All posts by Tim McBrayer

Case Study – Housing Decision During Retirement

A couple is planning to tour the United States in a travel trailer during their first few years of retirement. They are going to sell their current home now and purchase another home when they finish their travels. 30349530-250.jpg

An interesting exercise is to determine the optimum time of selling the home: now or when they’re ready to buy their replacement home.

If they intend on traveling for more than three years, then, it may be a good decision to sell prior to the sojourn to avoid paying taxes on the gain in their home. IRS allows for a temporary rental of a principal residence while still keeping the $250,000/$500,000 capital gains exclusion intact. A homeowner must own and use a home for two out of the previous five years which means that it could be rented for up to three years, but it would need to be sold and closed before that three-year window expires.

If the travel will be less than three years, there is an option of selling now or later. Using the example below, the homeowner sold the home, paid their expenses and invested the proceeds in a three-year certificate of deposit until the replacement home was purchased.

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As an alternative, if the homeowner rented the home, not only would they have income, the home would continue to appreciate and the unpaid balance would go down resulting in larger net proceeds. Based on a 5% appreciation and continued amortization of the mortgage, the net proceeds could easily be $40,000 more.

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Obviously, there are a lot of considerations that affect the decision to sell now or later but in an appreciating real estate environment, being without a home for several years could affect the financial position of the owner in the replacement property. It is certainly reasonable to look at various alternatives before making a decision. Call me at (919) 247-4667 to help you look at the different possibilities and talk to your tax professional.

Getting Ready to Downsize? Factors to Consider

By Nancy Kupka

Editor's Note: This was originally published on RISMedia's blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin' now at blog.rismedia.com:

As you age, you may decide that less is more. When you downsize your home, there can be less to pay for, less to take care of and less to worry about. Although the decision sounds simple, there is a lot to consider before you put your current home on the market.
 
Finances
Depending on where you live and where you intend to live, it may not be financially possible to relocate. For instance, you may have a large house in the Midwest, but a desire to move to a smaller property with an ocean view. There's a chance you won't make enough money from the sale of your house to buy a new home without the help of a mortgage.
 
If you've lived in your home for some time and are looking for a newer house, you may not be able to afford the home of your dreams without financing. Even if an even swap is possible between your current and new homes, there may be association fees or higher property taxes that exceed your budget. Be sure that you know the financial details well in advance of the move.
 
Family Size
As you age and children leave the nest, you may think that you no longer need as much room. But what if the children come home again? The Pew Research Center found that in 2016, 15 percent of millennials were living in their parents' home. This is nearly double the number of people of the same age group living in their parents' home in 1964. The job market, college debt and the rising cost of living all contribute to this change. Keep in mind that it may not just be your children moving home—they may also bring their partners and their children.
 
Location
Location is important for more than just resale value. If you want to travel, or if you want to be easily accessible to friends and relatives, you probably want to live in a town near an airport. Also, give great consideration to the community that you're interested in moving into. Choose a community that has the resources that are important to you; these may include houses of worship, community centers or public transportation. Real estate agents can give you detailed information regarding these questions.
 
If you're considering a gated community, look into the services offered. You'll likely want to continue doing activities you enjoy and maybe even find new hobbies. If you love gardening, don't move to an association that won't let you plant outside. If you're a fan of woodworking, some associations have hobby rooms with tools available for you to use. If you're a card shark, it might be hard to find people to play cards with during the day if most people in your neighborhood are younger and at work.
 
Layout of the Home
There's a lot to be said for a two-level house, including privacy and the small dose of exercise one gets from going up and down a flight of stairs. But what seems a minor inconvenience when you're 55 years old might be a major difficulty when you turn 70. If you decide to get a home with more than one level, choose one with a bathroom on the same floor as your bedroom. Or, look into whether the home can be outfitted with assistive devices, like chair lifts.
 
Other things to consider include easy access to a washer and dryer, outdoor access and parking.
 
What You'll Take With You
If you're moving from the home where you raised a family, you'll likely have many things to contend with. You may need to decide what you can live without. Sure, you can take pictures and all of your children's middle school awards, but are you prepared to let go of other cherished belongings if you move to a smaller home? Give thought to whether you can truly downsize your life and still feel at home.
 
Finally, realize that if you haven't found exactly the right setup for your lifestyle, you can always move again. After all, if a home is a person's castle, shouldn't you be happy in yours?
 
Nancy Kupka PhD, RN is a former home care specialist with years of senior care experience. She is currently Manager of Clinical Programs and Quality for Walgreens. To make aging in place in a smaller home more comfortable, you can find assistive devices such as lift chairs at Walgreens.com

Thanks for visiting my Blog site. If you would like to discuss this topic with me or get more information please contact me by calling 919-247-4667 or emailing me at Tim@TheTrianglesBroker.com. And you can always visit my personal real estate website for lots of additional information and to search for homes at www.TheTrianglesBroker.com or www.BuyAndSelllingTriangleHomes.com  McBrayer – The Triangles Broker.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2018. All rights reserved.

How to Stay Injury-Free While Gardening

For many of us, the chance to finally get out into the garden and start digging, weeding and planting is met with great enthusiasm and gusto. However, we often forget that gardening can be hard work, especially if you’re cleaning up and prepping after a harsh winter.

To avoid your gardening projects coming to a quick halt due to a pulled muscle or thrown back, here are some tips for minimizing injury from Craig Turner, general manager of Pennsylvania-based Mount Nittany Health Fit for Play:

Treat it like a work out and warm up first. The physical exertion involved in gardening can make it equivalent to a vigorous work-out, so warm up first by taking a quick walk and stretching out your torso, arms, neck and shoulders.

Start small. Don’t dive head first into a huge project. Get your body acclimated to gardening by starting with small jobs first, building up to larger projects as the days go by.

Pay attention to your technique. Mind your back by practicing common sense maneuvers, such as bending at the knees and lifting with your legs when pulling weeds or moving heavy objects. Turner also advises kneeling on one knee at a time and keeping one foot on the ground for stability.

Have the right tools. Preventing injury is all about having the right tools and using them accordingly, such as wheelbarrows for moving large objects, pads for your knees, gardening gloves, and protective eyewear when necessary.

Stay hydrated. Water is always the best option. Have plenty on hand.

As with all work outs, don’t overdo it. Turner says to pay close attention to your body. Feel a twinge or tweak? Stop and stretch out that muscle or take it as a sign to switch to a different task that requires different muscle groups. Taking a break is also a good idea.

End with a cool-down. Before you collapse into the deck chair or hammock, take a few minutes to stretch or go for a short walk. This will help prevent muscle soreness from setting in.

Not only is gardening an enriching hobby and a great way to add to your home’s livability and curb appeal, it’s one of the best workouts you can get. By heeding the above advice, you can enjoy the benefits all season long.
 

Thanks for visiting my Blog site. If you would like to discuss this topic with me or get more information please contact me by calling 919-247-4667 or emailing me at Tim@TheTrianglesBroker.com. And you can always visit my personal real estate website for lots of additional information and to search for homes at www.TheTrianglesBroker.com or www.BuyAndSelllingTriangleHomes.com  McBrayer – The Triangles Broker.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2018. All rights reserved.

How Smart Home Tech Can Help You Care for Your Pets

From helping programming your thermostat to stepping up your security systems, smart home technology is enhancing the lives of homeowners more and more every day. But did you also know there are smart home features that can help you take care of your non-human family members as well?

Home security and automation writer, and technology blogger Christy Matte explains how the following smart-home technologies are changing the face of pet care:

Talk to your pets with smart speakers. With some of the available varieties of smart speakers, you can actually call in and chat with your pet at home. Some speakers even have a built-in camera screen so that you can do a little spying on your furry friend as well.

Take a closer look with security cameras. Of course, if you have a ‘problem child’ at home, security cameras will allow you to check in on your smart phone to see if your pooch is getting into the garbage or breaking through the security gate. You can also keep an eye on your pets when they’re in the yard.

Interact with smart toys. Available in a variety of shapes, interactive pet toys allow you to log in and see and speak to your pet. Some also allow you to follow your pet and dispense treats.

Hand out treats. Smart feeders allow you to dispense food or reward pets with treats when you’re not home. They also allow you to track how often and how much your pet is eating. And, if you have more than one pet, some models even have facial recognition technology so you can track more than one pet at a time.

Give them freedom with smart pet doors. Smart pet doors use special collars or microchips to unlock when they recognize your pet approaching. Or, you can install an app-enabled pet door that allows you to lock and unlock it at will, super helpful when you’re stuck late at work and need to let the dog out.  

Use GPS collars for tracking. No more worrying about your wandering pet with these special collars with activity tracking features that can help you determine if your pet is injured, has gone too far away or is unusually lethargic.

Choosing the right smart technology for your pet boils down to your lifestyle needs and your pet’s habits. No matter what that may be, there’s something to make life easier for both of you!

Thanks for visiting my Blog site. If you would like to discuss this topic with me or get more information please contact me by calling 919-247-4667 or emailing me at Tim@TheTrianglesBroker.com. And you can always visit my personal real estate website for lots of additional information and to search for homes at www.TheTrianglesBroker.com or www.BuyAndSelllingTriangleHomes.com  McBrayer – The Triangles Broker.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2018. All rights reserved.

Tips for Exterior Home Painting

Looking to give the outside of your home a fresh finish? This can seriously up your curb appeal and create great ambiance before you even step foot inside. To help you get a great exterior paint job, heed this advice from Sara McLean, color expert and stylist for Dunn-Edwards.

– The main body color is what most of the home will be painted, and it sets the tone for the rest of the home.

– If you have a change in material, such as an entry feature, second roofline, dormer windows, or any other secondary main material feature, include a second main color to complement the first.

– Add an accent color to highlight smaller details, such as doors and shutters.

– Tie everything together with a trim color around the windows, fascia and eaves.

– If you're not ready to paint the entire exterior, you can still give your house a facelift with some practical touch-ups on accent pieces. Fresh, bright paint on the front door, stair rails, balconies, shutters or window sashes can make a statement. Plus, it's easy to change the color on these smaller details every year or two.

– What direction does your home face? If it receives full southern or western sun exposure, those areas will fade faster than the back or sides of the house. Certain colors, like yellow, orange and red will fade faster. On the company's color chips, the letter "I" indicates colors that are recommended for interiors only.

– Select a high-quality paint to help reduce UV color fade, look better and last longer.

– Choose a color scheme that blends with the neighborhood. If you belong to a Homeowner’s Association (HOA), check to see if there are any color restrictions.  

– You can minimize attention to unattractive elements, such as downspouts, air conditioning units, vents and gutters by painting them the same color as the wall of the house or by choosing a trim color that’s a similar shade.

Source: Dunn-Edwards

Thanks for visiting my Blog site. If you would like to discuss this topic with me or get more information please contact me by calling 919-247-4667 or emailing me at Tim@TheTrianglesBroker.com. And you can always visit my personal real estate website for lots of additional information and to search for homes at www.TheTrianglesBroker.com or www.BuyAndSelllingTriangleHomes.com  McBrayer – The Triangles Broker.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2018. All rights reserved.