December 2014 Newsletter

Year End Clean Up

This is the time of year when everyone is busy with the holidays, trying to “clear their desk,” and tie up loose ends so they can end the year “with a bang” and have a “clean slate” upon the new year. Oftentimes this involves real estate. Thus, I thought it would be a good time to go over some fundamentals to consider…some good ole “blocking and tackling.”
  1. For purposes of property tax valuation, the arm’s length sales price on any real estate sale in 2014 will be the value used by the County Board of Assessors for establishing the 2015 value upon which the property will be taxed.
  2. If your house is the primary residence, make sure to file for your Homestead tax exemption with the Board of Assessors, and while there, you might as well inquire as to any other exemptions you might be eligible, i.e. age, disability, etc.
  3. If you are a Non Resident of Georgia and you sell Georgia real estate, you will be subject to the Georgia Gain Tax, which is 3% of any gain on the sale after accounting for original purchase price, capital improvements, depreciation and settlement charges. This tax should be withheld at the closing on the sale.
  4. If you want to convey an interest in real estate to a family member, i.e. add your spouse to title, this can be done very easily by Gift Deed, BUT if you have a mortgage on the property make sure your lender consents to this action; otherwise, you are technically in violation of the loan covenants and subject to the loan being called as due (rarely happens, but don’t be the “example” case).
  5. Finally, if you have a closing in this last month, pay attention to the December calendar. Christmas falls on a Thursday, which effectively means Friday is a “non productive” day, especially with the courthouses being closed on both days. New Year’s Eve falls on a Wednesday, which means you really only have that Monday and Tuesday to get your real estate paperwork done with confidence that it will be “booked” as a 2014 transaction. Are there exceptions to this general rule, of course, but why count on being an exception. 
2014 has been a good year. From a local real estate standpoint, and from all that I read and people I talk to, 2015 will be that much better. I look forward to seeing you in the New Year.

Written by: 
Douglas P. McManamy 
(912) 691-0943 phone 
(912) 691-0947 fax
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