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July 2008

N. Y. Living Solutions Newsletter

Brought to you by: Juan E. Chavez Real Estate Consultant Jchavez@nyls.net 917-202-33334

8 Easy Ways to Save Energy in Your Home Running an energy-efficient home this winter doesn't necessarily entail buying expensive solar panels or wind generators. Neither does it mean you have to wear your outdoor clothes inside to stop you shivering! Here are 8 useful tips. Laundry: Wait until you have a full load of laundry and run the machine on cold. Detergents are available to clan clothes at low temperatures. Dishes: Don't pre-rinse your dishes as this wastes energy. And wait until the dishwasher is full before turning it on. If you have the time, use the air dry or no-heat dry settings so the dishes dry without using electricity. Windows: In the winter during the day, open the blinds on south-facing windows to allow the sun to warm your home then close them in the evening to increase insulation. (In the summer, you can do the opposite to keep your home cool.) Computers and TVs: Turn off your appliances when you are not using them. Even when they're in standby mode they are still using electricity -- it's estimated 5% of household energy use is from appliances leaking away electricity. So turn them off at the wall. Showers: While a long, hot shower is nice and relaxing, you can save a lot of money taking shorter showers and by installing energy-efficient showerheads that give you a good shower while reducing water use. Space heaters: Surprisingly, space heaters are a lot cheaper than a central heating system. And don't forget to turn them off when you're out. Installing a programmable thermostat will also keep your heating bill low. Furnace filter: Change the filter at the start of every season and then every month or two after because a dirty filter makes the furnace work harder and be less efficient. Floors and drafts: If you've got hardwood floors, put down some rugs, particularly if you have wood floors above a cold basement. Make sure also that you've installed insulation such as weather-stripping at the bottom of doors.

Putting Your House Up For Sale? Get These Essential Tips If you want to get the best price for your house, it's essential to prepare it for sale. Homes that have been "staged" go for a lot more money… and sell much more quickly, too. To give you a head start, get my free guide, "50 Essential Tips to Prepare Your Home for a Speedy, Top-Price Sale." Just call me at 917.202.3334 and I'll send it right out to you. Page 1

How to Make Tax Time Less Stressful Next Year Filing taxes without preparation is like running a marathon without training. It is a long, hard go. With good preparation, filing next year’s tax return will be more like a walk in the park. Start getting ready now. • Develop a system: Create a practical filing system for your financial papers. First, make files for the categories required on your tax return. When next year’s deadline comes, everything will be pre-sorted. Group non-tax-related items into categories, and make a file for each category. • Record income and expenses: Keep a day-by-day record of all money coming in and going out. Close acquaintance with your financial situation leads to easy tax filing and eventually to prosperity. Keep receipts for everything, and make notes of small cash outlays. Update your records at least once a week. Pay bills on time, and send invoices promptly. Acquiring this habit saves money and reduces bookkeeping. • Use software: With simple bookkeeping software, easily track and calculate financial data. Spreadsheet programs, such as Excel and Numbers, provide tremendous flexibility and portability. • File the backlog: File any piled-up documents for the 2008 tax year. Get the job done with least effort by following this rule: If you touch a paper, file it. Securely dispose of any unnecessary documents. • Get help: The assistance of a professional bookkeeper or accountant is valuable for saving time and effort, as well as for ensuring accuracy. On the Internet, you’ll find many qualified, low-cost virtual assistants who will help you to set up a good system and to keep it running smoothly.


NEWS YOU CAN USE

Juan E. Chavez

Tax Tips: Should You Rent or Buy Your Home? If you are contemplating renting or buying, keep in mind that Uncle Sam rewards you handsomely in tax benefits for being a homeowner. Mortgage interest: Your mortgage interest on your home is 100% tax deductible. Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI): If your lender requires you to have private mortgage insurance, the PMI premiums are also deductible for mortgages obtained between 2007 and 2010. Property taxes: All the property taxes you pay are fully deductible from your annual income.

Capital gains: Unlike other investment instruments, selling your primary residence at a profit shields you from capital gains tax. For gains up to $500,000 on your primary residence of the last two years, you are excluded from capital gains tax. Home improvements: If you obtain a loan to finance home improvements, you can fully deduct the interest on that loan. Keep in mind that this deduction only applies for improvements that are a “capital improvement,” not just repairs. The benefits of buying a home significantly outweigh renting, not the least of which is building equity in your name

Home office: If an area of your home is utilized specifically for a business, then you can deduct a portion of your expenses, such as depreciation, repair, and insurance costs.

Looking to Rent or Purchase a Home? If you are looking to rent or buy any homes in NYC, please feel free to call me at 917-202-3334 for information on any listings in the areas of your choice. We will give you details of the best no fee deals in the area. So don’t be shy and call us!!!!!

Juan E. Chavez New York Living Solutions 90 John St, Suite 405 New York, NY 10038 917.202.3334 JChavez@nyls.net www.nyls.net

Wondering How Much Your Home is Worth? If you're wondering what's happening to prices in your area, or you're thinking about selling your house, I'll be able to help. Just give my office a call for a nofuss, professional evaluation. I won't try to push you into listing with me or waste your time. I'll just give you the honest facts about your home and its value. And maybe I'll also give you the "inside scoop" on what's happening in the housing market near where you live! Just give my office a call at 917202-3334 to arrange an appointment.


July 2008 Newsletter