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Existing-Home Sales and Prices Continue to Rise in February

by Lakeshore Realty

WASHINGTON (March 21, 2013) - February existing-home sales and prices affirm a healthy recovery is underway in the housing sector, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Sales have been above year-ago levels for 20 consecutive months, while prices show 12 consecutive months of year-over-year price increases.
 
Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 0.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.98 million in February from an upwardly revised 4.94 million in January, and are 10.2 percent above the 4.52 million-unit level seen in February 2012. February sales were at the highest level since the tax credit period of November 2009.
 

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said conditions for continued housing improvement are at play. "Job growth in the improving economy and pent-up demand are causing both home sales and rental leasing to rise. Though home prices are rising much faster than rents, historically low mortgage rates are still making home purchases affordable," he said. "The only headwinds are limited housing inventory, which varies greatly around the country, and credit conditions that remain too restrictive."
 

Read the full article

Source: National Association of REALTORS®

  • Sold Properties by Lakeshore Realty Agents and Sold Lakeshore Realty Listings

Below we have a list of properties that were sold by Lakeshore Realty Real Estate Agents and properties that were listed by Lakeshore Realty agents and were sold on the Incline Village and Crystal Bay real estate market.

215 Robin Dr.

Bed: 3
Bath: 2.5
Year Built: 1995
Sq. Ft.: 2130

Days on Market: 319
Sold Date: 03/06/2013
Sold Price: $525,000

Selling Agent:
Chris & Patti Plastiras 

 

376 2ND Tee Dr.

Bed: 4
Bath: 4
Year Built: 1984
Sq. Ft.: 2931

Days on Market: 206
Sold Date: 02/25/2013
Sold Price: $840,000

Selling Agent:
Pam Fernandez

 

494 Country Club Dr.

Bed: 4
Bath: 3
Year Built: 1964
Sq. Ft.: 3038

Days on Market: 126
Sold Date: 03/08/2013
Sold Price: $700,000

Listing Agent:
Chris & Patti Plastiras 

 

1055 Sawmill Rd.

Bed: 4
Bath: 3.5
Year Built: 2000
Sq. Ft.: 5108

Days on Market: 1358
Sold Date: 03/22/2013
Sold Price: $1,758,000

Listing Agent:
Shahri Masters

 

1094 Tiller Dr.

Bed: 4
Bath: 3
Year Built: 1984
Sq. Ft.: 3294

Days on Market: 46
Sold Date: 02/25/2013
Sold Price: $935,000

Selling Agent:
Kristi & Jamie

 

979 Dorcey Dr.

Bed: 3
Bath: 2
Year Built: 1982
Sq. Ft.: 1778

Days on Market: 256
Sold Date: 03/15/2013
Sold Price: $526,100

Listing Agent:
Kristi & Jamie

 

210 Glen Dr.

Bed: 4
Bath: 4.5
Year Built: 2004
Sq. Ft.: 4456

Days on Market: 128
Sold Date: 02/20/2013
Sold Price: $1,770,000

Selling Agent:
Carole Madrid

 

170 Village Blvd.

Bed: 2
Bath: 2
Year Built: 1988
Sq. Ft.: 1162

Days on Market: 245
Sold Date: 02/21/2013
Sold Price: $415,000

Selling Agent:
Pam Fernandez

 

929 Northwood Blvd.

Bed: 3
Bath: 3
Year Built: 1992
Sq. Ft.: 1787

Days on Market: 212
Sold Date: 03/18/2013
Sold Price: $629,500

Selling Agent:
Larry Baylies

 

1305 Moritz Dr.

Bed: 3
Bath: 1.5
Year Built: 1968
Sq. Ft.: 1162

Days on Market: 159
Sold Date: 03/07/2013
Sold Price: $295,000

Listing Agent:
Kristi & Jamie

 

 

321 Ski Way

Bed: 3
Bath: 2.5
Year Built: 1971
Sq. Ft.: 1782

Days on Market: 38
Sold Date: 03/19/2013
Sold Price: $338,000

Listing Agent:
Chris & Patti Plastiras

 

To access all the Incline Village and Lakeshore Realty listings please click here. You can also contact us by email or call us at 775-831-7000. If you are in Incline Village, please visit us at 954 Lakeshore Blvd. Incline Village, NV 89451.

Did You Sell Your Home After Making Improvements?

by Lakeshore Realty
Keeping track of the cost of capital improvements to your home can really pay off on your tax return when it comes time to sell.

It’s no secret that finishing your basement will increase your home’s value. What you may not know is the money you spend on this type of so-called capital improvement could also help lower your tax bill when you sell your house.

Tax rules let you add capital improvement expenses to the cost basis of your home. Why is that a big deal? Because a higher cost basis lowers the total profit—capital gain, in IRS-speak—you’re required to pay taxes on.

The tax break doesn’t come into play for everyone. Most home owners are exempted from paying taxes on the first $250,000 of profit for single filers ($500,000 for joint filers). If you move frequently, maybe it’s not worth the effort to track capital improvement expenses. But if you plan to live in your house a long time or make lots of upgrades, saving receipts is a smart move.

What counts as a capital improvement?

While you may consider all the work you do to your home an improvement, the IRS looks at things differently. A rule of thumb: A capital improvement increases your home’s value, while a non-eligible repair just returns something to its original condition. According to the IRS, capital improvements have to last for more than one year and add value to your home, prolong its life, or adapt it to new uses.

A rule of thumb: A capital improvement increases your home’s value, while a non-eligible repair just returns something to its original condition.

Capital improvements can include everything from a new bathroom or deck to a new water heater or furnace. Page 9 of IRS Publication 523 has a list of eligible improvements. There are limitations. The improvements must still be evident when you sell. So if you put in wall-to-wall carpeting 10 years ago and then replaced it with hardwood floors five years ago, you can’t count the carpeting as a capital improvement. Repairs, like painting your house or fixing sagging gutters, don’t count. The IRS describes repairs as things that are done to maintain a home’s good condition without adding value or prolonging its life.

There can be a fine line between a capital improvement and a repair, says Erik Lammert, tax research specialist at the National Association of Tax Professionals. For instance, if you replace a few shingles on your roof, it’s a repair. If you replace the entire roof, it’s a capital improvement. Same goes for windows. If you replace a broken window pane, repair. Put in a new window, capital improvement. One exception: If your home is damaged in a fire or natural disaster, everything you do to restore your home to its pre-loss condition counts as a capital improvement.

Read the full article: Did You Sell Your Home After Making Improvements?
Source: HouseLogic.com

Housing Market Roaring Back to Life

by Lakeshore Realty
Existing home sales are selling at the fastest pace in more than three years.

 


Source: ABC News

 

The Top 10 Real Estate Tax Deductions for Home Owners

by Lakeshore Realty

     

 

As the time to file income taxes has arrived, we need to take a new look at the changing tax landscape for homeowners. The dynamic atmosphere in Washington, D.C. has a different effect each year on which tax breaks are proposed, rescinded, changed, and extended for taxpayers who own a home.

 

Thanks to the efforts of many real estate industry groups including the National Association of Realtors, many of the  tax benefits that homeowners enjoy–which were on the chopping block over the past few months–have been protected and extended through the 2013 tax season.

Disclaimer – This is only an informational summary of current tax issues in the news. If you need tax advice, please contact a tax attorney or CPA

1.  Mortgage Interest Deduction

The mortgage interest deduction has always been the most-beloved tax benefit of home buyers in the U.S.  New homeowners’ monthly mortgage payments are made up almost entirely by interest for the first few years. Their ability to deduct that interest can result in a healthy reduction in tax liability. Affordability for first-time home buyers is directly linked to their ability to deduct the interest on their mortgage.

Homeowners who itemize their deductions can deduct the interest paid on a mortgage with a balance of up to $1 million. While there is some movement to limit the total itemized deductions for taxpayers with higher incomes (over $400,000), the current deductions holds for all tax brackets. Americans save around $100 million every year by deducting mortgage interest on their tax returns.

2.  Home Improvement Loan Interest Deduction

The interest on home equity loans used for “capital improvements” to a home can also be a tax deduction. On loans with balances of up to $100,000, the interest is tax-deductible for a homeowner who uses the loan to make improvements to the home such as adding square footage, upgrading the components of the home, or repairing damage from a natural disaster. Maintenance items like changing the carpet and painting a home are usually not included as capital improvement projects.

3.  Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) Deduction

Homeowners who make a down payment of less than 20% are usually paying some sort of Private Mortgage Insurance. PMI (sometimes abbreviated MIP or just MI), can be a few dollars to hundreds of dollars per month, and it is a large portion of many homeowners’ mortgage payments.

If your mortgage was originated after Jan 1, 2007, and you have PMI, it can be a tax deduction. The deduction is phased out, 10% per $1,000, for taxpayers who have an adjusted gross income between $100,000-$109,000 and those above that level do not qualify. The extension of this tax deduction in 2013 was one of many last-second saves by real estate industry advocates.

4. Mortgage Points/Origination Deduction

Homeowners who paid points on their home purchase or refinance can often deduct those points on their tax returns. Points, often called origination fees, are usually percentage-based fees which a lender charges to originate a loan. A one percent fee on a $100,000 loan would be one point, or $1,000.

On a home purchase loan, taxpayers can deduct the entirety of the points that they paid in the same year. On a refinance loan, the points must be deducted as an amortization over the life of the loan. Many taxpayers forget about this amortized benefit over time, so it’s important to keep good records on the deduction of points on a refinance.

5. Energy Efficiency Upgrades/Repairs Deduction

Homeowners can deduct the cost of the building materials used for energy efficiency upgrades to their home. This is actually a tax credit, one which is applied as a direct reduction of how much tax you owe, not just a reduction in your taxable income.

10 percent of the total bill for energy-efficient materials can be used as a tax credit, up to a maximum $500 credit. Insulation, doors, new roofs, and many other items qualify for the energy efficiency credit. There are also individual limits for certain items, such as $150 for furnaces, $200 for windows, and $300 for air conditioners and heat pumps.

6. Profit on Sale of Real Estate Deduction

If you’ve sold a home in the past year, you’re likely aware that individuals can claim up to $250,000 of profit from the sale tax-free, and married couples can claim up to $500,000 tax-free. Of course, there are some requirements to escaping the capital gains tax on this profit.

The home must be a primary residence. This means that you must have lived in the home, as your primary residence, for two of the past five years. You could rent it out for years one, three, and five, while living in it for years two and four. In this way, a homeowner could potentially claim this tax break on multiple homes within a fairly short time frame, but each tax-free sale must occur at least two years apart from the previous tax-free transaction.

7. Real Estate Selling Cost Deduction

For those lucky folks whose profits on the sale of their home might exceed the $250k/$500k limits, there are still some ways to reduce the tax burden.  The costs of selling the home can be significant, and those in themselves can be claimed as tax deductions.

By adding up all of the fees paid at closing, capital improvements made to the home while you owned it, money spent to make repairs to damaged property, and marketing costs necessary to sell the home, you can add a significant figure to the cost basis of your home.  This basically raises the original price you paid for the home.  Your cost basis begins with the original price of the home, and then adds in the improvement and selling costs.  When the new cost basis price is compared to your selling price, it reduces your potentially-taxable profit on the home significantly.

8. Home Office Deduction

The home office tax deduction is often cited as a deduction that increases your likelihood of being audited.  While the raw numbers might add some credibility to that perception, it’s really the way a home office is deducted that gets some taxpayers into audit purgatory.

This deduction, when used correctly, is just as safe as any other.  Homeowners deduct a percentage of their mortgage, utilities, and repair bills in direct proportion to the amount of their home that is dedicated office space.

There are a few hard and fast rules to live by when deducting the costs of your home office. The home office must be your principal place of business (the primary office location where you get the majority of your work done).  It needs to be exclusively used for business (it can’t be your kitchen by day and office by night).  You need to be realistic with its size and use (unless you enjoy audits).

9. Property Tax Deduction

New homeowners often don’t know that their property taxes are deductible.  While it may sound strange to have a tax-deductible tax, the overall effect is that you don’t pay income tax on money that was spent on property taxes.

Homeowners should be careful to only deduct the amount of property tax actually paid to their local municipality for the year. This is not necessarily the amount you paid to your escrow account, and should not include any other city/county fees that might potentially be on the same bill as your property taxes.

10. Loan Forgiveness Deduction

The Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Relief Act of 2007 was created when short sales were becoming a new and growing part of the real estate market. An underwater homeowner might convince their lender to agree to a short sale of their home at $100,000, even though they owe $150,000 on their mortgage. While the lender forgives the extra $50,000 owed after the short sale, the government views it as $50,000 in taxable income (a gift from the lender to the borrower).

The Debt Forgiveness Act temporarily relieved the taxpayer of that burden, but was set to expire this year. Through much effort, it was extended along with many other homeowner tax relief measures this year and homeowners can continue to claim this tax relief in 2013.

IRS-suggested disclaimer: To the extent that this message or any attachment concerns tax matters, it is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law.  This message was written to support the promotion or marketing of the transactions or matters addressed herein, and the taxpayer should seek advice based on the taxpayer’s particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor.

Source:Realtor.com

To access all the Incline Village and Lakeshore Realty listings please click here. You can also contact us by email or call us at 775-831-7000. If you are in Incline Village, please visit us at 954 Lakeshore Blvd. Incline Village, NV 89451.

 

 

 

 

10 Million Homes Upside-Down

by Lakeshore Realty

About 1.7 million homes that were worth less than the mortgages on them regained equity as home prices rose in 2012, according to a report by CoreLogic.

This is certainly another sign that the housing market continues to improve. But remember, there are still 10.4 million homes underwater nationwide and more than 2 million homeowners with less than 5 percent equity, the report shows.

At least 1 in every 5 homes with a mortgage was upside-down at the end of the year, according to CoreLogic.

Certain states face a direr situation.

In Nevada, more than half of the homes with a mortgage are upside-down. In Florida, 42 percent of homes are worth less than what the homeowners owe on the mortgages, followed by Arizona with 38.6 percent, Georgia with 35.6 percent and Michigan at 32 percent.

"There is certainly more to do, but with fewer borrowers underwater, the fundamentals underpinning the housing market will continue to strengthen," Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic, said in a statement. "The trend toward more homeowners moving back into positive equity territory should continue in 2013."

What can you do if you are underwater?

Many homeowners with little or no equity try to minimize the financial damage by refinancing to lower their monthly payments through the Home Affordable Refinance Program, or HARP, a government-sponsored program that allows borrowers to refinance regardless of how underwater they are.

More than 1.1 million HARP refinances were completed in 2012, according to a recent report by the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The program expires at the end of the year.

 

 

 

      Source: Houselogic.com

To access all the Incline Village and Lakeshore Realty listings please click here. You can also contact us by email or call us at 775-831-7000. If you are in Incline Village, please visit us at 954 Lakeshore Blvd. Incline Village, NV 89451.

 

 

 

JPMorgan Sees Home Prices Up 14% as Bank of America Touts Party

Bank of America has again revised up its home price forecast to 8 percent for 2013, up from 4.7 percent.

This is after a 7.3 percent rise in 2012.

In a new report titled "Someone say House Party?", Bank of America's Chris Flanagan, Michelle Meyer, and Justin Borst write that "a positive feedback loop has begun". Basically, when people think home prices are rising, they think they will keep doing so and credit conditions will improve, and this in increases demand for homes.

Tight housing supply and affordability are likely to stoke demand and push home prices higher.

JPMorgan Chase more than doubled its forecast for U.S. home price gains in 2013 to 7 percent this week, and predicts a more than 14 percent increase through 2015.

And there's proof of this. Fannie Mae's latest survey shows that 48 percent of respondents believe that home prices will rise over the next 12 months, only 10 percent forecast a fall.

"It is a powerful positive relationship especially in this environment of historically low interest rates and a Federal Reserve determined to keep policy accommodative."

Tight housing supply and affordability are likely to stoke demand and push home prices higher. What's more, the declining inventory isn't being driven by demand like it was during the housing boom, but by declining supply.

Source: “JPMorgan Sees Home Prices Up 14% as BofA Touts Party,”
Bloomberg News (March 15, 2013)

Refinance Programs Give Underwater Owners a Lift

by Lakeshore Realty
HARP Surpasses 2012 Estimates on Homeowner Refinances

States that were the hardest hit by foreclosures and have the highest number of underwater home owners are now leading the nation in refinancing as more borrowers look to decrease their monthly mortgage payments.

Following the government’s expansion last year of its refinancing programs, more underwater home owners are now able to take advantage and are unlocking savings to their monthly payments.

For example, in Nevada, home values fell by 50 percent during the housing downturn. Nevada now has the highest percentage of home owners taking advantage of the government’s refinancing program, the Home Affordable Refinance Program (also known as HARP). In Nevada, 68 percent of refinancings there in December were using HARP, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) reports. In Florida, 58 percent of refinancers used HARP.

In 2012, there were 1.1 million HARP refinances nationwide, double the amount from one year prior, FHFA reports.

In Nevada, HARP accounted for 68 percent of refinancing in December.
“The biggest hurdle the housing market has to overcome to stay on its upward trajectory is keeping the foreclosure inventory down,” Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial in Chicago, told Bloomberg News. “HARP refis are keeping people in their homes, especially in the states where property is severely underwater.”

HARP started in 2009 and originally prevented borrowers from participating who had mortgages more than 25 percent underwater. But starting last year, HARP 2.0 removed that limitation. The new iteration also allows borrowers to refinance through any lender, not just their existing one.

About a quarter of the loans refinanced through HARP in December were more than 25 percent underwater, according to the FHFA report.

Source: “HARP Surpasses 2012 Estimates on Homeowner Refinances,” Bloomberg News (March 13, 2013)

 

Survey: Americans Dream Big About Home Ownership

by Lakeshore Realty
Still the American Dream...

It seems that Americans are continuing to dream of homeownership, at least according to JPMorgan Chase’s recent survey.

A total of 87% of those surveyed said owning a home is something they dream about.

"Owning a home is at the heart of most Americans' dreams," said Kevin Watters, CEO of mortgage banking at JPMorgan Chase. "And people are saving as much as possible to achieve homeownership."

Of those surveyed, 66% believe housing is a good financial investment and 75% see it as a crucial part of raising a family.

87% of Americans dream of owning a home.

"Owning a home will not only give my husband and me pride and roots, but it will also bring pride in my children and respect from my friends and family," said one respondent.

Compared to six months ago, nearly two times as many potential first-time homebuyers are optimistic about being able to put money down on a home over the next six months.

Overall, 56% of consumers believe their finances will improve over the next six months, while only 8% believe they will worsen.

"First-time home buyers are crucial to the housing market and the overall economy - and to their communities," Watters said. "As families buy their first home, they are investing in their communities and enable other families to move up. That will eventually spur more new construction, generating additional jobs."

Source: HousingWire.com

Single Family Homes Market Report

by Lakeshore Realty
Real estate inventories are diminishing all over the country and the same effect is seen on the Lake Tahoe real estate market. To be more exact, since November 1st, 2012 there was a 39% inventory drop on Residential properties, from 157 Active Homes on November 1st, 2012 to only 96 Active Homes today. The Condominium inventory dropped 32% from 93 Active condominiums on November 1st 2012 to only 63 Active condominiums today. Active Townhomes are also down 51% from 33 Active Townhomes in November 1st, 2012 to only 16 today.
 

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Lakeshore Realty
954 Lakeshore Blvd.
Incline Village NV 89451
775-831-7000
800-954-9554
Fax: 775-831-6777

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