Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Homeowner Tax Benefits

tax benefits.pngThere are many reasons for wanting to have a home of your own like a place to raise your family, share with friends and feel safe and secure.  While investment opportunities rank high for most people based on the fact that homeowners’ net worth is over forty times higher than that of renters, so do the tax benefits that reduce tax liability.

  • Taxpayers who have owned and used a home for at least two out of the last five years, can exclude a maximum of $250,000 of gain as a single taxpayer and up to $500,000 of gain for married taxpayers filing jointly.
  • If the gain on a principal residence exceeds the allowed exclusion, the balance is taxed at the lower long-term capital gains rate rather than the marginal tax rate of the homeowner.
  • Homeowners can deduct the interest paid on up to $1,000,000 of acquisition debt used to buy, build or improve their first or second home.  They may also deduct the interest on up to $100,000 over acquisition debt that is a recorded lien on their first or second home.
  • IRS will allow taxpayers to decide each year whether to take the higher of the itemized deductions or the standard deduction.
  • Points paid on new loans for home purchases are considered interest and can be deducted in the year paid. On the other hand, points paid for refinancing a home must be amortized over the life of the mortgage.

For more information, talk to your tax professional and see IRS publication 523 and IRS Publication 936.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

SOLD in Lawrenceville, GA - Cold Weather, HOT Market!

Congratulations to these SMART SELLERS
See why selling their home during the winter paid off BIG...

While most homeowners interested in selling don't want to be bothered during the winter/holidays and are going to wait until the Spring, these sellers made a brilliant decision to do the opposite and it paid off. They were under contract in under 2 weeks and received multiple offer!

It may be cold out, but the market is still hot! If you are thinking about SELLING YOUR HOME, here are a few reasons you should not wait until it warms up.
  • In the winter, inventory is lower by an average of 20% and so is competition.
  • In the winter time, people who are searching for a home are serious buyers.  How many “tire kickers” do you know who are willing to get out there and search for a home in the cold, rain, wind or snow?
  • In the winter time, the amount of traffic going through a client’s home is much less because there are less people in the market looking.  Less inconvenience for families trying to keep the home “perfect” in case of unexpected visitors.
  • In the winter, with inventories being lower, there is a slight shift in who’s in the drivers seat when it comes to contract negotiations, especially with the changing markets.  There will likely be less concessions on the part of the seller in the winter.

If you want to SELL YOUR HOME or if your home has been sitting stale on the market, give me a call at 404-857-2508 for a FREE Market Analysis. 
Natasha Liburd Bazile is a Realtor with Keller Williams Atlanta Partners and the Lead Home Stager with Heart of Decor in Georgia (virtual services available). She prides herself in being a guide to her clients and finds fulfillment in helping them achieve their goals.

Direct Phone: (404) 857-2508 
www.SoldbyNat.com Email - Facebook - Twitter - YouTube

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

ICE Can Save Lives

ICE.pngEveryone knows that ice can make a drink cool or reduce swelling, but if you put it on your cell phone, it might just save your life.

The concept is simple.  Make a contact record in your address book with the name “ICE”, which stands for In Case of Emergency.  In the note section of the record, you would list your name, blood type and medical conditions along with prescriptions and physicians.  You’d also list the people and their phone numbers that can be contacted in case of an emergency.

Several years ago, a British first responder came up with the idea when his emergency unit responded to a call where the victim was unable to communicate due to illness or trauma.  The victim’s wallet didn’t indicate specific persons to be notified in an emergency.  The fireman went through his cell phone to try to identify a relative and wasn’t successful.

That’s when he came up with the idea of a universal entry into the address book for ICE where the necessary parties and special information could be kept.  The story received a considerable amount of publicity and spread across the pond to the United States and into many other countries.

While it isn’t recognized everywhere, it is becoming increasingly more popular.  Even if emergency technicians didn’t find it, the slight possibility that they would find it and it would make a difference would justify the few minutes it will take to create it.  Click here to download a card to carry in your wallet or purse.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Don't Consider Appreciation or Tax Savings

iStock_000004701496XSmall.jpgAppreciation and tax savings are legitimate contributors to an overall rate of return on rental real estate but what if you didn’t consider them at all.  If you only looked at one or two, very conservative measurements, you might decide to invest especially knowing that there are more benefits that will accrue to your investment.

If we bought a property for cash, collected the rent and paid the expenses, the amount left would be called Net Operating Income.  In the example below, if would generate $7,200 a year which would be a 7.02% cash on cash rate of return which is considerably higher than the current 10 year treasury rate of around 2.3%.

If we place a mortgage on that property, the rate of return actually increases due to leverage.  After the principal and interest are paid, the net operating income obviously decreases but the cash on cash rate of return increases to 9.10% because the borrowed funds means less cash invested.

Another contribution to the investment’s rate of return occurs with the mortgage due to amortization: the principal reduces with each payment made which increase the investor’s equity.  In this example, the equity build-up divided by the initial investment yields a 5.25% rate of return in the first year.

Single family homes for rental purposes offer the investor high loan-to-value mortgages at fixed interest rates for long terms on appreciating assets with tax benefits, reasonable control and an opportunity to earn higher than normal rates of return.  Call if you'd like to talk about what kind of rental opportunities are available.

Equity buildup.png

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Neighbor Rules 101 - Are you a Nightmare Neighbor?

iStock_000041025734Small-250.jpgI love my neighborhood of Loganville, Georgia. First of all, I think my subdivision has great curb appeal. Spacious lots, wide streets, homeowners keep up their properties, and the HOA is active. Not to mention I have/had great neighbors! I don't have to go far at all for stores, restaurants, or fresh produce. There are several small businesses, and there is still a mix of city and country. Plus, the city is often putting on events and hosting opportunities for neighbors to get out and mingle.

Being that I'm a Realtor and have sold home in many different cities in Georgia, I know everyone doesn't feel as warm as I do about my neighborhood. Being a Realtor has actually given me a better appreciation for it! Prior to getting into real estate, I worked my 9-5, came home, pulled in my garage, and put the door down before I got out. I knew my neighbors to the left and right of me, but that was about it. Can you relate?

Becoming a real estate agent gave me the push to become more personable and day-by-day, it becomes more natural. Now, I have a general interest in people and my "wall" has come down significantly. I am now certain that we were not put on this earth to live in our safe "circles". Not that we have to become best friends with everyone we meet, but I believe there is always something I can learn from someone and vice versa. It could be as simple as sharing a smile! So having said that... ARE YOU A GOOD NEIGHBOR?

A good neighbor might be characterized as someone who’ll look after your home when you’re out of town by picking up your mail and watering your plants.  You’d most likely reciprocate for anyone who’d be so generous toward you.

In some cases, you might only be able to name one or two of your neighbors who would step up to that level of service.   Wouldn’t it be nice if more people on your street would be happy to make that offer?

The solution may just start with being a better neighbor first.  The following suggestions go a long way to improving your neighborhood and making new friends at the same time.
  • Meet your neighbors and exchange phone numbers and email addresses.  Agree with each other that you’ll let them know if you see something strange going on at their home. 
  • Slow down when driving through the neighborhood; it will make it safer and everyone will appreciate it. 
  • Control your dog: keep it on a leash; pick up after it; don’t let it bark too much.
  • Don’t park in front of your neighbor’s home.
  • Notify your immediate neighbors when you’re having remodeling done and ask them to let you know if any of the contractors cause damage to their property.
  • Let your neighbors know when you’re having a party and that there will be more cars on the street than usual.
  • Maintain your home and yard so that it adds to the beauty of the neighborhood.
  • Put your garbage out for collection on the correct day and bring the containers back in promptly.
In reality, it is fairly obvious; you just have to think of the things that you’d want from your neighbors.  Be friendly; don’t be noisy; offer a helping hand when available and respect each other’s boundaries.  Having a sense of community and that you all share the neighborhood can be underlying principles that will guide your behavior.

A good neighbor would be aware of suspicious activity and would call their neighbors and the police if warranted.  This might be something you can discuss with your neighbors.  Click here for a template to record your immediate neighbor’s contact information and keep readily available if needed.

If you'd like to be my neighbor (:o) or if you're just looking to relocate to or from Walton, Gwinnett, or surrounding counties, give me a call!

I'd love to see how I can assist you! 
Call me at 404-857-2508 or email me.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

SOLD by Nat in Acworth, GA ~ Buying a New Construction Home - Do I need an agent?

Congratulations to my clients on relocating to Georgia and buying this 7 bedroom, 5 full bathroom, 3 story home! I pray their family enjoys this home for many, many years to come.


Working with this family made it ever so clear why it is important for buyers to have their own representation when making any home purchase; new construction or otherwise. Here is why...

QUESTION: Buying a new construction home - Do I need an agent?

ANSWER: The simple answer is YES!

WHY: When you are buying ANY home, whether a resale or new construction, you need your own representation. Builder sales reps represent the builder. Often builders have their own agents on site to answer questions, assist people who walk in, and ultimately help with a purchase. Builder reps provide a valuable service: They can explain differences between models and floor plans and share information about financing options, upgrades and specials. But it’s important to remember that builder reps represent the builder, as they are contractually obligated to do.

In this case, there were plenty of times the builder and/or their preferred lender sent my clients documents with little explanation. Each time, I was able to walk-through the documents with them and get additional information when needed. Not to mention, being able to calm the storm and ensuring closing stayed on track when the builder unexpectedly delayed the closing my clients had flown in town for.  

Side-note: Yes, you read that right! The builder delayed closing. The loan was approved a week prior and the closing attorney had everything needed. The walk-through was completed and the home was ready. Talk about inconvenience... and we never received a legitimate explanation. We were told the builders "systems" went down #blank stare #say what?! #the wonderful world of real estate :-).

The good news is that I was able to work out a mail-away closing and today my sweet clients are happy homeowners of this beauty!!!

Are you looking to relocate to Georgia and need to purchase a home? Give me a call at 404-857-2508. I'd love to make your home buying goal a reality!

Natasha Liburd Bazile is a Realtor with Keller Williams Atlanta Partners and the Lead Home Stager with Heart of Decor in Georgia (virtual services available). She prides herself in being a guide to her clients and finds fulfillment in helping them achieve their goals.

Direct Phone: (404) 857-2508 
www.SoldbyNat.com Email - Facebook - Twitter - YouTube

Client Testimonial for Realtor, Natasha Bazile of www.SoldByNat.com


It's hard to put in words how you have changed our lives for the better. It's not just about getting us to a new house - lots of realtors could have done that. But it was the WAY you got us to the PERFECT new house for us…

The first time we met you was on Labor Day, a holiday, when most offices are closed. We weren't your clients yet, you didn't even know us, and yet you were willing to meet a family of strangers, on a cold and rainy holiday, to go look at a house. From that very first day, you listened to us, you answered thousands of questions, and you were so patient with us. And you pushed us, just enough, to really identify exactly what we wanted, and then to take the steps to get it.

We knew we wanted to sell our house… but you helped us sell it over the asking price by advising us about how to de-clutter, what to do with our pets, when to show the home, etc. We had offers on the first day!!! And you understood that our lifestyle - both of us working out of the home 40+ hours per week and having two little kids - meant that we needed calls and visits on the weekends and after the kids' bedtimes. You met with us at 8:30 one night, leaving your family, so that you could help us make decisions about the 11 different offers we got on our current home. Amazing!

Then, to top it off, while you were helping us with the selling process (which we had never done before), you also were working on helping us find and buy a new home. You helped us figure out what would work for our family - in terms of size, land, style, location, and price - and then you FOUND IT! Within just a few weeks of looking, you helped us find the perfect property for us. I'll never forget when we were visiting the house (for the third time with you I think) and my daughter asked if we could stay at this house forever because she loved it so much. It’s our dream house!

After negotiating the purchase of that home (all while negotiating the sale of our current home) we closed on both homes just days apart and moved into our new house two weeks before Christmas. It’s unbelievable how quickly this all happened, and yet the process was detailed and we never felt rushed or overwhelmed. There are days that we still can't believe this new house, our dream house, is ours!

I have so many friends who have had trouble selling and trouble buying, taking years with their realtors to make any progress. But you helped us with the entire process, start to finish, in less than 3 months. Thank you, thank you, thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for all you have done. We will be forever grateful to you!

Vanessa S.



If you are thinking about SELLING your home and PURCHASING a new one, give me a call at (404) 857-2508. Talk to you soon!

Natasha Liburd Bazile is a Realtor with Keller Williams Atlanta Partners and the Lead Home Stager with Heart of Decor in Georgia (virtual services available). She prides herself in being a guide to her clients and finds fulfillment in helping them achieve their goals.

Direct Phone: (404) 857-2508 
www.SoldbyNat.com Email - Facebook - Twitter - YouTube

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Holiday Tree Safety

iStock_000035874916-175w.jpgFresh holiday trees are beautiful, smell great and really add to the spirit of the season.  Following some proven safety tips might help you avoid a disaster and keep the Grinch away.

  • Select a tree with fresh green needles that don’t fall off when touched or when the trunk is tapped on the ground.
  • When trees are cut too early, they have a greater risk of drying out and can become more dangerous especially with electrical lights.
  • Cut 1” to 2” off the base of the tree before placing it in the stand to facilitate it drawing water to the limbs and quills.
  • Trees require water similar to cut flowers or they’ll dry out. Tree stands should hold at least one gallon of water and it should be checked every day.  A six foot tree could use up to a gallon of water every two days.
  • Position the tree a minimum of three feet or further from heat source like fireplaces, space heaters, heat vents or candles.  Do not allow the tree to block an exit.
  • Lights should be labeled from an independent testing laboratory and intended for indoor use.
  • Follow manufacturer’s recommendations for how many strings of lights can be connected to each other.
  • Turn off all tree lights when you go to bed or leave the home.
  • If the tree becomes dry and begins shedding needles, it can be a fire hazard and should be removed from the home.  Even if the holidays are not over, it is not worth the risk to keep it in your home.
  • After the gifts have been opened, don’t return the paper and boxes under the tree.
  • Remove the tree as soon as possible after the holidays.
  • Trees should never be burned in a fireplace.  The trees will burn very hot and quickly when they are dry and could spread outside of the fireplace which could cause an unfriendly fire.
  • Check to see if there is a recycling program for holiday trees in your community.

The National Fire Protection Association reports that “one of every three home Christmas tree fires are caused by electrical failures and a heat source too close to the tree causes roughly one in every six of the fires.”