Is it true that you can sell your home and not pay capital gains tax?

In addition to the $250,000 (or $500,000 for a couple) exemption, you can also subtract your full cost basis in the property from the sales price. Your cost basis is calculated by starting with the price you paid for the home, and then adding purchase expenses (e.g., closing costs, title insurance, and any settlement fees).To this figure, you can add the cost of any additions and improvements you made that had a useful life of over one year. Finally, add your selling costs, like real estate agent Read more [...]

The Bedbug Capital of the U.S.: Do You Live There?

Of all of the pest infestations someone can have, bedbugs are one of the worst. The bloodsuckers often live in mattresses and couches, and wait until someone lies down to attack—leaving red, itchy bumps and welts in their wake. And get ridding of them isn't easy or cheap.So which cities have the biggest bedbug problem? For the third year in a row, the Baltimore metropolitan area (which includes the city and surrounding suburbs) topped the list, according to a recent report from pest Read more [...]

10 Tools for a Remarkable Year of Real Estate

If 2019 is anything like the last, we're in for a historic year of real estate. In this piece, we've rounded up the 10 best tools for boosting your productivity and output so you can once again crush your goals. Here's to your best year yet!  1. Family Reunion  Beignets, business, AND the Big Easy? Get up-to-speed on ongoing innovations, discover competitive strategies, and create endless opportunities for referrals. Get your tickets for Family Reunion 2019 before it’s too late! 2. BOLD Ready Read more [...]

The New Homeowner’s Checklist – 13 Things to Do After the Close

Weeks of hard work have brought you here – the close. After a flurry of signatures, it’s official: Your clients have the home of their dreams! So, what’s next? Our friends at Home Warranty of America have outlined 13 simple-yet-essential tasks for new homeowners to complete before their big move: Make copies of important real estate documents and store them in a safe place. Buying a home means lots of paperwork, and some of those documents – like the property deed, home inspection report, Read more [...]

15 Tax Deductions & Benefits for the Self-Employed

Being self-employed means taking on risks and costs that you don’t have when you work for someone else. You’re responsible for getting customers and generating income, and for constantly proving the value of your product or service. You also have to pay the phone and internet bills you incur to get and keep those customers, the travel expenses to meet with them, and the liability insurance in case they sue you. Legislators have written numerous lines of tax code to soften the Read more [...]

Mortgage Rates Fast Approaching 5%, a Fresh Blow to Housing Market

Mortgage rates hit their highest level in more than seven years this week at nearly 5%, a level that could deter many home buyers and represents another setback for the slumping housing market.The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 4.9%—the largest weekly jump in about two years—according to data released Thursday by mortgage-finance giant Freddie Mac. Lenders and real-estate agents say that, even now, all but the most qualified buyers making large down payments Read more [...]

5 Things You Need to Be Pre-approved for a Mortgage

Shopping idly for a home may be pleasant, but serious homebuyers need to start the process in a lender's office, not at an open house. As a potential buyer you benefit in several ways by consulting with a lender and obtaining a pre-approval letter. First, you have an opportunity to discuss loan options and budgeting with the lender. Second, the lender will check your credit and alert you to any problems. Third, you will learn the maximum amount you can borrow, which will give you Read more [...]

How Do Interest Rates Affect the Stock Market?

The investment community and the financial media tend to obsess over interest rates—the cost someone pays for the use of someone else's money— and with good reason. When the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) sets the target for the federal funds rate at which banks borrow from and lend to each other, it has a ripple effect across the entire U.S. economy, not to mention the U.S. stock market. And, while it usually takes at least 12 months for any increase or decrease in interest rates Read more [...]

Foreign Buyers Are Purchasing Way Less U.S. Real Estate—Especially in These Top Markets

Much has been made of the dazzlingly wealthy foreign buyers who snap up luxury condos in New York City and Miami; breathtaking beach houses in Honolulu; and sophisticated modern estates in San Francisco and Seattle. For many of the international elite, money is no object when it comes to U.S. real estate.But foreign-resident buyers and recent immigrants closed on far fewer properties in the 12-month period ending in March 2018—by about 21%, according to a recent report from the National Read more [...]