If death and taxes are the two things you can always count on in life, there probably should be a third: the bucketful of tax breaks Uncle Sam offers every year to encourage more Americans to buy a home. If you own a home and are looking to save on your taxes, or if you’re considering buying a home in 2017 and trying to see if you can afford it, here are five valuable deductions that you may be able to claim if you’re a homeowner. Read more …
It’s about time! Why shouldn’t girls have their ‘zen’ space to escape from the norm? These beautiful and unique structures are the perfect answer to life’s little (or big) stressors. Just sit back and relax, invite your friends or create a space to dive into that hobby you’ve been thinking about. Now get busy and start building your home away from home. Love this idea!!
Wallpaper has made a comeback during the past two years, according to interior design experts. An alternative to paint, wallpaper can bring color and texture to any room. Recent trends include wallpaper with repeat patterns, vibrant colors and pictures, whereas past trends favored natural colors and textures. Today’s wallpaper is also easier to remove. Hanging wallpaper is a great way to brighten up or change the feel of a room without spending the money of a major renovation. It can bring in color, texture or provide a unique feel to any room. Read more …
Congratulations, you’ve just taken another step up the American-dream ladder and are a homeowner. Along with the joy of painting, plumbing and yard work, you now have some new tax considerations.
The good news is you can deduct many home-related expenses. These tax breaks are available for any abode—mobile home, single-family residence, town house, condominium or cooperative apartment.
The bad news is, to take full tax advantage of your home, your taxes will likely get more complicated. In most cases, homeowners itemize. That means you’re not living on “EZ” Street anymore; you’ve moved to Form 1040 and Schedule A, where you’ll have to detail your tax deductible expenses.
For many homeowners, the effort of itemizing is well worth it at tax time. Some, however, might find claiming the standard deduction remains their best move.
If you do find that itemizing is best for your tax situation, here’s a look at homeowner expenses you can deduct on Schedule A, ones you can’t and some tips to get the most tax advantages out of your new property-owning status. Read more here, and also by clicking on the image above.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that listing your house is the first step. Knowledge is power so before you get ahead of yourself, get ahead of the game by doing your homework. Read more…
Butterflies are the ultimate sun worshipers. Plant your butterfly garden in an area that gets a solid 6 hours or more of sunshine every day. Pay attention to the seasonal changes, too. The best site for a butterfly garden will get lots of sun from early spring to late fall, not just in the summer months.
In some home designs, basements and cellars are nothing more than storage or utility spaces in a house used to hold fuse boxes, air-conditioning and water-heater systems, breaker panels and the furnace. Today, savvy homeowners have completely waterproofed their basements and expanded the use of their below-ground space, converting it into a thoughtful extension of their aboveground living space. The design minded have also turned their basements into entertainment lounges with a full wet bar, a guest room, a man cave, a home gym and a home office. If your basement space has little to be desired, check out these gorgeous options. This cover picture defines a contemporary style with ‘rational’ cabinetry–Atmos Collection in Bookmatched stripey oak and a bog wood horizontal wood grain finish. The bar features a stainless steel back splash, antiqued cambrian black stone surface along with a glass bartop on stainless step posts, with footrest. A floating (ceiling hung) decorative bulkhead with lighting and wine glass racks finishes it off. WOW! Just beautiful! Click on the image above to view more great options for your basement face lift!
If you are planning to sell your home in the near future, an attractive kitchen could really help to improve your chances of finding a buyer and getting a good price. Of all the home improvement projects you could carry out, a kitchen remodel is one of the few that could still give you a good return on your investment, despite the weak housing market.
The kitchen is the hub of most homes–nourishing the body, mind and soul. A great kitchen can help buyers overlook other flaws in a home; one that’s not-so-great can quickly derail any hopes of an offer.
If you’re thinking about selling and have the time, money and energy to do so, you may want to consider a kitchen remodel. Notwithstanding a kitchen upgrade, here are seven fail-safe tips to make your kitchen more eye-catching to buyers:
• Replace all light bulbs with “true light” bulbs.
• Clean all windows, windowsills and screens.
• De-clutter cabinets and drawers. Pare down the number of plates, glasses, dishware, utensils and cookware stored in your kitchen.
• Clean out food storage areas (refrigerator-freezer-cupboards) to reduce the amount of food stored in your home.
• Replace cabinetry pulls.
• If you have draperies or blinds in your kitchen, have them professionally cleaned.
• Make sure your stove, refrigerator, cupboards and drawers are immaculate.
Click on the image above for more information.
With buyers looking for homes that will be usable for years as their family needs evolve, design pros are stepping up to meet the challenge with a variety of flexible solutions. Click on the picture to read more.
Buying or selling a home may be the biggest financial transaction an individual will make in his or her lifetime. Even though it’s business, the challenge often has to do with managing the emotions. While sellers want top dollar, buyers want top value, meaning they will almost always negotiate price. If you’re a homeowner who wants and needs to sell, there are some recurring issues that can become obstacles. Here’s how to mitigate them.
Overpricing the property — To a seller, the home is invaluable. It’s not really possible to put a price tag on the domicile that has offered many intangible benefits. But quantify you must. Researching the price points of other homes in the area and recent sales history is key. A serious seller will want to consult with a savvy real estate professional who can conduct a comparative market analysis, market the property, and help negotiate.
Saying no to an early bid just because it’s early — A seller may feel that such an offer, submitted within the first two weeks, signals that the property was under-priced from the get-go. Avoid this scenario by pricing the home at what the market will support. Of course, you may have other considerations — a small window to sell due to relocation or finances — so adjust accordingly. If the offer is fair, “waiting for a better offer is counterproductive and can result in a property languishing,” says Nick Jabbour, a New York City real estate agent and vice president of Nest Seekers International.
Posting photos that push rather than pull — Potential buyers almost always review photos online before setting up an appointment. If you’re not a professional photographer, hire one. This is one place where skimping can cause buyers to shut the door before they take a real visit. SmartMoney suggests that shoppers want to see many facets of the house. Pictures of the kitchen, bathrooms, and outdoor spaces should be included.
Taking offense at low bids — Remember that what’s highly personal to you is business to others. Rather than reacting out of offense, analyze the bids using hard and fast data. If they are truly below market value, you can sit tight knowing that the right buyer is in the wings.
In any market, the process of selling a home can feel like an emotional roller coaster. Keep the end goal in mind — being free to live how and where you want in the next phase of life — and the ride will end well.