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The Ultimate List of Homeowner Tax Deductions

by Home Action News

The Ultimate List of Homeowner Tax Deductions

 

Tax season is winding up, and some of us are still sorting out W2s, receipts and documents to determine all the tax deductions we may have, while others are sitting back and (hopefully) waiting for the refund checks. But either way, you should already be thinking about next year: taxes should be on your mind so that next year's returns go smoothly and you can plan around allowed deductions. If you own your own home, you may be entitled to tax deductions that you don't even know about. Before you file your taxes, take a look at this list of homeowner tax deductions — you could save thousands of dollars!

Mortgage Interest
You can deduct the interest you paid on your mortgage if you have taken out a loan to purchase your home, with a balance of up to $1 million. Rather than taking the standard deduction, you will have to itemize to access the deduction. There are, of course, limitations, such as if you are helping out a friend or family member by paying his or her mortgage — that interest cannot be deducted on your tax return.

Property Taxes
You can also list state and local property taxes as itemized deductions on your taxes. The amount of the deduction will depend on when you pay the tax, not when it is due. Paying your property taxes earlier could have a positive effect on your tax return.

Home Office
Do you work from home or have a dedicated space only for when you need to work? If so, you can deduct it as a home-office expense. It doesn't even have to be an entire room — it can be a portion of a room or just a dedicated space.

Discount Points
Discount points are paid to reduce the interest rate on your mortgage loan and can be deducted for the entire year they were paid. Also, if you are buying a home and the seller pays the points as a bonus to get you to buy the house, you can deduct those points as well.

Rental
Did you rent out your home for two or fewer weeks during the course of the year? If you did, the income on the rental has the potential to be tax-free.

Energy-Efficient Tax Credit
You can reap the benefits of an energy-efficient tax credit of 10 percent of the amount you paid for green improvements to your home, like energy-efficient windows, storm doors, and heating and air conditioning systems.

Loan Forgiveness
If you owned a home that was sold in a short-sale, you can take advantage of mortgage-debt forgiveness. For example, if you make a short sale of your home at $350,000 and you owe $450,000 on your mortgage, your lender will forgive that $100,000 you owe, and you also don't have to pay taxes on that money.

5 Tips to Extend the Life of Your Roof

by Home Action News

5 Tips to Extend the Life of Your Roof

 

Whether you have just had a new roof put on or you are looking for tips to keep your current roof looking brand-new, there are tips you can follow to extend the life of your roof. Many homeowners don't realize that issues with their roof don't always result in leaks or missing shingles. Just like your car needs yearly maintenance and oil changes, your roof needs maintenance as well. Take a look at these five tips to extend the life of your roof.

Keep critters out

The trees surrounding your home act as a highway for critters such as squirrels, mice, rats, opossums and even birds to climb onto your beautiful roof. Roaming critters like raccoons love to nibble and chomp on shingles, which will eventually result in leaks in your roof. By keeping tree limbs trimmed back from your roof line, you can help deter these critters from hopping onto your roof.

Debris control

Keep an eye out for tree limbs that rub against your roof and for leaf buildup or pine needles. You may need to call a professional to trim back tree limbs or to remove large trees near the perimeter of your home that are causing damage to your roof. If you live in a location that has strong winds, this can also cause severe damage to your roof.

Keep your gutters clean

Debris can and will build up in your gutters, causing water to slide into your siding and drywall. This is one of the most common issues people face. Make sure to clean out your gutters, not only to keep them from weighing down and eventually detaching from your home, but also to keep your house dry.

Keep an eye out

Make sure to periodically take a quick walk around the exterior of your home, visually inspecting from the ground up to see if anything looks out of place on your roof so you can handle repairs promptly. Keep an eye out for missing shingles, debris buildup, damage from trees and dark spots that mean rotting and corrosion are occurring. If you are proactive about keeping your roof in good shape, you won't find yourself having to replace it.

Know when to call a professional

If you do find a problem with your roof, don't overwhelm yourself and rush to find a quick fix. It can be tempting to employ a do-it-yourself method to save a few dollars, but if the repairs aren't done properly, that can lead to serious damage that will end up costing you plenty more than it would if you just hired a professional up front. Know your limits and ensure that any repairs done on your roof are done the right way in order to avoid spending excess money.

 

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Contact Information

Photo of Frank Taglienti Real Estate
Frank Taglienti
Berkshire Hathaway PenFed REALTORS®
565 Benfield Road, Suite 100
Severna Park MD 21146
410-440-0824

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