Okemo VT

Okemo Mountain Second Home Tax Breaks

Okemo Mountain Second Home Tax Breaks

If you are in the market for a second home, congratulations! Not only is Okemo Mountain a great place to ski and relax, you also can garner some tax benefits. Here are some tax breaks as spelled out by Kiplinger.com:

Mortgage interest. If you use the place as a second home — rather than renting it out as a business property — interest on the mortgage is deductible just as interest on the mortgage on your first home is. You can write off 100% of the interest you pay on up to $1.1 million of debt secured by your first and second homes and used to acquire or improve the properties. (That’s a total of $1.1 million of debt, not $1.1 million on each home.) The rules that apply if you rent the place out are discussed later.

Property taxes. You can deduct property taxes on your second home, too. In fact, unlike the mortgage interest rule, you can deduct property taxes paid on any number of homes you own.

If you rent the home. Lots of second-home buyers rent their property part of the year to get others to help pay the bills. Very different tax rules apply depending on the breakdown between personal and rental use.

If you rent the place out for 14 or fewer days during the year, you can pocket the cash tax-free. Even if you’re charging $5,000 a week, the IRS doesn’t want to hear about it. The house is considered a personal residence, so you deduct mortgage interest and property taxes just as you do for your principal home.

Rent for more than 14 days, though, and you must report all rental income. You also get to deduct rental expenses, and that gets complicated because you need to allocate costs between the time the property is used for personal purposes and the time it is rented.

If you and your family use a beach house for 30 days during the year and it’s rented for 120 days, 80% (120 divided by 150) of your mortgage interest and property taxes, insurance premiums, utilities and other costs would be rental expenses. The entire amount you pay a property manager would be deductible, too. And you could claim depreciation deductions based on 80% of the value of the house. If a house is worth $200,000 (not counting the value of the land) and you’re depreciating 80%, a full year’s depreciation deduction would be $5,800.

You can always deduct expenses up to the level of rental income you report. But what if costs exceed what you take in? Whether a loss can shelter other income depends on two things: how much you use the property yourself and how high your income is.

If you use the place more than 14 days, or more than 10% of the number of days it is rented — whichever is more — it is considered a personal residence and the loss can’t be deducted. (But because it is a personal residence, the interest that doesn’t count as a rental expense — 20% in our example — can be deducted as a personal expense.)

If you limit personal use to 14 days or 10%, the vacation home is considered a business and up to $25,000 in losses might be deductible each year. That’s why lots of vacation homeowners hold down leisure use and spend lots of time “maintaining” the property. Fix-up days don’t count as personal use. The tax savings from the loss (up to $7,000 a year if you’re in the 28% tax bracket) help pay for the vacation home. Unfortunately, holding down personal use means forfeiting the write-off for the portion of mortgage interest that fails to qualify as either a rental or personal-residence expense.

We say such losses might be deductible because real estate losses are considered “passive losses” by the tax law. And, passive losses are generally not deductible. But, there’s an exception that might protect you. If your adjusted gross income (AGI) is less than $100,000, up to $25,000 of such losses can be deducted each year to offset income such as your salary. (AGI is basically income before subtracting your exemptions and deductions.) As income rises between $100,000 and $150,000, however, that $25,000 allowance disappears. Passive losses you can’t deduct can be stored up and used to offset taxable profit when you ultimately sell the vacation house.

Tax-free profit.Although the rule that allows home owners to take up to $500,000 of profit tax-free applies only to your principal residence, there is a way to extend the break to your second home: make it you principal residence before you sell. That’s not as wacky as it might sound.

Some retirees, for example, are selling the big family home and moving full time into what had been their vacation home. Once you live in that home for two years, up to $500,000 of profit can be tax free. (Any profit attributable to depreciation while you rented the place, though, would be taxable. Depreciation reduces your tax basis in the property and therefore increases profit dollar for dollar.)

But Congress is clamping down on this break for taxpayers who convert a second home into a principal residence after 2008. A portion of the gain on a subsequent sale of the home will be ineligible for the home-sale exclusion of up to $500,000, even if the seller meets the two-year ownership and use tests. The portion of the profit that’s subject to tax is based on the ratio of the time after 2008 when the house was a second home or a rental unit to the total time you owned it.

So if you have owned a vacation home for 18 years and make it your main residence in 2011 for two years before selling it, only 10% of the gain (two years of non-qualified second home use divided by 20 years of total ownership) is taxed. The rest qualifies for the exclusion of up to $500,000.

Learn more about Okemo Mountain second homes by visiting ISellVermontRealEstate.com or give me a call for more personal service.

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How Okemo Mountain Home Buyers Position Themselves To Make Offers

How Okemo Mountain Home Buyers Position Themselves To Make Offers

The current Okemo Mountain real estate market is challenging for both buyers and sellers. Many sellers have not accepted the fact that their home has decreased in value and are trying to sell at peak 2006 prices. At the same time, buyers want to make sure they don’t overpay, fearing prices will continue to drop even more.

Of course, there are exceptions. Well priced homes in desirable neighborhoods or foreclosed properties selling at ‘yard sale’ prices may generate multiple offers. But all in all, it is a buyer’s market.

So how do Okemo Mountain home buyers prepare to make an offer and put themselves in the best negotiating position? Here are some suggestions made by Dian Hymer in a recent Inman news article:

1. Before you make an offer on a listing that’s priced over market, try to find out as much as possible about the sellers’ motivation, and if there’s any flexibility in their price. If the seller owes more than the house is currently worth, they may not have any negotiating room. They may want to sell the house, but really can’t sell at today’s prices.  A lot of time and emotional energy goes into making an offer. Save your efforts for listings where the sellers are motivated. That is, they don’t just want to sell — they need to sell.

Some sellers want to test the waters at a price that’s higher than the market will support. They usually feel that someone will appreciate the added value their home offers and pay more for it. However, these sellers will often negotiate with a legitimate buyer who offers a price that is less than the list price.

2. Make sure that your financing is in order and that you are able to show the seller that you are capable of closing the deal. The fallout ratio is high in the current market. Many of these transactions fail to close because the buyers couldn’t get financing.

It’s always a good idea to be preapproved for the financing you’ll need to buy a home before you make an offer. Preapproval involves making a formal loan application, having your credit checked, as well as verifying your funds for down payment and closing costs, and validating your income and employment. Lenders often want to know that you have enough surplus cash to make house payments (mortgage, property taxes and insurance) for two to three months.

3. Buyers who make an initial low offer and who aren’t in competition should make as clean an offer as possible. This means omitting anything that’s not necessary. However, you should include contingencies for loan and appraisal approval and an inspection contingency.

It’s a good idea to include a copy of your preapproval letter with your offer. If you are approved for a higher price than you are offering, ask your lender or mortgage broker to issue a preapproval letter for the price you’re offering.

4. Be prepared to negotiate. It may take several rounds of counter-offering back and forth to reach a mutually acceptable price.

Are you thinking about buying a Okemo Mountain home? We are glad to help you with your preapproval process, show you homes with motivated sellers and craft an offer putting you in the best possible light with the seller and results in getting you the best possible deal.

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5 Reasons To Buy Okemo Mountain Vacation Home

5 Reasons To Buy Okemo Mountain Vacation Home

With the stock market in turmoil, many people are looking for alternative investments. Most of us are scared to death of jumping into the market right now and wondering what to do with their nest egg…other than sticking it under the mattress.

Christine Karpinski, director of Owner Community for HomeAway.com (an online vacation home rental marketplace) and author of How to Rent Vacation Properties by Owner, 2nd Edition: The Complete Guide to Buy, Manage, Furnish, Rent, Maintain and Advertise Your Vacation Rental Investment, says buying a vacation home is an excellent home is a good investment right now.

Okemo Mountain home values are down right now, but history shows they always rebound, making a vacation home a great long-term investment. Christine doesn’t recommend buying with the thought of flipping it in a year, but buying as a long term investment.

You are probably asking why buying a vacation home is a good investment.

First, there are deals to be had. Prices are lower than a few years ago during the peak of the housing bubble. The excessive number of foreclosures is also keeping prices down and inventory up, making sellers more negotiable.

Interest rates also remain reasonably low, with rates hovering 6-6.5 percent. If you have good credit, there is mortgage money to be had.

Below are Christine Karpinski’s 5 Reasons Why the Vacation Home Rental Market Is Holding Strong…Even in our Weak Economy

1. It’s easy for consumers to find information on vacation homes. By visiting respectable websites travelers can quickly find the vacation home that’s right for them. HomeAway’s network of vacation rentals includes over 300,000 properties all over the world, making it possible for almost anyone to find one within a two- to three-hour driving distance from their home.

2. Vacation homes tend to be less expensive than hotel rooms. This is especially true if you’re traveling with extended family or a group of friends. HomeAway recently contrasted a three-bedroom vacation rental private condo in Orlando with a popular three-star hotel and found that the condo was cheaper by more than $1,700! “That’s a big difference, and in a tenuous economy it seems even bigger,” notes Karpinski.

3. When airfare gets expensive, people start taking road trips instead. Even with gas prices relatively high, it’s still far cheaper to drive a couple hundred miles to your mountain cabin than to fly to some lavish vacation destination. “Even with the bad economy, people need to take vacations,” says Karpinski. “In fact, psychologically, they may need to get away more than ever. A fairly inexpensive stay in a nearby vacation home is the perfect solution.”

4. The weak dollar makes U.S. tourist destinations attractive to European travelers, whose currency is still strong. “On my recent trip to Hawaii, I noticed a lot of German tourists,” notes Karpinski. “And when I speak to many of the vacation homeowners I work with, they confirm that they’ve encountered a surprisingly high number of European travelers lately.”

5. Business travelers still need a place to stay. When corporations must meet with business associates-who increasingly hail from overseas-they need good lodging solutions. Enter the vacation home. “More and more executives are putting their guests up in vacation homes instead of cramped, impersonal hotel rooms,” notes Karpinski. “It’s a far more comfortable option; plus many companies work out deals with homeowners whereby they can get ‘volume discounts.’ It’s a win/win for all parties involved.”

Learn more about buying a Okemo Mountain vacation home by visiting ISellVermontRealEstate.com or give us a call, 800-659-1819 #103.

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Okemo Mountain VT Real Estate: Reverse 1031 Exchange Demand Rising

Okemo Mountain VT Real Estate: Reverse 1031 Exchange Demand Rising

A slower Okemo Mountain VT real estate market is creating more of a demand for reverse 1031 exchanges. Properties are taking longer to sell making it difficult for sellers to adhere to 1031 exchange 180 day rules. But there is another option called a Reverse 1031 Exchange allowing for the roll-over of proceeds after closing on another property. Inman had a great article by Ilyce Glink addressing reverse exchanges. Read what she has to say:

Q: We are Canadian citizens who have owned a home in Fort Myers, Fla., for four years. There is no mortgage on the property.

We have put the property up for sale, and have made a down payment on a new house. We have bought and sold in the past, and I understand that as long as the new house is equal or higher in value, there are no capital gains taxes owed on the profits under IRS tax code 1031.

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Okemo Mountain Real Estate: Is Cobuying A Second Home for You?

Okemo Mountain Real Estate: Is Cobuying A Second Home for You? 

Craig Venezia is a nationally recognized expert on home mortgages, and the author of Buying a Second Home: Income, Getaway, or Retirement. Second-home ownership in Okemo Mountain is more popular than ever due to such factors as the shrinking American family, older and wealthier households, and new technologies for working from home. One out of every three homes purchased in the United States today is a second home.

If you dream of owning a second home, but realize it isn’t in your budget at the moment, cobuying an Okemo Mountain second home may be just what you need to make your dream a reality.

Listen to Craig Venezia’s podcast. It may help you decide if cobuying is right for you. 

Learn more about buying an Okemo Mountain second home by visiting ISellVermontRealEstate.com.

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Do I Really Need To Complete The Honey-Do List When Selling My Okemo Mountain Home

Do I Really Need To Complete The Honey-Do List When Selling My Okemo Mountain Home?

That is the question all Okemo Mountain home owners should ask themselves when they consider selling their home.

The first item on the fix-it list: clear the clutter! If your closets, attic, basement, garage, and other storage areas appear neat, half-full and organized, your house will seem to have more storage space. To accomplish the clutter – clearing task, empty the house, hold a garage sale, and use the profits to help offset the next set of fix-it priorities.

Check your house for “curb appeal”. The exterior is the first impression a prospective buyer has of your home. Make it as inviting as you can. Think of it as outside decorating. Clean (or paint, if necessary) the exterior, re-sod brown spots and crab grass, mow the lawn, pull weeds, remove dead trees or plants, and trim the shrubs.

Flowers give warmth and personality to a home. Plant them tastefully in pots or beds at the entrance, on decks and around patios. If it isn’t flower season, at least clean the beds, remove the dead leaves, and cover the ground with fresh wood chips or other clean looking mulch.

If you have a limited budget, make the most of it. Put the money where it is most obviously needed and the return the greatest and most visible.

Fix Little Things

Take care of the little obvious things: fix leaking faucets, stop running toilets, replace broken windows, kill pet or mildew odors, repair holes in screens, remove mildew from tile, and re-caulk around bathtubs and sinks. Walk around; look at your house with a prospective buyer’s eyes. Small things tell buyers whether or not a house has been maintained. 

Paint it! 

A coat of light-colored, neutral paint-white or off-white-will make your home’s interior look crisper, cleaner, and also larger. Many buyers may not be able to imagine their sofa in your decor. White interiors work for the greatest number of people without their having to redecorate immediately. If you just moved, would you want to redo every room?

Your Carpeting

If the carpet is in reasonable condition, have it shampooed. If it is worn, threadbare or a non-neutral color, consider replacing it with beige or gray. You do not need to purchase the best quality money can buy. Lifetime wear is not required. You want it to look great now. Neutral walls and carpet do not offend anyone. Almost all furnishings look good with them. Rental property managers know this and have been doing it for years.

Professional Inspection

Consider having your house inspected by qualified inspector. Safety- and health-related items, such as radon and electrical problems could kill a sale if not properly attended to. It is much better to fix these items on your own time schedule and financial terms than hurriedly during a contract negotiation. Roof leaks, even if inactive, are also deal breakers.

What else do you fix amongst the inspector’s flagged items? Unless you can realistically get money back, fix only the problems with major systems. You want to keep your home’s selling price as low as possible to increase the pool of buyers.

Do not undertake any major remodeling in preparation for sale. It places more limitations on the size of your buyer pool. Tastes vary, and some people will dislike the results of your efforts. You will have to raise your selling price to reflect your fix-up investment, thereby pricing your home out of the range of other potential buyers.

A neutral color scheme in a house that sparkles brings you the highest return in the shortest time when selling your Okemo Mountain home. 

Learn more about Okemo Mountain real estate at ISellVermontRealEstate.com or give us a call, 800-659-1819 #103.

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Okemo Mountain Real Estate: How Main Street Protects Against Wall Street

You can’t turn on a TV, computer or radio these days without hearing about financial crisis America is experiencing and the proposed $700 million dollar government bailout

It is still unclear how this legislation will affect every day folks like you and me, but there are some things we can do to protect our personal financial futures. 

Gibran Nicholas, chairman of the CMPS Institute, an organization that certifies mortgage bankers and brokers, makes 4 suggestions for protecting ourselves in today’s troubled economy in an article on Rismedia.com

1 – Make Sure Your Investments Are Protected Through the SIPC. 

2 – Make Sure All Your Bank Accounts Are Covered with FDIC Insurance. 

3 – Max Out Your Home Equity Line of Credit Before Your Lender Cuts Off the Limit. 

4 – Stop Making Extra Mortgage Payments and Take Out a Mortgage Even If You Don’t Need One. 

Please read Nicholas’s entire article to best understand his suggestions. They are so important, I did not want to try to paraphrase his comments.

If you have question concerning  Okemo Mountain real estate, visit ISellVermontRealEstate.com or give me a call, 800-659-1819.

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It’s Easy Being Green With Okemo Mountain Real Estate

Not so long ago helping the environment meant recycling plastic and newspapers, but today it has evolved into “green” thinking and extends to our Okemo Mountain real estate, homes and living environments. 

According to a recent NAR survey, nine out of 10 Realtors® said their clients are interested in energy efficient features of green homes and the potential cost savings of such features. An overwhelming 90 percent agreed there will be even more interest in green building practices a year from now. 

Results of a Harris Interactive poll by Move, Inc. show potential home buyers consider “green” building features more important than luxury amenities. Almost half of the adults surveyed (49 percent) said features such as solar panels or energy-saving appliances were “important,” compared to just 31 percent who rated luxury amenities important. 

Ninety-three percent of all home buyers are not willing to pay more for green or energy efficient features when building a home, according to a recent independent study commissioned by The New York Times Customer Insight Group

However, a recent survey from Green Builder Media reports U.S. home buyers are willing to pay a premium for more environmentally friendly, green-built homes. 

More than half of home builders surveyed (250 residential builders across the U.S.) said that buyers are willing to pay a premium of between 11-25 percent for green-built homes. The same builders report that the average green home buyer is between the ages of 35-50 with a college degree and fair understanding of green products. 

Despite the conflicting statistics, the U.S. Green Building Council believes thinking “green” is an industry and Okemo Mountain real estate trend, rather than a passing fad; not only does it save on energy costs, it is better for our overall health and the environment as a whole.

Learn more about Okemo Mountain real estate by visiting my website, ISellVermontRealEstate.com or giving me a call at 800-659-1819 #103.

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How Does Housing Recovery Act Help Okemo Mountain Home Buyers

 

 

 

 

 

As of July 14, 2008, upfront MIP premiums became risk-based on credit scores and the annual premium increased across the board. Instead of the original plan of making FHA loans more affordable for potential Okemo Mountain home buyers; the new legislation is doing the exact opposite and makes it more expensive.

Details of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act:

Here are some key provisions of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act that most affect Okemo Mountain home buyers:

  • GSE Reform – including a strong independent regulator, and permanent conforming loan limits up to the greater of $417,000 or 115% local area median home price, capped at $625,500. The effective date for reforms is immediate upon enactment, but the loan limits will not go into effect until the expiration of the Economic Stimulus limits (December 31, 2008).
    View 2009 FHA and GSE loan limit estimates (PDF)
  • FHA Reform – including permanent FHA loan limits at the greater of $271,050 or 115% of local area median home price, capped at $625,500; streamlined processing for FHA condos; reforms to the HECM program, and reforms to the FHA manufactured housing program. The down payment requirement on FHA loans will go up to 3.5% (from 3%). The effective date for reforms is immediate upon enactment, but the loan limits will not go into effect until the expiration of the Economic Stimulus limits (December 31, 2008).
    View 2009 FHA and GSE loan limit estimates (PDF)
    FHA Reform Chart (PDF)
  • FHA foreclosure rescue – development of a refinance program for homebuyers with problematic subprime loans. Lenders would write down qualified mortgages to 85% of the current appraised value and qualified borrowers would get a new FHA 30-year fixed mortgage at 90% of appraised value. Borrowers would have to share 50% of all future appreciation with FHA. The loan limit for this program is $550,440 nationwide. Program is effective on October 1, 2008.
    FHA Foreclosure Rescue Chart
  • VA loan limits – temporarily increases the VA home loan guarantee loan limits to the same level as the Economic Stimulus limits through December 31, 2008.
  • Risk-based pricing – puts a moratorium on FHA using risk-based pricing for one year. This provision is effective from October 1, 2008 through September 30, 2009.
  • GSE Stabilization – includes language proposed by the Treasury Department to authorize Treasury to make loans to and buy stock from the GSEs to make sure that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae could not fail.
  • Mortgage Revenue Bond Authority – authorizes $10 billion in mortgage revenue bonds for refinancing subprime mortgages.
  • National Affordable Housing Trust Fund – Develops a Trust Fund funded by a percentage of profits from the GSEs. In its first years, the Trust Fund would cover costs of any defaulted loans in FHA foreclosure program. In out years, the Trust Fund would be used for the development of affordable housing.
  • CDBG Funding – Provides $4 billion in neighborhood revitalization funds for communities to purchase foreclosed homes.
  • LIHTC – Modernizes the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program to make it more efficient.
  • Loan Originator Requirements – Strengthens the existing state-run nationwide mortgage originator licensing and registration system (and requires a parallel HUD system for states that fail to participate). Federal bank regulators will establish a parallel registration system for FDIC-insured banks. The purpose is to prevent fraud and require minimum licensing and education requirements. The bill exempts those who only perform real estate brokerage activities and are licensed or registered by a state, unless they are compensated by a lender, mortgage broker, or other loan originator.

It remains to be seen the overall effect the Recovery Act will have on both the individual home buyer and the housing industry as a whole.

From the Experts: 

“We’re going through a major financial crisis…let’s be clear: Fannie and Freddie can’t be allowed to fail. With the collapse of subprime lending, they’re now more central than ever to the housing market, and the economy as a whole.”
– Paul Krugman, Professor of Economics at Princeton and New York Times columnist, 7/14/2008

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Okemo Mountain Real Estate: Second-home Sellers Pay For Tax Credits

Okemo Mountain Second-home Sellers Pay For Tax Credits

You have probably heard, last week President signed into law the Housing Rescue and Foreclosure Prevention Act. This is the most comprehensive housing bill to be enacted in over a decade. The bill is designed to help more buyers of Okemo Mountain real estate realize their dreams, as well as, boast the struggling housing and mortgage markets.

One of the biggest benefits, and probably one of the most talked about provisions in this legislation, is the $7,500 tax credit to first time home buyers. Tax breaks are all well and good, but they have to be paid for somehow. While first time home buyers are getting a break, second home sellers will be paying for the $15.1 million dollars in tax cuts.

Up until the new legislation went into effect last week, homeowners could exclude up to $250,000 taxable profit on the sale of their home if they’re single taxpayers and $500,000 if married filing joint returns. The catch being, they had to live the in house as their primary residence for two of the five years before it is sold.

Many second home owners took advantage of this by moving into a property that was once a rental or vacation home, live there for two years prior to selling and benefiting from the tax-free profit.

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