Mary Paget | Leeseburg Real Estate


Owning a home is one of the biggest financial undertakings that you’ll ever have. There are some benefits to owning a home. Many of these benefits come each April when we file our taxes. There are a few very commonly overlooked tax breaks that homeowners have the chance to claim as deductions that you might not be taking advantage of. 


Going Green


There’s many different tax breaks that are available on a state-by-state basis based on green improvements that have been made to a home. Rates vary, but can save you a significant amount on your taxes. Aside from the money that you’re already saving on utility bills, the solar panels that you have installed, the low-flow toilet you put in, or the new efficient windows that you replaced can really save you some significant money. Check with your tax preparer for specific details on the savings that you can have from your state and even city or town based on these home improvements. 


Mortgage Interest Tax Savings


This tax break is one of the biggest motivators for people to take the leap into homeownership. Since you have the ability to write off a significant amount of mortgage debt, in some cases 1 million dollars, it makes renting look less and less attractive. To take advantage of this deduction, however, you’ll need to itemize your deductions. This is not something many taxpayers actually do. If you want to take advantage of the mortgage interest deduction and the property tax deduction, you’ll need to start itemizing each and every tax deduction that you have. 


For many people, itemizing the deductions won’t even add up. This is why many people avoid it altogether. For people in this situation, it may make more sense to take the standard deduction. If you are eligible to itemize, however, as a homeowner, you definitely should take advantage of these benefits. 


Interest On Home Improvement Loans


If you have recently taken out a loan to do some major work around your home, the interest on this loan could be tax deductible. While many loans that may be greater than 100% of the property value aren’t eligible for tax deductions, up to $100,000 of your debt on a home improvement loan can be tax deductible. 



Private Mortgage Insurance


You may be eligible to deduct your PMI premiums from your taxes. The amount of deduction that you can claim is dependent on your AGI (adjusted Gross Income) and may be less if that number is above $100,000.


If you’re a homeowner and feel that you haven’t been taking advantage of all of the tax breaks that are available to you, it’s important that you get more information on how to get these benefits.



The biggest area of your life that you need to understand before you buy a house is your own finances. Before you know what kind of house you can buy, you’ll need to understand your own buying power. While things like square footage, how many bedrooms you need, and finding the right neighborhood are important, you can’t go very far without some type of financing. While understanding how much you can spend on a property is one of the more serious parts of buying a home, it’s something that you’ll want to do. Knowing what you can spend on a home is a step to helping you land a home you love. If you understand your own numbers, you’ll know the chances that you have of an offer being accepted on a place you love.  


The Elements Of Your Buying Power


Your Credit Score


This little three digit number has a lot of meaning behind it. This is the most basic piece of information that lenders use to determine your loan worthiness. The factors that influence your credit score include:


  • Payment history
  • How much you owe
  • Length of your credit history
  • Mix of credit accounts
  • How much new credit you have opened


A low credit score is somewhere under 620. Having a score this low doesn't necessarily mean that you’ll be denied for a loan, but the type and amount of the loan you’re offered can be impacted. You’ll also face higher interest rates because of a low credit score. This means your mortgage could be considerably more expensive than if you had a higher credit score. 


Down Payment


The 20 percent down as a rule of thumb actually offers many benefits to your buying power. This means that you’ll need 20% down of the purchase price of the home in cash. If you put this amount of money (or even more) down on a home, it eliminates the need for you to have to buy PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance). You’ll even be able to negotiate a lower interest rate. A large down payment may be especially helpful in competitive markets where there is a lot of buyer competition.


How Your Financial Picture Appears


Your assets and your debt-to-income ratio are also important factors in your financial picture that you present to the lender. Basically, all of these numbers let both the lender and the seller see how committed you are to buying a home. It is one of the biggest financial undertakings of your entire life. If you can’t show financial responsibility, then it may be a bit difficult for lenders to see that you’ll actually pay your loan back in a timely manner.


The better all of your financial numbers are, the more buying power that you’ll have. If your numbers are good, you’ll be able to afford more house. While it may not be the most exciting thing to look over all of your financial numbers, it’s a vital step in the process of your journey to home ownership.



After you buy a house, it may be only a few weeks before your closing date arrives. At this point, you and the home seller will finalize your transaction. And if everything goes according to plan, you'll own a new home.

Getting to closing day, however, sometimes can be difficult. Lucky for you, we're here to help ensure you can enjoy a quick, seamless home closing.

Now, let's take a look at three steps to close on a home.

1. Complete Your Mortgage Application

A mortgage is a must-have for a homebuyer to close on a residence. Fortunately, it often can be simple to obtain a mortgage that matches or exceeds your expectations.

Consult with several local banks and credit unions. By doing so, you can learn about all of your mortgage options and select a mortgage that corresponds to your finances.

After you complete a mortgage application, a bank or credit union can provide you with mortgage options. Then, you can make an informed decision about which mortgage suits you perfectly.

2. Perform a Home Inspection and Appraisal

A home inspection is paramount, as this assessment will enable you to identify any underlying home problems and address them before closing day arrives.

During a home inspection, a property expert will assess your residence both inside and out. This expert also will provide an inspection report that details his or her findings.

Review the results of a home inspection report closely – you'll be glad you did. If you assess a home inspection report, you can review a home inspector's findings and determine whether you still want to purchase a house.

If you accept the inspection results and decide to move forward with a home purchase, an appraisal may follow.

Like a home inspection, an appraisal requires a property expert to visit your home. This expert will evaluate your home's interior and exterior, as well as comparable houses in your city or town. Following a home appraisal, you will receive a property valuation.

Oftentimes, a property valuation may match or exceed the price that you intend to pay for a house. If it does not, there may be instances in which you can still walk away from a home sale or ask the seller to lower a house's asking price.

3. Buy Home Insurance

Home insurance safeguards your residence and personal belongings against loss, damage or destruction. As such, it is essential to purchase home insurance before you close on a house. Because with home insurance in place, you'll be good to go to protect your house and personal belongings against myriad disasters.

The closing process can be long and complicated. But if you work with a real estate agent, you can receive plenty of support leading up to closing day. In fact, this housing market professional is happy to provide tips to ensure you can streamline the closing process.

Get ready for closing day – follow the aforementioned steps, and you can speed up the process of acquiring your dream house.



If you want to promote your house to potential buyers, there is no shortage of options at your disposal. In fact, some of the proven ways to showcase a residence to potential buyers include:

1. Home Listing

A home listing can make a world of difference for any home seller, at any time. However, it is important to note that not all home listings are created equal. But if a seller allocates the necessary time and resources to create an effective home listing, he or she should have no trouble stirring up interest in a residence.

Oftentimes, an effective home listing includes accurate information about a home's age and condition. The listing also should be both informative and engaging.

The ideal home listing should be shared with a seller's family members and friends too. That way, a seller's loved ones can offer details to lots of potential buyers about a residence, thereby increasing the likelihood of a fast home sale.

2. Social Media

Facebook, Twitter and other social networks are exceedingly valuable to home sellers. These networks enable sellers to share details about their residences, as well as respond to potential buyers' concerns and questions.

If you decide to share details about your home via social media, it often helps to include high-resolution photographs of your residence. With these photographs, a seller can showcase various areas of a home and help a buyer determine whether to set up a date and time to check out a residence in-person.

Furthermore, don't forget to post to social media regularly. Because the more frequently that a seller shares details about his or her home across social networks, the more likely it becomes that a potential buyer will learn about the residence and schedule a home showing.

3. Real Estate Agent

If you are unsure about how to promote your residence to potential buyers, there is no need to worry. Dozens of real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these housing market professionals can guide you along the home selling process.

A real estate agent will learn about your home selling goals, as well as your residence. Then, this housing market professional will offer home selling suggestions and help you map out a successful home selling strategy.

Typically, a real estate agent will set up home showings and open house events, keep you up to date about offers on your residence and negotiate with a buyer's agent on your behalf. He or she also is unafraid to speak from the heart, and as such, will provide honest, unbiased home selling recommendations.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent can respond to your home selling queries. This housing market professional will even educate you about the real estate market and ensure that you can make informed home selling decisions.

Ready to promote your residence to large groups of potential buyers? Use the aforementioned options, and you can improve your chances of stirring up substantial interest in your house.



Promoting a house to potential buyers sometimes can be difficult. Fortunately, there are lots of things that you can do to stir up interest in your residence.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you promote your residence to buyers.

1. Upgrade Your Home's Curb Appeal

Amazing curb appeal is essential, particularly for a seller who wants to differentiate his or her house from other available residences. If your house boasts outstanding curb appeal, it is likely to make a positive first impression on buyers. And as a result, buyers may be more likely to request showings to view your home in comparison to other available houses in your city or town.

To upgrade your house's curb appeal, you should mow the lawn, trim the hedges and remove dirt and debris from exterior walkways. Also, devote time and resources to repair any damaged home siding.

If you require assistance with home exterior enhancements, you can reach out to local contractors as well. In fact, these professionals can help you transform your home's exterior from drab to fab in no time at all.

2. Create an Engaging Home Listing

An engaging home listing makes it easy for buyers to learn about your home. It is clear and concise, and as such, enables buyers to determine if your home matches their expectations.

To craft an engaging home listing, it often helps to make a list of your home's features. If you include relevant information about your house in your listing, you can teach buyers about your residence.

In addition, you may want to include high-resolution images of your home in your listing. With high-resolution images, you can show off the true beauty of your house to potential buyers.

3. Use Social Media to Your Advantage

If you create a home listing, you can share this listing on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks. By doing so, you can make it simple for buyers to learn about your residence.

Don't forget to share your home listing with family members and friends as well. If loved ones can access your home listing, they can share it with others and help you promote your residence to as many potential buyers as possible.

For a seller who is worried about generating interest in his or her home, you may want to hire a real estate agent. If you employ a real estate agent, you can receive expert assistance as you navigate the house selling cycle.

A real estate agent understands what it takes to promote a house to buyers in any housing market, at any time. He or she will develop an in-depth plan to showcase your residence to prospective buyers. Plus, a real estate agent will help you analyze any offers to purchase your home and ensure you can optimize your house sale earnings.

Use the aforementioned tips, and you can promote your residence to potential buyers and speed up the home selling journey.