RE/MAX 440
John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

Staging for Millennial Appeal

October 18, 2016 1:00 am


Millennials—the generation born between 1980 and 1995 that now comprise the largest home-buying group—want made-up, modern, and move-in ready.

Real estate professionals are seeing it firsthand: most millennials don’t want their parents’ house, but older homes tend to look just like mom and dad’s—a harsh truth for homeowners needing to appeal to these types of buyers when they list their home for sale.

According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), millennials accounted for 35 percent of all home sales last year. Sellers unreceptive to staging could miss that opportunity entirely. Comparable homes staged for millennials, too, tend to fetch more than ones that aren’t—that means even if an older buyer places an offer, that offer will likely be on par with market value or higher.

The fact is, millennials don’t have the desire, money or time to fix up a home themselves. These days, bold colors, clean-lined furniture and light walls are not enough to pique their interest—one blogger called the aesthetic they’re after the “this-could-be-a-movie-set” look. Millennials want to project a lifestyle in the places they call home. Sellers should aim to meet them on those terms.

Stagers generally recommend starting by removing outdated décor—this can make a positive difference in the impression millennial buyers receive. Contemporary light fixtures, hardwood flooring and updated window treatments can dramatically change the appearance of the home, as well. Few, strategic fixes like these can sell a home for top dollar, and that much sooner.

Every house, however, is unique. A real estate professional well-versed in staging is worth consulting—most will walk the home and offer suggestions as to the improvements needed to make the home attractive to not only millennials, but all types of buyers. Contact one today!
 

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Tax Filers: Educational Credits to Consider

October 17, 2016 12:57 am


For most taxpayers, this time of year marks the beginning of the return planning process—and with the school year in swing, there is no better time to explore eligibility for educational tax credits.

There are two educational credits available, according to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS): the American Opportunity Tax Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit. Taxpayers can only claim one of these credits per student, per year, even if they are eligible for both.

The American Opportunity Tax Credit is available for “qualified education expenses,” such as tuition, up to $2,500 per student. Only taxpayers with a modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) of $80,000 or less (or $160,000 for married couples filing jointly) can claim the full credit.

The Lifetime Learning Credit is available for similar expenses, including tuition, up to $2,000 per return. Only taxpayers with a MAGI of $55,000 or less (or $111,000 for married couples filing jointly) can claim the full credit.

Both credits, which must be claimed through Form 8863, can be claimed by the taxpayer who pays qualifying expenses for an “eligible student,” which includes the taxpayer, spouse and dependents who are enrolled in an “eligible college, university or vocational school, according to the IRS.

Visit the Education Credits page on the IRS website, www.irs.gov/individuals/education-credits-aotc-llc, for more information, or to determine eligibility.

Source: U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
 

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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