The IRS has introduced a safe harbor that makes things easier for landlords when it comes to claiming deductions

Here’s a bit of good news for small landlords: The Internal Revenue Service has introduced a “safe harbor” for deducting repairs to investment properties from ordinary income. Normally, the IRS does not allow you to take a full current-year deduction for anything they consider a renovation or improvement. They only allow you to take a first-year deduction on repairs, which the IRS defines as projects that do not materially add to the value of a property . . .

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Organic lawn care can be easy and affordable

One of my favorite things to do in the heat of summer is stand barefoot on a nice cool lawn. The grass feels cool and moist, and I like to squish my toes around in the blades of grass. It’s just one of those sensory experiences I truly enjoy. But what if that same lawn has been dowsed in chemicals in order to achieve its lushness? Well, that sort of changes the experience, doesn’t it? If you’d rather minimize the use of herbicides and pesticides, here are a few lawn care tips you can use . . .

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Organizing paperwork clutter will free up valuable space in your home

It doesn’t take long for a paperwork monster to take over your home. First, it creeps into your office as a modest pile that you tell yourself you will deal with later. Then it grows rapidly until it overwhelms the room and goes looking for somewhere else to invade. Before you let the paperwork monster take over your kitchen counter or dining room table, here are some tips to evict the clutter and manage things differently. . . .

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With rising prices in many cities, potential homebuyers can

For many buyers, the dream of owning a home continues to be just that – a dream. Skyrocketing home prices, stiff competition and increasing mortgage rates are becoming a source of frustration for many potential homeowners. According to CNN, buyers are getting shut out of the market in many big cities across America. Cities such as Las Vegas, San Francisco and San Diego have seen a price hike of 20 percent or more in the last year, according to Case Shiller. . . .

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Lighting design can add value to your home as well as reduced energy costs. People are naturally drawn to a well-lit space, and the right lighting can enhance anyone’s mood. Use light effectively in your home to take full advantage of its countless offerings. . . .

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The process of buying a home for the first time brings with it a lot of confusion. From how to finance the purchase to what happens at closing, it’s not something most of us do very often. One of the most important steps in the purchase process, if you won’t be paying cash for the home, is seeking out a lender and obtaining a loan preapproval letter. But how do you shop for a lender and a loan? . . .

Read more about How Avoid Overpaying for a Mortgage


With tax time on the horizon, here are some tips on depreciation for real estate investors

Depreciation is a double-edged sword. It’s a big part of why real estate works so well with leverage as an investment. Taking the depreciation allowance on investment property is a critical part of the attractiveness of real estate investing, from the point of view of the cash-flow investor. But the rules governing depreciation are notoriously baffling, and occasionally trip up even tax professionals. . . .

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Why You Need a Real Estate Agent SHORT

It is now common knowledge that the U.S. housing market has recovered from the crash of the mid-2000s. Home prices jumped a whopping 11.3 percent in 2013, increasing in 83 out of the 100 largest U.S. metros. Despite low inventories, home sales have improved greatly from their post-crash levels, thanks in part to comparatively low mortgage rates. . . .

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Installing hurricane shutters can help protect your home from wind and storm damage

People can learn something important from squirrels: When it comes to bad weather, prepare for it early and prepare for it well. Preparing for cold weather or power outages is one thing, but is your home hurricane-ready? . . .

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Boot shapers help keep boots organized while they are in storage

You’ve uncovered your sunglasses from their winter hibernation. Birds are chirping, new shoots are springing up and colors are emerging on bushes and trees. Spring is near! Just as the daffodils emerge from their planter boxes, it’s time to give new life to your spring wardrobe and retire the wool scarves and hats for the season. Follow these steps to an organized spring wardrobe and proper protection for your winter gear. . . .

Read more about Organizing Your Seasonal Wardrobe