You can deduct on Schedule A the municipal, school and county, and state and foreign, real estate taxes, based on the assessed value of real property (land and “improvements“), that you paid during the year – whether you sent the check directly to your township, municipality or county, or whether the taxes were paid out of a mortgage escrow account. There is no limit to the number of properties for which you can claim a deduction.
Charges for specific services, such as trash collection or water and sewer usage, are not deductible as real estate tax. Neither are special assessments for capital improvements that increase the value the property, like a new sidewalk. But you can deduct additional assessments to maintain public facilities, such as to repair existing sidewalks.
You can elect to “capitalize” (add to the cost basis) instead of claiming a current deduction for any real estate taxes paid on unimproved and unproductive land held for investment, such as a vacant lot. A statement of election must be attached to the original Form 1040 for the year the election is made. This election is made on an annual basis. A taxpayer can capitalize property taxes paid on a lot purchased in 2013 in 2014, 2016, and 2017 and can claim a deduction in all other years.
Aside from the fact that it’s floating in Seattle’s Lake Union, this home is a bit more conservative than the designs by which Olson Kundig Architects madeanameforthemelves—and, it goes without saying, worlds away from Tom Kundig’s recent foray into weird conceptual art—although it was built by firm principal Jim Olson back in 1976, a decade before Kundig joined on. The listing, recently uncovered by Curbed Seattle, touts “270 degrees of epic views,” and tableaus aside, those curved second-floor windows are definitely the most notable feature of the three-bedroom, 1,000-square-foot abode despite its ‘modernism at sea’ premise. But hey, if sliding glass doors that leave you “just fingertips away from the glistening water” aren’t enough, there’s a 50-gallon reef tank installed inside. What might “complete this luxurious treasure,” aside from a redo of the overwhelmingly beige interior? Why, if the current asking price holds, $2.88M.
The amount of debt you carry makes up for 30% of your credit rating. Therefore, let’s take a look at how debt affects your credit score.
The main aspect of debt that affects your credit rating is the balance you carry on your lines of credit. Credit score calculators examine your credit utilization by studying the relation between your credit card balance and your credit threshold. Though installment loans play a part in the amount of debt you have, credit score calculators focus more on your credit card usage.
If you have a high balance on your credit card(s), your score will suffer. On that note, having a maxed out credit card will severely hurt your credit rating.
Make small purchases
It is ok to have a credit card with a high credit limit. However, do not look at the limit as a way to spend more money. At the end of the day, you still owe that money back to the creditor, and you will owe it back with interest. Therefore, only make small purchases that you can pay off at the end of each billing cycle.
Do not close unused credit cards
Allow your unused credit cards to stay open. This will help your credit utilization rating and debt to credit ratio.
Do not open a bunch of new credit cards
Be content with the amount of credit cards you have. If you feel the need for a new credit card, try not to have any more than three at a time. If you desire more credit, simply ask for a credit increase on the credit card you have owned the longest
Retired aerospace engineer Owen Klasen was rejected last year when he sought a second mortgage to paint and re-roof his house.
Home prices hadn’t risen enough, the loan officer told him.
But last month, the same loan officer offered him more than double the credit he needed.
“I told him I needed $25,000″ on a home equity line of credit, said Klasen, who lives in Fillmore in Ventura County. “He said we were qualified to go up to $60,000.”
Klasen is among a wave of homeowners in California and nationally who are again putting their homes in hock — despite the costly lessons of the housing meltdown.
After a home equity credit binge during the housing bubble, banks shut off the tap as home prices plummeted. Sobered homeowners stopped viewing equity as free money for cars, vacations and college educations.
But now second mortgages are back in vogue. Homeowners in the six-county Southern California region took out 47,542 home equity lines of credit last year — 48% more than in 2012, according to research firm DataQuick. The median credit line was $100,000.
The same trend is taking hold nationwide. Bank of America, for instance, saw its home equity business surge 75% last year compared with 2012, said Matthew Potere, who oversees home equity lending for the Charlotte, N.C., giant. In the fourth quarter, BofA issued $1.9 billion in new home equity credit lines, up from $1 billion a year earlier.
U.S. homebuilders’ confidence in the housing market declined sharply this month as the severe weather battering much of the nation keeps many would-be buyers at home.
Storms and cold weather dampened builders’ outlook for sales ahead of the spring home-selling season and could further slow the pace of home construction.
The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released Tuesday slid to 46. That’s down from January’s reading of 56 and is the lowest level since May.
Readings below 50 indicate that more builders view sales conditions as poor rather than good.
Builders’ view of current sales conditions for single-family homes, their outlook for sales over the next six months and traffic by prospective buyers have all declined since January.
The overall index had been above 50 since June, reflecting a strengthening housing market. The latest reading complicates the outlook for sales just as the annual spring buying season ramps up. Typically, the spring season sets the pattern for residential hiring and construction in the ensuing months.
Sales of new homes jumped 16.4 percent last year to 428,000, the highest level in five years. Sales typically slow in November and December. But this winter’s onslaught of snowfall and freezing temperatures has exacerbated the seasonal slowdown. Economists predict that sales of new homes fell for the third month in a row in January.
Winter is here, but spring is coming. Throughout the country, the ground is covered with snow and the sky is overcast. There is no reason that inside your home needs to be as gloomy as the outside. Below are a few ideas for adding some cheer to the inside of your home while we wait for spring.
1. Fresh Flowers
Bright, sunny colors plus a sweet fragrance can brighten any room. If you don’t want to use cut flowers then purchase a flowering potted plant. Plus, if you use a potted plant it could be relocated into the garden in the spring for it to continue growing and add years of enjoyment.
2. Decorate your table
Find a table runner with bright colors then add some candle holders along with it. I have glassybabys all throughout my home and they definitely add some cheer to these dreary days. Earlier last year I started swapping out my table runner each season and holiday; I love how it makes my kitchen a little bit more festive. It is a small change that can make the entire room look decorated. To create one for yourself, visit this post for a step by step tutorial.
3. Festive Kitchen Decor
In addition to decorating your table, swap out your kitchen towels for some bright and fresh ones. In addition to adding something happy to your kitchen this also gives your regular towels a bit of a rest so they last longer. Or get a few kitchen pieces such as plates and mugs that add a smile to your face when you use them.
There is something youthful and happy about bunting, especially when the fabric is full of bright stripes and polka dots. Make a set for yourself or find a great vendor off Etsy then hang it on a blank wall. In addition to putting this in a main living space, it would be a great focal point to a playroom or child’s bedroom.
A quick change to any couch or chair is by adding or swapping out a pillow. Use an unconventional design or your favorite color to make you smile whenever you see it. What would you pick? Yellow? Teal? Chevron? Polka Dots? Check out Pinterest for lots of….
Home prices aren’t the only thing making a comeback. Take a look at some other trends gaining ground in housing:
In 2007, the median size of a new home built for sale peaked at 2,295 square feet. It then fell to 2,159 square feet two years later, after the crash. As Americans downsized, many experts incorrectly predicted that smaller homes were here to stay. However, as our economy recovers and our collective equity continues to rise (up $1.9 trillion last year), our love affair with over-sized homes has been reignited. According to the National Association of Home Builders, in 2012, new homes grew again, with a median size of 2,384 square feet. Also in 2012, 41 percent of new homes had four or more bedrooms, up from 34 percent three years earlier.
While the lower-end of the market may be stalling as first-time buyers struggle to come up with down payments and meet strict loan qualifications, luxury buyers — with secure jobs, steady income and money to burn — are back, and they’re flocking to real estate. In fact, applications for home loans of $625,000 to $729,000 were up a whopping 57 percent from August 2012 to August 2013; applications for more than $729,000 were up 41 percent.
The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 4.23% in the week that ended Feb. 6, hitting the lowest level since November, from 4.32% in the prior week, according to a Thursday report from federally controlled mortgage buyer Freddie Mac/quotes/zigman/226335/delayed/quotes/nls/fmccFMCC-1.69%. A year ago, the 30-year rate was at 3.53%. “Mortgage rates fell further this week following the release of weaker housing data,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie’s chief economist, citing a recent drop in a gauge of upcoming home sales, among other reports. The average rate for the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage declined to 3.33% in the latest week from 3.40% in the prior week. Meanwhile, the rate for a 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage fell to 3.08% from 3.12%. The rate for a 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM fell to 2.51% from 2.55%.
Since the fall of the U.S.S.R. in 1991, Russian and former Soviet satellite governments and city planners have been muddling through ways to redefine and reclaim architecture left in the wake of a world power’s dissolution. It’s a question of how to assess and celebrate Soviet buildings, which have gross cultural weight as harbingers of the Space Age and Brutalist aesthetics, while making room for modern needs; sensitively memorializing the past with plenty of airspace for the future. The ways Soviet structures have been rehashed and reconfigured seem innumerable, if incredibly fascinating to unpack. Below, 10 ways governments, artists, and planners have used the spaces: