Uncategorized Archives | Smith Mountain Lake Real Estate – Debbie Shelton

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Spring Cleaning Maintenance Guide

We’re fast approaching warmer weather, which means that it’s a good time to make a springtime home maintenance checklist. Read on for three common areas to inspect as winter draws to a close:

Roofs and Gutters: Now is a good time to clean out your gutters from all of the debris that may have collected during the winter season. Check your rooftop for shingles that need replacing and look for signs of leaks. Those April showers might bring more than just May flowers if you don’t have your roof properly inspected, so don’t be afraid to enlist the help of a professional roofing company to help you scope out potential problem areas.

Air Conditioning Systems: Don’t wait until a heat wave hits before you test your air conditioning unit. Even if it’s still a little chilly outside, take the time to check your AC unit so that you’re not waiting in line for an HVAC professional during their busiest season.  Schedule a technician to perform an annual maintenance checkup on your unit, as ask them about cleaning your home’s duct work.

Windows, Exteriors, and Walkways: Clean the exterior of your home and walkways to remove stains and built-up dirt, and repair or replace broken or damaged windows and screens. If you have a dock, inspect your structure for any damage that may have occurred during recent winter storms, and replace any areas that look unsafe.

Making an effort to properly prep your home for spring could save you time and resources once warmer weather ushers in. As a general rule, always enlist the help of a professional when tackling potentially dangerous jobs, and keep all receipts and paperwork organized in case you need to refer back to them at a later time.

Source: Home Warranty of America, Spring Home Maintenance Guide

Will Right-Sizing My Home Save Money?

If retirement is in your near future, you may have started analyzing your finances in efforts of finding areas to save. The Bureau of Labor Statistics cites that 49% of Americans in their late 50’s and early 60’s has mortgage or home equity debt, and that housing costs take up one-third of their household income. Simply stated, many of us are living in more house than we need. The concept of “rightsizing” your home could potentially save you a considerable amount of money, and is a great place to start your financial planning.

Rightsizing means that you are finding the right-sized house to suit your needs. A larger home equates to larger mortgage payments, utility bills, and maintenance costs. By rightsizing your home to a smaller living area, you’ve cut down your living expenses, giving yourself extra money for investing and retirement.

Smith Mountain Lake offers a host of housing options, making it easy for retirees to find their ideal living space. From waterfront condos and townhomes, to maintenance-free residential developments, I can show you a variety of homes that speak to your desired lifestyle and budget. And with the extra money you’ll be saving, you’ll have more flexibility to relax and enjoy your retirement on beautiful Smith Mountain Lake.


Source: Rightsizing for Retirement, Discover 360 Financial

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”