Monthly Archives: February 2018
Best States for Economy- Guess Who’s #1…
This is a re-blog from an article we saw from US News ad World Report and it goes into detail about the metrics they used to arrive at their rankings. Colorado is number one in the country and is listed as a stand out performer in many areas. …
“The nation has recovered from the worst recession, a steep downturn spanning 2007 to 2009, since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Unemployment surpassed 10 percent nationwide at the peak, joblessness running higher in some states. Since then, unemployment has fallen below 5 percent nationally, though the recovery hasn’t been consistent nationwide. Unemployment ran close to 2 percent in the healthiest states last year, and near 7 percent in states catching up. The growth of the nation’s gross domestic product, 2.6 percent on an annualized basis in the fourth quarter of 2017, was below that of the previous period. This latest growth was also less than the annual average from post-World War 1947 through 2017. Some political leaders hold out a goal of 4 percent annual growth.
Colorado stands out as the top state for its economy in these rankings. Lesser-populated states, Utah and Idaho rank highly – 2nd and 7th. And the nation’s three biggest states, California, Texas and Florida, stand among the top 10 economically – particularly notable for Florida, which was hard hit by the recession and home mortgage foreclosures in recent years. Eastern Delaware and western Oregonalso offer some of the strongest economies. And four of the 10 states with the strongest economies also rank among the top-10 Best States overall.”
There are many benefits to Home Ownership … and some of them are tax benefits. This article here is a re-blog from Realtor.com and outlines 7 specific tax benefits of owning in any market. Below are some excerpts from the original article.
| Feb 20, 2018
What are the tax benefits of owning a home? Homeowners might be wondering this right around now as they prepare to file their taxes. Or, you might be wondering how the new tax plan might affect the tax perks of homeownership when you file next year.
Well, look no further than this complete guide to all the tax benefits of owning a home—for this filing year (2017) as well as the next (2018). Read on for the full rundown just to make sure you aren’t missing anything that could save you major money!
Tax break 1: Mortgage interest
This continues to be the biggie benefit of owning a home for tax year 2017: the ability to deduct the interest on a mortgage of up to $1 million. And the more recent your mortgage, the greater your tax savings.
Tax break 2: Property taxes
In most instances, property taxes are deductible on your 2017 tax return, says Brian Ashcraft, director of compliance at Liberty Tax Service. And that could spell hefty savings.
Tax break 3: Private mortgage insurance
If you put less than 20% down on your home, odds are you’re paying private mortgage insurance, or PMI, which costs from 0.3% to 1.15% of your home loan. While the deduction had expired, the new tax bill retroactively made the deduction available for the 2017 tax year.
Tax break 4: Energy-efficiency upgrades
The Residential Energy Efficient Property Credit was a tax incentive for installing alternative energy upgrades in a home. Most of these tax credits expired after December 2016; however, two credits are still available. The credits for solar electric and solar water heating equipment are available through Dec. 31, 2021, says Josh Zimmelman, owner of Westwood Tax & Consulting, a New York–based accounting firm.
Tax break 5: A home office
If you work from home, your office space and expenses can be deducted, too. According to Vincenzo Villamena, managing partner of Online Taxman, you can take a $5-per-square-foot deduction for up to 300 square feet of office space, which amounts to a maximum deduction of $1,500. Understand, however, that there are strict rules on what constitutes a dedicated, fully deductible home office space. Here’s more on the much-misunderstood home office tax deduction.
Tax break 6: Home improvements to age in place
Many older homeowners plan to age in place—and if that entails renovations such as wheelchair ramps or grab bars in slippery bathrooms, the cost of these improvements results in a nice tax break. Deductible improvements might also include widening doorways, lowering cabinets or electrical fixtures, and adding stair lifts.
Tax break 7: Interest on a home equity line of credit
If you took out a home equity line of credit, or HELOC, in 2017 or earlier, the interest you pay on that loan is also deductible. People use these loans to do all sorts of things: pay for college, throw a wedding, or make improvements to their home.
The new tax bill passed by Congress in December 2017, celebrated as the Trump Administration’s first major legislative victory, will have inadvertent consequences for potential homebuyers looking to buy homes in high-end markets, and for those with a home equity line of credit (HELOC). A decrease in home prices and caps on tax deductions, among other effects, will lower affordability in some high-tax states.
After all of the components of the home buying process — negotiations, appraisals, inspections, and insurance — it’s very exciting to (finally) get to closing. But do you know what really happens during this final appointment? Closing on a home can be nerve-racking simply because many first-time buyers don’t know what to expect or what to bring along.
Every homeowner wants to make sure they maximize their financial reward when selling their home. But how do you guarantee that you receive the maximum value for your house?
Here are two keys to ensure that you get the highest price possible.
Featured in Inman News on May 20th, the Down Payment Resource program is capturing the attention of real estate professionals and consumers alike. To see the full article in Inman News, click here.
Although 87 percent of homes qualify for down payment assistance, many potential homebuyers have no idea that they may be eligible for programs that could save them thousands of dollars. DPR connects potential homebuyers to down payment assistance funds they may not have otherwise known existed. And according to a recent DPR study conducted jointly with housing data provider RealtyTrac, 68 million homes qualify for a down payment program available in the county where they are located based on the maximum price requirements for those programs and the estimated value of the properties.
“Most consumers today don’t know these programs exist, how to ask for them or where to even begin looking,” said Rob Chrane, CEO of DPR.
Chrane, who worked as a real estate agent and broker for more than a decade and as a mortgage broker, loan originator and senior executive for 20 years, said this was “simply a pain point I was very aware of that we set out to solve.”
The Colorado Association of REALTORS® has partnered with Down Payment Resource to offer a program eligibility portal specifically for Colorado. By visiting the portal, www.helpwithdownpayment.com, potential buyers and their REALTORS® can access a database of 2,300 programs in the area they want to buy a home in to find down payment help in the form of grants, federal housing programs, and more.
According to Chrane, the average assistance amount in the company’s database of programs is nearly $12,000.
“That doesn’t mean everyone will get $12,000,” he noted. “Some will get $20,000, some will get $10,000. That’s an average. It’s a substantial benefit that could really help a lot of people. It’s important for buyers to research down payment programs as part of their loan shopping process.”
Source: Inman Article by Amy Swinderman.
We found this recent article from Realtor.com. In it, they asked some recent home buyers to share the real estate listing photo of their new home and asked them why it interested them enough to click on it. The article is detailed and well written, with some potential “Lessons Learned” available to any want-to-be home sellers this year. Hope you enjoy!
The Photo That Sold the House: 3 Pictures That Persuaded Buyers to Click
Having great real estate photos is a must these days. Let’s face it—much like in online dating, the pictures are where house hunters’ eyes go first. But what type of photo, exactly, persuades home buyers to delve deeper into a listing, propelling them out of their comfy window-shopping cocoon to check out a property in person?
To find out, we asked some home buyers to share the real estate listing photo that piqued their interest and led them down the path to make an offer. Check ’em out, as well as the lessons learned that could help other home sellers create fetching photos for their own home.