Trulia released their Rent vs. Buy Report last week. The report explained that homeownership remains cheaper than renting in all of the 100 largest metro areas by an average of 38%!
The other interesting findings in the report include:
- Even though prices increased sharply in many markets over the past year, low mortgage rates have kept homeownership from becoming more expensive than renting.
- Some markets might tip in favor of renting this year as prices continue to rise faster than rents and if – as most economists expect – mortgage rates rise, due both to the strengthening economy and Fed tapering.
- Nationally, rates would have to rise to 10.6% for renting to be cheaper than buying – and rates haven’t been that high since 1989.
Buying a home now makes sense. You can lock in a mortgage payment before home prices and mortgage rates rise as experts expect they will. If you rent, your housing expense will only continue to increase.
For information on how to purchase your home today, contact us.
Joseph Militello (978) 815-3877
Kathleen Militello (978) 500-1480
www.jbarrettrealty.com 1 beach street, manchester, ma 01944
There has been a lot of chatter about the last few Existing Home Sales Reports from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Year-over-year sales have been down four of the last five months. Experts are asking whether or not the housing recovery is beginning to stall. Let’s take a closer look at the data.
It is true that last month’s annualized sales rate of 4.62M was less than the 4.87M reported last January. However, after further scrutiny, the report reveals an interesting situation: sales of non-distressed properties are actually up. In January 2013, 23% of the 4.87M sales were distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales) meaning 3.75M non-distressed properties were sold. In January 2014, 15% of the 4.62M sales were distressed properties. That means 3.93M non-distressed properties sold – an increase of 180,000 sales.
When we dig deeper into NAR’s research, we also see that homes at the higher price points are selling at greater increases than the lower price points.
This deeper look at the report shows evidence that the housing market is still doing quite well when we removed distressed sales (which are in many cases lower end properties) from the equation.
So if you need to have a better understanding of the Real Estate Market, contact us.
Kathleen (978) 500-1480
Immaculate Colonial !1650 Antique with all the modern updates you would want. This charming home has ample room for multiple lifestyles .Nice large rooms with enchanting fire-placed living room.Large Master bedroom suite with fireplace. Many improvements ,new furnace , exterior paint and fence just to name a few . Fire-placed Kitchen. Formal dining-room ,family room and up to 5 bedrooms. This is a great value. The land is a beautifully cleared 2.1 acre pastoral/farm land suitable for Horses or gardening.Large country barn w/ workshop and horse stalls.Private well for outside irrigation. Take advantage of the great schools and easy access to major routes while still living in a country setting! Well worth seeing!
Updating your home can be costly. So any home improvement that you can do yourself will help save money. An easy update that doesn’t cost too much and that you can do yourself is replacing your moulding. Whether you have basic trim, or common colonial style, there are a variety of new looks you can give to your home.
To start, you’ll need these tools:
- a miter box or miter saw, for those angle cuts
- a coping saw, for thin cuts so moulding meets flush to each other
- finishing nails
- a hammer, or finish nail gun
- a nail set to sink nails below the wood surface
- a tape measure
When making cuts, where the pieces of wood join together will determine what type of cut to make. Mitering allows for to pieces to join, like around the window. Splicing is used for long walls where one piece of wood is not enough. The moulding joins together by creating 2 45 degree angle cuts, cut opposite, creating a scarf joint, which is less noticeable. Coping is used on inside corners, where only 1 piece of wood is cut at a 45 degree angle and butts up against the other piece of wood.
Your moulding doesn’t have to be just the style bought at the store. Layers varies types of trim can add a more elaborate and dramatic touch. Home improvement stores will often have free booklets that give you ideas. Just remember to choose a style that matches your home. Something too dramatic in a home that is modest may look out of place.
And don’t forget there is more to moulding than your baseboard and window casing. Chair rails and crown moulding can really transform a room. There are a variety of decorative trims to choose from to add your own personal touch.
Moulding tends to be around $1.00 a foot so depending on your room size, whether you layer trims, and if you add on elements such as chair rails, you could redo a room for a couple of hundred dollars. And make a big impact at the same time.
Are you looking for a place to spread out, with over-sized rooms? Look no further! Cozy home located in the heart of Ipswich. Large Rooms with plenty of sun-shine. Living Room with Deck to the fenced back yard. Ipswich is a GREAT place to live Excellent Schools with ART & Music programs, Crane & Pavilion Beaches, Hood’s Pond. Not FHA Approved.
This is a Townhouse style home and features 6 total rooms, 1 full bath, 1 half bath, 3 bedrooms, and is currently available for $239,900.
For complete details click here.
KCM: Posted: 03 Mar 2014 04:00 AM PST
Whether you are buying or selling a home, you need an experienced Real Estate Professional to lead you toward your ultimate goal. In this world of instant gratification and Internet searches, many sellers think that they can For Sale by Owner or FSBO.
The 5 Reasons You NEED a Real Estate Professional in your corner haven’t changed, but rather have been strengthened in recent months with the Federal Government continuing to taper bond purchases and the impact that decision has had on mortgage rates.
1. What do you do with all this paperwork?
Each state has different regulations regarding the contracts required for a successful sale, and these regulations are constantly changing. A true Real Estate Professional is an expert in their market and can guide you through the stacks of paperwork necessary to make your dream a reality.
2. Ok, so you found your dream house, now what?
According to the Orlando Regional REALTOR Association, there are over 230 possible actions that need to take place during every successful real estate transaction. Don’t you want someone who has been there before, who knows what these actions are to make sure that you acquire your dream?
3. Are you a good negotiator?
So maybe you’re not convinced that you need an agent to sell your home. However, after looking at the list of parties that you need to be prepared to negotiate with, you’ll realize the value in selecting a Real Estate Professional. From the buyer (who wants the best deal possible), to the home inspection companies, to the appraiser, there are at least 11 different people that you will have to be knowledgeable with and answer to, during the process.
4. What is the home you’re buying/selling really worth?
Not only is it important for your home to be priced correctly from the start, to attract the right buyers and shorten the time that it’s on the market, but you also need someone who is not emotionally connected to your home, to give you the truth as to your home’s value.
According to the National Association of REALTORS, “the typical FSBO home sold for $184,000 compared to $230,000 among agent-assisted home sales.”
Get the most out of your transaction by hiring a professional.
5. Do you know what’s really going on in the market?
There is so much information out there on the news and the Internet about home sales, prices, mortgage rates; how do you know what’s going on specifically in your area? Who do you turn to, to tell you how to competitively price your home correctly at the beginning of the selling process? How do you know what to offer on your dream home without paying too much, or offending the seller with a low-ball offer?
“When getting help with money, whether it’s insurance, real estate or investments, you should always look for someone with the heart of a teacher, not the heart of a salesman.” – Dave Ramsey
Hiring an agent who has their finger on the pulse of the market will make your buying/selling experience an educated one. You need someone who is going to tell you the truth, not just what they think you want to hear.
You wouldn’t hike up Kilimanjaro without a Sherpa, or replace the engine in your car without a trusted mechanic, why would you make one of your most important financial decisions of your life without hiring a Real Estate Professional?
Looking for a Real Estate Professional? Well, look no further!
Listen to your body. It’s smarter than you!
Bowenwork is often referred to as the “homeopathy of bodywork.” It is a gentle, effective manual therapy that works with your body’s innate ability to heal.
The practitioner performs ‘moves’ on specific areas of the body, then allows the body a couple of minutes to process the work before continuing. Bowenwork balances the tension patterns found throughout the body, resulting in a deeper state of relaxation. In essence, this therapy moves the body from the ‘fight or flight’ response pattern, to one of ‘rest and recovery’ where healing can begin.
To view a short You Tube video of yours truly talking about Bowenwork and Ear Candling, just click; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCvKQ-0_saE&feature=em-upload_owner
Or, to see a list of conditions helped with Bowenwork click; http://www.susanmacfarlane.com/conditions-helped.html
If you are looking for a drug free solution for any imbalance in your body, I encourage you to give Bowenwork a try….your body will thank you.
p.s. If you’re not from this area, you can go to http://www.Bowenworkacademyusa.com to find a Bowenwork Practitioner near you.
If you have credit trouble it can be difficult to get back on the right track. Poor credit impacts your ability to secure a loan, credit cards, and even a job. Credit ratings are also used by insurers, employers and leasing agencies. So where should you turn for help to repair your credit? There are many credit repair companies and while some are reputable some are not legitimate. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offers these signs to tell if the company is legit or not:
The company asks for money up front. The Credit Repair Organizations Act forbids repair companies from requiring you to pay fees before they have completed the promised services.
The company doesn’t want you to contact the three national credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) yourself.
The company encourages you to dispute all the negative information in your credit report, regardless of its accuracy.
The company recommends attempting to create a new credit identity and history by applying for an Employer Identification Number to use instead of your Social Security Number.
While a credit repair company may be helpful there are some things you can do yourself to repair your credit.
Once every 12 months, check your credit report. Credit reports are available at www.annualcreditreport.com.
If you find errors, dispute incorrect information in your report.
Negotiate the removal of outstanding debt. Even without a credit counseling agency, you can contact the collectors of your outstanding debt to negotiate a pay-off settlement.
- Published: January 10, 2013 By: Dona DeZube
Tax season can be a real pain in the wallet, but if you’re a homeowner, tax deductions and credits can lessen the blow. We’ll help you find all the opportunities to maximize your return.
From the mortgage interest deduction to energy tax credits, here are the tax tips you need to get a jump on your returns.
Mortgage Interest Deduction
One of the neatest deductions itemizing home owners can take advantage of is the mortgage interest deduction, which you claim on Schedule A. To get the mortgage interest deduction, your mortgage must be secured by your home — and your home can even be a house trailer or boat, as long as you can sleep in it, cook in it, and it has a toilet.
Interest you pay on a mortgage of up to $1 million — or $500,000 if you’re married filing separately — is deductible when you use the loan to buy, build, or improve your home.
If you take on another mortgage (including a second mortgage, home equity loan, or home equity line of credit) to improve your home or to buy or build a second home, that counts towards the $1 million limit.
If you use loans secured by your home for other things — like sending your kid to college — you can still deduct the interest on loans up $100,000 ($50,000 for married filing separately) because PMI and FHA mortgage insurance premiums your home secures the loan.
PMI and FHA mortgage insurance premiums
You can deduct the cost of private mortgage insurance as mortgage interest on Schedule A — meaning you must itemize your return. The change only applies to loans taken out in 2007 or later.
By the way, the 2013 tax season is the last for which you can claim this deduction unless Congress renews it retroactively, which may happen, but is uncertain.
What’s PMI? If you have a mortgage but didn’t put down a fairly good-sized down payment (usually 20%), the lender requires the mortgage be insured. The premium on that insurance can be deducted, so long as your income is less than $100,000 (or $50,000 for married filing separately).
If your adjusted gross income is more than $100,000, your deduction is reduced by 10% for each $1,000 ($500 in the case of a married individual filing a separate return) that your adjusted gross income exceeds $100,000 ($50,000 in the case of a married individual filing a separate return). So, if you make $110,000 or more, you lose 100% of this deduction (10% x 10 = 100%).
Besides private mortgage insurance, there’s government insurance from FHA, VA, and the Rural Housing Service. Some of those premiums are paid at closing and deducting them is complicated. A tax adviser or tax software program can help you calculate this deduction. Also, the rules vary between the agencies.
Prepaid interest deduction
Prepaid interest (or points) you paid when you took out your mortgage is 100% deductible in the year you paid them along with other mortgage interest.
If you refinance your mortgage and use that money for home improvements, any points you pay are also deductible in the same year.
But if you refinance to get a better rate and term or to use the money for something other than home improvements, such as college tuition, you’ll need to deduct the points over the term of the loan. Say you refi for a 10-year term and pay $3,000 in points. You can deduct $300 per year for 10 years.
So what happens if you refi again down the road?
Example: Three years after your first refi, you refinance again. Using the $3,000 in points scenario above, you’ll have deducted $900 ($300 x 3 years) so far. That leaves $2,400, which you can deduct in full the year you complete your second refi. If you paid points for the new loan, the process starts again; you can deduct the points over the term of the loan.
Home mortgage interest and points are reported on IRS Form 1098. You enter the combined amount on line 10 of Schedule A. If your 1098 form doesn’t indicate the points you paid, you should be able to confirm the amount by consulting your HUD-1 settlement sheet. Then you record that amount on line 12 of Schedule A.
Energy tax credits
Some of the eligible products and systems are capped even lower than $500. New windows are capped at $200 — and not per window, but overall. Read about the fine print in order to claim your energy tax credit.
- Determine if the system is eligible. Go to Energy Star’s website for detailed descriptions of what’s covered. And talk to your vendor.
- The product or system must have been installed, not just contracted for, in the tax year you’ll be claiming it.
- Save system receipts and manufacturer certifications. You’ll need them if the IRS asks for proof.
- File IRS Form 5695 with the rest of your tax forms.
Vacation home tax deductions
The rules on tax deductions for vacation homes are complicated. Do yourself a favor and keep good records about how and when you use your vacation home.
- If you’re the only one using your vacation home (you don’t rent it out for more than 14 days a year), you can deduct mortgage interest and real estate taxes on Schedule A.
- Rent your vacation home out for more than 14 days and use it yourself fewer than 15 days (or 10% of total rental days, whichever is greater), and it’s treated like a rental property. Those expenses get deducted using Schedule E.
- Rent your home for part of the year and use it yourself for more than 14 days and you have to keep track of income, expenses, and divide them proportionate to how often you used and how often you rented the house.
Homebuyer tax credit
There were federal first-time homebuyer tax credits in 2008, 2009, and 2010.
If you claimed the homebuyer tax credit for a purchase made after April 8, 2008, and before Jan. 1, 2009, you must repay 1/15th of the credit over 15 years, with no interest.
The IRS has a tool you can use to help figure out what you owe each year until it’s paid off. Or if the home stops being your main home, you may need to add the remaining unpaid credit amount to your income tax on your next tax return.
Generally, you don’t have to pay back the credit if your bought your home in 2009, 2010, or early 2011. The exception: You have to repay the full credit amount if you sell your house or stop using it as primary residence within 36 month of the purchase date. Then you must repay on your tax return for the year the home stopped being your principal residence.
That repayment rules are less rigorous for uniformed service members, Foreign Service workers, and intelligence community workers who get sent on extended duty at least 50 miles from their principal residence.
Members of the armed forces who served overseas got an extra year to use the first-time homebuyer tax credit. If you were abroad for at least 90 days between Jan. 1, 2009, and April 30, 2010, and you bought your home by April 30, 2011, and closed the deal by June 30, 2011, you can claim your first-time homebuyer tax credit.
Property tax deduction
You can deduct on Schedule A the real estate property taxes you pay. If you have a mortgage with an escrow account, the amount of real estate property taxes you paid shows up on your annual escrow statement.
If you bought a house this year, check your HUD-1 Settlement statement to see if you paid any property taxes when you closed the purchase of your house. Those taxes are deductible on Schedule A, too.
This article provides 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.
Read more: http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/tax-deductions/home-tax-deductions/#ixzz2uY0kk6tl
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As always, Joe and I work with local businesses! We would like to share with you some special computer deals from the CD.
Please contact Ron Elkin if you would like to purchase an electronic device or if you have any other computer needs!
If you would like to have us share your business here, contact me at (978) 500-1480.
Manchester MA ListingsManchester, MA - $635,000 - Single-Family - Split Entry - Rooms:7 - Beds:3 - Baths:2/19 hours agoManchester, MA - $1,260,000 - Single-Family - Colonial - Rooms:9 - Beds:4 - Baths:2/111 hours agoManchester, MA - $5,995,000 - Single-Family - Colonial - Rooms:14 - Beds:10 - Baths:6/1Manchester, MA - $350,000 - Land - Acres:0.52
Gloucester MA ListingsGloucester, MA - $85,000 - Land - Acres:5.381 hour agoGloucester, MA - $265,000 - Single-Family - Colonial - Rooms:5 - Beds:2 - Baths:14 hours agoGloucester, MA - $1,485,000 - Single-Family - Colonial - Rooms:9 - Beds:5 - Baths:3/18 hours agoGloucester, MA - $269,000 - Single-Family - Colonial - Rooms:5 - Beds:2 - Baths:1
Ipswich MA ListingsIpswich, MA - $850,000 - Single-Family - Colonial - Rooms:8 - Beds:4 - Baths:35 hours agoIpswich, MA - $559,900 - Single-Family - Colonial - Rooms:10 - Beds:3 - Baths:2/1Ipswich, MA - $190,000 - Single-Family - Antique - Rooms:5 - Beds:2 - Baths:1Ipswich, MA - $1,175,000 - Commercial - Year Built:0 - Acres:22.37
- Leominster Art Association to meet Tuesday March 13, 2014The Leominster Art Association will hold its monthly meeting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at the Congregational Church of Christ, 583 Main St. The guest demonstrator will be Caleb Stone.
- New Construction at North Parish of North Andover Will Bring All Church Activities Under One Roof March 11, 2014Blessing of new construction to take place on March 16 A part of the physical, spiritual and charitable landscape in the Merrimack Valley for literally hundreds of years, the North Parish of North Andover meetinghouse is about to undergo a major physical makeover.
- Lowell man held in fatal home invasion March 4, 2014A Lowell man wanted in connection with a December home invasion that left one man dead was ordered held on $250,000 cash bail on Monday after he was arrested in New York last month.
- Moseying down side roads around Manchester's Depot Street February 26, 2014Years ago, folksinger Joni Mitchell lamented in song about unnamed bad guys paving paradise and putting up a parking lot.
- Leominster Art Association to meet Tuesday March 13, 2014
- Senate Republican Caucus Seeks to Address Major Loophole within State Employee Travel Expense Regs March 14, 2014Today I distributed the following press release regarding a bill that the Senate Republican Caucus is filing to close a loophole within the state employee travel expense regulations: Senate Republican Caucus Seeks to Address Major Loophole within State Employee Travel Expense Regs Every Government Entity Should be Held to the Same, High Standards ... (more)
- Maine man pleads guilty in Mass. molestation case March 12, 2014A Maine resident has been sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting a Massachusetts girl over several years starting when she was 8 years old.
- Police Log: Danvers Police Make Six Arrests March 9, 2014Tuesday, March 4 At 10:05 p.m., police arrested Devin Eriesian, 27, 165 Old Burley St., Danvers, and charged him with domestic assault and battery.
- Massachusetts man on snowmobile killed when truck hits him on Route 27 March 8, 2014A 57-year-old Massachusetts man was killed Friday evening when the snowmobile he was driving was struck by a truck on Route 27. Robert J. Peavey of Gloucester, Mass., was pronounced dead at the scene, according to a media release from Chief Deputy Dale P. Lancaster of the Somerset County Sheriff's Department.
- Senate Republican Caucus Seeks to Address Major Loophole within State Employee Travel Expense Regs March 14, 2014
- LGBT group request to march in St. Patrick's Day parade denied March 4, 2014Organizers of the South Boston St. Patrick's Day parade have denied an application by a gay veterans group to march.
- More March 4, 2014A new law is being discussed in the town of Ipswich that has dog owners more aware of where their pets take care of business.
- Downtown Great Barrington given $80,000 grant to establish Business Improvement District February 28, 2014Great Barrington is one of eight towns awarded a grant totalling $80,000 from the state Department of Housing and Community Development to form such a district.
- Agreement between California Digital Library and EBSCO Information... February 25, 2014The eScholarship collection from California Digital Library is now searchable via EBSCO Discovery Service from EBSCO Information Services.
- LGBT group request to march in St. Patrick's Day parade denied March 4, 2014