Top 6 Home Tax Deduction Mistakes: North Shore Real Estate

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Across the nation and of course here on the North Shore of Chicago that time is upon us….tax season-2018!  For North Shore real estate homeowners, home sellers, or prospective first time North Shore home buyers, having a basic understanding of tax guidelines can potentially shield you from Taxbreaksfinancial heartache and can help to ensure you’ll benefit from many of the exceptional tax benefits of property ownership. Below are the top 6 tax deduction misconceptions.

Note: Due to the various restrictions and conditions regarding real estate tax benefits, it is important to consult with one’s financial advisors or accountants to fully understand the benefits and opportunities of tax benefits to those who own North Shore real estate. The tips provided give general information about tax laws and consequences, but shouldn’t be relied upon as tax or legal advice applicable to particular transactions or circumstances. Consult a tax professional for such advice; tax laws may vary by jurisdiction or location.

See a list of available North Shore tax preparers and financial advisors HERE . Or, let us know who you recommend for tax preperation on Chicago’s North Shore!

Schedule A is the part of Form 1040 commonly used to list myriad deductions, and the more details, the more prone someone may be to misinterpretation with their taxes. To save time and money, four tax experts weigh in on the following 6 most common Schedule A concept mistakes homeowners may make.

Concept #1: Line 6 – real estate taxes

Your monthly mortgage payment often includes money for a tax escrow, from which the lender pays your local real estate taxes.
The money you send the bank may be more than what the bank pays for your taxes, says Julian Block, a tax attorney and author of Julian Block’s Home Seller’s Guide to Tax Savings. That will lead you to putting the wrong number on Schedule A.
Example:

  • Your monthly payment to the lender: $2,000 for mortgage + $500 escrow for taxes
  • Your annual property tax bill: $5,500

Now do the figures:

  • Your bank received $6,000 for real estate taxes, but only paid $5,500. It may keep the extra $500 to apply to the next tax bill or refund it to you at some point, but meanwhile, you’re making a mistake if you enter $6,000 on Schedule A.
  • Instead, take the number from Form 1098—which your bank sends you each year—that shows the actual taxes paid.

Concept #2: Line 6 – tax calculations for recent North Shore buyers and sellers

If you bought or sold a North Shore home in the middle of 2013, figuring out what to put on line 6 of your Schedule A Form is tricky.
Don’t simply enter the number from your property tax bill on line 6 as you would if you owned the house the whole year. If you bought or sold a house in midyear, you should instead use the property tax amount listed on your HUD-1 closing statement, says Phil Marti, a retired IRS official.
Here’s why: Generally, depending on the local tax cycle, either the seller gives the buyer money to pay the taxes when they come due or, if the seller has already paid taxes, the buyer reimburses the seller at closing. Those taxes are deductible that year, but won’t be reflected on your property tax bill.

Concept #3: Line 10 – properly deducting your points

You can deduct points paid on a refinance, but not all at once, says David Sands, a CPA with Buchbinder Tunick & Co LLP. Rather, you deduct them over the life of your loan. So if you paid $1,000 in points for a 10-year refinance, you’re entitled to deduct only $100 per year on your Schedule A Form.

Concept #4: Line 10 – HELOC limits breakdown

If you took out a home equity line of credit (HELOC), you can generally deduct the interest on it only up to $100,000 of debt each year, says Matthew Lender, a CPA with EisnerLubin LLP.
For example, if you have a HELOC for $200,000, the bank will send you Form 1098 for interest paid on $200,000. But you can deduct only the interest paid on $100,000. If you just pull the number off Form 1098, you’ll deduct more than you’re entitled to.

Concept #5: line 13 – Private mortgage insurance

You can deduct PMI on your Schedule A Form, as long as you started paying the insurance after Dec. 31, 2006. Unless Congress acts to extend the PMI deduction, however, 2011 is the last year for which you can take this deduction. (Also, this is also a good time to review your PMI: You might be able to cancel your PMI altogether because you’ve had a change in loan-to-value status.)

Concept #6: line 20 – casualty and theft losses

You can deduct part or all of losses caused by theft, vandalism, fire, or similar causes, as well as corrosive drywall, but the process isn’t always obvious or simple:

  • Only deduct losses that are greater than 10% of your adjusted gross income (line 38 of Form 1040).
  • Fill out Form 4684, which involves complex calculations for the cost basis and fair market value.  This form gives you the number you need for line 20.

Bottom line on line 20: If you’ve got extensive losses, it’s best to consult a tax pro. “I wouldn’t do it myself, and I’ve been dealing with taxes for 40 years,” says former IRS official Marti.

Get more tax tips HERE

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Thinking of Selling? Top 5 Musts Before Listing: North Shore Real Estate

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North Shore real estate is well within the 2016 spring buying and selling season.  North Shore realtors may often advise clients of five basic principles to get your home in top “list ready” condition. Buyers and sellers alike are out rightspring now (on-line and in-person) perusing real estate options on places like Zillow and Trulia. Using these tips can promote a competitive standing in the market and make buyers appreciate the thoughtful preparation.

1. Go crazy on the curb appeal. Spring and summer mean getting out and enjoying the weather. It also means every detail of the outside of your home is far more noticeable.  Just put yourself in a potential buyers shoes and stand outside of your home. As you approach the front door, what is your impression of the property? Do the lawn and bushes look neatly displayed? Is the address clearly visible from where you are? Are pretty flowers or plants framing the entrances? Is the walkway free from debris and impediments?

2. Clean and Organize. Eliminate any clutter and pack up your least-used items, such as large pictures or photos, out-of-season clothes, non-used kitchen items, toys, and exercise equipment. Store items off-site or in boxes neatly arranged in the garage or even the basement. Clean the windows, carpets, walls, flooring, lighting fixtures, and baseboards to make the house sparkle.

3. Collect needed replacement estimates. Do you have big-ticket items that are worn out, out dated, or will need to be replaced soon, such your roof or carpeting? Get estimates on how much it would cost to replace those things, even if you don’t plan to do it yourself. The figures will help buyers determine if they can afford the home, and will be a helpful guide for both parties when negotiations begin.

4. Know where to find your warranties. Collect the warranties, guarantees, and user manuals for the furnace, washer and dryer, dishwasher, and any other appliances or equipment that will remain with the house after it’s sold.

 5. A pre-sale home inspection is Key. Be ahead of the game by arranging for a pre-sale home inspection. An inspector will be able to give you a good outline of the trouble areas that will stand out to potential buyers, and you’ll be able to make needed repairs before an open house begins. The inspection may also be an additional guide for contact negotiation.

The top producing, high ranking  Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage office located at 640 Vernon Ave in Glencoe, Illinois-60022; is home base for Gloria Matlin . The office has been a sound performing real estate resource for the North Shore community for well over 4 decades.  Stop by today to discover how we can assist with home buying, home selling, home rentals, reports, or just to get info on Chicago’s North Shore area things to do/ places to go or eat!

Top 4 Spring Prep Tips Before Listing: North Shore Real Estate

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Chicago North Shore real estate is well within the spring buying and selling season.  North Shore Realtors may often advise clients of four basic principles to get your home in top “list Springchecklistready” condition. Buyers and sellers alike are out right now (on-line and in-person) perusing real estate options on places like Zillow and Trulia. Using these tips can promote a competitive standing in the market and make buyers appreciate the thoughtful preparation by doing the following:

1. Clean and Organize. Eliminate any clutter and pack up your least-used items, such as large pictures or photos, out-of-season clothes, non-used kitchen items, toys, and exercise equipment. Store items off-site or in boxes neatly arranged in the garage or even the basement. Clean the windows, carpets, walls, flooring, lighting fixtures, and baseboards to make the house sparkle. Having a garage sale may even be an option if time permits.

2. Go crazy on the curb appeal. Spring and summer mean getting out and enjoying the weather. It also means every detail of the outside of your home is far more noticeable.  Just put yourself in a potential buyers shoes and stand outside of your home. As you approach the front door, what is your impression of the property? Do the lawn and bushes look neatly displayed? Is the address clearly visible from where you are? Are pretty flowers or plants framing the entrances? Is the walkway free from debris and impediments?

3. Collect needed replacement estimates. Do you have big-ticket items that are worn out, out dated, or will need to be replaced soon, such your roof or carpeting? Get estimates on how much it would cost to replace those things, even if you don’t plan to do it yourself. The figures will help buyers determine if they can afford the home, and will be a helpful guide for both parties when negotiations begin.

4. Know where to find your warranties. Collect the warranties, guarantees, and user manuals for the furnace, washer and dryer, dishwasher, and any other appliances or equipment that will remain with the house after it’s sold.

 

Now for May 2015-The North Shore-Chicago  Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage office located at 640 Vernon Ave in Glencoe, Illinois-60022; is home  to Gloria Matlin and partner Zack Matlin. The office has been a high performing real estate resource for the North Shore area for well over 40 years.  Stop in today to discover how this elite team can assist with home buying, home selling, home rentals, market action reports, or just to get info on Chicago’s North Shore communities and things to do/places to go!

Is a Smart Home in Your Future?

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Ahead of the “smart” trends, maintains an accurate pulse on the Chicago North Shore real estate market, personable, tenacious, client focused, top performer, high ranking results, and dedicated to making North Shore real estate dreams come true for over 25 years; Gloria Matlin is the optimal choice for all things real estate on the Northern Shores of Chicago. 640 Vernon Avenue, Glencoe, Illinois, 60022.

Les Boomer's Real Estate Updates

Hello? Remember when we used to answer the phone… at home… tethered to a wall and it was actually someone we knew? Today, most people have a smart phone. The years between those two devices are not as far apart as the way our lives have changed. Does that mean a smart home might be in our future?

In many ways, our homes have been getting “smarter” for years. While we used to water by hand, most now have automatic sprinklers. Most garage doors now open and close remotely. We have thermostats that automatically control the temperature. We have timers that turn the lights in a room on and off when we’re on vacation. Move over George Jetson, we can even change the channel on our flat screen without getting up. What used to be amazing has quickly become common place.

jetsons

So what can we expect in the future? Certainly some items that are being considered might not be on…

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Real Estate Outcomes July2014: Chicago’s North Shore

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Glencoe-MarketReport

Monthly Market Update (Click to Play)

Prices

More great news for late summer 2014…The Median Chicago North Shore Sales Price in July was up 2.1% from market action reporting in July of 2013 and down -0.9% from sales figures reported last month. The Average Sales Price in July was up 6.3% from totals calculated in July of 2013 and down -2.0% from last month. July 2014 ASP was at highest level compared to July of 2013 and 2012.

Market Time

The average North Shore Days on Market (DOM) shows how many days the average North Shore Property is on the Market before it sells. An upward trend in DOM tends to indicate a move towards more of a Buyer’s market, a downward trend a move towards more of a Seller’s market. The DOM for July was 40, down -20.0% from 50 days last month and down -27.3% from 55 days in July of last year. The July 2014 DOM was at its lowest level compared with July of 2013 and 2012.

Property Sales

July Chicago-North Shore Property sales were down -11.9% from totals in July of 2013 and -5.1% lower than sales totals last month. July 2014 sales were at a mid-level compared to July of 2013 and 2012. July YTD sales are running -12.0% behind last year’s year-to-date sales.

Inventory & MSI

The Total Inventory of Northern Shore Properties available for sale as of July was up 2.6% from last month and up 6.6% from July of last year. July 2014 Inventory was at a mid-range compared to July of 2013 and 2012.

A comparatively lower MSI is more beneficial for North Shore sellers while a higher MSI is better for North Shore buyers. The July 2014 MSI of 3.8 months was at a mi- range compared with July of 2013 and 2012.

Inventory / New Listings / Sales

This summary view below of the North Shore-Chicago market combines monthly inventory of Properties for sale along with New Listings and Sales. The graph shows the basic annual seasonality of the market as well as the relationship between these items. The number of New North Shore Listings in July 2014 was down -14.1% from market action reporting total last month and up 3.3% from figures in July of last year.

July2014MarketAction-GM

With over 25 years of the highest quality North Shore real estate service, a sincere and client focused approach to making North Shore real estate dreams come true, Gloria Matlin is the ideal professional you want representing you. Her consummate professionalism, kind nature, tenacious and profoundly knowledgeable style will ensure you can make confident real estate decisions. Whether relocating, downsizing, upsizing, investing, or simply inquiring, she is the trusted resource with a keen and accurate pulse on the current Chicago North Shore real estate market.  Her office is located at 640 Vernon Avenue, Glencoe, Illinois, 60022-Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate.

Happy Holidays, Happy New Year-North Shore Chicago

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From our family to yours….

Seasons Greetings-Matlin-2013

COLDWELL BANKER RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE

640 Vernon Ave

GLENCOE, ILLINOIS

(847)835-6058

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 Stay in Touch for 2014!

 

JUST LISTED..1750 Braeside Lane, Northbrook-Chicago’s North Shore Real Estate

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NEW ON THE MARKET..1750 Braeside Lane, Northbrook, IL..This North Shore property is an exquisitely designed home with a flawlessly designed floor plan that unfolds with amazing architectural details. Contact Gloria Matlin for a private showing or simply review the complete tour: 1750 Braeside Lane

MINUTES FROM CHICAGO-NORTH SHORE TRANSPORTATION AND SHOPS – SUBURBAN RESORT STYLE LUXURY LIVING AT ITS BEST!

Feel free to visit Gloria at her high performing North Shore real estate brokerage office located at 640 Vernon Ave., in the center of beautiful downtown Glencoe, IL-60022.

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