5 Tax Deductions Home Sellers Should Consider Taking

If you sold your home in 2015, you may be able to take advantage of five tax benefits this season that could significantly reduce the amount of taxes you owe. According to Trulia, if you plan to itemize your taxes, you can deduct any costs you incurred to sell your home. That includes the commission you paid your real estate agent as well as title insurance, legal fees, inspection fees and advertising costs. You can also deduct the cost of any home improvements you made prior to selling your … [Read more...]

7 Homebuyer Habits That Annoy Real Estate Agents

Before finding your dream home, you will likely spend a lot of one-on-one time with your real estate agent. To ensure you don’t drive your agent nuts in the process, Realtor.com has compiled an entertaining yet insightful list of the seven things homebuyers do to really get under their agent’s skin. One costly misstep on the list is being too vocal about your criticisms of a property. According to one agent, “There’s been instances where the seller has been home and overheard the buyer, and it’s … [Read more...]

3 Things You Can Do Now to Prepare to File Your Taxes

Tax filing season officially opens this Tuesday, Jan. 19. If you’re hoping to be one of the first people to get your tax refund, U.S. News & World Report suggests you go ahead and get these three tasks out of the way now. The first to-do on the list is to compile all your tax documents and supporting paperwork into one file folder so everything you need is one place when it comes time to prepare your return.  The second task is to take steps to reduce your tax bill. You still have time to … [Read more...]

Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Student Loan Bankruptcy Case

The Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal case on Monday that sought to make discharging student loan debt easier. The case in question involved an unemployed Wisconsin man with more than $260,000 in student loans from business and law school. The 57-year-old man, who struggled with depression and alcoholism according to The Wall Street Journal, failed the bar exam twice and had a criminal record that made it difficult for him to find adequate employment to repay the debt. In order to … [Read more...]

IRS Withdraws Proposal to Collect Donor SSNs

In response to negative feedback from taxpayers and charitable organizations, the IRS withdrew its proposal late last week recommending that donors provide their social security number for tax reporting purposes whenever they make donations greater than $250. The American Red Cross and YMCA were among the biggest opponents of the proposal arguing that collecting and storing that type of private data could make their board members targets for lawsuits, increase their risk for cyber attacks and … [Read more...]

3 Real Estate Trends That Are Here to Stay in 2016

Pinning down the ever-changing housing market is a challenge for homebuyers and sellers alike. Despite the constant change, real estate authority Inman says there are three trends that will continue throughout 2016. The number one trend they expect to stick around this year is that buying will continue to be cheaper than renting. That’s good news for both homebuyers and sellers. In fact, for millennial renters, CNN Money reports that buying is 23 percent cheaper than renting. Another trend Inman … [Read more...]

Is it Time to Lower the Asking Price for Your Home?

If your house is currently on the market, the last thing you want to do is lower your asking price and miss out on thousands of dollars at closing. But staying firm on the selling price when you have gone months without an offer could keep you from making a sale. So how do you decide when it’s time to come down on your asking price? According to Realtor.com, one of the best ways to know if your asking price is the problem is to listen to feedback from house hunters and their agents. “If 35 to 40 … [Read more...]

9 Tips for Buying the Perfect Investment Property in 2016

If you’re looking to try your hand at being a landlord this year, you might need a little help spotting a home that will yield the greatest return on your investment. A new Trulia blog aims to guide you through that important first purchase with nine strategies for choosing a home that will attract renters and bring in steady cash flow. One critical feature they recommend you look for is a home in a good school district. They say most renters with children will pay a premium to rent a home in a … [Read more...]

5 Creative Tips for Selling Your Home Quickly

If the traditional open house with warm, freshly baked cookies isn’t doing the trick to entice buyers to your property this winter, it may be time to turn up the promotional heat. Thankfully, Realtor.com has surveyed real estate pros across the nation to give you five creative tips for selling your home quickly. One idea they offer is to turn your open house into an actual party with music, food, games and prizes. To make this happen on a tight budget, they recommend partnering with vendors who … [Read more...]

Avoid Tax Return Fraud this Season by Filing Early

We’re still a month away from the earliest possible date when you can file your tax return and expect a refund. But, CNBC offers one compelling reason you should start getting your ducks in a row so you can file early. Last year’s unfortunate security breaches involving major e-filing vendors led to tax return fraud. Some taxpayers who waited until March or April to file a tax return discovered that identity thieves had already used their social security numbers to file false returns and collect … [Read more...]