Category Archives: homeowner

Windermere Forms New Entity To Tackle Web Solutions

Photo credit: mobilemarketingwatch.com

Windermere is one of the biggest real estate companies in the Pacific Northwest. We work with their Wenatchee and Seattle area offices all the time. In a time when social media, phone apps and web solutions are the best way to reach your clients Windermere is jump starting it’s techy side to keep up with the competition. Redfin, Zillow, Trulia, Estately and other web-based real estate solution providers are making pretty big waves in the way that real estate professionals advertise their services and stay connected in the industry. Brett Eddy formed Windermere Solutions in January to boost the company’s digital connections. With 50 employees working in Pioneer Square, Eddy (the CTO) plans to reinvent Windermere’s online identity by integrating design, navigation, social media and functionality with mobile platforms.

In our business it’s very important to utilize web and mobile applications. We use palm pilots, smart phone apps and social media to conduct daily home inspection business. We have accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Trulia, Zillow, Blogspot, WordPress, MerchantCircle, Yelp and others to help advertise our business, stay connected with clients and industry vendors and get involved in our community. Geekwire.com conducted an interview with Brett Eddy about his new endeavor with Windermere and he stated that the company’s web properties currently attract “1.2 million visitors per month.” Read more about the new Windermere Solutions in this Geekwire.com article.

Closing Costs Calculator for the Washington Home Buyer

We perform home inspections in about 10 counties throughout Washington from Seattle to Wenatchee.  Occasionally our clients call to book an inspection and are still a little confused about the inspection cost– who pays it, how much it is, etc.  We did a little internet search and found a few closing cost calculators that may help the potential home buyer.  The calculator we are sharing seems to have the most descriptions of the costs, but will only give you a rough idea since the costs are only estimations.  For example, they estimate the cost of an inspection at $175, but our inspections start at $275…this is standard for a single family home.  Condos may be less.  Also, the appraisal fee usually starts around $300.  A loan application fee will be added to the credit report for a combined fee of $75-$300.  With all this in mind you can use the calculator to get an idea of the added costs associated with buying a home.  If you have a good agent to walk you through the buying process then you won’t be blindsided with these costs.  They can also help you negotiate fees that may be shared with the seller.

Closing Costs Calculator from Mortgage-Investments.com

Homeowner Tax Guide: Get All Your Deductions!

In a time where buyers are cautious and are really weighing out all the benefits of home ownership here are some considerations for tax season. Several tax deductions and credits are providing relief to homeowners and making them very proud of their investment decision. Deducting mortgage interest, home equity debt, capital gains on home sales and taking advantage of energy conservation credits are just a few of the tax season benefits that homeowners can cash in on. Do you have a home office? There’s another one. Most of our monthly home loan payment is interest and you can deduct every bit of it. Only those folks with a loan of $1,000,000+ receive a cap on this deduction.

Stephanie Singer, a Realtors.org contributor wrote about this topic in Tax Time Less Taxing for Home Owners. She said that, “ninety-one percent of homeowners who claim the mortgage interest deduction earn less than $200,000 a year, and the ability to deduct the interest paid on a mortgage can mean significant savings at tax time. For example, a family who bought a home in 2010 with a $200,000, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage, assuming an interest rate of 4.5 percent, could save nearly $3,500 in federal taxes when they file this year.”

We found a great resource from Kiplinger.com. They have listed all the deductions for homeowners at “What’s Deductible? – A to Z.” Check it out to make sure that you’re getting the most deductions as a homeowner. We use a skilled accountant in Wenatchee to guide us through our own tax deductions. We suggest that you hire a recommended accounting professional to point out these important opportunities for you.