Tag Archives: Home Ownership
The market is red hot. In fact, Seattle’s housing market currently ranks among the fastest-moving in the nation.
More than a third of Seattle-area homes—including single-family, condos and townhouses—sell in the first week. If you extend the time period to two weeks, the percentage increases to nearly 50 percent. That makes Seattle number ten on Redfin’s April 2013 list of hot residential real estate markets.
Perhaps even more significant, the average selling price for single-family homes in Seattle has increased by (continue reading…)
The greatest ideas are often the simplest. And at least by this measure, the federal tax code is not exactly filled with great ideas.
According to the Internal Revenue Service, well over three million taxpayers claim a home office deduction each year. The annual recordkeeping required to calculate and support those deductions is estimated at 1.6 million hours.
There must be a simpler way.
And now there is. Beginning with tax year 2013 filings, you have an alternative to using the traditional more-than-forty-line-form (continue reading…)
It’s been said that regret is insight that comes a day too late.
For Leigh Kennedy and millions of other homeowners with underwater mortgages—those who owe more than their homes are worth—regret may very well come with the first day of the new year.
Leigh left Seattle for a job in Boston last month. Because the opportunity arose suddenly, she didn’t have time to put her waterfront condo on the market before her move. Now she’s busy settling into a new job (continue reading…)
Neither a borrower nor a lender be, advised William Shakespeare—and in these volatile times it’s tempting to follow his advice. But even in this economy, borrowing can be the best financial strategy.
With today’s historically low interest rates, refinancing a mortgage makes financial sense for many homeowners. To know if it’s the best possible choice for you, it’s important to base your decision on more that just a lower monthly payment.
Making the Decision to RefinanceYou’ve probably heard it said that refinancing doesn’t make financial (continue reading…)
Still Planning to Upgrade Your Home’s Energy Efficiency? Time Is Running Out on the Federal Tax Credit
We’re in for a cold, stormy winter in the Pacific Northwest according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center, as well as a variety of other long-term forecasts.
That makes the next few months a great time to replace doors or windows in your home, add insulation, or even install a new furnace or a heat pump. It’s an even better idea when you consider that a federal income tax credit designed to foster such energy-efficient home (continue reading…)
It’s an exciting time for the Wolff family. Laura, an only child, begins her second year of college this fall—and, for the first time, she’ll be living truly on her own.
As a freshman, Laura was required to stay in on-campus housing, at a cost of nearly $11,000 for basic room and board. This year, since she has the option, she’d rather live off-campus with two long-time friends in a shared house or an apartment.
Her parents are researching the cost and (continue reading…)
“It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” Of course, Yogi Berra was mangling the English language while talking baseball, not retirement planning, but the concept applies.
In these turbulent times it’s become increasingly difficult for many couples to predict, and then secure, the money they’ll need to support themselves after retirement. For some seniors, it’s been impossible. And for a portion of those seniors, sometimes referred to as cash-poor and house-rich, federally-insured reverse mortgages can provide a viable option.
Brrrrrr! 14 degrees. Last week we had some of the coldest weather on record for our region.
Besides the obvious personal discomfort involved, freezing temperatures tend to highlight the costs and other consequences of a less-than-energy-efficient home.
Whether you’re concerned with reducing your monthly expenditures, saving the environment―or just staying warm―energy-saving improvements to your home can provide important benefits. In fact, such improvements can reduce your energy costs by as much as a third while significantly reducing carbon emissions. They can also (continue reading…)
The recession has taken a toll on the finances of many Americans, and not just those of limited or moderate means.
With continuing job cuts, tightening credit, a down market and falling home values, even affluent families may find it difficult to meet financial obligations.
As many as one in four homeowners has a mortgage that is under water, with a principal balance that exceeds the home’s market value―and an increasing number of them are simply walking away. Nearly one in (continue reading…)
The benefits are generally well understood: Telecommuting conserves energy by reducing gas consumption, eases traffic congestion, and reduces pollution.
It also helps employers by improving productivity and reducing requirements for office space―and employees by eliminating commutes and enhancing the ability to balance personal and work commitments. One study even found that a flexible work environment promotes healthier lifestyle habits.
However, for the more than 12 million employees who telecommute on a part-time or full-time basis, tax reporting has become increasingly complex.
Among the more (continue reading…)