Showing posts from June, 2023

The Top 5 Benefits of Owning a Home

Purchasing a home can feel like an overwhelming project, but the long-term advantages of homeownership make it a smart investment to secure your future where the benefits extend beyond simply having a place to live. Building equity is one of the most significant advantages of owning a home. As you make mortgage payments, your equity increases, and over time, your home can become a valuable asset to use the equity to finance home improvements, pay for college tuition, or even as a down payment on a second home. Two factors determine equity; the home going up in value and the unpaid balance of the mortgage being paid down.   Appreciation is the increase in value expressed in an annual amount.   Homes have averaged 4% nationally for the past 50 years.   Amortization is the systematic principal reduction that occurs with each house payment made. Another advantage of buying a house is the stability of housing costs. With a fixed-rate mortgage, your monthly principal and intere

Talking Points to Identify an Agent

Having a list of talking points prepared before meeting with a real estate agent can be incredibly valuable in guiding the conversation and helping you make an informed decision about who will represent you in the sale of your home. Whether you're a first-time seller or it has been a while since you last sold a property, asking these questions can reveal important information about the experience and expertise of your candidate. Even if you already have a trusted friend who is a real estate agent, it's still appropriate to understand how different issues will be handled. A true professional should not feel challenged to discuss these important concerns. Tell me about your experience and training. Do you work in real estate full-time? Are you a REALTOR� and a member of MLS? What is the average price of the homes you have sold and how many did you sell last year? Which neighborhoods do you primarily work? How many homes have you sold in my neighborhood? What is your

Protect Your Belongings with a Home Inventory

As a homeowner, you've likely invested a significant amount of time and money into furnishing and decorating your home with items that are important to you. Unfortunately, unexpected events like natural disasters or burglaries can result in the loss or damage of these belongings. That's why it's important to create a home inventory to document everything you own. This can help ensure that you're properly insured and can help speed up the recovery process if the worst were to happen. Here's how to construct a home inventory. First, gather your supplies. You'll need a camera, a notebook, and a computer or storage device to keep track of your inventory. Next, start in one room of your house and systematically go through all your belongings, one item at a time, focusing on the more expensive items. Take a photo of each item and make a note of its make and model, serial number (if applicable), and the date and location of purchase. Don't forget to i

Avoid Taxes by Keeping Track of Improvements

Keeping track of capital improvements to your home can help you avoid taxes later down the road when you sell it. Some homeowners don't even consider such a thing because they are aware of the capital gain exclusion of up to $500,000 for married homeowners and $250,000 for single filers.   Possibly, the gain in a past sale didn't exhaust the limit that has remained the same since 1997. Today, homes are much more expensive and appreciation in the past few years has been exceptionally high.   It is now possible and maybe more likely, based on the price of the home, for a homeowner to have gains more than these limits. A $250,000 home in 1997 based on an annual appreciation of 4% would be worth almost $700,000 today.   Capital improvements made to a home raise the basis, or cost, of the home which will affect the gain on the sale. Improvements must add value to your home, prolong its useful life or adapt it to new uses.   Repairs, not considered improvements, are r