5 Things for Home Buyers and Sellers to Consider in 2024

Does 2024 include a big move for you? From first-time buyers to seasoned investors, here’s a list of five things for home buyers and sellers to consider in 2024 to better prepare them for the real estate journey ahead.

Interest and mortgage rates.

It’s always a good idea for potential home buyers and sellers to keep an eye on interest and mortgage rates. Since October 2023, mortgage rates have begun to steadily decline from 8% to 7–6%. But rates will most likely remain volatile.

Experts suggest paying attention to the Federal Reserve’s interest rate decisions for a hint at where mortgage rates are going in 2024. 

The long-term value of owning a home. 

Homeownership is one of the most reliable and quickest ways to build wealth for a variety of reasons. First of all, it stabilizes a homeowner’s housing expenses with fixed monthly payments. Second of all, as you continue to pay off your mortgage loan, you build equity in the home.

Hence, you add value to your net worth.

Think about what you need versus what you would like. 

Whether you are a first-time home buyer or you’ve done it before, figuring out your needs versus what you want helps you narrow your search. And, from there, you can begin adding on those wants. 

Industry experts have predicted that a few of those key features for 2024 include sustainability, luxury amenities and seamless outdoor-indoor living spaces. 

Calculate your budget. 

Knowing your budget is not a new idea, but it remains one of the top things for home buyers and sellers to consider in 2024. In general, designating about 25% of your net income toward a mortgage payment is a good rule of thumb. 

It’s a good idea to work with your local Realtor or mortgage lender to help calculate your budget. 

Working with an experienced local Realtor. 

Finally, when it comes to things for home buyers and sellers to consider in 2024, working with a knowledgeable local expert is key. In terms of finding the right Realtor for you, talk to a few different Realtors. Ask them questions, read their reviews and ask about their rates and fees, for example.

If you aren’t sure where to start when it comes to finding a Realtor in Lee County, our member search offers a listing of Realtors, real estate offices, affiliates and more. 

Summary

A new year goes hand-in-hand with new possibilities and opportunities, and that includes investing in real estate. Become more familiar with our local market and the opportunities ahead by connecting with us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, where we share local statistics, insights and more. For more buying and selling tips, local news and trends, continue to read our blogs. 

5 Potential Homeowner Tax Breaks for 2022

The due date for taxes is April 18, 2023. But before you file, be sure you are aware of the tax perks of homeownership. Check out these five potential homeowner tax breaks for 2022.

Mortgage interest 

The mortgage interest deduction is an itemized deduction. This means that for it to work in your favor, all your itemized deductions need to be greater than the standard deduction.

Note that for the 2022 tax year, those standard deduction amounts increased. For individuals, this deduction is now $12,950, and for married couples filing jointly, it is now $25,900. For the head of household, this deduction went up to $19,400. And if you are 65 or older, you can add on an extra $1,400 per person if you are married and filing jointly or an extra $1,750 if you are a single filer.

And remember—the more recent your mortgage, the greater your tax savings will be.

Property taxes

Property taxes are on that itemized list of all your deductions that must add up to more than your standard deduction.

Taxpayers can take one $10,000 deduction. This deduction is capped at $10,000 for those who are married and filing jointly.

Note: If you have a mortgage, your property taxes are built into your monthly payment.

Interest on a home equity line of credit

If you have a home equity line of credit, or HELOC, the interest you pay on that loan is deductible only if that loan is used specifically to “buy, build or improve a property.”

Essentially, you will have some cash if your home needs repairs or upgrades. But you cannot use that money for things such as weddings or college tuition.

You can deduct up to the $750,000 cap—this is for the amount you pay in interest on your HELOC and mortgage combined. But note, if you took out a HELOC before the new 2018 tax plan for anything other than improvements to your home, you cannot deduct the interest.

Home offices

Are you self-employed, with your home office being your principal place of work? Good news! You can deduct $5 per square foot, up to 300 square feet, of office space. The maximum deduction your home office can receive is $1,500.

For those taking this deduction, know that there are very strict rules on what constitutes fully-deductible home office space.

In addition, understand that if you are still working remotely, you are still a W-2 employee and are not eligible for this deduction under the CARES Act.

Home improvements

To receive the home improvement tax break, your improvements have to exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income.

Deductible improvements can include widening doorways, lowering cabinets, fixing electrical or adding stairlifts. For some homeowners who plan to add renovations such as wheelchair ramps and grab bars in the bathrooms, for example, the cost of improvements can result in a nice tax break.

You will need a letter from your doctor to prove that these changes were medically necessary.

Summary

Be sure you keep these potential homeowner tax breaks for 2022 in mind when filing your taxes in 2023. These breaks and homeownership tax perks can save you money!

Finally, continue reading our blogs for more real estate tips and news.

How Homeownership Can Help During Rising Inflation

Americans across the country are concerned about inflation—and understandably so. If you’ve heard the news, but need a little economics refresher, we’ve got you. Inflation is a fluctuating value. It assigns value to money, causing currency to be worth more or less than it was previously. As of June 2022, inflation was up drastically by 9.1 percent in the past 12 months, as per the Consumer Price Index, or CPI. Though this may seem worrying, there are ways how homeownership can help during rising inflation.

Homes are an appreciating asset.

Some people like to get a return on their money by investing in stocks, bonds, or even a home. Unlike cars or boats, homes tend to grow in value over time. And, unlike renting, your money will be going toward something that you can own.

Another facet of how homeownership can help during rising inflation is the future economic value of your house. If you end up deciding to sell it, your home will likely be worth more during a time when the dollar value is rising. That gives you extra financial capital at your disposal.

Homes mean fewer future moving costs.

Rent prices have also seen a sharp rise in the past few months—and it’s a trend that’s likely to continue. Unfortunately, that can mean some people may have to move again and again as they seek rentals with prices that fit their budgets.

Having to pay to move multiple times can actually eat into your savings, making eventual buying even more difficult.

While it will require a bit of number crunching, you should think about how often you plan to move in the next few years. It can put the costs in starker relief, and it may even give you a good push into home buying.

Fixed-rate mortgages don’t vary from year to year.

Unless you refinance for a better value, fixed-rate mortgages don’t vary from year to year.

That’s a huge advantage over renting—and it means your home will likely get more affordable over time. Just remember that this applies to fixed-rate mortgages only!

Remember: You can always refinance.

Mortgage rates have recently climbed a bit.

While this may keep you from buying for the time being, it may also be helpful to remember that you can eventually refinance when rates are lower. You can also lock in a mortgage rate with your lending company or pay to have it extended.

Talk to your lender—and your Realtor—about options!

Summary

If you need one last nudge to explore the market, now you have one: knowing how homeownership can help during rising inflation.

Still have questions? Want to start house-hunting?

We’re here to help! Contact us to find a Realtor. You can also learn more about the market on our blog here.