Smith Mountain Lake Real Estate – Debbie Shelton

How Will Home Upgrades Affect My Taxes?

Filing your taxes is probably not an event that any of us particularly look forward to, but knowing that there is a possibility of a tax credit could offer a silver lining. If you’re thinking about making upgrades to your home in hopes of recouping tax dollars, here are a few items to consider:


Repairs and Improvements are Two Different Things

The IRS defines “repair” as anything that you do to your home to keep it in a good condition, whereas an “improvement” is something that you do to your home that increases it resale value or improves your home’s usefulness. For example, replacing your leaking roof may be considered a repair, whereas upgrading to solar panels may be considered an improvement.

Increase Your Adjusted Cost Basis

If you make a profit when you sell your home, that profit is referred to as capital gains, which is taxable. However, if you increase your adjusted cost basis, which refers to what you paid for the home, plus any costs incurred during the home improvement process, then you’ll show a lower profit, which will result in a lower capital gains tax. Make sure to keep all of your receipts and pertinent paperwork for reference when it’s time to sell.

Medical Modifications

When you make renovations to your home for medical purposes, such as adding ramps, support bars, or widening doorways, you may be able to deduct those costs on your taxes. Speak to your professional tax preparer regarding any limitations.


When in doubt, it’s always best to speak to your tax preparer. Tax laws change every year, and a professional tax preparer will know exactly what you can deduct. As a rule of thumb, keep all of your receipts and paperwork so that you have everything you need in order to maximize your deductions.


Source: Integrity Home Mortgage Corporation, “Home Upgrades and Your Taxes: What You Need to Know”

Farmland at Smith Mountain Lake

When you think of Smith Mountain Lake, it’s hard not to envision the area’s most popular attraction…the lake itself. However, residents and frequent visitors know that there’s far more to SML than just water. In fact, if you’re interested in relocating to Smith Mountain Lake, but not necessarily interested in living on the water, then you may want to explore properties that are slightly off the beaten path.

Smith Mountain Lake spans three counties: Franklin, Bedford, and Pittsylvania. In addition to surrounding the lake, each of these areas offer peaceful, countryside retreats. Whether you’re looking for farm properties, a secluded country home, or a quiet spot with pastures for your horses to graze, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the listings on offer within the Smith Mountain Lake area.

And the best part? You’re still within minutes of Smith Mountain Lake.

If you love the Smith Mountain Lake community, but prefer a more secluded, rural setting, then I invite you to browse available farm, horse, and country home listings from my website, I provide experienced, specialized attention to clients interested in buying and selling Smith Mountain Lake properties, ranging from sprawling landscapes to waterfront estates.

Keeping Your Boat Safe During the Winter

It’s hard to even think about boating on Smith Mountain Lake when the temperature refuses to budge above freezing, but protecting your boat from harsh winter weather will increase performance and keep maintenance to a minimum. That way, when its time to enjoy summertime boating and PWC amenities, you’ll spend less time performing repairs and more time exploring SML.

First and foremost, make sure your boat is out of the water and well-covered, either by a tarp or underneath a structure. If you need storage space, contact any of Smith Mountain Lake’s marinas for information on renting covered slips. Many marinas also offer boat winterization as a paid service.

Once your boat is out of the water, inspect it for damage. This is also a good opportunity to clean both the interior and exterior of your boat. Remove any items that could possibly be affected by the winter weather including electronics, fire extinguishers, and flares. Do not store anything valuable on the boat.

Check your owner’s manual for recommendations on fuel storage as it varies by manufacturer. Some recommend storing with a full tank of fuel, whereas some recommend adding a fuel stabilizer. Test your batteries to make sure they are fully charged, and make sure that all of your switches are turned off so that you don’t accidentally drain your battery.

A thorough list of boat winterization checkpoints can be found here, however if this is your first time winterizing your boat (or if you don’t feel comfortable completing these tasks on your own), it’s best to enlist the help of an experienced professional.

Source: Winterizing Your Boat,