Monthly Archives: April 2015

Record Improvements Now

Slide1

 Real Estate Talk Thursday

Record Improvements Now

There is a significant difference in how the money you spend on your home is treated for income tax purposes.  Repairs to maintain your home’s condition are not deductible unlike rental property owners who can deduct repairs as an operating expense.

On the other hand, capital improvements to a home will increase the basis and affect the gain when you sell which may save taxes.

Additions to a home or other improvements that have a useful life of more than one year may be considered an increase to basis or cost of the home.  Other increases to basis may include special assessments for local improvements like sidewalks or streets and amounts spent after a casualty loss to restore damage that was not covered by insurance.

Unlike repairs, improvements add to the value of a home, prolong its useful life or adapt it to new uses.

You can read more about improvements and see examples beginning on the bottom of page 8 of IRS Publication 523.  For a form to keep track of money you spend, print this Improvement Register.

Wine Down Wednesday – Summer Tortellini Salad

 

Summer Tortellini Salad

Toss pre-made tortellini with chicken and an array of herbs for a palate-pleasing summer salad.  Yield: Makes 4 servings

Ingredients                                                                                                 tort

  • 1 (19-oz.) package frozen cheese tortellini
  • 2 cups chopped cooked chicken
  • 1/4 cup sliced green olives
  • 1/4 cup sliced black olives
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped sweet onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence*
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Garnish: fresh parsley sprigs                                                                                                                                                                                     Wine Pairing:  Try a crisp Chardonnay with a pear base.

Preparation

  1. Cook tortellini according to package directions; drain. Plunge into ice water to stop the cooking process; drain and place in large bowl. Stir in chicken and next 5 ingredients.
  2. Whisk together mayonnaise, red wine vinegar, and herbes de Provence. Add oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until smooth. Pour over tortellini mixture, tossing to coat. Stir in salt to taste. Cover and chill at least 25 minutes. Garnish, if desired.

*1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning may be substituted.

Note: For testing purposes only, we used Rosetto Cheese Tortellini.

Tuna Tortellini Salad: Substitute 1 (12-oz.) can albacore tuna, rinsed and drained well, for chicken. Prepare recipe as directed.

Plant an Herb Container Garden

GARDEN CENTER SUNDAY

Creating a Basil Topiary
Topiaries often consist of clipped boxwood and holly, you can also use one of the South’s favorite herbs trimmed in a standard lollipop shape.

Look for basil selections that have smaller leaves and tight or upright forms, such as ‘Boxwood,’ ‘Greek Columnar,’ and ‘Pesto Perpetuo. Normally, compact and bushy specimens are preferred, but for topiaries, leggy is best, as you’ll get a head start on your form.

Remove soil from one side of each root-ball, and place plants close together in the center of the bucket. Tie stems together in three spots with twine. Use sharp snips to remove lower leaves. Shape the top into a ball with clippers.

Moist, well-drained soil and six to eight hours of full sun are key to keeping these herbs happy in pots. To ensure roots have good drainage, punch three to five holes in the bottom of the bucket using a large nail and hammer. Fill the bucket with premoistened potting soil, mixing in a couple of handfuls of compost, and then plant, positioning the tallest basil first. Feed twice a month with  Plant Food. Once temperatures are between 80 and 90 degrees, basil will grow fast, so don’t be shy about snipping, sharing, and using your bountiful harvest.

These will look great outside or inside if you have enough sun light, not to mention that they smell great!

Preparation is the Key!

“I’d wish I’d know that before I made a decision.”  If you’ve ever regrettably said this to yourself, having a checklist might have prevented the issue in the first place.  This list of questions can provide you with things to discuss when interviewing a moving company.

moving

Fees

  • What is the charge for packing?
  • Does it include boxes? If not, what do they cost and will you deliver them?
  • Is there an additional charge to deliver some items to a storage unit?

Insurance

  • How is a damage claim handled?
  • What insurance do you provide and is there a cost?
  • Does the insurance cover items packed by the owner?
  • Can additional insurance be purchased?
  • If items are covered by my Homeowner’s insurance, whose insurance pays first?

Unusual Items

  • Can you ship my car(s)? Will they be in the moving van or towed?
  • What are the charges for shipping cars, lawn tractors, etc?
  • What items cannot be shipped?
  • If a shuttle truck is needed because of the location of my house or size of the drive way, is there an additional charge?
  • If packing and loading are on different days, can you leave the beds and other basics out for us to use?

Dates

  • What dates are available for our move?
  • What date will you pack and how long will this take?
  • What date will you load the van?
  • What date will the van arrive at my new location?
  • If my new home is not ready for delivery, how many days can it be delayed before there is a charge?
  • What is the charge for additional days or weeks?

Terms

  • Are there any additional fees that I’m responsible for that have not been discussed?
  • What are the terms of payment?
  • Is a down payment required?
  • When will the balance be due and who is authorized to accept it?

Monthly Archives: April 2015

Record Improvements Now

Slide1

 Real Estate Talk Thursday

Record Improvements Now

There is a significant difference in how the money you spend on your home is treated for income tax purposes.  Repairs to maintain your home’s condition are not deductible unlike rental property owners who can deduct repairs as an operating expense.

On the other hand, capital improvements to a home will increase the basis and affect the gain when you sell which may save taxes.

Additions to a home or other improvements that have a useful life of more than one year may be considered an increase to basis or cost of the home.  Other increases to basis may include special assessments for local improvements like sidewalks or streets and amounts spent after a casualty loss to restore damage that was not covered by insurance.

Unlike repairs, improvements add to the value of a home, prolong its useful life or adapt it to new uses.

You can read more about improvements and see examples beginning on the bottom of page 8 of IRS Publication 523.  For a form to keep track of money you spend, print this Improvement Register.

Wine Down Wednesday – Summer Tortellini Salad

 

Summer Tortellini Salad

Toss pre-made tortellini with chicken and an array of herbs for a palate-pleasing summer salad.  Yield: Makes 4 servings

Ingredients                                                                                                 tort

  • 1 (19-oz.) package frozen cheese tortellini
  • 2 cups chopped cooked chicken
  • 1/4 cup sliced green olives
  • 1/4 cup sliced black olives
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped sweet onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence*
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Garnish: fresh parsley sprigs                                                                                                                                                                                     Wine Pairing:  Try a crisp Chardonnay with a pear base.

Preparation

  1. Cook tortellini according to package directions; drain. Plunge into ice water to stop the cooking process; drain and place in large bowl. Stir in chicken and next 5 ingredients.
  2. Whisk together mayonnaise, red wine vinegar, and herbes de Provence. Add oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until smooth. Pour over tortellini mixture, tossing to coat. Stir in salt to taste. Cover and chill at least 25 minutes. Garnish, if desired.

*1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning may be substituted.

Note: For testing purposes only, we used Rosetto Cheese Tortellini.

Tuna Tortellini Salad: Substitute 1 (12-oz.) can albacore tuna, rinsed and drained well, for chicken. Prepare recipe as directed.

Plant an Herb Container Garden

GARDEN CENTER SUNDAY

Creating a Basil Topiary
Topiaries often consist of clipped boxwood and holly, you can also use one of the South’s favorite herbs trimmed in a standard lollipop shape.

Look for basil selections that have smaller leaves and tight or upright forms, such as ‘Boxwood,’ ‘Greek Columnar,’ and ‘Pesto Perpetuo. Normally, compact and bushy specimens are preferred, but for topiaries, leggy is best, as you’ll get a head start on your form.

Remove soil from one side of each root-ball, and place plants close together in the center of the bucket. Tie stems together in three spots with twine. Use sharp snips to remove lower leaves. Shape the top into a ball with clippers.

Moist, well-drained soil and six to eight hours of full sun are key to keeping these herbs happy in pots. To ensure roots have good drainage, punch three to five holes in the bottom of the bucket using a large nail and hammer. Fill the bucket with premoistened potting soil, mixing in a couple of handfuls of compost, and then plant, positioning the tallest basil first. Feed twice a month with  Plant Food. Once temperatures are between 80 and 90 degrees, basil will grow fast, so don’t be shy about snipping, sharing, and using your bountiful harvest.

These will look great outside or inside if you have enough sun light, not to mention that they smell great!

Preparation is the Key!

“I’d wish I’d know that before I made a decision.”  If you’ve ever regrettably said this to yourself, having a checklist might have prevented the issue in the first place.  This list of questions can provide you with things to discuss when interviewing a moving company.

moving

Fees

  • What is the charge for packing?
  • Does it include boxes? If not, what do they cost and will you deliver them?
  • Is there an additional charge to deliver some items to a storage unit?

Insurance

  • How is a damage claim handled?
  • What insurance do you provide and is there a cost?
  • Does the insurance cover items packed by the owner?
  • Can additional insurance be purchased?
  • If items are covered by my Homeowner’s insurance, whose insurance pays first?

Unusual Items

  • Can you ship my car(s)? Will they be in the moving van or towed?
  • What are the charges for shipping cars, lawn tractors, etc?
  • What items cannot be shipped?
  • If a shuttle truck is needed because of the location of my house or size of the drive way, is there an additional charge?
  • If packing and loading are on different days, can you leave the beds and other basics out for us to use?

Dates

  • What dates are available for our move?
  • What date will you pack and how long will this take?
  • What date will you load the van?
  • What date will the van arrive at my new location?
  • If my new home is not ready for delivery, how many days can it be delayed before there is a charge?
  • What is the charge for additional days or weeks?

Terms

  • Are there any additional fees that I’m responsible for that have not been discussed?
  • What are the terms of payment?
  • Is a down payment required?
  • When will the balance be due and who is authorized to accept it?