How Do the New Tax Laws Affect You When It Comes to Real Estate?


How does The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act impact our local real estate market? I’ll go over a couple of important things that you should know today.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has been signed into law. How do these new tax rules impact our real estate market?

One thing that had very little media presence was capital gains on primary residences. As long as you’ve lived in your home for two out of the last five years, you do not have to pay taxes on the profit of your home sale. There is a cap of $250,000 for single individuals and a $500,000 cap for married couples.

Early versions of the tax reform bill tried to do away with the capital gains exclusion completely. Then, they were going to make it so you had to live in the home for five out of the last eight years.

The good news is that the capital gains exclusion is staying exactly as it was, which is fantastic. If you bought a $200,000 house 20 or 30 years ago, it’s probably worth $400,000 to $450,000. Single people don’t have to pay taxes on $250,000 of the profit, and married couples don’t have to pay taxes on $500,000 of the profit from the home sale.



"The capital gains exclusion remains exactly as it was, which is great news for home sellers."


Investment property taxes are still deductible, as they were before. You can still write off the mortgage interest. Of course, you should verify all of this with your tax accountant, but we just wanted you to know that some of those changes real estate experts were concerned about did not go into effect.  

If you are purchasing a larger or more expensive home and using a mortgage, you should be aware that the mortgage interest deduction cap has been lowered from $1 million to $750,000.

You are also now only allowed to write off up to $10,000 a year on your taxes. Although that will affect 4.1 million people nationwide, it shouldn’t affect too many people in our area.

The main thing to take away from all of this is that the capital gains exclusion is still in place, which is especially great for baby boomers looking to downsize. You will be able to sell your home and take your profit without paying tax on the capital gains.

Again, if you have questions about your specific information, please reach out to your tax accountant.

If you have any other real estate questions, please don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!

A Few Tips for Winterizing Your Vacant Property


There are a few tips and tricks you need to remember if you want to keep your vacant property well-maintained this winter.

If you’re worried about your vacant property this winter, here are a few things you can do to put your mind at ease.

First, keep the heat on and make sure it’s at a minimum of 55 to 60 degrees. If you use oil or propane, make sure you have enough to get through the wintertime. We had some issues with people late last year who discovered at the last minute that their property had no oil and were stuck trying to get some on New Year’s Eve. You can use kerosene or diesel fuel to work through and clean your system, and it will run off of those things as well.

If your property is going to be vacant for a while, you may want to turn the water off. There are many home inspectors who will do that for you, so if you need a good contact for that, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.


"If your property is going to be vacant for a while, you may want to turn the water off."


If you’re worried about break-ins or having your copper pipes or HVAC system stolen and you want to periodically check on the property, you should consider installing a wireless alarm system. You could also ask a neighbor to check on the property once in a while and give them a spare key. Our office also offers a service for our clients where we check in on their properties once a week for them.

If you have any more questions about maintaining your vacant property during the winter or you have any other real estate needs, feel free to call or email us. We’d be glad to help you.

Happy Holidays!


The holiday season is back already. Today, we’d like to express our sincere appreciation for all of you during this season of joy.

It’s that time of year already. I want to wish all of my friends, clients, and family a very happy holiday season.


"Happy holidays to our friends, family, and clients."


If there is anything you need during this time of year, or at any time of year, you can always reach out to us.

Without the referrals we’ve received from our past and current clients throughout the years, we would not be able to sell the volume of homes we have this year or in years past. We sincerely appreciate all of your support.

We hope you’ve had a very prosperous 2017.

If you have any other questions related to real estate or would like any more information about ways my team and I can help you, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Should You List This Holiday Season?


Should you list your home during the holiday season? The answer isn’t as simple as “yes” or “no.”

Over the years, many clients have asked us whether it’s a good idea to sell during the holiday season. Well, it depends on your personal circumstances.


"Whether or not you should list during the holidays depends on your circumstances."


If there is nothing pushing you to sell, we generally suggest pulling your listing off the market by the middle of November. Then, you can relist it in a couple of months.

During that time off the market, you can even do some pre-marketing to help boost your listing’s success before it even hits the market.

This isn’t to say that selling over the holidays is impossible. There are plenty of homes selling at this time of year. If you need to get your property sold as soon as possible, you can absolutely list during the holidays.

In fact, decreased inventory during the holiday season can benefit your listing due to lowered competition.

If you are planning to list, though, I recommend having the photos for your listing taken in the spring or summer. That way, holiday decorations don’t date your photos and make it seem stale if your property takes a little while to move off of the market.

Exterior photos of your home should be taken while landscaping is still lush and green.

If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

We Appreciate Your Support, and Now We Need Your Help


The Lee Tessier Team has been nominated once more for Harford’s Best Realtor of the Year award, and we can’t thank you enough. We hope that this year you’ll continue to support us by lending your vote.

As you may know, the Lee Tessier Team has been nominated for Harford’s Best Realtor of the Year for the past couple of years now. This year, we are continuing that tradition and have been nominated once more.

First of all, we want to thank all of our friends as well as our current and past clients for your continuing support. We appreciate everything you’ve done to help us reach the honor of this nomination.

Today, we’ve got a favor to ask. If you could take a couple minutes of your time to give us your vote, we would massively appreciate it. We’ve been the No. 1 team in the county since 2011, and we hope to continue this trend.


"We’re proud to be top agents for you."


We’re proud to be top agents for you and this opportunity would give us the chance to reach our community even further.


As always, if you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you soon.