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Tax Breaks for Observatory Park Homeowners

March 29, 2017

Not only do Observatory Park homeowners get the joy of knowing that they live in their own home, but they also get a few breaks every tax season. If you buy a home this year, here are some of the tax breaks you may qualify for when you file your taxes in 2018:

Property Tax Deductions

Unlike renters, homeowners have to pay an annual property tax on their home. But luckily, this is a deductible expense, so be sure to provide your accountant with the bill and proof that you paid it.

Mortgage Deductions

Do you plan on getting a mortgage to buy a new home? If so, you will have additional deductions when tax season comes around next year. First, you can deduct all of the mortgage interest payments you’ve made on your new home. You can deduct any mortgage interest payments made towards your first mortgage, second mortgage, or home equity line of credit (on loans less than $100,000).

If you are required to pay private mortgage insurance to your lender, these payments can also be deducted as long as your income is not too high. The income limit changes slightly on an annual basis, so check with your accountant to see if you qualify for this deduction next year.

If you pay “points” to the bank when you purchase your new home so you can get a better mortgage rate, you can also deduct this expense. Points are typically about 1% of the total loan, so this can be a sizeable deduction if you bought a pricey home.

Property Damage Losses

Was your new home damaged in a flood or by a fallen tree? If you were not reimbursed for the damage by an insurance company, you may be able to deduct the cost of repairs. But, this does not apply to minor repairs. You only qualify for this deduction if the cost of repairs exceeded 10% of your adjustable gross income.

Energy Efficient Upgrades

Did you make any energy efficient upgrades to your home once you moved in? You may qualify for additional tax deductions. Right now, there are several tax credits available that reimburse homeowners for certain energy efficient upgrades. However, all of them with the exception of the solar tax credit expired at the end of 2016. This means you would be able to take advantage of them if you bought a home last year, but not if you buy a home this year.

The solar tax credit, which has been extended through 2021, allows homeowners to deduct 30% of the cost of installing solar energy systems in their homes. This tax credit will drop down to 26% of the cost in 2020, and 22% in 2021, so take advantage of it while it’s still at 30%. Learn more about energy efficient federal tax credits here.

Ready to buy a home so you can take advantage of these tax breaks next year? Contact Elevation Realty to be connected to a team of experienced real estate experts ready to help you on your home buying or selling journey.

Home Improvements to Increase Your Observatory Park Property Value

March 22, 2017

Spring and summer is one of the best times to put your home up for sale! The market is blossoming and you are at an advantage. Additionally, great curb appeal and gorgeous interior for your Observatory Park home will attract potential homebuyers to you even more. Whether you want to clean up the yard, or need to make some revisions to your home, there are a variety of things you can do to that can increase the value when you are ready to sell!
  1. Find Energy Savings: When you can save potential homeowner money—that automatically puts you on their radar. One of the simplest things you can do is to update all of your light bulbs to LED. Energy Star explains these bulbs can save 70 to 90 percent and last up to 25 years, so future homeowners may never need to even change a bulb for years. Another great idea is to upgrade your windows that keep UV rays from coming in, or air from able to leak in. This will keep air conditioning or heat from over running in the summer and winter months. Last, invest in a programmable thermostat. This is a great way to be able to control your temperature settings and avoid your heating or cooling from running throughout the day when you aren’t home wasting money. Learn more about how to assess your home with energy star.
  2. Yard Solutions: When updating your lawn prior to getting your house on the market, there is no need to completely renovate for ideal curb appeal. First, one of the simplest things you can do is mow your lawn, edge and keep it simple. Next, if you have older mulch or unkempt shrubs, invest in new mulch, remove all the weeds and replace the flowers if the existing ones are wilting or in bad shape. For shrubs, make sure they are trimmed and not overgrown. Keep in mind with your home; while the landscaping can draw potential homeowners in, you don’t want the landscaping to overtake the home itself. Last, if you have a driveway that is cracked or falling apart, you may want to look into costs to upgrade it.
  3. Interior Changes: Sometimes the smallest of changes can make the most impact for a potential homebuyer. First, update all of your door and drawer knobs to be consistent. Next, if you have an unfinished basement, updating that space will add more value to your home. Also, many homebuyers find success in adding granite counters and updated appliances in kitchens and bathrooms—up to $20,000 for resale in some cases. Find more ideas on which home improvements pay off, check out HGTV’s article.

If you are ready to put your home up for sale, or would like more advice on how to increase the value of our Observatory Park home, Elevation Realty can help. If you’re interested in finding the value of your home on the home valuation part of our website and contact us at 303-579-3566 to get started!

Buying “For Sale By Owner” Homes in Observatory Park

March 15, 2017

Have you ever wondered why some homes have large for sale signs in their yards, while others have smaller signs that simply say “for sale by owner”? If a seller chooses to work with an agent to sell his home, the agent will place a large, branded sign in the yard to advertise that the home is available. But, some homeowners try to sell their home without an agent’s help, and in this case the home is referred to as being “for sale by owner.” If you’re considering buying one of these homes in Observatory Park, here’s what you should know:

It may be difficult to negotiate.

There are many reasons why a seller would choose to sell his home on his own rather than work with an agent. One reason is that he does not want to pay an agent’s commission after the deal is over. Another could be that he does not agree with the value that local real estate agents have placed on his home. What does this tell you? Money is very important to these sellers. Because of this, it may be much more difficult to negotiate a fair price for a home that is being sold by the owner. If you’re seriously interested in a home, ask your agent to be direct with the owner and find out if there is any wiggle room in the price. If he’s not willing to come down at all, don’t waste your time submitting an offer unless you are willing to pay full price.

Always get an inspection.

You never want to assume that someone is trying to hide a major problem with a home, but you shouldn’t trust someone you don’t know, either. It’s always important to get a home inspection before closing, but even more so when you’re buying a home that is for sale by owner. If the owner makes a fuss about you asking for an inspection, this is a red flag that you should think twice about purchasing the home. Here’s what to know about the home inspection.

Ask your agent to hold the seller accountable.

Unless the seller is a licensed real estate, he may not be familiar with the legal duties of a seller in the state of Colorado. It’s up to your agent to hold the seller responsible and ensure he complies with the law. For example, sellers in Colorado have to provide buyers with a disclosure statement that covers whether the property is in a special taxing district, the home’s source of drinkable water, and any new transportation projects that may be taking place in the community. Make sure your agent stays on top of the seller to ensure he is fulfilling all of his legal obligations.  

When in doubt, it’s best to trust your agent’s advice. If you’re ready to find a home that fits all of your needs, contact the professionals! Contact Elevation Realty to be connected to a team of experienced real estate experts ready to help you on your home buying or selling journey.

Tips for Buying a Fixer Upper in University Park in Denver

March 8, 2017

Looking for a deal on a new home? The market is fairly competitive right now, so it may be frustrating to see that prices are higher than you had hoped. But, one way to save money on a home is looking for a fixer upper, which is a home that needs a bit of work before it's perfect. Not just any fixer upper in University Park in Denver will do, though. To find the perfect fixer upper, follow these tips:

Know what the tough fixes are.

Some repairs are inexpensive and easy to fix, while others will require a lot of effort. Before buying a fixer upper, you have to know the difference so you understand how much work will need to be put into the home. For example, applying a fresh coat of paint is an inexpensive way to completely transform a room, and it doesn’t take long to do it, either. However, replacing a roof or HVAC system is something you will need to call a professional for, so it will be much more expensive and take a bit more time. Knowing the difference between simple and tough repairs will help you find a fixer upper that is worth fixing.

Find a reliable home inspector.

Before you close on a home—whether it’s a fixer upper or not—you should always have a home inspector come take a closer look. There could be a lot of hidden problems with a fixer upper, and a home inspector will be able to spot them before you agree to do a deal. An inspector could notice signs of mold or a potential problem with the foundation. It’s important to know every single problem that the fixer upper has so you can use them as bargaining chips during the negotiation. Learn about the common problems found during home inspections.

Look into loans.

Buying a home may drain all of your savings, so how are you going to pay for the renovations? Don’t put an offer on a fixer upper until you have talked to a lender about financing the renovations. Most people who purchase a fixer upper take out a renovation loan either through a mortgage or a home equity line of credit. Almost every lender offers these loans, but that doesn’t mean you’ll automatically be approved for one. Make sure you have this conversation with your lender prior to making an offer on the home—and come to the meeting prepared. The lender will need to know the approximate cost of repairs and the value of the home after the repairs are complete. This will help them determine whether it’s wise to approve the renovation loan.

Are you ready to look for a new home in University Park? Regardless of whether you’re looking for a fixer upper or a move-in ready home, talk to the professionals! Contact Elevation Realty to be connected to a team of experienced real estate experts ready to help you on your home buying or selling journey.

Do’s and Don’ts of Buying Furnished Homes on the University Hills Real Estate Market

March 1, 2017

Every University Hills real estate buyer is looking for a home that has all of the features on their wish list. While most buyers are looking for common features such as two-car garages or spacious master bedrooms, others are interested in finding a partially or fully furnished home. If you are considering buying a home with furniture, keep these do’s and don’ts in mind:

Don’t: Keep items you don’t need.

It’s unlikely that you will love every piece of furniture within a furnished home, so don’t be shy about telling the seller which items you don’t want. Why? No, it’s not to hurt their feelings by insulting their choice of décor, but rather to make your life easier. If there are items you don’t want, you will be responsible for disposing of them after you move in unless you make it clear to the seller that they should be removed prior to closing. You’re going to be busy enough handling the move, so let the seller take care of the unwanted items before you get there.

Do: Create an inventory.

You and your real estate agent should create a list of items within the home so you know exactly what you should be getting. Do a walk-through within a day or two of closing, and bring this list with you. As you make your way through the house, check each item off of the list to ensure everything is still there. Some sellers may change their minds and decide to keep a few pieces of furniture without telling you, but you shouldn’t let them get away with it. Creating a list in the beginning of the process will help you keep track of what should be in the home.

Don’t: Trust the seller’s valuation.

Sellers raise the price of their home to include the value of the furniture, but you shouldn’t trust their valuation without doing your own research. Ask for a list of the items so you and your real estate agent can look up how much they would cost if you were to buy them brand new. If any pieces are antiques, you may want to ask an appraiser for his professional opinion before submitting an offer on the home.

Do: Look for partially furnished homes.

It’s rare to find a home that is fully furnished, so you should also keep an eye out for homes that are partially furnished. These homes typically come with a handful of furniture pieces, and they are usually larger items that are difficult for the seller to move, such as a headboard, couch, or dining room table. Even if you would ideally like to find a fully furnished home, you shouldn’t rule out looking for partially furnished homes. Learn how to buy an already furnished house.

Ready to find a furnished home that fits your needs? Leave it to the professionals! Contact Elevation Realty to be connected to a team of experienced real estate experts ready to help you on your home buying or selling journey.