Thursday, May 7, 2015

Get to Know These Home Deductions for Next Year

Courtesy of  Drew Cockrell, Coldwell Banker, Atlanta:
The end of one tax season is a perfect time to start planning for the next one.  Start now so you can plan for a smooth tax prep next year.  Here are some key provisions:
Taxes—What You Can and Cannot Deduct
You can deduct real estate taxes, whether you pay them directly or through an escrow account. But be careful: not everything that may be called a "tax" is really a tax, according to IRS rules. "An itemized charge for services to specific property or people is not a tax, even if the charge is paid to the taxing authority." For example, a $5 fee charged for every 1,000 gallons of water you use or $20 per month for trash collection are not taxes and are not deductible.
Home Mortgage Interest
In most cases, all mortgage interest is deductible. But a couple may find itself limited if the total mortgage balance is over $1 million or if the mortgage was for reasons other than buying, building or improving a house.
The IRS gives a broad interpretation of interest. In most cases, both late payment penalties and mortgage prepayment penalties are deductible.
Special Tax Rules for Selling a Home
Homeowners considering selling their home will want to consider the guidance in  Publication 523. Those realizing a substantial profit might be worried about taxes, but the IRS grants a nice break.: A couple selling a home gets to exclude $500,000 in profit (it's $250,000 for a single homeowner).
However, the IRS wants to make sure it really is your main home. Among other conditions, you must have owned the home and used it as your main home during at least two of the last five years before the date of sale.
Many of these rules and provisions come with conditions and exceptions, so it's wise to read the full rules, and consult a tax professional before making a decision.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

New Listing, Open Sunday, 547 Merritt Avenue, Oakland

PENTHOUSE VIEWS!  Enjoy awe inspiring lake and city vistas from this Penthouse "Haddon Hill" town home.  Over 3100+ sq ft of luxury steps from the lake, shops and fine restaurants.  3 plus bedrooms and 3 baths, dual master suites, home office, den, gourmet kitchen and magnificent in and outdoor entertainment areas.  A view-lovers dream home!  Open Sunday 2-5.  Offered at $899,000. Call FRITZ for more details.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Just Listed and Open Sunday! 869 Regal Road, Berkeley

Open Sunday 2-5pm
869 Regal Road, Berkeley

Magnificent detailing and classic lines exemplify all that is great with this arts and crafts architectural style. Circa 1918, this fine Berkeley Hills residence boasts four bedrooms, two and half baths, two car garage and all the modern amenities carefully integrated into the home's vintage style. This hillside home exudes the very best amidst beautiful gardens and breathtaking San Francisco Bay views.   A rare offering at $1,350,000.
Call FRITZ for more information about this home and all your real estate needs

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Staging Can Increase a Home's Appeal During Bustling Spring Season

From the Pacific Union blog:
With the coming of spring, potential Bay Area home buyers will begin pounding the pavement, and homes that make a good first impression are the ones most likely to appeal to eager buyers in what could be a crowd of open houses.  That's where staging comes in.  Read more at

Friday, March 27, 2015

2015: The year to buy a house

Courtesy CNN Money:
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro tells Christine Romans why more people will be able to buy homes this year, and why that doesn't mean another housing bubble.  Hear more . . .

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Why are so few homes for sale in the Bay Area?

Courtesy of SFGate:
Rain wasn't the only thing in short supply over the winter.  The Bay Area housing market has also been suffering from an inventory drought.  Real estate activity always slows in winter, but the number of homes and condos sold in the Bay Area in January and February were the lowest in seven years for those two months, according to CoreLogic Dataquick. . . . read more . . .

Saturday, March 14, 2015

March is a Busy Month for Buyers and Sellers

From the Pacific Union blog:
March is one of the busiest months of the year for Northern California home buyers and sellers.  Whether you're looking for a new home or preparing to put yours on the market, it's important that you're ready for busy times ahead.  Here are some tips for both buyers and sellers:

Friday, February 27, 2015

It’s Never Too Early to Think About Spring Landscaping

The recent midwinter warm spell across the Bay Area serves as a reminder that spring is just around the corner.  Here are a few quick tips for getting your yard in shape for the coming season, when home buyers are sure to be out and about: