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Archive for September 2013

Things To Do In Fairfield County – October 2013

Looking for something to do in Fairfield County?  Check out the upcoming events for October… Looking for something to do in Fairfield County? Check out the upcoming events for October… Walk The Walk 2013 When: October 1st – January 1st Where:  Sherwood Island, Westport CT What: Join your neighbors for a 5K Walk for families…

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Tax Deduction

Capital Gains Exclusion – Do You Qualify Even If Home Is Rented Out?

Deborah Laemmerhirt  Call Direct:  203-994-4297  www.HomesInConnecticutForSale.com

If you rent out part of your home for extra income, does that mean you can’t claim the valuable federal home sale gain exclusion privilege when you sell? Not necessarily. In many cases, you can still take advantage of the gain exclusion break.

As long as the rental portion of your home was in the same dwelling unit as your residence, you can use your gain exclusion to shelter profit from the entire property. In other words, you don’t have to split your sale into two separate transactions for tax purposes (one for the sale of the residential part of your property and another for the sale of the rental portion).

You will be taxed on gain up to the amount of depreciation deductions claimed for the rented portion of the property. (This applies to rental usage after May 6 1997.) You’ll owe a maximum federal rate of 25 percent on this unrecaptured Section 1250 gain.

Although you have to pay some tax, keep in mind that you collected earlier tax savings from depreciation deductions on the rental part of property.

What About a Separate Unit?

The tax outcome is less favorable when the rental portion of your property is not in the same dwelling unit as the residential part. For example, let’s say you claimed rental deductions for a former carriage house, garage apartment, or finished basement with cooking facilities, a bathroom, and a separate entrance. These are considered separate dwelling units that are not part of the residential portion of your property.

If this is your situation, you must pass the tax law ownership and use qualification tests (see right-hand box) for both the rental and the residential parts of your property in order to treat the sale as a single transaction eligible for the gain exclusion.

If you fail the tests for the rental portion, you must calculate separate gains for the rental and residential portions of your property. You can then use the gain exclusion only to shelter profit from the residential part. In general, any gain on the rental part will be fully taxable. You’ll generally owe a federal income tax rate of no more than 25 percent on gain up to the amount of depreciation (claimed for rental use after May 6 1997) and no more than 15 percent on any remaining profit from selling the rental portion.

If you’re contemplating selling your home when part was used as a rental, here are a couple of possibilities to consider:

Strategy #1: When the rental part of your property is in a separate dwelling unit, and you think you may sell the whole property before too long, you may want to stop renting that portion for at least two years prior to the anticipated sale date. That way, you can use the gain exclusion to shelter profit from the entire property. However, ignore this advice if your entire exclusion amount would be absorbed by the gain on the residential part of the property (in this case, continuing to rent out the rental portion of your property won’t cause any tax harm).

Strategy #2: Continue renting if the rental portion of your property is within the same dwelling unit as the residential part. There’s no tax downside.

Consult with your tax adviser if you have questions about taking advantage of the home sale gain exclusion in conjunction with renting out part of your property. Advance planning may be necessary to maximize the tax savings.

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Building Inspectors

Selling Your CT Home? Check Here First!

Deborah Laemmerhirt  Call Direct:  203-994-4297    www.HomesInConnecticutForSale.com

Your Home Value

Whether you are a first time homebuyer or a seasoned veteran we have all the resources you need to buy real estate in Danbury, Brookfield, Bethel, New Fairfield, Redding and Ridgefield.

For Home Sellers

Selling your home shouldn’t be a stressful ordeal. Making the smart move of choosing a REALTOR® is your first step to ensuring that your investment in your home pays off. Our services and experience allow you to focus on your move while We manage your home sale from our initial consultation to the closing deal, and beyond. We pride ourselves on repeat business and hope you’ll come to understand why.  GET MY INDIVIDUALIZED MARKETING PROGRAM TODAY!

  • Complete a comparative market analysis that will compare your home’s value to that of your neighbors.
  • Compile a comprehensive plan detailing all the efforts we will employ to sell your home, including Internet and local media. (see additional information below)
  • Present your home to as many qualified buyers as possible getting your home maximum exposure.
  • Help you stage your home and generate curb appeal to ensure you get the highest price.
  • Assist with obtaining offers and help you in negotiating the best deal as smoothly as possible.
  • Help you find your next home and answer all of your questions about the local market area, including schools, neighborhoods, the local economy, and more.

Recent Home Sales

What are homes selling for on your street? Use Contact us to find out what neighborhood homes are selling for, free of charge, or choose a more detailed analysis of the value of your home.

Getting the Highest Price for Your Home

Curb appeal is key and could make a difference whether people stop and take a flyer, or drive right by. Here are a few tips to increase the curb appeal of your home. Staging your home is important. Many buyers will stay in your home longer if it’s staged appropriately. We have compiled some ideas to present your home in the most effective manner.

Closing Costs to Expect:

  • Broker’s commission is a full-service fee and will cost anywhere between 5% to 7%.
  • Attorney fees
  • Local property transfer tax, county transfer tax, state transfer tax, and state capital gains tax are the charges that you’ll pay for the privilege of selling your home. Credit to the buyer of unpaid real estate taxes for the prior or current year are variable and depend on when you close and when your taxes are due.
  • FHA fees and costs are all fees are now negotiable between an FHA buyer and seller.
  • Home inspections fees are in some circumstances paid for by the seller (but not usually) and include pest, radon and other inspections.
  • Miscellaneous fees can accrue from correcting problems noticed during the home inspection.

When a house goes on the market, first impressions are extremely important.  This is the HOT time for you to capture the buyers who are already in the market, ready willing and able to buy.  Your home must show at it’s peak!  And your home must be easy to show.   They have seen the existing inventory and have rejected it, either the price was not right or it didn’t suit them.  They have alerts set up with their agents and are hungry for new listings.  This is the time you are most likely to experience excited buyers, eager for a fresh new listing.  The longer a property sits on the market the more likely a buyer is going to think 1) the seller doesn’t really want to sell or 2) the seller must be desperate by now or 3) what’s wrong with the house?  In any of the scenarios the buyers are going to, more often than not, want to discount their offer more than they would if they think they are competing with other buyers.  MARKETING YOUR HOME NOW.

Neither the seller(s) nor the agent controls the market, which dictates what a buyer is willing to pay for a home, but what we CAN control is pricing it correctly and marketing the heck out of it.  Some sellers might think that pricing it correctly is just the lazy agent’s answer to sell a house.  If that were true, we wouldn’t devote the amount of resources we do to marketing properties.  With less than one in ten houses selling right now, you want to SELL, you don’t want to be one of the 90% sitting on the market month after month, especially as prices continue to decline.  We market the heck out of our listings to expose them to targeted and qualified buyers and agents so that they sell for the most the market will bear.  This is a proven strategy to get you the most for your home as well as the quickest time to close, price right and market aggressively.

Each house is unique and we craft a marketing strategy to fit each home’s special qualities.  We market to potential buyers, both local and out of area (including international), and we market to other Realtors working with buyers in your area.  We highlight the best features of your home and absolutely saturate the internet with your listing.  In fact, each listing has it’s own custom designed website, just for that listing.  You will be able to see week by week how many buyers are “visiting” your listing.  If there is a buyer out there looking, they WILL know about your home.

We have a a listing marketing and management tools which contains over 50 possible tactics to market, manage and sell your listing.  We sit with you, assess your home and create a strategy specific to your listing.

Here is a list of some of the tools we may use for your listing

  1. A fully custom webpage just for your property with interactive google street view maps, statistics, neighborhood info, full captivating description, tons of photos, video, and more with your own custom domain name
  2. Craigslist advertising
  3. Social media including twitter, face book and linked-in
  4. Detailed and descriptive blog on our website and other blogs
  5. Custom photo yard sign For those with smart phones this includes a mobile version of your single property website! And, for those who text – there is a unique code to get instant home information
  6. Custom Open House signs
  7. Rotating featured property on our websites
  8. Placed on hundreds of local, national and international websites
  9. Enhanced Realtor.com, Trulia.com, Aol.com, MSN.com and Zillow.com listing with banner, highlighted info and more
  10. Custom panoramic tour and/or video of your home on YouTube and many other video sites
  11. Custom video of the highlights of the neighborhood
  12. Professional Designer consultation for stating/prep suggestions to sell
  13. Custom Flyer/Booklets designed for home showings
  14. Custom e-flyers emailed to buyers already currently looking for exactly your type of property through our buyer inventory
  15. Emailed to our 4000 strong email database
  16. Emailed to all of the area Realtors
  17. Docent cards placed in the home to highlight the features of the home
  18. Public Open House
  19. Local and regional print ads

 

Social Channels

You can reach our team at any of these social channels. Come check us out! AND SEE HOW YOUR HOME WILL BE MARKETED!

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Litchfield County – Find A Country Home

Deborah Laemmerhirt  203-994-4297  HomesInConnecticutForSale.com

Litchfield County, Connecticut is one of the most serene and beautiful areas of New England.  Its rolling hills and wide open pastures suggest that one has just stepped into a lovely painting.  This is an area also famous for adventures in antiquing, art galleries and unforgettable sunsets. To drive through this tranquil landscape in a search for new homes can be an inspiring event: the area’s country charm offers a sense of relaxation and makes the local real estate especially appealing.

The Litchfield County MLS listings are filled with pictures of open rolling fields punctuated by dramatic views of the Litchfield Hills, Equestrian properties with paddocks and well equipted stables,  elaborate and quaint lake properties as well as many houses and estates in town.  Deborah at HomesInConnecticutForSale.com is a local realtor who knows this area and can navigate prospective buyers across the pastures to find the right real estate deal for their needs.  Not everyone is going to be able to maintain acreage and barn, nor are they able to settle into life in a small town without knowing what they are getting themselves into. The right realtor will make sure that you confront these questions before venturing into real estate listings for quaint small towns like those of Litchfield County. CT.

Dreams of a equestrian properties with horses whinnying in the fields or water front estates while maintaining a  daily commute can quickly turn difficult without preparation and detailed understanding.  Life is different in the smaller enclaves, but an experienced real estate agent can help you navigate through any unfamiliar terrain!  Don’t let your imagination rule your real estate investments: find a solid and trustworthy real estate agent who will help you figure out whether these country homes for sale are going to be the right fit for you and your family.  HomeInConnecticutForSale.com is a trusted resource for adventures in real estate.

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10 Things To Do Before Selling Your Home

Before you’re ready to list and sell your home, you need to make sure that the functionality and appearance of your home is top notch. It’s important that, when preparing your home to sell, you think like a buyer; turn your home into a home that you’d want to buy. Here are 10 things you need to do before you sell your home.

What To Do Before Selling

 

Outside of your home (exterior of the home (paint/ siding), lawn, flower beds, backyard, driveway, walkways, etc.). Curb appeal is key when trying to sell your home; it’s the first thing buyers will see when they look at your property, so it’s important to make a good impression with the outside of your home.

  1. Cut the grass at least once a week, and be sure to water your lawn and plants regularly to keep them looking lively and beautiful

  2. Depending on the season: rake up any leaves that have fallen, or clear your driveway and walkway of snow and ice

  3. Add potted plants and flowers near the entrance of your home to make the property seem more inviting to potential buyers; look for seasonally appropriate flowers for your area, i.e. ones that will survive the outside weather, to be sure that your plants will enhance the look of your home

  4. De-clutter your yard and driveway by removing cars and toys from the area. You want your property to appear clean and well-kept

  5. Be sure to repaint, or replace if necessary, any outside trim or siding that looks old or worn

 

Inside of your home (flooring, walls, systems, etc.). Once buyers are drawn in by your curb appeal, you need to keep them interested and show them the beauty of your interior.

  1. Clean all of your carpets and hardwood floors, in every room. Stained carpet and dull or scratched wood flooring are a turnoff for most buyers who are looking for a “move-in ready” home

  2. Clean all furniture and fixtures in your home, including chairs, tables, beds, couches, lamps, and ceiling fans

  3. Repaint your walls and ceilings, especially if any of the paint is chipping or wearing away. If your walls and ceilings don’t require fresh paint, make sure you still wash them down with a soap water mixture to remove fingerprints or other smudges.

  4. Fix any non-working home systems (plumbing, electric, heating/cooling), and update older systems that aren’t as cost-effective or don’t work as well (we’re all about being green and efficient these days!)

  5. Make sure your home is well lit for pictures and showings. If you don’t have a lot of windows, add lights under cabinets and in dark corners; this will increase the inviting-ness of your home.

 

For more on preparation tips for selling your home, click here.

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How To Sell Your Home And Buy Another At The Same Time

According to Realtor.com, being a move-up buyer can be tough in today’s market. Although deals are closing rapidly, there’s no guarantee that your new dream home will close at the same time as your old dream home. Selling and buying at the same time is a delicate dance, but it is doable. There are a few ways to pursue this plan:

1. Sell first, then buy. This is perhaps the safest plan, but it calls for multiple moves. In this scenario, you list your home and complete the transaction before purchasing another home. When you sell your home, you put the bulk of your belongings in storage and live in a temporary rental or, if possible, enter into a rent-back deal with your home’s new owner. The advantage of this method is that you know exactly how much you can spend on a new home, and you don’t have to worry about temporary financing. Also, without another home waiting in the wings, you’ll be less tempted to drop the price or to take the first offer that is below the asking price. The disadvantage is that it is a disruptive experience, and you could be displaced for a while if you are home-shopping for a long time.

2. Buy first, then sell. This strategy minimizes disruption. You can move into your new place at your leisure and then take time to prepare your home for sale. The major disadvantage is that, depending on how fast your old home sells, you could be shouldering the burden of two mortgages for some time. You are also responsible for maintenance and security on the vacant home. This scenario works best if your first home is already paid off.

A variation of this plan is to buy a new home with the plan to rent out the old one for a year. This buys you some time with money coming in, but being a landlord comes with its own stresses and responsibilities. You may also need to repair or renovate the home after it has served as a rental.

3. Buy and sell simultaneously. To execute this plan, you need to prepare for all contingencies and to know that if your timing is off, you will face one of the two scenarios listed above. The trickiest bit can be timing the financial burden. One option is bridge financing. This enables you to own two homes for a short amount of time. To do this, you need to either borrow money from family or obtain a short-term loan from a bank or other lending institution to span the time period between when you close on your new home and sell your old one. In essence, you are getting a short-term home-equity loan, also known as a HELOC, a Home Equity Line of Credit, on your present house and using it as a down payment on your new house. You then repay the loan when you sell your first home. It is not easy to qualify for a conventional bridge loan, since you have to demonstrate that you have enough money to pay for both mortgages for an indefinite period of time.

Experts advise applying for the HELOC well before you buy a new house. That way most of the credit on the line is unused until you actually need it. Lenders don’t like a HELOC that works only for a very short time, and it’s a challenge to get a HELOC if your present home is on the market.

Try to schedule the closing date on the sale of your old home after the closing date on the home you buy. In this way, you can stay in your present home until you move into your new home. Otherwise, you can attempt to negotiate a rent-back arrangement.

There is no right answer in choosing any of these scenarios. Your Realtor may be able to advise which is best, depending on the local market. However, much depends on your financial stability, as well as your tolerance for risk or disruption.

 

Read the original article here!

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14 Things To Consider Before Buying A Home

It is important to do your research and know what you want before buying a home! A recent article from Realtor.com details the many things you must considering before buying…

When you’re buying a home, it’s easy to let emotions get in the way of reality. “Sometimes we want something so badly, we’re not willing to ask all the questions we should,” says Leslie Levine, author of “Will This Place Ever Feel Like Home?” To make sure your dream home isn’t a mirage, follow these 14 tips:

1. Visit at various times of day.
The windows that let in so much light during the day may be a peeping Tom’s dream at night. That seemingly quiet residential street may be a noisy, highway-feeder street during morning or evening rush hour. The adjacent school may seem like a nice perk if you’re buying in the summer, but during the school year, daily playground noise and extra traffic may be more than you bargained for.

2. Research recent local news.
You need to look at more than the house: Examine the factors you can’t see. For example, perhaps the municipal water well has high levels of contaminants, or a perhaps a high-voltage power line may soon be coming through your back yard. You can also check with the city or county to see if there are any proposed projects.

3. Talk to neighbors.
How many people in the neighborhood own their homes? What do neighbors say are the pros and cons of the area?

4. Ask if the neighborhood has an association.
“Is there a newsletter for it? How often does the neighborhood get together? Do they have a block party every year?” Levine asks. “The fact that they’re having a gathering says they care about their community, that they want to get to know each other, that they’re willing to socialize that way. People who behave that way are building a community. They’re going to look out for your kids; they’re going to look out for your house.”

5. Quiz the sellers about house problems.
What past problems are the sellers aware of? Even if the issues have been fixed, it’s good to know that the house may be prone to, say, ice dams or water leaks so that you can take preventive measures rather than find out the hard way. If you know that the basement flooding was solved by building up the landscaping in a particular area, you won’t level the ground there.

6. Get a home inspection.
Virtually all houses have defects. Some are obvious, and most are curable. But knowing what needs repair can help you negotiate a lower price — or at least prepare you for costs you’ll soon incur. Strongly consider getting inspections for lead paint, radon and wood-eating pests, too.

7. Get detailed records on past improvements.
This isn’t always possible. But if you’re told the house’s exterior was painted two years ago — and then see a receipt noting the whole project cost just $1,000 — then you’re forewarned that cheaper materials were used and that you may be looking at repainting sooner than you thought.

8. Don’t assume remodeling will be easy.
If you voice your ideas to the sellers, you may glean valuable insights. For instance, perhaps that shower is in an odd location because, when the previous owners remodeled 10 years ago, they discovered a costly structural impediment to putting a shower where it would seem more appropriate.

9. Consider the view.
“So many neighborhoods now have teardowns,” Levine notes. “So look at the two houses on either side of you.” Do the adjacent houses look like they might be candidates for a teardown? Is the next lot empty? Does the neighborhood or town have restrictions about what your prospective neighbors can build there? “They may build some behemoth structure that affects your light or the way your house looks or your view,” Levine says.

10. Ask for utility bills.
You may adore the Cape Cod architectural style or the high ceilings and glass walls in a modern home, but those winter heating and summer cooling bills may not fit your monthly budget. Ditto for the water bills that come with maintaining a pristine landscape.

11. Pay close attention to taxes.
Don’t just ask about the seller’s most recent tax bill; ask the amounts for several recent tax bills. In some areas, houses are re-appraised — and taxed at higher rates — frequently. That great deal and good investment may not seem quite so grand if the property taxes skyrocket year after year. Look at local news and talk to your Realtor about how taxes are used in this area. In some cities, schools are substantially funded through property taxes, which means you can count on yours increasing regularly.

12. Check with city hall.
Look into the property’s and the neighborhood’s zoning, as well as any potential easements, liens or other restrictions relating to your property. The seller should disclose these facts, but it’s better to be proactive. If you’re using a buyer’s agent, they should be able to help.

13. Reconsider the bells and whistles.
Are you sure you can live with a one-car garage, or a detached garage, or on-street parking? The pool may be a nice bonus, but can you afford the upkeep?

14. Explore the surrounding area.
If you’re new to the area, you may not know that only three blocks away, this pretty neighborhood backs up to a dumpy commercial zone or a less-than-savory part of town. If the home is near an airport, fire station, police station, hospital or railroad track, expect to hear trains, planes or ambulances throughout the day and night. Make sure you’re not too close to an agricultural area that may generate odors or kick up dust or other airborne problems.

 

Read the original article here!

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Spacious Four Bedroom Home For Sale in Brookfield CT!

23 Indian Trail, Home For Sale In Brookfield, Connecticut

Overview
Maps
Photos
Description
Video
Neighborhood

$685,000
Single Family Home
Main Features
4 Bedrooms
2 Bathrooms
1 Partial Bathroom
Interior: 2,165 sqft
Lot: 0.50 acre(s)
Location
23 Indian Trail
Brookfield, CT 06804
USA

Deborah Laemmerhirt

Deborah Laemmerhirt


Coldwell Banker NRT
(203) 994-4297
Deborah@HomesInConnecticutForSale.com
http://www.HomesInConnecticutForSale.com

       

 

Listed by: Deborah Laemmerhirt – Coldwell Banker

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Beautiful New Milford Connecticut Home Built In 2005

6 Willow Road, Home For Sale In New Milford, Connecticut

Overview
Maps
Photos
Video
Neighborhood

$310,000
Single Family Home
Main Features
3 Bedrooms
2 Bathrooms
1 Partial Bathroom
Interior: 1,182 sqft
Lot: 0.41 acre(s)
Location
6 Willow Road
New Milford, CT 06776
USA

Deborah Laemmerhirt

Deborah Laemmerhirt


Coldwell Banker NRT
(203) 994-4297
Deborah@HomesInConnecticutForSale.com
http://www.HomesInConnecticutForSale.com

       

 

Listed by: Deborah Laemmerhirt With Coldwell Banker

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Impressive Professionally Landscaped Private Family Compound In CT!

9 Deep Woods Lane, Home For Sale In New Milford, Connecticut

Overview
Maps
Photos
Video
Neighborhood

$599,000
Single Family Home
Main Features
5 Bedrooms
3 Bathrooms
1 Partial Bathroom
2 Units
Interior: 3,530 sqft
Lot: 7.44 acre(s)
Location
9 Deep Woods
New Milford, CT 06776
USA

Deborah Laemmerhirt

Deborah Laemmerhirt


Coldwell Banker NRT
(203) 994-4297
Deborah@HomesInConnecticutForSale.com
http://www.HomesInConnecticutForSale.com

       

 

Listed by: Coldwell Banker

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