Archive for June 18th, 2012

Tax-Free Income for Filming at Your Home?

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According to film location scout Wilson Wu, the “rent” or “location fee” earned by a homeowner for a film shoot is free from federal taxation as long as you don’t have more than 14 film shoots in a  tax year. (Check with your tax advisor to see if you qualify!)

Good deal, eh? Especially in this economic time when a location fee can easily pay for a whole month’s mortgage. We’ve assisted location scouts with residential, commercial and municipal properties in the last few years.

Are you interested in offering up your property for a film crew to use? Occupants of a home used for film shoots must be comfortable with the “intrusion” of a film crew and must be able to stay “out of the way” while filming is in progress.

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Frustrated Buyer in a Seller’s Market?

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Buyers:  

With a hot market, make sure you have your full pre-approval for financing in hand prior to making any offers.  Also, the more money you can put down, the stronger your offer will look to the seller.  Cash buyers are still pushing the market around a bit.  Your offer will also be stronger if you don’t put a lot of contingencies on the sale, like repairs, the need to sell another property, inspections, etc.  Think about what you absolutely must have to be happy with the purchase, and keep this list short with the help of your REALTOR.  Be patient.  Properties are receiving multiple offers, so it may take awhile to be successful.  Your REALTOR will need to stay on top of the market daily to ensure you learn about new listings right away, so don’t be shy about contacting him/her regularly about the newest listings.

Sellers:

This is a great time to put your house on the market.  Inventory is very low in our area, so your home will not have much competition, which means a likely quick sale and higher than expected price.   Prices have been appreciating over the past quarter, so you might be surprised at what you can sell your home for in the current market.  Also,  if you are underwater and are having challenges financially, consider a short sale so you can move on with your financial future.  You might even be surprised to find out that your property isn’t underwater with recent price appreciation.  Your REALTOR will advise you to evaluate multiple offers based on primarily the financial strength of the buyer, but also on requested terms by the buyer, such as how many days to close the transaction, who will pay for any needed repairs, etc.  While often the highest offer is the best one, it isn’t always the case, so carefully consider these other aspects of the sales contract.

The bottom line is, if you want to buy OR sell, the timing has to be right for you.  Just be aware that the market experiences changes more quickly than in the past, so if you are on the fence, go for it!  The summer appears to be lining up to be a hot one!