Blog :: 03-2018

Deductibility of Home Equity Loans

Last year the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of  2017” was passed and one provision prohibited the deduction of interest on Home Equity loans (also known as HELOCs).

However, the IRS has just issued a clarification of this policy. You can still deduct the interest on a Home Equity Loan only if it is used to substantially improve your home and as long as your loans do not exceed the cost of your home. This is an important clarification and enables homeowners to improve their homes for their personal enjoyment or to get a home ready to be put on the market.

Our local banks, including Salisbury Bank, National Iron, and Litchfield Bancorp are still offering attractive rates for HELOCs and this can be a great tool for homeowners - as long as you’re not using the funds to pay tuition or other personal expenses. The team at Best & Cavallaro Real Estate is always happy to meet with homeowners and discuss the advisability of home improvements.

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    Healthy House

    Contaminated water, high radon levels, lead paint, and faulty electrical outlets can threaten your family’s health and safety now and may complicate the eventual sale of your home. The time to take action is now, before a home inspection may delay the sale of your house and possibly reduce its selling price.

    The buyers’ inspectors will test your well water for bacterial, mineral, and chemical pollutants. Remediation of these problems may involve installing a water filter and an ultraviolet sterilizer and retesting.

    It is estimated that 39% of homes in Dutchess County, have over the recommended maximum radon level of 4.0pCi/L. When you decide to sell your house, the buyer’s inspector will test the level of radon.

    Any building constructed before 1978 may have lead paint issues. If a purchaser has a concern, they have an opportunity to conduct a special risk assessment for lead.

    Electrical wiring in older homes can be potentially dangerous. If you are buying, thinking of selling, or are worried about all those power cords, ask your electrician to evaluate your system and make any required changes.

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      March 15-17: THE KING AND I!

      The King And I marks the 15th annual musical for the Housatonic Musical Theatre Society at Housatonic Valley Regional High School.

      With 90% of the funding for the musical provided through ticket sales, sponsorships, and fundraising events, this year’s show features 40 students onstage, including 16 students from Region One elementary schools, all helping to bring The King And I to life for four performances only, March 15-17, 2018, accompanied by a live, 15-piece orchestra.

      Winner of five Tony Awards, when it opened in 1952, and numerous additional awards with each revival, The King And I is a Rodgers & Hammerstein favorite, featuring songs that have become beloved classics: Getting To Know You, I Whistle A Happy Tune, Shall We Dance, and Hello, Young Lovers.

      Tickets ($15 for adults, $10 for seniors/students/children) may be purchased at the door, online at HMTS.org, and at the Salisbury, Sharon, and Kent pharmacies.

      Best & Cavallaro has been a proud sponsor of the Housatonic Musical Theatre Society since its inception fifteen years ago.

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        Renovating Wisely

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        Spend your dollars wisely when renovating. Replacing a roof, electrical, or plumbing systems  may not add as much value as you’d hope because buyers expect your home’s infrastructure to be in good shape.

        Focus on what is important to buyers, and do not over-improve. If houses in your neighborhood have gravel driveways, investing in expensive brick pavers may not be in your best interest.

        However, dark and cramped rooms are unappealing, so adding light goes a long way in adding value. If you have small rooms blocking the flow of natural light, consider removing walls to open up space. Combining kitchen, dining, and living areas into a large space can makes a small house feel light and airy. Open rooms create an inviting atmosphere for entertaining and are also good for young families because they allow parents and children to interact while meals are being prepared.

        Adding rooms is also a big value booster. Great rooms can add square footage, and vaulted ceilings will make it feel like there’s even more space.

        Finally, if you have an unfinished attic, can it be converted to create usable extra space?

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