Home Improvements That Add to Your Cost Basis

When you sell a property at a profit, you have to pay capital gains taxes on the sale. However, your capital gain isn’t the difference between the price you paid for the property and the price you sell it for. There are several other expenses that add to your cost basis.

Knowing what expenses can and cannot be added to your cost basis helps you accurately calculate your capital gain on a real estate sale. And it can save you significant money on your taxes over the long run. Here’s a quick guide to calculating your cost basis, what improvement expenses are included, what you can’t include, and why it matters so much.

What is your cost basis?

First, it’s important to know your cost basis when acquiring a property. This will be important in determining (and reducing) any capital gains tax you owe when you sell the property.

Your cost basis obviously includes the price you agree to pay for the property. It also includes certain settlement costs, such as:

  • title fees,
  • legal fees,
  • recording fees,
  • survey fees, and
  • any transfer or stamp taxes you pay in connection with the purchase.

However, your cost basis does not include hazard insurance premiums, moving expenses, or any mortgage-related charges. So mortgage insurance, credit report fees, and appraisal costs are out.

You want your adjusted cost basis to include as many of your property-related expenses as possible. A higher cost basis translates to lower tax liability later on.

For example, if you buy an investment property for $200,000 and sell it for $300,000, it may sound like you have a $100,000 capital gain. However, if you spend $5,000 on acquisition costs and $25,000 on renovations, your cost basis will be $230,000, which lowers your taxable gain to $70,000.

Home improvements that add to your cost basis

Besides purchase cost, the other big component of cost basis is the improvements you make to the property. These can be made immediately upon acquisition of the property or at a later date.

The IRS defines improvements as expenses that add to the value of the property, prolong its useful life, or adapt it to new uses. There’s obviously some gray area here. But examples will help clear it up a bit.

Basis-increasing improvements can include the following:

  • Additions: If you add an extra bedroom or bathroom, put a deck on the back of the home, add a garage, or construct a porch or patio, you’ve added value to the home.
  • Lawn and grounds improvements: Value-adding landscaping projects, driveway or walkway construction, building a fence or retaining wall, and adding a swimming pool can qualify as property improvements.
  • Exterior improvements: New windows, a new roof, and new siding are examples.
  • Insulation: This includes insulation in the attic, inside walls, under floors, or around pipes and ductwork.
  • Systems: Installing a new heating or air conditioning system, new ductwork, adding a central vacuuming system, wiring improvements, installing a security system, and putting in lawn irrigation are improvements.
  • Plumbing:
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‘Zero Cost House’ Review: Could Thoreau Save Us Now?

For an enduring figure in the American canon, Henry David Thoreau is needier than you might think. When this relic of the 1800s shows up in Toshiki Okada’s probing, funny, hugely resonant play “Zero Cost House,” he is insecure about his 21st-century status. It’s pretty clear he’s been keeping close tabs.

“Do you Google yourself, Mr. Thoreau?” the playwright asks — because this is the kind of show where the author is a character (well, two characters; more on that in a moment), communing with the past.

“Sure, every day,” Thoreau answers. So he knows that his readership is down.

Okada himself, as a young writer in Tokyo, was a fervent “Walden” devotee, and convinced that he always would be. By his late 30s, though, he has become an internationally lauded experimental playwright, but also a guy who considers Thoreau’s treatise on simple living naïve.

In “Zero Cost House” — written for the Philadelphia-based Pig Iron Theater Company, which first staged it in 2012 and has reconfigured it superbly for Zoom — those two versions of Okada (played by an assortment of actors) butt up against each other, albeit gently. Plush rabbit puppets and a charismatic architect-philosopher are along for the ride, with Björk on the soundtrack and cast members trading off characters almost relay-style.

To step into an Okada play is to enter a dreamscape, and that’s true of this fractured stage memoir, too. Then dream morphs into nightmare. The earthquake that struck Japan in March 2011, setting off a tsunami and a nuclear disaster at a power station in Fukushima, becomes the catalyst for Okada’s reconnection with “Walden” and a more radical way of life.

What gives this live-streamed “Zero Cost House” particular potency right now is the wide variety of lenses we have through which to view it — the assorted calamities jolting people into working for social change or into altering their comfortable lives in drastic, once unthinkable ways.

Yet this play is not a dour exercise. Translated into comfortably colloquial American English by the Okada veteran Aya Ogawa, it has a friendliness that makes it approachable.

Directed and adapted by Pig Iron’s co-artistic director Dan Rothenberg — whose previous Okada productions include the achingly atmospheric post-earthquake meditation “Time’s Journey Through a Room” and the more comically contemplative “The Sonic Life of a Giant Tortoise” — “Zero Cost House” encourages us to seize the opportunity of disaster: to be brave enough to live more meaningfully, to construct a better world.

By re-engaging this deeply with the text, making it work so beautifully online, the artists behind this production — including a uniformly excellent cast and a pair of designers, Maiko Matsushima (visual) and Rucyl Frison (sound) — are themselves responding to a crisis.

In the play, Thoreau mentions a moment in “Walden” when he meets a couple who “seemed to be in dire straits, and what was worse, they had no awareness of how their circumstances had gotten that way in the first place.”

Amid our

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How Much Does It Cost To Build A Dog House For My Dog?

You did your research, talked about it, consulted the kids, asked the neighbors and even the relatives. Then you went out and got your puppy, everybody is happy, but now what?

You have to decide where to keep your new pet, what sort of dog house to put them in and most of all, how much will it cost to build.

Of course a lot will depend on the type of dog, size and if it will be an inside or outside pet.

I know how you feel about this , because I have had many pets of my own, including goats and housing cost was always was a concern.

In computing building costs I have taken a few things into consideration :

… you already own a saw

… a drill is something you have

… there are some paint brushes on hand in your tool box

… you will use 3/4 inch plywood at $ 30 for a 4X8 sheet

… for support, use 1X2's at about $ 6 for an 8 foot piece

… screws will cost around $ 8

… paint, about $ 10 – $ 20

With these items and materials you can build your dog house, now for the total costs.

For a small dog

To make a house that measures about 22 "long X 15" wide X 20 "high with a roof, you will need

1 sheet of plywood $ 30

2 1X2's $ 12

screws, and paint $ 18

For a total cost of around $ 60.

This assumes that it will be used inside.

For a medium size dog

For pets up to about 40 pounds, their house size of 42 "long X 30" wide X 33 "high will require

1 1/2 sheets of plywood $ 45

3 1X2's $ 18

screws and paint $ 18

For a total cost of about $ 80

If you are going to use it outside and want to insulate the house, add about $ 30 more.

For large dogs

Beyond the 40 pounds, for large dogs and considering it will be an outside home. For a structure 70 "long X 46" wide X 60 "high you will need:

6 sheets of plywood $ 180

8 1X2's $ 48

screws $ 12

paint $ 25

4 sheets of insulation board $ 80

total cost of $ 345

Building a great home for your new pet is what every pet owner should strive to do. You want the best home but you also want to keep the cost at a reasonable level. It is always good to have an idea of ​​what type home you want to construct and what the final cost will be. By thinking things through, you will know how much it will cost to build a dog house for your new pet.

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Simple Tips For Low Cost Home Improvements

Have you been thinking about remodeling your home? Keep in mind that you can often achieve your goal without a giant expense. Small improvements introduced in almost every room, including the exterior of the house can make all the difference.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

Keep it clean and keep it simple!

A clean and neat house is appealing and eye-catching. You can start improving the appearance of your house simply by cleaning out the debris. Try making your garden look like an ideal place with some weeding and cleaning out the flower beds. Paint the front door to give your home a more welcoming feeling.

De-cluttering is also a part of cleaning, so get rid of things you don't need to make room for new ones. The first glance is usually enough for a selective buyer to quickly estimate a house.

Does the exterior of your home need repainting? Is there a walkway that you can highlight by introducing some flowers? Remember to keep it simple. Focus on making things neat and tidy.

Two hot spots of every home:

The two most closely inspected rooms of a house are the kitchen and the master bathroom. If you are looking to focus on two hot spots, these are the interior rooms where the most value can be added during a sale, so make them look their best to increase your return on investment.

Is your kitchen may be in need of an upgrade? A well updated kitchen will dramatically increase the value of your home, so focus on spicing up this room to grab buyer attention. Renovating your kitchen using modern décor is going to instantly improve the value of your home. Many times a buyer will compromise on other rooms and will buy a home just because its kitchen is well-maintained and inviting.

The same holds true for bathrooms, especially the master bathroom. You will charm open house-goers with modern upgrades like dual vanities and soaking tubs in your master bath. Replace the faucets and clean up the bathroom counter. We would again emphasize on simplicity because for easy maintenance.

What to Invest in?

So, you're done de-cluttering, cleaning and upgrading. What's next? Well, if you are willing to make a good upgrade investment, it is recommended to divide your renovation plan into four parts to bring impressive improvements to your home. Here are the four areas you may want to seriously consider upgrading:

Lighting: If you are not satisfied with the lighting system in your house, replace it.

This would entail buying lighting fixtures and other equipment for each room to make it look consistent and attractive.

Plumbing: Many old homes have rusty pipes and some leakage in the plumbing that needs attention. Your home will not sell fast and at a price you have in mind if you haven't already upgraded the plumbing system.

Flooring: Most people nowadays look for hardwood floors or alternatives that are easy to manage and provide health benefits …

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