SHOULD YOU SELL OR REMODEL YOUR HOME?
Anything that gets as much use as your home shows wear and tear after a few years. Colors and decorative styles look tired and outdated, or you may need more room due to an addition in the family. So do you sell or remodel and stay?
Ask your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network professional to show you homes for sale that have the size, features and finishes you want, and create a comparative market analysis of homes like yours so you’ll know what you can reasonably expect to net if you sell.
You’ll pay about 12% of the sales price and more in closing costs to sell and purchase another home. Moving costs are about $2,300, (if you have 4 movers at $200 per hour) for an intrastate move and about 7,400 pounds of household goods, according to the American Moving and Storage Association.
If you decide to remodel, make sure your design will meet your needs for years to come. You’ll need the right team – contractors, kitchen planners and interior designers to help you put it all together. Talk to your lender to learn how much you can borrow and if that sum will help you meet your remodeling goals.
While most tax costs that affect homeowners are determined by the taxing authorities in each state, The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will affect property ownership for everyone.
Unless Congress does some tinkering with the Act after it was signed into law in December 2017, corporations will receive a massive tax cut as individuals and married couples receive higher standard income tax deductions. Taxable rates are cut in all levels of income for individuals, and the standard tax deduction will double to $12,000. Joint filers will receive a deduction of $24,000.
Homeowners are used to deducting state and local income, property and sales taxes from their federal income tax, but those deductions will be capped at $10,000 annually for homes purchased after December 15, 2017. And the mortgage interest deduction will only be available to those with new mortgages under $750,000, according to Curbed.com, and for existing loans up to $1 million. The same deduction remains in place for second homes, says the The Wall Street Journal.
This could affect homeowners in high-cost areas such as California and New York but proponents of the Tax Act say doubled individual deductions should offset some, most or all of the difference.
Experts are unsure at this point whether or not the changes will affect the housing market, but it could have a terrific impact in some areas, if homeowners decide to wait and see what happens, lowering available inventory and causing prices to rise in mid-cost, high-demand areas like Dallas, Las Vegas and others. As always, please ask your tax professional for the best advice.
The Combustible Adjustable Mortgage
You’ll pay a little more for a fixed rate mortgage for the peace of mind that your principle and interest payment will never increase but that’s not always the most appealing choice for some homebuyers.
The longer you intend to stay in your home,–generally five years or more–the safer you are with a fixed rate. But if you plan to occupy your home for only a short time, the adjustable rate mortgage or A.R.M. might be worth considering. You can buy a more expensive home with a lower interest rate, or you can take the difference in what you’d pay toward a fixed rate and put it into savings, if you’re that disciplined.
On the downside, risk is greater with an A.R.M., depending on its terms–when and by how much the loan adjusts in interest. An A.R.M. isn’t a bargain if you have to come up with several hundred dollars more per month after a short period, or if you have to refinance your A.R.M. into a fixed rate for several thousand dollars a few years later.
A hybrid loan may offer the best of both worlds. A hybrid is fixed for a period of time, such as five, seven or ten years, then adjusts to a new rate when the term ends, giving you plenty of time to sell your home before the first adjustment.
Talk to your lender, share your plans and calculate the differences in a fixed rate and an adjustable rate mortgage.
BHHS Hodnett Cooper Annual Award Winners
Golden Isles brokerage leader announces winners of their 2017 annual awards
- SIMONS ISLAND, GA (January 24, 2018) – Each year, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Hodnett Cooper Real Estate recognizes agents that have demonstrated outstanding listing and sales performance, a positive attitude, devoted work ethic and a positive impact on the community. The following agents were recently awarded for their 2017 accomplishments:
Erin Vaughn – Top Producing Agent of the Year
Erin Vaughn was honored with the “Top Producing Agent of the Year” Award. This award recognizes the exceptional level of accomplishment for the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Hodnett Cooper agent with the highest sales volume for the year.
Erin finished 2017 with over $15 million in total sales volume for the year.
Pat Cooper, President and Broker of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Hodnett Cooper Real Estate stated, “Last year, Erin Vaughn was our Young Gun Award winner – demonstrating outstanding listing and sales performance in 2016. She has continued the trend in 2017 and is the Top Producer in our company. She is a great real estate agent and is dedicated to her business.”
Joe Wills – Open Heart & Hands Award
Joe is Committee Chair for the Annual St. Simons Land Trust Oyster Roast, and has been since 2008. He has also been co-chair for the Laser Committee of the RSM Classic benefitting the Davis Love Foundation for the last 8 years. His constant and unwavering support of the local community also includes regularly volunteering with Manna House, (an organization that provides meals to the homeless in the Golden Isles) through the St. Simons Presbyterian Church. Joe also cooks for the Island Men’s Prayer Breakfast and Annual Thanksgiving feast with the church.
“Joe offers his time and talents to so many different organizations, making a positive impact in our community. His support means so much to us and to everyone around us. He is an inspiration to all of us and embodies the spirit of this award,” said Pat Cooper.
Andrea Miller – Young Gun Award
The Young Gun Award recognizes an agent that has joined the real estate industry within the last 24 months who has demonstrated dedication, a positive attitude and has had an exceptionally outstanding listing and sales performance. REALTOR, Andrea Miller was the recipient of this award.
Andrea has achieved over $2 million in sales the last two years and has also received two awards as Listing Agent of the Month with the brokerage. She is active in the local community and proudly dedicates her time as the Princess Program Director for Miss Golden Isles and serves as a volunteer for the Coastal Georgia Honor Flight, among many other organizations.
Pat Cooper shared, “I could not be prouder of Andrea for receiving this award. She works hard for her clients and for our company and does so with a positive attitude and a smile. I look forward to seeing Andrea grow with us and build her business even more.”
“We are incredibly proud of these agents for their outstanding achievements in 2017,” says Pat Cooper.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Hodnett Cooper Real Estate, which is independently owned and operated, became a member of the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brokerage network, operated by HSF Affiliates LLC, in 2017. Since that time, it has earned a host of honors and welcomed several new professionals to the highly successful real estate team.
About Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Hodnett Cooper Real Estate
Hodnett Cooper Real Estate is a family-owned and operated company with four offices throughout the Golden Isles offering a full range of real estate services including real estate sales, residential rentals, property management and commercial sales. The brokerage is the premier real estate company in southeast coastal Georgia with a professional and diverse team of agents. Visit www.BHHSHodnettCooper.com.
About Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, based in Irvine, CA, is a brand-new real estate brokerage network built for a new era in residential real estate. The network, among the few organizations entrusted to use the world-renowned Berkshire Hathaway name, brings to the real estate market a definitive mark of trust, integrity, stability and longevity.
About HSF Affiliates LLC
Irvine, CA-based HSF Affiliates LLC operates Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Prudential Real Estate and Real Living Real Estate franchise networks. The company is a joint venture of which HomeServices of America, Inc., the nation’s second-largest, full-service residential brokerage firm, is a majority owner. HomeServices of America is an affiliate of world-renowned Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
Finding the Perfect Neighborhood
Whether you’re shopping for a home in a familiar location or a new neighborhood, remember that you’re buying more than a home. You’re also buying the neighborhood, so it helps to become familiar with your favorites, whether you drive them or walk them.
Why is that important? It’s the neighborhood that helps establish home values, which depend largely on location and local amenities (close to high-paying jobs, high-scoring schools, high-starring restaurants, etc.)
Neighborhoods can change over time, so look for signs of transition. Do you see reinvestment or decline? Homeowners reinvest by repainting, making repairs and refreshing their homes with updates. What kinds of stores and services do you see? Dollar stores or boutiques, payday loan shops or investment firms, fast food or upscale restaurants. Are you the right target demographic?
Visit the area at different times of the day and on weekends. What’s traffic like? How long is your commute?
As you drive, check a few home-buying apps. On your Realtor.com app, you can see crime stats and amenities and save your favorites to show your Berkshire Hathaway Home Services network professional.
You’ll be happier if you pick the neighborhood first, then choose the home.
GET THE BEST MOVER
Moving is a big job but you can make it much easier by choosing a reliable mover.
Start early. Ask family and friends for referrals, then compare price and service estimates from several moving companies. Your mover should be licensed by the U.S. Department of Transportation, or by your state.
Licensed interstate movers must offer two types of liability options: Full Value Protection and Released Value. Full value means full replacement cost, while released value is approximately 60 cents per pound per item. You can also purchase third-party insurance for more protection.
Binding estimates are based on the weight of your household items, the distance they will be moved, and the amount of packing and other services you will require, so the mover’s estimator should thoroughly look at what is to be moved. Point out extra-heavy or fragile objects, and share special conditions, such as parking restrictions, number of stories, and freight elevator use.
Make sure you understand all rates and charges that will apply, the mover’s liability for your belongings, pick-up and delivery schedules, and claims protection. You can choose the extent of services you require and have them tailored to suit your moving budget.