Real Estate Information

Coastal Real Estate Blog

Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

Blog

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 359

The Truth About Lead-Based Paint Liability

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

Market Snapshot: San Mateo County Real Estate Report

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

Here is an updated Market Report summarizing recent real estate activity along the coastside. Please keep in mind that the values represented are based on current, detailed information from the Regional Multiple Listing Service. If you need clarification on any of the figures or if you wish to take additional steps toward property ownership, please let us know. We are happy to help you. See the full report.

Surviving The Remodel

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

Home Care Myths

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

REALITY CHECK: It’s a Seller’s Spring in Most Markets

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

Buying and Selling in a Winter Market
Last month it was reported that the 2018 National Housing Forecast indicated promising news for both buyers and sellers in the year ahead. When looking to purchase or sell a home in this current market, there are various timely facts to consider:

Low interest rates 
The standard 30-year mortgage currently hovers at just above 4%, which is still historically low. Realtor.com® reports that rates are projected to steadily climb by the end of 2018.

Demand remains high with tight inventory
It’s still a seller’s market in many parts of the country with Realtor.com reporting that unsold inventory is at a 3.2-month supply at the current sales pace, which is the lowest level since the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) began tracking in 1999. It’s not surprising then that anxious homebuyers are driving-up prices in demand for housing.

Steadily increasing home prices 
Realtor.com states that median existing-home price for all housing types in December was up 5.8 percent from December 2016. The price increase marks the 70th straight month of year-over-year gains. For homebuyers sitting on the fence, perhaps it’s time to jump-in before prices and interest rates possibly make entering the market more challenging. Homebuyers should come prepared with pre-approved financing and the ability to make a quick purchase decision.

Consumer confidence is high
Consumer confidence hit its highest in 17 years this past November, according to the Conference Board’s index released last month This is a result of low unemployment and stock market spikes that are anticipated to continue strengthening the economic foundation in 2018.

The Rain Team offers unparalleled service to ALL clients in San Mateo County, including areas such as Half Moon Bay,El Granada, Moss Beach, Montara, and Pacifica. Give us a call at (650) 888-6903 or contact us here to see how we can help you with all your real estate needs.

FREE E-Waste And Shredding Event

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

Little Things Mean A Lot

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

Tips and Trends for Homeowners, Buyers and Sellers

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team


Market Snapshot: San Mateo County Real Estate Report

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

Here is an updated Market Report summarizing recent real estate activity along the coastside. Please keep in mind that the values represented are based on current, detailed information from the Regional Multiple Listing Service. If you need clarification on any of the figures or if you wish to take additional steps toward property ownership, please let us know. We are happy to help you. See the full report.

When It's Time To Get An Accountant To Do Your Taxes

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

By: Alaina Tweddale

The federal tax law signed by President Donald Trump Dec. 22, 2017, may affect home ownership tax benefits described in this article. The new law goes into effect for the 2018 tax year and generally doesn’t affect tax filings for the 2017 tax year.

You are soooo dreading doing your taxes this year. Gone are the days when you used to sit down with a glass of wine and fill out your 1040 EZ. Remember that time you finished and hit the “submit” button just as you swallowed the last sip?

Not this year. Unless you want to pay a ton in taxes, you’re going to have to itemize. You did it last year, and it wasn’t too bad. But this year, you did some freelancing. And you moved. And it’s going to take a whole lot more time than one glass of wine.

Maybe it’s time to hire a pro. But do you really need a certified public accountant? And can you justify the expense?

The Differences Between CPS and Other Tax Experts

First you need to know there are different types of tax experts. And not all accountants are CPAs. So if you’re thinking that an independent CPA and someone at H&R Block or Jackson Hewitt (or your buddy who studied accounting in college) are pretty much the same, don’t count on it. Basically,

  • An accountant is someone who studied accounting.
  • CPAs are accountants who pass rigorous testing from their state board on a regular basis. The designation usually requires a degree. Not every CPA specializes in taxes.
  • An “enrolled agent,” or EA, is an accountant who has received certification from the IRS. Being an EA doesn’t require a degree like CPA. But it does verify they know tax law.
  • A tax preparer at pop-ups like H&R Block or Jackson Hewitt is trained on tax software to help taxpayers file their returns. They aren’t required to be CPAs or EAs.
  • Only CPAs and EAs can legally represent you if the IRS challenges your return.

There’s nothing wrong with visiting a pop-up preparer like H&R Block if your return isn’t all that complicated, says Cathy Derus, CPA and founder of Brightwater Accounting in Illinois.

“It’s when you start generating other income — perhaps you launch a business or own rental property — [or experience a big financial change] when it makes sense to ask for a little extra help,” she said.

When It's a Good Idea to Hire a Tax Pro

When you buy your first house.Many of the expenses related to buying a home and having a mortgage are deductible. But only if you itemize. And that’s what the experts are best at.

When you move to a new state.There’s a good chance you’ll have to file two state returns for the year you move. And each state is a little bit different in terms of state tax owed — zero in some states, a flat amount in others, and graded by income bracket in most.

When you become a landlord.“When you own investment property, you become a small business owner,” says Tai Stewart, accountant and owner of Saidia Financial Solutions in Houston. That means new records to keep and a new tax form, Schedule E, to complete.

When you buy a vacation property.Especially if you rent it out. And especially if it’s in a different state.

When you work from home.There’s a lot of potential money-saving deductions that can vary widely depending on the type of business and how much space it takes up in your home. “If you have a home office, ou can deduct for the square footage you use for work as well as a portion of your utilities, mortgage interest, and property taxes,” says Stewart.

When you make home improvements.Energy-efficient upgrades like installing a new heating and cooling system, water heater, or insulation may qualify for tax credits. But that can change depending on the year. Same goes for medically necessary home improvements that aren’t paid by your employer or insurance.

When your home's value is reassessed.The tax man doesn’t always get it right, and sometimes your home may be valued at more than it should be. An expert will be able to pull the data together to appeal it.

So, How Much Do Accountants Cost

H&R Block will do your taxes for about $150, while a CPA or EA may add $100 or more to that fee ($260 on average last year).

You can definitely DIY all these tax scenarios and save the fees, but with CPAs and EAs, the extra cost may be worth it. Especially if you run your own business. Or you own more than one home. “An accountant can help you analyze your spending choices and even act as a consultant,” says Stewart. Best of all, they’ll be by your side if the tax man ever comes after you. That alone could be priceless if the time comes.

Oh, and one last tip: If you decide you want to hire a CPA or EA, best not to wait until the last minute. You may not find one.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 359

Syndication

Categories

Archives

Contact Information

Photo of The Rain Team Real Estate
The Rain Team
CA# 01169588 | CA# 01125976 | CA# 01908304
248 Main Street, Suite 200
Half Moon Bay CA 94019
Michael: 650-888-6361
Kathy: 650-888-6903
Fax: 866-396-0207

Kathy and Michael Rain of Coldwell Banker provides real estate services in the San Mateo County, California area including the surrounding communities: El Granda, Half Moon Bay, Montara, Moss Beach, Pacifica and San Mateo. Search for homes in San Mateo County. We list and sell residential real estate, investment properties, vacant land, lots for sale in the San Mateo County, California area.

Licensed in the State of California

Kathy Rain - CA BRE# 01169588 | Michael Rain - CA BRE# 01125976 | Coldwell Banker - CA BRE# 01908304
Cell Phone: (650) 888-6903 * Direct Phone: (650) 712-0411
San Mateo County Real Estate and Homes for Sale

Equal Housing Opportunity