Monthly Archives: June 2018

How to Claim Home Improvements

Did you know that home improvements qualify for deductions on your Federal taxes? Due to current market conditions and the downturn in the real estate markets many homeowners are opting to improve the existing home over upgrading to a new home. These home improvements most likely qualify as deduction on your taxes and can be used to reduce the amount you owe on your annual taxes.

What Home Improvements Qualify for Tax Deductions?

Any home improvement which is done for medical reasons such as elevators, ramps, raised sinks and door widening may qualify for a tax deduction. With proper documentation as to costs involved you can recoup a percentage of your home improvement costs but without the right receipts you will have nothing to make a claim with.

Improvements on your home related to energy savings may be eligible for tax credits and rebates both from Federal, State and local governments. In some states you can get as much as 25% of you total cost reimbursed to you for the installation of energy efficient heating and cooling devices. Home energy improvements are also beneficial for lowering your electric bills and additional savings over time. Improvements related to energy can add significant value to a home and increase the resale value as much as 15% or more in certain areas where power consumption costs more.

What Home Improvements Do Not Qualify for Tax Deductions?

As with anything from the government there are a number of requirements and limitations. One example is the difference between a home repair and a home improvement. Home repairs are generally not able to be used as tax deduction and the definition of repairs over improvement has caught more than one homeowner off guard in the past. An example of a home repair may be something like the replacement of a faulty roof or a broken water heater. An improvement would be something not necessary but which offers value in the long run.

Be Careful And Don’t Get Carried Away

The Internal Revenue Service has very strict requirements and standards on what can or cannot be claimed for tax deductions. Be sure to check with your tax accountant or financial advisor about what you can and cannot claim. We are general contractors in Florida and not tax attorneys but our experience has been that many homeowners will neglect to check what they can or cannot claim on their taxes and they often miss out on an opportunity to maximize their investment.

There are limits on how much you can claim and the cost involved. For example building a wheelchair ramp with a covered path may seem nice but in most cases the tax breaks will be on the ramp alone and not the roof system. It’s not a necessary component to the improvement.

Be aware of the many pitfalls and do your research before you make any decisions related to your finances. Tax deductions for improvements are a great way to reduce your total tax debt as long as they are done correctly.

Sauer and Sons Construction Company in Ocala Florida offers professional home improvement and repair services for clients across Central Florida.

Your home is still your greatest asset and home improvements and repairs are still vital to not only sustaining your investment but in watching it grow as well. Home improvements and home repairs are important not only for maintaining the value but also for increasing the comfort and usability of your home. Get the most from your home and renovate your existing home at a fraction of the cost over other so called local construction firms.

Tips to Make Home Improvements

If you are like many homeowners, your house is among the most significant investments that you own. In addition to being your largest asset, it is the place where you live, entertain and more. By keeping your home well-maintained and making improvements as needed, you can easily maintain or improve its value while also enjoying increased pride of ownership. However, many home improvement projects can be costly, and you may be looking for a way to make improvements to your home more affordable. By following a few key tips, you can enjoy the benefits associated with improving your home without paying more than necessary for those improvements.

Affordable Materials and Equipment
One of the key factors that contributes to the cost of home improvements pertains to the materials and equipment needed for the project. Many homeowners commonly head down to a local home improvement store to buy the items needed for their projects. While these stores are a convenient source for materials and equipment, they may not be the most affordable source. You can consider looking for used equipment in local online classified listings. In some cities, you may find wholesale materials and supplies stores that offer a great selection of steeply discounted materials. If you must shop at local home improvement stores, be sure to look for sales, coupons and special offers that can save you money.

The Cost of Labor
The other main factor associated with home improvements is the cost of labor. Some homeowners have a real knack for completing home improvement projects. Others, however, may require several attempts at a task before completing it right, and this can result in wasted supplies and materials. If you lack the skills and experience necessary to do the job or are not comfortable with the processes involved, it is best to utilize the services of a contractor. Some specialized contractors will charge you a higher rate than other contractors who may have an equal ability to perform the tasks you need completed. A professional handyman, for example may be a jack-of-all-trades, and he may perform services at a lower rate than a contractor who offers only a specialized skill.

Home Improvement Loans

From time to time it becomes necessary to acquire home improvement loans to help you “upgrade” your house. Whether you are renting the house out to tenants or you live in the house yourself, home improvements always add value to the property.

There are many home improvement loans you may decide to go after depending on your circumstances such as your credit score and the amount of down payment you may have. You also need to check on other requirements of the type of loan. Here are 7 practical steps you can take to get a home improvement loan approved.

1. Know How Much Money You Need to Get from Lenders.

Determine which areas of the house need improvements. Get contractors to give you an estimate of what needs to be done and how much it will cost to have them done. This will give you a rough idea of how much you need to borrow.

2. Documentation.

Put all the needed documents that lenders require together. These usually include tax returns, prove of employment, income in the form of bank statements and other data such as your debt-to-income ratio.

3. Know Credit Rating.

You are entitled to a free credit report from the credit reference agencies each year. So request a copy of your report. Go through carefully and if you see any mistakes, file a dispute with the appropriate agency to have the mistake removed. This would improve your credit score.

4. Look for Appropriate Lenders

Look for reputable lenders to borrow from. Know the average interest rates and the rates at which you are being offered the loan. Stay away from lenders whose credibility you cannot establish. If their offer is too good to be true, they probably are. If you make your application online, protect yourself against identity theft.

5. Home equity loan or home equity line of credit?

Each of these are somewhat like a second mortgage. Which one you go for is entirely up to you. A home equity loan is a lump sum of money with a fixed interest rate. It is based on the equity of the home you want to make improvements to. On the other hand, a home equity line of credit has a variable interest rate based on the principal (i.e. loan amount). A home equity line of credit is similar to a credit card, where you pay interest on the amount of money you take from the line of credit, calculated every thirty days. Talk to your banker if you do not understand any of these fully.

6. Understand Everything Before You Sign.

Unfortunately, many people never read the fine print because it is time consuming and boring to read. However, the little time you spend reading the terms of service of the lender is nothing compared to the money you will have to pay if you did not understand something and signed anyway.

7. Create a Budget.

Getting a home improvement loan means you are getting a second mortgage on your house. If you default you stand to lose your home. So create a budget to ensure you make your payments on time without any defaults. It will let you know how much money you can afford to put towards making repayments.

Home Improvements

Home improvement is a very popular past time for home owners for a number of simple reasons, for starters you of course want a beautiful and enjoyable home environment; small repairs and improvements are just little steps on the way to accomplishing this, which can aid you in enjoying your home life a little more, and seeing the visual improvements to our property’s appearance can provide us with a great sense of self satisfaction. Small home improvements can also be a great idea for anyone looking to sell their home as they can improve the value of the home and help you to find a buyer faster.

Many home owners put off the idea of investing in home improvement because they consider it to be such a costly processes, however there are a number of ways of improving your home without a particularly large budget. The main investment would be your tools – buying high quality tools might be a little bit of a high cost process, however it does ensure that the tools last and perform the tasks they need to effectively. In the long run this does work out cheaper; buying one set of tools that will last you a lifetime rather than buying several sets of tools, each of which only last a few months.

Home Improvement is particularly important if you’re trying to sell your home as most buyers will overestimate the cost of work on the property and reduce their offer on the property considerably more than they should really need to. Having the obvious tasks done and improving the general appearance of the property will encourage buyers not only to make an offer but also to make a higher offer. Think of yourself as a buyer and walk around you home making a list of the things that look bad, or if you’re feeling too biased towards your much loved home ask a friend to do it, then work through the list of things either fixing it, cleaning it or replacing it. If you are looking to sell then stick to light, new, clean looks; simplicity and elegance sell better than something suited to your own individual taste, but of course if you are looking to improve but not sell your house you can comfortably decorate it in any style that suits you.

Start on the outside; often cleaning up your garden and the entrance to your home will cost very little but could make a huge difference. Cut the lawn, pull the weeds, clean the path, trim the plants, clean your windows and doors and perhaps give things a fresh coat of paint. Most of this requires a little bit of work on your part rather than needing you to spend any money but it can make a huge difference to the impression people have when they enter your home.

Make sure things are kept clean and organised inside your home. People, particularly buyers, hate clutter. If you’re trying to sell move your stuff into storage until you have your next home; leave only enough to make the property look liveable. Buyers often have trouble seeing themselves in a home and take inspiration from the way the space was used previously, they can feel rather lost and intimidated when looking at a completely empty home and may be put off. Of course if you’re home improvements are for yourself sell some of the old clutter you no longer need, this will give you more space and freedom.

One popular home improvement that can make a huge difference to a home is the addition of storage space. Lots of people have experienced the problem of not having anywhere to put all of your things. Getting new fitted wardrobes built into your bedroom is rather expensive, however shelves are relatively cheap and can add a lot of storage space; thinking about filling one wall with storage units like bookcases to provide a home office or library feel and provide a lot more space. Removing any wallpaper and adding a fresh coat of paint can make the space look new, stick to lighter colours to make your home appear brighter and bigger, this in itself will aid in adding to the value of a home.

Home Improvement Projects

1.) Programmable Thermostat:

OK, so we know that this particular home improvement project doesn’t add anything aesthetically to your home design, but let’s be honest- trimming around 5-10% a year off your heating/cooling bill, plus allowing you more control over the interior temperature, all while getting a new high-tech gadget is a win-win-win-win situation. A programmable thermostat allows you to avoid ever having to come home to a sweltering heat after a long day of work. It allows you piece of mind when leaving pets at home, no matter how hot it is outside. Coming in at around $75-$120 to have one installed for you- it’s truly an incredibly cost-effective way to make sure you get the most comfort possible out of your home. HouseLogic.Com has some pretty good information on choosing what type of thermostat will suit your needs. And no need to fear! Programmable thermostats (like most other electronic devices in our day-and-age) have become more and more user-friendly and easy to operate.

2.) Add a Splash of Color with an Accent Wall:

Painting an entire wall can be a nightmare (believe me, we know), and after a long week of work, the prospect of taking on such an overwhelming and exhausting task inevitably leads to a room that stays that same old neutral beige. Well- here’s a compromise. How about an accent wall? The difference a single wall of bold color can make in a room cannot be ignored. An accent wall is a great place to start remodeling or refurnishing your home. It gives you a base color palate with which to work, and can aid in the later selection of pillows, rugs, chairs etc. With an overall project time hovering around 6-8 hours (depending on the size of the wall you’re painting) from start to finish; painting an accent wall is a sure-fire way to add a touch of pizzazz to your room.

3.) Paint a Custom Headboard or Faux Headboard:

The sky is really the limit on this one. And the best part is that your ventures through a local thrift shop or Goodwill can yield amazing results at unbelievably low prices (if any). Being in touch with, and actively monitoring Craigslist is a secret weapon when it comes to designing on a realistic budget. You can go with vibrant, muted, pastels, or even fabrics and various textures!

Recently a trend has been becoming more and more popular in US homes: a faux headboard. What does this mean? It means that you literally use the wall and space already available to create a creative and very innovative design in place of a bulky headboard in your room. Pinterest has some beautiful galleries if you’re looking for some inspiration. The complexity and project time it will take to finish a headboard creation of your very own is entirely up to you. Some companies even offer templates and decals that can be stuck directly to a wall. The advantage to a faux headboard is beyond aesthetic. Aside from the space you can save, and the flexibility in design you will have, a faux headboard is easy to change, easy to update, and can be modified to reflect changing trends or a changing room.

4.) DIY Message Center:

If you’re anything like me, your life is a constant cacophony of mental “to-do” lists, family engagements to keep, errands that need to be run, bills that need to be paid, and a way of communicating that often gets lost in the mix. Creating a DIY message center is a perfect way to make sure everyone is on the same page. What’s wonderful about these types of message centers is that most, if not all, of the materials you may need can either be found at a local thrift store or on the free section of CL. Don’t marry yourself to chalkboard either. Although chalkboard is an easy solution (especially now that it comes in huge sheets with an adhesive back ( like contact paper), you should also consider using a pane of glass (painted on one side) and framed! It’s the perfect mimic of a dry-erase board, but with markedly more style. You can even use a very thin piece of aluminum if you want to exclusively use magnets, and for those talented seamstresses out there- cloth and ribbon will also create a beautiful, versatile, and most importantly- functional piece to your home… and on a budget. Many of these message centers come with a section for mail, a section to write notes, and a board to post important bulletins to yourself or your family. I’ve seen every design style from rustic to modern, so whatever the style of your home, you can build a message center to compliment your design scheme while adding functionality.

5.) Change Your Faucets:

An often over-looked item on the “home improvement” list- changing your faucets is a simple way to really alter the look and feel of a room. Outside of accent pillows, it is the easiest way to breathe life back into a kitchen or bathroom. Your local hardware store has some great selections – don’t be afraid to be a little daring! Just make sure that all of the hardware matches, and decide whether or not it is important to you to have the same hardware throughout the house. This is also a perfect opportunity to re- pet-proof and child-proof your low lying cabinets.

6.) Add Some Under/Over Cabinet Accent Lighting:

If you want to really add some wow to your living space, consider over/under cabinet lighting. I cannot stress enough: spend the additional money and get lids. At $20 a roll, you can get LED rope lighting in any color you can imagine. Dramatic lighting like this can add incredible depth and dimension to your design space while creating a great atmosphere and additional lighting without the bulk or hassle of adding a new lighting fixture. Some companies do offer these types of lights at a premium- requiring electrical work and a contractor, but the same effect can be achieved with a simple trip to a local store and a little bit of clever fastening. Secure the rope lights out of sight at the junction where your counter meets the body of the cabinet, or hidden on the very top. The lights will reflect light off the wall or cabinet (depending on placement) and will create a dramatic, and beautiful effect that really gives a cutting edge style to any room.

7.) Add a Back-Splash:

Now, depending on how you go about this- it can be both costly and time consuming to install a back splash on your wall. Unless you have some experience with DIY home improvement, I would suggest leaving tile and grout projects to a professional, however, there are ways to install a back splash that can be done by anyone, regardless of experience level. Many home improvement stores sell sheets of pre-made, self-adhesive back splashes that mimic the look of real ceramic tile. Of course- consult with a professional (even if only your native home improvement associate) about which type and material of tile or tile replica you should get. A backsplash is another element like the accented wall; it’s a dash of color and a break up homogeny that adds texture and life to a drab space.

8.) Throw Pillows:

This is more a decorating tip than a home improvement tip- but its details like these that can really tie a room together and help a design space make that leap from concept to polished idea. Think bold and bright. Throw pillows can be just enough color to make a room interesting without being overwhelming or overbearing. Experiment with different texture and fabric combinations, find a mix that suits you. Inexpensive, with big impact; throw pillows are the un-sung heroes of home interior design.

9.) Paint Your Front Door:

Look at almost any “tips, tricks, and ideas” for home improvement, and somewhere on that list will be replacing/repainting the front door. I couldn’t agree more. Beyond the obvious curb appeal, painting your front door can really refresh your home and add some vibrancy and style to your home-front. First impressions are the most important, right? Make the first impression of your home to be one of happiness and warmth. For less than $30, you won’t believe the difference it will make!

10.) Pick a Room: Replace All the Cloth You See:

Updating window treatments, runners, rugs, pillows, and can transform any room in a matter of an instant. That’s the wonderful thing about color; it can change not only the look, but the feel of any space. Even something as simple as replacing curtains can shed years off the appearance of your home- and let’s face it- replacing window treatments is another task on that perpetual, and unending list of “I’ll get to that one day” projects we all keep tucked away. Changing accents like these is flexible, non-committal, and allows space for experimentation and growth over time. Not many home improvement projects can provide that kind of fluidity.

The Hows and the Whys of Opting for a Home Improvement

Lately, the number of people looking to improve their residences through several home improvement projects have seen a rise. Analyzing this change in trend, several banks and financial institutions have come up with a new financing scheme called home improvement loans. These loans can be availed of upon your outstanding home loan amount to carry out the necessary modifications to your residences.

Here Are Some Of The Major Benefits That A Home Enhancement Loan Can Offer You

Enhance your Property’s Outlook

Haven’t you always wanted to improve the way your house looks? Adding an elegant wooden flooring, some textured painting, and improve the lighting are some of the common home renovation requests. Using a home improvement loan you can do all that and more!

Increase the Market Value of Your Property

The improvement you make in your home increases the value of your property in the real estate market. Also, financial institutions are likely to extend you a home improvement loan for the exact same reason as they consider this a win-win situation.

Say, for instance, you have a house worth Rs.50 lakh in the market. If you choose to improve your home by adding a modular kitchen or an extra guest bedroom among others, the price of the property will certainly rise.

Is Personal Loan for Home Renovation a Good Option?

A personal loan usually comes with high-interest rates; much higher than the rates of traditional home improvement loans offered by a majority of the banks. But there are plenty of benefits associated with a personal loan, for instance, no collateral, easy approval, and higher loan amount. So, evaluate your requirements and choose a loan that best suits you.

How Can One Avail Loan for Home Renovation?

Availing of a home improvement loan is fairly easy if you already have an outstanding loan with a financial institution. New loan seekers, however, will have to go through the application procedure from scratch.

To get a loan sanctioned, you’ll need to submit an estimate on the amount you’d require to complete the renovation. The lenders will evaluate the costs you’ve mentioned, along with the value of your property, and your repayment capacity before sanctioning the loan against your name.

While summing it up, one can say that a home improvement loan is a homeowner’s next best friend as it comes with cheaper interest rates when compared to that of a personal loan. So, plan ahead and make a carefully weighed decision before applying for one.

Home Improvement Project

Never neglect an opportunity for improvement.

The words of Sir William Jones are not only apt for your personal well-being but also for the well-being of your home. If you think that there is a room for improvement in your home, consider your savings and make a decision.

Home Improvement is more common than you think

Today, homeowners are deciding against selling their current homes. The reason is easy availability of experienced home renovation contractors who ensure successful home improvement projects.

But before you start looking for a contractor, consider the following factors:

  1. The Purpose

Think about the reason behind the home improvement project. If you do not want to sell your home, you can consult the contractor for customizing your home to suit the growing needs of your family.

Once your purpose is clear, you will be able to decide whether a specific home improvement project is worth your time and money.

  1. The Budget Factor

When a contractor pitches you the idea of building your dream home, you may get emotional and say yes to his every suggestion. But, consider your financial situation before making any commitments to the contractor. Spend your money wisely and choose the project that guarantees maximum returns.

  1. The Market Value of your Home

Even if you are not planning to sell your property in the near future, the market value of your home should be considered before spending money. It is important to understand that the increase in the market value will not be the same as the cost of the home improvement project. Remember that any construction work that corrects a major structural defect will be more advantageous than any renovation work done to suit your needs.

  1. Government Grants

A home improvement project can be an expensive affair. But, you can reduce your expenditure with the help of the local government. The local government provides grants and rebates for the purpose of upgrading your home. For example, if you replace an inefficient toilet with a water-saving one in the City of Toronto, the government will provide you with a $75 rebate for each toilet.

  1. Geographical Location of your Home

Certain home improvement projects are better suited to a specific geographical location. If you are contemplating about building a swimming pool in your yard, you must consider your geographical location. If you live in a colder region of the country, it will not add any value to your home.

What are the Common Home Improvement Projects that add Value to your Home?

· Plumbing – It will save you from costly repairs in the future and maintain the health of your family members.

· Maintenance – Taking care of mold, mildew, water leakage, etc. is a crucial task for every homeowner.

· Remodeling a kitchen – Upgrading a kitchen has it benefits. But, make sure that the upgraded kitchen matches the rest of your home.

· Bathroom additions – If there is empty space in your home, adding a bathroom can be beneficial.

· Painting your home – Paints provide a fresh look to your home at a very nominal cost.

· Upgrading the electrical systems – It is mandatory for old homes as upgrading the electrical system will make it safe for habitation.

· Insulation – It can reduce your electricity bills.

· Adding a deck or a patio – It will increase the curb appeal of your home.

Your home is your paradise. And, when it comes to your paradise, never make an emotional decision. You may be attracted to the idea of upgrading your home and making it luxurious. But, remember that not every home improvement project is beneficial in the long run. Adopt a cautious approach so that you spend your money on home improvement projects that add value to your home.