Blog :: 2018

Did You Buy a Home in 2017?

Did you buy a home in 2017? If so, congratulations! One of the perks of home-ownership: you’ll have several great tax deductions this year! You may be able to write off portions of your mortgage payment, your interest, insurance, property taxes, and mortgage insurance, to name a few.

If you bought a home with a Paris Group Realty agent in 2017, we recently sent you a final settlement statement for your real estate transactions from the year. You, or your accountant, can use this to document deductions - and lower your tax burden! If you have questions about your deductions or if you have not received your letter yet, please reach out to us. We're always happy to help!

Wish to better understand home-related tax deductions? Here are a few articles worth referencing as you prepare taxes:

Want someone to double-check the boxes? I’m happy to recommend several great accountants who can help you maximize your tax deductions this year. 

As a reminder taxes are due on Tuesday, April 17, 2018. Good luck!


If you're thinking about buying a home or investment property, please let us know!
We're always excited to help people set and reach their real estate goals.

Planning to buy your first home in 2018 or 2019? Come to our First Time
Homebuyers Session on Thursday, 3/1/18. Click for details & RSVP today!

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The February Edition

February is finally here! To celebrate, we're heading into off to our neighborhood's Winter Lights Festival celebrations tonight. Here's what else we're looking forward to this month.

1. Tax Prep: maybe not much look forward to, but worth getting ready for instead of scrambling in March or early April. If you bought a home in 2017, don't forget to review what deductions you may be eligible for when filing. If you bought a home through us, you should receive a letter soon with tax information. (Quick reminder: the Tax Bill recently passed does not affect 2017 taxes.)

2. Mid-Winter Getaway: while escaping to a sunny tropical location may not quite be in the books, a weekend escape always feels good this time of year. We think a visit to the Coast or Willamette's Wine Valley is in order for a change of scenery.

3. Super Bowl: Ok... truth be told, we're looking forward to gathering with friends, the food, and the commercials. Here are two recipes you can easily whip up regardless if you're hosting or need to bring a something to share this Sunday. These Crispy Chickpeas remind us the ones at Oven & Shaker, with a generous serving of salt flakes and rosemary; a delicious Salsa Verde Queso (don't forget the chips!); or if those don't float your boat, here are 50 more ideas.

4. Save the Date for our First Time Homebuyers Session! Our team will be hosting a session on Thursday, March 1, from 5:30- 7p, to review the home buying process here in Portland, tips to get ready loan applications, and how we work alongside our clients to help them find the right home for their lifestyle. Please RSVP so we can save you a seat!

 

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Portland's Home Energy Score

You may have heard single-family homes for sale within the City of Portland are now required to include a home energy score in their listings.

To answer a common question: this doesn’t replace a home inspection, which the buyer pays for, prior to purchasing a home. The home energy score audit, paid by the seller, needs to be conducted prior to listing a home for sale.

Why? Per the City of Portland's website:

Home energy scores are a market-based solution for conveying previously unknown but critical information to both buyers and sellers of homes. When homeowners invest in improving the energy efficiency of their homes, those costs may be recouped as scores translate into a value that can be recognized by the market. A recent analysis that included over 20 studies worldwide of homes with green certifications demonstrated that green-certified homes sell for up to four percent higher than a comparable home.

Beyond lower energy bills and greater housing affordability, energy-efficient homes are more comfortable and livable. The indoor air quality of these homes is better, leading to healthier lives. Home energy scores afford consumers a measure of protection when making one of the biggest financial investments most people ever make. [more below]


Benefits for Owners
- Information on money-saving home improvements.

Benefits for Buyers
- Better insight into the full costs of owning or renting a home.
- Ability to compare energy costs and performance between homes.
- Knowledge of potential home improvements in advance of purchase.
- Access to additional mortgage products.

Benefits for Sellers
- Recoup investments in energy efficiency upgrades at time of sale.

Have questions? Not to worry, we're here to help answer questions and help you understand these changes - and benefits - regardless if you're a currently a homeowner thinking about remodeling, looking to buy, or thinking about selling.

 

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Beat January's Chilly Blues

Happy New Year! 

As we put away the holiday decor and reclaim all the space in our living room, and return to our regular schedule, here are five items on our list this month.

1. Home Energy Scores: We shared this update on our Facebook page in December, but definitely wanted to remind you about this new ordnance. Single family home sellers in Portland will now be required to include a Home Energy Report Score when listing. We'll write more about this and offer examples of scores later this month, but for the time being, please visit the City of Portland's website for details or give us a call. 

2. Rainy Day Activity: Have you visited the Portland Art Museum recently? It's currently hosting a great exhibit featuring LAIKA, a local film company, that made Kubo & the Two Strings, Coraline, ParaNorman, and Boxtrolls. It's a great option for a rainy day or if you're looking for something to do while your home is hosting an open house.

3. Winter Prep: If you haven't already prepped your home for winter weather and checked off your seasonal maintenance list, now is a great time to get it done before the rain returns.

4. Snow Safety: Should we get more snow (how awesome was that Christmas Eve gift from Mother Nature?!), please remember to clear the sidewalk in front of your house to help your family, friends, and others safely pass by. Rather not shovel? There are a few other options to keep in the garage, like salt, a sand/gravel mixture or clean cat-litter, in case we get more snow.

5. Say "No" to Cabin Fever: There are a lot of events happening this month, like Chinese New Year celebrations and OMSI's Bourbon & Bacon Fest 2018, as well as plenty of great wet-weather (local) hikes. A few of our favorite calendar resources: Thrillist, Portland Monthly, and Oregon Hikers. If you rather stay cozy while perfecting the art of Hygge, find a great book to enjoy in front of the fireplace (or visit one if needed).

What are your plans this month? Any favorite activities?

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