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Cash Out Refi Strategy

Hillary Cyril | Editor, TechAnnouncer



The expenses involved in home improvements are not standard tax deductions. They are usually considered an elective business expense and can be listed as a business asset on your personal tax return. Home improvements are expenses that a homeowner wants or needs to make. These include new bathrooms, decks, fences, landscaping, electrical upgrades, walking paths, fencing, kitchen improvements, and adding new roofs to replace older ones. Even if you only use your home for personal use, you can’t deduct the cost of home improvements unless you use the property solely as your principal residence.

If you do not use the property for residential purposes, then most tax foundations will allow you to deduct the actual cost of the home improvements, including labor and materials used. To determine your deduction for home improvements, first determine the actual cost to repair or improve the property. This includes painting, trimming, and other finishing costs. Then, add the amount of improvement needed to the current market value of the property. The final figure is the qualified cost for the home improvement. You can deduct this amount from your gross income and include it on your personal tax return as a business asset.

Although this seems like a straightforward comparison, there are several factors to consider when comparing valuable home improvements to the depreciated market value of the property. For example, if the improvement reduces the current market value of the house by more than 50%, the value isn’t depreciated. On the other hand, if a home improvement decreases the market value of the property by more than the improvement’s cost, the improvement is considered a valuable home improvement. You may be able to deduct the expenses for landscaping as well as the garage door opener you installed, but you may lose the deduction because these were not considered valuable home improvements.


There are several ways to evaluate the value of home improvements before applying them to your tax return. One of these is to visit your local real estate agent and get an appraisal for your home improvements. Another way is to use the online services provided by most tax preparation companies. These online services will provide you with a knowledgeable appraiser that will look over the property in person and tell you what it is worth. You can then enter this information into the appropriate section of your tax return and use it to determine whether or not your home improvements are worthwhile.

One of the advantages of using your cash-out refi strategy is that you will receive the entire amount of the cash-out refi when you sell your home. However, there are many restrictions when using cash-out refi to pay for your home improvement projects. First, you will only receive the full amount of your home equity loan if you sell the property within a two-year time span. Even then, you won’t receive all of your money unless the house sells quickly enough to merit a majority of the return. This means that you may have to work a little harder to convince potential buyers that your home improvement project is worth their investment.

If your home improvement project is going to cost less than 20% of your total home equity, it is important to consult a financial advisor to ensure that the move is financially viable. There are also some limits on the amount of cash-out refi that you can use for your home improvements. Before you begin a home improvement project that costs more than the value of your home, discuss the options with your tax preparer. You will likely be required to include certain costs such as permits and inspections in the total amount you will receive through the cash-out refi strategy. Be sure to fully understand the terms before you sign on the dotted line!

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