Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas

Well today is a holiday so I think I'll relax with the family and be back next year!

Happy Holidays to all.

Friday, December 18, 2015

T-Minus Seven Days Till Christmas

Another year is about to take a ride into history. Christmas then New years day all in the span of the next two weeks. Those of you that are hearty home shoppers may still be hunting for that ideal house. This can be a good time to seek out properties as many people will start putting off home hunting until after the holidays. The persevering ones may find a golden nugget under the tree in the form of a new house.

Sellers that have home listed right through the New Year are eager to sell and buyers looking at this time are serious about owning a new home. This is a great opportunity for a real estate transaction.

I'll keep it short and sweet this week, Happy Holidays.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Do You Meet With Your Tax Pro in December?

I always meet with my tax professional every December. If you were involved in a real estate transaction this year, meeting with your tax adviser is a good idea. Often real estate has income tax benefits or consequences and this is nice to know before the end of the year. Even if real estate was not involved this year, knowing where you stand while there is still time to make adjustments in your finances can save you thousands of dollars.

Real estate in particular can be a tricky proposition for taxes. The laws change frequently and once you get past December, often it is too late to make any adjustments for the tax year. Sometimes waiting to close on a property until next year is better than closing it this year, or vice-versa. Your tax pro can go over the differences and help you make the best financial decisions that put you in the strongest position for taxation purposes.

If you engaged in a real estate transaction in 2015, talking to the tax accountant about the benefits or consequences of that action can be helpful. Generally real estate transactions for owner occupied properties are beneficial but rental units can be very tricky and an accountant is well worth the expense to help you sort it all out.

Last year I had a tax surprise and not the happy variety. Meeting in December alerted me to the problem. I was not able to change anything, but it was nice having a four month advance notice that the April 15 bomb was going nuclear.  

If you are not using a professional for your taxes and you own real estate or trade in securities you are probably leaving money on the table. Talk to a pro and keep the messy taxes nice and tidy.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Holidays are Here, You can Still Sell your Home!

Every year I have this conversation with my sellers. If sellers are willing to tolerate the intrusive nature of listing a home during the holidays, it can pay off with handsome rewards. My experience is that the volume of buyers drops off during December but the number of listings tends to drop more. I see a great deal of "withdrawn" listings begin to appear around Thanksgiving and through the New Year. These are likely sellers that wish to have some peace and tranquility with their families during this period.

The buyers that remain during this time of year tend to be serious about purchasing a home.The looky-loos are at office parties and family gatherings. With a temporarily tighter inventory, and serious buyers, the opportunity for sellers is magnificent. There is no sugar-coating the facts here, selling a home requires a great deal of effort on the part of the homeowner. The home needs to be kept tidy, it needs to be available to show on short notice, and the seller can anticipate a fair number of showings.It will be disruptive, but it will likely be profitable.

As I always mention every year as our weather turns wintry, follow a few key rules to keep a listed home appealing and safe. Keep leaves clear of the rain gutters and off the sidewalk, walkways, and driveway. Keep snow and ice clear of the driveway and walkway as well.If the home has a fireplace, have a fire going during showings and if you like to bake, bake something. One can also find lovely scented candles to add a warm and enticing feel to the property.

Have a great holiday season!