Homeowner Tax Deductions

Homeowner Tax DeductionsAbout this time every year we are reminded that taxes are coming due.  We recently received most of our W2’s, 1099’s, etc…now it is time to either send it all to the accountant or do it ourselves.  Of course, the CPA’s are typically well versed in deductions and most of the software to do it ourselves is programmed to find deductions.  However, just as a reminder lets take a look at some of the important homeowner tax deductions not to miss.

Mortgage Interest – This is almost a can’t miss for most homeowners.  It may likely be your biggest deduction when it comes to your home.  You may be able to deduct all the interest if you are married and filing jointly if you have a mortgage up to $1 million!

Points – If you purchased a home you can deduct the points, if you paid any, in acquiring the mortgage.  If you refinanced, you can deduct them as well, only not all at once but rather over the life of the loan.

Property Taxes – If you paid property taxes then that amount can be fully deductible.  Most people may have taxes paid out from the mortgage company which collects towards paying each month.  Make sure the taxes were fully paid from that account before deducting.

Moving Costs – If you moved due to a new job then as long as you meet some criteria such as the new job being at least 50 miles further away from the old home than the old job was, then many of the costs in the move may be deducted.

Selling Costs – If you sold your home then you may have deductions.  If you had a taxable gain, then many of the selling costs, including broker fees, may be deducted.

There may be many homeowner tax deductions not mentioned here.  Many of these points can be found at  the IRS website where you can search the publications for further details.  Remember that owning a home has many benefits and some of those are the tax benefits!  If you would like help with your next move, please get in touch and I would be happy to help.  You can begin that search by clicking the button below.

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The following article provides general information and is not to be construed as specific tax advice.  You should seek tax advice from a qualified tax professional as this information may not pertain to your specific situation.

Denver Real Estate Market Update October 2012

Denver Homes Sales Statistics

Let’s start to look at some Denver real estate market numbers as we head into the last quarter of 2012.  There is still talk on the national news, magazines and such of this housing slump.  Again, it is all local as I have said many times before.

As far as our local market here in Denver, no slump.  In fact, the market is in many instances so HOT that homes just can’t stay around long enough for everyone to see them.  There are multiple offers on many homes in certain areas and price ranges and overall, the inventory is down.  WAY DOWN!  But then again so are interest rates and if you are a serious buyer the best advice right now is to be prepared and ready to pull the trigger if you find the right home.

The chart below indicates the market for Denver, October 2012.  Yes, it is late November but the stat’s lag a bit and need to be compiled.  Still, you can see the overall changes in October from the previous year, fewer inventory and more sold and an increase in price.  A good market indeed.

Let’s focus a bit on the right hand column, the year to date figures.  You can see big percentage gains of Denver homes pending and sold with less inventory.  Seems to signal demand for Denver real estate to me.  More good news is big drops in the days on market and significant gains in median and average sold prices.

Most of the homes in Denver are in a seller’s market.  Low inventory, low interest rates drive the buyer competition and spur on the real estate market.  If you need help buying your next home or investment property, or maybe you need help marketing and selling your current home or investment, just get in touch.  I can guide you and provide proven results.

 

Denver real estate market statistics

How Credit Scores Affect Mortgages

Credit Score RangeI think we all are aware that our credit score plays a big role in attaining a mortgage, or not.  Lenders check and re-check these scores in the process of determining a loan.  Poor credit scores can certainly influence the denial of a mortgage in many cases. Let’s look at how credit scores affect mortgages.

So what exactly are these scores and how are they calculated?  Can I get a copy of my scores?  These questions are important to ask yourself if you may be considering a mortgage or a refinance of your existing mortgage.

Your credit score, or FICO score is a number anywhere between 200 and 800 generally, which is used to rate you based on a number of criteria.  These credit scores are drawn from the main three reporting agencies, Equifax, TransUnion and Exprerian. These reporting agencies simply report what you have done in managing your credit in the past or the new credit you have or want.  They look at the type of credit (revolving, mortgage, auto..), length of credit and of course, payment history to issue a credit score based on these factors.

So what does a potential mortgage lender look at to determine a loan for you?  How do credit scores affect a mortgage? Clearly, they will want to see that your payment history is decent.  It may well factor into how you will pay them.  They will also want to see if you have a mixture of credit types that you have managed such as revolving credit, installment loans and even previous mortgage loans.  They will also put weight into the amount of credit you have. This can indicate how much in debt you can become should you use all the available credit.

Your credit score ends up being a big part of getting a mortgage.  There are other factors such as income, overall debt and others that accompany the credit score to help determine a mortgage for you and even at what interest rate.  It is important to know and understand your credit report and your credit score.  You can get a copy of your own report for free at Annual Credit Report and I would recommend doing so just to make sure it looks correct and help you make a plan to improve it if needed.

If you are in the market for real estate or considering it, please get in touch.  I can help guide you through the process and refer you to my mortgage partners that are experienced and excellent at finding the right financial fit for you and your lifestyle.  I can put it all together and help you find the right investment at the right price. Just get in touch and we can go from there.

New Home Construction | A Great Choice For Buyers

New Home Construction

Buying Denver New Home Construction

Denver’s real estate market continues it’s upward swing. Inventory is way down and demand is way up.  With so many would be buyers out there and so little inventory, what’ s the solution? In many parts of Denver homes come on the market and have multiple offers within hours.

Does this mean a seller should expect this? Maybe not.  If your home is in a very trendy area with high demand this may well be the case.  However, after going through many homes with buyers I have found that there can be some frustration.       Frustration with the condition of the homes they look at and the selection.  There is a shortage of inventory but the home still needs to be presentable and ready to show.  I’ve been through a lot lately where that just is not the case and buyers tend to be a bit annoyed and often pass on purchasing.  They may not have if the seller were ready.

There is an alternative that many are looking at once again. New home construction.  Yes, according to one report the Home Builders Association of Metro Denver shows building permits for new homes up 48.3% in the first seven months of 2012 versus the same time in 2011.  Buyers are finding they like the new styles and of course the condition of a new home.  Less to wonder if it will need replacement, less to wonder if there is a warranty.  There are plenty of home buyers out there that only want to buy a new home and have only done so in the past.  Others have never really considered that but now have a whole new outlook and they like what they see.

Having sold lot’s of new home construction over the years and also been a sales agent for a large home builder here in New Home ConstructionDenver for many years, I have seen the excitement of buyers when they discover the brand new home communities.  Buying a new home is a bit of a different process but one I would love to help with if you may be in the market.  For some, the location of the new communities won’t work and they need to find a resale home.  For those buyers, keeping on top of the inventory and remaining ready to buy when the opportunity comes on the market is key.

If you may be considering buying a home or selling your home, please get in touch.  I can help and may be a great fit for you.  You can search the inventory by clicking the button and let me know if you find some you want to see.

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Buy, Sell, Rent or Wait | Denver Real Estate Market

Real Estate Sold SignIt’s back to school time and we will be heading towards the holiday season soon, so this time of year usually brings out the question in the minds of home sellers and buyers in the Denver real estate market, “Is now a good time to buy or sell, or should I wait for the market to improve after the holidays?”  However, this question has gone on all year for many.

We watch the news and read online of the questionable real estate market and the “experts” tell us there may be this new wave of shadow inventory still to come.  Of course, bad news does sell after all. Well, I don’t have a “crystal ball” to see if this does happen in the future, I don’t see this devastating wave of distressed inventory crushing the market again. I hope I’m right!  Real estate markets are always local, I’ve said it many times before and even the local markets are difficult to predict.  I will say there is plenty of data to suggest it is a good time to buy Denver real estate. If you want or need to sell your home, the numbers are very encouraging.  If you plan to purchase another home to replace the one you sell you’ll find that inventory is low and good homes get snatched up quick.  Mortgage interest rates remain very low making your buying power better than ever.

Maybe you think it would be better to just rent.  Vacancy rates in Denver have hit some of the the lowest levels since they’ve been tracked.  What does that mean to you?  You will likely need to be better qualified and pay more in rent than almost ever before. In fact, it wouldn’t be surprising that you will pay more to rent than to own.  But, you say, “I won’t be locked into an home if the value goes down and I’m stuck with it.” It can be a complicated decision and needs to make sense to you personally.  If your goal is still home ownership, then I encourage you to consider your options.  Now is really a good time for that.

Let me know if I can help you begin the process of buying or selling real estate here in Denver. If you want to consider investing or you are an investor, I would like to help you take advantage of this market to grow your portfolio and profits.

 

 

Can You Buy A Home In Highlands Ranch For Less Than The Denver Area Average?

Highlands Ranch CO town centerSome people think the cost of homes in Highlands Ranch is more expensive than most places around Denver.  Not completely true at all !

In fact, Highlands Ranch homes may be more affordable than you think.

According to Metrolist, the MLS, the current average sold price in July 2012 for a single family residential home is $312,920.

Can you buy homes in Highlands Ranch less than that?  Maybe even far less than that ? Let’s take a look.

Here are homes you can buy in Highlands Ranch below the average for the Denver area.

Here are homes you can buy in Highlands Ranch below $250k. 

Impossible you say.  There you have it.  There is something for nearly everyone here in Highlands Ranch.  These lists do not include condos or townhomes, which some can be bought in Highlands Ranch for under $150k !

If you are looking to buy a first home, move up or investment please get in touch.  I may be a great fit in helping you find the next home.  I would love to help.

 

Distressed Properties in Denver | The Effects and the Opportunities

In just about every Denver zip code, the inventory contains a certain share of distressed property which can have some effect on the values of the neighborhood.  Some areas of the Denver real estate market struggle with this more than others and in some cases the numbers of distressed property can significantly devalue and entire area.

foreclosure sign

photo courtesy of respres – Flickr Creative Commons

It is difficult these days to find very many neighborhoods without some of the inventory being bank owned, pre foreclosure, short sale, etc…in other words, a distressed property. What kind of effect do these properties have on the value of the neighborhood?  Typically they are priced lower than the other property in the neighborhood, sometimes a lot lower.  If there are just one or two in the neighborhood, it may not drastically impact overall values, but it may to some degree.  If there are several, or in some cases, predominantly distressed property then the values will usually decline significantly.  Good for some, bad for others.

Many of the homes become less cared for or uncared for, causing an eyesore for the rest of the neighborhood.  Especially in the summer months, these homes often become vacant and the water turned off.  In this scenario, about the only thing that grows are the weeds.  Usually, lots of them.  Neighbors aren’t happy, they have to look at the yard every day and watch it devalue their own home.  Not good.

So is this good for anyone? Unfortunately the economy and the effects of unemployment and a housing crisis has caused so many typical, average homeowners to find themselves in financial difficulty, many of which struggled hard to maintain their dream and ultimately had to give way to pressure of finances.  Homes fall into foreclosure and the effects are mentioned above.  Who can win?

Investors.  People or companies that find themselves in a fortunate position to be able to purchase and renovate these distressed properties for pennies on the dollar at times.  They clean up the home and the yard, get new owners or renters in the house and help restore the area in a small way.  Who else wins?  Buyers.  Normal buyers looking for a new home.  Often these distressed homes can offer affordability to a buyer and with some sweat equity, they too improve the area and take advantage of the opportunity.

If you may be looking to invest in real estate in Denver, or maybe just buy your first home or a move up, let me know and I would love to help.  There are opportunities out there and it is an incredible time to take advantage.  Not to mention the help you may be giving to the neighborhood.

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