Prudential Utah Elite Real Estate Sells 1 Home Every 3 Hours

Whether you are buying or selling a home you deserve the industry’s leading, most successful agents on your team!

We thought we’d share with you an interesting infographic that tells our story:

Prudential Info Graphic vertical

You Deserve The BEST – That’s What We Have!

When it comes to buying or selling your home, there is no question that you deserve to be represented by the best! And the best is exactly what we have at Prudential Utah Elite Real Estate! See for yourself -

2013 Excellence in Real Estate

Each year the Utah County Association of REALTORS recognizes their top members with the “Excellence in Real Estate Award”. The award is based on multiple factors including; production, service, ethics, education and more. We are pleased to announce that nearly 25% of the winners featured this year came from our brokerage, more than any other brokerage in Utah County!

Why do we have the most award winners? It’s really simple actually, we attract the best agents, we keep them trained and informed and we routinely track how we are doing using our Real Satisfied customer surveys. See for yourself what clients say about their experiences with our agents -

So if you are looking to buy or sell, let one of our great agents guide you through the process!

The post You Deserve The BEST – That’s What We Have! appeared first on Prudential Utah.

You Deserve The BEST – That’s What We Have!

When it comes to buying or selling your home, there is no question that you deserve to be represented by the best! And the best is exactly what we have at Prudential Utah Elite Real Estate! See for yourself -

2013 Excellence in Real Estate

Each year the Utah County Association of REALTORS recognizes their top members with the “Excellence in Real Estate Award”. The award is based on multiple factors including; production, service, ethics, education and more. We are pleased to announce that nearly 25% of the winners featured this year came from our brokerage, more than any other brokerage in Utah County!

Why do we have the most award winners? It’s really simple actually, we attract the best agents, we keep them trained and informed and we routinely track how we are doing using our Real Satisfied customer surveys. See for yourself what clients say about their experiences with our agents -

So if you are looking to buy or sell, let one of our great agents guide you through the process!

The post You Deserve The BEST – That’s What We Have! appeared first on Prudential Utah.

Tax Tips Every Homeowner Should Know About

Tax Tips Every Homeowner Should Know AboutIt’s tax time again, and we wanted to be sure homeowners were aware of 5 important deductions they can claim and also some common tax mistakes they should avoid. The 5 deductions you can claim are detailed below, and include, Mortgage Interest Deduction, PMI and FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums, Prepaid Interest Deduction, Energy Tax Credits, and Property Tax Deduction.

Here are the common tax mistakes homeowners need to be careful to avoid:

  • Deducting the wrong year for property taxes. You deduct for the year in which you pay them. In Utah we pay in November, so this isn’t really an issue here.
  • Confusing escrow amount for actual taxes paid. Generally your lender collects more than you pay, so be careful to claim the correct amount.
  • Deducting points paid to refinance. This is done over the life of the loan, not up front like a purchase.
  • Misjudging the home office deduction. You will definitely want to use a tax professional to make sure you do this one right.
  • Failing to repay the first-time home buyer tax credit. You must pay back 1/15th a year over 15 years if you used it and are still in your home.
  • Failing to track home related expenses. Always keep records of anything you plan to claim or deduct.
  • Forgetting to keep track of capital gains. Remember if you sold your home, you have to pay taxes on any gains over $500,000 if you are married and $250,000 if you are single.
  • Filing incorrectly for the energy tax credit. Again, you will need records and probably use a tax professional.

Mortgage Interest Deduction

One of the neatest deductions itemizing homeowners can take advantage of is the Mortgage Interest Deduction, which you claim on Schedule A. To get the Mortgage Interest Deduction, your mortgage must be secured by your home — and your home can even be a house trailer or boat, as long as you can sleep in it, cook in it, and it has a toilet.

Interest you pay on a mortgage of up to $1 million — or $500,000 if you’re married filing separately — is deductible when you use the loan to buy, build, or improve your home.

If you take on another mortgage (including a second mortgage, home equity loan, or home equity line of credit) to improve your home or to buy or build a second home, that counts towards the $1 million limit.

If you use loans secured by your home for other things — like sending your kid to college — you can still deduct the interest on loans up $100,000 ($50,000 for married filing separately) because your home secures the loan.

PMI and FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums

You can deduct the cost of private mortgage insurance as mortgage interest on Schedule A — meaning you must itemize your return. The change only applies to loans taken out in 2007 or later.

By the way, the 2013 tax season is the last for which you can claim this deduction unless Congress renews it retroactively, which may happen, but is uncertain.

What’s PMI? If you have a mortgage but didn’t put down a fairly good-sized down payment (usually 20%), the lender requires the mortgage be insured. The premium on that insurance can be deducted, so long as your income is less than $100,000 (or $50,000 for married filing separately).

If your adjusted gross income is more than $100,000, your deduction is reduced by 10% for each $1,000 ($500 in the case of a married individual filing a separate return) that your adjusted gross income exceeds $100,000 ($50,000 in the case of a married individual filing a separate return). So, if you make $110,000 or more, you lose 100% of this deduction (10% x 10 = 100%).

Besides private mortgage insurance, there’s government insurance from FHA, VA, and the Rural Housing Service. Some of those premiums are paid at closing and deducting them is complicated. A tax adviser or tax software program can help you calculate this deduction. Also, the rules vary between the agencies.

Prepaid Interest Deduction

Prepaid Interest (or points) you paid when you took out your mortgage is 100% deductible in the year you paid them along with other mortgage interest.

If you refinance your mortgage and use that money for home improvements, any points you pay are also deductible in the same year.

But if you refinance to get a better rate and term or to use the money for something other than home improvements, such as college tuition, you’ll need to deduct the points over the term of the loan. Say you refi for a 10-year term and pay $3,000 in points. You can deduct $300 per year for 10 years.

So what happens if you refi again down the road?

Example: Three years after your first refi, you refinance again. Using the $3,000 in points scenario above, you’ll have deducted $900 ($300 x 3 years) so far. That leaves $2,400, which you can deduct in full the year you complete your second refi. If you paid points for the new loan, the process starts again; you can deduct the points over the term of the loan.

Home mortgage interest and points are reported on IRS Form 1098. You enter the combined amount on line 10 of Schedule A. If your 1098 form doesn’t indicate the points you paid, you should be able to confirm the amount by consulting your HUD-1 settlement sheet. Then you record that amount on line 12 of Schedule A.

Energy Tax Credit

The Energy Tax Credit of up to a lifetime $500 had expired in 2011. But the Feds extended it for 2012 and 2013. If you upgraded one of the following systems this year, it’s an opportunity for a dollar-for-dollar reduction in your tax liability: If you get the $500 credit, you pay $500 less in taxes.

Some of the eligible products and systems are capped even lower than $500. New windows are capped at $200 — and not per window, but overall. Read about the fine print in order to claim your energy tax credit.

  • Determine if the system is eligible. Go to Energy Star’s website for detailed descriptions of what’s covered. And talk to your vendor.
  • The product or system must have been installed, not just contracted for, in the tax year you’ll be claiming it.
  • Save system receipts and manufacturer certifications. You’ll need them if the IRS asks for proof.
  • File IRS Form 5695 with the rest of your tax forms.

Property Tax Deduction

You can deduct on Schedule A the real estate property taxes you pay. If you have a mortgage with an escrow account, the amount of real estate property taxes you paid shows up on your annual escrow statement.

If you bought a house this year, check your HUD-1 Settlement statement to see if you paid any property taxes when you closed the purchase of your house. Those taxes are deductible on Schedule A, too.

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Get Your FREE Tickets to the 2014 Utah Valley Home Expo

It’s time for the 2014 Utah Valley Home Expo and I’ve got FREE tickets for you!!!

It’s real simple, visit this link http://uvhomeshow.com/ShoppingCart/ViewCart or click the image below. Enter the number of tickets you want, and click update. Enter the promo code ChrisNichols, then click apply. Make sure your balance is zero, then click checkout! 

The expo is always a great way to get the latest ideas for making your home better. There will be over 200 booths to visit as well as prize giveaways and demonstrations. Print your FREE tickets today and make plans to be there!

Expo hours & pricing

The Home Expo will be March 14-15 in the UCCU Center at UVU in Orem, Utah.

Friday hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Admission: Adults $6, Children 12 and under free.

Schedule of events

Front door Grand Prize giveaway throughout show hours.

Prize giveaways hourly.

Ongoing demonstrations from exhibiting businesses in-booth.

Giant Landscaping Arena on the main floor

Giveaways!

Check out this amazing list of prizes that have been given away over the past two shows. Check back soon for a list of this year’s prizes.

  • $1000 Visa Cash Card
  • 42 inch HD TV
  • Basketball standard including installation
  • Two free rooms of carpet including installation
  • Display full of cash to the closest guess
  • HVAC systems
  • Home automation systems
  • Free pest control for a year
  • Utah golf passes
  • Custom framed mirrors
  • …and lots more!

Consumer Outlook Continues to Improve

Prudential Real Estate Q4 Consumer Outlook Survey:

Consumers Optimistic About 2014 Real Estate Market, More Committed to Buying or Selling This Year

 

Q4 2013 Consumer Outlook Survey InfographicPrudential Real Estate, an HSF Affiliates LLC company, and Prudential Utah Elite Real Estate, today released results of its fourth quarter Consumer Outlook Survey indicating that consumers’ perception of residential real estate is increasingly favorable, and that consumers are more committed to buying and selling homes in 2014 than they were during the previous year.

In fact, favorability toward real estate reached 78% among all respondents, a 5-point jump from the previous quarter and 15 points higher than at year-end 2012. Millennials’ perception of real estate is most favorable, peaking at 87%. Respondents’ growing optimism yields resolve, as 76% of likely transactors and 63% of all survey participants indicated they were more committed to buying/selling homes in 2014.

“Consumers understand that the U.S. economy and residential real estate continue moving in positive directions,” said Earl Lee, CEO of HSF Affiliates LLC. “Accordingly, they’re feeling much better about their personal situations and want to take advantage of attractive home prices in many markets and interest rates that remain low by historical standards.”

Respondents acknowledged that macro-economic events of 2013, such as government sequestration and rising interest rates, impacted their personal finance decisions. However, they look to the new year with anticipation: A full 65% are optimistic about the housing market in 2014 and a nearly 60% believe home sales will increase during the year. Half of all respondents believe that the rate of appreciation in U.S. home values will slow this year after a strong run in 2013.

“Normalcy is returning to residential real estate,” said Lee. “People are seeking homes for all the right reasons – to gain shelter and security, raise a family and generate long-term wealth.”

While financial concerns certainly play a role in the decision to buy or sell, homeownership remains a deeply personal decision. Owning a home is important to 96% of Americans, and 78% agree that homeownership is an important part of the American dream. When asked about their experience buying and selling in today’s economy, 72% of respondents said that finding the right home and community are crucial to their family’s happiness.

Caution remains in the marketplace. “Decreasing home values” is the No. 1 concern of respondents, followed by “saving enough for a down payment.” Underscoring the stringent lending guidelines that are still in place from the industry downturn, just 39% of respondents believe it will be easier to secure a mortgage loan in 2014. Consumers also acknowledged that tight housing inventory may impact their home-buying decisions this year: 67% expect to face more competition for homes on the market.

These and other hurdles call for advice and guidance from real estate professionals. A full 64% of survey respondents indicated that a good agent can help them make the right choices about the type of home and community they want; 62% said a good agent can help maximize homeownership investment. Among millennials, 70% said a good agent can help them maximize their investment and 62% say now, more than ever, they look to a real estate agent for sound guidance on a real estate transaction.

“Consumers are increasingly sophisticated about real estate and many come to the table armed with impressive research,” said Stephen Phillips, COO of HSF Affiliates. “However, they will always need an experienced agent to pull it all together, assess opportunities, negotiate in good faith and keep everything moving for a successful transaction.”

Prudential Real Estate Outlook Survey Methodology

Interviews with 2,500 Americans who are “in the market” to buy or sell a home were conducted online by Edelman Berland in December 2013 and January 2014. Respondents are aged 25-64 with a household income of at least $50,000. The margin of error is +/-1.96% for all respondents.

The post Consumer Outlook Continues to Improve appeared first on Prudential Utah.

Consumer Outlook Continues to Improve

Prudential Real Estate Q4 Consumer Outlook Survey:

Consumers Optimistic About 2014 Real Estate Market, More Committed to Buying or Selling This Year

 

Q4 2013 Consumer Outlook Survey InfographicPrudential Real Estate, an HSF Affiliates LLC company, and Prudential Utah Elite Real Estate, today released results of its fourth quarter Consumer Outlook Survey indicating that consumers’ perception of residential real estate is increasingly favorable, and that consumers are more committed to buying and selling homes in 2014 than they were during the previous year.

In fact, favorability toward real estate reached 78% among all respondents, a 5-point jump from the previous quarter and 15 points higher than at year-end 2012. Millennials’ perception of real estate is most favorable, peaking at 87%. Respondents’ growing optimism yields resolve, as 76% of likely transactors and 63% of all survey participants indicated they were more committed to buying/selling homes in 2014.

“Consumers understand that the U.S. economy and residential real estate continue moving in positive directions,” said Earl Lee, CEO of HSF Affiliates LLC. “Accordingly, they’re feeling much better about their personal situations and want to take advantage of attractive home prices in many markets and interest rates that remain low by historical standards.”

Respondents acknowledged that macro-economic events of 2013, such as government sequestration and rising interest rates, impacted their personal finance decisions. However, they look to the new year with anticipation: A full 65% are optimistic about the housing market in 2014 and a nearly 60% believe home sales will increase during the year. Half of all respondents believe that the rate of appreciation in U.S. home values will slow this year after a strong run in 2013.

“Normalcy is returning to residential real estate,” said Lee. “People are seeking homes for all the right reasons – to gain shelter and security, raise a family and generate long-term wealth.”

While financial concerns certainly play a role in the decision to buy or sell, homeownership remains a deeply personal decision. Owning a home is important to 96% of Americans, and 78% agree that homeownership is an important part of the American dream. When asked about their experience buying and selling in today’s economy, 72% of respondents said that finding the right home and community are crucial to their family’s happiness.

Caution remains in the marketplace. “Decreasing home values” is the No. 1 concern of respondents, followed by “saving enough for a down payment.” Underscoring the stringent lending guidelines that are still in place from the industry downturn, just 39% of respondents believe it will be easier to secure a mortgage loan in 2014. Consumers also acknowledged that tight housing inventory may impact their home-buying decisions this year: 67% expect to face more competition for homes on the market.

These and other hurdles call for advice and guidance from real estate professionals. A full 64% of survey respondents indicated that a good agent can help them make the right choices about the type of home and community they want; 62% said a good agent can help maximize homeownership investment. Among millennials, 70% said a good agent can help them maximize their investment and 62% say now, more than ever, they look to a real estate agent for sound guidance on a real estate transaction.

“Consumers are increasingly sophisticated about real estate and many come to the table armed with impressive research,” said Stephen Phillips, COO of HSF Affiliates. “However, they will always need an experienced agent to pull it all together, assess opportunities, negotiate in good faith and keep everything moving for a successful transaction.”

Prudential Real Estate Outlook Survey Methodology

Interviews with 2,500 Americans who are “in the market” to buy or sell a home were conducted online by Edelman Berland in December 2013 and January 2014. Respondents are aged 25-64 with a household income of at least $50,000. The margin of error is +/-1.96% for all respondents.

The post Consumer Outlook Continues to Improve appeared first on Prudential Utah.

4 Big Signs You Should Buy a Home

rent vs ownWhile the market is definitely ripe with opportunities for buyers, your individual situation is what truly determines if now is the time for you to buy a home. There are many factors that can come into play when making this decision and it’s important that you involve a REALTOR and a mortgage professional early in your decision process. They can walk you through a detailed analysis if buying is right for you.

Recently Trulia identified 4 big signs you should buy a home. They included:

1. You want to save at tax time. Typically buying is 35% – 44% cheaper than renting, thanks in part to the tax deductions that homeowners can apply to their taxes each year.

2. You’re planning to stay for awhile. If you stay in a home for 7 years you can save 44%, 37% for 5 years, and 20% for 3 years over those who rent.

3. You want a low mortgage rate. Rates play a key factor in the rent vs. buy question. A homeowner can save 44% at a 3.5% rate, 39% at a 4.5% rate, and 33% at a 5.5% rate vs. renting.

4. You can’t let your dream home slip away. With the inventory so low, it’s becoming harder and harder for buyers to find the right home. If you’ve found the right home for you, don’t let it slip away.

Their advice is to consult with a REALTOR to decide if now is the right time for you to become a homeowner. We would be happy to meet with you and help you find a mortgage professional to walk you through all aspects of this decision.

You can download the full report from Trulia below.

4 Big Signs You Should Buy a Home (0)

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The Road to Homeownership

The road to homeownership can be exciting and adventurous, but it also has many stops, starts, potholes and dangerous curves. Many start this process alone and find themselves hitting roadblocks, wasting valuable time and money. Many consumers don’t understand that the best way to navigate the road to homeownership is by involving a professional early in the process. These professionals have guided many buyers through this process and their services are available at little to no cost to them. In most if not all cases in Utah, the commission to the buyer’s agent is paid via the agreed amount offered by the listing agent per the agreement they made with the seller.

A professional buyer’s agent will put you on the road to homeownership faster and smoother than going it alone. They will guide you to the best places to search for a home, give you valuable feedback on neighborhoods and locations, arrange and manage all aspects of the transaction, and ensure it all ends with you moving into the home of your dreams.

The fine folks at Market Leader have put together this entertaining and educational infographic that illustrates the road to homeownership:

Road to Homeownership

If you have any questions about the process or are ready to go down the road to homeownership, we are ready to help! Reach out to us today for a free consultation to make the dream of homeownership a reality for you!

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How are Multiple Offers Handled in Utah?

How are Multiple Offers Handled in Utah?

Multiple OffersAs the market continues to improve, we have begun to start seeing multiple offers on properties as buyers are rushing to take advantage of great prices and great interest rates. Multiple offers can present problems for both the seller and for the buyers involved. The Utah Association of REALTORS has provided the following disclosure to help the parties understand the three most common ways to deal with multiple offers. It is my personal opinion that the 3rd option, allowing all buyers the chance to come in with their highest and best offer is the fairest way to deal with multiple offers.

WHILE MARKETING THE PROPERTY, IT IS POSSIBLE THAT MORE THAN ONE WRITTEN PURCHASE OFFER FOR THE PROPERTY MAY BE PRESENTED AT APPROXIMATELY THE SAME TIME (“MULTIPLE OFFERS”). IF THIS OCCURS, IT IS IMPORTANT THAT THE SELLER UNDERSTAND AND GIVE DIRECTION TO THE COMPANY AS TO HOW THE SELLER DESIRES TO TREAT MULTIPLE OFFERS. THE SELLER ACKNOWLEDGES THAT THE SELLER HAS THE RIGHT TO DEAL WITH MULTIPLE OFFERS IN ANY MANNER THE SELLER FEELS APPROPRIATE. WHAT FOLLOWS IS AN EXPLANATION REGARDING SOME DIFFERENT METHODS OF DEALING WITH “MULTIPLE OFFERS”.
1. Accept or Counter One of the Offers and Reject the Others. The Seller may look at each of the Multiple Offers and determine that the Seller wants to accept or counteronly one of the offers. In such instance, the Seller may accept or counter that offer and then reject the other offers. As with all approaches to Multiple Offers, there are risks. For example, if the offer is countered by the Seller, the Seller and that buyer may not reach an agreement. Alternatively, the Seller and that buyer, may reach an agreement, but during the due diligence period, the buyer may elect to cancel the contract. Meanwhile, the original other interested buyers may have moved on to other opportunities. Also, it is possible that the buyer with whom the Seller has elected to negotiate, may be willing to increase the purchase price, if that buyer had known there were other interested buyers who had submitted offers. Consequently, the Seller may not get the best price for the Property.
2. Present Multiple Counteroffers. Rather than accept or counter only one of the Multiple Offers, the Seller may elect to provide counteroffers to all of the interested parties and give them all the same time frame to accept their respective counteroffers. Assuming that each of the interested buyers accepts the Seller’s counteroffer, in order to avoid the risk of selling the Property to multiple buyers, when preparing the Multiple Counteroffers, the Seller should reserve the right to proceed with only one of the contracts that the Seller finds acceptable. As with all approaches to Multiple Offers, there are risks. For example, as the Seller presents each of the counteroffers to the various interested buyers, the Seller will be required to advise each of the buyers that the counteroffer is one of a number of counteroffers that the Seller is making to other interested buyers. Under such circumstances, one or more of the interested buyers who receives a counteroffer from the Seller may elect to withdraw from negotiations based on not wanting to participate in what may appear to that buyer as a “bidding or auction” scenario.
3. Provide all Buyers an Equal Opportunity to Present their “Best Offer.” Rather than negotiating with only one of the Multiple Offers, or presenting Multiple Counteroffers as provided in Sections 1 or 2 above, the Seller may direct the Company to provide written notice of Multiple Offers to each real estate agent who represents a buyer who has submitted an offer. Such notice would advise each buyer that they have until a specific deadline set by the Seller in which to present their “best offer” to purchase the Property. Based on such notice, each buyer could resubmit their original offer or submit an entirely new offer. The notice will also advise each buyer that the Seller reserves the right to accept, reject or counter any or all of the offers. As with all approaches to Multiple Offers, the Seller should be aware that this approach is not without risk. For example, as with the Multiple Counteroffers referenced in Section 2 above, one or more of the interested buyers may simply elect to withdraw their offer(s), based on not wanting to participate in what may appear to the buyers as a “bidding or auction” scenario.
If you have any questions on the process from either the buyer’s or seller’s perspective, we’d be happy to address them.

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