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We have been here before. The U.S. government is looking to reduce costs, and the mortgage interest deduction is caught in the cross hairs. The popular deduction allows home owners to deduct the amount of interest paid over the year from their year end taxes.
The home mortgage interest deduction is one of the most cherished in the U.S. tax code. It’s also one of the most expensive, estimated to cost the federal government $100 billion this fiscal year.
But the longtime tax break could face major changes as Washington policymakers search for ways to reduce the deficit as part of the debate on the so-called fiscal cliff. And that’s sending shivers through home buyers and much of the housing industry.
The short answer? No.
While at this point anything is possible, our best reference is the deficit reduction talks of last year. President Obama’s deficit commission did propose changes to the mortgage interest deduction, but they were by no means axing them completely. The commission proposed lowering the limit on mortgage principal eligible for a deduction to $500,000 from the current $1 million, removing any break for interest on a second home and turning the deduction into a tax credit capped at 12% of interest paid.
A tax credit would allow homeowners who don’t itemize deductions to subtract the interest from the taxes they owe. This would actually allow more taxpayers to take advantage of the benefit, however a cap would mean those with large mortgages on expensive homes couldn’t get a credit for all the interest they pay.
The mortgage interest deduction is one of the most popular tax breaks. In a nationwide poll released this week by Quinnipiac University, two-thirds of respondents said they opposed eliminating it.
So are you in favor or the changes proposed by the deficit reduction panel? Or do you want the deduction to remain unchanged? Let us know in the comment section below.
Zac Coplan December 13th, 2012
Another year, another successful Gilbert Days Parade. RE/MAX Alliance Group and our team have been a part of this great tradition since 1994. This year was one of the best parades yet. Though it was early on a Saturday morning, and the conditions were a little overcast, this didn’t dampen any of the parade goers enthusiasm.
Sheriff Joe Arpio dropped in to say hello to The Reeves Team, and asked to take a few pictures with us in front of the famous RE/MAX Hummers. Love him or hate him, its great to have him as a fan of the team.
Our team has been a sponsor of the Gilbert days parade for nearly 2 decades. As one of the first floats to open the parade, Troy and The RE/MAX Balloon crew had plenty of time to set up and check out the rest of the parade from the sky.
This was one of the biggest parades we have ever been a part of. This is a view from the balloon as Troy and the RE/MAX Balloon Crew hovered over the second half of the parade. It is a testament to the RE/MAX brand how many people know and love the RE/MAX Balloon.
We would like to thank the Town Of Gilbert and all of the others who sponsored and participated in the parade. We are honored to live and work in the town of Gilbert.
Were you able to attend the ceremonies this year? If you weren’t able to catch the parade did you make it out to the Rodeo? Let us know what you thought of the event in the comment section below.
Zac Coplan December 10th, 2012
Are you having a hard time getting into the Christmas spirit with temps in the valley still in the mid 70′s? Check out these over the top light displays in Gilbert to help get your mind right. We are not just talking about a bunch of lights here. We are talking about a massive amount of lights (40,000 is the minimum on this list) set to music. One of the communities even has their own website set up to give updates to spectators. We have a video preview of these amazing communities below, but you have to go see them in person to truly appreciate the effort these families have put into the decorations.
|Location: 3642 E. Comstock Dr Gilbert Arizona
Radio Station: 93.9 FM
Number 1 on our list of houses you must visit isn’t really a house at all, its actually 4 houses. The Robison, McNamara, Price, and Switzer Families of Gilbert spend more than 180 hours putting this incredible display together. Now that its completed it has over 47,000 lights set up to a computer controller with 160 different channels to program the music. There is over 12,000 feet of wire strands throughout these 4 homes.These families do all this work for a great cause. They accept donations to Make-A-Wish foundation and in the three years they have been doing it they have raised over $4,400 for the charity.
|Location: 396 W. Liberty Ln, Gilbert Arizona
Radio Station: Posted at location
Is 42,000 bulbs enough? If not we can crank the wattage up even further. In this neighborohood 6 homes come together with over 100,000 lights between them. This display also includes 2 mega trees, one of which is over 20 feet tall. If thats not enough they incorporate 5 animated musicians, leaping arches and of course a wall of lights!
Hopefully after you have taken the trip to see these homes you are filled with the Christmas spirit more that ever. If however, you still aren’t feeling it then this next video may be for you. If lights set to classic Christmas songs, or ever Trans-Siberian Orchestra are not enough. Give this last one a try.
While it may not fit most peoples definition of Christmas music, you have to admit its pretty impressive.
Do you plan on going out to see any of these beautifully decorated Gilbert homes? Once you check them out please drop back by and let us know what you thought in the comments section below.
Zac Coplan December 7th, 2012
I think its safe to say, RE/MAX has now officially stepped into the digital age.
Not only has RE/MAX updated their main website REMAX.com. They also provided a much needed overhaul to the agent micro sites. While some agents have their own websites they run, many agents depend on RE/MAX to provide a website for their tech savvy clients.
The last major overhaul of REMAX.com came in 2005, 7 years later the website was more than just a little bit outdated. Let me give you an example to show just how needed this refresh was. On the old agent micro websites there was a reference to the fact that “technology will begin to transform the real estate industry”. Yes that was true in 2005 and almost prophetic, but to a client visiting a website for the first time in 2012, it looks more than just a little outdated.
RE/MAX however didn’t settle for just a minor update. They dumped the firm they were using entirely, as well as the microsites and much more. The new firm started from the ground up. They introduced analytic tracking, facebook integration, mobile friendly sites and amazing search features. After all when clients go to a real estate website, they are typically looking to search for homes.
While the old micro sites are still available for the next 90 days I am not even going to do RE/MAX posting a link to the old site. If you really want to see it send me an E-Mail, but just trust me when I tell you this new site is light years ahead of what we had previously.
So check out the website here, and post your comments below and let us know what you think of it.
Zac Coplan December 6th, 2012
Posted In: RE/MAX
Margaret Kelly the CEO of RE/MAX International just announced a major refresh of RE/MAX.com. The initial reaction is that the website is visually and technologically fresh, it’s more consumer-friendly AND agent-friendly. RE/MAX.com is already the most visited website in the industry. Starting today, consumers will enjoy an entirely new experience on RE/MAX.com, the most visited real estate franchise website. RE/MAX is the first real estate franchisor to provide a consistent web experience across desktops, tablets, and smart phones. As the culmination of a strategic, yearlong roll-out of new consumer-focused technology tools, the new website will build on its #1 reputation to become even more popular with consumers and more influential in the real estate industry.
More than just a redesign, the new remax.com offers a simple user-interface, along with an ability to create personal preferences, giving home buyers and sellers easy access to what matters most: millions of home listings with larger photos, helpful information, and a property inventory larger than any other real estate brand site.
Check out the new RE/MAX.com here.
Zac Coplan December 3rd, 2012
Posted In: RE/MAX
It’s the season of football and that means it’s time to sit in front of that television all weekend. Your other half, flatmates or the parents just don’t understand your love for the game. I mean we’ve all cringed when we hear the line, “It’s just a sport.”
No, sitting in the lounge just won’t do. Distractions are inevitable, the volume has to be down and your bound to get in trouble for dropping those chip crumbs. It’s time to pick up that bowl my friend, and head down to the Man Cave!
Unfortunately, in Gilbert its rare to find basement homes suitable to create your man cave. So below you will find all the currently available man cave optional homes in the Gilbert area.
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Zac Coplan August 30th, 2012
Posted In: Home Improvements
It hasn’t been all fun and games in the phoenix housing market over the last few years, but that is all about to change.
The Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service has a created a Monopoly game based for the Phoenix-area real-estate market. It is ARMLS’s 30 year anniversary and they created this game to celebrate.
In ARMLS-OPOLY there are differences between the real-estate game and traditional Monopoly. Instead of being sent “straight to jail” in ARMLS’ monopoly, players are sent to “rules class,” which is a real option for metro Phoenix’s real-estate agents who don’t follow industry guidelines or laws.
The game is not without controversy though, some communities are already getting offended by the prices that there town or city commands. Apache Junction is the cheapest of all the properties available for $60. You can pick up Goodyear for $200, or Fountain Hills for $320.
Scottsdale and Paradise Valley are the Boardwalk and Park Place of the game, with Paradise Valley being the most expensive with a price tag of $400.
Chance and Treasure Chest are replaced with Learnathons and Technopalooza cards. You could potentially draw a card requesting you to pay $25 dollars per property for Haboob pool clean up.
In a major blow to the investors, ARMLS-OPOLY allows players to mortgage properties back to the bank, though all houses and apartments must be rented for half price if mortgaged.
The money has the Phoenix skyline on it. And there are no utilities listed on the board; instead, different Realtor association groups are on those spots and are available for purchase.
The last player with the most properties and cash wins.
The game will go on sale at the end of this year, so far there is no pricing available, we will update you when we have more info.
What do you think of this game? Are you excited to play or offended at the ranking of the valley cities?
Zac Coplan August 24th, 2012
Posted In: Gilbert
A “Man Cave” is a room in the house, where a man can get away from the pressures of daily life. It is his personal refuge full of his favorite things. Man Caves come in all shapes, sizes and themes but one thing they all have in common is testosterone.
The “Man Cave” is no longer an elusive dream. According to a recent survey by Servicemagic.com, 40% of homeowners say that their home already has a man cave.
So what goes into the typical Man Cave?
Flat screen TV (75%)
DVD player (67%)
As you can see nearly all man caves are alike when it comes to what is in them, TV’s, Surround Sounds, Refrigerators and bars. So how can you set your Man Cave apart from the rest? The theme. Below are the top 10 man cave themes I’ve came across, hopefully these themes will give you some inspiration.
Top 10 Man Cave Themes
This man cave is home to a serious PGA golf fan. The cave features a putting green, two flat screen televisions, golf club storage, and plenty of PGA related memorabilia. There is also a rollup garage door entry way, and full wall poster of a gorgeous costal golf course, perhaps the cave owner’s favorite hole? This man cave looks like a comfortable place to hang out, watch a game and practice your putting skills. This golf themed man cave is a hole-in-one!
Instead of creating your typical game room, the owner of this home wanted something that could display wild game. To keep things cool and lit properly, the house has 39 Crestron control interfaces—35 of which are wall-mounted. The media room features a 116-inch Stewart screen, a VX-2000d CW DLP projector, a 7.1-channel loudspeaker system and Halcro processing and amplification.
If you are into pool, and have enough room available in your man cave, considering adding a billiards table and custom entertainment center.
If you are a musician, you can try a slightly different take on the man cave. The back corner of this basement was completely sound proofed so the cave owner can jam as loud as he wants without disturbing the rest of his family.
Dual red-felt game tables are the center attraction in Vegas-themed cave. A granite bar, slot machine and leather furniture complete the setting.
You may need a little extra space for this idea. But if you enjoy basketball and want to shoot some hoops during commercial break, consider installing a basketball hoop and some hard wood.
If you dig motorcycles you may want to convert your man cave or garage into this unique design.
Do you want to give your basement the feel of an old-world brewery. Check out these walls and archway, all made from thin brick.
To the bat cave! This man cave might be out of most enthusiasts budget, but its worth looking at anyway. Even if you don’t have the money this guy had to sink in to it, you can still draw inspiration.
Death Star themed man cave… does anything else really need to be said?
What do you think of these man cave ideas? Let us know in the comments below, and give us any ideas you have.
Zac Coplan June 18th, 2012
Posted In: Home Improvements