Condos Minneapolis | Condominiums Minneapolis | Minneapolis Condo
May 2014

Record Improvements Now Minnesota Homeowners

May 29, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

There is a significant difference in how the money you spend on your home is treated for income tax purposes. Repairs to maintain your home’s condition are not deductible unlike rental property owners who can deduct repairs as an operating expense.

On the other hand, capital improvements to a home will increase the basis and affect the gain when you sell which may save taxes.

Additions to a home or other improvements that have a useful life of more than one year may be considered an increase to basis or cost of the home. Other increases to basis may include special assessments for local improvements like sidewalks or streets and amounts spent after a casualty loss to restore damage that was not covered by insurance.

Unlike repairs, improvements add to the value of a home, prolong its useful life or adapt it to new uses.

You can read more about improvements and see examples beginning on the bottom of page 8 of IRS Publication 523.



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Cut Your Housing Costs in Half

May 19, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Serious shoppers wait for a 50% off sale to make the decision because of the bargain factor. Renters who are serious about lowering their monthly cost of housing should consider buying with today’s low mortgage rates. For an example, let’s assume a person buys a $200,000 home with 3.5% down payment on with a 4.5% FHA mortgage for 30 years.

The total house payment would be approximately $1,508 per month. However, once you consider the equity build-up due to normal amortization, a monthly appreciation estimated at 2% annually for this example, the tax savings and paying maintenance that a tenant wouldn’t be required to do, the net cost of housing is $772 a month. This is almost half of the full mortgage payment.

If this person was paying $1,750 a month for rent, it would cost him almost $978 more to rent than to own. In the first year alone, it would accumulate to over $11,000 which is more than the down payment required of $7,000.

Owning a home is the largest investment that most people make and the down payment of $7,000 to purchase this home would grow to $58,837 in equity by estimating a 2% appreciation and normal amortization.

To check out what your real housing costs might look like, go to Rent vs. Own or contact your real estate professional.



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Who Saves the Commission? Is being or dealing with For Sale By Owner worth it?

May 15, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

One of the most common reasons buyers want to deal directly with the seller is because they feel they can save the commission. It’s a valid consideration but interestingly, it’s the same reason the seller isn’t employing an agent; they feel they can save the commission.

Both parties cannot save the commission. The buyer feels they have earned it because they’ve had to find the home, determine its value and negotiate with the seller. They had to arrange their own financing, title and inspections.

The seller equally feels that they have earned the commission because they have incurred all of the marketing expenses and have invested hours upon hours to be available to show the property, hold open houses and answer inquiries. They have had to research value, financing, title work and make decisions.

There is certainly value in all of the things that buyers and sellers are willing to do to save the commission but only one person can save the commission only if the buyer and seller can reach a written agreement.

There is value to having a third party advocate helping each party to the transaction.

The Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers (Exhibit 8-1) reports that 14% of sales were For-Sale-by-Owners in 2004 compared to just 9% in 2013. The trend shows that agent-assisted sales rose to 88% in 2013 from 82% in 2004.

The three most difficult tasks identified by for-sale-by-owners is attracting potential buyers, getting the price right and understanding and performing the paperwork. When surveyed, sellers most value the home selling in an anticipated time frame and for an expected amount.

The reality is that both parties cannot save the commission. It is earned by providing specific services that are essential to the transaction. The capital asset of a home represents the largest investment that most people make. An investment that important certainly deserves the consideration of a professional trained and experienced to handle the complexities involved. Recently I met with two sellers who contemplated becoming FSBO’s. Both elected not to go that route once they knew what was involved. Call me to get your home sold-952-929-2577



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Consideration Could be the Key to Your New Home

May 13, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Consideration associated with a contract is generally thought to be the price and terms but being sympathetic and courteous towards the seller could make a difference in getting the home you want.

Business people, like store owners, expect to deal with customers and even become to expect behavior that might not be accepted in a purely social atmosphere. Homeowners, on the other hand, may not be aware of what to expect. They are opening the sanctity of their home to the public for review and criticism. Buyers may be detached from emotional feelings while the sellers might react unfavorably to comments that are taken personally.

1. Be on time for appointments; cancel if necessary. The sellers may be rearranging their schedules and making an additional effort to make it convenient for you to see the property.

2. Be a good guest and respect the seller’s privacy. Look at the home and avoid looking at the seller’s personal items; there is no reason to look in refrigerators or furniture drawers.

3. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Try to focus on critical items of a home like location, floor plan, layout, size and not dwell on cosmetic items that are easily and inexpensively changed.

4. It’s not a good negotiating technique to list the defects. Most people become defensive when presented with a list which could have the opposite effect of helping you get a better deal.

5. Limit your visits until you actually own the home. It’s natural to be excited and making plans to move into your new home but it is still the seller’s until closing and they’re making plans to move too.

6. Negotiations are generally finished when a contract is completed. It can be frustrating to continually be asked for “one more thing.” Make a deal with the seller and live with it. If there’s something you’re not sure about, specify it in writing in the contract.

Some things are obvious: the seller wants the most for their home and the buyer wants to pay the least possible. Showing consideration to the seller about things that don’t have anything directly to do with price can actually benefit the buyer.



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Mendota Heights Home

May 12, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Awesome Two Story-Check this out and call me for a private showing: http://homesite.obeo.com/Viewer/Default.aspx?tourid=881594



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Apple Valley MN Two Story-Wyndemere Neigborhood

May 8, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Awesome 4 bedroom home in fantastic location. What the video http://homesite.obeo.com/Viewer/Default.aspx?tourid=882205 Call me for more information and a private tour.



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The Question Every Cash Buyer Should Answer

May 7, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Paying cash for a home seems like a huge advantage to qualifying for a mortgage and an appraisal. However, for the fortunate few who don’t need a mortgage, there is a question they should answer before they make that decision: Do you think at any point in the future, you might put a mortgage on this property?

It’s important because paying cash for a home could affect the ability to deduct the interest if the homeowner should place a mortgage on the home at a later date.

Most homeowner’s know they can deduct the interest on up to $1,000,000 of acquisition debt on their principal residence but they may not understand the limitations of such debt.

Acquisition debt is the amount used to buy, build or improve a person’s principal residence. The amount is not static but changes over time. An amortized loan reduces the principal owed with each payment made and the acquisition debt is reduced accordingly. If a person stays in a home long enough to retire the loan, the acquisition debt is reduced to zero.

Our current federal law allows a homeowner to deduct the interest on the acquisition debt plus the interest on up to an additional $100,000 home equity debt. If a person pays cash for a home, the acquisition debt would be zero and the only interest deduction allowed would be for home equity debt.

If you answered yes or even maybe to the question, before you pay cash to buy your home, you should discuss your situation with your tax advisor.



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A Lower Payment is Your Choice

May 1, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

mortgageacquired94% of purchasers last year opted for a fixed-rate mortgage at some of the lowest rates in home buying history. Yet, some of them will pay more in interest than necessary based on the time they’ll own the home.

If a person only plans to be in the home a few years, the adjustable-rate can offer significant savings.

Not only is the interest rate on the adjustable-rate lower than the fixed in the initial period, amortization on a lower interest rate amortizes faster than a higher interest rate.

In the example shown below, a $200,000 mortgage for 30 years is compared using a 4.25% fixed-rate to a 3.25% 5/1 FHA adjustable rate. The first five years of the ARM generates a $113.47 a month savings which accumulates to $6,808.20. In addition, due to faster amortization on lower interest rate loans, the unpaid balance at the end of five years will be $3,001 lower on the ARM for a total savings of $9,801.

Assuming the adjustable-rate mortgage was to escalate the maximum allowed at each period, the breakeven would occur in 8 years and 6 months. If a person were to sell the home prior to this point, the ARM would provide a lower cost of housing for the homeowner.

For some people, the uncertainty of how the interest rate may change is not acceptable. On the other hand, for the risk tolerant individual who may be more confident in financial matters or who may know when they’ll be moving next, the ARM can be a smart choice.

To make projections using your individual numbers, see the Adjustable Rate Comparison.

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Disclaimer: This communication is provided to you for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon by you. RE/MAX Results is not a mortgage lender and so you should contact a mortgage broker or lender directly to learn more about its mortgage products and your eligibility for such products. Regarding specific blog postings, external links and any other information found on this site, neither John Mazzara nor RE/MAX Results assumes any responsibility nor guarantees the accuracy of this information and is not engaged in the practice of law nor gives legal advice. It is strongly recommended that you seek appropriate professional counsel regarding your rights as a homeowner. John Mazzara and RE/MAX Results are not associated with the government, and our service is not approved by the government or your existing lender. Even if you accept this offer and use this site and/or our services, your lender may not agree to change your loan should you decide to pursue a short sale or any other change involving your loan or loan terms and conditions. If you should decide to engage our services in marketing your home as a short sale, there will be no up front cost to you and you may cancel our listing contract at any time. · Each Office Independently Owned and Operated

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