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Avoid These Common Homeowner Mistakes on Your Whittier, CA Tax Return!

by The Domis Team

Tax season is underway! Many early birds have already filed their income tax returns, however many people are just now starting to think about sitting down and getting through the grueling process. As Whittier, CA real estate agents, one of the biggest benefits to buying a home are the homeowner tax breaks that you can get every year. These incentives are just one of the many reasons that you should consider buying a Whittier, CA home while prices and interest rates are at all-time lows. The issue, however, lies in the complicated and complex homeowner tax forms. If you don’t dot every “I” and cross every “T”, there’s a strong chance that you can make a mistake that can be costly.

We use our many years of experience and extensive knowledge about Whittier real estate and homeownership to help guide our clients through filing their tax returns. It’s important to us that our clients see all the benefits that homeownership can bring, and that’s why we thought that we’d take a few minutes to outline some of the biggest mistakes that homeowners make when filing their tax returns. If you avoid these common errors, you will see the biggest return and see all of the benefits that come with owning a home.

•    Don’t deduct the wrong year on your property tax form. In order to avoid this common issue, enter on your federal forms whatever amount that you actually paid for that tax year, (in this case, 2011). Since some lenders work a year behind, this will ensure the most accurate deductible on your end without causing confusion by claiming payments from the current year.
•    Your escrow is not the same amount as actual taxes paid. If a lender escrows your mortgage payments each month, do NOT simply deduct the amount escrowed. The number that you should be deducting is the amount that you put in to your escrow account each year to cover property taxes. This might be slightly over or under what is escrowed, but that is the amount to put down. Your lender will align the account amount with the escrowed amount every few months, so you should focus on what you actually paid, not what was escrowed.
•    Keep track of all home related expenses. Pick a file or folder to put all of your records pertaining to home maintenance and renovations for the year. That way, if any deduction that you’re claiming is questioned, you have a record of activity proving its validity. It’s important to keep all of these items organized and itemized so that you can access it easily.
•    Don’t forget to deduct PMI! PMI, or Private Mortgage Insurance, is typically purchased when home buyers put down a down payment of less than 20%. Don’t forget to deduct these payments when filing your income taxes, as they could play a significant role in the amount of your refund.

As your Whittier, CA real estate resource, we consider the tax benefits that come with being a homeowner an important factor when deciding whether or not to buy a home. That’s why we thought that we’d provide some useful information about how to avoid common homeowner tax mistakes. If you avoid these common errors, you will see the full tax benefits that come with owning a home, and you’ll be happy to see a bigger refund check.

If you have any questions about how to start your Whittier, CA home search, don’t hesitate to contact us! We’d be happy to sit down with you and discuss your options. We hope to hear from you soon!

The Domis Team
Prudential California Realty
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Start Preparing for Whittier’s 125th Birthday Celebration!

by The Domis Team

“Quasiquincentennial.” It’s a huge word, but it signifies a huge event for the city of Whittier, CA this year. Our town is turning 125 years old, and as Whittier, CA real estate agents, we’re ready and raring for the festivities to begin! That’s why while the majority of the town’s celebrations don’t technically begin until May; we thought that we’d outline some of the fun-filled festivities that you can expect for Whittier, CA’s birthday.

One of the best parts about living in Whittier, CA is its historical roots. There are several beautiful, historic homes to live in, and we have a lot of pride in the fact that we have turned from a sleepy little town to an industrial city. That’s why much of our city’s quasiquincentennial celebrations are already being planned in full-force. We consider it a responsibility, as your Whittier, CA real estate and community resource, to keep up with our town’s largest events and to let our client base know what they can expect. Since April and May will be here before you know it, we thought that we’d let you know what’s happening so that you can start planning your Whittier, CA birthday celebrations.

On Wednesday, April 18th, you can begin celebrating Whittier’s 125 years by attending the “Wake Up, Whittier” event at the Community Center Gymnasium. With the theme being “Celebrating 125 Years”, this monthly event hosted by the Chamber of Commerce will be the perfect way to kick off the town’s festivities. For more information about the program, contact the Chamber at 562-698-4554. You just might discover a few more ways that you can help make our community’s 125th birthday incredibly special.

There’s no better way to start examining our city’s history than through photographs. We personally love going through old pictures. It really allows you to see time pass before your eyes. Since the city of Whittier, CA has grown so much since it’s founding, pictures will really be able to showcase our town’s history in a well-rounded way. On Tuesday, May 8th, attend a reception for the photo exhibit “A History of Whittier-125 Years,” to be displayed in the City Hall Library and the Public Library’s Whittier History room. The exhibit features artwork and photographs from the City Hall archives, meaning that you can travel through time and get in the Founder’s Day spirit.

On Saturday, May 12th, the largest Founder’s Day event in Whittier, CA’s history will be held from 10:00am-1:00pm. Hosted by the city, the traditional events of the day will also include special entertainment, children’s events and an incredibly large birthday cake for all to enjoy. This event will be the culmination of all of the festivities for Whittier’s 125th birthday, so this is one party that you will not want to miss! It’s another great way to get the community together and celebrate our city’s roots.

As Whittier, CA real estate agents, we have a lot of pride in our town, so when we started hearing about the fantastic plans for the quasiquincentennial celebration, we knew that we had to share it with our community right away. The historic and vibrant city of Whittier, CA has a lot of rich history to be proud of, and this spring, you can definitely learn more about it by attending these amazing city-wide events.

If you have any questions about living in Whittier, CA, or you are interested in viewing some of the beautiful homes in the area, don’t hesitate to contact us! We’ll show you what our city is all about. We hope to hear from you soon!
 

The Domis Team
Prudential California Realty
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Reel Buyers in to Your Whittier, CA Home With The Latest Trends!

by The Domis Team

As Whittier, CA real estate agents, we are incredibly sympathetic to the fact that for home sellers, the market is incredibly difficult right now. With that being said, you can absolutely successfully sell a home in today’s housing conditions, if you know how to make your listing stand out from the competition. One of our biggest responsibilities as real estate agents is to use our experience in the Whittier, CA real estate market to help our clients’ homes stand out to buyers in the area. One of the ways that you can ensure that your home stands out is to examine what it is that current home buyers are looking for and use that information to market your listing.

As your Whittier, CA real estate resource, one of the things that we pride ourselves on is the ability to stay on top of the latest housing trends. This helps us provide superior marketing and customer service skills to our client base. This year, there has been a shift in what Whittier, CA home buyers are looking for in a home. If you want your property to be sold quickly and for the best price, then you need to transform your home in to everything today’s home buyer wants. This will only increase the buyer traffic, and more showings equal more offers and a quicker closing. Here are some of the latest housing trends that have buyers lining up for listings.

Accessibility. If you plan on staying in your home for a long time, then you need to factor in that you will age. The more accessible that your home is, the easier it will be to stay in one place for a long time. This is especially important for baby boomers and parents of baby boomers. Functional, easy-to-use bathrooms and a limited amount of stairs throughout the home is seen as attractive to today’s buyer.

A bigger, better garage. Gone are the days when people only use garage space for their SUVs and sedans. Now, home buyers want a spacious garage where they can store items as their family grows. Adding some shelves to your garage or marketing any excess space will keep home buyers knocking on your door.

Flexible living space. One of the most attractive features to Whittier, CA home buyers at the moment is rooms that can serve more than one purpose. In today’s world, people are working off of tech tablets and laptops, so having one designated office or craft room seems like a waste of space. Marketing each room as a space that can serve more than one purpose screams efficiency, which is important to today’s home buyer.

A home within a home. This feature is especially important for people who have older, adult children living at home as they get back on their feet. It’s becoming more popular to have a separate, smaller living area with its own kitchen, bathroom and bedroom attached to the master household.

Go green. Energy-efficient homes are becoming main stream, so updating appliances and including other upgrades like solar panels, will likely raise the value on your home and get buyers more interested in your property.

An updated home plan. How accessible is your laundry room? If it’s in the basement, you may want to relocate it. Today’s buyers want a floor plan that fits their immediate needs. Having laundry facilities in a more centralized area of the home is one way to update your floor plan. More storage space and a “drop zone” for cell phones, keys and mail is another way to make your property stand out even more. Get creative and think about the needs of today’s buyers, and upgrade your home plan accordingly.

An open floor plan. Not only does having a wide-open floor plan maximize the space of any home, but it also gives each property an open, spacious feel. This can make even the smallest of spaces look bigger, and it gets rid of the claustrophobic feeling that walled-in rooms can bring. If you have an open floor-plan, then you should definitely strongly market that when you list your Whittier, CA home.

If you can market your home in a way that emphasizes these prominent features, then you will most likely find that Whittier, CA home buyers will be incredibly interested in your listing. As Whittier, CA real estate agents, we think that it’s important to stay on top of what buyers are looking for in a home in order to help our seller clients get their listings sold faster and for the best possible value. It’s just another way that we go above and beyond to help you have a successful Whittier, CA real estate transaction.

If you have any questions about selling a home, or what you need to do to prepare your home for sale, don’t hesitate to contact us! We’d be happy to help you in any way that we can. We hope to hear from you soon!

The Domis Team
Prudential California Realty
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Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying Your Whittier Home!

by The Domis Team

Buying a home is one of the largest decisions that you’ll ever have to make, therefore it is not one that should be taken lightly. Naturally, as Whittier real estate agents, we want your business and for you to use us to help you buy a home, but when it comes to the decision to buy, we take our clients’ best interests very seriously. If we honestly feel that someone who approaches us about buying a home in Whittier, CA isn’t ready financially, we will vocalize that and advise them to really consider their choice. This approach is just one of the ways that we prove ourselves to be a reliable, trustworthy real estate resource for the Whittier, CA area.

Before you take the plunge and start your home search, it’s in your best interest to really ask yourself if you are ready for the financial and emotional responsibility of owning a home. If you ask yourself the questions below and find yourself struggling, then it may be time to re-think the choice to purchase a property. If you can answer them with ease or make something work, then you can enter your Whittier, CA home search knowing that you are completely ready to make such a large investment.

Is this the right time for me to buy a home? If you’re facing some of the following issues, then now may not be the best time to purchase a home:
•    You don’t have any savings.
•    Your job or home life is unstable.
•    Interest rates are too high for you to make mortgage payments.
As of right now, interest rates are relatively low in the Whittier real estate market, so you don’t have to worry about the third issue. The largest problem for many right now is having no money saved or an unstable employment situation. The key to successfully buying a home you are able to afford is stability. If you don’t have a stable lifestyle, then chances are you will struggle with making payments on a home. Your personal and financial situation is something that you need to evaluate thoroughly before you decide to buy.

What are the current market conditions? In a seller’s market, home prices tend to be higher, meaning that for buyers, getting a home is less affordable. Fortunately, right now, we are in a buyer’s market, meaning that overall, home prices are lower and more people can afford to buy.

How much home can I afford? This is a very important question to ask yourself before you start making offers. Several people can afford to buy a home, however they look at properties that are out of their price range and end up buying a house that is too expensive for them. What ends up happening in this situation is that they get so far behind on their mortgage payments that foreclosure proceedings begin, and that ruins both your credit rating and a chance to move forward and buy a new home. Consulting with your Whittier real estate agent will allow you to take a look at your current financial situation and iron out exactly what your price range should be, and you can start your search from there.

What does my credit score look like? Right now, lending restrictions are a bit on the tight side, making it more difficult for buyers to obtain financing for their mortgage. If your credit score isn’t where it needs to be, then you need to actively work to improve it before you can consider buying a home. You don’t want to find this out after you’ve already applied for a loan. Keep track of your credit score early-on, and you’ll find that you can avoid aggravation down the line.

These questions might seem overwhelming, and they can be, however they are also incredibly important. Buying a home is a large financial responsibility, and it’s not one that should be taken lightly. Facing these issues head-on before beginning your home search will reassure you that you’re ready and help your transaction go much more smoothly. As Whittier real estate agents, we always encourage our clients to ask themselves these questions before committing to a property.

If you have any questions about buying a home in Whittier, CA, don’t hesitate to contact us! We’d love to help you throughout this process. We hope to hear from you soon!

The Domis Team
Prudential California Realty
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Photo of Linda & Ryan Domis - The Domis Team Real Estate
Linda & Ryan Domis - The Domis Team
Keller Williams Realty
16310 E. Whittier Blvd. Suite F
Whittier CA 90603
Cell: 562-884-5373
Cell:562-458-6947
Fax: 562.902.5158
The Domis Team Real Estate, Whittier, La Habra, Orange County Homes for Sale The Domis Team Real Estate, Whittier, La Habra, Orange County Homes for Sale The Domis Team Real Estate, Whittier, La Habra, Orange County Homes for Sale The Domis Team Real Estate, Whittier, La Habra, Orange County Homes for Sale

Contact the Domis Team

Linda Domis - DRE #00571375 | Ryan Domis - DRE #01969771
Whittier Homes for Sale | La Habra Homes for Sale
Lake Park Brea Senior Community | Lake Park La Habra Senior Community

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