Rental tax deductions

Many rental home expenses are tax deductible. Save receipts and any other documentation, and take the deductions on Schedule E.

In general, you can claim the deductions for the year in which you pay for these common rental property expenses:

  • Advertising
  • Cleaning and maintenance
  • Commissions paid to rental agents/property managers
  • Home owner association/condo dues
  • Insurance premiums
  • Legal fees
  • Mortgage interest
  • Taxes
  • Utilities

Less obvious deductions include expenses to obtain a mortgage, and fees charged by an accountant to prepare your Schedule E.

And don’t forget that a rental home can even be a cabin,  houseboat or trailer, as long as there are sleeping, cooking, and bathroom facilities and you can show some income from rents.


3 AC with ‘Igloo’

Almost 3 acres with a ‘dome-style’ cabin, this is one of the best lots in this subdivision! Amazing views of the Nome River, the Bering Sea and the mountains. The dome is on a block and pad foundation on fill, with a deck built onto it. The power is connected, so this place is ready to go! Located only 4 miles out the Beam Road, it’s outside of the City of Nome so there are ZERO TAXES.

A perfect spot for a summer retreat, or a great location to build a home with a filled lot and electric service already in place!

Home office tax deduction 411

If your home office meets Internal Revenue Service ( criteria, you can take a tax deduction for operating costs associated with it. Your deduction is based on the percentage of your home the office occupies, so if your home is 2,000 square feet and your office is 200 square feet, you can deduct 10 percent of your costs. To calculate the deduction, you’ll need the following information:

  • Square footage of your home
  • Square footage of your home office
  • Mortgage interest reported on Form 1098
  • Homeowners insurance premium
  • Invoices for maintenance or repair on your home
  • Total rent paid, if applicable
  • Property tax payment
  • Utility bills

Cozy 3br with low utility use

This uber affordable home has been the happy home of the seller for many years, but now that he’s leaving Nome, he’s ready to pass all his hard work on to you!

Low fuel, well maintained boiler and electrical, good ventilation and a tidy, ready to move into home.  The new deck, flooring and furniture are just a bonus!

Schedule your showing today!

Your Top Homeownership Tax Questions Answered

Which tax benefits do homeowners miss? Will you get audited if you take the home office deduction? Find out the answers to these questions and more before Tax Day.

The federal tax law signed by President Donald Trump Dec. 22, 2017, may affect home ownership tax benefits described in this article. The new law goes into effect for the 2018 tax year and generally doesn’t affect tax filings for the 2017 tax year. Here’s a detailed summary of the changes.

There are a lot of homeownership tax benefits — if you don’t forget to take them. To make sure you get your due, HouseLogic asked tax expert Abe Schneier, a former senior technical manager with the American Institute of CPAs, for tax-filing tips.

HouseLogic: What’s the most common home-related tax deduction or credit claimed by homeowners?

Abe Schneier: The mortgage interest deduction, [which the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® estimates amounts to about $3,000 in tax savings for the average itemizing homeowner] and [the deduction for] real property taxes.

HL: Which tax provision do homeowners often overlook?

AS:You can deduct mortgage insurance premiums [or PMI] if you were required to get PMI as a condition of receiving financing on your home. Some people will overlook that, although it’s typically disclosed on the 1099 that you receive from the bank, along with all the deductible information you need.

[Another area of tax-filing confusion is] whether you’ve correctly treated any points you paid if you refinanced. In a new home purchase, the points can be deducted [in the tax year you paid them]. But typically in a refinancing, you have to amortize and deduct any points you paid over the life of the mortgage, and people tend to forget that after a couple of years.

HL: What’s the No. 1 mistake homeowners make when filing their taxes?

AS: Because you receive a statement from the bank with details [such as] how much mortgage interest you paid over the year, and how much the bank pays on your behalf in real estate taxes, the number of mistakes has dropped.

But if you’re in a state where you pay the real estate taxes on your own — the bank doesn’t handle it for you — [people] make mistakes because sometimes real estate tax bills include other items besides pure real estate taxes. It could be trash collection fees; it could be snow removal fees that the state or county is assessing on the real estate tax bill. Since the items are included in the same bill, homeowners sometimes deduct [those fees] regardless of whether the items are actually taxes.

HL: What’s the single most important piece of advice for people filing their taxes as a first-time homeowner?

AS: You have to take a look at your closing statement from when you bought the house. It’s commonly called the HUD-1 form and you receive it at the closing. Occasionally, there are fees such as prepaid taxes or interest at closing that can be deductible.

HL: What tax advice do you have for someone who’s owned their home for 10 or 20 years?

AS: If you’ve been a longtime homeowner and you’ve been through refinancings, you have to be careful about how much interest you’ve deducted, especially if you have a home equity loan or equity line. A lot of people who’ve refinanced have sizable equity lines. The maximum outstanding home equity debt on which interest is deductible is $100,000; the maximum loan amount on which interest is deductible is $1 million.

HL: What home improvement-related records should homeowners keep?

AS: Absolutely keep your receipts for couple of reasons:

1. You want to make sure — if there are any warranties attached to the work that was done — that you maintain those records and you have something to go back to the person who did the work in case something doesn’t function properly.

2. If you’ve added value to the home — you’ve added a deck, you’ve added a room, you’ve added something new to house — you’ll need to know what the gain is on that capital improvement when you sell the house.

HL note: Tax rules let you add capital improvement expenses to the cost basis of your home, and a higher cost basis lowers the total profit or capital gain you’re required to pay taxes on. Of course, most homeowners are exempted from taxes on the first $500,000 in profit for joint filers ($250,000 for single filers). So it doesn’t apply to too many people.

HL: How do I tell the difference between a capital improvement and a repair?

AS: Typically a repair is [done] to allow an item, like a home furnace or air conditioner, to continue. But if you were to replace the heating unit, that’s not a repair.

HL: Does taking any home-related tax benefits, such as the home office deduction, make a taxpayer more likely to be audited?

AS: Only if numbers look out of the ordinary — for instance, if one year you were writing off $20,000 in mortgage interest debt and the next year you’re writing off $100,000 in mortgage interest. Taking the home office deduction in and of itself doesn’t usually generate an audit. However, if you claim nominal income and significantly higher expenses in an effort to create artificial losses, the IRS will see that there’s something else going on there.

HL: Once filing season is over, when should homeowners start thinking about next year’s taxes?

AS: Well, hopefully, when you visit your CPA to give information about or pick up [this year’s] tax return, your CPA has spoken with you about your plans for [next year]:

  • If any major improvements are scheduled
  • If you’re planning on moving
  • How to organize any expenditures for fixing up the home before sale

If you’re planning to do any of those things, talk with your CPA so that you’re prepared with documentation and so that the [tax pro] can help minimize your tax situation

A home for Mary Jane?

With two “HomeGrown” retailers opening up shops, I’m surprised at how many calls I’ve been taking from folks from out of town looking for a place to open up their pot stores!

If you have a structure that is zoned General Use and would be interested in a lease or sale, let me know!

Storage solutions for small homes

Your small home has more storage space than you think. For relatively little money but a lot of common sense and ingenuity, there’s space to be found.

Finding storage space in a small home doesn’t require remodeling or room additions. Start by getting rid of accumulated stuff. Take a hard look at room space, and buy furniture and storage items that can do double duty.

Here are six tips to maximize storage that won’t empty your savings account:

1. Declutter

A small house that is crammed with stuff feels tight and cramped.  Declutter and discover how much nicer a minimalist lifestyle is!

2. Platform and Bunk Beds

Add space and eliminate a dresser in a small bedroom with a three-drawer or six-drawer platform bed.  Bunk beds won’t have drawers, but you’ll save space by stacking beds.

3. Shoe Organizers, magazine racks

They’re for so much more than just shoes. Hang one by the front door, and use it as your small home catch-all for remotes, keys, notepads, cell phones, and chargers, and other household essentials. Hang one in your linen closet for household cleansers.  Hang one in your kitchen for your canned goods.  The possibilities are endless! Magazine racks are great for organizing pan lids, saran wraps etc.

4. Toe Kick Storage

Kitchens have lots of wasted space; check Etsy for toe kick drawers.

5. Up-to the-Ceiling Storage

Bookcases, kitchen cabinets, and shelving doesn’t make full use of the available space, so use that extra 2 feet with addition shelves and brackets.  If you a planning a kitchen remodel, make sure to use all that ‘head’ space!

Creating Storage Underneath Your Stairs


By: Jan Soults Walker

Sweep out the dust bunnies. Clear away the clutter. Time to put wasted space beneath the staircase to work with these customized storage solutions.

That hollow triangle of space beneath your staircase can house more than lint. Claim the square footage for organizing your stuff.

See which of these storage solutions trips your organizational trigger.


One of the simplest and most common under-stairs storage solutions, a closet can be lined with shelves and equipped with wire organizers to provide an abundance of organizational space. Include a light fixture in your plans.

Related: The Right Light Bulb for the Job

Cost: $250 to $500. Add $1,700 for professional installation; custom closet systems start at $1,000 and may climb to $30,000 for premium woods and all the bells and whistles.

Open Shelves

Rather than keep your belongings undercover, line the space beneath your staircase with built-in shelves that provide access from the side of the stairs. Use wicker baskets or canvas bins to corral smaller items.

Cost: If you do it yourself, $200 to $500. Expect to pay $1,000 to $3,000 for custom-made shelves built by a professional finish carpenter.

Related: Between-the-Studs Shelving and Storage: Find Your Niche in Life


Drawer storage allows full view and access to your belongings in one smooth motion. Accessed from one side of a staircase, drawers can be designed in a variety of depths and widths. Or, build drawers into the risers of one or more steps.

Cost: $200 to $500 if you do it yourself; $2,000 to $5,000 if it’s a custom-made built-in by a finish carpenter.

Related: See how one mom turned her yucky basement stairs into pullout storage.


Built-in cabinets can feature solid doors or doors with glass inserts. Use clear glass when you want to keep books and treasures on display, or choose decorative opaque or translucent glass to obscure the contents.

Cost: $1,000 to $20,000.


You’re not limited to any single storage solution; instead, use a combination of shelves, cabinets, drawers, and other features to suit your needs. Options include wine cubbies, pullouts with rods for hanging linens, or rolling bins. In an entryway, build in under-stairs alcoves equipped with pegs or hangers for jackets, hats, and backpacks; include a bench for sitting and tying shoes.


  • 7 Storage Solutions You Didn’t Know Your Had
  • 9 Ideas to Squeeze in More Kitchen Storage
  • Your Home’s Unsung Hero — The Closet

General Zoning, Oceanfront

General zoning, double lot $245K

1br/1ba home on Front Street