Tulsa Program to Help Kids Succeed

It’s often said that children are our future leaders. Just like learning math, or English, leadership can be taught and honed. Junior Achievement of Oklahoma (JAOK) is a local program designed to teach kids the skills they need to succeed. It is estimated the JAOK educates 5600 students every year statewide and partners with 4000 business partners.

The JAOK works to teach kids about economic achievements in life. They offer a series of classes designed to help them grow into economic leaders. Each class is designed to help young people in three key areas: work readiness, financial literacy, and entrepreneurship. Kids learn critical thinking skills as well as how to succeed in the job market, either as an employee or a business owner. They also learn how to understand finances, which is beneficial in all areas of life.

Just like many programs, JAOK works through donations and volunteers. They’re always on the look-out for professionals willing to give of their time and expertise. The kids benefit from the advice and experiences of those sharing. The teachers benefit by building relationships with the kids, while doing something fun. If you feel drawn to volunteer, check into their website for more information. There are also ways to sign up a child for the program and more on what’s available. You can also email Erica Irvine at eirvine@jaok.org for more information.

This program is one of many reasons our community is so great. Schedule a call, or an appointment, for your real estate questions today at askinforbaskin.com.

Tax Changes Which Affect Tulsa Real Estate

Every year there are changes to tax laws. This year, there have been some changes which affect the real estate market. Here are a few and how they affect you.

The first change is about home purchasing. In the past, you could purchase a house for up to a million dollars and write it off on your taxes. The new maximum has been changed to $750,000. So, this may change the price of the home you are looking for.

The second big change involves home equity lines of credit. Normally you can apply for a line of equity to buy a car, pay off credit debt, or many other things. However, they are mostly used for home improvement. In the past, you could take the amount of interest you paid on that equity line and use it as a tax deduction. Now, only home equity lines which are used for home improvement are tax deductible.

The last change is to the maximum amount for a conventional loan. Previously, it was $417,000. This has been raised to $451,000. You can now purchase more home and have a better interest rate.

Also, if you have an investment property you are looking to sell, remember you have 90 to 120 days to purchase a new property. After that amount of time, you have to pay your capital gains tax from that sale. A wise investment move is to take your profit from that sale, place it into a 1031 exchange, and then find a new property over the 90 to 120-day period.

These are not bad changes. The best thing you can do is to meet with a CPA. Whether you have an investment property you are looking to sell or looking to get a credit line to fix up your home, the CPA can help you come up with a game plan that works best for you. They may even suggest refinancing to help get the best deductions. Schedule a call, or an appointment, for your real estate questions today at askinforbaskin.com

Tulsa Homeowner Tips: Testing and Replacing a Doorbell

To hear more advice from Murray Electric on choosing and replacing a doorbell, click here

Are you considering replacing your doorbell? Whether you’re looking to update an outdated doorbell or replace a broken one, Steve from Murray Electric has helpful tips to guide you.

There are two basic types of doorbells:

Wired Doorbell

A wired doorbell is hard-wired into your home’s electrical system. A switch is located inside the button beside the door. The switch is connected to a terminal which is attached to a transformer. These units have wires connecting to the chiming unit. Typically, the transformer is in a separate location, such as the attic or basement. The benefit of having an electric doorbell is its reliability, as it doesn’t depend on a battery.

Wireless Doorbell

A wireless doorbell connects the transmitter switch to the chime with radio waves. As a result, no wires are needed. Unlike the wired doorbell, this unit contains only a switch and transmitter unit inside the button. The receiver is placed inside the home. When the doorbell is pushed, the transmitter sends a signal to the receiver; however, the receiver must be within range of the transmitter. Also, these units are typically battery-operated, and require a bit more maintenance. Some will emit a beeping sound when the battery is low, and several can be plugged into an outlet.

Additional features to consider when choosing a new doorbell are the type of chime, material, color, style, lights, size, and if you want a smart doorbell. Doorbell buttons are available in a variety of styles to match your décor. Smart doorbells function by connecting to your home’s internet. Many have small cameras that allow access via your smartphone, and have recording capabilities.

When your wired doorbell stops working, the cause may be the chime, transformer, button, or the wiring. There’s a way to test it yourself to help identify the issue.

Test the button:

Remove the doorbell button from the wall to expose and loosen the wires. Touch the ends of the two wires together. If you hear a chime, then you know it is the button which is broken. If there’s no chime, then the problem may be with the chime, transformer, or wiring.

Test the chime:

You will need an o-meter to test the wires. Start by taking the wires at the doorbell button, twist them together, and then go to where your chime is. There should be a set of wires which, when you put the leads of your o-meter on, will show a closed or short. If you have a short condition, the wires are good.

If you decide you would rather not do it yourself, call Steve at Murray Electric. He’ll let you know if you need a service call, or if it’s something simple you can do yourself. Also, when you call Murray Electric, you will always reach a licensed electrician to assist you!

Contact Steve at Murray Electric in Tulsa, at 918-835-9605 or www.murrayelectric.com.

For more real estate questions, contact The Baskin Real Estate Specialists of eXp Realty at 918-732-9732 or darrylbaskin.com

A Perspective from a First Time Home Buyer in Tulsa

Click here to join “The Future of Real Estate” and hear Daniel’s experience buying his first home in the Tulsa area.

Daniel is a first time home buyer in Tulsa. He recently closed on his first home and has useful feedback for fellow first time home buyers.

Daniel was surprised by how calm he felt through the process. After hearing stories from friends, he had expected the process of buying his first home to be stressful. He attributes the smooth process to Darryl Baskin from Baskin Real Estate Specialists. Darryl made sure Daniel was well informed throughout the entire process. As a result, Daniel was never surprised and didn’t experience many issues.

Darryl attributes the ease of the process to Daniel taking the time to plan properly. Daniel’s financial planning and preparation prior to beginning his home search helped make the process smooth. Obtaining pre-approval ahead of time allows the home buyer to budget properly and know their price limit.

Daniel took the time to look at houses online to see how much houses in Tulsa are listed for. He also began to compare features to determine his “must have’s”. He began this process a year before setting out to seriously look at homes.

There were a few speed bumps along the way. Daniel lost the first property he made an offer on. Another home buyer made a cash offer first. As a result, the seller chose the cash offer. Multiple offers on a home aren’t uncommon. This is another reason why having pre-approval can be beneficial. When receiving multiple offers on a home, the seller may choose the buyer who has been pre-approved.

When buying your first home in Tulsa, take the time to research, plan, save, and get pre-approval on a home loan. It also helps to attend a first-time home buyer class. Baskin Realty Specialists and TTCU Federal Credit Union are currently planning a first-time home buyer class!

Visit TTCU Federal Credit Union to review their financing options. They offer four different 100% lending options. This means you don’t put any down, you only pay closing costs. TTCU Federal Credit Union offers some of the lowest closing costs in Tulsa. In addition, when you close with TTCU Federal Credit Union, you receive .125 off your interest rate when the loan is a purchase transaction and close with Integrity Title and Closing. Visit ttcu.com for additional details.

For more real estate questions, contact The Baskin Real Estate Specialists of eXp Realty at 918-732-9732 or darrylbaskin.com

 

 

Junior Achievement of Tulsa Teaches Students Financial Responsibility

To hear more about Junior Achievement of Tulsa on The Future of Real Estate, click here

Junior Achievement of Tulsa, OK, is a non-profit program which teaches students, kindergarten through twelfth grade, age appropriate finance programs. Through this organization, students learn about world economy, the stock market, budgeting, and how to write a check.

Darryl Baskin, of Baskin Real Estate Specialists, is a volunteer with Junior Achievement. He recently spent a few hours volunteering at “Finance Park”. Finance Park is one of the programs offered by Junior Achievement, and was developed to give students an idea of how their education affects family planning choices.

Students participating in Finance Park utilize a program running on an iPad and are presented with a simulated career and salary. The student makes real-life choices based on their virtual income, such as selecting a car, house, health insurance, and budget for childcare. If they make a mistake, such as choosing the wrong health insurance, they receive an error and have to re-do it. Once they are complete, the program then gives them a real life situation, such as “you just got a flat tire”. The student must work out a solution to the problem.

Junior Achievement puts together a framework for students and teaches how to adjust to financial issues. The program educates kids by applying what they learn in school and demonstrating how to be realistic with finances, including groceries, bills, and insurance.

The programs are run by volunteers who teach life appropriate materials. The volunteers have an opportunity to show the students they have the power to change their life. If you have any interest in volunteering, or for more information on Junior Achievement, contact them at jaok.org

For more real estate questions, contact The Baskin Real Estate Specialists of eXp Realty at 918-732-9732 or darrylbaskin.com

 

What is an “As-if” Tulsa House Loan?

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The Tulsa “As-If” Tulsa House Loan- What is it?

19:10- Tulsa House Loans- As-If Tulsa Home Loan

An “As-if” Tulsa House Loan is a product that  TTCU offers.  The name may leave you wondering, “What is an As-If Tulsa House Loan?  An As-If Loan is one that is based on the completed value of the house, before the home has been completed or remodeled. This is a one time close loan.   We get a list of all the things that you want to do in your home.  You get a bid on the work and we do an appraisal based on what the home value would be when it is finished with that list.  It is an “As-if” it was finished Tulsa house loan. Many first time home buyers in Tulsa either want to live in an area that is out of their price range or want more than what they can afford.  This loan can often help enable you to get the home you want, often at a lower price, instead of buying one already remodeled at a higher price. For many seeking a Tulsa house loan, working with new construction or homes that need to be remodeled ends up costing them much  more than a regular loan.  With a traditional new construction loan- or one used when you purchase a home and then remodel- you end up have more than one mortgage and  more than one closing.  With each closing and mortgage come closing costs and sometimes higher interest rates.  Then, when the work is complete, you refinance to get one mortgage and a lower interest rate.  That costs more in closing costs.  Those higher interest rates and multiple closing costs add up and cost lots of unnecessary money. With TTCU’s As-If loan- you will get one loan.  When the contractor does does the work, he gets his money.  This can allow you, as a Tulsa home buyer, to enjoy your Tulsa area home and get a good investment.