Perks of Owning a Second Residence
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With the snowfall of the season that happened just last week, it’s fair to say that cold weather is beginning to spread through the northern United States. If you’re a year-round Floridian, you know this is the season where the snowbirds come down to reclaim their role as our neighbors, and if you’re a snowbird yourself, you’ll probably be making your way down to the sunny South any day now. Absentee homeowners make up a big part of the Florida community. If you’re a Northerner and are wondering if the snowbird lifestyle is for you, keep reading this blog for what it means and what you’ll get from owning a second residence.

Tax Benefits

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Realtor.com highlights surprising benefits that come with owning a second home:

  1. Mortgage Interest: “When it comes to owning a second home, the interest on your mortgage is deductible. In fact, you can write off as much as 100% of the interest you pay on up to $1 million of debt, which includes total debt taken on to pay for both homes, as well as money spent on improving the properties.”

  2. Home Improvements: “You can deduct the interest on a home equity loan or line of credit. But there are a couple of exceptions. For starters, there will be a limit on the amount you can deduct if the home equity loan on your main or second home is more than $50,000 if filing single or $100,000 if married or filing jointly. Second, the amount you can deduct has a limit if the mortgage is more than the fair market value of the home.”

  3. Property Taxes: “You can also deduct your second home's property taxes, which are based on the assessed value of the home. Unlike the mortgage interest tax deduction, there’s no dollar limit on the amount of real estate taxes that can be deducted on any number of homes owned by the taxpayer.”

  4. When it’s Time to Sell: “You don't already know which of your homes is your primary residence and which is the second home—now's the time to figure it out. Distinguishing between the two can have big tax implications when it comes time to sell. That's because a capital gain of up to $250,000 (or $500,000 for taxpayers who are married/joint filers) on the sale of the principal residence may be excluded from taxable income. Your principal—or primary—residence is the home you used most during the five years prior to the sale. But other factors—such as your job's location, voter registration address, and banking location—could also come into play. Among other requirements, you must own and use that principal residence for at least two of the five years before the home is sold.”

Opportunities for Extra Income

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With two residences, you’ll obviously be living in one home at a time, meaning you’ll now have the ability to rent out one of your residences. You can either rent it out the old fashioned way, or list your home on a website like Airbnb that’s popular among millenials and people looking for more homey, authentic lodging options. If you choose the former, check out this Investopedia article for tips on how to rent right. As for the Airbnb route, a popular website like that can be intimidating to tackle, but once you get the hang of it, it’s a great brand to be a part of. Here’s a step-by-step guide to teach you how to list your home on Airbnb.

Weather Upgrade

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Having a residence in south Florida has one outstanding perk: sunny weather & a place to escape the cold. Check out one of our many city guide blogs that we’ve published in the past to get to know different areas. Also, we here at Collins & Company offer top-of-the-line services for absentee homeowners, from property management to property watch.

Give us a call to learn more about our services or just for general advice on this process!

Monthly Happenings in South Florida
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South Florida is and always has been such a diverse area, one that we here at Collins and Company are proud to serve. For residents and visitors alike, there is so much to do here all year round, all up and down the coast, from West Palm Beach to Fort Lauderdale. With so much happening spanning over such a large region, it can be hard to keep up with what’s going on. In this week’s blog, we’re helping you sort through that long list of potential activities by outlining some of the best ones in various cities al throughout the month of November.


For the Sports Lovers…

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(Photo via Chris Evert Raymond James Pro-Celebrity Tennis Classic gallery)

Chris Evert Raymond James Pro-Celebrity Tennis Classic

When: November 9th-11th

Where: Delray Beach Tennis Center

What: Recognize any of these famous faces? Every year, tennis legend Chris Evert puts on a 3-day tournament in our very own Delray Beach along with some of her famous friends, playing for a variety of charities like Make A Wish and American AIDS Association. This year, celebrities include Seal, Jon Lovitz, and many more. Visit their website here for more information and how to get tickets.


For Those Looking to Lend a Hand...

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City of Boynton Beach Park Clean-Up

When: Saturday, November 17th at 12 P.M.

Where: Barrier Free Park

What: Each month, The Florida Division of the Side Project Action & Advisory Committee encourages south Florida community members to clean up various parks around the Boynton Beach area, and this month it’s the beautiful Barrier Free Park. A cute and quaint little park that’s perfect for kids, heading out to partake in this clean-up would be a great activity for the whole family; you can play in the park after clean up is done! Click here for more information.


For Those Looking to Spend Some Time in Nature…

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Sunset Boardwalk Hike

When: Monday, November 19th at 4:30 P.M.

Where: Grassy Waters Preserve

What: In south Florida’s November, the weather starts to cool down, and being outside becomes much more enjoyable. Why not spend a cool, fall night hiking to a beautiful spot to enjoy the sunset? According to the city’s website, on this hike you won’t only be enjoying the sunset, but will also be able to watch various birds fly around and have plenty of opportunities to take stunning nature photographs. Click here for more information.


To get into the Holiday Spirit…

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Holiday Tree Lighting

When: Wednesday, November 21 from 5:30-9:30 P.M.

Where: Mizner Park Amphitheater

What: If you’ve ever been to Mizner Park during the holidays, one of the first things you probably notice is the big & tall Christmas tree positioned right at the end of the park. It’s a great sight to see for families any day, but how about attending the actual lighting ceremony this year? There will also be fireworks, carolers, Santa photos, and much more! It’ll be a spectacle for the kids, and just as magical for the adults. Click here for more information.

If you’re Looking for Great Entertainment…

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(Photo via Elton John Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour)

Elton John Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour

When: Friday, November 23 at 7 P.M

Where: BB&T Center

What: Making a stop right here in south Florida on his very last tour is none other than music legend Elton John! Whatever age you are, you know Elton John was an integral part of the 70s and 80s music era, and seeing him in concert would satisfy fans of all ages. Check this one off your bucket list by clicking here to for more information on how to see this legend in concert.

Happy November!

Halloween Home Essentials
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No matter what age you are, it’s certain that any age can get into the Halloween spirit. It’s a time to have fun, be anything you want, and get you eased into the fall season. If you haven’t already, the best way to celebrate the spooky season is to decorate the house, and that goes if you’re a sophisticated adult or have young children (or are just a kid-at-heart). There are ghostly decorations for every Halloween personality- that’s why we’ve written this blog to inspire you this Halloween season.


For the Refined Adult…

(Because you can still be classy and have amazing Halloween decorations)

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(Photo via autumnleaves-haunteddreams.tumblr.com )

Autumnal Decor Pieces

Plaid, cozy colored decor pieces like throw pillows and blankets are easy additions that can be bought virtually at any store that sells home goods. And best of all- they’re so easy! Just throw them on top of your sofa or armchair in your home and you’re good to go.



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(Photo via http://araee.tumblr.com )

Candles!

One of the best things about this time of year is the abundance of fall scents that come in candles. From wonderful smelling desserts like pumpkin pie to more outdoorsy scents like autumn leaves, lighting an autumnal candle can get anyone’s home smelling like the fall/Halloween season.


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(Photo via Pinterest)

Pumpkins on the Porch

Pumpkins are a staple of this season; scattering some of these around the house, on coffee tables, countertops, or just on your porch can instantly make your home a little more Halloween-ey. You can find some at almost any grocery store this time of year, or, if you’re feeling a little more adventurous, pick some up at a local pumpkin patch (yes, even Florida has these).


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(Photo via homedit.com )

Lighting it up

Just like in this picture, grabbing some orange, purple, or white string lights and placing them wherever - your lampposts, trees, windows- can instantly give your home a spooky, sophisticated appearance.


For Young Families…

(Or just kids-at-heart)


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(Photo via Pinterest)

Carved Pumpkin

This one serves not only as an adorable, kid-friendly Halloween decoration, but it’s a great seasonal activity to do as a family. Your finished products can hang out proudly on your front porches or in a window!


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(Photo via photos-public-domain.com )

Front Yard Eye-Catchers

Grab some of those fun, blown up front yard decorations with your kids. It’s fun for them to pick out their favorite, whether it be a spooky black cat or an eerie ghost.


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(Photo via mymodernmet.com )

Do-It-Yourself Ideas

Have a welcome mat that sits outside your front door all year? Take on a fun DIY project with your kids to get creative with simple household items like in this picture. You can also cut out Halloween themes from felt (like bats or witch hats) and paste them on outdoor mats or pillows.
                  

Happy Halloween from Collins & Company!