples no longer have to declare themselves unmarried on federal income tax returns, and spouses will not have to pay tax on health insurance benefits received through a spouse – an average savings of $1,000 tax per year for same-sex couples. Changes could be especially significant on estate taxes, where spouses benefit from tax advantages. For more information, the Wall Street Journal published a review.

Disclaimer: The links to articles and resources here are only to be used for informational purposes. Tax payers should always seek professional advice on financial and legal matters from a tax preparer, accountant, attorney or other legal counsel.

BUSTED: 4 Myths About Buying Your Home That Just Aren’t True

BUSTED: 4 Myths About Buying Your Home That Just Aren’t True. 

It can be intimidating to dip your toes into the realm of home ownership especially as a first-time homebuyer. To make things worse, there are a number of myths out there about the home buying process.  Such misconceptions have kept many would-be homeowners from realizing the personal and financial rewards of owning a property. To clear things up, here are 4 myths about buying your home that simply aren’t true.

Myth #1 – It’s Cheaper To Rent Instead Of Own

If you buy a property that is within your budget and your mortgage terms allow you to make comfortable monthly payments, the cost of rent can often be higher than mortgage payments.

Sure, there are other expenses associated with owning a property that you wouldn’t be responsible for if you were renting, but one thing that many people forget is the fact that renting does not allow you to build equity.

The ability to build equity into a property that you own is like paying into a savings account – if you buy a home for $200,000, and pay down your mortgage to $175,000 in 5 years, you’ll have $25,000 in home equity that can be tapped into later if you need a lump sum of cash to pay for other large expenses.  If you sell your property down the line, any equity that the property has accumulated will provide you with more profit from the sale of the home.

Myth #2 – Whatever Shows Up On The Inspection Report Is The Seller’s Responsibility

Most offers on a home usually come with a home inspection condition that makes the offer contingent on the acceptance of a home inspection report by the buyer. Many buyers, however, are under the impression that sellers are responsible for any issues that show up on the inspection report.

Although the seller may be required to make certain major repairs as stipulated by the lender, everything is still negotiable. A buyer may ask the seller to fix a minor crack in the basement wall or repair scuff marks on the hardwood flooring, but the seller can refuse leaving the buyer with the decision of whether or not to move forward.

Myth #3 – The Perfect Home Is Out There – I Just Have To Wait For It

Buyers have a tendency to focus too much on all the little things that may be wrong about a house rather than on the majority of the things that are right. Homes are much like people – they aren’t perfect. Even brand new homes may have a few minor flaws.

The goal of a house hunt is to find a perfectly acceptable home – one that may have a couple quirks that you can either live with or fix, but is otherwise ideal. An experienced buyer’s agent can help you identify issues that are deal-breakers and keep perspective separating little annoyances from the big picture.

Myth #4 – I Don’t Need A Real Estate Agent To Buy A House

Without the proper team behind you – especially if you’re a first-time homebuyer – you could potentially find yourself in a compromised position. Many buyers don’t take the time necessary to shop for an agent who can best represent them in their purchase.

Think about it this way – would you perform surgery on yourself? Do you feel comfortable filing your own income taxes, or do you opt to use the services of an accountant? Being represented by a licensed real estate agent will give you the benefit of professional skills and knowledge, including the ability to find financing and close the deal with your best interests put first.  Call Terry Robinson and The Early-Group, your trusted Conifer, Evergreen, Pine, Bailey, Morrison and Front Range/Foot Hill Real Estate Team.  303.748.3838

It’s always in your best interest to have an experienced, knowledgeable agent represent you in a home purchase. With such a major investment on the line, you want someone who can help you complete a purchase leaving no stone unturned, ultimately saving you money and a lot of headaches.  A professional real estate agent will be able to sort the myths from the reality and make your first home-buying experience a positive one.

How You Can Get The Full Selling Price You Want For Your Home

How You Can Get The Full Selling Price You Want For Your Home.  When it comes to selling your home and getting the full selling price you want, there are certain tactics and methods you can employ to ensure this wish becomes a reality.  Avoiding common mistakes that may lower the value of your home and discouraging people from viewing is ultimately the key to get top dollar and carry out showings in a professional manner.

Listen to the professionals, and make sure you use methods to get top dollar for your home.

Overpricing: Avoid At All Costs

With that being said, you don’t want to overprice your home so to discourage potential buyers from looking at it, or put your home outside of a financial bracket.  Make sure you speak to your realtor about what the right list price should be to obtain your desired value.

Increase Desire: Have Your Home Staged

You need to make a good impression on prospective buyers.  Having your home professionally staged can dramatically increase the amount of interest you receive on your home, perhaps even creating multiple offers – which is the best situation a home seller can be in!

Appeal To Online Shoppers With Professional Photos

With so much of today’s modern real estate shopping happening online, ensure that your home has a strong presence with professional photos and a digital floor plan available to prospective buyers.  Make sure all information is complete and presents your home in the best light possible.

Always Say Yes To Open Houses And Showings

Especially in a hot market, you want to ensure that you leave your home empty for your real estate agent on weekends so they can hold it open to the public.  This is especially important early on in your listing so buyers on the market who are ready to move can see your house right away.

You should apply the same importance to showings, and ensure that each showing request is promptly responded to with an easy “yes.”

If you put these tactics into your home selling plan, you will find that it will be much easier to obtain more interest from buyers.  And with more interest, it will be much more likely for you to obtain the price you want for your home.  Don’t underestimate the importance of these factors, and discuss them today with your trusted real estate professional.

7 Tips To Make Your Living Room More Appealing To Home Buyers

7 Tips To Make Your Living Room More Appealing To Home Buyers. Everyone knows that first impressions are important.  By carefully staging your home, you can positively influence the feelings your potential buyers have when they are viewing the property.

Staging is the art of decorating and arranging the spaces within your house to make it more appealing to buyers. If you can adapt the rooms to create an attractive and welcoming zone that home buyers can see themselves in, they will be more likely to buy your property.

One of the most important rooms to stage is the living room, because it is such a central part of the house. This is where a lot of the social activity occurs, so it should appear comfortable and welcoming.  Here are some tips to keep in mind when staging your living room before the next showing of your home:

  • Clear out the clutter. The most important step is to de-clutter, because a mess will turn off potential buyers. Clear away any papers, toys and other items to make your living room as clean and minimalist as possible.
  • Go zen. The main purpose of a living room is for relaxation, so make the space look as comfortable as possible. Try a soft throw on the sofa, plush cushions and a big chair that is just begging you to come curl up with a book.
  • Strategically place furniture. Arrange the living room furniture to create areas of conversation, such as two sofas facing each other with a low coffee table in the middle.
  • Depersonalize. Remove your personal items. If you have too many family photos and personal effects in the room, it can make it difficult for your potential buyers to imagine their own family living there.
  • Remove the bulk. If your living room feels small, you can remove some of the furniture to give it the illusion of being bigger.
  • Channel your green thumb. You might want to consider bringing in some plants to make the space feel fresh.
  • Brighten it up. If your living room has dark corners, invest in upright lamps that will help illuminate the space and provide an aura of intimacy.

With these seven tips, the living room in your  Colorado home will be much more appealing to potential buyers.

If you are ready to make a move to your next home, call your trusted Real Estate Agents at the Earl-Group  for a personal consultation to get the best bang for your buck!  303.816.7516

How To Maximize Those Awkward Spaces In Your Home

How To Maximize Those Awkward Spaces In Your Home.  In many Mountain homes, there are awkward spaces that are difficult to utilize.  Especially in older houses, there are rooms, closets and nooks that once had a purpose that is now outdated.  So before you try to cover it up or fill it with junk, take a look at the smart solutions below to see how you can revitalize those problematic spaces and turn them into something useful.

The Space Under The Stairs

While this is likely to be more of a hiding spot for dust-bunnies than teenage wizards, it is valuable space that you don’t have to board up. Use it for storage!  Create custom storage cabinets, or if it’s near the kitchen, build in a wine refrigerator or display shelves for china.

You could also build in a coat or shoe closet if the stairs are in the front entryway.

The Bedroom Too Small For A Bed

You might have an office that sometimes needs to be used as a bedroom or a bedroom that could fit a bed and nothing else.  If these issues strike a chord, then you might want to invest in a Murphy bed.  These space-saving inventions allow you to use a small space for another purpose during the day, and then miraculously have a place to sleep at night.

The Unused Closet

Especially in an older home, you’ll run across closets that just don’t make sense. If you don’t need it for storage, then turn it into something creative, such as a small library or toy room.  Take off the door, add adjustable shelves, build a comfortable cushioned bench and install attractive lighting. Now you and your family can curl up for story time in your new book nook.  Or put in a desk or countertop, an office chair and table lamp and use it as an office nook that can be closed off when you’re not using it.

Don’t write off awkward spaces in your home as lost causes. With a little ingenuity, hard work and smart design, you can create a useful area that everyone in your family can use and enjoy.



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