Post Tax Time Advantages

Everyone here at Maine Real Estate Choice located in the heart of the Maine Sebago Lakes Region is excited about this time of year.  And for good business reasons beyond the grass turning green and the trees starting to bud with flowers, which are now appearing as the final snow piles swiftly melt away.  This is the timeframe each year when buyers and sellers who want to take that extra step for staging or final improvements, often have additional cash flow and down payment funds thanks to the IRS and state refunds that are now appearing in individuals mailboxes, and often now directly into bank accounts via Direct Deposit.  For those considering selling, as long as you have lived in the property you are considering selling for two of the past five years, here is something you want to understand fully.  The two year Ownership and Use Rule is as follows and here’s the most important thing you need to know: To qualify for the $250,000/$500,000 home sale exclusion, you must own and occupy the home as your principal residence for at least two years before you sell it, of the previous 5 years. Your home can be a house, apartment, condominium, stock-cooperative, or mobile home fixed to land. If you meet all the requirements for the exclusion, you can take the $250,000/$500,000 exclusion any number of times. But you may not use it more than once, every two years, and the two-year rule is really quite generous, since most people live in their home at least that long before they sell it, and we as Americans move on average, once every seven years. By wisely using the exclusion, you can buy and sell many homes over the years and avoid income taxes on your profits.

One aspect of the exclusion that can be confusing is that ownership and use of the home don’t need to occur at the same time. As long as you have at least two years of ownership and two years of use during the five years before you sell the home, the ownership and use can occur at different times. This is a fact many recent renters and new Landlords may not fully understand. And regardless of these facts, inventory is still historically low as are lending rates however we are seeing interest rates now trending upwards so there has never been a better time to call us to represent you, as a seller or as you seek that Maine Sebago Lakes Region spot ideal for you.   Call us today and make it a great week!

Feeling Like Spring 2018

Everyone here at Maine Real Estate Choice – located in the heart of the Maine Sebago Lakes Region – is thrilled about the slow yet steady turn of the season towards a much warmer spring this year. The days have been quite bright, clear, and the warmer trends we are seeing here during the daytime here in region are starting to slowly yet surely get us out of the overnight temperatures still below freezing. For those who may have picked some of the latest “Ice Out Predictions” in years and possibly ever, good for you, as this year is predicted to possibly break records on our many Lakes and Ponds as to when the last ice will finally disappear below the surface in 2018. Looking forward past the beginning of this week, there are no more overnights nor days starting with a temperature below freezing, and for us to be able to say that only as we approach the end of April, should give everyone reading an excellent idea why our many lakes and ponds here in the great Maine Sebago Lake region, are yet to experience ice out.
You can follow the ice out dates on your favorite Maine lake or pond here:

http://www.maine.gov/dacf/parks/water_activities/boating/ice_out_dates.shtml

And now is an excellent time to really plan your spring cleanup and small projects for early spring for your yard, and your properties. It looks like we are finally turning the corner towards what will hopefully be a very short next season here in the region, which we affectionately call “mud season”.

And due to our daytime temperatures having been much more reasonable these last couple of weeks even though it has been chilly at night, the frost will not be coming out of the ground “all at once” which does happen in some seasons, and it looks like this year we will not have much of a difficult “mud season”.

 

Make it a great week!

Patriots’ Day And Taxes Facts 2018

Well, if this weekend finds you scrambling to finish your Taxes and working to get them submitted on time, here are some Taxes Facts that might be of interest to you! If you are doing your taxes this weekend, you certainly are not alone. Last year proved to be the longest wait for people to submit their taxes in history. Per the IRS, 20% of all Americans did not file their taxes until after April 8th last year, which equals almost 30 Million Americans who were indeed, burning the midnight oil in this timeframe to file their Federal and State returns. The IRS feels that due to the vast increase in Online Filing – eliminating the rush to the Post Office to mail in tax returns “Snail Mail” at the final hour, which is normally anything postmarked by midnight on April 15th. However this year, with the normal deadline falling on a Sunday this year – which is this Weekend should this blog post find you unaware, and if so then this blog is likely a very helpful, important reminder for you – most people in the country have until midnight on Monday April 16th to be on time due to April 15th falling on a Sunday, however here in Maine and in Massachusetts, Monday happens to be an observed Federal Holiday, Patriots Day, so if you live in either Maine or the Bay State, be aware that Federal and State Taxes are not late if postmarked by Midnight, Tuesday April 17th this year. It seems that between 10 to 20% of Americans do not get their taxes submitted until the final couple of days possible, each year. That amounts to Tens of Millions of Tax Returns being submitted in the final hours before they are due.

For those note sure what Patriots Day is all about, most are aware that the running of the Boston Marathon happens on Patriots day each year, and the Red Sox traditional host an early start home game at 11:05AM, this year hosting the Baltimore Orioles into town. Patriots Day is celebrated to signify and honor the Battles of Lexington and Concord fought on April 19th in 1775. The state of Wisconsin has been celebrating Patriots day on the third Monday in April for some time now as well, and the state of Connecticut is also observing Patriots Day starting in 2018. Florida Law now encourages residents to observe the Holiday, though it is not yet an official Holiday there. It is an observed Holiday for many New England colleges and Universities, along with public schools often starting their spring break week starting on Patriots Day. If you are heading to Boston this year for the Patriots Day festivities and to see the Boston Marathon in person or to take in the Red Sox early start game, there are showers expected with a high of 50 degrees and a low of 44 predicted. Think Spring everyone! And good luck to those of you in the 20% of Americans reading this, who are working to get their taxes in on time this year! Make it a great week!

Happy Easter Facts

With one of the earliest Easter dates happening as is possible this year, many of us are looking forward to weather that does not include snow and frozen precipitation. The temperatures are predicted to be fairly chilly over the next ten days with evening temperatures at or below freezing consistently here in the great Sebago Maine Lakes Region, with daytime highs ranging from the upper 30’s to into the 50’s a day or two.

The reason Easter came literally as early as Easter can happen, has everything to do with the Full Moon. This weekend there was a Blue moon, which happens only once on average every two to three years. A Blue moon happens when two consecutive full moons, take place within the same calendar month. March 31st marks such an event.

How many of you know how it is determined, exactly when Easter will fall each spring? Here is the official definition of when Easter Sunday will come up on the calendar. You will need to know the phases of the moon and when they will occur each Spring.

Easter Sunday will take place:
“On the First Sunday After the First full moon After the Spring Equinox.”

This is why Easter Sunday can vary so much on the calendar from year to year. So let’s break this down. The one constant is March 20th or 21st always being the first day of Spring, annually. The next thing that has to take place is to find out when will be the first full moon, After March 21st that year. And then, you look at the calendar for the Sunday that follows that first Full Moon after the Spring Equinox, and that will be the Sunday for Easter that year.

Why is this? This link will help!

https://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/determining-easter-date.html

Make it a great week!