Monday, April 30 2012
This is usually the time of year when Evansville residents have gotten through tax season, heaved a sign of relief, and gone back to working on more important matters – like earning enough to make reducing taxes a goal worth pursuing.
This year, the latter part of April may be a little different. Because this is an election year, tax matters are already being widely debated, and changes that could affect everyone are more possible than usual. I am bringing these topics up for discussion with the firm caveat that your own planning (includingEvansville home buying decisions) should always be made after consultation with the financial experts you trust. Currently, federal and Indiana rules carry tax benefits that can greatly reduce a homeowner’s tax liability. They are very unlikely to be eliminated, but you may want to keep your ear tuned whenever you hear these topics under discussion, because seemingly minor changes can have major impacts.
Mortgage Interest and Points
Many renters found that they were able to use the standard deduction tables to simplify their federal filings. Homeowners, on the other hand, were usually better off using itemized deductions because of the welcome mortgage interest deduction. Qualifying points paid to obtain a mortgage can also generally be deducted in the year they are paid.
Everyone with a standard Individual Retirement Account has heard about the penalties for withdrawing funds before retirement age. But currently there is an exception in some home buying situations. Generally, some IRA funds can be applied to home buying (or building) a first home without those tax penalties. The catch is that you can only withdraw up to $10,000 over your entire lifetime (not annually). Those with Roth IRAs may find additional tax advantages, too.
Real Estate Taxes
Qualifying local and Indiana property taxes can amount to sizeable deductions. If, in the home buying process, you reimbursed a seller for prepaid property taxes, that amount can qualify, too.
As in all financial planning, you should consult your accountant or other tax professional before making any important decisions. And whenever buying or selling a Evansville property makes sense for your family, I’m standing by to answer all of your real estate questions.
You can reach me on my cell phone 812-499-9234 or email Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com
Friday, April 27 2012
Permits for new-home building — a gauge of future demand — reached its highest level last month since September 2008, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday.
New housing permits rose 4.5 percent in March, reaching an annualized level of 747,000.
But while the future of home building shows signs of picking up, actual construction started last month slowed, the second consecutive month for declines.
Builders broke ground in March on a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 654,000 homes, a 5.8 percent drop from February, the Commerce Department reported. The construction of multifamily homes — those with at least two units — posted a 16.9 percent drop last month while construction of single-family homes dropped slightly at 0.2 percent.
New-home building declined the most in the South — posting a 15.9 percent decline in March — while the Northeast saw a 32.8 percent gain and the Midwest saw a 1 percent increase.
The new-home market continues to struggle to compete against foreclosures and short sales plaguing many markets, which are often sold at big discounts. Coupled with that, new homes tend to be priced about 30 percent higher than previously occupied homes.
While builder confidence has been increasing in recent months, confidence showed a slight decrease in April, the first time it's declined in seven months, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index.
"Although builders in many markets are noting increased interest among potential buyers, consumers are still very hesitant to go forward with a purchase, and our members are realigning their expectations somewhat until they see more actual signed sales contracts," says Barry Rutenberg, NAHB chairman.
Source: “U.S. March Housing Starts -5.8% to 654K,” Dow Jones International News (April 17, 2012) and National Association of Home Builders
Thursday, April 26 2012
Tax deductions for home –modifications, capital expenses incurred if home improvements are necessary for medical reasons. The following comes from I.R.S, Pub. 502, medical and dental expenses.
"You can include in medical expenses amounts you pay for special equipment. Installed in a home, or for improvements, if their main purpose is medical care for you, your spouse, or your dependent. The cost of permanent improvements that increase the value of your property may be partly included as a medical expense. The cost of the improvement is reduced by the increase in the value of your property. The difference is a medical expense. If the value of your property is not increased by the improvement, the entire cost is included as a medical expense."
Certain improvements made to accommodate a home for a disability condition, do not usually increase the value of the home and the cost can be included in full as a medical expense. As the baby boomers age these improvements will definitely improve the resale value of your house. That being said, perhaps the time to make these improvements is sooner than later. These improvements include, but are not limited to the following items.
Adding an elevator or stair lift system. Elevators generally add value to the
house. Other improvements include:
Amounts you pay for operation and upkeep of a capital asset qualify as medical expenses, as long as the main reason for them is medical care. This rule applies even if none or only part of the original cost of the capital asset qualified as a medical care expense.
Improvements to property rented by a person with a disability are also an eligible medical expense. IRS Publication 502 indicates that “amounts paid by a renter to buy and install special plumbing fixtures in a rented house for a person with a disability, mainly for medical reasons, are medical expenses.”
As a footnote remember it is always much less expensive to include accessible/ universal design features in the original design of the home. Our universal designed “smart” home plans incorporate all of the above and more in the initial design.
There are also business deductions for complying with the ADA, Section 44 of the IRS Code allows a tax credit for small businesses and Section 190 of the IRS Code allows a tax deduction for all businesses.
Tuesday, April 24 2012
This is a pretty common topic when purchasing Evansville Real Estate. A lot of prospective homeowners dream of buying Evansville Real Estate and making one of the biggest investments in their lives without having to break the bank. The investment of buying Evansville Real Estate requires careful study and a lot of financial discipline. These are just a few tips to help you stay within your budget.
First and foremost, it must be noted that budgeting demands the utmost of financial discipline. Studying your annual income and determining what you can afford comes easy enough, but it is a step that a lot of prospective homebuyers tend to forget. Keep track of your current expenses and confirm that you are ready for the responsibilities of buying Evansville Real Estate. Spending only a maximum of 25% of your current monthly income to make payments for the purchase will be a wise decision.
Before approaching a lender, know and verify your credit score first. This is a fair measurement of how well you can manage your finances, although at this point you should already be sure that you are ready to purchase Evansville Real Estate. Online services from FICO can help get this score for you quickly and accurately. Getting this little bit of research done can definitely aid you when you decide to approach a lender, so that the loan application process can go along much smoother.
Now that you have determined the amount of your income you are willing to spend on Evansville Real Estate, it's time to go house-hunting. Contact your realtor and ask to see the listings. Narrow down your search in terms of square feet and locations that you can afford. Visit only the properties that are within the budget you have set for the purchase, so the temptation to go beyond it won't even cross your mind.
Another great practice to help you stay in budget would be to stop spending and start saving. Cutting down on unnecessary luxuries in your current expenses can help boost your bank account so you can make a bigger down payment on your purchase. This will also condition you to become even more financially stable, so that future real estate investments can be more than just dreams for you.
Staying within your budget when buying Evansville Real Estate can be difficult for some, but following these little tips can help you make one of the biggest investments of your financial life without a hitch. All it takes is a little discipline, a little know-how and help you get the most bang for your buck. Don't be afraid to ask your realtor about home affordability and your current financial status. The realtor’s experience in the industry has certainly earned him a few stars and can help you make the right choices for your Evansville Real Estate.
I hope you have found this information helpful. If you need any help with buying, selling or renting a home in Evansville, Indiana please contact me at any time. You can reach me on my cell phone at 812-499-9234 or email Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com
Monday, April 23 2012
An index measuring improvement in the nation’s housing markets is showing signs of plateauing, which could be a good sign for the spring home-buying season, according to an economist.
The number of metro areas joining the Improving Markets Index ticked up slightly to 101 in April from 99 in March, according to the index released by the National Association of Home Builders and First American. The index measures improvements in metro areas by analyzing increases in housing permits, employment, and housing prices for at least the last six consecutive months.
Friday, April 20 2012
The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage, often the top choice of home refinancers, reached a new all-time record low of 3.11 percent this week, Freddie Mac reports in this week’s mortgage market survey. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage also sank lower this week, hovering near it’s all-time low.
"Fixed mortgage rates eased for the third consecutive week following long-term Treasury bond yields lower after a weaker than expected employment report for March,” Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist Frank Nothaft says.
Here’s how rates fared for the week ending April 12:
Source: Freddie Mac
Thursday, April 19 2012
More home buyers may jump off the sidelines this spring as they get more urgent about purchasing a home, fearing that home price and mortgage rate increases are on the horizon.
Housing surveys in recent weeks have shown that more Americans are seeing now a great time to purchase a home. In the most recent survey, 73 percent of Americans say now is a good time to buy, according to the latest Fannie Mae Housing Survey conducted in March. That’s up from 70 percent in February who said it was a great time to buy.
"Conditions are coming together to encourage people to want to buy homes," says Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist. "With an increasing share of consumers expecting higher mortgage rates and home prices over the next 12 months, some may feel that renting is becoming more costly and that home ownership is a more compelling housing choice."
Indeed, more buyer urgency is evident in the market. Thirty-three percent of those surveyed by Fannie say they expect home prices soon to increase, which is the highest percentage in a year. What’s more, nearly 40 percent say they expect mortgage rates to rise in the next year too, which is also up from previous surveys.
Coupled with that, 48 percent of Americans say they expect rents to continue to climb, and 44 percent say they expect their financial situation to improve in the next year.
Source: “More Americans Think It’s Time to Buy a Home,” MSN Real Estate (April 9, 2012)
Wednesday, April 18 2012
Last month’s Market Watch was all about listings. I suggested that based on the way this year’s real estate market has started that we would soon need more listings and that based on virtually any measure, now would be a good time to list your home if you were considering a move. Everything I suggested last month has proven to be true and there are even more reasons to list real estate for sale now.
We have fewer homes on the market than at any time in 6 years. The month’s supply of homes on the market (6.59) is lower than it has been for 68 of the past 70 months. Our average month’s supply for the first 3 months has been lower than any year for the past 4 years. We have seen slight improvements in both our list to sale price ratio (95.10%) and in our days on market number. Unit sales are up 7% from the first 3 months of last year and I am confident that next month will show continued improvement. Even the national media has made some positive comments about real estate.
Although everything I said in the previous two paragraphs is true and I am confident that now is a good time to list a home. I don’t want to overstate or exaggerate the current state of our real estate market. Things have definitely improved but we will not have as strong a year as we did in 2006 or 2007. Prices have improved but have not returned to their previous highs. Although the market has rebounded it would not surprise me to see a little slowdown this fall because of uncertainty about this fall’s election. Interest rates are great but will not stay this low forever, which is another reason for buyers to act and take advantage of current rates.As always I am happy to answer your real estate questions. You can reach me on my cell phone at 812-499 or email Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com
Tuesday, April 17 2012
As the saying goes: April showers bring May flowers! With more rain in the springtime months of April and May, now's the perfect opportunity to get your rain gutters in tip-top shape. As a homeowner, you're probably wondering what the best way would be to maintain those gutters and I've got the answer for you! We have compiled a handy list of tips that will help you to save money by doing it yourself, so that you can simply enjoy the rain once it comes.
If you need any additional tips, please feel free to call me Rolando at 499-9234 or Kathy at
499-0246. Also if you have friends or family who are in need of real estate service or advice, we hope you'll give them our name. We are always happy to help!
FIVE TIPS FOR SAFELY CLEANING YOUR RAIN GUTTERS
· Maintenance means everything: Ideally, you should clean your gutters twice per year. Maintaining clean gutters will help you to avoid drainage problems that could potentially lead to more costly repairs.
· Climb on up: Borrowing (or investing in) a good, sturdy ladder is the key to ensuring your personal safety and to making the task as hassle-free as possible. Make sure that the ladder is placed on a flat, steady surface, and follow the rule of two: never stand on the top two rungs of a ladder, as it becomes very difficult to maintain your balance.
· Protect yourself: Thick, heavy gloves are a must when performing this kind of task. Gutters may have sharp or jagged metal pieces as well as screws or nails that may pose a danger to your hands and fingers. Want additional protection? Safety glasses are also a good idea!
· Up on the roof: Santa might find rooftops to be a walk in the park, but for the rest of us, they aren't generally ideal perches. However, if you have a flat roof or a roof with a low slope, you may find it easier to accomplish the cleaning by situating yourself up top. Always use extreme caution, wear non-slip shoes and never opt for this choice in bad weather!
Scoop, blast and repair: Once you're ready to start cleaning, follow a simple three-step process to get the most out of the task. Scoop out any debris, blast the drains clean with a high-powered hose, and repair any leaks you may find along the way.
Monday, April 16 2012
Buying homes and renting them are such distinctly separate aspects of Evansville’s real estate scene that we tend to pay attention only to the sector we are most involved with. We pretty much ignore the other. Renters and real estate investors watch trends in residential rentals, while homeowners and soon-to-be homeowners check on prices and activity in the local home market.
All of which means that it’s easy to overlook how trends in one sector have major impacts on the other. And any sort of residential construction activity – new building or remodeling – has a direct and positive impact on our economy as a whole.
So here’s some good news: this year, rental construction is expected to reach its highest level since 2005. Somehow that may not seem like such a big deal, but despite the way it looks, 2005 is SEVEN years ago (time flies, doesn’t it?)! Those have been seven painful years for most of the construction folks we know, so the change comes as welcome news. It’s also possible that a turnaround could mean that other turnarounds in different areas of the economy may be in the wind.
The apartment experts at NMHC just published something that most of us already suspected. They found that nationally, apartment vacancy rates fell to a decade low of 4.9%. We have already written about how asking rents continue to rise (in March, up .5% from the previous month). The same experts noted that some empty-nesters seem to be increasingly likely to opt for the convenience of apartment living -- even those who could easily afford to buy.
It explains why more investors are stepping up to order the building of new rental homes even as many older apartments and rental homes are being renovated. Add to that recent government moves to encourage lenders to become at least temporary landlords, and the result is real activity. Budgets have been tight for families in recent years, which may have caused them to decide to choose rental homes that were older, hence less expensive. If the economy continues to strengthen, these same families may later be able to afford to look at one of the new rental homes now under construction. It’s likely that many tenants would choose to live in a place that is a product of new construction, or in a complex that has been recently renovated.
All that increased building activity is another sign that the housing market as a whole is waking up. In the longer range, since newer rentals generally cost more money, more would-be tenants will ultimately reconsider the prospect of owning a home – in turn increasing demand for first-time or entry level homes.
Wherever your family falls in theEvansville real estate mix, don’t hesitate to call me when you have a question about the market and what is available for you. You can reach me on my cell phone at 812-499-9234 or email at Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com
Friday, April 13 2012
Home buying is the smarter choice than renting, according to Trulia’s Winter 2012 Rent vs. Buy Index.
Buying a home is more affordable than renting in 98 of the nation’s 100 largest metro areas, according to the index, which tracks asking prices for rental units compared to for-sale homes in major metro areas.
The only two metros out of the 100 tracked where renting was found to be the better deal: Honolulu and San Francisco. Still, the index notes that if you plan to stay in those markets more than five years, you might still be better off owning than renting in those markets too.
Falling home values and low mortgage rates have made home ownership more affordable. Meanwhile, rents have been on the rise.
“As rents rise and prices stagnate, home ownership is becoming even more affordable, but rising rents create a dilemma for people who can’t afford to buy yet,” says Jed Kolko, Trulia’s chief economist. “Rising rents make it harder for people to save for a down payment, which is the biggest barrier to buying a home that aspiring home owners face.”
Top 10 Metros to Buy vs. Rent
2. Oklahoma City, Okla.
3. Dayton, Ohio
4. Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, Mich.
5. Toledo, Ohio
6. Grand Rapids, Mich.
7. Cleveland, Ohio
9. Gary, Ind.
10. Memphis, Tenn.
By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine Daily News http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2012/03/22/buying-cheaper-renting-in-nearly-all-major-cities
Thursday, April 12 2012
Evansville-based Accuride Corp. (NYSE: ACW) is planning to upgrade its Camden, South Carolina plant and hire more employees. The $8.7 million aluminum wheel line expansion could add around 25 additional jobs.Accuride Corporation (NYSE: ACW), a leading supplier of components to the commercial vehicle industry, today announced plans to expand aluminum wheel production capacity at its Kershaw County plant. The company will invest at least $8.73 million to add two machine lines as part of the expansion, which will generate at least 25 new jobs. The Kershaw County Council is expected today to vote in favor of a Fee in Lieu of Taxes (FILOT) agreement for the project; and the company is utilizing South Carolina's readySC worker training program for new hires.
“We are pleased to move forward with plans to expand our Kershaw County operations. Our investment helps to ensure we have the right production capacity in place where and when our customers need it, at a higher standard of quality and dependability,” said Accuride Corporation President and CEO Rick Dauch.
“South Carolina has the business environment and the skilled workforce our facility will require to successfully grow both now and in the future; and we appreciate the support we’ve received from both state and local officials to ensure that this happens,” stated Accuride Camden Director of Operations Don Krampe.
In June 2011, Accuride acquired substantially all of the assets of Forgitron Technologies LLC, including the 80,000-square-foot manufacturing facility located at 30 Hengst Blvd. in Camden. Shortly thereafter, Accuride converted the plant to its standards, and announced plans to expand capacity and produce a range of forged aluminum commercial vehicle wheels at the facility.
“Today’s announcement is another win for one of our state’s rural areas. We celebrate Accuride’s decision to invest $8.73 million and create 25 new jobs in Camden. South Carolina continues to provide the business-friendly-climate where companies of all sizes can grow and prosper,” said Gov. Nikki Haley.
In 2011, South Carolina recruited more than $4.7 billion in investment and more than 13,000 new jobs in the manufacturing sector.
“South Carolina’s manufacturing renaissance continues to build up steam with announcements like this one from Accuride. This announcement also shows that our automotive-related sector continues to create new jobs,” said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt.
“It is exciting to see that Accuride, one of our industry neighbors, is growing and prospering,” said Kershaw County Council Chairman Gene Wise. “This is the solid result of the supportive pro-business climate we enjoy in Kershaw County.”
“We are excited about today's announcement by Accuride Corporation to expand their operations in Kershaw County. More and more corporations are discovering the benefits of investing in South Carolina. We welcome these new jobs and greatly appreciate being a part of the corporate strategy and development plans of Accuride,” said Central SC Alliance Chairman Jim Apple.
The company has already begun hiring for the new positions. Anyone interested in job opportunities with the company should contact SCWorks at (803) 432-5153.
About Accuride Corporation
With headquarters in Evansville, Ind., USA, Accuride Corporation is a leading supplier of components to the commercial vehicle industry. The company’s products include commercial vehicle wheels, wheel-end components and assemblies, truck body and chassis parts, and other commercial vehicle components. The company’s products are marketed under its brand names, which include Accuride®, Gunite®, ImperialTM and BrillionTM. Accuride’s common stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol ACW. For more information, visit the company’s website at www.AccurideCorp.com.
Source: Accuride Corp. http://www.insideindianabusiness.com/newsitem.asp?ID=53138
Wednesday, April 11 2012
As a whole, we Americans are an interesting group. We are smart, educated, involved in our community…and, not unlike the rest of America, our attention span about 5 or 10 seconds. It follows that when you put your home on the market and your agent places it among theEvansville realty listings, your home has about that long to grab potential buyers’ attention.
Time and time again, studies show that realty listings with superior curb appeal get markedly more attention than those with run-of-the-mill photos. First impressions count. It’s how advertising agencies can charge hundreds of thousands of dollars to get just the right angle with just the right lighting on their perfectly-designed product packages. In ad-speak, that photo with the perfect angle and lighting is called the ‘hero shot’.
Your home can have its own ‘hero shot’. Its landscaping, color, the condition of its driveway, walkway, garage and backyard, along with the overall neatness combine to make a true ‘hero shot’ that will stand out from the other Evansville realty listings. That same look (over and above the one in the photographer’s viewfinder) can also be counted upon to draw the attention of potential buyers who happen to be just driving by.
It’s not surprising, either, that curb appeal also affects the value and salability of realty listings. A study by the University of Washington found that "mature trees in a well-landscaped yard can increase the value of a house by 7% - 19%.” On the other hand, overgrown trees that obscure the view of the home can delay its sale.
The curb appeal of homes almost defines a neighborhood’s appeal, and vice versa. Any home that is well kept improves the image of the rest of the houses on any street. In the same way, a home with a neglected look can bring down the general appeal of the entire neighborhood. You already know what it’s like to drive by a street lined with houses that are all beautifully maintained. Now that’s the kind of place where you would definitely want to live!
If you are giving serious consideration to selling your home, call me anytime for a “curb appeal” consultation. Usually, just a few easy steps are all it takes to improve that vital first impression!
You can reach me on my cell phone 812-499-9234 or email me at Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com
Tuesday, April 10 2012
The first three months of 2012 have been record-breakers for Evansville's Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden. Park officials believe mild weather and spring break schedules contributed to the increased attendance.
Zoo Officials believe that many factors, including the unseasonable warm weather, Orchid Escape, and spring breaks have helped Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden achieve the highest January, February, and March attendance in Zoo history. During the course of January, 2,699 guests visited the Zoo, February attendance was a record breaking 6,342 visitors, and March boasted 27,612 visitors. In comparison, these numbers topped the previous January record by 26%, February record by 9% and March record by 59%.
According to Amos Morris, Zoo Director, “The first quarter of the year is always a challenge for zoos. We are always dreaming up ways to boost attendance and generate excitement. We thank you for your support and we hope the weather and continued Zoo events keep you coming back throughout the year.”
Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden is open 365 days a year from 9 AM – 5 PM, entry gate closes at 4 PM. Admission for adults is $8.50 and children ages 3-12 are $7.50. Children 2 and under are free. In recognition of their support, Vanderburgh County residents receive $1 discount. Please visit www.meskerparkzoo.com for information regarding yearly memberships or other Zoo services.
Source: Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden http://www.insideindianabusiness.com/newsitem.asp?ID=53078
Monday, April 09 2012
With spring in the air, notions of fresh starts and new horizons have a way of pushing into just about everybody’s consciousness. It’s only natural, whether because of the weather, school schedules, or everything else around us that seems fresh and new. And something else is in the air, too: if past history is any guide, now is also simply the most popular time of year to sell or buy Evansville homes.
For those with a home to sell, this is traditionally the most active time to be in the real estate market. Homes entered in Evansville property listings during springtime can be expected to attract buyers more quickly, and they stand a better chance of fetching a good price. With 60% of moves in America taking place during the summer months (most likely a reflection of the school year schedule), it stands to reason that spring is a great time to get yourEvansvilleproperty onto the market.
For potential homebuyers expecting to shop for a new home sometime this year, there is ample reason to swing into action sooner rather than later. Evansville property listings can be expected to conform to the national trend: at a rapidly rising rate, Realtors® expect constant or higher residential prices in the coming year (73% vs. 62% just three months ago, according to the NAR). Following the past few years of price declines, it won’t be surprising if the market’s recovery brings a rapid rise in prices. Then the bargains people have begun to take for granted could quickly become tomorrow’s regretful “I could have bought that house for only $---” stories…that happens again and again. Those who know they are going to be in the market this year should seriously consider getting in the market!
For both buyers and sellers, spring is the most popular season for a number of reasons. Especially for families with kids in school, or anyone whose business is geared to encourage summer vacations, it’s also the most sensible time to act. Whether you will be adding your own contribution to our area’s property listings, or beginning to comb those property listings to zero in on a new home, do get in touch with me to help make this spring the one that makes 2012 your Year of the Big Move! Feel free to call me at 812-499-9234 or email me at Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com
Thursday, April 05 2012
Tax benefits for home owners disappeared at the end of 2011 and no one knows whether Congress will bring them back. How annoying!
Congress was so busy bickering at the end of 2011 that it allowed two important tax breaks for home owners to expire. Beginning with the 2012 tax year:
1. You can no longer deduct the cost of private mortgage insurance premiums.
2. You aren’t getting a tax credit for some of your home energy improvements.
You can take advantage of these provisions when you file your 2011 tax return — but beyond that, who knows.
Now that Congress is back in session, it’s likely going to pick up where it left off — arguing about what programs to cut and what taxes to raise. The programs, deductions, and tax credits supporting home ownership belong at the top their to-do list.
Up until the end of last year, you could deduct your private mortgage insurance premium (PMI) when calculating your income taxes. It was a benefit targeted to lower- and middle-income home owners. Once you made $100,000 or more, it started disappearing and anyone who had more than $110,000 of adjusted gross income couldn’t use it.
The home owners who have to get mortgage insurance are buyers with less than a 20% down payment and refinancers with less than 20% equity. That’s more often first-time home buyers or younger home owners and less often move-up buyers who’ve built up equity in their homes. So in taking away the PMI deduction, Congress is raising taxes paid by first-time home buyers and younger home owners leaving them with less money to spend on housing. That’s especially wrong-headed when the housing market is struggling to recover.
The tax credit for energy efficiency upgrades wasn’t enormous — it was capped at $500 or 10% of the cost for some projects; less for others. But it was a nice incentive to add insulation, new windows, or to upgrade your HVAC system with a more efficient unit — exactly the kind of actions that help decrease our dependence on fossil fuels, leading to a cleaner environment and less outflow of U.S. income to foreign countries. Not to mention, hopefully, smaller utility bills.
In 2012, home ownership and energy independence advocates will fight to get those expired tax rules back on the books and to have them apply retroactively. It’s a familiar fight — they had to do the same thing at the end of 2010.
But this year, the battle is more complicated because there’s a presidential election, discord between the major parties, and a general lack of consensus on any issues.
We home owners certainly don’t all agree on who to vote for, but most of us consider the renewal of those policies is a no-brainer. And we really don’t appreciate it when Congress lets those rules expire at the end of one year and then leaves us to wonder the rest of the next year whether they’ll be renewed.
Read more: http://www.houselogic.com/blog/tax-deductions/home-tax-deductions-2012/?nicmp=hlemail&nichn=solo&niseg=taxdeductions_2012#ixzz1r12GdoqN
Wednesday, April 04 2012
Once you decide that the time has come to sell your house, Evansville’s open houses are one of the most promising ways for you to show off its fine points. And early spring has long proved to be one of real estate’s peak selling seasons. Despite the fact that April can bring unpredictable weather to Evansville, it’s undeniably prime time to use an open house to market your home.
Open houses are popular for the simple reason that they provide maximum exposure to house-hunters, whether they are casual or more highly motivated. Particularly when a home is occupied, open houses invite easy access to a property, side-stepping all the normal hurdles of appointment making, phone tag, calendar syncing, etc. Since vacant homes are easy to show any time, they tend to get more exposure (especially since prospective buyers frequently phone at the last minute to request a tour).
Open houses are a way to even the competition. Held on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, they provide the easiest way for potential buyers to browse. Prospects can casually pursue their search without having to commit to a day full of appointments. For them and for the seller, it’s a handy tradition.
But what if it turns out to be one of those Evansville rainy days?
Ideally, everyone plans their open houses with a bright, sunny day in mind. But when the clouds gather, you don’t need to let a little inclement weather wreck the opportunity. When it turns gloomy outside, think of it as the perfect opportunity to make your home shine on the inside. Open all the blinds, turn on the lights, throw some upbeat jazz on the stereo, and crank the heat up! Another nice touch (especially if you want to come home to a clean house) will be to place towels or mats by the front door so that attendees can wipe their feet.
Looking to go the extra mile? Provide hot chocolate or hot tea in disposable cups for your agent to offer browsers. At the very least, they’ll be sure to remember your open house!
If you are considering listing your home and are looking for solid marketing support and exposure, today is the day to call me to schedule your consultation…rain or shine! Or why not stop by and meet me in person? The fastest and easiest way to find out open houses in the Evansville area is at http://tinyurl.com/RolandoTrentini
Tuesday, April 03 2012
Buying Evansville real estate as second homes in the buyer's market of today is never a bad idea, pending all the studying that an investment requires. Second homes demand from the prospective buyers a lot of responsibility, and this tends to scare them away sometime. That is a fear, however, that comes unwarranted. Second homes are better investments than most people think.
The primary concern that prevents people from taking a chance with second homes is the price. With the current trend of the American economy, images of bankruptcy tend to influence the average buyer's decision. Look at it from a different perspective: if a lot of people are looking at real estate purchases in the same way, then that would significantly lower the current demand for it. The market would then have to adjust itself to lower prices, and financial institutions are doing a similar adjustment: mortgage rates are much lower than a couple of years back. When thought of the real estate market this way, you'd realize that now is the perfect time to buy, as it would be much easier on your bank account.
The additional tax benefits alone pile up to help you cut down on your current expenses. Take, for example, a situation wherein you decide to have your second home rented. If the renting period has gone beyond 14 days (as per IRS regulations) then you can write off the expenses incurred by the property.
A lot of buyers are looking at Evansville real estate as investment properties that can earn them passive income. This thought requires a bit of introspection. What would be best is if your intended investment property is somewhere that invites a lot of potential renters. Investment properties close to business districts would not be a bad idea. The same goes with beachfront properties. Think of it this way: why pay for the mortgage of your second home when you can have the renters do it for you?
Speaking of location, if you choose a particular type of investment property, like a beachfront property, then that could spell not just rental opportunities for you (hello, extra income), but also a vacation home for your personal use.
And of course, there's the usual increase in value when it comes to real estate. Remember today's buyer's market with Evansville real estate, you have to know that not only are prices down by significant margins (with the number of foreclosures and bank auctions out there). Sellers are now also highly motivated, so their flexibility when it comes to price negotiations should let you make an even smaller investment--that spells higher returns in the future.
With the help of a credible realtor, you can begin your search for your second home. This is not simply about your needs (that's for your first home, after all). A second home is about making an investment that will serve you as it appreciates in value in the future. As it appreciates, the rental opportunities that a well thought out second home offers will generate a steady flow of extra income for you--it's like making an investment for free.
I hope you have found this information helpful. If you need any help with buying, selling or renting a home in Evansville, Indiana please contact me at any time. TYou can reach me on my cell phone 812-499-9234 or email at Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com