Homeownership

Found 77 blog entries about Homeownership.

Magic 8 ball says yes. Here’s what to know to itemize tax deductions as a homeowner.

Taxes? Gross! Who wants to think about government paperwork, especially when your hand still aches from signing the 977 forms required to buy your first house? But listen up: As a new homeowner, you can typically wave bye-bye to the 1040-EZ form and say hi to itemizing your deductions on Schedule A.

That means you can combine the thousands you’re now paying in mortgage interest and property taxes with what you’re already paying in state and local income taxes. And bam! Suddenly, you’ve got more to deduct than the $6,300 standard deduction.

For recent first-time homeowners Ben and Stephanie Liddiard, buying a rambler in Layton, Utah, led to tax savings that

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To manage your biggest asset, create a financial plan that covers repairs, upgrades, mortgages, insurance, and taxes.

Do you pay each home-related expense as it comes? If so, you’re missing opportunities for upgrades, or much worse, heading into a financial crisis when a slew of surprise maintenance items hit. So take a holistic look at what it costs to operate your house and set up a home financial plan.

Use our home financial plan budget worksheet, and start by writing a list of expenses, such as:

  • Mortgage
  • Taxes
  • Home insurance, including liability
  • Repairs and maintenance, such as new furnace, roof, painting
  • Voluntary upgrades, such as a swimming pool, a premium range, a new powder room.

What Will You Learn From This Home

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Such as look for roof leaks before the first winter snow.

When the last of summer’s heat is a faint memory, and you’re pulling out your hoodies more than your shorts, it’s time to tackle a few simple chores that’ll make winter more pleasant and prevent some nasty surprises next spring.

#1 Clean and Stow Your Mower

If you’re not familiar with fuel stabilizer, get to know it. If your mower sits for months with gas in its tank, the gas will slowly deteriorate, which can damage internal engine parts. Fuel stabilizer ($10 for a 10-ounce bottle) prevents gas from degrading.Add stabilizer to your gasoline can to keep spare gas in good condition over the winter, and top off your mower tank with stabilized gas before you put it away

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Get the dirt out of your home before you hunker down for winter’s worst.

You know, when you think about it, we should be obsessing over fall cleaning instead of spring cleaning. After all, you’re about to shut yourself inside for months with all the dust and dirt your home has collected during the hot, dusty, open-window days of summer. And who wants to inhale that?!

The EPA even estimates that indoor air quality can be five times more polluted than outdoor air. So here’s a checklist to help you breathe easy all winter long in your home.

#1 Wash and Disinfect Garbage Cans and Wastebaskets

You’re going to be shut in all winter with these germ havens, so now’s a good time to clean them thoroughly. Take them outside where you can blast the

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Why now’s the perfect time to replace appliances.

The temps are starting to drop; the smell of wood smoke is in the air. Temps are more chilly than warm. That’s when veteran homeowners know it’s time to do these six things if they want to avoid grief or overspending:

#1 Buy Appliances

Whisper to them. Do a rain dance. Whatever it takes to get your old appliances to wait until fall to go on the fritz. Manufacturers bring out their latest models during the fall, and store owners offer big sales on appliances they want to move out — like last year’s most popular dishwasher. So September, October, and November are great months to buy.

But October is right in the middle — when there’s still plenty of selection, and retailers might be more willing

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The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is a world-renowned attraction and destination for kids of all ages. For more than four decades, the first week in October brings the smell of roasting chiles and the beautiful, magical moving picture show of hot air balloons sailing silently through the crisp fall air.

Guests from all over the world come to Albuquerque to celebrate ballooning. Literally, hundreds of balloons will be taking flight from the Balloon Fiesta Park this year October 7-15, 2017.

From its modest beginnings in 1972 with 13 balloons launching from a shopping mall parking lot, the Balloon Fiesta has grown to multiple events launching year-round at the custom-designed, 365-acre Balloon Fiesta Park. Our signature event remains Balloon

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Guilty of buying cheap stuff? Pack-ratting? Here’s how to change your ways.

A date with a glass of wine and your favorite curry dish while watching the latest season of “Orange Is the New Black” may seem like the perfect way to spend your evening — until you hear something alive in that leaning tower of plates you’ve been ignoring all week.

Why, oh why, do you keep procrastinating dish cleanup night after night?!

Don’t beat yourself up too much. Bad habits are just way easier to maintain than good ones. They’re “the opposite of what makes you happy. They’re what make you miserable,” says M.J. Ryan, author of “Habit Changers: 81 Game-Changing Mantras to Mindfully Realize Your Goals.” Especially when they cost you money.

Here are 7 bad habits to

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If you live in the Southwest, complete these maintenance jobs every fall and winter to prevent costly repairs.

Certain home maintenance tasks should be completed each season to prevent structural damage, save energy, and keep all your home’s systems running properly. These maintenance tasks are most important for the Southwest in fall and winter. For a comprehensive list of tasks by season, refer to the to-do lists to the right of this article.

Fall and winter in the Southwest can mean the return of rain and snow after months of relentless, intense sun. “Out here, ultraviolet light really damages roof and wall surfaces,” says Bill Richardson, owner of Responsive Inspections in Albuquerque, N.M. This makes it doubly important to get your house ready

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What you really need to know about buying — from the people who house hunt for a living.

One house you’re looking at has the wraparound porch you’ve fantasized about, but it’s on a high-traffic street. The condo you like has a doorman in the lobby (you can order online now!), but it has no dedicated parking. What to choose?

It’s not every day that you buy a home and make decisions about the next three, five, or 10 years of your life. Since you can’t exactly take a home on a test drive, how do you decide? That got us to thinking about real estate pros. When they’ve seen practically everything on the market, how do they choose?

Four pros who’ve seen it all share their advice and their stories of hunting for just the right home.

Compromise for

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Successful burglars have lots in common — home owners who unwittingly give invitations to robbery. Here’s how thieves thank you for your generosity.

You come home to an open front door, a ransacked house, and missing valuables. How did a burglar know you’d be gone? How did they get in?

In these 10 thank-you notes, your friendly neighborhood burglars share advice on how to stop lending them a helping hand.

1. Thanks for the Ladder!

Call me a social climber if you will, but I did discover a ladder in your back yard. Thank you for leaving it where I could lean it against your home and easily reach a second-story window. I really love it when upper story openings aren’t wired to a home security system! 

So, if you want to keep me out, store your

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