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Monthly Archives: February 2017

What are the tax write-offs of owning a Bend Oregon Home?










Just about everyone knows about the many benefits of owning a home including the freedom of not having to call a landlord to make changes or updates to your home but what about the tax write-offs that come from home ownership?

Tax write-off No. 1: Your mortgage interest

This is the biggie tax benefit of owning a home: the ability to deduct the mortgage interest you pay over the course of a year. And the more recent your mortgage, the greater your tax savings.

“The way mortgage payments are amortized, the first payments are almost all interest—so that’s why the mortgage interest deduction is worth the most in the first few years of the loan,” says Wendy Connick, owner of Connick Financial Solutions. (See how your loan amortizes and how much you’re paying in interest with this mortgage calculator.)

Here’s how this deduction looks for a married couple in the 28% tax bracket (that means a joint annual income between $151,201 and $230,450) who bought a home with a $300,000, 30-year mortgage at a 4% interest rate. They will pay $11,904 in mortgage interest their first year. Once you add in the other itemized federal deductions below, these homeowners can expect to save at least $3,333 in taxes during their initial year of ownership.

Tax write-off No. 2: Your property taxes

Generally, your property taxes are deductible on your tax return, says Brian Ashcraft, director of compliance at Liberty Tax Service. And that could be a hefty savings. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average household property tax is $2,127. If you have a mortgage, your taxes are built into your monthly payment.

You can also pay property taxes early and write off the entire expense if you’re staring down a large tax bill for any given year. Just note that you must claim the deduction in the year you wrote the check. For example, if you paid your 2017 property tax in 2016, claim that tax benefit on your 2016 return. Here’s more info on how to calculate property taxes.

Tax write-off No. 3: Private mortgage insurance

If you put less than 20% down on your home, odds are you’re paying private mortgage insurance, or PMI, which costs from 0.3% to 1.15% of your home loan. But Uncle Sam’s willing to give you a tax break here by allowing you to deduct this amount from your income, too.

How much you’ll save: If you make $100,000 and put down 5% on a $200,000 house, you’ll pay about $1,500 in annual PMI premiums and thus cut taxable income by $1,500.

Note: The deduction is due to expire this year, says Connick. “Unless Congress renews it, the deduction will not be available for the 2017 tax year.”

Tax write-off No. 4: Energy-efficiency upgrades

Don’t miss out on tax credits for any “green” updates you’ve done to your home in the past year, says Michael Banks, founder of The Renewable Energy Efficiency Property Credit allows you to claim a credit for up to 30% of the cost of equipment you purchased that uses renewable energy sources (e.g., solar panels and wind turbines).

Other home upgrades like new HVAC systems, energy-efficient windows, and storm doors can also earn a tax credit of up to $500. For example, if you installed central air conditioning, you can claim a $300 credit. This credit for residential energy-efficiency improvements expired at the end of 2016, so hopefully you made these improvements last year. If not, there’s still time for solar panels, since this credit runs through 2019.

Tax write-off No. 5: A home office

If you work from home, your office space and expenses can be deducted from your income, too. According to Vincenzo Villamena, managing partner of Online Taxman, you can take a $5-per-square-foot deduction for up to 300 square feet of office space, which amounts to a maximum deduction of $1,500. Understand, however, that there are strict rules on what constitutes a dedicated, fully deductible home office space. Your accountant can lead you through it.

Tax write-off No. 6: Home improvements to age in place

Many older homeowners plan to stay put and age in place—and if that entails renovations such as wheelchair ramps or grab bars in slippery bathrooms, the cost of these improvements for you, a spouse, or dependent results in a nice tax break, says Jayson Mullin, owner of Top Tax Defenders.

Search For A Bend Oregon Home

To get started with searching for a Bend Oregon Home contact the Deb Tebbs Group today by calling us at (541) 323-4823 or click here to connect with us online. 


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Will more Bend Oregon homeowners sell after this winter?

Bend Oregon homeowners

There’s no denying the winter of 2017 will be one of the toughest winters on record and like the winter of 1993 many people are wondering if some Bend Oregon homeowners will decide to sell their homes this year once spring arrives.

The answer to this question depends on whom you ask but the general consensus among some long time residents and Real Estate agents is that we may see more listings this spring.

More Inventory Coming Soon?

Old hands in real estate say that historic winter of 1993 pushed many people to pack up and leave, and they expect that the phenomenon will repeat this year.

“I do remember one of my sellers leaving a message when they were finally able to get out of their driveway,” said Carolyn Bostwick, president of the Central Oregon Association of Realtors and managing principal broker at Windermere Central Oregon Real Estate. “‘The key’s under the mat. We’ll call you when we get back to California.’”

Kevin Cole, who moved here in the fall from Salem, has heard similar stories from his co-workers at Mid Oregon Credit Union, where he is chief financial officer. The notion of more homes hitting the market is encouraging to him because he’ll be shopping for a house in the spring, and he knows the competition will be intense.

But there’s no way to verify the oft-repeated wisdom that more homes hit the market after a harsh winter.

The Central Oregon Association of Realtors doesn’t keep listings of data going back to the 1990s. The association does show the number of homes sold jumped 21 percent, from 662 in 1992 to 801 in 1993. That was likely because of an increase in new construction, plus a big wave of migration from California, said Josh Lehner, economist with the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis.

“The demand to live in Bend and Oregon more broadly is very strong,” Lehner said. “The soon-to-be listed homes will sell.”

Bend could use some snow-fatigued sellers to bump up its housing inventory. In December, Bend had a two-month supply of single-family home listings, according to inventory data compiled by Beacon Appraisal Group owner Donnie Montagner. Inventory levels are usually at their lowest in winter, but Bend had less than a three-month supply throughout 2016. The highest point was 2.8 months from August through October.

A veteran of the moving business in Bend, Nancy Lynch, owner of Bend Storage & Transfer, said she “absolutely” expects an influx of calls for outbound moves this spring. That was the pattern in 1993, she recalled.

“As soon as the snow stopped, all the for-sale signs were up,” she said. “It was a busy, busy spring the following spring.”

Dana Bratton, owner of Bratton Appraisal Group, said home builders also changed their behavior after the winter of 1993. Previously there was no rush to make sure buildings were enclosed before winter, and construction continued throughout the season.

Search For Homes In Bend

To learn more about the Bend Oregon Real Estate market, contact the Deb Tebbs Group today by calling us at (541) 323-4823 or click here to connect with us online.

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