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Happy New Year!

Hallmark Idaho Properties Wishes You A Happy New Year

JUST LISTED: Clean 2 Bedroom Townhome $49,900

Clean South Hailey Townhome that’s priced for an immediate sale! 2 bedrooms, 1 1/2 baths, extensive wood floors, ceiling fan, paver patio, private deck, outside storage locker, detached garage, lots of parking, great location and more! Conveniently located near the Community campus, Aquatic Center, several parks, schools, public transportation and trail system.

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Rents Continue to Climb, Make Buying Even Better

As demand increases, rents continue to rise, increasing 5 percent over the past 12 months. Meanwhile, the asking prices for homes fell 0.7 percent in that time, according to a new report released Thursday by Trulia Inc.

Buying a home is more affordable than renting now in almost every part of the United States,  . . . Jed Kolko, Trulia’s chief economist

The national vacancy rate for apartments during the first quarter fell to its lowest point since late 2001, according to a report by Reis Inc. Cities that have the lowest number of available rental units are seeing some of the largest increases in rents.

“A lot of people who were owners lost their homes in the bust in these places,” Kolko says. As such, many of these former home owners have turned to renting, which has been ramping up demand and driving up rents across the country.

Nationally, the median rent was $1,350 a month in March — up from $1,285 a year ago, according to Trulia.

Rents have risen the most the last year in markets such as Sarasota, Fla. (12.9 percent); Miami (12.1 percent), San Francisco (11.1 percent), Middlesex County, Mass. (10.6 percent), and Edison, N.J. (10.5 percent), according to Trulia.

SOURCE: CNNMoney

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Best Wishes This New Years Day

In the New Year, may your right hand always be stretched out in friendship, never in want.

Happy Holidays . . . from my family to yours

Special Edition Tax Tips – IRS

Six Year-End Tips to Reduce 2011 TaxesThe IRS wants to remind all taxpayers that with the New Year fast approaching, there is still time for you to take steps that can lower your 2011 taxes. However, you usually need to take action no later than Dec. 31 in order to claim certain tax benefits.

Here are six tax-saving tips for you to consider before the calendar turns to 2012

1. Make Charitable Contributions – If you itemize deductions, your donations must be made to qualified charities no later than Dec. 31 to be deductible for 2011. You must have a canceled check, a bank statement, credit card statement or a written statement from the charity, showing the name of the charity and the date and amount of the contribution for all cash donations. Donations charged to a credit card by Dec. 31 are deductible for 2011, even if the bill isn’t paid until 2012. If you donate clothing or household items, they must be in good used condition or better to be deductible.

2. Install Energy-Efficient Home Improvements – You still have time this year to [Read more…]

Ten I.R.S. Facts for Mortgage Debt Forgiveness

IRS Tax Tip 2011-44

If you are a homeowner whose mortgage debt is partly or entirely forgiven during tax years 2007 through 2012, you may be able to claim special tax relief and exclude the debt forgiven from your income.

Here are 10 facts the IRS wants you to know about Mortgage Debt Forgiveness.


1.  Normally, debt forgiveness results in taxable income. However, under the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007, you may be able to exclude up to $2 million of debt forgiven on your principal residence.

2.  The limit is $1 million for a married person filing a separate return.

3.  You may exclude debt reduced through mortgage restructuring, as well as mortgage debt forgiven in a foreclosure.

4.  To qualify, the debt must have been [Read more…]