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Posts from — April 2011

Housing Shortage Ahead?

Although inventory levels have been elevated in recent months, if new home construction continues to decline over the next year or two, a housing shortage is possible. New home construction has steadily decreased over the past several months. The National Association of Home Builders reported the number of housing starts in the month of February were exceptionally low, with only a 479,000 annual unit production pace.

For the past two years housing starts have remained in the 500,000 to 600,000 unit pace range. Historically, normal activity would be in the range of 1.5 million to 1.6 million. The U.S. population grows by approximately 3 million people each year.

 

Since 2003 the pace of housing starts has been somewhat volatile with 2005 representing the peak at a 2.07 million unit pace. Since that time the pace has declined significantly. Talk to a Prudential Waterfront Properties Realtor® about what they’re seeing in the local market in terms of available housing supply.

For pricing and availability of properties at Smith Mountain Lake or the surrounding area, please call your Waterfront Properties REALTOR®. For more information, visit the Waterfront Properties web site at: www.smithmtnlake.com. The company’s email address is realest8@smithmtnlake.com.

April 18, 2011   No Comments

‘Tis the Season for Tax Breaks

With April 15 rapidly approaching many are scrambling to complete their taxes. For those who have recently bought or sold a home, there are a number of tax deductions that that may be available to them.

Real estate broker’s commissions, title insurance, legal fees, advertising costs, administrative costs, and inspection fees are all considered selling costs and may be used to reduce one’s taxable capital gain by the amount of the selling costs. That could result in a big savings depending on the final sale price.

Interest that is paid on a mortgage is also tax-deductible, within limits. A married couple filing jointly can deduct all their interest payments on a maximum of $1 million in mortgage debt secured by a first or second home.

Buyers may also be able to deduct some of the interest they paid on a home equity loan or similar line of credit.

One deduction that many buyers often overlook is points. Points or origination fees on a home loan that were paid during the purchase of a home are generally tax-deductible in full for the year in which they were paid.

Refinanced mortgage points are also deductible but only over the life of the loan – not all at once. Homeowners who refinance can immediately write off the balance of the old points and begin to amortize the new.

If your lender required private mortgage insurance, the PMI premiums are tax-deductible for mortgages taken out from 2007 through 2011.

Making improvements to property prior to the sale or once one moves in might qualify for an interest deduction on your home-improvement loan. Qualifying capital improvements are those that increase your home’s value, prolong its life, or adapt it to new uses, such as adding a porch or installing energy-efficient windows.

Many times during a sale, the seller will send the local tax collector’s office a check for real estate taxes prior to the closing. In many circumstances, however, the buyer will pay a pro-rated portion of the taxes for the year at closing. This tax deduction also gets overlooked.

For those working from their new home: If a room is used exclusively for business purposes, they may be able to deduct home costs related to that portion, such as a percentage of your insurance and repair costs, and depreciation.

In some instances, if you have moved because of a new job, moving costs may be deducted. These can include travel or transportation costs, expenses for lodging, and fees for storing your household goods.

Every year the tax laws change and certain tax deductions become available while others phase out. If you have recently bought or sold a home, it’s probably a good idea to seek out a professional tax consultant to do your taxes as missing deductions that you can legally claim can add up to quite a bit of money.

April 12, 2011   No Comments

Bill Shires Awarded Fine Homes Designation

Bill Shires

Prudential Waterfront Properties announced Bill Shires, REALTOR®, has earned the professional designation, “Fine Homes Specialist,” conferred by Prudential Real Estate and Relocation Services’, a Prudential Financial, Inc. [NYSE:PRU] company.

Shires received the designation by meeting the professional standards set by Prudential Real Estate for sales professionals who successfully list, market and transact sales of Fine Homes. The Brand’s definition of a Fine Home is a residence valued within the top 10 percent of its respective marketplace. This exclusive designation was established in 1997 to define professional quality standards within the Prudential Real Estate Network and to recognize the level of specialized knowledge, experience and skills required by affluent clientele.

A lifelong Franklin County resident, Shires attended Ferrum College and East Tennessee State University, graduating with a B.S. Degree in Health Education. Bill retired after 27 years in the Environmental Health field with the Commonwealth of Virginia and joined Prudential Waterfront Properties in 1995.

April 8, 2011   No Comments

Smith Mountain Lake Business Expo

The 8th Annual SML Business Expo will be held on Friday, April 29th, in Downtown Moneta.  The exposition will be set up on the southwest side of Rt. 122 and Rt. 608 – across from Mayberry Hills.  Hours are Noon to 5 p.m.  We expect 120 businesses to be represented in three large tents as well as outside exhibits.  Contact Jim Shauberger at the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce (540-721-1203) for more information.

April 4, 2011   No Comments

Franklin County’s Third Annual E-Cycling Day

Goodwill® Partners with Prudential Waterfront Properties and Franklin Community Bank for Franklin County’s Third Annual E-Cycling Day

Goodwill, Prudential Waterfront Properties, and Franklin Community Bank, in cooperation with Franklin County, will host the 3rd Annual Franklin County E-Cycling Day on Saturday, April 16th from 8:30 a.m. – Noon at three locations.

This year’s locations include:

  • Rocky Mount Goodwill store, 1045 North Main Street
  • Prudential Waterfront Properties, 13247 Booker T. Washington (corner of Intersection Rt. 122 and Rt. 616)
  • Franklin Community Bank, 400 Old Franklin Turnpike, Rocky Mount

The event will once again focus on the recycling of computer equipment, small appliances, and electronics, but is even bigger and better this year.   This year it has been expanded to include paper shredding at the Franklin Community Bank location in Rocky Mount, and the donation of your gently used clothing and household items at all locations.  Over 10 tons of e-waste has been diverted from area Franklin County landfills in the last two years of the event.

The Franklin County E-Cycling Day is an extension of a Goodwill partnership with Dell Computers and an effort to increase awareness of recycling and green initiatives throughout the Franklin County area.  Since October 2008, through the Dell RECONNECTTM partnership, computers and computer related hardware have been responsibly recycled by Dell with proceeds benefiting Goodwill job training and placement programs.

Acceptable items for the E-Cycling Event include, but are not limited to:

  • Computer Equipment:  (any brand, any condition) monitors, keyboards, CPUs, printers, scanners, fax machines, printer cartridges, computer cords, and any related computer equipment.  It is recommended that donors remove all data from hard drives and other storage media before donating to Goodwill.
  • Small Appliances: toasters, microwaves, blenders, coffee makers, mixers, vacuums, food processors.
  • Electronics: Clocks, radios, cell phones, PDAs.
  • Paper: Shredding is available at the bank location only.
  • Gently Used Clothing and Household Items: Clothing for the entire family and other items such as dishes, artwork, collectibles, etc.

In 2010, Goodwill kept over 13 million pounds of material out of local landfills throughout the 31 county, 14 city territory served in Virginia.  Through successful salvage efforts, the organization works diligently to see that the community’s castoffs do not come back to harm the environment. The revenues generated through salvage and recycling operations support Goodwill programs, which train individuals and help place them in competitive, community employment.

Goodwill Industries® of the Valleys, a United Way partner organization headquartered in Roanoke, serves 31 counties and 14 cities in the New River, Roanoke, and Shenandoah Valleys.  Its mission is to help people and families in our community achieve a better life through work and independence.  In 2010 Goodwill served over 60,000 people and placed 1,784 into competitive community employment. www.goodwillvalleys.com .

For over twenty years, Prudential Waterfront Properties markets real estate throughout Smith Mountain Lake and the surrounding areas. As members of the Multiple Listing Service, Prudential Waterfront Properties REALTORS® are able to assist buyers and sellers with all listed properties in a variety of price ranges and locations throughout the lake and surrounding areas. Prudential Waterfront Properties REALTORS® are consistent leaders in sales as well as customer and client service. www.smithmtnlake.com.

Franklin Community Bank, N.A. opened its doors for business in September 2002. Part of its mission is to support through active participation the communities we serve along with providing the highest level of service to help our clients achieve financial prosperity. We invite you to visit with us at one of our 3 locations in Franklin County and you will see why “your bank is here.”  http://fcbva.com/

April 1, 2011   No Comments