7 Tax Deductions You Didn’t Know You Could Take

7 Tax Deductions You Didn’t Know You Could Take

Like summer camp…and baggage fees…

You guys, the deadline for filing your  taxes has past BUT – there is always next year.  Haven’t even started reviewing your W-2s and 1099s and, gah, so many receipts? It’s not all bad. Here, seven surprising deductions that could save you serious cash.

RÉSUMÉ PAPER

As long as the job you’re looking for is in your current line of work, it’s A-OK to deduct the costs of interviewing–everything from résumé paper and printer ink to cabs and parking receipts. (Hey, you tried to find on-street parking for, like, four whole minutes.)

MEMBERSHIP DUES

The Alliance for Women in Media, Pet Sitters International, the American Association of School Librarians… If you belong to a professional organization, your annual dues and any other miscellaneous membership expenses (like the fee to attend the spring power luncheon) can all be written off.

FRENCH CLASSES

Come on, the fact that you now parle français totally helped your ability to communicate with clients overseas. And there’s another education-focused payoff: You can get a partial credit on your taxes for any money you put toward advanced learning and improving job-related skills.

GOING GREEN

Alas, there’s no longer a tax credit for installing storm windows or insulation, but there is a tax credit for adding big-picture eco-friendly items like solar water heaters, wind turbines and more to your home (a whopping 30 percent of the total cost).

BAGGAGE FEES

That self-funded trip you took to Akron, Ohio, for the freelance assignment of a lifetime? Start itemizing your credit card statement. Travel expenses you incur when self-employed count as tax deductions. (Talk about the perks of being your own boss.)

SUMMER CAMP

Sure, you know all about child-care tax credits, but did you know that camp (as long as it’s not overnight) totally counts toward the deduction? Huzzah!

GIRL SCOUT COOKIES

OK, not the ones you actually ate. But if you bought any boxes to donate to a food drive or an organization in need, you have a free pass to write off the cost. Proof that no charitable donation is too small.

  • Note as a Realtor I do not provide Tax advice – just thought this article was interesting. Please contact your CPA for more information.

 I read this article at: http://www.purewow.com/money/7-Tax-Deductions-You-Didnt-Know-You-Could-Take

Remember to follow our Blog at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com/

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522

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Connect with us professionally at LinkedInhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinawendtcaton

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE# 70000218/ Office BRE #01499008

 

8 Things First-Time Homeowners Never Realize

8 Things First-Time Homeowners Never Realize

 

You did it! You bought your first house and it’s yours and you can do whatever you want with it! Well…not so fast. Here, eight things that first-time homeowners often don’t realize before it’s too late.

THAT YOU MIGHT NEED TO MAKE IMPROVEMENTS STAT

If you just plunked down a ton of money to buy the house (closing costs, whaaaa), it can seem ridiculous to shell out again right away. But even if you’ve passed inspection and are moving into a well-built abode, there’s a good chance you’ll have to do something big (a new boiler… a roof fix) within your first year. Keep a cushion of cash on hand, even if it means waiting to buy that farmhouse table you’ve been coveting.

AND THAT THOSE IMPROVEMENTS COULD REQUIRE PERMITS

It depends on where you live and the extensiveness of your plans, but plenty of renovations–say, a kitchen remodel or a window installation–might require a permit from the city government. Do your research, talk to your contractor, ask your Realtor and don’t risk starting anything that’s not good and legal.

BUT THAT OTHER IMPROVEMENTS COULD SAVE YOU MONEY

Did you know that you could earn a 30 percent tax credit by installing a geothermal heat pump? Or that you could save on monthly energy bills by getting a solar panel and selling electricity back to the grid? Hooray for going green!

THAT YOUR NEIGHBORS MIGHT NOT BE AS JAZZED ABOUT YOUR 4TH-FLOOR ADDITION AS YOU ARE

You’ve been excited to install that gargoyled turret since the day you moved in. Frank next door is terrified you’ll obstruct his views and park a dumpster in front of his house. Have him over for sangria to discuss any big-ticket renovations that could disrupt his life–and proceed with serious caution when it comes to projects that are likely to piss off more than one neighbor.

THAT YOU HAVE TO FOLLOW TRASH LAWS

Recycling goes out on Tuesdays. Big electronics on the first Friday of every month. Anything glass must be in a clear bag. Learn your city’s trash laws, and follow them to a T. (Unless you love getting hit with fines.)

THAT LAWNS REQUIRE ATTENTION DURING EVERY SEASON

Once the temps rise, you are all about that lawn-mower life. But news flash: You also have to take care of your yard from September to May. Keep your lawn raked and tidy in the fall (or risk turning your property into a slip-and-slide) and your grass short and debris-free come winter.

THAT YOU MIGHT BE LIABLE FOR STUFF THAT DOESN’T SEEM LIKE YOUR PROBLEM

Got a tree that overhangs Frank-the-neighbor’s driveway? Got a sewer line that runs beneath your yard? Got an icy sidewalk that you just don’t feel like salting? All of those things are your responsibility to maintain and keep safe for others.

THAT YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING AT ONCE

You have a new house! You want to make it beautiful and homey and full of cheery wallpaper right away. But slow down there, hotshot: If you pace yourself and tackle one thing at a time, you’ll make your money and energy go a lot further. Plus, it’s fun to always have a next project on the horizon. Isn’t that why you bought a house in the first place?

 

I read this article at: http://www.purewow.com/home/things-home-owners-dont-realize?utm_medium=email&utm_source=national&utm_campaign=Homeowner_Things_2016_05_24_a&utm_content=Food_editorial

Remember to follow our Blog at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com/

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522

Want Real Estate Info on the Go? Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

Visit our Website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

VISIT OUR INSTAGRAM PAGE: http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

Visit us on Facebook:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

Yelp us at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-caton-team-realtors-sabrina-caton-and-susan-caton-redwood-city

Or Yelp me: http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Connect with us professionally at LinkedInhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinawendtcaton

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE# 70000218/ Office BRE #01499008

 

Estate Planning: 11 Things to Do Before You Die

Death is not a topic anyone wants to think about, let alone talk about.  However, it is the inevitable outcome of life and something we can plan for.  I learned the hard way when my father passed of a heart attack – we were in the midst of planning for this day – we just hadn’t gotten that far.  It took me months to comb through boxes and boxes of paperwork to piece together everything.  I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.  So today, you can take steps to make the end a little more manageable for your family.  I found this article on Legal Zoom and thought I would share it here.  It takes but a moment to create a trust, to write down the passwords and your wishes.  Do it now – in good health – and know, when the time comes – you have helped your family with the one thing they don’t ever want to think about.  

– Thank you for reading – Sabrina

 

Estate Planning: 11 Things to Do Before You Die

 

Pondering your own mortality is probably not high on your list of enjoyable activities, and yet getting your affairs in order is advisable for everyone.

You may think “estate planning” is only for the wealthy, or that—since you’re relatively young and/or healthy—you don’t need to worry about such things, but neither is true.

Even people with modest assets can benefit from end-of-life planning, which encompasses much more than just writing a last will and testament. And, as we all know, death doesn’t discriminate by age or any other factor.

A little forethought now about how you would like things to go once you’re incapacitated or gone can give you great peace of mind now, as well as spare your loved ones a lot of hassle later.

What are some of the most important things you can do now? Here is a handy estate planning checklist.

  1. Gather important documents and contact information.

Property deeds, vehicle titles, official certificates (birth, marriage, etc.), the contact information for your attorney, insurance broker, doctor—all of these are things you can gather and put in the same, safe place now to make it easier for your loved ones later.

As a bonus, getting all these materials together should also make compiling your estate plan easier, as you will have a lot of the necessary information at your fingertips.

  1. Execute a last will and testament.

A will is one of the most important estate planning documents you can have, as it details where you would like your property go after your death. Unless you make a will, you are leaving things up to your state’s intestacy laws, which apply when someone dies without a will. And you should not assume that the state will make the same choices you would have made.

When you create a will, you, the testator, name an estate administrator or executor: a person you trust to handle the distribution of your estate. You can also name a legal guardian for any minor children and their property, as well as leaving instructions for the care of your pets.

  1. Complete a living will or advance directive.

A living will or advance directive is a legal document in which you name someone to communicate with medical personnel regarding your treatment preferences should you become incapacitated or otherwise unable to express your preferences yourself.

Issues addressed in living wills generally include breathing tubes, feeding tubes, and other life-sustaining medical treatments.

  1. Put in place a power of attorney.

A durable power of attorney allows you to name someone to be in charge of making decisions for you if you become incapacitated. You may choose to name a separate health care power of attorney for medical decisions and a financial power of attorney for financial decisions.

A health care power of attorney works hand-in-hand with a living will to ensure that your wishes regarding medical treatment are followed. A Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) authorization is also necessary to allow others to speak with doctors and nurses about your condition.

  1. Establish a living trust.

A living trust can be a great way for you to make sure your wishes are followed after your death, as well as providing for fast distribution of your assets to beneficiaries, avoiding estate taxes and keeping your financial affairs private.

With a living trust, you, as the grantor, retain control over any property placed within the trust throughout your lifetime. Upon your death, your pre-chosen successor trustee gains control of the trust and will then distribute your assets according to your instructions—all bypassing probate, thus saving both time and money.

An irrevocable trust can also serve as asset protection, to protect your property from being touched by creditors or lawsuits.

  1. Update your beneficiaries.

If you have life insurance, retirement accounts, pensions, or pay-on-death (POD) or transfer-on-death accounts, make sure your beneficiaries are up to date, as these accounts transfer according to their beneficiary designations; your last will does not control them. Any time there is a change in your family situation is a good time to review your beneficiaries.

  1. Secure your digital assets.

Along with online bank, investment, and shopping accounts, many people also have social media accounts that need handling upon the death of the owner.

Facebook, for instance, has a special section in which you can select someone to take over your account upon your passing, but you should also think about what you want to happen with websites, blogs, and any other online activities in which you participate.

  1. Plan final arrangements.

Final arrangements can include organ donation, as well as funeral plans, including how they are to be paid for. Pay-on-death bank accounts are often the best way to handle funeral expenses.

Your will isn’t the best place to include this information because it often isn’t read immediately, so a letter to your estate administrator or a trusted loved one is best.

  1. Make copies and store.

Once you have gathered all your estate planning documents, make copies and store the original and copies in a safe place, such as a fireproof safe in your home or a safe deposit box. Make sure at least one other person will be able to access these documents after your death.

  1. Talk with your loved ones.

Just getting everything down on paper is a great step forward in estate planning, but talking with your loved ones about your wishes is priceless. The clearer they are on what you want, the more likely it is that your wishes will be followed—and the fewer problems they will have, as they won’t have to guess your intentions.

This talk doesn’t have to be all grim and dire, however. You can also take this opportunity to talk to them about your life and memories, and even pass along cherished photographs and stories.

  1. Keep everything current.

Once you put together your estate plan, don’t just put it in that safe place and forget about it. At least yearly, perhaps on your birthday, you should revisit the documents to make sure they still reflect your intentions.

And a bonus: Get the help you need.

While there is no legal requirement that you consult an estate planning attorney, you may want to speak with an attorney to make sure you have adequately addressed all potential concerns while running through the above estate planning checklist.

 

I read this article at: https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/estate-planning-11-things-to-do-before-you-die?utm_source=monthlynewsletters&utm_medium=email&utm_content=2016_05_May&utm_campaign=NL_2016_05_May

Remember to follow our Blog at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com/

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522

Want Real Estate Info on the Go? Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

Visit our Website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

VISIT OUR INSTAGRAM PAGE: http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

Visit us on Facebook:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

Yelp us at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-caton-team-realtors-sabrina-caton-and-susan-caton-redwood-city

Or Yelp me: http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Connect with us professionally at LinkedInhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinawendtcaton

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE# 70000218/ Office BRE #01499008

 

Why it is still relevant to work with a Realtor…

Of course this article peaked my interest.  My daily job function has changed with the increased use of the internet to find homes.  But getting the home – well that’s where The Caton Team Realtors comes in.   It’s the local knowledge and experiance that makes an agent an amazing Realtor.  We have sold hundreds of homes in our career – have you?  Please enjoy this article I read on Inman News.  

 

The advent of technology has called into question the need for real estate agents. Not unlike the once-prominent travel agency, online portals are attempting to relegate real estate agents to a thing of the past.

However, I am here to tell you that real estate agents are more necessary today than they have ever been.

Our reliance on technology has made many complacent; they think finding their dream home is as simple as using the internet.

Every real estate transaction, whether you are buying or selling, is wrought with potential for setback. However, real estate agents are the best way to mitigate any complications that might arise over the course of a deal; their services are more valuable than many give them credit for.

At the very least, a great real estate agent will see to it that deals are carried off without a hitch, but they are capable of offering even more for these four reasons.

  1. Selling is more complicated than many anticipate

Outside of the most accomplished real estate investors and those who have been fortunate enough to live the American dream, it’s safe to assume that selling a house is one of the largest financial obligations many will be confronted with.

The size of the transaction alone is enough to warrant some trepidation, and at the very least, some second guessing. It’s only natural to question such a momentous occasion; it’s a safety measure of sorts.

David Reiss, a law professor at Brooklyn Law School, acknowledges that even the average real estate transaction is financially momentous and complex — the most complex transaction people do in their life.

People have a tendency to fear that which they don’t understand, and few are well-versed in the selling process, which would explain why homeowners covet the assistance of a professional real estate agent.

“People like having an expert when dealing with large, complicated transactions,” founder of Vespula Capital, Jeff Tomasul said. Vespula Capital is an investment management company based in Greenwich, Connecticut. “Why do people still have financial advisers? They want someone who does it full-time to make sure they are not doing anything wrong.”

Today’s sellers appreciate the peace of mind a well-equipped real estate agent can offer and are more than willing to spend a little extra for someone else to dot all of the i’s and cross all of the t’s. With so much on the line, it only makes sense that such a complicated matter is spearheaded by someone with a sufficient knowledge of the process.

  1. Buying isn’t easier without an agent

Not unlike selling, the prospect of acquiring a home has become synonymous with an overwhelmingly complicated process. Those who have yet to purchase their first home are most likely unaware of just how much work will ensue.

Even those who have purchased a house before are probably less familiar with the process than they would expect. There are simply too many steps to account for, each of which must be carried out in a specific manner. It’s not a coincidence that real estate agents are still a hot commodity, despite the encroachment of online portals.

Buying a house is one of the largest financial commitments a person will make in a lifetime, and those committing to purchase will appreciate the eye of a trained professional.

“They can hold your hand through the process,” Reiss explained. “They might say, ‘This lender takes a long time, so put in your contract immediately, and sign this and that paper, and get all this stuff ready before you’re walking over hot coals with the lender for money.’”

Most millennial buyers, for that matter, don’t need an agent to find them the right property; they do all the research ahead of time online.

In fact, it’s not uncommon for first-time buyers to provide their agents with a list of homes they want to see.

In today’s market, agents’ value is not necessarily determined by their ability to show properties, but rather their ability to confirm or deny that respective buyers are following the right steps.

  1. Agents are in touch with the local market and its players

It’s far too easy to relegate real estate agents to the ubiquitous home search; it is, after all, what they are best known for.

However, truly great real estate agents won’t allow themselves to be defined by one single parameter. The more diversified their talents are, the more they will be able to help others and their bottom line.

There is one asset the best real estate agents covet more than anything else: market knowledgeA proper education pertaining to a particular region has the power to open up more doors than any other tool or characteristic.

As it turns out, that knowledge benefits their clients tenfold. You could very easily argue that real estate agents’ knowledge alone is enough to make them invaluable.

I can say with confidence that the best agents come complete with an inherent ability to understand a local market and its respective players. That means they have a good idea of how the local market will look in a day, a month and even a year down the road.

“The agent knows the market intimately, even more than a pretty informed resident,” Reiss said. And all that knowledge saves time.

“Tracking sales, knowing listings, spending a lot of shoe leather on houses already for sale — right off the bat, they know more than the ordinary Joe and Jane. They understand condo boards and title companies. As a player in the game, they know what the other players are looking for and how to deliver.”

No matter how capable you are at searching for properties, or even buying and selling them, it is nearly impossible to replicate the aptitude for market knowledge great real estate agents demonstrate.

  1. The best agents are worth their weight in gold

At the risk of sounding redundant, there is a reason the best real estate agents are still highly sought after. In a world where home searches are just a click away, agents have found ways to diversify their talents and remain extremely relevant.

No longer are real estate agents simply a vehicle to buy and sell homes; they facilitate an overly complicated process.

Having invested in real estate for more than a decade, I am more than capable of acquiring and selling properties.

However, the expertise a good real estate agent brings to the table is more than worth the cost of doing business.

The average commission real estate agents receive upon completing a transaction is nothing to scoff at; expensive sales can result in some lucrative paydays.

However, the price tag is well worth it when you consider how much time and money they will save you.

There is no reason to suspect the money you expend on hiring a real estate agent won’t be returned with expertise; an agent’s knowledge alone could save you thousands of dollars upfront.

I like to think of a good real estate agent as a secure investment; there is a good chance he or she will save you more money than you end up paying for the services.

The advent of technology has certainly made it easier for the average person to commence a home search or even sell property for that matter.

It’s entirely possible to browse hundreds of listings in a given area with the click of a single button. What else could you possibly need?

The answer is simple: the human touch. Online valuation sites are a great place to start your home search, but they will never be able to replicate the value a truly gifted real estate agent can bring to the table.

Key Takeaways

  • It only makes sense that something as complicated as a real estate transaction is spearheaded by someone with sufficient knowledge of the process.
  • Agents’ value is not necessarily determined by their ability to show properties, but rather their ability to confirm or deny that respective buyers are following the right steps.
  • Truly great real estate agents will not allow themselves to be defined by one single parameter.
  • A good real estate agent is a secure investment; there is a good chance he or she will save you more money than you end up paying.

Well I couldn’t agree more.  It is not my time or my car that matters – it is my experience and knowledge of the local real estate market that sets The Caton Team above the rest.  How can The Caton Team help you?

 

 

I read this article at: from Inman News

Remember to follow our Blog at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com/

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522

Want Real Estate Info on the Go? Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

Visit our Website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

VISIT OUR INSTAGRAM PAGE: http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

Visit us on Facebook:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

Yelp us at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-caton-team-realtors-sabrina-caton-and-susan-caton-redwood-city

Or Yelp me: http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Connect with us professionally at LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinawendtcaton

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE# 70000218/ Office BRE #01499008

 

6 Things You Should Never Let Movers Touch

6 Things You Should Never Let Movers Touch

 

So after years of DIY/friend-assisted moves, you’ve finally decided to hire movers. As a fellow lazy convenience-minded person, I salute you. The heavy-lifting, traffic-negotiating, stair-climbing nightmare parts of moving day are out of your hands.

But before you kick back and start daydreaming of sleeping in on the big day, I also have some bad news: There are some things you always want to move yourself.

Even if you’ve hired pros, you’re still probably going to be renting a truck or tucking a few things away in your car. Yes, I know—that completely bursts your nothing-to-do bubble. But you’ll want these things for their safe arrival.

  1. Your pets

Obviously, you’re not going to pack Rover in a box with some air holes, but you still need to do some prep work.

Moving is stressful for pets. Add the potential danger of their busting free in the chaos of moving, and it could be a bad situation. Save yourself a headache later and pack them a travel bag now.

If you’re moving across town, plan to take water and food bowls, food, treats, an extra leash, a favorite toy, and a crate with you in the car.

If you’re moving out of state, your movers probably won’t transport your pets, but you can hire a pet-moving service.

  1. Houseplants

Houseplants are a bigger moving-day hassle than you might realize.

First, your mover might not be able to take some of your plants, because local and interstate laws may forbid it.

“Before doing anything with houseplants, it’s good to check with your state’s Department of Natural Resources or the U.S. Department of Agriculture to make sure there aren’t any restrictions for moving that particular type of plant,” says Jonathan Deesing, a community specialist with imove.

If the plants are allowed on the truck, you’ll still have to worry about everything arriving safely.

“Only pack up plants that are hardy and can survive a bumpy ride,” he says. Fragile plants (we’re looking at you, orchids) may not survive in the back of the truck. So put them in an open box in your car with some padding to keep the pots from tipping over.

  1. Firearms

If you’re packing, the movers probably aren’t.

Whether you’ve got an antique revolver just for display or a powerful hunting rifle, this one is a big no-no for obvious reasons.

“It’s best to move your guns on your own for safety reasons, and many moving services will not even consider moving guns for you anyway,” Deesing says.

If you’re moving your arsenal, don’t forget your safety lessons. Pack bullets and guns separately, and keep everything clearly marked and out of the reach of children.

And remember the rules and regulations.

“Make sure you have all the paperwork in order before moving guns across state lines,” Deesing says.

  1. Your record collection and other valuables

Whether it’s the complete history of the blues on 350 vinyl records, or a collection of antique snow globes, “if you can’t stand the thought of losing it, don’t put it on a moving truck,” Deesing says.

Your moving company isn’t going to toss any of your stuff around (we hope), but accidents do happen. It’s one thing when it happens to that bookshelf you bought at Target, but another when it happens to your great-grandmother’s antique lamp set. If in doubt, bring it with you.

  1. Personal paperwork

Pack your Social Security card, birth certificate, auto title, and any other important paperwork in a waterproof case, and haul that with you. Inevitably, something gets misplaced in a move. And it’s not helpful to find your passport six months after you had to scramble to get a last-minute replacement for your vacation to Spain.

“Of all your belongings, these can often be the most difficult to recover if lost or damaged in transit,” Deesing says.

  1. Climate-sensitive artwork

If you’re moving across town or within the same state, your artwork can probably be safely packed and stowed away on the moving truck. If you’re moving several states away and the temperature might change drastically on the trip, you might want to bring those originals with you in your climate-controlled car.

“If you have artwork in a truck and move from the Northeast to the Deep South, it could irreversibly damage certain paints and materials,” Deesing says.

———

For everything else, follow this rule: When in doubt, overcompensate.

“Communication is key with any part of the move, and this is no exception,” Deesing says. “Don’t take risks, either—clearly label your fragile items and feel free to supervise movers as they load items onto the truck.”

 

I read this article at: http://www.realtor.com/advice/move/always-move-these-things-yourself/?identityID=9851214&MID=2016_0513_WeeklyNL-comafter23&RID=353497822&cid=eml-2016-0513-WeeklyNL-blog_2_dontletmoverstouch-blogs_trends

Remember to follow our Blog at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com/

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

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Housing Opportunities for Young Adults Repaying Student Debt

HAPPY 4th of July Weekend!!!!

 

HUD Secretary Castro, Panelists Discuss Housing Opportunities for Young Adults Repaying Student Debt

 

WASHINGTON (May 10, 2016) — Struggles exist for many young adults trying to become homeowners, and the burden of repaying their student loan debt is in part delaying their ability to buy, according to speakers at a regulatory issues forum on student debt and homeownership at the 2016 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo.

The high-profile session discussing the impact student loan debt is having on young households’ ability to purchase homes was keynoted by U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro. During his remarks, Secretary Castro announced some of the regulatory changes coming soon to ensure housing opportunities exist for young men and women – many of whom are currently repaying the loans they borrowed to earn a college degree.

Secretary Castro began his address by saying the prescription to the American Dream has always been working hard, saving your money and investing in yourself, often by getting a great education. What has changed in recent times is that the third step – getting a great education – is more expensive than ever.

According to Castro, HUD is committed to working with its partners across the administration and in the housing community to explore additional changes that can help more Americans purchase a home. That’s why last November, Federal Housing Administration Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Ed Golding announced changes to condo rules that would address a lengthy and complex recertification process, owner-occupancy requirements, and limits on the types of property insurance that FHA considers acceptable coverage. Secretary Castro announced that the proposed condo rule has left the HUD building and is at the Office of Management and Budget for review.

“Today’s exciting news about the big changes coming to condos are a long-fought win for Realtors®, and we’re eager to see it come to fruition,” said NAR President Tom Salomone, broker-owner of Real Estate II Inc. in Coral Springs, Florida. “Realtors® know that condos are an important option for buyers, especially for first-time buyers looking for affordable options in the marketplace.”

Secretary Castro concluded, “Realtors® help make the dream of homeownership for so many Americans a reality, and HUD is committed to partnering with them to ensure that the hard-won progress we’re seeing in our housing market continues to grow for many years to come.

A panel discussion followed consisting of Rohit Chopra, a senior official at the U.S. Department of Education; Meta Brown, senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; NAR’s Jessica Lautz, managing director of survey research; and Mabel Guzman, chairwoman of NAR’s student loan debt work group and a Realtor® from Chicago-based real estate brokerage @Properties.

The panel participants agreed that in addition to affordability concerns, inventory shortages and lifestyle factors such as marrying later in life and having to repay student loan debt are burdening a segment of creditworthy buyers by making it more difficult to save for a down payment.

Discussing some of the ways the Education Department is working to address student loan debt, Chopra said income-based repayment options and holding student loan servicers more accountable during the repayment process will go a long way to ensuring that relief exists for those burdened by their debt. “We need to make sure the pillars of the American Dream of graduating from college and owning a home go together – and not compete with each other,” he said.

Sharing research from the New York Fed, Brown explained just how much student debt has defied the current business cycle of the past 10 years. Non-mortgage debt balances, such as debt from auto loans and credit cards, experienced a period of decline during the immediate aftermath of the Great Recession and have how either flatlined or rebounded slowly in recent years. The exception during this time has been student debt balances, which have ballooned from over $300 billion at the end of 2004 to over $1.2 trillion debt today.

Brown concluded that carrying high balances of student debt is likely leading to a growing share of young student borrowers retreating from the housing market and ultimately having to co-reside with their parents.

Pointing to NAR survey data of actual homebuyers and renters, Lautz said even with the numerous obstacles they face, millennials do make up the largest share of buyers among all generations, and over 90 percent of them currently renting have indicated a desire to become homeowners in the future.

“With home prices and rents on the rise, saving for the down payment is a challenge for many would-be buyers,” said Lautz. “Unfortunately, among other factors, repaying student debt is delaying a typical individuals’ path to homeownership by roughly five years.”

The final speaker, Guzman, said that in addition to Congress passing legislation that helps ease borrowers’ debt burden, Realtors® can play a big role by working with their young clients at the beginning stages of their housing needs, particularly during the leasing process when renting their first place.

“Realtors® can be a resourceful advocate for their young clients repaying student debt by educating them about their housing options and pointing them to credible resources, such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s information on student debt,” added Guzman. “The urge to be a homeowner is not lost among young adults, and we can all can work together early in the process to make sure they’re able to buy when they’re ready.”

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

I read this article at: http://www.realtor.org/news-releases/2016/05/hud-secretary-castro-panelists-discuss-housing-opportunities-for-young-adults-repaying-student-debt?om_rid=AACmlZ&om_mid=_BXOhUyB9NrAnqP&om_ntype=RESMonthly

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Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522

Want Real Estate Info on the Go? Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

Visit our Website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

VISIT OUR INSTAGRAM PAGE: http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

Visit us on Facebook:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

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Connect with us professionally at LinkedInhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinawendtcaton

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE# 70000218/ Office BRE #01499008