Charles Stallions Real Estate Services Inc.

Homeowner Strategies to Minimize Gain & Maximize Proceeds

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The gain on the sale of your home is determined by the price you sell the home, less selling expenses, less the price you paid for it, plus the capital improvements made during the time you owned the property.

IRS and accounting use the term "basis" to describe your cost in the home. It is a dynamic number that changes over time based on capital improvements that are made and capital losses that are incurred. What is called the tax basis may better be referred to as cost basis. It is the taxpayer’s cost in the property used to determine the tax on the gain of the sale.

The calculation begins with the purchase price of the property plus certain capitalized acquisition costs that were owed by the seller but were paid when purchased. Examples would include real estate taxes owed through the day before the sale date, back interest owed by the seller, and charges for repairs that were the seller’s responsibility. Capital improvements made to the property during ownership will increase the basis.

Capital improvements must either materially add value to the home, appreciably prolong the useful life of the property, or adapt a portion of the property to a new use. IRS Publication 523 has a section on figuring the gain or loss on a personal residence.

Some of the following may be considered capital improvements: landscaping, driveway, fence, swimming pool, new roof not covered by insurance, replacement of HVAC equipment and appliances. Maintenance and repairs to a person’s home is not a capital expenditure.

If the owner purchased a home for $350,000 and during that time spent $110,000 on qualified improvements, the cost basis of the property would be $460,000.

If cost recovery had been taken on the home when it was used as a rental property, even though it is now considered a principal residence, the total amount of the depreciation lowers the basis in the property.

Purchase Price $350,000
Plus Capital Improvements $110,000
Adjusted Basis $460,000
Sales Price $650,000
Less Selling Costs $31,000
Net Selling Price $619,000
Less Adjusted Basis $460,000
Capital Gain $159,000

In the example above, if the taxpayer owned and used the home as their principal residence for two out of the last five years and had not taken an exclusion on another home during the two years prior to the current sale and didn’t acquire the home through a 1031 exchange during the past five years, the gain qualifies for an exclusion and no tax paid. Single taxpayers and married taxpayers filing separately can exclude up to $250,000 of gain from the sale of a principal residence. Married taxpayers filing jointly can exclude up to $500,000 of gain from the sale.

Record keeping is important for you to substantiate the capital improvements when it comes time to calculate the gain. While IRS does allow you to reconstruct the expenses, it is much better to keep track of them in a contemporaneous manner with dates, receipts, and possibly, pictures for the more expensive improvements.

For more information, download our Homeowners Tax Guide.

Living the Dream: The Value of Homeownership

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Owning a home has long been considered a fundamental part of the American dream. It represents far more than just having a place to live�it embodies values, aspirations, and a sense of security. Here’s why homeownership is widely regarded as a key component of the American dream:

Stability and Roots: Owning a home provides a sense of stability and roots in a community. It allows individuals and families to establish themselves, put down roots, and create a sense of belonging.

Wealth Building: Homeownership is often seen as a pathway to wealth building. By building equity over time, homeowners have the potential to accumulate wealth, establish financial security, and pass down assets to future generations.

Personalization and Pride: Homeownership grants the freedom to personalize and customize a space according to personal taste and style. It offers a sense of pride and accomplishment, as homeowners can create a place that truly reflects their identity and values.

Community and Social Connections: Homeownership fosters a sense of community and social connections. Neighbors become more than just acquaintances; they become friends, creating a supportive network that enhances the overall quality of life.

Stability for Future Generations: Homeownership provides a stable environment for future generations. It offers the opportunity to create lasting memories, build family traditions, and provide a secure foundation for children and grandchildren.

Financial Benefits: Homeownership can provide various financial benefits, including potential tax advantages and the opportunity to build credit and establish a solid financial history.

Sense of Achievement: Achieving homeownership is often viewed as a significant milestone and a symbol of personal achievement. It represents hard work, dedication, and the fulfillment of a long-held dream.

Control and Independence: Homeownership brings a sense of control and independence. Homeowners have the freedom to make decisions about their property, from renovations and improvements to landscaping and design choices.

Long-Term Investment: Real estate has historically been a reliable long-term investment. Homeownership allows individuals to build wealth over time while enjoying the benefits of a place to call their own.

Emotional Well-being: Owning a home can contribute to emotional well-being and overall happiness. It provides a sense of security, pride, and a place to create lasting memories with loved ones.

Homeownership represents a significant part of the American dream, encapsulating aspirations for stability, financial security, personalization, and a sense of community. It symbolizes the pursuit of a better future, a place to call home, and the realization of one’s own piece of the American dream.

For more information, download Homeownership Today!

How to get a lower rate and a lower price

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Are you in the market for a new home and wondering which mortgage option is right for you? While the world of home financing offers a surplus of choices, one option often overlooked is the Adjustable Rate Mortgage, or ARM. If you’re in a market where interest rates are trending lower, an ARM could be the key to significant savings and financial flexibility.

The problem is simple, while you’re waiting for interest rates to come down, the price of homes are still going up. Any savings from the lower interest rate could more than be offset by the increase in purchase price due to appreciation. Buying at today’s prices with an interim loan might be the answer.

Picture this: You’ve found your dream home, and it’s time to secure financing. An ARM often starts with a lower initial interest rate than a fixed-rate mortgage. This means your monthly payments will be more manageable from day one, allowing you to allocate your budget wisely.

In a market where interest rates are on a downward slope, ARMs can lead to even lower monthly payments. If rates continue to decline, your mortgage payments could shrink, leaving more money in your pocket.

If you anticipate selling or refinancing your home within a few years, an ARM can be a strategic choice. The lower initial rates and shorter fixed-rate periods align with your shorter-term ownership plans, offering cost savings during your stay.

Imagine paying less interest over the life of your mortgage. In a declining rate environment, an ARM can translate into lower overall interest expenses compared to a fixed-rate mortgage, assuming the rates stay favorable.

One of the unique features of ARMs are the rate caps. These caps limit how much your interest rate can adjust during each period, offering a safeguard against sudden and steep rate hikes. Your financial peace of mind is protected.

A lower initial interest rate can boost your borrowing power. With an ARM, you may qualify for a larger loan amount or consider a property that might have been just out of reach with a fixed-rate mortgage.

Lower initial monthly payments with an ARM can free up funds that you can redirect towards paying down your mortgage faster. This could help you build equity in your home more rapidly.

Life is full of surprises, and an ARM provides you with flexibility. As market conditions change, you have the option to adapt your mortgage to your financial goals. You can choose to refinance, lock in a fixed rate, or ride the wave of lower rates.

While ARMs offer exciting benefits in a declining rate environment, they are not without risks. If interest rates rise, your monthly payments could increase, potentially impacting your budget. Therefore, it’s crucial to assess your financial situation, future plans, and risk tolerance carefully.

When the market is trending toward lower interest rates, an Adjustable Rate Mortgage can be a valuable tool for savvy homebuyers especially when the price of homes are still going up. It’s all about seizing the opportunity for savings, financial flexibility, and homeownership that aligns perfectly with your goals and lifestyle. Explore your options, consult with a trusted mortgage professional, and make an informed decision that leads you to your dream home with your financial well-being in mind.

How To Get A Lower Rate And A Lower Price

Are you in the market for a new home and wondering which mortgage option is right for you? While the world of home financing offers a surplus of choices, one option often overlooked is the Adjustable Rate Mortgage, or ARM. If you’re in a market where interest rates are trending lower, an ARM could be the key to significant savings and financial flexibility.

The problem is simple, while you’re waiting for interest rates to come down, the price of homes are still going up.  Any savings from the lower interest rate could more than be offset by the increase in purchase price due to appreciation.  Buying at today’s prices with an interim loan might be the answer.

Picture this: You’ve found your dream home, and it’s time to secure financing. An ARM often starts with a lower initial interest rate than a fixed-rate mortgage. This means your monthly payments will be more manageable from day one, allowing you to allocate your budget wisely.

In a market where interest rates are on a downward slope, ARMs can lead to even lower monthly payments. If rates continue to decline, your mortgage payments could shrink, leaving more money in your pocket.

If you anticipate selling or refinancing your home within a few years, an ARM can be a strategic choice. The lower initial rates and shorter fixed-rate periods align with your shorter-term ownership plans, offering cost savings during your stay.

Imagine paying less interest over the life of your mortgage. In a declining rate environment, an ARM can translate into lower overall interest expenses compared to a fixed-rate mortgage, assuming the rates stay favorable.

One of the unique features of ARMs are the rate caps. These caps limit how much your interest rate can adjust during each period, offering a safeguard against sudden and steep rate hikes. Your financial peace of mind is protected.

A lower initial interest rate can boost your borrowing power. With an ARM, you may qualify for a larger loan amount or consider a property that might have been just out of reach with a fixed-rate mortgage.

Lower initial monthly payments with an ARM can free up funds that you can redirect towards paying down your mortgage faster. This could help you build equity in your home more rapidly.

Life is full of surprises, and an ARM provides you with flexibility. As market conditions change, you have the option to adapt your mortgage to your financial goals. You can choose to refinance, lock in a fixed rate, or ride the wave of lower rates.

While ARMs offer exciting benefits in a declining rate environment, they are not without risks. If interest rates rise, your monthly payments could increase, potentially impacting your budget. Therefore, it’s crucial to assess your financial situation, future plans, and risk tolerance carefully.

When the market is trending toward lower interest rates, an Adjustable Rate Mortgage can be a valuable tool for savvy homebuyers especially when the price of homes are still going up. It’s all about seizing the opportunity for savings, financial flexibility, and homeownership that aligns perfectly with your goals and lifestyle. Explore your options, consult with a trusted mortgage professional, and make an informed decision that leads you to your dream home with your financial well-being in mind.

Home selling strategies for downsizing seniors

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Downsizing can be a significant life transition for any age person, but especially for seniors who may have lived in this last home for some time. Follow these suggestions to make the downsizing process smoother and less stressful.

  • Start Early: Begin the downsizing process well in advance of your planned move. Give yourself plenty of time to make decisions and avoid feeling rushed.
  • Assess Your Needs: Evaluate your current and future needs in terms of space, accessibility, and location. Consider factors like health, mobility, and proximity to family and healthcare facilities.
  • Create a Plan: Develop a comprehensive downsizing plan that outlines your goals, priorities, and a timeline for each task. Having a plan will keep you organized and focused.
  • Declutter: Go through your belongings room by room and decide what to keep, donate, sell, or discard. Be realistic about what you truly need and use regularly.
  • Seek Professional Help: Consider hiring a professional organizer, downsizing specialist, or real estate agent experienced in working with seniors. They can offer guidance and support throughout the process.
  • Embrace Technology: Digitize important documents and photographs to reduce paper clutter. Consider using digital tools to keep track of your possessions.
  • Measure Your New Space: Obtain floor plans or measurements of your new home to ensure your furniture and belongings will fit comfortably. This can help you decide what to bring and what to leave behind.
  • Prioritize Sentimental Items: While downsizing often involves letting go of sentimental possessions, choose a few cherished items to keep and display in your new space. Consider passing down heirlooms to family members.
  • Hold an Estate Sale or Auction: If you have valuable items that you no longer need, consider selling them through an estate sale or auction to help fund your downsizing efforts.
  • Stay Positive: Downsizing can be emotionally challenging, but it also offers the opportunity for a fresh start and simplified living. Focus on the benefits of your new home and lifestyle.

Remember that downsizing is a personal journey, and it’s essential to approach it with patience and a positive mindset. Don’t hesitate to seek support from family and friends, and don’t be too hard on yourself during this process.

For more information download our guide Downsizing Your Home.

Should You Install Artificial Turf in Your Yard?

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Who wouldn’t want to reside in a beautiful neighborhood adorned with meticulously manicured lawns? While some homeowners relish the thought of working on their yards, others may not share the same enthusiasm. If you’ve ever contemplated the idea of installing artificial turf, also known as fake grass, as a part of your landscape, it’s essential to consider both its advantages and drawbacks.

Let’s Begin with the Advantages:

Modern advancements in artificial turf technology have rendered it nearly indistinguishable from real grass, offering an evergreen and perpetually lush appearance to your landscape.

One of the most significant perks of artificial turf is the elimination of the need for regular mowing and trimming. This translates to potential cost savings by reducing monthly expenses associated with professional yard maintenance.

Artificial lawns are highly durable and can endure for up to two decades with minimal upkeep.

Many manufacturers incorporate recycled materials like tires and plastic bottles into their synthetic grass, contributing to a reduction in your environmental footprint.

Artificial turf conserves water, requiring only periodic watering for surface cleaning. In regions with consistent rainfall, this may even become unnecessary, making it an ideal solution for drought-prone climates. Additionally, artificial grass eliminates the risk of groundwater pollution since it doesn’t require fertilizers. It also reduces air and noise pollution by eliminating the need for gas-powered lawnmowers and trimmers.

Now, Consider the Drawbacks:

Artificial grass can come with a substantial initial cost.

Being synthetic, it can absorb heat, potentially making it uncomfortably warm under bare feet in direct sunlight.

Accidental pet waste may pass through the turf, with solids being removable, but odors could linger. However, these odors can typically be eliminated using a vinegar and water solution.

Small debris that can’t be removed with a leaf blower, such as mulch chips and tiny branches, may require a specialized artificial grass sweeper or turf rake for thorough cleaning.

Before deciding on artificial turf for your yard, carefully weigh these pros and cons to determine if it aligns with your needs, preferences, and budget.

Transform your home into a showstopper with the power of staging!

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Imagine looking around your home and wondering how you can make it shine during those crucial showings. The answer is simple: staging! It’s a powerful tool that can transform your property and raise its appeal.

Your online listing photos serve as the initial showcase for potential buyers. Staging plays a crucial role in enhancing these images, making them more captivating and inviting. It sets the stage, quite literally, for a positive first impression. When buyers scroll through your listing, professionally staged rooms catch their eye, drawing them into the story your home tells.

Staging isn’t just about creating a visually pleasing environment; it’s about sparking an emotional connection. A well-staged home exudes warmth and welcome, making it easier for buyers to picture themselves living there. It’s a canvas upon which they can paint their own future, creating an emotional bond with the space that lingers long after the showing ends.

The numbers don’t lie. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 23% of buyer’s agents report that staging can increase the dollar value offered by 1-5% compared to non-staged homes. In essence, staging is an investment that yields a tangible return. It’s a strategic move to maximize your property’s market value and, ultimately, your selling price.

Staging has another subtle yet impactful benefit. It redirects attention away from any outdated or minor repair needs that you may not have had the resources to address before listing. Instead of fixating on imperfections, buyers are drawn to the positive aspects of your home. It’s about showcasing its potential and best features, ensuring they shine brightly.

To reap the full benefits of staging, timing is key. Ideally, it should be implemented before your home hits the market. The moment you decide to sell, consider reaching out to us. We can seamlessly incorporate staging into your selling timeline, ensuring your home stands out and captures the hearts of potential buyers right from the start. Don’t underestimate the impact of this transformative process�it’s the secret weapon in your arsenal to sell your home swiftly and at an optimal price.

Pace Property Experts: The Hidden Gem Of North West Florida

Living in Pace, Florida, is akin to discovering a hidden gem on the Gulf Coast. Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of larger cities, Pace offers a serene environment that embodies the essence of Southern charm. But beyond its picturesque landscapes and friendly atmosphere, Pace is a community rich in values that profoundly shape its residents’ lives.

One of Pace’s most cherished values is a strong sense of community. Neighbors aren’t just acquaintances; they’re like extended family members. Whether it’s coming together for a barbecue, supporting local events, or lending a helping hand during times of need, the people of Pace understand the importance of building meaningful connections and supporting one another. This tight-knit community fosters a sense of belonging and camaraderie that is truly heartwarming.

Another core value that defines life in Pace is a deep appreciation for nature and the outdoors. Surrounded by lush forests, tranquil rivers, and pristine beaches, residents are spoilt for choice regarding outdoor activities. From kayaking along the Blackwater River to hiking through the acres of untouched wilderness in nearby parks, there’s no shortage of opportunities to connect with nature and explore the great outdoors. This reverence for the natural world instills a sense of stewardship and responsibility toward preserving the environment for future generations.

Pace is also a place where traditional values and modern amenities coexist harmoniously. While the community holds dear to its Southern roots and values of hospitality, respect, and hard work, it also embraces progress and innovation. With easy access to nearby cities like Pensacola and Milton, residents have access to top-notch healthcare facilities, educational institutions, and employment opportunities while enjoying the laid-back pace of small-town living.

Moreover, Pace prides itself on its intense patriotism and respect for the armed forces. Home to many military families and veterans, the community honors their service and sacrifices through various events and initiatives. From patriotic parades to fundraisers for veterans’ organizations, Pace is where the brave men and women serving our country are celebrated and supported.

In addition to these values, Pace is a place where family comes first. Its safe neighborhoods, excellent schools, and abundant recreational activities make it the perfect place to raise children and create lasting memories with loved ones. Whether it’s spending a day at the beach, cheering on the local sports teams, or enjoying a picnic in one of the many parks, there’s no shortage of family-friendly fun in Pace.

In conclusion, living in Pace, Florida, is more than just residing in a beautiful coastal town—it’s about embracing a way of life built on community, nature, tradition, and family. With its solid values and welcoming atmosphere, Pace offers a slice of paradise where residents can thrive and create a life filled with meaning and purpose.

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Pace is an unincorporated community in Santa Rosa County, Florida. It is the second-largest community in Santa Rosa County and part of the Pensacola Metropolitan Statistical Area. ZIP code: 32571

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We are Ambassadors for Pensacola, Pace, and Gulf Breeze, Florida. Whether you’re a first-time guest or a frequent visitor, do as the locals do when you need to know something — whether about an excellent place to eat, job opportunities, or a real estate question. Call or text Charles Stallions at 850-476-4494 or email [email protected]. It’s Who We “R.”

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Finding Your Dream Home: A Comprehensive Guide to Buying in Pensacola, Florida

By Charles Stallions Broker/ CSP since 1995

Pensacola, Florida, known for its stunning beaches, rich history, and vibrant culture, is an enticing location to call home. Nestled along the Gulf Coast, this city offers a unique blend of Southern charm and coastal living, making it a desirable destination for those seeking a new home. If you’re considering making Pensacola your home, this guide will walk you through buying a new home in this beautiful city.

1. Understanding the Market:

Before starting your home search, it’s essential to understand the current real estate market in Pensacola. Like many coastal cities, Pensacola experiences fluctuations in housing prices and availability. Researching market trends, average home prices and neighborhood dynamics can provide valuable insights into what to expect.

Pensacola’s real estate market offers diverse options, from waterfront properties to historic homes in downtown neighborhoods. Depending on your preferences and budget, you can explore various neighborhoods with unique charm and amenities.

2. Setting Your Budget:

Determining your budget is a crucial step in the home-buying process. When setting your budget, Consider your income, savings, monthly expenses, and potential mortgage rates. Additionally, factor in other costs associated with homeownership, such as property taxes, insurance, and maintenance.

In Pensacola, home prices vary depending on location, size, and amenities. Working with a local real estate agent can help you navigate the market and find homes that align with your budget and preferences.

3. Choosing the Right Neighborhood:

Pensacola offers a wide array of neighborhoods with distinct character and amenities. Whether you’re drawn to the historic charm of East Hill, the beachfront luxury of Perdido Key, or the family-friendly atmosphere of Gulf Breeze, there’s a neighborhood to suit every lifestyle.

When choosing a neighborhood, consider factors such as proximity to schools, parks, shopping, and dining options. Take the time to explore different areas and envision yourself living there to find the perfect fit for you and your family.

4. Working with a Real Estate Agent:

Partnering with a knowledgeable real estate agent like Charles Stallions, a Certified New Home Specialist, can streamline the home-buying process and provide valuable insights into the local market. An experienced agent can help you navigate listings, schedule viewings, negotiate offers, and handle paperwork, saving you time and stress.

When selecting a real estate agent, look for someone with a strong track record of success in the Pensacola market and positive reviews from past clients. Communication and trust are essential when working with an agent, so choose someone who listens to your needs and advocates.

5. Viewing Properties:

Once you’ve identified potential neighborhoods and enlisted the help of a real estate agent, it’s time to start viewing properties. Schedule viewings of homes that meet your criteria paying attention to details such as layout, condition, and curb appeal.

Take the time to explore each home thoroughly, envisioning yourself living there and considering how well it meets your needs and preferences. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and request additional information from your agent to make an informed decision.

6. Making an Offer:

When you find a home that meets your criteria, it’s time to make an offer. Your real estate agent can help you draft a competitive offer based on market conditions, comparable sales, and the home’s condition and features.

Be prepared to negotiate with the seller, especially in a competitive market. Your agent can advise you on the best strategies for negotiating prices, contingencies, and other terms to ensure a successful outcome.

7. Closing the Deal:

Once your offer is accepted, you’ll enter the closing process, which involves finalizing the sale and transferring ownership of the property. This typically involves inspections, appraisals, and various paperwork and legal documents.

Throughout the closing process, your real estate agent and other professionals involved in the transaction will guide you through each step and ensure everything is for a smooth closing. Once all the necessary documents are signed and funds are transferred, you’ll receive the keys to your new home and officially become a homeowner in Pensacola.

Conclusion:

Buying a new home in Pensacola, Florida, offers the opportunity to experience coastal living at its finest. From stunning beaches to historic neighborhoods, this city has something for everyone. By understanding the market, setting a budget, choosing the right neighborhood, working with a real estate agent, viewing properties, making an offer, and closing the deal, you can navigate the home-buying process with confidence and find your dream home in Pensacola.

https://www.newhomesource.com/communities/fl/pensacola-area

Bottom Line: “We ‘R’ The Realtors For That.” Sign up for our Monthly Real Estate Newsletter

We are Ambassadors for Pensacola, Pace, and Gulf Breeze, Florida. Whether you’re a first-time guest or a frequent visitor, do as the locals do when you need to know something — whether about an excellent place to eat, job opportunities, or a real estate question. Call or text Charles Stallions at 850-476-4494 or email [email protected]. It’s Who We “R.”