Month: February 2016

7 Things Buyers Love That Sellers Fail To Mention

By | February 3, 2016

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Don’t forget to mention storage space and renovations in your listing: Even if you’ve outgrown the space, these features are crucial to buyers.

Here are easy-to-overlook selling points that entice buyers, and that sellers should highlight.

Sure, it’s easy to market homes for sale in Charleston, SC, that sit on several lush acres, feature gorgeous European appliances, and are located in the most prestigious neighborhood in town (ZIP code envy, anyone?). But it’s slightly more intimidating trying to make an average house in a middle-range neighborhood stand out from other real estate listings.

However, there could very well be things you take for granted that a first-time buyer might be drawn to — as long as you mention them in the house listing. Here are seven things buyers love and sellers fail to mention in house listings.

1. Storage

After living in a home for a number of years and likely outgrowing it (that’s why you’re moving, right?), it can be hard to market storage space if it’s something you see as a flaw. Just remember: Showcasing your home in the best light is not just about what you love about it.

First-time buyers are not simply comparing your home with other homes, they also are comparing it with the renter lifestyle and every bad rental property that inspired them to make the leap to being a homeowner. A common complaint from renters is that apartments lack storage, which can lead to a frustrating, cluttered life. The vision of having a place for storing everything is a big motivator for many first-time homebuyers. So if your home is tricked out with walk-in closets, pantries, or other built-in storage amenities that you plan to leave for the new owner, make sure your agent boasts about that in your home’s marketing materials.

2. Organization

In the same vein, if you’ve invested in upgrading your home with built-in closets, kitchen or garage renovations, or customized desks or bookshelves, make sure buyers know. All upgrades should be on your home’s online listing. From the first-timer craving a clutter-free existence to buyers who are moving up into a family home and want each family member’s space to have at least the possibility of order, built-in organizers can represent value and appeal to a wide range of prospective buyers.

3. Proximity 

You might be thinking the right buyers for your home will find it online because of where it’s located. Why bother calling out the property’s proximity to amenities and attractions?

Some buyers simply might not know to search for your ZIP code if it’s just outside the one they’re actively searching in. Or they might not be aware that your hidden gem of a neighborhood also happens to be tucked within a half-mile of a train station, entrances to three freeways, and two regional parks. Or buyers’ proximity wishes might be different from the location requirements of their search. They might be looking at all homes in your town that meet their price range, but the fact that yours is within walking distance to a major employer or university could push you to the top of the list. And relocating buyers might not have the core knowledge of the area to even begin to know what is around your neighborhood.

Never assume! If your home is well-located in a desirable neighborhood, vis-à-vis major employers, universities, recreational facilities, or walkable shopping and dining districts, talk with your agent to make sure you’re highlighting those amenities.

4. Senior-friendly

Boomers are not necessarily looking for homes with built-in disability features, but homes that allow “aging in place” and somewhere they could live comfortably for retirement and beyond. This means homes with level-in entrances (no steps to the front door), single-story layouts, and low-maintenance landscaping have a massive new audience. These features might otherwise not warrant a mention in a home’s marketing, but they should — especially if homes near yours tend to have loads of stairs or other features that are difficult for people to navigate as they age.

Similarly, the movement toward aging in place has seen many more families moving older relatives in with them versus moving them out to retirement homes. These extended families often are looking for homes with a well-appointed “mother-in-law” or “outlaw” unit, or a second master suite located on the home’s ground floor. Don’t overlook marketing your home’s multiple bedrooms with bathrooms en suite or completely independent living quarters.

5. Energy efficiency 

Chances are, you won’t forget to mention if your home runs entirely off the grid or implements gray-water reuse and rainwater harvesting. But even buyers who aren’t hunting for a “green” home can be attracted to the budget-friendliness of energy-efficient features. So if your home is a pretty no-frills property but has a tankless water heater, dual-paned windows, and new insulation, mention it! If you’ve managed to get your energy bills down way below what’s normal in your area, this could be a selling point you don’t want to overlook.

6. Eco-friendly features  

If you’ve configured your home to encourage greener living — beyond lower energy bills — that could warrant a mention in your marketing. You might think things like your little organic kitchen garden, backyard compost bin, or that $50 recycling center you installed are so low in cash value that they don’t warrant a line in your house listing materials. But loads of buyers are attracted to these sorts of features, so why not call them out?

7. Natural, chemical-free, and hypoallergenic home maintenance

In a similar vein, if you have a hypoallergenic HVAC system or have used only nonchemical cleaning products for the last few years, you might want to mention these things as well. Marketers say today’s consumers are careful about not just what they put into their bodies, but also what they put on and around their bodies. If you’ve taken care to create a home that works well for people with physical or philosophical sensitivities to common household chemicals, make sure prospective buyers know that your house won’t make them sick!

Now it’s your turn: What features do you think buyers love that sellers overlook? Let us know in the comments below!

– See more at: http://www.trulia.com/blog/7-things-buyers-love-sellers-fail-mention/#sthash.kHC4Gj9e.dpuf

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12 Things to Do When Hiring a Mover

January 28, 2016 by

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Is there a move in your future? Congrats! A new home can be so exciting. However, with a new home comes a lot of work. Stressful work. In fact, moving is one of the most stressful events one can go through in life—over even relationship breakdowns and starting a new job. Fortunately, by hiring a mover you’re already ensuring getting into a new place will be lessstressful than doing it yourself.

Here are a few things you can do to choose a reliable moving company and ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible.

1. Find Great Moving Companies and Read Reviews

The first thing you’ll want to figure out is who’s going to handle your move. A site like Thumbtack will match you with movers in your area and you can read verified reviews to make sure the movers come recommended and that they’re a good fit. Picking a mover based on a good reputation is definitely the way to go when it comes to trusting someone with all of your worldly possessions.

2. Get Several In-Home Quotes

It’s very important that the moving company come to your house to give you the estimate in-person as it’s simply impossible to relay how much stuff you have over the phone, despite how specific you think you’re being. Having someone come to your home also gives you a chance to discuss what will need to be packed or disassembled by the movers and ensure that’s included in the quote. You really want the person doing the estimate to look in every crawl space and closet so that the quote is as accurate as possible. Be sure to mention items you’re donating or throwing away so those aren’t included. You’ll also want to get more than one quote and it doesn’t hurt to leave the folders with your other quotes visible so the companies know you’re doing your due diligence and give you their most competitive numbers. Finally, you may not want to necessarily go with the lowest; instead, chose the company that best fits your needs and makes you feel the most secure.

3. Ask More Questions Before Making a Final Decision

Now that you’ve narrowed it down to one or two companies, this is the time to ask questions like how long they’ve been in business, what the time table will be for the move date and delivery, if there are any restrictions on what they’ll transport, if they’re licensed, if they’ll be consolidating your belongings with someone else’s (for a long move), what the cancellation policy is, what supplies they provide, how they handle disputes, and if they have any questions for you.

4. Get Everything in Writing

The contract you sign should have your mover’s estimate, all extra fees, and the pick-up and delivery dates and times. Be sure to give the mover as much information as possible, including any stairs or elevators or parking difficulties they’ll have to navigate at your new home. And be sure to sign an inventory form listing everything that’s on the truck before your mover hauls your belongings away.

5. Don’t Pay for Everything Ahead of Time

Though a deposit may be required, you should only pay the mover the final bill upon delivery; if you pay everything in advance, you give the movers all of the control surrounding if and when you see your stuff next.

 

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6. Find Out Who Will Be Handling the Move

Will your moving company be contracting the gig out? If so, are you okay with that? You’ll also want to have a contact number so that you know exactly who to call if anything goes wrong the day of the move. Also, have copies of all of the moving contracts on hand the day of the move so that you can easily reference the agreement.

7. Get Insurance

Bad news for those with homeowners or renters insurance: your belongings aren’t actually covered when they’re on the move. Find out exactly what the moving company will cover (usually they’ll cover breakage if they pack your stuff), make sure that’s all in the contract, and then look into moving or relocation insurance, especially if you have valuable belongings or are moving a long distance.

8. Take Photos of Your Belongings

The only way to prove your property wasn’t damaged before the move is with photographs. Hopefully you won’t need them, but if it comes down to it, photographs offer an added layer of protection should anything go wrong.

9. Save Money by Disassembling Your Furniture

Movers can spend a lot of time disassembling and reassembling your furniture. It’s up to you to decide if you’re willing to pay for that time, but just know that you can save money if you do it yourself.

10. Protect Your Home

You don’t want walls to get nicked, carpets to get stained, or doorframes to get damaged during the move out of your old home or into your new one. Make sure the moving company is bringing door pads and rug runners and, if not, make alternative plans.

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11. Expect the Final Cost to Be More than the Estimate

No matter how much you plan ahead of time, you should still expect the final cost of the move to be more than the estimate. Also, if you’re happy with how the move went, it’s appropriate to tip 10 to 15 percent of the fee, or $100 per mover if it was a big job.

12. Check Your Stuff When It’s Delivered

It’s impossible to go through every box on the day the movers arrive, but at the very least, you want to go through the checklist you made and make sure everything was delivered. This is also the time to check big and valuable pieces to make sure everything is still in good condition.

Get Free Local Moving Quotes

 

Could the Inside of Your Front Door Use a New Color?

An entrance interior is an often-overlooked opportunity to bring personality into the home. What will you do with yours?

February 8, 2016 – Houzz Contributor

 

Painting the exterior of a home’s front door a distinctive color is one of the fastest ways to add character and enhance curb appeal. But too often that’s where the color stops, resulting in a missed opportunity to carry the improvement into the entry by painting the other side of the door as well. If this is the case at your home, consider extending the exterior door color inside — or select another hue that both coordinates with the exterior while setting the design tone for the entry.

Here’s an entry that’s simply bursting with happy personality, thanks in large part to the color of the door. Just imagine if the door was white —much of the impact and charm would be lost.

 

In this example, the interior side of the door remains white. However, with the door ajar we see the pretty color selected for the exterior, giving us a glimpse of how the entry would read if the sky blue had been continued on the other side.

Crisp white on doors, trim and walls is classically attractive, yet a different kind of appeal is certainly possible when color is extended inside. The pale blue on this door is Farrow & Ball Blue Ground.

 

When deciding where to stop the color, there’s no right answer. Paint just the door, the door and sidelights, or go all out and paint the door, sidelights and trim. Such is the case here, with Benjamin Moore’s Midnight Bluemaking a dramatic statement in this entry.
The deepest shade of navy covers a door surrounded by white paneling here. The color looks fitting with the dark elements of the banister, stair treads and chandelier.
Spots of bright color work well with neutrals. Sherwin-WIlliams’ Mediterranean on the door, mixed with bright blue and lime green accents, creates a cheerful vibe.
The glossy apple green on the door and built-in console is a sleek complement to the warmth and texture of the brick and teak that line these entry walls.
Blue is certainly a popular choice for entry doors, and it’s no wonder. It invokes a sense of calm, and who among us couldn’t do with just a little more of that in our homes?
Red is another top choice: From apple red to the brighter shade of ripe tomato here, it’s a color that brings a sense of excitement and energy.
Here, Al Green by C2 Paint, a sophisticated yet edgy muted lime, stands out among the pale gray walls and white trim.
Benjamin Moore’s Gray, a stunning hue with blue undertones, makes an elegant statement on this beautifully paneled door featuring a brass mail slot. Can a door get any more chic?
A custom yellow green from Sherwin-Williams makes thishollow metal door an understated winner in a modern entry.
And don’t forget the attraction of classic black and white. Benjamin Moore’s Black covers the inside of this front door. Combined with pale gray walls, white trim and a small color accent, it adds up to an especially handsome entry.

Is there a favorite color you’d like to see enhancing the inside of your front door? Painting a door is a fairly simple one-day or weekend DIY job, depending on experience level. Here are the supplies and steps to get you on your way to a more colorful entry:

(Note: The steps will vary slightly depending on the door material and any previous paint, varnish or stain used on the door.)

Step 1. Begin by gathering your supplies: medium- and fine-grit sandpaper, tack cloth, painters tape, brush, adhesion primer and semigloss paint.
Step 2. Lightly sand the door to remove the top layer of varnish, paint or stain and give the surface a “tooth” for the primer to adhere to. Start with medium-grit sandpaper and finish with fine-grit; wipe clean with tack cloth.
Step 3. Tape the door edges and any hardware, leaving only the surfaces to be painted exposed.
Step 4. Paint a layer of primer. Consider KILZ Adhesion Primer, designed to bond to a variety of tough-to-paint surfaces.
Step 5. Let the primer dry, then very lightly sand with fine-grit sandpaper.
Step 6. Wipe clean with tack cloth.
Step 7. Apply the first coat of paint. This may be enough in many cases, or, depending on the color used, a second coat may be required for optimal results. If so, repeat steps 5 and 6, followed by the second coat.

 

 

Don’t Freeze Up: 5 Tips to Winterize Your Home

  • Parker Beauchamp

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Extreme cold weather can be hard on both you and your home, bringing with it added exposure and liabilities during the harsh winter season. As temperatures drop, the more susceptible your home becomes to added vulnerabilities.

So how you can reduce common homeowner risks that come along with the frigid winter weather? Don’t freeze up when it comes to knowing the necessary precautions needed when cold weather, snow and ice hit your area. Follow these tips to prepare for impending winter weather conditions.

 

1. Check the Exterior of Your Home

Protecting your home from the inside out is the first step to staying warm during freezing weather conditions.

The key to keeping the quality of your home in good condition throughout the harsh winter — such as below zero temperatures, snow, and ice — is proper preparation of the exterior of your home. Winterize your home prior to the seasonal change by checking the condition and quality of your home’s many external facets:

Gutters.

Doors.

Siding.

Roof.

Shutters.

Windows.

 

2. Maintain Sidewalks and Driveways

Along with cold weather and snow comes ice — which means driveways and sidewalks tend to become more dangerous. To eliminate unnecessary falls or injuries, always maintain your walkways, porches, patios and driveways by shoveling, plowing or salting.

Each home and surrounding property has different needs that need to be addressed and tended to. Determine a method that suites your budget and schedule availability, and remember to always remain cautious when walking on outside surfaces during the winter.

 

3. Wrap Pipes in Insulation

The last unpredicted event you want to occur in the middle of the winter is the bursting or freezing of pipes. Fortunately, this can be avoided by wrapping pipes in insulation (such as pipe sleeves or electrical heat tape).

Some pipes that are most likely to be at risk and must be cared for prior to the winter season are:

Exposed pipes in unheated areas of your home.

Exterior pipes.

Plumbing pipes.

 

You should also consider adding an extra layer of safety to your home, so you can be immediately notified should a pipe burst or leak. By implementing equipment, such as a smart water leak detector, you can receive instant notifications if a pipe is leaking, to prevent water damages that could be detrimental to you most valuable assets.

Remember, if you plan to head south for the winter, shut off your main water supply and set your furnace no lower than 55 degrees. These quick and easy-to-do steps can mean the difference of whether you file a major homeowners claim when you return home.

 

4. Use Your Thermostat Appropriately

Chances are, your initial reaction to dropping temperatures is to crank up the heat. Unfortunately, doing this too quickly or without preparation can be harmful to your home’s heating system.

Avoid drastically changing your thermostat to eliminate issues of malfunction and dramatically increasing energy costs and usage. One way to easily control these adjustments is by purchasing a smart thermostat. Smart thermostats allow you to remotely control temperatures with the click of a button, via smartphone, tablet or laptop. Begin changing temperatures gradually so you don’t cause a heat wave for your home and family members!

 

5. Assemble an Emergency Kit

In the event you experience a blizzard or freezing temperatures, you should always have a backup plan in place.

Consider creating an emergency plan that consists of critical resources, such as:

Food and water.

Candles and/or flashlights.

Blankets or other alternative heat sources (i.e. fireplaces, kerosene lamps).

Batteries.

Charged communication devices.

Always inform your family members of emergency backup plan strategies, tools and resources so you can eliminate a scramble in the event action is needed.

Interested in learning how you can enhance the safety and security within your home? Download the free ebook, “Smart Homes, Smarter Insurance” for helpful tips.

11 Things in Your Garage to Throw Away Right Now

They’re just wasting space at this point.

BY

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If you are running out of storage space in your workshop, it may be because you are piling the stuff you use on top of the stuff you don’t. Instead of adding more shelving, do an audit of your belongings and cut the cord on what you don’t need.

Old Paint

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Painting is the most popular DIY project that we all take on at some point. Whether we need a gallon or a quart we usually end up with a bit of extra paint that we no longer need. It can be wise to save it for touch ups later, but usually the paint ends up in a closet along with the ten other cans we have from previous projects. To dispose of paint that you no longer need, call your local paint retailer and ask if they recycle paint (most do). After that, just drop it off and enjoy your new found storage space.

 Used Paintbrushes and Pans

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If you buy quality paint brushes and clean and care for them after each use, then they will last a long time. But when you don’t clean your brushes and let them dry with paint on them, it’s difficult to bring them back to life, especially if they are of cheap quality. If you’ve got a bunch of old paint brushes that are past their prime, or pans that are no longer serviceable, it’s time to toss ’em.

 

CDs and DVDs

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The garage is where CDs and DVDs go to die, or at least to never been seen again. Reclaim those boxes and shelves by donating these items to charity. It’s unlikely you’ll be needing these relics ever again, which is why you put them in a box to be forgotten in the first place.

Collectibles

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Many of us collect things, often times very obscure things. Regardless of street value your collection may have a lot of personal value to you. If you’ve got the room to keep your collection, then by all means display them proudly and enjoy. But if your Hard Rock Cafe shot glass collection is just collecting dust, then donate it to your local fraternity or Goodwill.

Outdated Electronics

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Are you holding onto your old TV because you hope to one day use it in a guest room, or you need your VCR for those spontaneous viewings of wedding video? Those are not good enough reasons to clutter your home with outdated technology. Donate them and then convert your precious media into digital format for future safe keeping.

Duplicate Tools

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Over time we begin to acquire more tools than we actually need or use. Multiple socket sets, adjustable wrenches, and screwdrivers are the main culprits. As you take inventory of what tools you already have, set aside the ones you don’t need and either sell them or donate them to make room for the tools you use.

Tool Cases and Bags

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If you’re a contractor on the go, then plastic molded tool cases are required to transport your tools safely from one jobsite to the next. But for most DIYers who don’t stray far from their home workshops, tool cases and bags take up much needed storage room in closets or on shelves. Resale value might take a hit if you don’t have the original storage case, but otherwise if you store your tools and chargers on shelves, then you can dump those cases and save some space.

Outdated Automotive Tools and Equipment

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That timing light you used 20 years ago on your classic Bronco—a car that you no longer own—can probably be donated to a local vocational school along with the other automotive gear that’s just not relevant to today’s modern vehicles. When is the last time you changed your oil? If you can’t remember then it’s time to get rid of the pan and filter wrench that are just taking up space.

Old Tools

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There is something nostalgic about old tools. They remind us of the deck we built on our first house, or they were passed down to us by our parents or grandparents. Quality hand tools are meant to be cherished and can be used for many years to come, but older power tools have a limited lifespan and as they get near the end they can become dangerous to use. Always check for fraying cords and anything that feels loose before using an older power tool. If something doesn’t look right, then just don’t use it. The risk isn’t worth it, and there’s no reason to keep a power sander from the Carter administration around for sentimental reasons.

Sporting Goods

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Is there any good reason to keep old skateboards and baseball bats that haven’t been touched in 20 years? Get rid of them. If you get inspired to start skating again, then buy another one. Sporting goods are often awkward things to store and they can take up a lot of space. Donate them to Goodwill or sell them on Craigslist or a sports resale store.

 

Books

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Books are beautiful, but they also take up a ton of storage space. If you can part with books you’ve already read or have no intention of, then donate them to your local library or school for someone else to enjoy.

7 Important Home Renovation Tips You Might’ve Missed

by Andrea Davis

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New year, new you, right? Sure! If you’re like most people, the new year is chock-full of health- and wellness-related resolutions–but why stop there? Your home could use some improvements in the new year too. If a major home improvement is on your list of resolutions, it pays to have your plans established before you get started. So, to avoid your renovations becoming irritations, here are some budgeting and organizational guidelines to help you get where you’re going:

1. Prioritize by necessity.

It’s important to tackle any serious home maintenance problems before an aesthetic remodel begins. If you plan to renovate an entire space, practical improvements will be handled as construction moves forward. But, if your project is strictly design-based, running into overlooked structural problems will mean additional costs.

2. Weigh the costs of hiring a pro.

Depending on the scope of your project, hiring a professional is a good idea. If you’re repainting an accent wall, consider it DIY-able. But, with projects like additions and remodels, or major installations (HVAC, plumbing or new lighting) a pro is an absolute must. A professional will work according to deadlines, save you money on materials and avoid major mistakes that will drastically change the timeline (and cost) of your renovation.

3. Time the project realistically.

If you need a contractor, it’s important to book a job several months in advance (this especially applies to local remodeling contractors). Before you book a contractor, make sure you understand your project’s timeline. Lofty expectations for a completion date will make your remodel difficult for everyone involved.

4. Check on permits.

Codes vary from city-to-city, so investigating local ordinances is extremely important for your renovation timeline. Permits are not free–budget accordingly and rely on your contractor to acquire any necessary paperwork.

5. Keep a “slush fund” handy.

Setbacks are a part of any renovation. If your house is particularly old or has some (loveable) quirks, your timeline shouldn’t be overly rigid–allow some leeway for hangups. Also, it’s important to setup a secondary account to cover any unforeseen problems. A contractor will help you address any issues that pop-up and quote them accordingly.

6. Avoid reusing materials.

If you hire a general contractor, materials usually clock in at a cheaper price. But, if you decide to buy your own materials it’s important to avoid reused items. Beware of salvaged material as well–while recovered items are fine for certain projects (building furniture from reclaimed wood is a popular alternative to buying new pieces), the quality of salvage is never certain. Allowing your contractor to purchase new materials is always preferable to any other alternatives.

7. Be prepared to move out.

If your renovation is extensive, moving out for the duration (or at least the loud part) of the remodel is strongly recommended. Aside from the volume and mess, there can be fumes and emissions that are unhealthy–especially for young children. Also, it can be difficult for the contractor to work around your sleep/work schedule.

A Beginner’s Guide to Tax Credits and Deductions for Homeowners

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It’s tax time and if you’ve purchased a home, there are a few things to know about tax credits and deductions for homeowners.

By Seve Kale

If you’ve recently purchased a home in 2015 or 2016, you’ve probably heard about the tax credits and deductions available for homeowners.

“Tax-wise, this is a good time to buy – homeownership offers tax breaks that renters do not have,” says Yvette D. Best, CEO of Best Services Unlimited LLC, an income tax preparation firm in Fayetteville, Ga.

Though the thought of itemizing your taxes and figuring out what you qualify for may be intimidating, we’ve talked to the experts to come up with this helpful guide.

Mortgage Interest Write-Off

Let’s start with the basics: mortgage interest deductions.

According to TurboTax.com, the biggest tax break for most homeowners comes from deducting mortgage interest.  If you itemize, you can usually deduct the interest on a mortgage used to acquire a main or secondary home.

Mortgage Points

“In addition to the commonly known write-off for home mortgage interest, there are other deductions and credits for new homeowners,” says Amanda Kendall, president of True Resolve Tax, based in Northglenn, Colo. “In some instances, when buying a new home, you pay what is known as points (origination points and discount points), that the IRS views as being prepaid interest. They can be written off along with your mortgage interest,” Kendall says.

This deduction may be worth thousands. “The return on your investment is two-fold — you get to deduct the cost of the points and the amount paid in interest in the same year as the home purchase,” adds Best.

First-Time Buyers

“As a first-time buyer, the IRS will allow you to withdraw an amount up to $10,000 from an IRA (traditional or ROTH) penalty-free to help with the purchase of a home,” says Kendall. If you’re married, you and your spouse can withdraw a total for $20,000 penalty-free. You are also allowed a $10,000 withdrawal to buy or build for a spouse, kids, grandchildren or parents.

Property Taxes

You can also write off property taxes as an itemized deduction. However, if you’re using an escrow account to pay your taxes, you can’t deduct payments into that account as real estate taxes. “Homeowners often make the mistake of deducting the wrong year’s property taxes — this deduction is allowed in the year the taxes are actually paid,” says Kendall.

Energy Incentives

If your new home is built with energy-efficient appliances and/or energy-efficient technology, you are likely eligible for a tax credit. Green technology such as geothermal heat pumps, small wind turbines and solar energy systems make you eligible for a tax credit of 30 percent of their cost, while a credit of up to $500 is available for energy-efficient HVAC systems, windows or doors.

Home Rentals or Improvements

If you’ve done any renovating, keep your receipts. All improvements will be added to the purchase price of your home. If you track your home-related expenses, you can reduce the capital gains amount you must pay tax on when you decide to sell. “These days, with AirBnB, homeowners may rent their home out or rent a room, in which case all expenses related to the house can be deducted against rental income,” says Ryan Saltz, a licensed tax professional at Jacksonville, Fla.-based Tax Defense Network, LLC.

This guide only covers a few of the deductions available to homeowners, so sure to do your research. “If you take a credit you’re not allowed to take, the IRS is going to make you pay it back, but not before they add interest and penalties,” says Kendall. She recommends consulting with a tax professional.

Are You Wondering What It Takes To Buy Your First Home?

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There are many people sitting on the sidelines trying to decide if they should purchase a home or sign a rental lease. Some might wonder if it makes sense to purchase a house before they are married and have a family. Others may think they are too young. And still others might think their current income would never enable them to qualify for a mortgage.

We want to share what the typical first time homebuyer actually looks like based on theNational Association of REALTORS most recent Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers. Here are some interesting revelations on the first time buyer:

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Bottom Line

You may not be much different than many people who have already purchased their first home. Meet with a local real estate professional today who can help determine if your dream home is within your grasp.