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Selling Your Home in 2013 With New Tax Laws

by Teri McCarthy

 

2013 Real Estate Sales and the New 3.8% Medicare Tax 
 
Numerous tax changes have occurred in the beginning of 2013 some of which affect taxpayers selling real estate. Several people have asked me about the new 3.8% Medicare tax and what to expect with the sale of their home or other real estate. The following is a brief summary of some of the new tax laws. 
 
Income Tax Rates
The tax bracket of 10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33% and 35% have been permanently extended; however, an additional tax bracket of 39.6% has been implemented to impact individuals with Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) over $400,000 and married couples filing jointly with AGI over $450,000.
 
Capital Gains/Dividends Tax Rates
The long-term capital gains rates have been permanently extended at 0% for taxpayers in the 15% tax bracket or lower; 15% for taxpayers in the 35% tax bracket or lower; and 20% for taxpayers in the 39.6% (AGI over $400,000/$450,000) tax bracket.  The long-term capital gains rates have also been permanently extended to apply to qualifying dividends.
 
3.8% Medicare Tax
This new tax, called the Net Investment Income Tax, on net investment income impacts individuals with AGI over $200,000 and married couples with AGI over $250,000. They must pay a 3.8% tax on income from investments, including the sale of a home. 
 
Net investment income subject to the Medicare Tax
Generally, “net investment income” that is subject to the 3.8% tax consists of interest, dividends, annuities, rents (less expenses), royalties, and net gains from real estate sales.  Read more on Net Investment Income Tax.
 
Sale of Primary Residence in 2013
With the sale of your primary residence, you may be able to exclude up to $250,000 of gain for individuals and up to $500,000 for couples filing jointly. The excluded gain will not be taxed the 3.8%.  Gain that exceeds the exclusion will be subject to the 3.8% tax.
 
Sale of Vacation Home in 2013
Gain on the sale of a vacation residence, land or investment real estate is subject to the 3.8% tax.
 
Don't Forget State Taxes
Taxpayers must also take into account the applicable state tax, if any.  When you sell property that is located in Wyoming, whether your primary residence, a vacation home or investment property, no tax will be paid to the state of Wyoming.  Wyoming is considered the tax-friendliest state in the nation.  Read more about  Wyoming’s tax benefits.
 
I am a 24-year real estate professional in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, NOT a tax professional.  This summary of tax information is from sources deemed reliable but not guaranteed and should NOT be relied upon. Consult with your professional tax advisor for definitive answers on all of these issues and what these provisions actually mean.
 
Give me a call 307-690-6906 if you are thinking about buying or selling Jackson Hole real estate in 2013.
 

Ancient Wisdom Works to Enhance Jackson Hole Homes

by Teri McCarthy

Feng Shui Helps Sell Jackson Hole Homes

Everybody has at least heard of it: Feng Shui -- the ancient Chinese art of living in harmony with your surroundings. Applying feng shui to make your Jackson home a hit may seem like a stretch, but not after we’ve been introduced to how much common sense it makes. Homeowners who are open to taking advantage of every angle to sell their home can readily apply some feng shui principles to good effect. And they don’t have to become students of mysticism in the process!
 
Here are three feng shui principles that can improve your home before an open house or buyer showing:
 
1. Allow the free flow of energy
 
Feng shui imagines that the vital energy called "Chi" should flow freely through your home. You don’t have to believe in an invisible power to make use of this principle – just think of Chi as water. Stand at your front door and picture how water would flow from the entrance and room to room, then pick out the places where it would stagnate. When listing your Jackson home for sale, clear out any furniture that might impede movement and the flow of the water (the Chi). As an agent, I can help you spot which pieces of furniture are so heavy or bulky that they block the natural “flow” of the house, improving every visitor’s walk-through in the process.
 
2. Pay attention to lighting
 
Lighting is an important part of feng shui: softening being the key theme. You should favor soft lights, which are understood to promote positive energies (think ‘cheerful moods’). When lighting a particular room, favor multiple light sources instead of single bright lights. For a daytime open house, allow sunlight to enter by making sure you unblock the windows and open blinds and curtains.
 
3. Remove clutter
 
Clutter represents darker, stagnant energy that will sap the positive energies of your home. This is one place where my experience and feng shui couldn’t be more in harmony: clutter can really impede the sale of an otherwise fine home. Remove clutter from view, storing it away during your open house and buyer showings. Keep your decor to a minimum: the space will seem to open up (not to mention how it will free up the flow of Chi!).
 
You don’t have to become a feng shui master to take advantage of some of its simple design principles that can lead to a more successful sale of your Jackson Hole home.  If you’re looking to sell a home and seek an agent with proven creative marketing techniques, contact me anytime. I will be honored to provide you with a complimentary consultation.
 

What Is Your Home Worth?

by Teri McCarthy

 

What is my home worth?  This is the most frequently asked question I’m hearing these days. We have seen the national real estate market begin to rebound, and expect Jackson home values to soon start to reflect movement as well. Most local homeowners are in the habit of keeping an eye on area home values. But especially for anyone considering buying or selling this spring or summer, estimating their home’s value is one of the first items on the agenda. 
 
To get you started, there are a couple of different methods to help establish a ballpark estimate of what your home may currently be worth.  There are two good online options to determine the current value of your home, both free and without having to speak with a Realtor. The quickest is a market report that is generated automatically and emailed to your inbox. Click here for a sample report.  Then just complete and submit the form at www.TetonHomeValue.com with your property address.
 
Another great option to determine the value of your home, condo, townhome or vacant land in Teton County, Wyoming is www.HomeValuesInTetonCounty.com.  Both methods use the Teton Board of Realtors MLS data combined with Teton County public record data to produce an estimate of home values. 
 
While these calculators are great at aggregating data, nothing replaces human input.  Real estate is, after all, the very definition of a local occurrence, so if you’re looking for more than an estimate, or you have a very special property, it may be time to call a local expert.  When an experienced agent creates their professional estimate, it not only takes into account the trends for properties closest to yours, but also incorporates real life features -- such as the curb appeal your home and garden offers right now. The better kept your property is at any given time, the greater its estimated value should be. An agent can also suggest the small changes that work best to enhance a property’s value.
 
If you have been considering selling a home and are curious about today’s home values in Jackson Hole and the surrounding communities, call me anytime for a complimentary consultation! 
 

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Whether you’re relocating to Jackson Hole, or want to buy a vacation home, primary residence, second home, resort property, condo, townhome, land, horse property, Teton view home, golf estate or ski-in/ski-out home, you’ll find all Jackson, Wilson, and Teton Village real estate listed for sale here. You need an advocate, a buyer's agent to represent your best interest, with confidentiality, Teri will you acquire a Jackson Hole property for your 1031 exchange, investment, second home or future retirement.  Take advantage of the many tax benefits of Wyoming residency. Already own a home in Jackson Hole?  Interested in knowing the value in today's market? Thinking about selling? Talk with Teri about creative marketing to attract qualified buyers for your home.  Teri McCarthy is the Broker/Owner of Jackson Wyoming Real Estate.  Teri holds the designations of ABR (Accredited Buyer Representative), CRS (Certified Residential Specialist) and RSPS (Resort and Second Home Specialist) matching buyers and sellers with Jackson Hole properties since 1989. All rights reserved 2015 Teri McCarthy Inc and Teri McCarthy, Realtor, ABR, CRS, RSPS.