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Considering renting your property?

by Allison Simson

 It's another gorgeous day in paradise!  We've had a busy summer here in Summit County, CO with all the festivals, concerts, BBQ challenges and events, not to mention the biking, hiking, fishing and relaxing.  Pheww!  We've had a glorious summer and the fall promises fun and festivity, too.

This past week the USA Pro Cycling Challenge road through Summit County in stage 5.  128 professional bikers made their way from Steamboat to Breckenridge.  Levi Liephimer (the overall winner) zoomed past about 2 feet away from me!  Very exciting!  It was like our own "mini" Tour de France!

Here's an article on rental property and taxes from last week's Summit Daily News that you might find interesting - click here.

Our real estate market continues to move along, we've had more sales this year over last year, and although the prices are still declining, it does seem like they are declining at a slower rate than last year.  For specifics about your favorite town please check the market reports here:

1) Dillon
 
2) Wildernest/Silverthorne
 
3) Frisco
 
4) Breckenridge
 
5) Keystone
  
6) Summit County Overall
 

And Here's Your Morning Coffee!

IRS's top 10 tax tips for home sellers

by Allison Simson

Question:  Allison, we’re selling our home in Breckenridge, CO and wonder what changes our sale will have on our taxes from a real estate perspective.

Answer:  Good question! I’m FAR from being a tax expert, but from time to time the IRS releases tips designed to help people with their taxes. Some of these are quite useful.

According to Stephen Fishman, Inman News, last week the agency released "Ten Tax Tips for Individuals Selling Their Home," (IRS Summertime Tax Tip 2011-15).

Here are the IRS's top 10 tax tips for home sellers:

1. In general, you are eligible to exclude the gain from income if you have owned and used your home as your main home for two years out of the five years prior to the date of its sale.

2. If you have a gain from the sale of your main home, you may be able to exclude up to $250,000 of the gain from your income ($500,000 on a joint return in most cases).

3. You are not eligible for the exclusion if you excluded the gain from the sale of another home during the two-year period prior to the sale of your home.

4. If you can exclude all of the gain, you do not need to report the sale on your tax return.

5. If you have a gain that cannot be excluded, it is taxable. You must report it on Form 1040, Schedule D, Capital Gains and Losses.

6. You cannot deduct a loss from the sale of your main home.

7. Worksheets are included in Publication 523, Selling Your Home, to help you figure the adjusted basis of the home you sold, the gain (or loss) on the sale, and the gain that you can exclude.

8. If you have more than one home, you can exclude a gain only from the sale of your main home. You must pay tax on the gain from selling any other home. If you have two homes and live in both of them, your main home is ordinarily the one you live in most of the time.

9. If you received the first-time homebuyer credit and within 36 months of the date of purchase, the property is no longer used as your principal residence, you are required to repay the credit. Repayment of the full credit is due with the income tax return for the year the home ceased to be your principal residence, using Form 5405, First-Time Homebuyer Credit and Repayment of the Credit. The full amount of the credit is reflected as additional tax on that year's tax return.

10. When you move, be sure to update your address with the IRS and the U.S. Postal Service to ensure you receive refunds or correspondence from the IRS. Use Form 8822, Change of Address, to notify the IRS of your address change.

Best to speak with your Accountant to keep on all the minor and major changes that can affect you! 

 

For answers to your real estate questions, call Allison at 970-468-6800. Email - [email protected]. Her philosophy is simple, whether buying or selling, she understands that the most important real estate transaction is yours.  Want to know the value of your Summit County property? Visit www.SummitHomeValue.com  

6 tips for timing a real estate purchase

by Allison Simson

How fence-sitters can get a jump on the competition

Question:  Allison, we are considering buying a townhome in Wildernest, but have been unable to “pull the trigger!”  Do you have any suggestions about timing the market? 

Answer:  That’s the million dollar question!  First, you won’t know when the market has hit bottom until it starts to go up, so timing is difficult at best.  According to Dianne Hymer of  Inman News, in mid-June, interest rates on home loans were lower than they were a year ago. However, this failed to ignite the housing market. Many buyers and homeowners would like to make a move, but some find it impossible to make a decision. They are commonly referred to as fence-sitters, poised to make a move when the time seems right.

The housing market is unlikely to make a quick turn-around anytime soon, but this doesn't mean that now is not a good time to buy or sell. It depends on your personal situation and market conditions in the area where you plan to buy or sell.

Become an expert on your local market. Knowing a good deal when you see it or what price to ask if you decide to sell depends on having a good understanding of how much properties are selling for in your neighborhood.

While you're trying to decide what to do, line up a team that can help you accomplish your goal when you decide to move ahead. You can do this by researching online, attending open houses in the area and asking a real estate agent to keep you on top of market fluctuations.

Your decision to buy should be based on your personal financial situation, not on the national or global economy. For example, if you bought during the bubble market and are now getting divorced, you'll probably sell for less than you paid.

But, if the house is too expensive for one to support, it may be cheaper in the long run to cut your losses and sell now. No one knows how long the housing downturn will last. Prices could move lower before rebounding. This is not an ordinary recession.

Don't get caught up following the herd. Just because most people in your area aren't buying or are having difficulty selling doesn't mean that you shouldn't make a move. Just make sure if you're a buyer that you have job security, a relatively healthy economy in your local area and a plan to stay put for at least 10 years.

The housing market will be volatile going forward. Good economic news will help fence-sitters make the decision to get serious about moving. Bad news of any sort can cause the market to stall. To take advantage of the upticks in the market, you need to be prepared in advance.

Find a good local real estate agent to work with who understands your needs, and wait to buy or sell until the time is right for you. It could take you a year or so to make the final decision. Some agents don't have the patience to stick it out.

Select an agent who will educate you about the market and the idiosyncrasies of the home-sale business in your area. Ask to be kept informed about sales in the area. Many agents are set up to do this electronically, which is an easy way to keep you informed without taking up a lot of the agent's time.

One of the most difficult aspects of the current home-sale business is financing the transaction. Find a loan agent or mortgage broker who is a real professional, has been in the business for years and who understands what current underwriters will require from you to process your loan.

Assemble all the financial documents you'll need for loan approval even before you start looking. Ask your agent or broker to have your loan package previewed by an underwriter so that you know beforehand if there are any problems.

Remedy these in advance so that they don't cause last-minute delays in closing. Copyright Inman News.

 

 

For answers to your real estate questions, call Allison at 970-468-6800. Email - [email protected]. Her philosophy is simple, whether buying or selling, she understands that the most important real estate transaction is yours.  Want to know the value of your Summit County property? Visit www.SummitHomeValue.com  

Dreaming of a vacation home?

by Allison Simson

Data from the 2011 NAR Investment and Vacation Home Survey shows vacation-home sales accounted for 10 percent of all transactions last year and investment sales were 17 percent of the overall market.

The median vacation-home price was $150,000 in 2010, while the median investment-home price was $94,000. The typical vacation-home buyer was 49 years old with a median household income of $99,500 and purchased a property that was a median distance of 375 miles from their primary residence. Investment-home buyers had a median age of 45, earned $87,600 and bought a home within a median distance of 19 miles.

Thirty-four percent of vacation-home buyers said they plan to use the property as a primary residence in the future, as did 10 percent of investment buyers.  

Are you considering a vacation or investment home purchase?  Although we think Summit County, Colorado is THE BEST place for your second home, we can put you in touch with a real estate agent in the area of your choice-even if it's not Summit County!  Just let us know where you are considering buying and we will take care of the rest.

For local market conditions click here!
 

And Here's Your Morning Coffee!

The Key To Service

by Allison Simson

I read this quick article and thought you might find it interesting!  In our world of high tech EVERYTHING it's easy to forget that we are all human and staying human with high touch interactions is so critical! 

The key to service.

"I am because you are."
--African Proverb

I can think of no simpler way to sum up the nature of a true community than this African proverb. In five words, you have the guiding principle behind client service, neighborly attitude, and public service. When we forget this truth, we risk becoming isolated and self-obsessed.

Just 15 years ago, your business interactions would have likely involved a phone, fax machine, letter, or face-to-face meeting. Now, however, your options have exploded: You may text, blog, email, tweet, update your Facebook page, comment, and video conference.

You would think that with the rise of network technology that we would be constantly reminded of this proverb's truth. Yet with all the power this technology provides us in our careers and personal lives, it is more valuable than ever that we remember to remain human. We must make a concerted effort to remember that we are not communicating with machines when we use machines to further our relationships.

The smiling emoticon is no substitute for a real smile. ;>) It is a reminder that the technology we use falls short of providing the components of tone, emotion, and body language that human civilization has depended on for thousands of years.

As you integrate new communication technologies into your business, try and hold onto the idea that we are more than the sum of our messages and updates. Recognize how much exists beyond these transactional forms of communication. While much has been done to improve speed of service, quality of service remains a uniquely human challenge. ~ Scott Levitt

Hope your summer is going great and that you are enjoying it to the fullest!

And Here's Your Morning Coffee!

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Photo of Summit Real Estate Real Estate
Summit Real Estate
The Bright Choice
330 Dillon Ridge Way, Suite 10
Dillon CO 80435
970-468-6800
800-262-8442
Fax: 970-468-2195

Allison Simson, Owner/Broker, is a licensed Colorado Real Estate Broker