Signs You Need To Hire Property Managers

Owning rental property is a smart investment. It may seem like purchasing several properties, finding responsible tenants, and reaping the financial rewards will be easy, but you may quickly realize that it may be more complicated than you thought. Marketing your property, selecting tenants, maintaining your property, and meeting property laws can be overwhelming. While you may try to handle all the tasks on your own, you are not likely to do them as professionally as required. If you are feeling overcome by all the new to-dos on your list, it’s time to hire a property manager. A good property manager can be a worthwhile investment for you and your investments. Here are some of the benefits you will see from taking this step.

Prompt Response to Repairs

When you hire property managers in Austin (or whichever city you live in) you gain a strong partner that can help with repair requests. When a landlord doesn’t have time to address repair tasks in a timely manner, tenants can become upset. Leaving repairs unattended for a long time can also be costly. Not only could you risk losing your tenants but your property could experience damage. Save yourself time and money by hiring a property manager.

Managing Multiple Properties

Owning multiple rental properties can be a great way to build your wealth but, if you find yourself overwhelmed or strapped for time it may be a sign that you need a property management company to assist you. You can hire the company to attend to all your rental properties, without compromising any of them. Property managers can keep tabs on multiple sites much easier than one landlord can. They can find the right tenants and make sure the parking lots and landscaping are maintained too. They provide multiple checks and balances to keep up your investment.

They Can Help You Find New Properties

Building your financial portfolio is crucial for continued growth. If you hire the right property management company, they can even help you watch for new investment opportunities. Austin Luxury Realty is an example of a team of real estate professionals that work in all aspects of the market including, buying, selling and property management.

Owning rental properties is a great idea. However, managing them on your own without professional assistance is a lot of work. Research the property management options in your area and find a company you can trust.

The 1031 Exchange Timeframe: A Guide for Businesses

Investing in real estate seems like a great way to build wealth. There are dozens of stories that still tout real estate investing as the best way to make money.

At the same time, there are a lot of unknowns and a lot of risks. There are also capital gains taxes and other tax rules to navigate. Those taxes could eat up a good percentage of your profits.

You can use a 1031 exchange, but you have to do so within the rules and timeframe. Read on to learn more about this option and the 1031 exchange timeframe so your transactions are successful.

Why Use 1031 Exchange?

When you sell a real estate property, there’s a good chance that you’ll sell it for a price that’s higher than what you bought it for. Housing prices have been going up over the last few years, making it likely that you’ll see a profit.

That profit is called capital gains.

The IRS requires that you pay taxes on capital gains, whether it’s for a real estate investment, stocks, bonds, or artwork.

How much taxes you need to pay depends on how long you hold on to the asset and which income tax bracket you’re in.

If you only hold on to a property for a year, the capital gains will be higher, up to 37%. The capital gains maximum tax rate is 20% for assets held for over a year because it’s considered to be a long-term investment.

The IRS code has a section, called section 1031 that allows you to defer capital gains taxes for real estate sales. You roll the proceeds of the sale of your property into another property.

1031 Exchange Timeframe and Rules

A 1031 exchange might seem like a great way to avoid taxes. You only get to defer taxes, not avoid paying them altogether. You would have to keep buying replacement properties if you wanted to avoid paying taxes altogether.

Think of a 1031 exchange as a tool that you can use to lower your tax burden. You can be strategic about when to use it and when you should realize the capital gains and pay taxes on them.

In order to make a 1031 exchange work, you have to have the transactions meet the IRS’ requirements and all within their timelines. Here are the main rules and the 1031 timeframe.

Property Must Be Like-Kind

The first rule to know about 1031 exchanges is that the properties have to be like-kind. There is a lot of leeway around this. You can have an empty lot and exchange it for a multi-family home.

The value of the properties does need to have a similar value or the replacement property has to have a higher value.

You might be wondering why you haven’t heard of this option as a homeowner who’s bought and sold properties. A 1031 exchange only applies to properties that are for business or investment purposes only.

A residential property does not qualify, like your primary residence or vacation home.

1031 Exchange Timeframe

The 1031 timeline is often the most challenging part of the entire transaction. You need to make sure that you understand when properties need to be identified and purchased and file the paperwork with the IRS.

When you sell your property, the timeline begins. There are 45 calendar days to find a replacement property. You then have 180 calendar days from the sale of your property to close on the sale of the replacement property.

If you purchase sell a property and April 15th (or whichever day is Tax Day) falls within the 180 day period, you have to complete the purchase by April 15th.

If it’s impossible to close the deal in a shorter timeframe, you can file a tax extension. If you owe other taxes, you still have to pay what you owe by April 15th. If you file an extension and pay your taxes later, you will be charged penalties and interest.

You Can’t Do a 1031 Exchange by Yourself

As you can tell, there are a lot of potential issues with a 1031 exchange. If you miss any of the deadlines, you will have to pay capital gains taxes.

You have to use a firm, or a person called a qualified intermediary. They are the holders of the proceeds of the sale of your initial property and help you handle the paperwork required.

The thing to remember is that they handle the money. The moment any funds from the sale of the property are in your hands, you have to pay taxes on them.

What Happens When You Want to Exit Real Estate?

For many property owners, they’re doing the maintenance and management of the properties themselves. Being a landlord is challenging.

At some point, you’re going to want to get out of real estate. Do you sell your properties altogether and pay capital gains taxes?

There may be a way to realize the benefits of a 1031 exchange, retire as a landlord, and see regular real estate income. That’s through a Delaware Statutory Trust or DST. These reasons explain why you want to explore this option.

Understanding Capital Gains Deferments

Taxes are complicated. They’re even more complicated when you’re dealing with investments like real estate. You can defer your real estate capital gains by leveraging a 1031 exchange. This lets you sell one property and purchase another without paying capital gains taxes right away.

You have to understand the 1031 exchange timeframe. If you can remember 45 days and 180 days, that’s half the battle. If Tax Day, falls in the middle of 180 days, do everything you can to finalize the purchase by then.

Keep checking this site for more great business tips and articles.

Happy Holidays – 5 Cooking Tips To Ensure This Holiday Season Is Stress-Free

Is your kitchen at Christmas usually more scary than merry? More aggressive than festive? There’s no need to toot steam just yet because we’re here to help! Let us help you enjoy the relaxed, stress-free meal-making you deserve during the holidays with these handy five cooking tips:

Make Life Easier For Yourself With The Best Cooking Gear

There’s no need for fancy gadgets, but there’s much to be said for high-quality equipment that makes your life as easy as possible when you’re cooking up a storm for family and friends at Christmas. Switch out any rubbish cooking accessories for sturdy, reliable cookware so you know at the very least even if you lose your temper, you won’t lose time or energy with unreliable kitchenware. 

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening my axe,” – Abraham Lincoln 

Hopefully, you won’t have to sharpen any axes this Christmas, but you can ensure that you prepare in full for the hefty task ahead. Tasks like vegetable peeling and cutting, parboiling, searing off, blending and seasoning can all be done ahead of time. The more that is ready to be reheated or cooked, the easier the process will be on the day. 

Become A Timing Ninja

You’ve got your delicious recipes sorted, your organic veggies prepped, your main course roasting, so what can go wrong? Unfortunately, despite the fact that 98% of Americans prefer to prepare and cook at home, that doesn’t guarantee that the results will be any good. The easiest thing to go wrong is the timing. A few minutes too long, and the fondant is just a cake, the veggies are mushy and grey, the gravy is congealed, and the meat is so cremated you’re inspired to bow your head and say a few words. Take the stress away from spinning all the plates by writing down a timing plan for the food you know will work. 

Stop Trying To Please Everyone

If you’re guilty of trying to please everyone and their dog, then you’ll find yourself getting so stressed during this multi-tasking extravaganza. You won’t enjoy yourself or the people you’re around and that is the whole reason for this time together. Maybe this year could be simpler. You could consider cooking a completely new recipe everyone tries, or everyone brings their own dish to contribute, or perhaps you simply create your ideal menu and everyone either likes it or lumps it. 

Remember What Matters The Most

Statistics released a couple of years ago suggested that 31 percent of Americans find Christmas to be a frantic time, with the stress peaking at about 2 p.m. on Christmas day, which is around Christmas lunchtime for many of us. That’s a clear indicator that the cooking process for what many deem to be the most important feast of the year is a real wrinkle-maker for those creating it. Try to remember what matters most, which is that you spend quality time with your family and friends making memories. The food will come and go and be consumed so quickly, but the memories of the laughs, the smiles, will last forever. 

If you’re chef this year remember that there are plenty of ways to ensure the process isn’t so stressful that it ruins your experience. With the right tweaks, perspective and help, you can cook up a storm and enjoy yourself these upcoming holidays without burning out, or burning anything else for that matter. 

5 Tips for Selling Your Old Items on Craigslist Safely

Selling things on Craigslist can seem dicey.

After all, there have been a few high profile cases involving the website.

If you’re careful about what you’re doing, however, you can easily figure out how to sell on Craigslist safely.

So, let’s dive right in with some tips to keep you safe when you’re using the internet to sell off old goods.

  1. Use Designated Meeting Areas

Many towns have designated meeting areas, often outside of the local police department, to facilitate online sales. These areas are public and quite safe in virtually all cases.

Even if you’re not meeting at a designated place you should meet somewhere public and never invite an unknown buyer to your home.

  1. Plan Ahead

You should always plan ahead. Make sure that you have the time and place set up well in advance of the sale.

Knowing where you’ll be headed afterwards is a good idea, as is making sure that people close to you know that you’re on your way to make a sale. The more people who know where you’re at the better.

  1. Bring Along a Friend

There’s safety in numbers and bringing along a friend to the sale is one of the best ways to make sure that you walk away from the transaction without any difficulties. Even if someone is up to something shady they may think twice if there’s more than one person there.

Some sales will even pretty much require it, if you’re selling a vehicle for instance you’ll likely need a ride after.

  1. Trust Your Gut

If something about the buyer feels off then just wait for another buyer to come along. While it may not always be right, it’s much better to err on the side of caution when you’re meeting a buyer.

This is doubly true with a relatively anonymous platform such as Craigslist.

If you have doubts, back out.

  1. Don’t Give Out Personal Information

Craigslist allows for proxy e-mails, so you should use them. You should also avoid giving out too much personal information such as where you live or work. Really all the buyer needs is a first name and the details of when and where the transaction is going to take place.

For expensive items it’s a good idea to double down on security. Simple things like removing the geotag from your pictures and making sure the photo isn’t in an easily recognizable area can keep you safe from more sophisticated thieves.

So, You Know How to Sell on Craigslist Safely

Craigslist is a wonderful tool so knowing how to sell on Craigslist safely is important for those looking to offload old items.

The beauty of the site lies in the extensive reach it has and the ease of use for those who want to sell things. That same quality makes it an ideal target for thieves however.

So, the next time you need to get rid of some items you can definitely try Craigslist despite its reputation. Just do it safely!

3 Reasons Why Your Business Should Transition To Solar Already

It’s no secret the renewable energy market is booming. You’ve seen the ads and I’m sure you’ve read the articles— solar, wind, and hydroelectric power are the energies of the future.

According to the IEA’s Renewables 2019 market report over the next five years, the renewable energy market is expected to grow by over 50%. The largest component of that growth, over 60%, coming from solar.

So what are you waiting for, it’s time to transition your business to solar already. 

Return on Investment (ROI)

In the past, arguments around going green and expanding the use of solar energy were based on moral standings. It’s the right thing to do socially and environmentally. Now, however, things have changed. 

With the increasing efficiency of solar panels, falling costs and a significant federal tax credit, solar is now a solid investment for your business with the potential for significant ROI.  

Until the end of 2019, the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is worth 30% of your total system cost. After that, the credit falls to 26% in 2020, 22% in 2021, and just 10% for 2022 and beyond. 

Now is the time to invest in solar for your business before you miss out on savings from the federal government.

State and local tax credits are also available in the U.S, depending on your location. With the increased efficiency of panels, falling installation costs and significantly associated tax breaks, solar—now more than ever— is a solid investment for your business.

In the past, payback periods—the period it takes to recoup your initial investment—was almost a decade long for solar installation. Today, companies can recoup their costs on an average of just 8 years. 

Solar now, more than ever, is a solid ROI proposal.

LEED Certification

Getting certified as a leader in going green can be huge for any business owner. Not only is it great for your business’s reputation, but it can help attract valuable employees. 

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design or LEED Certification was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to recognize leadership in environmental responsibility. It is known as the best certification in the industry.

Back in 1993, senior scientist Robert K. Watson of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) campaigned for and then helped develop the certification as a way to push businesses into sustainability.

Today, the LEED certification is well-respected and can really help a company’s bottom line by attracting new customers and solid employees. 

Easy Financing For Green Energy Production

Perhaps the number one reason to go green now and install solar panels for your business is the ease of financing. Commercial real estate lenders are now offering great deals to install solar panels at small and medium-sized businesses. 

In the past, commercial real estate loans rarely involved renewable energy, but now there are a plethora of options that have led to quality results for real companies. 

While the average commercial lender may avoid situations where banks have refused funding or construction has been halted, many renewable energy lenders are willing to take the risk. This is because they know the ROI and savings from the product make borrowers more likely to make their payments. 

If you are a small business, taking advantage of low rates and quality lenders can help accelerate your business into the 21st century. 

Clearly, now is the time to transition to solar. With tax credits expiring and new innovations driving price reduction in the market the ROI for solar panel installation is better than ever. 

So, what are you waiting for…go solar today!

How to Use Your Paycheck to Pay for Independent Health Insurance

Finding affordable healthcare is a major concern for many people across the country. The cost of healthcare, from regular check-ups to paying premiums is enough to keep people up at night.

When you have independent health insurance, the challenges are even greater because you’re shouldering the costs yourself.

Read on to find out how to get independent health coverage and how you use your paycheck to pay for it.

What Is Independent Health Insurance?

Independent health insurance is insurance that you get outside of your employer or your spouse’s employer’s group plan.

In some cases, you get independent supplemental insurance, which can cover some medical expenses that your health insurance doesn’t cover.

Common forms of supplemental insurance are dental and vision insurance. A lot of traditional insurance plans don’t include vision or dental coverage, so you have to seek policies that will.

How to Get Independent Health Coverage

There are ways to get independent coverage. One is through the Healthcare Exchange and the other is through private insurers.

If you’re self-employed or don’t qualify for health insurance at your place of employment, you may be eligible for insurance through the healthcare exchange. You also can’t qualify for health insurance through your spouse.

You may be in a situation where you are eligible to receive insurance through your employer, but the plan that’s offered doesn’t meet your needs. You can turn to private insurers outside of the exchange.

Supplemental insurance is also available through private insurance companies. You’ll need to shop around to find the most affordable plan that offers what you need.

Paying for Your Insurance Plan

When you get insurance through your employer, they’ll pay for part of your premium. You’ll have your share of the premium withheld from your check.

You can do the same with independent health insurance. Since you’re going outside the group plan, your employer will not pay for part of the premium. That’s on you.

You can go to your HR or payroll department and ask to have the funds withheld from your paycheck. These funds can be set aside to pay for your premiums for individual insurance.

If you’re self-employed, you may want to create pay stubs, so you know how much you need to set aside for your premiums.

If your HR or payroll department agrees to withhold funds for your health insurance premiums, you’ll want to look at your pay stubs to verify the correct amount was withheld. ThePayStubs has this rundown of payroll deduction codes, so you know what to look for on your pay stub.

An Easy Way to Pay for Independent Health Coverage

Healthcare is a complex world. The costs keep going up, making it tough to get affordable coverage that you need.

You have more options when you explore independent health insurance. This is coverage that you pay for that is for self-employed people or plans that are outside of your employer’s group plan.

The best way to pay for these premiums is to withhold the funds from your pay, making it easier to make your payments each month.

Check out this site again for more helpful financial tips.

4 Unique and Totally Fun Things to Do with Friends on a Night Out

Are you tired of doing the same things over and over again with friends? That doesn’t mean that you have to stay at home watching television.

Maybe you fancy a change from the same bars and clubs you always go to with your buddies on the weekend. Instead, you can shake up your routine.

Check out our ideas for unique and fun things to do with friends on a night out.

  1. Hold a Yard Sale Together

Over 62 percent of people say that they living paycheck to paycheck. A little extra cash can always help things.

Have you considered holding a yard sale? You may not have enough stuff cluttering your home to sell on your own. But, coming together can give you plenty to offload.

Your friend may be selling a vehicle and you might want to get rid of your book collection. You can put everything together to create quite a yard sale. Then when it’s all done, you can use your extra cash to go to brunch together!

  1. Potluck Dinner Party 

Going out to eat in restaurants can be extremely expensive. But, you could convince your friends to host a dinner party.

You can also remove the stress and strain of cooking for several people by all pulling together. When you organize a potluck, everyone brings a different dish.

Just make sure you know what everyone’s bringing. It can be a disaster when your friends all think to bring a potato salad along.

  1. Attend an Open Mic  

Have you always considered yourself a born star?

You could explore your singing talents at open mic events. There are always new open mic nights popping up around the city at cafes or bars.

Get a group of friends together to be your cheering section. They’ll love to support you while you try out a new hobby.

  1. Dance Class 

Many people say that they can’t dance. Are you one of them? You can learn how to strut your stuff on the floor by taking a dance class.

This is a great way to have fun and learn some moves with your friends. Next time you go to a club, you can all debut your new routine.

Try These Fun Things to Do with Friends

You’re probably always looking for fun things to do with friends on a night out.

This weekend, try thinking outside of the box. Instead of spending lots of money at an overpriced restaurant, head over to your friends for a potluck dinner.

Or, rather than sitting at home bored and lazy, go to tango dance classes with your friends to learn something new and have a work out at the same time.

Do you want to discover more ways that you can have fun with your buddies without breaking the bank? Then keep browsing the rest of this blog for more lifestyle tips and ideas.

Paycheck Deductions: Everything You Need to Know

Almost 70% of employees pay more in payroll taxes than they do in income taxes. This can be jarring for new workers who aren’t prepared to see money taken out of their paychecks.

Even experienced employees may know that money gets taken out, but don’t understand how much or why the money is taken out.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about paycheck deductions so you can help your employees understand their paystubs.

Deductions vs. Withholdings 

Both deductions and withholdings are taken out of gross pay before a paycheck reaches the employee. Withholdings are to pay for the employee’s Social Security and Medicare contributions.

The amount withheld from an employee’s paycheck is determined by law. An employer is required to withhold this money from their employees’ paychecks and then submit the sum to the IRS.

Deductions vary from one employee to the next, based on the benefits and donations the employee has chosen. These amounts typically include healthcare, retirement, or another special fund.

It’s also the employer’s responsibility to process deductions based on the employee’s choices. If you have a paystub processing service such as Paystubs.net, then you’ll inform them of the deduction totals. Your paystub service will then handle the withholdings and deductions for you.

Social Security and Medicare 

You’ll need to deduct FICA taxes from your employees’ paychecks. This calculation is relatively straightforward, at 15.3% of the employee’s gross pay.

Half of this percentage (7.65%) is deducted from the employee’s paycheck. Then, as the employer, you’re responsible for paying the rest.

There’s also a Medicare tax deduction for your employees who have a gross pay of $200,000 or more. These employees must pay an additional 0.9%. As the employer, you won’t have to pay an additional tax.

State Income Tax 

Not all states require their citizens to pay state income taxes. If you live in Florida, Texas, Nevada, South Dakota, Washington, or Alaska, then you won’t have to worry about this deduction.

However, the rest of the states require employers to deduct state income tax liabilities from their employees’ gross pay. Determine the percentage for your state and then calculate it based on the employee’s gross pay.

Retirement

Do you offer your employees a 401(k) or another retirement plan? If so, then you’ll want to provide your employees with the ability to deduct contributions from their paychecks. This could be a percentage of their gross pay or a set dollar amount.

Health Insurance 

Many companies provide their employees with group health plan coverage. The company will supplement the cost for its employees. Then, the employees will pay a portion.

The total amount deducted will depend on the individual plan that the employee chooses.

Process Your Paycheck Deductions

By now, you should have a clear understanding of what paycheck deductions are. This can help you process your employees’ paystubs correctly. This will keep you in compliance with both federal and state law.

Check out the business section of our blog for more helpful articles like this one.