|Are Your “People” Ready for Tax Season?|
H&R Block has a new ad on TV. A mailman is asked by a person
on his route how he mails in his taxes – does he have to go to the
post office like everyone else? It’s a play on the tricky questions
like How do you throw out a garbage can? Which I’ve always wondered,
so hit Reply if you know!
The mailman’s response in this ad
is that his “people” at H&R Block take care of his tax return.
This ad got me thinking about who my “people” are during this time
of year. More importantly, I started thinking about you. Do you know
who your “people” are?
Do you have a financial team or do
you have a group of professionals who work in a vacuum on a
particular piece of your finances?
You probably have an
accountant, financial planner, realtor, mortgage broker and attorney
who you use for specific transactions. But are you missing a
financial opportunity by failing to view this group as a team of
your “people” who can maximize your investments, alert you to
potential pitfalls and coordinate with each other to enhance your
Would you go to a hospital where the
nurses, doctors, technicians and administrators never communicated
with each other about your care? Would you send your children to a
school where the teachers, administrators and parents failed to
communicate about the students’ education?
It makes sense,
then, that you wouldn’t want to leave the various pieces of your
financial puzzle scattered in different places. It’s time to create
For homeowners or potential homeowners, a
financial team serves a critical role in ensuring you make the most
out of what is most likely your largest financial asset – your home.
This month, I’m sending a letter to all of my clients
who bought or refinanced a home in 2006. The letter will include
their HUD settlement statement, a document homeowners receive at
closings that shows first quarter property tax information.
Accountants need this data when preparing tax returns. By saving
clients a step in their tax prep and saving their accountants a
phone call, I hope to strengthen my relationship as part of their
financial team – as one of their “people.”
You have “people,”
too, and now is a great time to start using them! See my letter for
|Debbie on Fox25 News...Again!|
I was excited to be invited back to speak on Fox25 News about
selling your home in a slow market. Here’s a look at my interview
with David Wade.
this link to watch!
|January's Home Value Improver|
Thinking about doing some home improvements or renovations this
Before you begin, consider which projects will deliver
the highest return on investment by increasing your home value.
Here is what some home experts agree are the most
financially rewarding projects:
here’s what some say are the worst projects in terms of financial
- Adding a bathroom
- Renovating the kitchen
- Renovating a bathroom
- New siding
- Adding a family room or master bedroom suite
Of course, it’s always great to do
projects that will enhance the enjoyment of your home. So if a
project will make daily life better, go for it!
- Adding a pool
- Refinishing the basement
- Remodeling a home office
- Adding a gazebo
I appreciate you subscribing to – and reading! – my newsletter.
As I wrote this issue on financial teams, I thought about specific
ways you can start building a connection among the members of your
financial team. Here are 4 to get you going.Best regards,
1. When meeting
with a member of your team, give him or her the business cards of
your other team members, so they can reach out to them if necessary.
Encourage them to do it.
2. If you have no meetings scheduled
in the near future, write a group email or letter to your financial
planner, mortgage broker, insurance broker, accountant and attorney.
Share the contact information of each member in the email and simply
say, as a customer, that you’d like them to have each other’s info
in case they need to connect when working on your
3. If any of the following situations pertain to
you, schedule time to connect with your team:
bought or refinanced a home in 2006.
b. You plan to buy or
refinance a home in 2007.
c. You are changing jobs, starting
a business, getting married, getting divorced, having a baby or
4. Keep all financial files and documentation in
one place. I suggest a file box or accordion folder organized by
function – tax, homeowners insurance, financial planning, etc.
Electronically, create a folder with appropriate subfolders and then
create a back up CD of the data. Bring the file box and CD with you
when meeting with members of your team so you have easy access to
what they need.
Thanks again for reading, and please get in
touch with any questions you have about mortgages. I want to pull my
weight as a financial team member!
P.S. You're receiving this E-Newsletter because you have a prior
relationship with me or with Westchester Mortgage. If I've sent this
to you in error, or if you want to remove yourself from the list at
any time, just click the "SafeUnsubscribe" link at the bottom of