Next Tax Season | Work From Home? It Pays Off At Tax Time

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birdflyingTime to plan for next tax season.  If you keep records, schedule appointments and carry on other such activities from your home office, some common home-office expenses, such as utilities, insurance, repairs, cleaning and depreciation, may qualify for a deduction, even if you do the actual work in another location. Be aware, however, any depreciation claimed after May 6, 1997, will be taxed at 25% if the residence is sold for a gain, whether or not the property has been converted to personal use.

Starting in 2013, there is a simplified home office deduction calculation to bypass maintaining detailed expense records. Simply deduct $5 for every square foot of home office space used, up to a maximum of 300 square feet or $1,500. This simplified expense is recorded on Schedule C rather than Form 8829 which allows you to separately deduct mortgage interest and real estate taxes on Schedule A.

TAX TIP: If you (or your family) use your home office for non-business purposes, it cannot be claimed on your tax return. To claim home-office deductions, the space must be used exclusively for business purposes.

BONU$ ARTICLE

PROPERTY LOSSES

Disasters Hurt: Get What You Deserve At Tax Time


If you lost property due to an accident, storm, fire, flood, drought or other unforeseen occurrence, you may not have to report insurance proceeds if you use the proceeds to replace the property within a specified time. Additionally, if the home was located in a federally declared disaster area, you can claim the loss on your tax return in the year of the loss (2015) or for the preceding year.

TAX TIP: Local and state property taxes may also be abated in some cases. Consult IRS Publication 547 “Casualties, Disasters, and Thefts” to find out more.

We are here to help.  Just let us know.  910-202-3607 or kaybakerassociates@ec.rr.com

Categories: #Taxes, Home Office, Uncategorized, Wilmington NC homes, Wrightsville Beach NC

Do You Know How to Choose the Street Where You Live?

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IMG_9452When you’re looking for your first home to buy, remember: Where your home sits is as important as what the home is like.

Here are some of the questions we always ask when we’re checking out a new listing. Naturally, we pass what we know about properties on to people shopping for homes, but you, too, can have these considerations in mind:

  • What is the traffic like on the road where you’d like to live? What are future plans for road development, if any?
  • What are the plans for surrounding property? (Answers are sometimes common knowledge, but often they must be looked up in the town hall offices where maps, charts and proposals are available.)
  • Where is the nearest public transportation?
  • How far is the home from schools, shopping, recreation, religious and cultural centers (depending on individual preferences)?
  • How far is the home from a particular place of work and what kind of commute is available?
  • What do local taxes (state, county and town) amount to and how are they calculated?

One of the best ways to “get the feel” of various neighborhoods is to drive through them, noting the kinds of homes, yards and people. Knowing the territory as well as we do, it’s a pleasure for us to guide prospective homebuyers on comparative neighborhood shopping trips. If you’d like to learn more about our area, send an e-mail or give us a call.

More TipsTo help you prepare for the responsibilities of owning a home, we’ve put together a FREE e-Report entitled First Time: How To Buy The Most Home For Your Money. Click the link to get your FREE copy now!
Categories: Uncategorized

SELLERS MARKET | Why Every Home Doesn’t Sell

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apThis is a healthy housing market—by most indicators a seller’s market—especially for homes that are priced to sell and in great condition.

As we move into the year-end season, there are no signs the market is shifting. Price remains critically important. Today’s sellers must avoid the pitfall of believing “everything sells.” Track market trends with a real estate pro—like us—and make sure your home’s sales price reflects what buyers expect—and will pay. If an offer doesn’t appear quickly, make a noticeable price improvement sooner—not later—if you expect to get your home sold.

Despite a great year so far, many prospective sellers still are not getting their homes sold. Here’s what our experience and local trends tell us:

Overpriced Listings. You can’t sell a home based on last year’s prices or national headlines that conflict with our area’s micro-trends. Don’t set a sales price based on the amount you want to cash out of the home. Pricing right is paramount to get your home noticed, toured and sold fast. The right price is one that buyers are willing to offer compared with other nearby homes currently for sale. Expired listings are often homes that aren’t priced right. You may be amazed at how many homes have lingered on the market longer than average—at all price points.

Condition. Is your home move-in ready? It will sell quickly because choosy buyers want a modern home in great condition. They’ll pay for it, too. If you have a list of fix-ups, needed updates and undone maintenance, buyers will notice and keep looking…right past your home.

Set The Stage. Clean and declutter each room. Make each space inviting and bright. If you’ve already moved out, rent or borrow furniture to give each room a purpose and focal point. Empty homes don’t sell.

Contract Kickouts. Perhaps the biggest reason not every home sells in this market is that some homes go under contract but never reach settlement. Those deals “kick out.” Maybe it’s the home inspection. Sometimes it’s buyer remorse. Often, financing for the buyer doesn’t come through…especially if the buyer isn’t preapproved or paid over market value in a bidding war. Whatever the reason, a significant number of contracts fall through without ever getting to closing—and if your home is priced right and in good condition, it’s got a better chance of not tripping over closing hurdles.

Going It Alone. If you’re trying to sell your home on your own, your property is not getting the marketing and exposure it could when you partner with a real estate professional. Today’s real estate market is healthy, but selling by yourself could mean lost time, lost money and a lost sale.

Bottom line for today’s sellers? Fixing-up matters. Staging matters. Savvy marketing matters. Negotiating experience matters. And—most important—pricing ahead of the market matters to be sure you get your home sold for top dollar in our market today. Contact us to discuss how we can turn your “for sale” quickly into “sold.”

Categories: #Spring Time To Sell, Sellers Market, Uncategorized, Waterfront Wilmington NC, wilmington nc


Kay Baker Associates | 1001 Military Cutoff | Ste 101 Wilmington, NC 28405 | kaybakerassociates@ec.rr.com | 910-202-3607 | Fax 910-338-2428

Copyright © 2017 Wilmington NC Real Estate Guide. All rights reserved. Disclaimer: All content on this blog is my own opinion and should not be treated as fact or relied upon when purchasing or selling real estate.