It’s tax time already. Although we get a few extra days with this year’s tax deadline falling on April 18th, we’re only a month away. Today we’re discussing the tax advantages and incentives that come with owning a mortgaged home.
If you have recently purchased or are planing to buy a new home, you may not be aware of the significant tax breaks that come from your mortgage and your home itself.
One of the largest tax breaks for homeowners is the
deduction of interest paid for the year. By now, you should have received documentation from your lender indicating the total interest you’ve paid.
Have you recently refinanced? There is a tax benefit. Because you pay more interest than principal in your first few years of a new mortgage, your deductions are higher.
Your property taxes are also a major deduction, especially if you are in a highly taxed city or town. This also applies to homeowners without a mortgage to pay.
Home improvement costs may lead to additional tax breaks. Look for the Energy Star logo on new appliances in your home. Energy-saving water heaters, windows, doors and more may give you a bigger tax break than you had imagined. Check out the Energy Star website to see which changes to your home are tax deductible.
I strongly recommend you meet with a tax professional to understand the opportunities for tax deductions and learn of other breaks you may qualify for as a homeowner. Need a recommendation? I have someone I trust who can help. Call me at 617-965-1236 for the referral or to answer any mortgage-related questions.
Ready to purchase a new home or refinance the one you own? Please get in touch and I’ll be happy to help guide you through the process. I look forward to speaking with you.
March’s Home Improver
When Should I Seed My Lawn?
A beautiful, green, well-kept lawn makes your home more attractive to potential buyers while becoming the envy of your neighbors who struggle with patchy grass that just can’t compete.
Here are some grass-growing secrets that can help you upgrade your home’s curb appeal.
1. When is the best time to seed my lawn? You would think it would be right now, with the first day of spring just a few days away. Typically, the best time to seed a lawn is in the fall. This is due to cooling temperatures and soil that isn’t too moist from melting snow and seasonal rains.
2. What problems may I run into by seeding now? Cool soil temperatures can slow or prevent seed germination. Springtime weeds can sometimes be a cause for concern.
3. Can I use a weed killer? Bad idea. Liquid and granular weed preventers can prevent germination and kill immature seedlings. In effect, you’re killing weeds and your grass at the same time. The rule of thumb is to work on weeds only after your young grass has been mowed at least four times.
4. What are my options for spring seeding? First, test your soil. Most turf grasses work best with neutral soil. Ask your landscaper to test it before planting. If it’s a DIY project, you can buy a soil test kitfor under $25. Also, be sure to choose a grass that works best for New England climate and sun exposure.
5. How do I improve my lawn quickly before putting it on the market? Calling a professional is always recommended. An experienced landscaper has the knowledge to get the seeding job done with a better chance of success than a homeowner who is not working in lawn care on a daily basis. It may be well worth the investment if your current lawn is an eyesore and you’re getting ready to list your home.
6. What about sod? If you need a lawn in a hurry, sod is the way to go. Although the initial cost is higher and lots of watering is critical, your instant lawn is installed free of weeds and can be walked on very soon after it’s planted.