Category Archives: Carnation Real Estate

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate and Snoqualmie Pass Living – Tax Tips


Tax tips and debt advice to round out the year

With summer officially over, the end of the year will be around before you have time to figure out whether it is better to finally take down the Christmas lights or, at this point, just leave them up. That makes it a good time to look ahead at your taxes, as well as take care of a few other financial chores.
The first step is to check your taxes, to make sure that you are not giving Uncle Sam a tax-free loan until next April 15. On the other hand, if you use your tax refund as a kind of payroll savings plan to pay off holiday bills or finance your next vacation, make sure that your refund amount is on track.
Check out the IRS' "withholding calculator." You will need your latest paycheck stub (as well as your spouse's, if filing jointly) and a copy of last year's return. Use that as a guide for estimating your deductions, but make adjustments if something big has changed in your financial life. If, for example, you have refinanced your home to a lower-rate mortgage, you will have less interest to deduct.
In general, experts recommend aiming to get or owe about $100. When you are done, the calculator tells you exactly how to fill out a new Form W-4.
Speaking of taxes, if you sent your kids to day camp or some other kind of care after school let out, gather those receipts, too, because that expense is deductible under the child and dependent care credit, if it allowed you or your spouse to work. (Sleep-away camp is not eligible.)
The deduction is capped at $3,000 for one child, $6,000 for two or more, and you can write-off from 35 percent to 20 percent, depending on your income level. There is one catch: You need to provide a tax ID number for the camp provider, so that rules out the kid down the street you paid in cash. If you have other daycare costs, which were also incurred so that you could work, you can include those expenses under this deduction, too.
If your company offers a child-care flexible spending account, which allows you to avoid paying income tax on money you use to pay for childcare, you can apply that, too. You cannot use your flex money to pay for services you deduct under the child-care credit, so max the credit out first. If you are in a tax bracket of 25 percent or more, use up your flex allowance first (up to $5,000/joint or $2,500/single a year), then the care credit.
One caveat: These tax breaks apply only to those 12 and younger.
Another end-of-summer chore that can pay off is to go through the junk mail that has piled up. Chances are that if you have a decent credit score, you are getting very nice offers from credit card issuers, with as much as 18 months of 0 percent interest. Fees can be as high as 5 percent of the balance you transfer, but deals can be found charging just 3 percent. This is a good move to make now, before interest rates rise.
If you transfer other debt, cut up that card or lock up those home equity checks -- you will only end up running up the balance on the old account while making the new lower-interest payments, too, which gets mired in even more debt. If you can, automate the payments to the new card to take full advantage of your 0 percent rate until your debt is retired.
Finally, put a note in your calendar for Black Friday. The day after Thanksgiving is not only a great day for holiday shopping sales, but also a good time to revisit your tax situation before New Year's rolls around.

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Carnation Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, Easton Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Carnation Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, Easton Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate and Snoqualmie Pass Living – Tax Tips


Tax tips and debt advice to round out the year

With summer officially over, the end of the year will be around before you have time to figure out whether it is better to finally take down the Christmas lights or, at this point, just leave them up. That makes it a good time to look ahead at your taxes, as well as take care of a few other financial chores.
The first step is to check your taxes, to make sure that you are not giving Uncle Sam a tax-free loan until next April 15. On the other hand, if you use your tax refund as a kind of payroll savings plan to pay off holiday bills or finance your next vacation, make sure that your refund amount is on track.
Check out the IRS' "withholding calculator." You will need your latest paycheck stub (as well as your spouse's, if filing jointly) and a copy of last year's return. Use that as a guide for estimating your deductions, but make adjustments if something big has changed in your financial life. If, for example, you have refinanced your home to a lower-rate mortgage, you will have less interest to deduct.
In general, experts recommend aiming to get or owe about $100. When you are done, the calculator tells you exactly how to fill out a new Form W-4.
Speaking of taxes, if you sent your kids to day camp or some other kind of care after school let out, gather those receipts, too, because that expense is deductible under the child and dependent care credit, if it allowed you or your spouse to work. (Sleep-away camp is not eligible.)
The deduction is capped at $3,000 for one child, $6,000 for two or more, and you can write-off from 35 percent to 20 percent, depending on your income level. There is one catch: You need to provide a tax ID number for the camp provider, so that rules out the kid down the street you paid in cash. If you have other daycare costs, which were also incurred so that you could work, you can include those expenses under this deduction, too.
If your company offers a child-care flexible spending account, which allows you to avoid paying income tax on money you use to pay for childcare, you can apply that, too. You cannot use your flex money to pay for services you deduct under the child-care credit, so max the credit out first. If you are in a tax bracket of 25 percent or more, use up your flex allowance first (up to $5,000/joint or $2,500/single a year), then the care credit.
One caveat: These tax breaks apply only to those 12 and younger.
Another end-of-summer chore that can pay off is to go through the junk mail that has piled up. Chances are that if you have a decent credit score, you are getting very nice offers from credit card issuers, with as much as 18 months of 0 percent interest. Fees can be as high as 5 percent of the balance you transfer, but deals can be found charging just 3 percent. This is a good move to make now, before interest rates rise.
If you transfer other debt, cut up that card or lock up those home equity checks -- you will only end up running up the balance on the old account while making the new lower-interest payments, too, which gets mired in even more debt. If you can, automate the payments to the new card to take full advantage of your 0 percent rate until your debt is retired.
Finally, put a note in your calendar for Black Friday. The day after Thanksgiving is not only a great day for holiday shopping sales, but also a good time to revisit your tax situation before New Year's rolls around.

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Carnation Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, Easton Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Carnation Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, Easton Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate and Snoqualmie Pass Living – U.S. Home Sales to 7 Year High!

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Carnation Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, Easton Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com
WASHINGTON (AP) — Buoyed by steady job gains and low mortgage rates, Americans purchased new homes in August at the fastest pace in more than seven years.
New-home sales surged 5.7 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 552,000, the Commerce Department said Thursday. That is the strongest pace since February 2008, near the beginning of the Great Recession. Last month's increase followed an even bigger 12 percent jump in July, according to the government's revised figures.
Healthy hiring and smaller price increases for new homes have finally begun pushing up sales, which were hammered during the Great Recession and recovered slowly even after the downturn ended in 2009. New-home sales have soared nearly 22 percent in the past year.
Sales figures for newly-built homes are notoriously volatile and typically revised heavily in subsequent months. But most economists were still encouraged by the gains.
"Housing has been an economic bright spot this year and activity in the new home construction market remains solid," saidMichelle Girard, an economist at RBS Securities.
Surveys show that homebuilders' outlook is the most optimistic in a decade, a sign that construction could pick up. The supply of new homes has been scarce, so greater construction could result in more sales.
Strong gains in new-home sales and construction could accelerate the economy by generating construction jobs, demand for more building materials and more spending on landscaping and other services.
Home builders raised new-home prices aggressively last year, likely weighing on sales, which totaled just 414,000 in 2014. That was little changed from sales in 2013. But builders have reined in price increases this year, fueling more buyer traffic and purchases.
Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, says that new-home prices jumped 10.7 percent in the final three months of last year, compared with a year earlier. But they rose just 0.8 percent in the April-June quarter from a year ago, he said.
In August, the median price for a new home was $292,700, just $600 higher than the previous month. The median is the price where half of all home prices are higher and half are lower.
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said last week that she expects the housing market to keep improving as more people find jobs and younger Americans increasingly move out on their own.
"We are envisioning further improvement in the housing market," Yellen said. "It remains very depressed."
Right now, however, potential buyers are facing fewer choices than would normally be the case. There were just 216,000 new homes for sale at the end of August, enough to last 4.7 months at the current pace of sales. That's below the six months that is more common historically.
Still, low mortgage rates are keeping home purchases affordable for many would-be buyers. The rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage averaged just 3.9 percent nationwide last week, according to mortgage buyer Freddie Mac, far below historical norms.
Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Carnation Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, Easton Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate and Snoqualmie Pass Living – U.S. Home Sales to 7 Year High!

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Carnation Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, Easton Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com
WASHINGTON (AP) — Buoyed by steady job gains and low mortgage rates, Americans purchased new homes in August at the fastest pace in more than seven years.
New-home sales surged 5.7 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 552,000, the Commerce Department said Thursday. That is the strongest pace since February 2008, near the beginning of the Great Recession. Last month's increase followed an even bigger 12 percent jump in July, according to the government's revised figures.
Healthy hiring and smaller price increases for new homes have finally begun pushing up sales, which were hammered during the Great Recession and recovered slowly even after the downturn ended in 2009. New-home sales have soared nearly 22 percent in the past year.
Sales figures for newly-built homes are notoriously volatile and typically revised heavily in subsequent months. But most economists were still encouraged by the gains.
"Housing has been an economic bright spot this year and activity in the new home construction market remains solid," saidMichelle Girard, an economist at RBS Securities.
Surveys show that homebuilders' outlook is the most optimistic in a decade, a sign that construction could pick up. The supply of new homes has been scarce, so greater construction could result in more sales.
Strong gains in new-home sales and construction could accelerate the economy by generating construction jobs, demand for more building materials and more spending on landscaping and other services.
Home builders raised new-home prices aggressively last year, likely weighing on sales, which totaled just 414,000 in 2014. That was little changed from sales in 2013. But builders have reined in price increases this year, fueling more buyer traffic and purchases.
Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, says that new-home prices jumped 10.7 percent in the final three months of last year, compared with a year earlier. But they rose just 0.8 percent in the April-June quarter from a year ago, he said.
In August, the median price for a new home was $292,700, just $600 higher than the previous month. The median is the price where half of all home prices are higher and half are lower.
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said last week that she expects the housing market to keep improving as more people find jobs and younger Americans increasingly move out on their own.
"We are envisioning further improvement in the housing market," Yellen said. "It remains very depressed."
Right now, however, potential buyers are facing fewer choices than would normally be the case. There were just 216,000 new homes for sale at the end of August, enough to last 4.7 months at the current pace of sales. That's below the six months that is more common historically.
Still, low mortgage rates are keeping home purchases affordable for many would-be buyers. The rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage averaged just 3.9 percent nationwide last week, according to mortgage buyer Freddie Mac, far below historical norms.
Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Carnation Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, Easton Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate and Snoqualmie Pass Living – U.S. Home Sales to 7 Year High!

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Carnation Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, Easton Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com
WASHINGTON (AP) — Buoyed by steady job gains and low mortgage rates, Americans purchased new homes in August at the fastest pace in more than seven years.
New-home sales surged 5.7 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 552,000, the Commerce Department said Thursday. That is the strongest pace since February 2008, near the beginning of the Great Recession. Last month's increase followed an even bigger 12 percent jump in July, according to the government's revised figures.
Healthy hiring and smaller price increases for new homes have finally begun pushing up sales, which were hammered during the Great Recession and recovered slowly even after the downturn ended in 2009. New-home sales have soared nearly 22 percent in the past year.
Sales figures for newly-built homes are notoriously volatile and typically revised heavily in subsequent months. But most economists were still encouraged by the gains.
"Housing has been an economic bright spot this year and activity in the new home construction market remains solid," saidMichelle Girard, an economist at RBS Securities.
Surveys show that homebuilders' outlook is the most optimistic in a decade, a sign that construction could pick up. The supply of new homes has been scarce, so greater construction could result in more sales.
Strong gains in new-home sales and construction could accelerate the economy by generating construction jobs, demand for more building materials and more spending on landscaping and other services.
Home builders raised new-home prices aggressively last year, likely weighing on sales, which totaled just 414,000 in 2014. That was little changed from sales in 2013. But builders have reined in price increases this year, fueling more buyer traffic and purchases.
Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, says that new-home prices jumped 10.7 percent in the final three months of last year, compared with a year earlier. But they rose just 0.8 percent in the April-June quarter from a year ago, he said.
In August, the median price for a new home was $292,700, just $600 higher than the previous month. The median is the price where half of all home prices are higher and half are lower.
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said last week that she expects the housing market to keep improving as more people find jobs and younger Americans increasingly move out on their own.
"We are envisioning further improvement in the housing market," Yellen said. "It remains very depressed."
Right now, however, potential buyers are facing fewer choices than would normally be the case. There were just 216,000 new homes for sale at the end of August, enough to last 4.7 months at the current pace of sales. That's below the six months that is more common historically.
Still, low mortgage rates are keeping home purchases affordable for many would-be buyers. The rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage averaged just 3.9 percent nationwide last week, according to mortgage buyer Freddie Mac, far below historical norms.
Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Carnation Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, Easton Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com