Samson Kimani's Blog
The sky's the limit for cloud-based documents and files. Remote working is on the rise. The ranks of independent entrepreneurs are growing. For many, home is a place to live and work.
Here are three elements to consider for your work-from-home space.
1. Choose Your Workspace
Pick a bright spot. Daylight inspires!
Will you be having clients drop in? Aim to choose a spot near an entrance way, apart from your intimate living spaces.
For tax purposes, this spot can be a dedicated room, or a section of a room—as long as there's a clear division between your working and living space. Other storage areas in the home, or partitioned-off space that's fully dedicated to keeping business items, is also square footage to count in the deduction.
Take pictures each year that clearly show the partitions and the business use of the space. Keep your photos with your tax documents.
2. Furnish the Space
Decorate mainly as you would if your work space were in a corporate building. Keep your desk, professional items, and office-appropriate décor in the space. Don't have a playpen (unless your business is daycare) or a dining table in your designated office space.
Bookcases, wall hangings, mirrors, and framed art all look good, and dampen noise from outside your work space. Succulents or crocus bulbs can make excellent office plants and uplift the mood of your work area.
Protect your health while working at home by using an adjustable (sit-stand) desk. Does that sound too industrial for the look you demand at home? Never fear. Gorgeous, adjustable desks that complement your existing furniture do exist on the market. With a little searching, you'll find yours.
3. Declare Your Tax Deduction
Calculate your home office percentage. If your home amounts to 2,000 square feet and your office space covers 500, declare 25% as the percentage. The deduction may not exceed your year's net business profit.
For smaller home office spaces, the IRS has a simplified standard deduction. Take $5 per square foot, up to 300 square feet.
Speak with your tax pro about deducting a home business percentage from your homeowner's insurance, mortgage interest, utilities, and property taxes. Read the instructions, so you know how to plan your tax return.
Putting It All Together
For a tax deduction, your home office must serve as the core of your business affairs, or the place you do the bulk of your work. Whether you already have a home office, or are thinking of creating one, design your space so it fits the IRS tax deduction requirements—even while it uplifts your home, delights your senses, and inspires your best work.
As a home seller, it is important to do everything possible to ensure your residence makes a positive impression on buyers. Because if your residence fails to impress buyers during a showing or open house, your home may linger on the real estate market for an extended period of time.
Ultimately, there are lots of things you can do to ensure buyers feel good after they view your residence, such as:
1. Bolster Your Home's Curb Appeal
When buyers view your home for the first time, you likely want them to fall in love with your residence. If you allocate time and resources to enhance your house's curb appeal, you may make it simple for buyers to see your residence's full potential and envision what life could be like if they purchase your home.
To upgrade your home's curb appeal, you should perform lawn care tasks like mowing the lawn and trimming the hedges. You also should repair any cracked or chipped home siding, as well as correct any other property exterior issues that could negatively affect a buyer's perception of your house.
2. Remove Clutter
Clutter is a problem that may make it tough for buyers to picture a future in your home. If you have excess items scattered around your home, there may be no time like the present to get rid of these items.
To eliminate clutter, you may want to host a yard sale or list excess items online. In addition, you can always donate any items you no longer need to a local charity or give them to family members or friends.
3. Clean Each Room of Your Home
For homebuyers, nothing beats a pristine, tidy home interior. If you clean each room of your house from top to bottom, you can help your home's interior make an unforgettable impression on buyers.
Taking a room-by-room approach to home cleaning may be ideal. Furthermore, if you need extra assistance, you can hire a professional home cleaning company.
Of course, if you are searching for ways to streamline the home selling journey, you may want to hire a real estate agent as well. A real estate agent is happy to teach you the ins and outs of selling a house and ensure you can maximize your home sale earnings.
A real estate agent can guide you along each stage of the home selling journey. First, he or she will learn about you and your home selling goals. A real estate agent next will help you list your residence and promote your home to dozens of prospective buyers. Finally, if you receive an offer to purchase your home, a real estate agent will help you determine whether to accept, reject or counter this proposal.
Clearly, there is no shortage of options to upgrade your residence and ensure it garners buyers' attention. If you take advantage of the aforementioned tips, you could simultaneously help your house stand out to buyers and speed up the home selling cycle.
If you want to sell your house, you may want to take a close look at your home's interior. That way, you can identify any potential home interior issues and address them as quickly as possible.
Determining the best ways to transform your home's interior from drab to fab may seem difficult, particularly for a first-time home seller. Fortunately, there are several proven ways to enhance your residence's interior, and these include:
If it has been several weeks or months since you last cleaned your house, there is no time like the present to perform extensive home interior cleaning.
Wipe down countertops, mop the floors and clean every room of your house. By doing so, you can make your house look clean and pristine.
Also, if you need extra help cleaning your home, you may want to hire a cleaning company. With a team of home cleaning professionals at your side, you can speed up the process of improving your house's interior.
Clutter is an eyesore that home sellers should try to eliminate. Luckily, there are many quick, easy ways to remove clutter from your house.
Oftentimes, one person's clutter is another's treasure, and you may be able to sell excess items at a garage sale or online. Set competitive prices for your excess items, and you should have no trouble stirring up interest in these items.
You also can donate excess items to charities in your city or town. Reach out to local charities, and you may be able to get excess items picked up from your house.
3. Interior Upgrades
If you notice home interior lights are no longer working, cracks or dents in your walls or other minor home interior issues, you should spend some time performing various upgrades and repairs.
In most instances, minor home interior upgrades and repairs may require just a few minutes to complete. Meanwhile, these home interior improvements can make a world of difference in the eyes of homebuyers and can help your home stand out to potential buyers.
Clearly, there are many ways to improve a house's interior in no time at all. But if you require additional assistance, you can always hire a real estate agent to help you generate interest in your residence.
A real estate agent knows exactly what it takes to bolster a house's interior. He or she can help you assess your home's interior and prioritize assorted home interior improvements.
Furthermore, a real estate agent will make it easy to navigate all stages of the home selling process. This housing market professional will help you list your house and promote it to large groups of potential buyers. Plus, if you receive offers on your house, a real estate agent can help you evaluate these proposals and make an informed decision.
Don't hesitate to enhance your home's interior. Instead, consider the aforementioned options, and you can take the first step to improve your house's interior.
If this is your first time owning a home, your mind is likely consumed with plans to replace the carpet or upgrade the appliances. You want to get the best deals and save money where you can. One area not to skimp, though, is in your homeowner's insurance. The last thing you want is to install the perfect spa bath only to have the sewer back up, and you find out your policy doesn't cover sewerage.
How can that be, you ask? Surprisingly, homeowner’s insurance does not cover everything. In fact, there are lots of things you may believe it covers that are nowhere to be found in the policy. While some of these things might be small annoyances, others can devastate your carefully laid plans for the perfect house.
Here are some big-ticket items that your insurance may not cover:
Floods: Water overflowing your property or home comes from many sources: heavy rain, tropical storms, groundwater rising, seepage, sewer backup, or water pressure from saturated soil (called hydrostatic pressure). The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) generally does not cover leakage, seepage, sewer backup, or hydrostatic pressure unless a federally defined flood caused it.
Sewer back: While not covered by NFIP, you may request an added endorsement to cover aging sewer systems and backed-up storm drains. Otherwise, you’re on your own for the cleanup and damages this causes in your home.
Mold: While posing significant home damage and health risks, mold can hide behind cabinets, in walls, under the floor, and in the insulation. With thousands of varieties, mold policies only cover infestations from specific species. These policies often have low upper limits, too, so the cost to remove it and repair the damage may fall to you.
Sinkholes, earthquakes, and shifting ground: Most policies exclude earth movement without specific riders. Your house may be located in an area that is prone to earthquake, mudslide, or sinkhole damage, so ask your insurance agent to provide the appropriate additions to your policy.
Termites: These wood and fiber-eating pests can destroy walls, floors, support beams, and other untreated wood in your home. Nationally termite damage repair is a multi-billion dollar business. Rarely do homeowner’s insurance policies cover termites. Your home inspection should reveal the presence of termites, so negotiate with the seller for termite remediation before completing your purchase.
Other items your policy may not cover are bites from pets, especially exotic animals or certain dog breeds, and accidents from high-risk toys such as trampolines and pools. You might be surprised to realize that most policies also exclude acts of war and nuclear power plant accidents.
Before you close on your home, discuss all your insurance needs with your insurance agent. If you need guidance, your real estate professional can offer advice.
As a homebuyer, it is paramount to establish realistic expectations for the homebuying journey. That way, you can take a step-by-step approach to achieve various goals along this journey and acquire your ideal residence faster than ever before.
Setting realistic homebuying expectations can be simple. Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you set realistic homebuying expectations.
1. Assess Your Home Must-Haves and Wants
Dozens of homes are available in cities and towns nationwide. If you establish realistic homebuying expectations, you may be better equipped than others to determine exactly what you want to find in your dream house. As a result, you could reap the benefits of a quick, seamless homebuying experience.
Oftentimes, it helps to create a list of home must-haves and wants prior to searching for a house. This list can be updated as you proceed along the homebuying journey and will serve as a guide to help you discover your ideal residence.
2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
With a mortgage in hand, you can narrow your home search to residences that fall within your price range. Then, you can speed up the homebuying journey and find your ideal residence in no time at all.
To get pre-approved for a mortgage, you'll want to meet with banks and credit unions. These financial institutions generally offer a broad array of mortgage options. Examine all of your mortgage options closely, and you're sure to find a mortgage that matches your finances.
Also, don't hesitate to ask mortgage questions when you meet with potential lenders. Banks and credit unions employ friendly, knowledgeable mortgage specialists who are happy to help you in any way they can. Thus, you can gain expert insights from these mortgage specialists that could help you make an informed mortgage decision.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent understands what it takes to purchase a home in any housing market. Therefore, he or she can help you prepare for the real estate market and establish realistic homebuying expectations from day one.
Typically, a real estate agent first will learn about your homebuying goals. He or she then will help you map out a successful homebuying journey, one that concludes with you discovering your dream house at a budget-friendly price.
A real estate agent offers plenty of support at each stage of the homebuying journey too. This housing market professional will set up home showings, keep you updated about new residences that become available and help you evaluate houses. And if you want to submit an offer on a home, a real estate agent will make it easy for you to put together a competitive homebuying proposal.
Achieving the optimal results during the homebuying journey sometimes can be difficult. But if you establish realistic homebuying expectations, you may be able to streamline the homebuying journey and ensure that you can purchase a great house that suits you perfectly.