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REALTORS® Protect Arizona Privacy Rights

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

LA-Sidewalk

Photo of the Arizona Capitol. In 2014, AAR supported legislation that secured privacy rights for homeowners.

 

 

Thanks to a new Arizona law co-sponsored by State Representative Michelle Ugenti and State Senator Gail Griffin—both REALTORS®—condominium and townhouse associations can no longer restrict individual unit owners from renting their units based on a criminal background check.

The new law, which took effect in July 2014, prohibits criminal background checks for condo rentals. It also limits the amount of information the association can legally obtain about renters.

Passed in an omnibus bill signed in April by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, the law also provides protections for tenants and allowances for unit investors.

REALTORS® in Arizona supported legislation to limit homeowners associations (HOAs) from requiring renters’ private information like Social Security numbers and credit reports—and charging steep processing fees, up to $250 in some cases.

  • No required disclosure of any information regarding a tenant other than the name and contact information of all adults occupying the unit, term of lease, and the license plate number of the tenant
  • Limits the amount a homeowner’s association can charge to no more than $25 for administrative fees for each new tenant
  • Allows non-occupant owners to serve on the board of directors
  • Prohibits associations from requiring a copy of the tenant’s credit report, rental application, lease agreement, rental contract or any other personal information about the tenant
  • Directs a unit owner to abate criminal activity
  • Allows email and fax votes to count towards a quorum for non-present owners
  • Allows unit owners to display political signs on their property
  • Allows unit owners to use a crime-free addendum as part of their lease

The new law does allow homeowner associations to restrict occupancy in the case of a convicted sex offender, however.

Homeowners—and renters—in Arizona can thank REALTORS® for their efforts in securing privacy rights.

Tax Time--Don't Forget Your Home Office Deductions

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

 

Fast Fact: More than 30 million Americans work from home. Of those, 26 million don’t get all their tax benefits. Don’t miss out on yours!

You’ve joined the growing ranks of those who work from home, and have enjoyed the personal benefits that come with it (no more 45-minute commute!), but are you missing out on the financial benefits?

Odds are good that you are.

Of the 30 million people who work from home today, only 4 million are getting all the tax benefits available to them.

Why so few?  Some fear filing for home office deductions may trigger a tax audit. But, tax experts say, working from home is so common today that it’s not really a red flag anymore. Other work-from-home taxpayers simply don’t know how to file for the benefits — or that they’re even entitled to them.

How Do I Know if I Can Take Home Office Deductions?

You’re entitled as long as your home office fits these two IRS criteria:

  • Your home office must be used “regularly and exclusively” for conducting business.
  • It needs to be your “principal place of business.”

If that sounds like your office, then you can deduct part of your mortgage interest, insurance, real estate taxes, and utilities based on the square footage of your office space. You can also deduct some repairs and even write off the depreciation of your home and home improvements. Use IRS Form 8829.

What If I Don’t Want to Itemize? 

If you don’t want the hassle of itemizing those deductions, the IRS created a simplified method: take up to 300 square feet (the cap the IRS allows) and multiply by the dollar rate set by the IRS (today it’s $5 for a maximum deduction of $1,500). No intense paperwork required!

The IRS created Publication 587 to answer any questions you may have. Don’t forget that consulting with a qualified tax professional is always a good idea, especially if you’re still unsure of what you can and can’t deduct.

Quick Guide To Preparing Yourself Financially To Buy A House

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

The Castle Next Door--Episode 3

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

Watch as these amazing designers with their 7 children turn a 7 bedroom, 7 bath 1926 castle in Hollywood Hills into their new family home...episode #3.


Components Of A Credit Score

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

Credit scores are used by lenders to measure the credit worthiness of borrowers. While there are several different companies that offer scores, the FICO, Fair Isaacson Corporation, is the model that is used most often.

There are five key components that determine the overall score or rating. The most emphasis, 35% of the overall score, is placed on payment history which reflects whether the borrower paid on time and as agreed by the terms of the credit. Being late, missing payments or going into default would have adverse effects on this part of the score. FICO score.png

The second largest component, 30%, is credit utilization or the amount owed in relation to amount available. A person might have a $4,000 outstanding balance on available credit of $20,000. This would be a 20% ratio and would be considered acceptable. Owing $15,000 on $20,000 of available credit would be a 75% ratio and would negatively affect this part of the credit score. FICO says people with the best scores average around 7% credit utilization.

The length of time each account has been open and the account’s activity determines 15% of the total credit score. By having a longer credit history, the credit provider has a better indication of the borrower’s long-term financial behavior. Having an open account without activity doesn’t offer a provider much information.

New credit and types of credit each account for 10% of the total score. New credit can adversely affect a score because it is a new obligation without history of how it will affect the borrower’s ability to repay all of their liabilities. Types of credit include both revolving and installment debt. A good mixture of each can indicate less risk for lenders.

The combination of all five areas make up the total score which lenders use to determine credit worthiness. Another confusing issue is that all credit scores are not mortgage credit scores. This particular score determines not only whether the lender will make a mortgage but at what interest rate.

The best place to get your credit score if you’re planning on purchasing a home is from a trusted mortgage professional. This person will be able to suggest things to improve your score if necessary. Buying a home is one of the largest investments in most people’s lives; it is really not a do-it-yourself activity.

The Castle Next Door--Episode 2

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

Watch as these talented designers (and their 7 children) celebrate the massive undertaking of rennovating a 7 bedroom, 7 bath 1926 castle in Hollywood Hills. 

 

 

The Castle Next Door

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

Watch as these well known designers (& parents of 7 children), Robert & Cortney Novogratz, turn a 1926 castle in Hollywood Hills into the home of their dreams! 

 

Displaying blog entries 31-37 of 37

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Judi Monday
RE/MAX Valley Properties In Green Valley, AZ
210 West Continental Road
Green Valley AZ 85622
Direct: (520) 241-7780
Fax: (520) 648-2221