Tax free capital gains// landscaping// speed up the inspection





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■  FICO & your mortgage What's my real estate worth? 
■  15 minute Investor [2 parts] Why hasn't my real estate sold? 
■  FSBOs face 4 types of buyers STOP Foreclosure 



Tax free capital gains// landscaping// speed up the inspection



Tax-free capital gains :                                                                                                   

According to the Internal Revenue Service, you may be able to make up to a $250,000 gain on the sale of your home and not have to pay capital-gains taxes. That figure increases to $500,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly.

To be eligible, your home must have been owned by you and used as your main residence for a period of at least two out of the five years prior to its sale. You are eligible for this exemption every time you sell your home, but typically no more than once every two years. Talk to your
REALTOR® about additional tax benefits associated with selling your home.



Little touches make the difference:

The right landscape design can make all the difference to a prospective buyer, especially when it’s beautifully and carefully executed. In fact, REALTORS® and landscape professionals estimate that a well-landscaped yard can add 5% to 15% to the selling value of a house. Houses that look good from the road carry higher price tags—a fact that turns landscape investments into money in the bank when selling a house. Here are a few ideas on how to improve your landscape:

One of the best investments you can make is a glorious stand of healthy trees as part of a well-landscaped yard. REALTORS® across Texas and the rest of the country know that healthy tress can increase the property value of a home, as well as provide years of aesthetic benefits to owners. Trees also cut down on energy costs. When Kiplinger published the 25 best ways to invest $1,000, buying a big tree was at the top of the list. If your selling timetable doesn’t allow for planting and nurturing a tree to maturity, remember this advice for your next home.
Since a tree is a long-term investment, it’s important to start with a high-quality plant. In the case of trees, money definitely buys quality. Trees that are 8 to 10 feet tall—either balled and wrapped in burlap or established and growing in containers—are usually the best buy. Homeowners can expect to pay anywhere from $200 to $1,000 for a quality tree.

Add a few plants around the foundation of the house and in ”curb appeal” areas such as near the front door. Or, consider using more permanent bushes, especially those that flower in the summer and have colorful buds in the winter.
Gardeners on a budget can buy a few plants, then add more as your budget allows.
For an especially inexpensive jolt for your yard, flowers are a homeowner’s best friend. Bright splashes of color add visual appeal, though they’re usually temporary. For this reason, they’re great if you suddenly need to put your house on the market and need a quick landscaping fix. At that point, it’s best to stick to the basics, leaving more costly and permanent landscaping to the new owners


Speed up the inspection:                                                                                                 

Here are 10 things you can do to speed up your inspection:

Make sure gas, water, and electricity are turned on and gas pilot lights are burning.
Ensure that pets won't hinder the inspection. Tell your REALTOR® about cats or other animals that should be kept inside.
Replace any burned-out light bulbs.
Test all smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors and replace batteries if needed.
Clean or replace dirty HVAC air filters.
Move any wood, stored items, or debris away from the foundation.
Unlock or remove locks from any items the inspector must access: gates in fences, electric service panels, crawl space hatches for pier-and-beam construction, attic access hatches or doors, and special closets.
Remove any items or debris blocking these areas: electric service panels, water heaters, attic access ladders or hatches (some debris may fall when hatch is opened), crawl-space access hatches for pier-and-beam construction, heating and air-conditioning equipment.
Trim back tree limbs from the roof and shrubs from the house to allow access.
Repair or replace broken, damaged or missing items; door knobs, locks, and latches, window screens, rain gutters and downspouts, window locks, broken glass, anti-siphon devices on exterior faucets, and chimney flue caps.
Following these 10 steps can make your home inspection go faster and result in a cleaner inspection report.









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