Wendy Johnson - RE/MAX Professional Associates



Posted by Wendy Johnson on 10/30/2019

Do you ever wonder why so many Americans dream of owning a home? From complete privacy to a nest egg in the future, one lesser-known but vital reason why homeownership is something everyone is longing to achieve is the tax breaks it provides. No one enjoys paying taxes so owning a home set you aside for tax breaks that renters are not able to claim So whether you are gearing up to buy a house or you are a homeowner preparing to file your taxes the season. This post will cover six significant tax breaks homeowners can enjoy.

What Are Tax Breaks?

You might think the term "Tax break" is another real estate complicated term but actually, it is not. Here is how ridiculously easy the meaning is: A Tax break means the government is providing you a reduction in your taxes. Plain and simple. Here are some common tax breaks for homeowners.

Common Tax Breaks for Homeowners

Mortgage Interest

Owning a home comes with several perks. One of them is that you can deduct the interest paid on the initial and second mortgage up to a million dollars in mortgage debt. To be eligible for a mortgage interest tax break, you must fulfill these requirements:

- You must have filed an IRS from 1040 and listed your deductions

- The mortgage must be a secured debt on a qualified home in which you are the owner.

State and Local Property Taxes

The property taxes from your city or State can be deducted from your income annually. But please note there is an exclusion to the deductible expenditure.

Rental Income

As a homeowner, when you rent out a room in your house or even the entire place will make you eligible for a 20% deduction on business income.

Equity Loan Interest

Another tax break you can enjoy as a homeowner is that you can lessen the amount of interest you pay on your home equity loans. However, there is a limit to the number of debts you add within the "home equity" scope.

Home Office Expenses

Working from home is the new norm of the 21st century, and many homeowners are taking full advantage of their space. If you work from your home, you will be able to reduce costs for the office space on your itemized deduction.

Capital Gains from a Home Sale

Not all tax breaks come from owning a home. Selling you your home often gives you a kind of tax break which is only know by a few people. If you would like to sell your home in the future, the capital gain will allow you to keep the profit you get from selling the house without paying any tax on it.

If you want to know more about tax breaks to get prepared for the next tax season, discuss with your local accountant.





Posted by Wendy Johnson on 10/2/2019

If you've lived in your home for very long, you know that lots of places collect dust, lint, grime, hair, fuzz and, well, gunk. Often, we become so busy in our daily lives that we neglect to remove the gunk until it causes a significant problem such as a clogged drain or even a fire in the dryer vent.

So, what to do? Get out the gunk, of course.

Put your gunk patrol on a schedule. Once every month, or more often if needed, check these areas and remove any debris built up there that can cause expensive calls to a plumber, electrician, or the fire department.

  • Vanity drains: In the bathrooms, the vanity drain collects hair, fuzz, slivers of soap and other junk that causes clogs. To clear the plug area, push the plunger in as far as it goes, reach into the drain area with tweezers and pull out any hair and slimy gunk hiding in there. New quick-release plugs with removable baskets make this job a snap. If the drain already has a clog, turn off the water access under the sink. Then gently remove the trap—the curved piece of pipe—to see if you can locate the clog there. If the trap is stuck, you’ll want to call in a plumbing professional.
  • Shower and tub drains: Similar to vanities, these drains clog with hair and other debris that washes down. Pull what you can from the upper side. If your shower grate has removable screws, you can loosen them and lift it off to access any clog. Tubs are more difficult because you cannot access the drain or the trap, so you may need to call a plumber for a plugged tub. To protect against this problem, place a hair screen (available at hardware stores) over the drain and clean it out daily.
  • Dryer lint hose: In the same way that lint builds up in the dryer lint trap, it also collects in the hose leading to the outside vent. Often, dryer hoses become kinked when pushing the dryer into place, so carefully pull out the unit and carefully unhook the hose from both the dryer side and the wall. Carry the hose outside and shake it out over a trash bin. Look through the hose to make sure you've removed all the collected lint. If necessary, use a bent wire coat hanger or broom handle to remove any lint you can't reach. Carefully replace the hose, making sure the clips are in place, and the hose remains un-kinked when you push back the dryer. Remember, built up lint causes more than just an inefficient dryer, it can also cause house fires.

Just a few moments each month can save a homeowner from tons of costly repairs. If you'd prefer to hire someone to take care of servicing these items for you, reach out to your real estate professional for a referral.




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Posted by Wendy Johnson on 4/3/2019

Getting a dog is a fun and exciting new addition to your life. Deciding you want a dog is pretty easy. They're cute and cuddly, loving and fun, what more is there to know? When it comes to choosing the dog you're going to take it home; it's not always so easy. Taking the time to select the right dog for you is the best decision you can make for you and him. It's essential to review lifestyle, needs, and home to ensure you select the right pet. Here are some basic but probing questions to ask yourself before you head over to the local animal shelter.

Have you cared for a dog before?

If you’re new to dog ownership you might not be considering, all the factors that go into your dog's care. Take a few moments to do a little research and reading about pet ownership and care to get a clear understanding of the commitment you'll be making. A dog will require your time and attention and will affect scheduling and traveling in your life. If you previously owned a dog think back to that time and what was needed from you to care for it. You might even already have a dog, or two. Consider if you have enough to give an additional animal the care they need. 

How much free time do you have to devote to your pet? 

Examine your lifestyle and determine how much time you can devote to your dog. If you can't find enough time in your schedule to walk your dog or play with your new pet multiple hours a day, you should avoid adopting a high energy breed. On the other hand, you might love taking walks and already lead an active outdoor life so adding an active dog to your lifestyle fits nicely. If your schedule doesn't permit enough time to do a lot of training with your pet, you might not be ready at this time to adopt a difficult rescue dog or potty train a brand-new pup. Consider adopting a young (3-6mo old) female dog in a small to medium-sized breed. You might find a long-haired Border Collie or Palmerian beautiful, but do you have enough time to manage all that hair? Your pet should be a positive, comforting and fun addition to your life and each dog requires a different commitment to the next. Whether it’s time spent playing and wearing the dog out, brushing hair or rehabilitating a traumatized animal find a dog that is the right commitment for you. 

Does your home have a yard?

How much space in your home do you have for a dog? You might have a huge yard that is just perfect for a large active dog. The same dog might not be so happy in your downtown studio apartment. Especially if your available time for walks and play is limited (see above). Read about the different breeds of dogs you’re considering or have noted as cute and learn what space requirements they have, outdoor and indoor. If your dog is going to be an indoor pet consider how much space you have inside for them, a small dog can run around and play indoors much better than a large breed. Finally, make a note of any changes you need to make to make your home pet-friendly — furniture arrangements, breakables, expensive rugs, etc. 

Do you have children? 

What are their dispositions and ability to pitch in and help?If you have children, you’ll need to consider their contribution to and experience of the dog's life as well. What are their ages, interest level and ability to help care for the animal? Find a pup that your kids can play with and help train and teach them how to take care of a pet of their own properly. 

What amount from your budget can you invest in your dog?

Finally, consider what amount of money you can afford to put into the dog's care. Larger breeds eat more food and will affect your monthly budget. If you need to groom and board your dog frequently for work travel or take them to doggie care daily run the numbers on possible costs to make sure, you’ll be able to sustain your commitment to your animal. 

If owning a dog indeed is important to you make it a priority during your next home search so you can find the right space for you and your future best friend.




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