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Outstanding Fundraiser Sponsored by the First-Timer Allies to Benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Thanks so much to my friends and Allies who helped me pull this event together!  The night was full of fun, food, booze and fundraising!  Smith & Wollensky Rittenhouse went above and beyond to accommodate this huge group of do-gooders!  Looks like everyone had a blast!  If you have more pictures from the night please email them to me at Capri@CapriCloses.com.

If you would like to follow my fundraising or more shenanigans by the Running Realtor go to:

MyiRun

My Team In Training Facebook Page

If you would like to donate:

My Fundraising Page

7 MUST KNOW Tax Advantages, just for being a Homeowner

by Tom Tommy Mortgages Mellett

When you’re evaluating how much home you can afford, make sure you factor in the tax advantages of homeownership.

Owning your home not only allows you to build wealth through appreciation, but it can also reduce the amount of income tax you pay every year.

Here are seven tax benefits for homeowners.

1. Homebuyer tax credits

If you purchase your first home before April 30, 2010, you’re entitled to a tax credit of up to $8,000. If you currently own a home, but sell it to purchase another home before April 30, 2010, you’re eligible for a federal tax credit of up to $6,500.

2. Deductions for loan fees

Typically, you can deduct the “prepaid interest” you paid when you got your mortgage loan. That includes points, loan origination fees, and loan discount fees listed on your settlement statement, even if the seller paid those fees for you. Each time you refinance your home, you can deduct prepaid interest fees.

However, you must meet certain requirements to take the prepaid interest deductions when you purchase or refinance your home. Check with your accountant to be sure you’re following the rules.

3. Property tax deductions

In the year you purchase your home, you’re entitled to deduct the real estate taxes you paid at the closing table. You can continue to deduct the property taxes you pay each year.

4. The mortgage interest deduction

Every year, you can deduct the amount of interest and late charges you pay on your mortgage and home equity loans, though there are limitations. If you’re required to purchase private mortgage insurance (PMI) because you made a downpayment of less than 20% on your home, you can also deduct those premiums as mortgage interest expenses.

5. Home office expenses

If you have a home office you use only for business, you may be eligible to deduct the prorated costs of your mortgage, insurance, and other expenses related to that space. The government scrutinizes home-office deductions closely. Be sure you’re entitled to the deductions before claiming them.

6. The costs of selling your home

In the year you sell your home, you can deduct the costs of selling it, including real estate commissions, title insurance, legal fees, advertising, administrative costs, and inspection fees. You can also deduct decorating or repair costs you incur in the 90 days before you sell your home.

7. The gain on your home

If you lived in your home for at least two of the previous five years before you sell it, the government lets you to take up to $250,000 of profit on the sale of your home tax free. That amount is doubled for married couples. This deduction isn’t available on rental or second homes.

 

The government also allows you to subtract from your home sale profit any amounts you spend on improvements, such as window replacement, siding, or a kitchen remodel. Those deductions are in addition to the tax credits you can receive in 2010 for making energy-saving upgrades. Money invested for routine maintenance and repairs doesn’t count.

 

This article includes general information about tax laws and consequences, but is not intended to be relied upon as tax or legal advice applicable to particular transactions or circumstances. Consult a tax professional for such advice; tax laws vary by jurisdiction.

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Halloween Safety Tips for Dogs:

Halloween is a fun time for children and adults alike!  With costume parties, trick or treating, and candy floating around everywhere, what starts out as great fun for us humans, can quickly turn dangerous or downright spooky for our four-legged friends.  So whether you plan to hand-out candy or throw a costume party (or both), here are a few tips to keep you and your pet safe and sane this Halloween:

  • Make sure your pet has a safe place to go:
    • Keep your pet indoors during Trick or Treating time:
      • Don’t leave them outside in the yard un-attended on Halloween—Not only can dogs be afraid of costumed children, but may be stressed out by all of the people walking through the neighborhood.  So for the safety of both your pet and the trick-or-treaters, (and your homeowners insurance policy), keep dogs inside during the brunt of any Halloween-type activities.
    • Keep dogs in room away from the front door or in their crate during trick-or treating hours.
      • Put them away ½ hour before trick or treaters are scheduled to arrive.  Remember that while you may be an animal person, not everyone is.  And beware of mischievous children who may be inclined to play pranks on pets for Devil’s Night (the night before Halloween).
        • Be especially cautious to secure your black cats inside on Halloween night and the vicinity as there have been records of black cats targeted by pranksters around this time.
      • Provide a toy or Kong filled with peanut butter to keep pups busy while the festivities are going on!
  • No candy for the fur kids!
    • Ok, I know that we dog people harp on this all the time, but candy and all forms/types of chocolate are dangerous to dogs.  Especially dark chocolate, which contains more Theobromide (the substance in chocolate which is actually toxic to dogs) than milk chocolate.   So keep it out of the reach of nosy pets!
    • And while many people know that actual people candy is not good for dogs, lots more forget that candy wrappers, foil and lollipop sticks can be choking hazards, so be cautious of those too.
  • Costume Fun!
    • While it might be fun for us to dress up, our pets may not think the same thing, so monitor your dog’s stress level and keep him/her supervised while in costume – a festive bandana could be a much more preferred option for your furry friend!
  • Candles & decorations
    • Keep candles out of your pets reach to prevent burns, singed fur and/or fires.  A festive candle on a coffee table can easily be knocked over by an exuberant tail wag!  (Trust me, I own a Golden Retriever mix. . .I know!)
    • Also be cognizant of wires, loose decorations, or small pieces which attach to your costume– to your dog these are all just new, fun chew-toys!

We at Philly Unleashed hope you and your pets have a fun & safe Howl-O-Ween!


Nicole Larocco, CPDT

Philly Unleashed Dog Training

215.850.9745

www.phillyunleashed.com

nicole@phillyunleashed.com


A Word from our Engineer on Energy Efficiency

A Word from our Engineer on Energy Efficiency

For those of you who know ally Harris Gross from Engineers for Home Inspections, then you know he knows his stuff about making “home” a better place to live!

Thanks Harris for answering some common questions that homeowners have about energy efficiency.  Harris truly loves what he does and for an engineer he is very chatty, so if you have more questions after you read this I’m sure Harris would like to hear from you!

1.  With energy prices so high, what are some (cheap!) ways to make my home more energy-efficient?

a.  Seal the gaps around any holes in the ceiling.  When you take an outlet cover plate off, usually a gap around the junction box is obvious.  Well for each light fixture in the ceiling, this same gap is present.  Other places such gaps exist are around smoke detectors, bathroom exhaust fans, etc.  A 1/8” gap around the perimeter of a junction box equates to a 1.5” x 1.5” hole in the ceiling, per box.  With 10 boxes, that’s a big hole in your ceiling.  Gaps can
be sealed with caulk, good tape, etc.

b.  Seal the holes in your ductwork with aluminum backed (foil) tape.  This prevents 20 to 40% of the expensive conditioned air from escaping into your utility area, crawl space or attic and brings it to the living area, where it
should be.

c.  Insulate the ductwork and HVAC unit.  This will GREATLY improve the operating efficiency of your system.  The cost of insulation will be paid back quickly with lower heating and cooling costs and a more comfortable living area.  Fiberglass insulation is great on the ducts but only use aluminum backed (no paper-backed) insulation around the furnace (do not cover any vent holes).  Also, don’t insulate the hot round pipe (flue) coming from the unit.  ITS AS EASY AS WRAPPING A PACKAGE!  A MUST for those with duct work and HVAC units in attics, crawl spaces or chilly areas.

2.  What should I be looking for proactively in my home every winter to ensure that my home is energy-efficient?  This might include my furnace, windows, insulation.

Once your home is made energy-efficient, keeping the home efficient is easy.  All it takes is a review of the steps you’ve already taken to ensure everything is working correctly.  Don’t be afraid to blow out a match to see which way smokes travels (to pick up the direction of the air flow) or to run your hand along a wall to check for cold spots.  Our country has an energy crisis and 40 % of the country’s energy use is in the home!

If your home has radiator heat, it’s a must to “bleed” the system of air at least once per season.

3.  What is the future of energy efficiency and the cost(s) associated with it?

The future of energy efficiency is pushed, or not pushed, by the cost of energy.  If the cost of existing energy is low, then slow strides will be made to improve energy efficiency.  If energy costs are high, then there is a lot of motivation to improve.  LED bulbs are the next wave.  They run on very little energy and have a lot of light.  90 % of
the energy of an incandescent bulb is lost to heat.

Currently, we have 95 % efficient heaters that are very available.  This means $0.95 of every $1 is used to generate heat.  If you have a 65 % efficient heater, as a lot are, then you get only $0.65.  So to calculate your payback, if you spend an average of $100 per month on heat, you can save $30/month with a new high
efficiency heater.

 

For more information you can find Harris on Facebook, “Harris Gross”…

Be sure to check out his “Things you don’t see often”!!

Harris Gross ~ Engineers for Home Inspections

~ www.engineersforhomeinspection.com ~

~ (215) 510-5008 ~ engforhomeinsp@aol.com ~

 

Ally Spotlight: “What is a Public Adjuster?” Mike Z – Resolve Adjustment

What is a Public Adjuster?

by

 

As a public adjuster I represent you the policyholder when you have an insurance claim. I’m your advocate.  A public adjusters must be licensed by state departments of insurance. I will appraise the damage, prepare an estimate and other claim documentation, read your insurance policy to determine coverage, and negotiate with your insurance company’s adjuster on your behalf.  I will handle the entire claims process for you

 

Through the course of buying a home or renting an apartment many people purchase either homeowner’s insurance policy or a renter’s insurance policy.  These policies are complex contracts between you and the insurance company you purchased them from.  They are filled with complicated language,exclusions, limitations and responsibilities of the policyholder (you).  In most cases these policies should provide coverage to you for a variety of different losses such as:  fire, wind, smoke, water, theft and vandalism.

 

Many people assume after they sustain such a loss they should call their insurance company and report a claim.  They also assume that their  insurance company actually has their (the policyholder) best interest in mind.  It is my opinion, and it has been my experience after working in the insurance industry for the last 13 years that this simply isn’t true.  Insurance companies will do everything possible to either deny your claim OR pay the least amount of money possible.  They have knowledgeable expert adjusters working on their side, who do you have working on your side?  Hire me – a public adjuster.

 

Do I have to use a public adjuster when you have a claim?

 

Your policy does not require you to use a public adjuster when reporting a claim.  However, it has been my experience that insurance companies settle claims with unrepresented policy holders for significantly less than they do if a policy holder has a public adjuster.

 

How does a public adjuster get paid?

 

I’m paid a percentage of the settlement I recover from your insurance company.  If I don’t recovery anything then I am not paid anything.

 

If I can ever be of any assistance please give me a call.  All consultations are free without ANY obligation.

 

Sincerely,

Michael Zielanski

Resolve Adjustment, LLC

B: 215.352.5202

C: 215.669.5671

F: 215.701.4337

mikez@resolveadjustment.com

www.resolveadjustment.com

 

‎”Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve” ~ Benjamin Franklin

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