Monday, April 30, 2012

Tax-Free Income

Some residents of Augusta, Georgia have purchased tickets to the Master's for years but have never attended the famous golf tournament. It's because they include the tickets as a bonus to the people who rent their home during the event.
Each year, owners rent their home for a big premium during the Masters and make tax-free income. Homeowners benefit from a little known provision in the tax code that does not require taxpayers to recognize the income derived from renting their home for less than 15 days per year. See Rental of property also used as home on
Large sporting events like golf and tennis tournaments, championship games and other high attendance events increase the demand for a temporary rental of a private residence. Obviously, there are challenges with personal belongings and damage but getting a premium rental rate with a substantial deposit and not having to recognize the income could be worth it.
You'll certainly want to discuss this with your tax professional prior to making this decision. You'll probably also want to get some help from an experienced real estate professional.  
Buy Sell Invest with Hart

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Housing Trends Newsletter by David Hart April 2012

Welcome to the most current Housing Trends eNewsletter. This eNewsletter is specially designed
for you, with national and local housing information that you may find useful whether you’re in the 
market for a home, thinking about selling your home, or just interested in homeowner issues in 

Please click on this link to view the Housing Trends APRIL - 2012 Newsletter

The Housing Trends eNewsletter contains the latest information from the National Association of REALTORS®, the U.S. Census Bureau, reports and other sources.

Housing Trends eNewsletter is filled with local and national real estate sales and price activity 

provided by MLSs and the National Association of Realtors, U.S. Census Bureau key market indicators, consumer videos, blogs, real estate glossary, mortgage rates and calculators, consumer articles, and local community reports.

If you are interested in determining the value of your home, click the “Home Evaluator” link for a 

free evaluation report:

Sound decisions can only be made with accurate and reliable information, and I am happy to be a trusted resource for you. Thank you for the opportunity to provide you with this monthly 

eNewsletter, and I look forward to answering any questions you may have and to the opportunity
to be your REALTOR® in the future.      Buy Sell Invest with Hart

Monday, April 23, 2012

Save Money...Be Comfortable

Automatic thermostats can lower your monthly utility costs while conveniently regulating your comfort by adjusting temperatures on your heating and cooling systems. These can be particularly effective in homes with zoned systems where you live in one area during the day but sleep in a different zone.
There are programmable thermostats available at home improvement stores that can make the adjustments for specific times during the day and specific days of the week. They'll allow you to override the setting when needed without tampering with the programming. They'll even remind you to change your filter.
An exciting development is the Wi-Fi enabled thermostat that allows adjustments from any Internet connection such as computer or Smartphone. Imagine how convenient it can be to change your temperature from the car before you get home.
Reasonably priced under $100 for most models, it makes it easy to recapture the cost of the thermostat quickly. Most of the thermostats are designed for do-it-yourselfers; however, you can always have a heating and cooling professional install it for you.
Buy Sell Invest with Hart

Kennedale City Wide Garage Sale April 27 & 28...

The City of Kenndale is having a City wide garage sale this Friday and Saturday... see link below for details:

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Monday, April 16, 2012

Have You Backed Up Your Home?

Personal computers have been around long enough that everyone has experienced or knows someone who has lost their data due to a hard drive crash, accident or burglary. If they had a backup, the loss was inconvenient but not critical.
Do you have a backup for your personal belongings? Not that you need duplicates of all the items but do you have a journal listing of all the items with a description and their approximate values? That record becomes the backup that supports the claim for your insurance.
If a building sustains a total loss, the insurance company will usually pay the face amount of the policy. When it comes to personal property which might be 40% to 50% of the insured value of the dwelling, the insurance company is going to expect an accounting with receipts or at least, a relatively recent inventory.
The better your inventory, the less likely you'll have difficulty with the claim. Almost everyone has a digital camera that can take stills and probably even videos. The combination of the images as well as a written description will help you replace the belongings and serve as proof to the insurance company.
Once you've made the inventory, store it off site for safe keeping. Online storage in the "cloud" might be the best place to insure you'll always know where it is. Contact me for a free Home Inventory form; it's my way of helping you be a better homeowner.        Buy Sell Invest with Hart

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Arlington Community - Disaster Recovery Consumer Protection Forum

Arlington and Kennedale: This “how to” interactive forum is for all homeowners, come learn how to deal with contractors and learn what to do before, during and after a project as well as how to find contractors, etc…
Read more at either link:
Free and open to the public:
April 16, 2012 Monday
7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Arlington Fire Department Training Facility
5501 Ron McAndrew Drive
Arlington, TX 76013

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Community - Levitt Pavilion announces free concert for tornado victims...

A free benefit concert this Saturday, April 14, at the Levitt Pavilion will help raise funds for those who suffered damages and losses because of the tornados that touched down in Arlington and the surrounding area last week. The concert is free, but cash donations will be collected to be dispersed through the local Salvation Army for those in need.
The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. with the Salvation Army Band. Betty Buckley, Tony Award-winning actress and recording artist will perform, followed by Melissa Lawson, Arlington country music artist who won NBC's Nashville Star. Click link for details:

Monday, April 9, 2012

MID Limited per Residence

A recent U.S. Tax Court ruling clarified the IRS position that the $1.1 million limit for mortgage interest deduction applies per residence and not per taxpayer as some high-priced homeowners were hoping.
A married homeowner filing jointly can have fullly deductible interest on a mortgage of up to $1,000,000 of acquisition debt and up to an additional $100,000 of home equity debt. If the married couple files separately, each party is limited to deducting the interest on half of those maximum amounts.
The court case came about when two unmarried individuals who owned a home together as joint tenants felt that they were entitled to deduct the interest on $1.1 million of debt each. IRS did not agree with their understanding and neither did the Tax Court. The Court ruled that the limits apply per residence, not per taxpayer even if a home is co-owned by unmarried taxpayers.
The result for the taxpayers in this case was that their deduction was cut in half resulting in much more income tax due. While this situation only affects a few taxpayers, homeowners in this position should have a discussion with their tax professional.              Buy Sell Invest with Hart

Thursday, April 5, 2012

City of Arlington Tornado Recovery Update

The City of Arlington Public Works Department in conjunction with Tarrant County and Republic Services, is in the process of removing tree limbs, brush, and debris on and adjacent to roadways. Read more at:

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

SW Arlington and Kennedale Tornado Storm and clean-up… who to go to or where to volunteer:

Pictures on Green Oaks Blvd near Kee Brook Dr. Approximately 150 homes damaged in Arlington and Kennedale, TX.

Arlington City Emergency Management Office is asking people to contact our action center at 817-459-6777 to register their volunteer offers including what types of services or donations they have. Emergency management personnel are coordinating the volunteers and need a central location for the offers. Please help spread the word. Also...

1)    The Church on Rush Creek:
2350 SW Green Oaks Blvd.
Arlington, TX 76017
Nehemiah Project
The Nehemiah Project is comprised of volunteers from the Men's Ministry at The Church on Rush Creek. As men of God we are called to serve others in need and minister to the poor, the widows and the over-whelmed. If you or someone you know is in need, please “apply for assistance” at the bottom of this page. If you would like to be entered into our database as a volunteer with your skills, please complete the “become a volunteer” questionnaire.
Mission: To share the love of God with the people in this city through acts of Service.
Vision: To rally the Men of Rush Creek to serve the people of our community with the skills God has blessed them with.
Apply for Assistance | Become a Volunteer ….. Or Click on the link below:
2)    Arlington SW Little League:
        P O Box 171932
        Arlington, TX 76003
We have plenty of people who have offered to help clean-up -- offered funds for those in need -- offered food for those that need it -- offered shelter for those who have nowhere to go. 
We will help address the needs if we know what and where those needs are... because that's what He asks of us...

Monday, April 2, 2012

Before You Call the Repairman

Have you ever had a service company to your home to repair something and find out that it really wasn't "broken"? It probably conjured up ambivalent feelings of joy that it wasn't something serious and frustration that you had to pay a service call for something so simple.
Before you call the repairman next time, keep these things in mind to see if it is something simple:
  • Disposer not working - check to see if the reset button has been thrown. It is usually on the bottom of the disposer. If the disposer is making a humming sound, the blades may be stuck. While the disposer is turned off, use a wooden broom handle as a lever to gently rotate the blades. Remove the broom handle and turn on the disposer to see if it works properly.
  • Air conditioner not working - check to see if a breaker has thrown on your electric panel. You might need to flip the breaker completely off and flip it back on.
  • Electrical outlets not working - Electrical plugs in bathrooms or outside, especially on a porch or patio, are many times connected to a ground fault interrupter. The GFI will be a wall outlet and it may be located in the garage. Locate the outlet and reset the button that may have tripped.
  • Clogged drain - a simple way to correct a slow or clogged drain is to use the water pressure from a garden hose. You'll need a helper to turn on the water full-blast once you have safely placed the hose in the drain and are holding a hand-towel around the hose to direct the water to the drain. Be prepared to tell your helper to turn off the water when needed.
Whether it's preparing a home to market or arranging repairs required by the sale, REALTORS® know reputable, reasonable and reliable service contractors. We're here to share our contacts with you to help make home ownership better.     Buy Sell Invest with Hart