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Ken Burrows' Blog

By Ken Burrows | Mortgage Broker
or Lender in Stateline, NV
  • Lower my Energy Bill with these 5 Saving Tips

    Posted Under: Quality of Life in South Lake Tahoe, Property Q&A in South Lake Tahoe  |  February 13, 2013 8:09 AM  |  245 views  |  No comments
    How to Save Money on Energy Costs in Your Home
    Many communities in Nevada and around the US are seeing their energy costs increase; sometimes dramatically.

    Whether you are energy conscious or just trying to save money, there are many steps you can take to lower your Stateline home bills while helping the environment at the same time.
    Below are several energy-saving measures to help you save money either in your current house or future residence.

    Sign up with a Cheaper Electric and Gas Company
    Services for America (save up to 35% on your Gas and Electric Bill)

    Heating and cooling

    Keeping your home at a comfortable temperature uses more energy than anything else.
    To save energy, install a programmable thermostat to adjust the inside temperature when you are not there for long periods of time. Seal windows and doors to prevent air leaks, and close doors and air vents to rooms that are not often used. Changing filters in your heating system monthly can also help it run more efficiently, with the added bonus of increasing the air quality in your home.

    Water heaters
    Heating water is usually the second highest energy expense. To cut costs, set the hot water heater at 120 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. Wrap older hot water heaters with an insulation jacket and insulate the piping leaving the water heater to prevent heat loss.

    Invest in appliances with the ENERGY STAR(R) rating. These appliances use less energy to run and will save money. Cleaning the coils on the back of your refrigerator will help it run more efficiently. Washing full loads of clothes on cooler settings and keeping your dryer vent clean will also save on energy costs.

    Besides turning lights out when leaving a room, use compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). These bulbs use less energy and can last 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs.

    Improperly insulated houses mean high energy costs. If the attic is easily accessible, check and replace insufficient insulation to keep your living space at a more comfortable temperature.
    By making energy-efficient choices you can save electricity without giving up the comforts of home. Plus, with a little extra effort these simple tips might add more money to your month as well!

    For any Questions on any type of Mortgages, I have 18 years experience and I'm here to help.

    Ken Burrows
    Mortgages for America
    P: 888-320-7888
  • Tax Breaks Granted By The 2012 Fiscal Cliff Negotiations

    Posted Under: Quality of Life in South Lake Tahoe  |  February 6, 2013 9:48 AM  |  178 views  |  No comments

    There was plenty of discussion and debate leading up to the New Year’s looming “fiscal cliff”. Ultimately, the event was avoided, but not before legislation was passed which may benefit homeowners in Stateline and nationwide. 

    If you have yet to file your 2012 taxes, take a minute to review the tax limitations and credit extensions, which Congress passed through the HR 8 legislation. You’ll want to ensure you’re paying the proper tax bill come April 15.

    Of course, every individual’s tax situation is unique. Review your allowable deductions and credits with your tax preparer.

    Energy Updates 
    The tax credit for homeowners to receive a ten percent deduction, up to $500, for energy efficient improvements to homes is extended for 2013.

    Estate Tax 
    Individual estates valued at up to five million dollars and family estates valued at up to ten million are now exempt from estate tax. After those cutoffs, the rate is 40 percent, which is up from 35 percent.

    Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act 
    This act was also extended through 2013. It means that debt reduced through mortgage restructuring or debt forgiven in the case of a foreclosure may not be taxable.

    Mortgage Insurance Premiums 
    This deduction for those making under $110,000 is extended through 2013. This deduction is also available retroactive for 2012. Mortgage insurance premiums paid as part of a conventional or FHA mortgage are eligible, as are premiums paid to the USDA.

    Pease Limitations 
    These limitations that reduced the value of itemized deductions are permanently repealed for most taxpayers. However, they will be re-instituted for individuals making over $250,000, and for married couples making over $300,000 and filing jointly.

    As a homeowner, you get access to special tax breaks which are unavailable to renters throughout Nevada and the country. Don’t leave tax dollars on the table. Speak with your accountant to see what claims you may make.

    The deadline for filing 2012 federal tax returns is Monday, April 15, 2013.

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