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Federal Tax Changes Affecting Current and Prospective Homeowners

While the new law provides generally lower income tax rates for all individual tax filers, there are several changes affecting residential real estate.

Mortgage Interest Deduction - The final bill reduces the limit on deductible mortgage debt to $750,000 for new loans taken out after December 14, 2017. Current loans of up to $1,000,000 are grandfathered in and are not subject to the $750,000 cap. In our market area, very few single family residences will be affected by this provision at this time, but should you be thinking of purchasing a second home, you should be aware of this new cap.

Deduction of State and Local Taxes - The final bill allows an itemized deduction of up to $10,000 for the total of state, property, income, and sales taxes. This $10,000 limit applies to both single and married filers and is not indexed for inflation. The final bill also precludes the deduction of 2018 state and local income taxes prepaid in 2017.

Exclusion of Gain on Sale of a Principal Residence - The final bill retains the current law in which a majority of homeowners will continue to benefit from this exemption, provided they have occupied the home for at least two of the most recent five years. Other restrictions and limitations may apply.

If you want to learn more about the Federal Tax Changes in regard to real estate visit National Association of Realtors or contact me for help.


4 ways to get a jump start on Spring.

FebToDo.png We may still be feeling the cold temperatures of winter in Iowa, but Spring is right around the corner. Get a jump start on your Spring to do list by doing some indoor chores in February.

Here are 4 things to do that will have you on your way to a happy Spring.
  • Organize and Clean your Laundry Room - February is the perfect time to spruce up your laundry area. DIYers can put up new shelves or cabinets to organize laundry and cleaning essentials. Don't forget to clean your dryer vents. An organized laundry room will make tackling Spring mud easier.
  • Keep your Kitchen appliances in tip top shape - Vacuum underneath and behind your refrigerator. Cleaning the condenser coils on your refrigerator will maximize its efficiency. Give your stove and oven a good cleaning to remove remnants of the holiday baking season. Degrease your range hood filter by soaking it in hot, soapy water. Try using citrus cleaners to cut through any build up behind/over the stove.
  • Declutter Paperwork - It's a great time to discard paperwork that is piling up to help make finding your important tax documents easy. Setup a mail station to keep incoming bills organized. Shred bills and paperwork you no longer need. Hunziker & Associates will have our annual Shred Day on April 21 from 9am-11am. Click this link for advice on how long you need to keep tax documents, receipts, bank statements and all that other paperwork.
  • Freshen up the Entryway - Rid the entryway floor of grime and salt from winter boots with a deep clean. First impressions start at the front door and this is a good time to change out rugs, bins, and decor to reflect the change in seasons.

How to make buyers fall in love with your home.

HouseHeart.png It is possible to wow and delight potential purchasers without investing crazy amounts of time and money. There are some key tips that will give you the best chance of attracting buyers and selling your house for the best price. Here's the lowdown on what you need to do before you put your house on the market.

  • Depersonalize - Buyers should be able to imagine living in your house and the best way to achieve this is by removing photos, mementos and other personal effects.
  • Create Space - Remove excess furiture and oversized items that make rooms seem smaller and boxy. In the kitchen, clear countertops of small appliances and clutter.
  • Clean, clean, clean - Make your house sparkle with a good old fashion deep clean. Don't forget hard to reach places like the tops of ceiling fans and air vents. Wipe down walls and light switches. If needed, freshen walls with neutral paint.
  • Maximize storage - Clear and organize jam packed closets and cabinets to give the impression of more space. Aim to have about 30 percent of each closet or shelf empty.
  • Let in light - Dress your windows with light weight curtains and make sure your windows are clean.
  • Quick fixes - Go through the house and make any quick repairs like fixing a loose door handle or cabinet door.
Looking for more tips? Visit 10 Simple Tricks to Make Buyers Love Your Home

February 2018 Area Events

Game Day Special at Municipal Pool
Sunday February 4 at 1:00-3:00 pm
Municipal Pool 1825 Ames High Drive

Charlotte's Web
Tuesday February 6 at 12:30 pm
Stephens Auditorium, Ames

Price is Right Live!
Tuesday February 6 at 7:30 pm
Des Moines Civic Center

SCC & OASCO Winter Hikes - Sleepy Hollow Access
Thursday February 8 at 1:30-3:30 pm
Sleepy Hollow Access 646 W Riverside Road, Ames

Des Moines Home and Garden Show
Thursday February 8 at Noon-9:00 pm
Friday February 9 at 10:00 am-9:00 pm
Saturday February 10 at 9:00 am-9:00 pm
Sunday February 11 at 10:00 am-6:00 pm
HyVee Hall, Des Moines

Antique Spectacular Vintage Market
Friday February 9 at 4:00-9:00 pm
Saturday February 10 at 10:00 am-6:00 pm
Sunday February 11 at 10:00 am- 4:00 pm
Paul R Knapp Center Iowa State Fairgrounds

$5 Family Night
Friday February 9 at 5:00 pm
Science Center, Des Moines

Sweetheart Dance
Friday February 9 at 6:30-8:30 pm
Blank Park Zoo, Des Moines

Kathleen Madigan: Boxed Wine and Bigfoot
Friday February 9 at 8:00 pm
Hoyt Sherman Place, Des Moines

Tea & Talk / Darcy Maulsby
Saturday February 10 at 2:00 pm
Terrace Hill, Des Moines

Rocky Raccoon
Saturday February 10 at 7:00 pm
Talent Factory, Nevada

Cody Hicks
Saturday February 10 at 8:00 pm
Prairie Meadows, Altoona

Valentine Dinner Trains
Saturday February 10 at Boarding begins at 4:30 pm
Wednesday February 14 at Boarding begins at 4:30 pm
Saturday February 17 at Boarding begins at 4:40 pm
Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live: King for a Day!
Tuesday February 13 at 6:00 pm
Stephens Auditorium, Ames

Paws for Paws Kick-off Party
Thursday February 15 at 5:00 pm
Range Golf & Grill, Urbandale

Artist's Reception
Thursday February 15 at 5:00 pm-7:00 pm
Des Moines Botanical Garden, Des Moines

Creative Spirits @ Snus Hill Winery
Thursday February 15 at 6:30 pm
2183 329th St, Madrid

Boone County Family Fun Night
Friday February 16 at 6:00-8:00 pm
Community Building, Boone County Fairgrounds

Cyclone Country Kennel Club Dog Show
February 16-18 8:00 am-4:00 pm
Varied Industries Building Iowa State Fairgrounds

Ames Home Builders Home and Garden Show
Saturday February 17 at 10:00 am-4:00 pm
Sunday February 18 at 11:00 am-4:00 pm
Student Learning Center, 2516 Mortensen Road

Ames Area Amateur Astronomers - Hubble Space Telescope
Saturday February 17 at 7:00 pm
McFarland Park, Ames

Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn
Saturday February 17 at 8:00 pm
Hoyt Sherman Place, Des Moines

Behind the Scenes: Inside the Butterfly Wing
Wednesday February 21 at 11:00 am-12:00 pm
Reiman Gardens, Ames

New Members Networking Social
Wednesday February 21 at 4:30 pm
District 36 Wine Bar & Grille

Callahan Promotions, Inc. Arts and Crafts Show
Friday February 23 at 5:00-9:00 pm
Saturday February 24 at 9:00 am-5:00 pm
Sunday February 25 at 10:00 am-4:00 pm
Varied Industries Building Iowa State Fairgrounds

Miss Nelson is Missing
Friday February 23 at 7:00 pm Feb 23-March 11
Des Moines Community Playhouse

February 23-24 7:30 pm
Sunday February 25 at 2:00 pm
March 2-3 7:30 pm
Sunday March 4 at 2:00 pm
Fisher Theater, Ames

Ripp Cords
Friday February 23 at 8:00 pm
Prairie Meadows, Altoona

Home & Remodeling Show
Friday February 23 at Noon-7:00 pm
Saturday February 24 at 9:00 am -6:00 pm
Sunday February 25 at 10:00 am- 4:00 pm
Iowa State Fair Grounds - Richard O. Jacobson Exhibition Center

DIY in the Junction
Saturday February 24 at 10:00 am-5:00 pm
Valley Junction, Des Moines

Cabin Fever
Saturday February 24 at 3:00-6:00 pm
Living History Farms, Urbandale

Variety & Music Talent Factory Regulars
Saturday February 24 at 7:00 pm
Talent Factory, Nevada