Taxes, Laws, and Useful Info

Articles and local information  from our popular Sarasota Property Finders Blog concerning taxes, laws, and other useful info for anyone living in or moving to the Sarasota area!

There are currently 13 blog entries related to this category.

With the tax deadline looming, I thought it would be good to remind you what you can itemize on your returns, and what you should consider if you're planning to sell your house this year. While many home improvements can't be used for deductions in the year you spend the money, those expenses can help to reduce your taxes in the year you sell your house.

Homeowners are able to claim their home mortgage interest payments, their real estate taxes, and their mortgage points each year, but there are a number of other things that can be deducted as well.

If you have refinanced your home and taken out a second mortgage or equity loan in order to implement some home improvements, all or some portion of the points can be deducted in the current tax

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When you're buying a home, getting a good home inspection is crucial and could save you from a home improvement nightmare. An inspection will cost you a few hundred dollars, but finding out about possible structural damages or other pitfalls make it well worth the money. In order to make the most of this experience, here are a few things to keep in mind then having a home inspection done on a house you may want to buy.

Do Your Own Pre-Inspection

Before the inspector arrives, be sure to spend some time familiarizing yourself with the house. Try the light switches, look for peeling paint, inspect the decks and porches, find out where the electrical panels are, and take a look at the appliances. Make notes of anything you want the inspector to look

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With an average of 3.7 million burglaries a year in the United States, home security is an important issue. Not only do people lose things of material value, but there is an emotional toll as well. The best way to help curb losses is to be prepared, so here are the best ways to get your new home security ready when you move in.


  1. Put a security system sign in your yard or on your window. According to a study by the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at University of North Carolina at Charlotte, about 60% of convicted burglars said that the presence of a security system made them more likely to pass up the home. Even if you don’t have one yet, letting burglars think that you do is a good start.

  2. Install an actual alarm

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For those who are looking for their dream home, one of the big questions is whether to buy one that's already on the market or build their own. Considering that a home is usually the single largest investment a person can make, it's not a decision that should be made lightly. I want to offer you a few of the bigger considerations to help you make the best educated decision you can.

Consider the Convenience

Purchasing a home that's already built is generally a much simpler process. After you get pre-approved for a home in your price range, you have the ability to shop around and pick out a home you think will work for you. If you have a good realtor working for you, it really helps to streamline the process, and once the deal is closed, it may

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With the recent cold fronts and storms, many people are experiencing how much damage freezing temperatures can do. Fortunately, here in Florida, we don't have to deal with the blistering cold, snow, and sleet that our neighbors to the north have to endure. Yet, as we have seen recently, it sometimes does get below freezing in the Sunshine State.

Here are a few tips on how to prepare for freezing weather.

Take care of the plants

Smaller potted plants should be brought indoors. For those that are too big to move or landscaping, cover them with sheets.

Take care of the pets

Even if your pets normally spend their time outside, bring them indoors during a freeze. While a dog house may protect from some of the elements, it won’t help during a

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For those who are looking for their dream home, one of the big questions is whether to buy one that's already on the market or build their own. Considering that a home is usually the single largest investment a person can make, it's not a decision that should be made lightly. I want to offer you a few of the bigger considerations to help you make the best educated decision you can.


Consider the Convenience


Purchasing a home that's already built is generally a much simpler process. After you get pre-approved for a home in your price range, you have the ability to shop around and pick out a home you think will work for you. If you have a good realtor working for you, it really helps to streamline the process, and once the deal is closed, it

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If you're really looking to embrace the Florida life, there is no doubt that you've entertained the idea of getting a swimming pool. While there are some great benefits to pool ownership, there is also a responsibility that comes along with it. Fortunately, it's not very difficult to maintain a pool, and it's so simple that some people find it sort of meditative.

However, making a few extra steps to ensure that your pool is in good working order makes a big difference. Not properly maintaining a pool can cut its life span in half, or even shorter, and considering that a pool pump can easily account for half of a home's energy bill, it's a good idea to keep it running smoothly. Many Floridians have already invested in solar heating for their pools,

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Home automation and the Internet of Things is changing the way we live and design our homes.


As we move into the future, it seems more and more apparent that technology is the lead aspect of our everyday lives, especially when it comes to communication. The Internet of Things, or the “interconnection via the Internet of computer devices embedded in everyday objects,” has become so engrained in our daily lives that it seems impossible to live without it, or even choose to communicate without it. Therefore, it should be no surprise that even our homes can be interconnected, as the Internet of Things expands its reach to accomplish even the most mundane activities, such as turning on a light or adjusting the thermostat. Today we will highlight the

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With a real estate magnate moving into the White House, many are wondering about how that will influence the real estate market, and many more are wondering if it's a good time to buy. While some are confident in the direction a Trump presidency will take the economy, others are concerned about his economic-growth plans igniting inflation, which will, in turn, raise mortgage rates. Essentially, if you've been considering buying a home in 2017, now may be the best time to do it.

Housing prices have been on the rise since hitting bottom in 2011, and currently, we're seeing the highest median home prices in ten years, a 40% hike in the last five years alone. Fortunately, low mortgage rates have still managed to keep homes affordable. According to the

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Since the Victorian Age, those who were prosperous in Europe would travel south to Italy and France to escape the cold, dark winters. While the word “snowbird” wasn’t coined until 1923 to describe nomadic workers who went south for the winter, in the last few decades, it has been used to describe anyone who owns a winter home in the southern United States. Since John D. Rockefeller first set up his winter home in Ormond Beach in 1914, followed by Henry Ford and Thomas Edison in Fort Myers, those who can afford it have been migrating to Florida to avoid the snow and sleet.

These days, you don’t have to be a millionaire or business magnate to be a snowbird. More and more, people who are thrifty, well-invested, or self-employed are able to live in

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