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What Are Property Taxes?

Property taxes are necessary and anyone that owns a home or property must pay them. There are different taxes in regards to the property that is owned. For instance, there are specific property taxes for improvements to land which are properties that are man-made and cannot be moved which usually include buildings, then there are specific property taxes for land properties, there are also certain property taxes for personal property which include man-made properties that are able to be moved, and then other property taxes for intangible properties which are incorporeal properties. A special assessment tax is not the same thing as a property tax, a special assessment tax is a charge that is enforced by the government in regards to public projects that include any type of real estate parcel. Property taxes are usually stated in a percentage form and can be calculated simply by taking the entire assessed property value and then multiplying that by 1,000. Along with percentage rates, property taxes are given in the form of per mil which is the rate in thousandths. The reality is that property taxes are not the same in every country and each country has different rules and regulations for property taxes. For instance, the country Greece has 5 different property taxes, while the country Australia has property taxes that are referred to as property or land rates. Countries such as Hong Kong has a property tax that is actually classified as an income tax and in the United Kingdom, there is no property taxes on residential properties. In the United States, property taxes are determined by the government, either at the municipal or county level. The property taxes in the United States are usually around .2% to .4% of the value of the property or home. Property taxes in the United States go to the supporting of things such as free medical care, police, fire, schools and much more READ MORE

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Lawn and Garden Improvements

Lawn and garden improvements are one of the most beneficial things that you can do to preserve the longevity of your home as well as to improve its curb appeal if you are looking to sell or rent. Lawn and garden improvements are sometimes overlooked by home owners and the truth is that they make a big impact on the value of any home. The lawn and garden are one of the first things that visitors see when they come to any home and they also make a lasting impression when they leave a home. The best way to improve your lawn and garden is to firstly, clean it up! Make sure to get rid of any loose shrubs or dying plants. There is nothing more unsightly than an overgrown in garden or lawn. This makes the entire home look unkempt, even if it is not. It is best to either hire a gardener to just clean everything up or do it yourself. Pull out weeds, water the grass and cut down trees ensuring they look tidy. With lawn and garden care, less is usually more. You don’t have to plant tons of flowers and plants, you just have to make sure that there at least is grass growing and the area looks clean. The next way to improve your garden and lawn is to invest in some rocks or fencing. Things like fencing or rocks are quick ways to turn a simple garden into a work of art. Fencing is important because it has a practical appeal as well as a decorative appeal and rocks look nice when placed in a garden or lawn. Another great way to improve your garden or lawn is to invest in some inexpensive lawn lighting. There are many lights that can be placed directly onto the lawn that look amazing when lit at night, they are great for visitors because they light the path and they are also a good marker for where the lawn starts and where the sidewalk begins. READ MORE

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What Not to Do When Selling a Home

When selling a home, it is vital that certain steps are completed, while it is advisable that other steps are not. In terms of selling your home, there are many things that can actually hinder your home sale itself and that will significantly hurt you and your bank account in the long term. The first thing that you must never do when selling a home is to have your pets around when prospective buyers are walking through your home. While your pets may be cute, not every prospective buyer will think so, and furthermore, if you have your pet around during the walk-thru process, the prospective buyer might not be able to think clearly about the sale and get frustrated or off track. Overall, it is best to keep pets out of sight when prospective buyers are looking in your home. The next thing that is absolutely detrimental to a home sale is stale smells, or otherwise, nasty odors throughout your home. Not only is it important that your home appears spotless when you are trying to sell it, but it is also important that it smells fresh and clean as well. Make sure there are no cigarette smoke odors, pet odors, or even worse, mildew odors lurking in your home while prospective buyers are there or it could negatively influence the sale. The next thing never to do when trying to sell your home is for the seller to follow prospective buyers around while they look through your home. While you may be in the vicinity, it is in bad taste if you follow every prospective buyer around like a hawk and become their shadow. In order to make a great sale, sellers must learn to let go a little bit and give prospective buyers some room to breathe, as well as some time to realize that they do in fact want to buy your home! READ MORE

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Moving Tips When Buying or Selling a Home

Moving can be stressful, tedious as well as difficult, but it can also be pleasant, easy and quick, but it all depends on different factors that you follow when moving and preparing for your move. When moving, the best thing that you can do is just that, prepare ahead of time as much as possible. If you prepare in advance, you will notice that your moving time is cut instantly in half. The way to prepare your move early is to start by selling off anything that you don’t need or want. Give anything that you don’t need or want away or have a garage sale and just get rid of it. This applies to clothing, kid’s toys, makeup and hair products as well as old cooking supplies and broken appliances. There is no reason to move anything that you do not use currently or don’t plan to use in the future. You will notice that when you get rid of everything that you don’t need or even want, your moving time and stress will be cut significantly. Another way that you can make the entire moving process easier is by starting early with boxing things. Start taking things off of the walls at least a week before you move. Box decorative items and label them, and this goes for off season clothing as well. The more you do beforehand, the less you will have to do on moving day. Another way to cut your moving time in half is to label everything. Label all boxes and organize what you are moving. Keep things together such as all kitchen supplies in the same few boxes and all the pet supplies in the same box as well. The more organization that goes into exactly what you are moving, the easier it will be when you unpack and move into your new place. These tips will make moving much, much easier and quicker than you ever thought possible. READ MORE

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Waterfront Properties For Sale in Maine

Maine is a beautiful area to live and primarily because of all the wonderful waterfront properties that are available within the real estate sector. Maine is home to very unique coastal properties as well as lakefront properties that are perfect for a wide variety of individuals that appreciate nature and splendor. These waterfront properties in Maine offer a high level of distinction from the rest of the properties in the area and there are many different types of waterfront properties in Maine that range from inexpensive to extremely lavish. Some waterfront properties in Maine include properties in Mooselookmeguntic Lake which are very reasonably priced, waterfront vacation rentals, properties that sit next to a river or stream, luxurious waterfront estates that are large and hold amazing amenities, coastal properties, island properties, properties that are close to a pond and much, much more. A wonderful aspect about waterfront properties in Maine is the fact that not only is there water in its wonderful sparkling beauty, but also pine trees that shade and offer an extra added benefit of being among nature’s bounty. The peaceful serenity that one will be able to have living in a waterfront property in Maine is unparallel and fantastic. Choose from homes as well as condos within the abundance of waterfront property offered in Maine. Some of the waterfront developments are brand new and some offered hold a significant historical value. There is a perfect waterfront property in Maine for whatever you choose, since there is so much to pick from. Many of the waterfront properties are located within a stone’s throw from the water and the air quality is significantly cleaner and fresher than in other areas of Maine farther from the water. Take a look at what gorgeous waterfront properties are available in Maine today! READ MORE

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Improving Curb Appeal

If you are looking for an easy way to improve the look and appearance of your home, then you might want to improve your curb appeal with a few tried and trusted techniques. The reality is that improving the curb appeal on your home will dramatically change the way that potential buyers view your home. One of the easiest ways to improve the curb appeal on your home is to add detail to your driveway. The driveway to a home is the quickest way to add appeal. Simply add an edge to your driveway for the ultimate makeover. Use stones or bricks or even add a few lights to line the driveway all the way leading up to your home. This small detail makes a very big difference in the overall look and feel of your home. Another great way to improve the curb appeal on your home is to plant flowers in all open areas around your home. Flowers and plants add an immediate softer and more appealing look easily and quickly. Invest in flowers and plants that are colorful and dynamic for the best curb appeal. An alternative way to instantly add curb appeal that might be a little bit more of an investment, but definitely worth it is to replace your front door with an updated and modern door. The entrance to your home is the first impression of the feel that people will get when they walk up to your home and it is very important that the door to your home is both inviting and updated adding to a fantastic updated curb appeal. Lastly, an easy and inexpensive way to add instant curb appeal is to change up your mailbox. Invest in a new, updated mailbox that is both attractive and appealing. Overall, adding curb appeal can be both inexpensive and simple if you pay attention to the details and create an inviting sentiment right off the bat. READ MORE

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Maine Home Buyer Tax Credits

These days, there are amazing tax credits for a lot concerning the real estate industry. Namely, the first-time home buyer tax credit as an exceptional tax credit for first-time home buyers. The first-time home buyer tax credit for 2012 includes getting 20% of the interest that you pay back every year for the next 30 years. The 2012 home buyer tax credit is actually better than the home buyer tax credit that has been offered in previous years. And, it is important to have the knowledge of any tax credits because this will weigh in on how much buyers are willing to spend on a home taking the tax credit into consideration. There are many benefits for the tax credits offered and they include reducing the liability of federal income tax for the homebuyer, giving the homebuyer more money to use on the purchase of a home. The other benefits include giving a Maine homebuyer access to more money each month, thus lessening debt and other issues that may arise from a larger purchase, and the tax credit can be utilized with any type of mortgage that also includes adjustable rate mortgages. But, this tax credit cannot be used with tax-exempt bond programs. The tax credit can be claimed for as long as the buyer lives in their home, given that they pay interest on the mortgage loan and that they purchased it as their primary residence. There are certain qualifications and specifications that must be met in order for homebuyers to receive this great tax credit. Certain regulations include buying a home within a certain specified area of Maine, be an eligible borrower as showcased by the MCC program fact sheet, not be using the home as a business or a place for trade, the buyer must purchase the home as their primary residence, the price of the home purchase must not exceed certain limits, as well as many more. All in all, this specific tax credit will save a first-time homebuyer a wealth of money over the years and is very beneficial for all parties involved. READ MORE