What Are You Doin’ New Year’s Eve?

NewYearsEve1As the year comes to a close, we reflect on some of the things that 2013 has brought us.  We are also reminded of a story about a little boy, who begged his parents to let him stay up until way past his bedtime one New Year’s Eve.   His mother allowed this and did everything she could to make his first New Year’s celebration special.  She bought noise makers, party hats, confetti and plastic champagne flutes (that would be filled with ginger ale) to help her little boy ring in the new year with as much fanfare as possible.

Once everything was in place and New Year’s Rockin’ Eve was on the TV, the little boy’s excitement grew with the tick of every minute.  Finally the countdown was here!  10, 9, 8…the little boy was positively jumping up and down (spilling most of his ginger ale champagne on the floor).  3, 2, 1…HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!  Kisses, hugs and toasts were exchanged, confetti was tossed in the air and the noise makers were blown enthusiastically.  As the celebration began to die down, the family settled back onto the couch quietly and watched as they celebrated in NYC’s Times Square and sipped on their ginger ale.  The time was now 12:05 a.m. and the little boy looked at his mother and asked, “That was it?”

Here is wishing you and yours a very Happy and Safe New Year!  May 2014 be filled with many joys and wonders throughout the year so that you are not left wondering if “that was it?” in the end.

Holiday Safety Tips

Home safety should always be observed year, however during the holiday season sadly there are too many reminders of why we need to be vigilant when it comes to our homes.  Here is a list of safety tips that you can use not only during the holiday season but all year round.  (Source:  Examiner.com)

  • Make sure to keep an inventory of serial numbers on items such as televisions, stereos, computers, etc. in case your items are stolen from your home.  If found, it will make identifying them much easier.
  • With skies getting darker earlier in the evening during the winter months, set indoor and outdoor lights on an automatic timer so that you always come home to a well lit environment.
  • Be aware that criminals are always looking for creative ways to see if your home will be their next target.  They may pose as couriers or go door to door to solicit donations for charities.
  • Are you giving your loved one the next best thing in electronics or gaming this system?  Wait until the last minute to throw out those boxes.  A large television on the side of the curb on trash day  will indicate to a criminal that the same television is  now proudly hanging in your home.
  • LOCK YOUR DOORS!

Stay safe this holiday season and call the police if you suspect anything.

 

Understanding The 3.8% Tax On Investment Income

The Affordable Care Act imposes a 3.8 percent tax on net investment income, which includes certain income from interest, dividends, net rents, and capital gains.  The tax falls on only those individuals with an adjusted gross income (AGI) above $200,000 for single filers or $250,000 for couples filing jointly. It will apply when owners file their 2013 tax returns in 2014. The amount of tax will vary from individual to individual because the elements that comprise AGI differ from taxpayer to taxpayer.

We encourage all rental property owners to contact their tax advisors for more specifics. However, here are some links that will provide additional in-depth information:

http://www.realtor.org/topics/health-care-reform/38-ta

http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/Net-Investment-Income-Tax-FAQs

http://www.ksefocus.com/billdatabase/clientfiles/172/8/1437.pdf

http://www.realtor.org/topics/health-care-reform/top-10-things-you-need-to-know-about-the-38-tax

http://speakingofrealestate.blogs.realtor.org/2012/10/09/3-8-tax-whats-true-whats-not/

 

 

Holidays & The HOA

Before you “deck your halls, be sure to review your community’s Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions or CC&Rs.  Many HOA’s have very specific rules and regulations on what decorations may adorn your home and when those decorations can go up and when they must come down.  The holidays are expensive enough without having to pay hefty fines for violations.

Happy decorating!!