Most of us have heard through the major media outlets how tax law changes will adversely affect our overall income taxes here in 2013. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that when your expenses consistently exceed your revenue, cost cutting alone won’t improve your bottom line. This means that raising various types of taxes will definitely be one strategy to increase revenue in order to pay off the massive U.S. debt. The American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA) of 2012 was passed by Congress on January 1st, 2013 and was only a partial resolution to the fiscal cliff; just wait until fiscal cliff part II which will look more like ‘Hangover Part II’, Mike Tyson tattoo and all. While the ATRA did impose more taxes on the upper end of the scale and raised capital gains taxes on the very upper end of the income brackets, there is a unique opportunity for many Americans to look at their overall portfolio and potentially pay 0% in capital gains tax here…Continue reading
Last year, I did a piece on retirement planning assumptions. As I continue to see more and more plans done by other financial advisory firms, I become more concerned about consumers. Most projections that are …Continue reading
Whether you are 22 years old or 52 years old, you are truly the CEO of your family finances. There are those of us that love to track, manage, and watch our monthly numbers, and …Continue reading
I watched the second half of the State of the Union last week. Needless to say that after listening to the program and then all of the commentary after, it confirmed in my head how …Continue reading
Lately, I’ve been thinking of canceling my gym membership. What I’ve found is that most people do not use their gym membership to its full capacity, especially for as much as we all pay for it. My membership is a dollar a day, which is approximately $35 dollars a month including taxes. How often do you go to the gym in a month? Is it worth $35 a month? I haven’t been to the gym for about two months and I usually go once every other month and I know for a fact that I have not use it like I should. If you do use your gym membership—that is awesome, you are definitely getting your money’s worth!Continue reading
Under a 2008 law, Georgia taxpayers can contribute to a qualified student scholarship organization and receive a tax credit against their Georgia income taxes.
The Georgia GOAL Scholarship Program represents the latest in a series of activities undertaken by its founder and members of its board of directors to provide Georgia families with greater opportunities for access to learning.
50 million dollars of tax money has been allotted for scholarships to 32 Georgia schools. It is easy to have your money go to your school of choice. Visit http://www.goalscholarship.org/ for more information how how you can participate.
How do you find real estate for sale in Atlanta? Due to the internet it is really quite easy now. Over the last 10 years the internet has allowed home buyers all over the world to see what is for sale and an intensive overview of what the house has to offer. Pictures, taxes, comparables, mortgage payoff and more can all be investigated when viewing a listing on both for sale by owner properties and the properties listed by real estate agents.
In the past, Real Estate Agents held the power to find the properties by networking with other agents. As a result the public believed that they had to go from company to company to see what the agents there had for sale. That was due to the fact that the MLS (multiple listing service) books that were printed bimonthly held all the information on houses actively being marketed. Now that power to control the flow of information agents once had is gone. Real Estate Agents are used now to facilitate the showings and to perform the contract duties relevant to the transaction. The public rarely relies on the agent today to find out what properties are available or to know what’s going on in the market.
The Multiple Listing Services now populate out to many websites, whether they be a real estate agent’s own site, a real estate company site or even moving and relocation sites. The MLS is now used as a lure to get buyers and sellers to these websites. And, the public shows that they like it. These sites continuously have more hits and longer views than almost any other sites. Even the buyers who are not buying for the next ten years are mesmerized by searching for properties and learning about the neighborhoods they have interest in and even their own neighbors.
So, if you want to know what is listed for sale in Atlanta, simply visit any site that has the MLS data feed on it. If you find that other companies listings are on the site, you are looking at everything on the MLS because the MLS says that if you post anyone besides yourself on your search, you must post all listings. If you are looking for a For Sale By Owner property, you may search any of the number of For Sale By Owner sites or even most newspapers now offers photos on each online listing.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the search is easy now! You have more real estate data at your fingertips than at any other time in history. Happy House Hunting!
Making money on your home is key to many of you. My clients report that they simply would not consider owning a home that they did not make some profit on. The thought of taking a check to closing is repulsive. Here is what I want you to know about making money on your home.
The obvious things about home ownership that make you money…
The whole time that you live in a home, if it is your primary residence, you are saving on your taxes. In other words, you can either use your money to pay for a place to call your own that you are buying, or you can pay more taxes.
The home ownership experience lends itself to your higher self-esteem. Self-esteem will lead you to making more money in all aspects of your life.
The home gives you a place to do all of your handyman experiences on your own dime with your own result of profit, or not.
As your mortgage payments are made over the years, your equity stake in the investment in your home, in most cases, will rise and your debt will fall.
But, on to how to make money on your home…
Keep your home maintained the whole time that you live there.
Keep your home clean and especially clean it well when you are selling it. Clean homes make 3 to 4% more money than dirty homes.
Market your home at a high price instead of what your naive neighbors or low-balling agent of the neighborhood recommends. Go with your gut and go high. You will never get a high price if you don’t ask for it.
Sell your home with a listing company that has low listing commission fees. Most homeowner’s profit is used up in selling commissions. You now have alternatives.
Sell your home Staged and maybe throw in some furniture.
Get every tool available to make your home look its best on the internet. Virtual tours, Staging, Videos and anything else that you can find. The first showing to potential buyers is on the internet. By the time that the buyer comes to your home in person, it is really the second showing.
Offer a home warranty in lieu of some of the inspection items. If this is not enough for the buyer, tell them that you will give them 5 service call deductibles to cover future costs.
To make a good deal on the sale of your home, it is imperative to make a good deal when buying it. Use an experienced agent to help you buy. They are a valued resource and cost you nothing. In fact, in my company we split out our commission with our buyer clients for helping us find them the home.