Western Montana Real Estate

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Your Western Montana Living Resource. It’s time to start living the Montana Way.

We are your Western Montana Real Estate specialists.  With office locations in Missoula, Hamilton, Polson, Kalispell, Meadow Lake, Libby, Deer Lodge and the Southgate Mall in Missoula.

ERA Lambros Real Estate
Phone: 406-532-9200
Toll Free: 888.735.sold
Fax: 406-532-9330
http://eralambros.com
 
 
May 21, 2015 · by Gabrielle · Commercial Real Estate, Real Estate, Uncategorized

 

money_house

By Brandon Turner, BiggerPockets

I have a good friend I would like to introduce you to.

His name is Sam, but most people know him by “Uncle Sam.”

That’s right, Uncle Sam — the good ‘ol U.S.A. Now, most people don’t think of the US Government as their friend, but most people are not real estate investors. If you are, and you know how to treat Uncle Sam right, he’s got some pretty terrific benefits in store for you.

This post is going to dive deep (and I mean DEEP… with over 3,000 words) into the tax benefits of being a real estate investor. But first, the obligatory disclaimer:

I am not a CPA. I’m also not a lawyer, doctor, or your mother. I’m a monkey in a room, frantically typing out words on a keyboard trying to produce Shakespeare. This information, while I’ve spent hours and hours researching, is still just my opinion on what I’ve learned. Please consult with a qualified (and real estate-savvy) accountant before making any decisions.

That said, I did work with Amanda Han from Keystone CPA (my own amazing real estate-friendly CPA) on this article to make sure everything was legit. If you need a CPA for your business, I highly recommend Keystone CPA. They do all my taxes, and my tax-life has become 1,000x easier since I hired them.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s get into this beast-of-a-post. Extra brownie points for those who make it through the whole thing. And to help, I’ve hidden a secret message in the text that will lead you to my buried treasure on a Caribbean island.

(Okay, that’s a lie. But for those who seek to truly understand these benefits, incredible treasures ARE in store for your future because they won’t be in Uncle Sam’s pocket.) 

Let’s get to the list, and we’ll start out with the most obvious one: deductions.

1. Deductions

As a rental property owner, you are able to deduct nearly all the expenses you’ll pay to manage your property. Everything from the mortgage interest you pay on the loan all the way down to the paper you buy for your printer (if you are using that printer primarily for real estate investing purposes, that is).

Of course, I’m not sure I’d necessarily qualify this as a “huge benefit” of rental property investing because you are still having to spend the money on those items. Who cares if you can deduct the cost of paper because you own a rental property — because if you didn’t have the rental, you wouldn’t have spent the money on the paper in the first place.

However, where this deduction can come in handy are on the areas of your life that are shared with non-real estate activities. For example, if you have a home office, you may be able to deduct a portion of your home expenses (fax machine, internet bill, cell phone bill, mortgage interest, home repairs, etc.) equal to the portion that your office takes up in your house.

Or if you need to drive up to check on your rental property and swing by the grocery store on the way back, you might be able to deduct the cost of your trip using the IRS standard mileage deduction (currently 57.5 cents per mile). The benefit of this, of course, is that it’s not like you wouldn’t have those bills anyway without a rental, so if you itemize those deductions carefully, you may be able to save significantly at tax time. You needed a cell phone, you needed that office, you needed that trip to the grocery store. Only now, you might be able to deduct some of them because of the business use.

Things like meals, travel, and other similar expenses may also be able to be deducted, but don’t assume you can go to Disney World with your family and write off the whole trip because you spent a few hours looking at real estate. That’s called “cheating,” and you’ll likely find yourself in some hot water if you ever get audited. However, just like your home office deduction, perhaps you can deduct a portion of your expenses to help offset the costs some.

Obviously — and I’ll say this numerous times in this post — talk to your CPA about what you can and cannot deduct.

Please click here to view the rest of this fantastic, thorough guide…

May 12, 2015 · by eraw5330 · Uncategorized

 

Real Estate Market report for Missoula County, Bitterroot Valley, Flathead County and Lake County

 

 

 

 

 

May 6, 2015 · by Gabrielle · Commercial Real Estate, Real Estate, Uncategorized

ERA Lambros would like to congratulate the McQuirk Team, Tory Dailey, Cheryl Smith, Mark Nelson, and Cora Gilmore Nelson on earning Top Producer for the month of April! Visit any of our offices in western Montana for the most professional and knowledgeable real estate agents in the business.

April 2015 Top Producer

April 23, 2015 · by Gabrielle · Green, Uncategorized

green_home

From Owning the Fence

Having just celebrated Earth Day, we wanted to share some fun tips and tricks you can do at home to keep the “green” vibe going all year long:

  • Bring the ocean to you.  If you have a pool on your property, switch out the chlorine for a salt water filtration system.  Not only will you save money on chemicals, salt water pools require less maintenance and are better for your skin.
  • Dust off your green thumb.  Gardening is a great hobby and offers many health benefits by creating good blood flow and decreasing stress levels.  Additionally, gardens can help to increase your home’s value and provide you with fresh food.
  • Collect rain water for your garden.  Once your garden is ready to go, you’ll need to maintain it by providing enough water.  Rain water is a natural and cost-effective option.  Rain-harvesting systems are easy and cheap to install.
  • Steam clean your rugs.  Traditional vacuums will keep your floors clean on the surface, steam cleaning will help remove harmful allergens and deep dirt.  Steam cleaners use only water and heat – no chemicals – making them an eco-friendly and pet safe solution for your home.
  • Test the air moisture levels.  Keeping a balanced humidity level in your home is important.  Too much moisture can increase exposure to allergens, mildew, mold, and dust mites.  High moisture can also cause damage to your home, such as rusting and warping.  Dehumidifiers are great at eliminating dampness and don’t require any installation.
April 9, 2015 · by Gabrielle · Commercial Real Estate, Real Estate, Uncategorized

ERA Lambros would like to congratulate Adam Hertz, Julie Gardner, Cindi Tack, Bessie Evans and the Tillie and Tony Marshall Team on earning Top Producer for the month of March! Visit any of our offices in western Montana for the most professional and knowledgeable real estate agents in the business.

March 2015 Top Producer

April 6, 2015 · by eraw5330 · Commercial Real Estate, Real Estate

Real Estate Market report for Missoula County, Bitterroot Valley, Flathead County and Lake County

April 2, 2015 · by Gabrielle · Uncategorized

vacation home

Thinking about buying a vacation home? Montana is a great vacation destination for any outdoors enthusiast with its majestic mountains, beautiful lakes and rivers, and plenty of scenic vistas. Here are a few things you need to consider:

  • Spend some time here first.  Don’t take our word that Montana is lovely – come and see for yourself!  It’s important to familiarize yourself with the areas you like and find out what the area offers every season.
  • Develop a relationship with a local agent.  Even if you have an agent you like to work with in your own state, you will need to work with an agent licensed in the state of Montana.  A Montana agent will know the local market inside and out.
  • Remember, it’s a vacation home.  In other words, you’ll need to be able to keep up on maintenance.  Purchasing a condo can be an ideal solution, as you may have the benefit of a groundskeeper and maintenance team.
  • Sleep on it.  It’s easy to get excited about the prospect of a relaxing, fun home away from home.  Take a day, sleep on it, and be sure you’re as in love with the property as you were when you first laid eyes on it.

Looking for recommendations on locations?  You can take a peek at our listings or contact one of our agents here.

Western Montana Real Estate offices located in Missoula, Missoula Southgate Mall, Hamilton, Kalispell, Libby, Polson and Deer Lodge © 2014 Lambros ERA