Sharpen those no. 2 pencils, it’s tax time.

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We’re neither accountants nor tax advisors, but we have been serving the construction industry for over 30+ years. A LOT of things have changed in the tax world since 1985, but we’ve heard enough feedback from our clients over the years to share with YOU the most important tax considerations. The information may be helpful or merely a refresher for you. However, we believe the more educated you are as a homeowner the better position you’ll be in to save some money. These are the top four tax items we suggest you reviewing:

  1. Mortgage Interest.

The greatest part about a home loan is the home. Face it not many of us look forward to that monthly mortgage bill. Home lenders will alway’s state “well you can’t write off the mortgage interest” and you SHOULD. There are varying policies and requirements when it comes to a refinancing loan on a cash paid property, $1 million caps, and more tax rules, so we advise you to do your homework before writing anything off.

    2. Home Improvement Loan Interest

We understand owning a home and having a family is an expensive feat within today’s economy. Maybe your finances were affected by the housing bubble, job market, or merely bad luck, it’s ok. So a lot of people utilize a Home Improvement Loan. The great news about this loan is the loan interest is tax deductible!! There’s no upper dollar limit, but the project must increase your home’s value and prolong its life. Examples: A new roof, pool, garage, porches, insulation, HVAC, landscaping, and more. We strongly advise you to reconsider increasing the square footage of your home, unless you’re prepared for possible reassessment (higher property taxes).

 

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Home Improvement loans can help you increase your home’s value!

 

 

    3. Property Taxes 

We’ve known about these since our day’s playing Monopoly. Your city or state property taxes can be deducted from income. Keep in mind that city or state property taxes refund reduces your federal deduction by a like amount.

   4. Home business

Do you run an ETSY store or EBAY shop? As long as use a portion of your home exclusively for business purposes, you may be able to recoup certain home costs. We do recommend making sure your homeowner’s insurance policy will cover your house if you do have a home business (double check). A great video showcasing this was in the movie “The Accountant” here’s the scene.

 

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Brand new Royal Building Products Siding (Schererville, Indiana)

 

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Food 4 Thought: Window upgrade?

One of the most expensive upgrades for your house is windows. As homeowner’s we neglect windows due to the belief “unless it’s broke, don’t fix it.” Well, this attitude will cost you thousands of dollars in heating and air conditioning bills EVERY YEAR. If dollars fail to make you cringe maybe the dangers associated to older windows will persuade you. Older windows tend to be thinner (easier to break), possible exposure to lead (harmful substance), and related to 5,100 injuries from window falling. This report also distinguished that 2/3 of these injuries were toddlers. If you believe I’m trying to scare you into purchasing windows feel free to check out the National Safety Council webpage and yes I am.

The NSC webpage offers great safety advice, but at times undermines the importance of windows. Today’s innovative windows and fall protection systems is an appropriate step in the right direction and many people believe a window’s purpose is only to allow natural light in. Natural light is a benefit, but windows provide other benefits from a better insulated house, cheaper heating & air conditioning, safety, and outdoor connection. An article by ezinearticles.com mentioned

Windows serve as a convenient gateway to the outside world without needing to venture out of your four walls. You can even be sitting at the comfort of your sofa but still get to experience the outside by looking through the window. It is a way you can see what happens outside. It conserves your energy and allows you to know what is going on outside. After all you have no other way to know what happens outside your home”

The description above seem’s a little “hippiesish” yet it’s true. Every company sell you the savings and exterior look, but at the end of the day it’s your medium to the great outdoor’s. As a construction company we believe it’s in your best interest. However, maybe you’re content at the “comfort of your sofa” with a single pane, lead infused window.  If you’re not pleased every time you open a window or deal with paint chipping off, it’s time for a new one. After contemplating whether your house is in dire need first you should check out local tax credit to see potential savings.

Energy star

The reason we believe checking your states energy efficient tax credits before contacting a window expert or home remodeling company is because recently there’s been huge savings. Costs might be covered by the government as well as the contractor who may have a summer special going on.  Historically Midwest states offered tax credit for upgrading to energy-efficient windows, so be aware of these potential savings. An article posted on National Public Radio specifically discusses a llinois case. Take a few minutes to read the story to get a better grasp on the positive effects of window replacement.

Here’s an example of the immediate difference from work by Wilke Window:

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The after window below would make any homeowner happy, but the savings associated to this type of upgrade will make them ecstatic. This homeowner understood that windows are a long-term investment and they’ll benefit. The “before” window provides you with that “gateway to the outside world” at the cost of using all your force in opening/closing it and letting air out. Depending on the square footage and age of your house this can be a knockout upgrade.

So maybe you’re considering an upgrade? What’s the first step?

Know your budget and style of window!!!

As much as we’d like to sit here and tell you that heating savings could be as much as 25% we can’t do this because you might be financially strapped. The better windows (energy star qualified windows) can do that 25%, but maybe a triple pane window is out of your budget. Maybe a two pane window is near your budget and a 20% savings is good enough, know your WANT’s.

A few other reasons to consider altering those 70’s windows by Windows4Buffalos:

  • – Functionability
  • – Ease of Cleaning
  • – Appearance
  • – Ability to resist cold weather steam
  • – Filters out UV rays
  • – Decrease fading of upholstery and furniture