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Why Buying Beats Renting Today

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Buying a home in the Puget Sound area beats renting in less than two years, according to a new study. The “breakeven horizon” – the number of years after which buying is more financially advantageous than renting – is 1.9 years. Why the short timeframe? Interest rates are at historic lows. (But experts expect them to rise soon.) Rents are at record highs. If you paid the average cost of monthly rent towards a mortgage payment instead, here’s what you could buy: Based on principal & interest on a 30 year mortgage at 4% interest with 0% down. Bellevue Monthly mortgage: $2,666 Home value: $558,400 Seattle Monthly mortgage: $2,401 Home value: $502,900 Snohomish County Monthly mortgage: $1,884 Home value: $294,600 Are you ready to invest the money you spend on rent to buy a home? Get in touch with a Windermere broker on the Eastside so they can help you take advantage of the “breakeven horizon” and turn your monthly rent into a mortgage payment.

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Windermere Leads in Luxury Home Sales

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The boom in luxury homes sales on Eastside continued in 2015 as technology executives and foreign buyers snapped up high-end homes. Windermere maintained its leadership in the luxury home segment with Windermere brokers representing clients in 60 of the 98 sales. Sellers who work with Windermere brokers receive unparalleled exposure through the Windermere Premier Properties program, along with extensive international marketing via Luxury Portfolio and Juwai, which specifically targets affluent Chinese buyers. In addition, Leigh Canlis has joined Windermere to develop a full-service luxury marketing division that will provide clientele with concierge services including financial services, landscaping and more. 2015 Luxury Home Sales Snapshot   Sales continue to climb. The number of $3 million+ home sales on the Eastside increased 20% over the previous year. The majority of buyers paid cash. 53% of those buying high-end homes paid for the home in cash. Waterfront homes are becoming scarce. The value of waterfront homes continued to increase as buyers competed for a dwindling supply of these highly coveted properties. The Eastside is becoming more global. Whether they are buying a home to live in or as an investment, international buyers – particularly those from China – continue to favor the Eastside. According to the National Association of Realtors, 2015 was the first time that buyers from China edged out those from Canada as the largest group of foreign buyers of homes in the U.S.     You can view the full report for more detailed information. Make sure you see the report of $5 million+ home sales in King County, too!

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The Tax Benefits Every Homeowner Should Know About

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This article originally appeared in Times of San Diego  The housing market on the West Coast is predominantly very strong and more and more people are becoming homeowners. While there are many intangible benefits to owning a home, such as pride of ownership and setting down roots in the neighborhood, the tangible benefits are just as great. In addition to benefitting from possible appreciation, there are many tax deductions available that help reduce your annual income taxes. Tax breaks are available for any type of home — single-family residence, town house, mobile home, or condominium. However, to take full tax advantage of owning a home, property owners need to understand the expenses they can deduct, and learn some tips to get the most tax advantages out of home ownership. Mortgage Interest A house payment is comprised of two parts: principal and interest. The principal goes toward reducing the amount you owe on your loan and is not deductible. However, the interest you pay is deductible as an itemized expense on your tax return. You can generally deduct interest on the first $1 million of your mortgage. You can also deduct interest on the first $100,000 of a home equity loan. Property Taxes Another big part of most monthly loan payments is taxes, which go into an escrow account for payment when the taxes are due. This amount should be included on the annual statement homeowners get from their lenders, along with their loan interest information. These taxes will be an annual deduction as long as the home is owned. Home Improvements If using a home equity loan or other loan secured by a home to finance home improvements, these loans will qualify for the same mortgage interest deductions as the main mortgage. Only the interest associated with the first $100,000 is deductible.Making improvements on a home can help you reduce your taxes in two possible ways: Tracking home improvements can help when the time comes to sell. If a home sells for more than it was purchased for, that extra money is considered taxable income. You are allowed to add capital improvements to the cost/tax basis of your home. If a home sells for more than it was purchased for plus any capital improvements, that extra money is considered taxable income. Keep in mind that most taxpayers are exempted from paying taxes on the first $250,000 (for single filers) and $500,000 […]

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