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Mark Rutstein's Blog

By Mark Rutstein | Agent in Washington, DC
  • How to buy your first home – Is the Time Right?

    Posted Under: Home Buying, Investment Properties, Home Ownership  |  March 6, 2013 8:47 AM  |  74 views  |  No comments

    Written by: Mark Rutstein

    how to buy your first homeWondering about the possibility of buying your first home in the current housing market?

    The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI) released this week confirmed other recent reports of growth in the real estate market.  Spurred on by historically low interest rates in the final quarter of 2012, home buyers saw more housing affordability and relatively stable home pricing throughout the United States, making it possibly the right time for you to buy your home.

    According to the HOI, gains in home affordability rose from 74.1 % to 74.9% in the final quarter of 2012,  making homes affordable to median income earners in the United States.  The current median income is $65,000.

    North Carolina Home Builder and NAHB Chairman Rick Judson explained why this was good news for potential home buyers.  “The most recent housing affordability data should be encouraging to many prospective home buyers,” Judson said. “Because it shows that homeownership remains within reach of median-income consumers even as most local markets appear to be on a recovery path.”

    Judson also shared results of the recent NAHB/First American Improving Markets Index which noted that 259 out of 361 metro real estate areas qualify as improving. NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe also remarked on this news, saying, “It is noteworthy that affordability remains historically high thanks to favorable mortgage rates even as national home price indexes show some rise in values.”  Crowe shared that the median price of new and existing homes in that same quarter was still up, at $188,000.

    As you consider your home buying options, check out the different DC neighborhoods. Find your perfect first home my using our DC Market Mapper.

    –Mark Rutstein | DC Real Estate Agent–

    Follow our blog at www.iknowdc.comMark Rutstein

  • IRS Changes Rules for Home Office Deductions

    Posted Under: Home Buying, Investment Properties  |  February 11, 2013 10:47 AM  |  53 views  |  No comments

    Do you run a business out of your home and take the home office deduction? Well add yourself to the millions of homeowners and renters around the country who run a business out of their home. Some welcome news, the IRS will be making it easier to file for deductions on the business-related use of your home.

    The new IRS option, which will be available starting in 2014,  will allow owners and employees who work from home to deduct $5 per square foot of home office space per year, up to a maximum allowable space of 300 square feet. The write-off is capped at $1,500 per year. If your home office is larger than 300 square feet you can use the old method which is spelled out in IRS Form 8829 and available at www.irs.gov.

    When doing your taxes this year take a look at how much home office space you can write off because while the new rules are easier it might not be your best option to get the largest return.

    –Mark Rutstein– DC Real Estate Agent–

    Follow our blog at www.iknowdc.com

    Mark Rutstein

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