Rss

Archives for : Buying a Home

Fountain Hills Home Sales Stats June 30, 2013

Time for a mid-year update on home sales in Fountain Hills, Arizona.

Home sales are nearly the same as last year at 491, only three more than the first six months of 2012. It takes much less time to sell however, with the average Days on Market (DOM) being 100 versus 130 days in 2012.*

The average sales price is up 22.4 percent from $311,160 to $380,916. The final sales price was 6.65% under the original asking price on average. To date, the sales prices range from $60,160 for a Quail Run Condominium to $2,884,000 for a home at Firerock.*

Search results of the Arizona Multiple Listing Service (July 2, 2013) reveal 284 homes currently for sale in Fountain Hills. There are 48 pending sales.*

John Eberle is a licensed REALTOR® with the Artisan Real Estate Group, LLC working in Fountain Hills, Arizona. He is a member of the National Association of Realtors and Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service. John has nearly 16 years home sales experience and is a Fountain Hills resident. Contact John at 602 550 1472.

*Statistics based on search of Arizona Multiple Listing Service, July 2, 2013.

Like It ! Share It ! Tweet It !

Home Office Tax Deductions

Many homeowners in Fountain Hills work from a home office, including me!  Below is an article from Houselogic.com, a National Association of Realtors website, that provides guidelines in deducting home office use on federal tax returns. I hope it is helpful you!

What You Can and Can’t Deduct When You Work From Home

By: Donna Fuscaldo

Published: December 21, 2012

Working from home can offer many advantages including tax deductions. Just take care what you try to write off for your home office on your return.

Passing the IRS litmus test

To meet IRS guidelines, your home office must be your principal place of business, or the place you see clients in the normal course of business. Parts of your home you use to store products or equipment for your business also count. That doesn’t mean that all your work has to be done from home. If you’re an outside salesperson, you probably spend most of your work time elsewhere. But if you do you billing and return customer calls primarily from your home, your home office should qualify.

You can also qualify for the deduction if your employer requires you to work from home, as long as you don’t charge your employer rent. One big catch is that you must maintain the at-home office for your employer’s convenience, not your own, such as to complete reports at night or on weekends. Self-employed workers use IRS Form 8829 to calculate the deduction, which they list on Schedule C.

Measuring your home office

The amount you can deduct for your home office depends on the percentage of your home used for business. Your work space doesn’t need to be a separate room—a table in a corner qualifies. But it has to be an area that’s used solely for business. The tax break also covers separate structures on your property, like a detached garage you’ve converted to an office. Unlike an office inside your home, a separate structure doesn’t have to be your main place of business to qualify for a deduction. That’s because the IRS believes your family is less likely to use a separate structure as a part-time play area or den, says Mark Luscombe, principal analyst for tax and consulting at CCH.

To calculate what percentage of your house the home office occupies, divide your home office’s square footage by the total square footage of your home. If your home is 3,000 square feet and your office is 150 square feet, for example, you’d use 5% to calculate your deductions. Not sure how big your house is? Check the documents you received when you bought your home—there’s probably a detailed rendering—or measure the outside of your home and multiply length times width.

 What can you deduct?

Once you’ve figured out what percentage of your home you use for business, you can apply that percentage to different home expenses. These include:

  • Mortgage interest
  • Real estate taxes
  • Utilities (heating, cooling, lights)
  • Home repairs and maintenance (painting, cleaning service)
  • Home owners insurance premiums

Just take each expense and multiply it by your home office percentage (the 5% mentioned above). That’s the amount you can deduct as a business expense. So if you spend $150 a month on electricity, you can deduct $7.50 as a business expense. That adds up to a $90 deduction per tax year.

Save bills or cancelled checks to prove what you spent in case of an IRS audit. Take an hour a week to file them away. Also, only repairs can be expensed; improvements must be depreciated.

Don’t forget depreciation

Depreciation is based on the idea that everything—even something like a home—wears out eventually. To figure home office depreciation, start by calculating the tax basis of your home: generally the purchase price plus the cost of improvements, minus the value of the land it sits on. Next, multiply the tax basis by the percentage of your home used for work. This gives you the tax basis for your home office.

Usually, depreciation deductions for a home office are figured over a 39-year period. There are caveats. For a crash course, read IRS Publication 946 or talk to a tax pro.

Keep in mind that depreciation deductions on your home office increase the amount of profit on a home sale that is subject to taxes. There’s an exclusion of $250,000 of profit if you’re a single filer, $500,000 for joint filers. Consult with a qualified tax professional on how depreciation deductions affect your tax liability when you sell.

This article provides general information about tax laws and consequences, but shouldn’t be relied upon as tax or legal advice applicable to particular transactions or circumstances. Consult a tax professional for such advice.

 

John Eberle is a licensed Realtor with the Artisan Real Estate Group, LLC working in Fountain Hills, Arizona.  He is a member of the National Association of Realtors and Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service. John has 14+ years home sales experience as Sales Person/Sales Manager/Vice-President of Sales and Marketing for regional home builder. Contact John at 602 550 1472.

Like It ! Share It ! Tweet It !

Home Tax Breaks

With the tax season upon us, I thought an article on tax deductions for homeowners would be appropriate.  This useful article came from the HouseLogic site of the National Association of Realtors.

By: Dona DeZube

Published: January 10, 2013

From the mortgage interest deduction to energy tax credits, here are the tax tips you need to get a jump on your returns.

  • Mortgage interest deduction
  • Private mortgage insurance deduction
  • Prepaid interest deduction
  • Energy tax credits
  • Vacation or second home tax deductions
  • Home buyer tax credit repayment
  • Property tax deduction

Mortgage interest deduction

One of the neatest deductions itemizing home owners can take advantage of is the mortgage interest deduction, which you claim on Schedule A. To get the mortgage interest deduction, your mortgage must be secured by your home — and your home can even be a house trailer or boat, as long as you can sleep in it, cook in it, and it has a toilet.

Interest you pay on a mortgage of up to $1 million — or $500,000 if you’re married filing separately — is deductible when you use the loan to buy, build, or improve your home.

If you take on another mortgage (including a second mortgage, home equity loan, or home equity line of credit) to improve your home or to buy or build a second home, that counts towards the $1 million limit.

If you use loans secured by your home for other things — like sending your kid to college — you can still deduct the interest on loans up $100,000 ($50,000 for married filing separately) because your home secures the loan.

 

PMI and FHA mortgage insurance premiums

Helpfully, the government extended the mortgage insurance premium deduction through 2013. You can deduct the cost of private mortgage insurance as mortgage interest on Schedule A — meaning you must itemize your return. The change only applies to loans taken out in 2007 or later.

What’s PMI? If you have a mortgage but didn’t put down a fairly good-sized down payment (usually 20%), the lender requires the mortgage be insured. The premium on that insurance can be deducted, so long as your income is less than $100,000 (or $50,000 for married filing separately).

If your adjusted gross income is more than $100,000, your deduction is reduced by 10% for each $1,000 ($500 in the case of a married individual filing a separate return) that your adjusted gross income exceeds $100,000 ($50,000 in the case of a married individual filing a separate return). So, if you make $110,000 or more, you lose 100% of this deduction (10% x 10 = 100%).

Besides private mortgage insurance, there’s government insurance from FHA, VA, and the Rural Housing Service. Some of those premiums are paid at closing and deducting them is complicated. A tax adviser or tax software program can help you calculate this deduction. Also, the rules vary between the agencies.

 

Prepaid interest deduction

Prepaid interest (or points) you paid when you took out your mortgage is 100% deductible in the year you paid them along with other mortgage interest.

If you refinance your mortgage and use that money for home improvements, any points you pay are also deductible in the same year.

But if you refinance to get a better rate and term or to use the money for something other than home improvements, such as college tuition, you’ll need to deduct the points over the term of the loan. Say you refi for a 10-year term and pay $3,000 in points. You can deduct $300 per year for 10 years.

So what happens if you refi again down the road?

Example: Three years after your first refi, you refinance again. Using the $3,000 in points scenario above, you’ll have deducted $900 ($300 x 3 years) so far. That leaves $2,400, which you can deduct in full the year you complete your second refi. If you paid points for the new loan, the process starts again; you can deduct the points over the term of the loan.

Home mortgage interest and points are reported on IRS Form 1098. You enter the combined amount on line 10 of Schedule A. If your 1098 form doesn’t indicate the points you paid, you should be able to confirm the amount by consulting your HUD-1 settement sheet. Then you record that amount on line 12 of Schedule A.

 

Energy tax credits

The energy tax credit of up to a lifetime $500 had expired in 2011. But the Feds extended it for 2012 and 2013. If you upgraded one of the following systems this year, it’s an opportunity for a dollar-for-dollar reduction in your tax liability: If you get the $500 credit, you pay $500 less in taxes.

  • Biomass stoves
  • Heating, ventilation, air conditioning
  • Insulation
  • Roofs (metal and asphalt)
  • Water heaters (non-solar)
  • Windows, doors, and skylights
  • Storm windows and doors
  • Varying maximums

Some of the eligible products and systems are capped even lower than $500. New windows are capped at $200 — and not per window, but overall. Read about the fine print in order to claim your energy tax credit.

Determine if the system is eligible. Go to Energy Star’s website for detailed descriptions of what’s covered. And talk to your vendor.

The product or system must have been installed, not just contracted for, in the tax year you’ll be claiming it.

Save system receipts and manufacturer certifications. You’ll need them if the IRS asks for proof.

File IRS Form 5695 with the rest of your tax forms.

 

Vacation home tax deductions

The rules on tax deductions for vacation homes are complicated. Do yourself a favor and keep good records about how and when you use your vacation home.

If you’re the only one using your vacation home (you don’t rent it out for more than 14 days a year), you can deduct mortgage interest and real estate taxes on Schedule A.

Rent your vacation home out for more than 14 days and use it yourself fewer than 15 days (or 10% of total rental days, whichever is greater), and it’s treated like a rental property. Those expenses get deducted using Schedule E.

Rent your home for part of the year and use it yourself for more than 14 days and you have to keep track of income, expenses, and divide them proportionate to how often you used and how often you rented the house.

 

Home buyer tax credit 

There were federal first-time home buyer tax credits in 2008, 2009, and 2010.

If you claimed the home buyer tax credit for a purchase made after April 8, 2008, and before Jan. 1, 2009, you must repay 1/15th of the credit over 15 years, with no interest.

If you used the tax credit in 2009 or 2010 and then sold your house or stopped using it as your primary residence, within 36 months of the purchase date, you also have to pay back the credit. Example: If you bought a home in 2010 and sold in 2012, you pay it back with your 2012 taxes.

That repayment rules are less rigorous for uniformed service members, Foreign Service workers, and intelligence community workers who get sent on extended duty at least 50 miles from their principal residence.

Members of the armed forces who served overseas got an extra year to use the first-time home buyer tax credit. If you were abroad for at least 90 days between Jan. 1, 2009, and April 30, 2010, and you bought your home by April 30, 2011, and closed the deal by June 30, 2011, you can claim your first-time home buyer tax credit.

The IRS has a tool you can use to help figure out what you owe.

 

Property tax deduction 

You can deduct on Schedule A the real estate property taxes you pay. If you have a mortgage with an escrow account, the amount of real estate property taxes you paid shows up on your annual escrow statement.

If you bought a house in 2012, check your HUD-1 Settlement statement to see if you paid any property taxes when you closed the purchase of your house. Those taxes are deductible on Schedule A, too.

This article provides general information about tax laws and consequences, but shouldn’t be relied upon as tax or legal advice applicable to particular transactions or circumstances. Consult a tax professional for such advice; tax laws may vary by jurisdiction.

 

John Eberle is a licensed Realtor® with the Artisan Real Estate Group, focusing on home sales in Fountain Hills, Arizona. For information on buying a home or selling a home in Fountain Hills, call John at 602 550 1474.

 

Like It ! Share It ! Tweet It!

Lakeside Patio Homes in Fountain Hills, Arizona

Today, the Arizona Regional Multiple Listings Services (ARMLS) lists two homes for sale at the Lakeside Patio Homes at Lakeside Village, a beautiful and well kept community located in Fountain Hills, Arizona. The current listing prices are $305,000 and $299,900 for 1496 square foot homes.

There are 57 homes in the community all built in the mid-1980’s. All are single story with square footage ranging from 1496 to 1856. The homes are two and three bedrooms, with two baths and two car garages. Most have vaulted ceilings and a fireplace. Many have a private courtyard entry and a small, low maintenance back yard.

Beautiful Homes near the World Famous Fountain!

The community is located near the intersection of El Lago Boulevard and Saguaro Boulevard, only a minute or two from Fountain Park and the iconic fountain. Community includes a heated pool and spa which are currently being renovated.

In 2012, four Lakeside Patio Homes sold and closed escrow. Based on information from ARMLS, was the average sold price was $310,625, however one of those was stunning in its interior amenities and it sold for $397,500. The other three averaged $281,665. The average number of days on the market was 132.

The Homeowner’s Association fees are $155 per month and include trash pick-up, basic cable, pest control, front yard and common area landscape maintenance as well a street maintenance.

For more information or to see the homes for sale in this beautiful and convenient community, call me at 602 550 1474.

For information on listing your home for sale in Fountain Hills telephone me at 602 550 1474, or click on the Contact Me tab at the top of this page.

John Eberle is a licensed Realtor® with the Artisan Real Estate Group, focusing on home sales in Fountain Hills, Arizona.

Like It ! Share It ! Tweet It !

2012 year end sales statistics for Fountain Hills, Arizona

The Arizona Multiple Listing Service reports 90,680 home sales and closings in the Phoenix metro area the past year of 2012. I might note that 19 of those were sales I closed!

The MLS report also shows that sold prices for December 2012 were 30.3% higher than December 2011.

Fountain Hills fared better than the metro area in general, with 833 homes sold and closed in the year 2012. That is a five percent increase (40+) over 2011.

I sold 19 properties for my clients in 2012.

I sold 19 properties for my clients in 2012.

The average sales price of a Fountain Hills home sold was up over the previous year by 5.2 percent to $332,892 and the average Days on Market (DOM) was down 17.5 percent to 118 days. All of this is great news for Fountain Hills home owners and those considering selling their Fountain Hills home.

Search results from the Arizona Multiple Listing Service on January 7, 2013 revealed 345 homes currently listed for sale in Fountain Hills. The homes listed have an average of 144 Days on Market (DOM). There are also 69 pending sales (contract for purchase, but not yet closed) with the average DOM of those being 89.

The Agent Weekly Report by Trulia.com, a real estate website, reports 24 new listings in Fountain Hills for the week ending January 5. The report notes that the average price per square foot on homes for sale in Fountain Hills is up 17.6% over same time last year.

Finally, Yahoo Homes posted an article by Kiplinger.com that listed Phoenix as the Number 1 city in America where prices rose the most in 2012! Click here to see that article!

Market conditions have greatly improved in our area! Happy and prosperous New Year to you!

 

John Eberle is a licensed Realtor with the Artisan Real Estate Group, LLC working in Fountain Hills, Arizona. He is a member of the National Association of Realtors and Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service. John has 14+ years home sales experience as Sales Person/Sales Manager/Vice-President of Sales and Marketing for regional home builder. Contact John at 602 550 1472.

                                                                                   Like It ! Share It ! Tweet It !

Fountain Hills Condos and Townhomes

Today, there are 1410 townhomes and condominiums listed on the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service (ARMLS). Forty-five are located in Fountain Hills along with 16 patio homes.

Many people do not know the difference between the various legal and marketing names attached to property types and real estate agents have listed properties in ways that don’t necessarily correlate with the true legal definitions. In fact, on the ARMLS, condominiums are listed under the heading of Townhome. That is just one good reason to have an experienced, licensed Realtor® working on your behalf and helping you understand the property type in the transaction.

An owner of a townhome owns the land below and the airspace above the unit as well as a percentage of ownership of common areas. Typically, townhomes share common walls on either side and are two or more stories in height, although that is not a requirement. A townhome can be mortgaged like any other parcel of real estate and real estate taxes are assessed and collected on each unit as an individual property.

An owner of a condominium owns the property from the exterior walls inward. There is no ownership of land below or airspace above the “condo” unit. Typically, the owner of the condo also holds a proportional share of the common area and while usually not attached to the owned property, there can be assigned parking that is outlined in the ownership documents. A condo unit, like a townhome, can be mortgaged and real estate taxes are assessed and collected on each unit as an individual property.

Patio homes are much like townhomes except they often are built as free-standing homes and do not share common walls with other units. They are usually built close together.

A single-family detached home is the description of structure usually occupied by just one household or family and consists of one dwelling unit. In some jurisdictions allowances are made for basement suites, “in-law quarters” or “casitas” without changing the description from “single family”. It does exclude, however, any short-term accommodations (hotel, motels, inns), large-scale rentals (apartments) or condominiums. Detached simply means that the building does not share an inside wall with any other dwelling.

It is the responsibility of the buyer to verify all details of a real estate transaction and for purposes of insurance coverage and other issues of significance, the buyer must understand exactly what property type is being purchased. The descriptions above are general, informational guidelines and a real estate attorney should be consulted if there are questions pertaining to a specific property or transaction. The legal definition of any property type varies depending on the location and the specific deed restrictions of the property.

 John Eberle is a licensed Realtor® with the Artisan Real Estate Group, focusing on home sales in Fountain Hills, Arizona. For information on buying a home or selling a home in Fountain Hills, call John at 602 550 1474.

       Like It ! Share It ! Tweet It!

Why Use a Realtor in Fountain Hills, AZ

 

When most people think of a REALTOR®, they think of open houses, flyers and big commissions. However, a REALTOR® is much more than that, and a good REALTOR® is very much worth the commission he or she is paid (earns).

A real estate transaction is often the biggest financial decision people make in their lifetime.It can also be the most anxious and intimidating time of their life. The required paperwork alone can be complicated and overwhelming to most buyers and sellers of homes.

An experienced REALTOR® is the best person to objectively provide direction, resolve problems and bring the transaction to a successful close.

When buying or selling a home, a REALTOR® can provide current information on what is happening in that particular community as it concerns price, days on the market, financing, terms and condition of competing properties. These are key factors in buying and selling a home.

An experienced REALTOR® is a home sales professional than can offer advice concerning the pricing of a home in a particular community and can help in negotiations. Price is important and obvious, but other factors to consider in negotiations include date of possession, financing options, and often the inclusion or exclusion of repairs and/or furnishings.

Any purchase agreement (contract) should provide a period of time to complete appropriate inspections and investigations of the property before parties are bound to complete the purchase. A REALTOR® can advise you as to which investigations and inspections are required or recommended as well as assist you in finding qualified professionals to perform the those and provide written reports. Most important of these will be the preliminary title report which indicates ownership of the property and any rights or obligations that go with that property.

Finally, for this blog article, business is about relationships and networks. Employing a REALTOR® provides home buyers or home sellers the advantage of reaching thousands of prospects via the relationship with Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

Only real estate licensees who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® are properly called REALTORS®. REALTORS® are committed to treat all parties to a transaction honestly, and subscribe to a strict code of ethics and are expected to maintain a higher level of knowledge of the process of buying and selling real estate.

John Eberle is a Fountain Hills REALTOR® working with the Artisan Real Estate Group, LLC. For more information on buying a home or selling a home in Fountain Hills, AZ contact John at 602 550 1474 or click on the Contact Me tab above this article.

 

Like It ! Share It ! Tweet It !

 

Fountain Hills Homes with Pools and Swimming Pool Safety

Today there are 134 homes for sale in Fountain Hills, Arizona with private swimming pools*. A pool is a desirable feature as it can provide a beautiful focal point for the home as well as a fun, cooling break from the Arizona heat.

Unfortunately, now that summer is here, we see news headlines noting unfortunate accidents involving children who find their way into a pool and drown.

Swimming alone or without adult supervision leads to many drownings. The first rule of owning a swimming pool is, NEVER leave a child unobserved near a pool; keep an eye on children AT ALL TIMES! Further, older children should be instructed to watch out for younger children and there should always be a designated “pool watcher”, especially at events where there are many people enjoying the pool and the areas around it.

As a homeowner with a private pool, Arizona law requires you to entirely enclose the pool area with a barrier at least five feet high, measured from the outside of the barrier. Further, if the home is part of the barrier, there must be a barrier of at least four feet in height between the home and the pool.

Read the Arizona Revised Statute (ARS) 36-1681 for complete understanding of the requirements. Also note that individual municipalities and counties have different pool barrier requirements. Check with the local government to see if there are requirements more stringent than the Arizona Statute.

For more information about pool safety and enclosure requirements go to the following link,   http://www.azdhs.gov/phs/oeh/pool_rules.htm .

Many homes for sale in Fountain Hill, AZ include a beautiful swimming pool!

Other important rules concerning pool use include,

  • Don’t allow running or horseplay on the pool deck, which can be slippery.
  • Keep toys and pets away from the pool so children are not enticed to go nearer the pool edge and possibly fall into the pool.
  • Keep basic lifesaving equipment near the pool. A pole, a rope or life preserver are recommended.
  • Know CPR.
  • NEVER mix alcohol or drugs with swimming.

One other important piece of information to remember, Arizona law requires when selling a home with a swimming pool, seller must provide to the buyer the Residential Pool Safety Notice document from the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Pools are meant to be beautiful and provide fun for family and friends! Please feel free to leave a comment about swimming pools by clicking on the line; Leave a comment at the bottom of this blog!

If you would like to see a list of homes for sale in Fountain Hills with a swimming pool, go to my website at www.JohnEberleHomeSales.com or telephone me at 602 550 1474.

I am a licensed Realtor with the Artisan Real Estate Group, LLC working in Fountain Hills, Arizona. I am a member of the National Association of Realtors and Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service.

*Search of Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service, June 15, 2012.

 

Like It ! Share It ! Tweet It !

SunRidge Canyon in Fountain Hills, Arizona

Today, the Arizona Regional Multiple Listings Services  (ARMLS) lists 18 homes for sale in SunRidge Canyon, a beautiful and picturesque community located in Fountain Hills, Arizona.  Current list prices range from $359,900 to $1,300,000 with square footage starting at 2025.

Since January 1 of this year, 25 SunRidge Canyon homes have sold and closed escrow.  The average list price, based on data from ARMLS, was $420,264 and the average sold price was $406,092.  The average number of days on the market was 96.

Development of the SunRidge Canyon master planned community began in 1996 and has been platted for 789 single family homes in 15 separate neighborhoods, including two gated communities.  The community is not fully built out and there are still beautiful pieces of real estate for sale.

SunRidge Canyon winds around the golf course of the same name.

The community is located along Palisades Boulevard and Golden Eagle Boulevard with easy access to Shea Boulevard. There are many homes built around the SunRidge Canyon Golf Course, a 6823 yard, par 71 course which boasts of dramatic views and a challenging finish referred to as the Wicked Six.  It is home to the Jim McLean Golf School and open to the public.

 

Fountain Hills Public Schools serving Sunridge Canyon are;

 

The SunRidge Canyon Community Association website offers in depth information concerning resident services, news and announcements, a resources page with copies of community CCR’s, Bylaws, etc. , and a page with association contacts.

To see listings of homes for sale in SunRidge Canyon, Fountain Hills, Arizona, go to John Eberle Home Sales.  For information on listing your home for sale in Fountain Hills, telephone 602 550 1474 or click on the Contact Me tab at the top of this page.

Like It !  Share It !  Tweet It !

Selling a Home and Crime in Fountain Hills, AZ

 

When selling a home, one of many important questions to answer for the buyer concerns crime in the community. Fortunately for the buyers and sellers of homes in Fountain Hills it is good news!

According to Neighborhood Scout the chances of becoming a victim of a crime in Fountain Hills is 1 in 61! And when it comes to violent crime, Fountain Hills has the low number of approximately 1.73 incidents per 1000 residents, which is safer than 53% of cities in the US.

Police services in Fountain Hills is provided by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s office located at 16705 East Avenue of the Fountains. Visit the Sheriff’s website for information about crime prevention, patrols and the jail.

To view a map of crime in Fountain Hills, or lack thereof, visit the Town of Fountain Hills website and click on the RaidsOnline button.

Sheriff’s Office 24-hour NON-EMERGENCY DISPATCH telephone number is (602) 252-7840.  Of course in an emergency, dial 9-1-1.

 

Like It!  Share It!  Tweet It!