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Dawn O’Neal

Managing Broker – Sequim, Washington                                                                                                             
Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty ~ Sequim
240 Winslow Way East
Bainbridge Island , WA 98110

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Who’s Buying Homes Nationwide in 2017?

Who is buying homes

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Is California in the Midst of Another “Bubble”

Here is an article from California’s Chief Economist: Leslie Appleton-Young.

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Anyone visiting a weekend open house knows that most for-sale properties today have been “staged” to show them at their best and most appealing. Some would-be home sellers have wondered whether it might be better to go one step beyond staging and do a remodel of their home to increase its value. After all, who’s not impressed by a brand new, state-of-the-art kitchen and bathroom?

The remodeling industry chalked up sales of more than $340 billion in 2017—a 7.5% increase from the previous year. Are these homeowners onto some financial secret? Can remodeling increase the value of a home?

The simple answer is yes—but it is unlikely that spending money on a major remodel will translate into a high enough sales price to justify the expense. According to a recent survey completed by Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, the average recovery of remodeling costs is 56%. This means that spending $20,000 to update an older kitchen to a shiny new on will increase the value of the home by only about $11,200.

There are some improvements that may offer better numbers. Replacing and modernizing structural items, such as garage doors and windows, can give a return of 75% of their cost. Interior projects tend to have less favorable returns: adding a master suite, for example, may increase the value by 56.6% of its cost—and this represents a 14.7% drop from the previous year. Major kitchen upgrades return about 56%, down 10.9% from last year.

Reining in the cost and extent of remodels can provide better returns. A minor kitchen update can return up to 81% of its cost. Bathroom tune-ups are much the same. Buyers respond favorably to appliances and fixtures that are functional and new.

Many homeowners, aware of rising interest rates and prices, are turning to remodeling to avoid a move, choosing to spend money to make their homes more livable and attractive over a longer period, not so much for resale value.

If you are contemplating a remodel, you should decide whether you are hoping to increase the value of your home for resale in the immediate future, or whether you simply want to make your property more livable over a longer period. If you are planning to sell, you should think twice about spending the money, since you’ll only get a portion of it back in the form of a higher sales price.

Source: TBWS

Should you remodel before listing your home for sale?  Read this artilce 

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1031 Exchanges & Capital Gains – Do You Know?

Here is a great Quiz from The National Association of REALTORS® Magazine.  Do you know all you need to in order to exchange a property and defer capital gains?  (Be sure to follow up with a Qualified Intermediary to see how current new laws may affect your exchange.)

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Pre-Pay Property Taxes? Be Sure to Read!

Owners Rush to Prepay Property Taxes Before Losing Benefits

With tax reform signed into law, homeowners in areas with high property taxes are scrambling to prepay their 2018 tax bill in order to take advantage of deductions that will be severely curtailed once the legislation takes effect Jan. 1. The new tax law, which Congress passed and President Donald Trump signed last week, caps the amount of state, local, and property taxes that homeowners can deduct at $10,000.

Some counties already allow for prepayment of taxes, while others are rushing to provide residents the ability to do so after strong demand. For example, local officials in Montgomery County, Md., say they’re fielding requests to prepay taxes for the first time ever, which prompted them to hold a special meeting the day after Christmas to come up with a plan.

“It just never came up [before],” George Leventhal, a Montgomery County councilman, told CNNMoney. “No one was saying, ‘Please let me make early payment of a bill I don’t owe yet.’ Wise cash management suggests you should pay closer to the due date, not farther away. But because of this change, it seems it could be possible that people could derive some benefit and deduct their property taxes for next year in 2017.”

Nearly half of the county’s taxpayers have more than $10,000 in combined state and local taxes, Leventhal says.

Still, there’s no guarantee homeowners who prepay their 2018 property taxes will be able to deduct the payment. On Wednesday, the IRS posted to its website an advisory notice that said prepaying property taxes will work only under limited circumstances. To qualify for the deduction, property taxes will need to be paid in 2017—but they also must be assessed in 2017. That means homeowners who prepaid their taxes based on estimated assessments or who tried to pay several years’ worth of taxes at once will likely still face the new limited deductions, The New York Timesreports.

Source: “Homeowners Scramble to Pre-Pay Property Taxes,” CNNMoney (Dec. 27, 2017) and “Prepaying Your Property Tax? IRS Cautions It Might Not Pay Off,” The New York Times (Dec. 27, 2017)

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1031 Deadline Date Relief for CA Wildfire Affected Exchangers

 Here is an article that I hope will help investors who lost property in the California wildfires.
Wild Fires
Revenue Procedure 2007-56 permits extension of IRC §1031 exchange deadlines upon issuance of an IRS Notice or other guidance permitting relief to taxpayers due to Federally declared disasters. Note that an IRS Notice of a Federally declared disaster is different from a FEMA disaster declaration, and the extensions are not available until the IRS publishes its Notice granting relief which specifically references Revenue Procedure 2007-56.

Regarding the California wild fires, the IRS has issued a disaster relief notice relating to Orange, Solano, Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Sonoma, and Yuba Counties in California extending deadlines as a result of the wildfires that began on October 8, 2017. The notice extends deadlines falling on or after 10/8/2017 and on or before 1/31/2018 for 120 days or until 1/31/2018 (whichever is later). To be eligible for the extension the relinquished property must have transferred before October 8, 2017.

As always, exchangers should speak with their tax advisors to determine if they are “affected taxpayers” and if so whether they are eligible for the extension.

Since this is an evolving situation, exchangers (and their advisors) should check the IRS website for updates. A link is on our website:

IRS Disaster Relief Updates

IPX1031 – Choose the Experts

IPX1031 is the largest national qualified intermediary providing a full suite of services. As the nationwide leader in tax deferred exchanges, IPX1031 is here to offer you the best in service, experience and security. When you choose IPX1031 as your Qualified Intermediary, you can be confident that your exchange will be handled expertly and that your funds will be safe, secure, and available when needed. Contact IPX1031 to discuss your 1031 Exchange solution.

Ron Ricard
Vice President
Certified Exchange Specialist

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Posted in 1031 Exchanges, Investors - Investment Income, IRS, NAR-National Association of REALTORS®, Real Estate - Sellers & Buyers, REALTOR®, Tax Basis, Tax Relief, Wildfires | Tagged , , | Leave a comment