***List Your Home TODAY***

 

Good Afternoon Everyone, 

I hope everyone is having a great week! Today’s topic of discussion – SELLING Your Home NOW! 

Why do you think right now is a good time to sell your home? Maybe you’ve heard the real estate market is doing well? Or maybe you’ve had a friend or family member sell their home and have positive equity? Both of those are good reasons to sell, but here are 5 top reasons to SELL your home TODAY! 

1.) Low Mortgage Interest Rates! – Right now you can borrow money to purchase a home with record low interest rates! You may think well isn’t this a reason for a buyer to purchase a home? You’re correct, but this is a HUGE benefit for sellers. Right now Realtors like myself have buyers just waiting for homes to hit the market. Inventory is extremely low and the real estate market needs your home to be listed for sale TODAY! 

2.) Home Prices are on the Rise! – Home prices are continuing to rise throughout the United States. In 2017 we finished out the year with a 5.5% year to year increase with home values on the rise! 

3.) Millennials! – Millennials are ready to purchase a home! With an economy on the rise, millennials are in the position to purchase one of the best investments! They’re graduating college, starting careers and getting married! Perfect time in their life to invest in a home. 

4.) Money in Savings! – Not all, but some people are finally able to have money in savings!. They have made it through the hard times and feel stable with their finances. That being said, a lot of people are starting to look into purchasing a home. 

5.) Low Inventory- I discussed a little bit of this topic with # 1 and Low Interest Rates. Inventory is EXTREMELY low. I have a portfolio of buyers who are just waiting for the average family home to hit the market! They’re preapproved and ready to go! All we need is a home like yours to be listed for sale! 

If you have any questions about listing your home or purchasing a home, I would be more than happy to sit down with you and discuss your real estate needs. As always I’m here to help every step of the way! 

Duke Rountree – Info@HomesForSaleOcalaMarion.com – (352) 572-1739

***Tax Season***

Good Afternoon All, 

I hope everyone is having a great week! We’re right around the corner from tax season. For most people this is a very dreaded time of the year. So much information and knowledge goes into taxes and for some people it can be a little overwhelming. 

Have you given any consideration as to what you’re going to do with your tax return? Maybe you could use your tax return to purchase a home or use it to improve your current home! Today, we’re going talk about Tax Deductions for homeowners and some benefits you may not know of. 

What are some homeowner tax deductions? 

There are several different tax related expenses and deductions for homeowners. Home Office Expenses, Energy Efficient Appliances and Windows, etc.

What are some tax deductions when purchasing a home?  

When you’re purchasing a home there are many different expenses that you can claim as a deduction. For an example, mortgage interest, mortgage points, real estate taxes, moving expenses, etc. 

What are some home owner related expenses that CANNOT be claimed as a deduction? 

Unfortunately here is a list of expenses that cannot be claimed as a tax deduction. Mortgage insurance, homeowners insurance including flood or fire), direct principal payments, remodeling, etc. 

As always I encourage you to consult with a local tax expert or accountant for all tax related questions. I hope everyone has a great rest of your day and weekend! 

-Duke 

 “This blog post is only for general information and Rountree Realty advises readers to contact their local tax expert for all tax questions and filing purposes.”

List Your Home TODAY!

Good Afternoon All, 

Have you given any consideration to listing your home for sale? Maybe you’ve heard the myth that listing your home in the Spring is the best time of year. I’m here to tell you that may not be the case! Right now we have a lot of snow birds in the area looking to purchase winter homes. Also with interest rates being extremely low, we have a busy real estate market in general for all stages of life. From first time home buyers to couples retiring and downsizing, there is a buyer right now for your home. 

In today’s real estate market inventory is EXTREMELY low. Myself, as well as several other Realtors, have portfolios of buyers just waiting for homes to hit the market! I would love to have the opportunity to sit down with you and provide a free comparative market analysis. We can also go over my marketing plan to get your home SOLD for top dollar and in a time frame that works best for you. Please give me a call today! I look forward to hearing from you.  

Duke Rountree 

Happy New Year!

Good Morning All, 

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I would like to hear from you and see who all made a New Years Resolution? You always hear of the resolutions to lose weight, eat healthy, improve a relationship, travel more, etc., but who made a resolution to buy a home?!?! Buying a home is one of the best investments you can make and over time will help you gain financial freedom! 

What if your New Years Resolution was to sell your current home? Maybe you now have equity in your home and are ready for an upgrade! Or your family is expanding and you need more living space.

Either way, right now is a great time to buy or sell real estate. Home values are up for sellers and interest rates are extremely low for buyers! I would love to have the opportunity to talk with you and guide you through the process. If there is anything I can do to help please let me know. I hope everyone has a great start to 2018! 

Duke Rountree 

COSTS vs VALUE 2015 Report – Exterior Improvements Best Return on Investment

When you begin to consider remodeling or home improvements, homeowners should consider the return on investment(ROI) or recouping of their costs. Many updates are preformed simply because the homeowner desires that upgraded kitchen or bathroom. It is important to remember that many, if not most, updates are not great ROI, because they are more for personal reasons rather than a cost vs. value.

“It can be a daunting task to even decide on what home improvement projects to undertake, let alone to physically tackle and complete them,” says National Association of Realtors (NAR) President Chris Polychron. “Realtors know what buyers are looking for during their search, and curb appeal is and always will be important. That explains why Realtors once again rated exterior projects as some of the most attractive and valuable for homeowners.”

Seeing these reports now for many years in a row I have noticed one update that always stands above the rest in terms of cost vs value; the steel entry door. According to Realtors, a new steel entry door returns about 101.8% of its costs upon resale compared to 96.6% last year. For my sellers and marketing the property to future home buyers we always start at the curb first and front entry way next. These areas are two of the most important areas to focus. Why, because first impressions do matter and the entrance to every home being marketed for sale should be warm and inviting. If you cannot afford to replace the front door, then we suggest a good painting and replacing all door hardware for that fresh and clean look.

The good news is the steel entry door is consistently the least expensive project in the report.

Rounding out the top 10 projects in terms of cost recouped:

  • Manufactured stone veneer (92.2 percent)
  • Garage door replacement – midrange project (88.5 percent)
  • Siding replacement with fiber cement (84.3 percent)
  • Garage door replacement – upscale project (82.5 percent)
  • Vinyl siding replacement (80.7 percent)
  • Wood deck addition (80.5 percent)
  • Minor kitchen remodel (79.3 percent)
  • Wood window replacement (78.8 percent)
  • Foam-backed vinyl siding replacement (77.6 percent)

© 2015 Florida Realtors® http://www.floridarealtors.org/NewsAndEvents/article.cfm?p=2&id=317926

 

NAR: Home Sales Going Up for 2015

What does this mean?

Well Lawrence Yun, NAR’s Chief Economist predicts an approximate 7% rise in existing home sales for 2015. The key will be a strengthening economy and job growth. Yun sees more first-time buyers entering the market as well in 2015 with expected new mortgage products, low down payments and PMI(private Mortgage Insurance.) He warns if interest rise this year it could add hurdles to buyers and sellers. Many sellers have locked in such low interest rates over the past few years they may be very reluctant to commit to a much higher future rate. Yun’s preliminary analysis of sale in 2014 appeared to by around 4.94 million, which is about 3% below 2013. However the median existing sales price increased 5.6% from 2013 to 2014.

Watch this video for more information on the economy and housing market:

Source: National Association of REALTORS® ; http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2015/01/08/nar-home-sales-only-going-up-from-here?om_rid=AAEWoH&om_mid=_BUrvNWB8$sIYZV&om_ntype=RMODaily

Boost Credit Scores with Rental Payment History

Did you know? Experian became the first credit reporting agency to add on-time rental payments to its database. Rental payment data being added to credit files can potentially help renters become homeowners and we can only hope the other credit agencies will follow suit. For many Americans establishing credit can be difficult because many credit card companies and retail stores are not approving credit applications as easily as in past years. Potential buyers are now going to see they will have a credit score and hopefully help them achieve a lower risk category too, Experian says. “Consumer financing rapidly changed during the economic upheaval, and regulatory changes forced lenders to tighten the standards for the underwriting process,” says Genevieve Juillard, president of Experian Consumer Information Services. “This excluded many Americans from the opportunity to attain credit due to a limited or no credit history. Residents who pay their rent on time month after month should be rewarded and not overlooked simply because they rent instead of own the place they call home.”

Experian recently conducted an analysis to determine how the new rental information has aided consumers’ credit files. The study shows that the addition of rental history on a subprime mortgage moved the participant up at least one higher(or less risk) by the addition of the newly added field. What does this mean for potential buyer? It means more affordable credit and additional credit opportunities.

To read more about the lead being taken by Experian click here>>>>>>Experian-rentbureau-credit-for-rent-analysis

 

“Real difficulties can be overcome; it is only the imaginary ones that are unconquerable.”

– Theodore Newton Vail U.S. telephone industrialist

Source: http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2014/08/08/study-rental-payment-history-can-help-boosts-credit-scores?om_rid=AAEWoH&om_mid=_BT5TNOB87s9Kmy&om_ntype=RMODaily

Shorts Sale and Foreclosure SOLD in 2013 Could Owe Federal Income Taxes

Are You Thinking About Trying to Sell Your Home via Short Sale or Considering Walking Away?

Uncle Sam is still giving homeowners until Dec. 31st 2012, to go through the short sale or foreclosure without tax consequences-AS LONG AS THE LENDER RELEASES THE DEBT. But on January 1, 2013 the rules change: The amount the lender forgives, for either short sale or foreclosure, on primary residence will be taxable on federal income taxes.

Example: If a house sold $50,000 short of what is owed on the mortgage, then the selling homeowners will owe federal income taxes on that $50,000. Homeowners would owe $12,500 if they’re in the 25 percent bracket; $7,500 if in the 15 percent tax section. Homeowners would be on the hook even if the house sold but the bank had not formally forgiven the loan in a letter: THE BANKS MUST OFFICIALLY SIGN OFF IN WRITING BEFORE DEC. 31, 2012

Homeowners declaring bankruptcy could escape paying income taxes on any cancellation of debt income if the debt is forgiven in the bankruptcy even if the debtor is solvent, said Nick Jovanovich, a board certified tax attorney in Fort Lauderdale, FL..

In Short…

Homeowners should decided sooner than later this year to begin whichever process they chose to avoid the tax law changes coming in 2013. Short sales can takes months to years depending on lender, type of mortgage, market activity and many other variables. Contact a local REALTOR for more information on the services they can provide to assist in your decision.

Some major lenders are offering quicker short sale programs as an alternative to foreclosure. Owners benefit from reduced documentation and smoother processing.

In some cases, owners may be eligible for cash incentives from a couple thousand dollars to upwards of $30,000.

“Until Next Time”

How to Use Comparable Sales to Price Your Home

  • What are comparable sales?
  • Where can you find comparable sales?
  • What do the sales mean and how does it affect the value of my home?
  • These are all great questions and the answers can vary depending on your location. Comparable sales are sold homes similar/comparable to yours. The trick is to find the closest match; including, but not limited too, location (same subdivision would be ideal or within certain radius of miles), home type (single family residential, waterfront, farm, acreage, etc.), upgrades(pool, oversized garage/workshop), sale date (in todays current market we only look at the previous 3 months).

    Comparable sales can be found much easier with the accessibility of the Internet. But, you do need to know where to go. Marion County Property Appraisers has tons of great information @ http://www.pa.marion.fl.us/ including property details, assessed values, legal descriptions, links to court filed document, and so much more right at your fingertips. The coolest part is the spatial mapping data where you can check school & flood zones, utilities, elected officials, previous sales, Sheriff locations and on and on and on. OK WAIT! I got off track, the comparable sales for an area can be found with the above mentioned mapping, and then researching each sale and property carefully. After the data is collected I create a Comparable Market Analysis making adjustments for the differences in each comparable property. You will be left with an Adjusted Recommended Sales Price.

    OR

    visit “zillow.com” for what they call their “Zestimate”. Beware, the “Zestimate” should only be used for general information purposes and other tools should be used in determining your ideal listing price.  The website has some great information about many neighborhood features including schools, sales trends, homes for sale, etc. www.zillow.com

    Pricing of your home should not be taken lightly! It may be best for a seller to view comparable properties for sale in the area before deciding on list price. When selling your home there are 2 choices, #1 is living in Fantasy Land and #2  in Reality land. The fantasy is you can ask anything you want for your home; the reality is, what is a ready, willing, and able buyer willing to pay for your home? More importantly, if an appraisal or bank financing is needed will the comparable homes in the area support your contract price. I always say, “THE PROOF IS IN THE NUMBERS!”

    Comparable Market Analysis are always “FREE of Charge” with me. Contact me today for more details.