Thomas Murphy - Pine Shores Real Estate



Posted by Thomas Murphy on 5/25/2014

The warmer weather is here. If you don't have air conditioning or just want to save money by not turning it on as often there are lots of ways to keep cool. So before you turn on the air or get overheated here are some tips on how to cool down your home as well as some tips for cooling yourself.   1. Keep the blinds shut Keep the heat out by closing your blinds, curtains and windows during the day. This will block the sun's heat. Keep everything shut until night falls and its cool enough to open the windows. 2. Open the windows After nightfall open the windows to allow the cool night air to blow throughout house. 3. Use a fan Place ceiling fans and window fans in upstairs rooms to draw off the heat and push the heat outdoors. Set up fans to suck up the cooler air from the floor below, and blow the hot air upwards towards the ceiling. 4. Create your own air conditioner Believe it or not you can make your own air conditioner. Place a metal bowl of ice in front of a fan, and adjust the fan so that the air is blowing over the ice. 5. Avoid adding heat Don't add heat to your home especially during the day. Wait until the evening to take a hot shower, wash dishes and clothes or turn on the oven.





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 4/20/2014

Who doesn't love a bargain? Some of the best shopping deals these days can be found online. Savvy shoppers even know that some days are even better than others to find the biggest savings. ShopItToMe.com, a website that looks at online retailers, ran a survey to see what days of the week online websites offer the biggest discounts. Here is what they found: Mondays: If you are looking for men's and women's dress pants try Mondays. ShopItToMe found the average sale price is about 48 percent off. The site also found Mondays are great for purchasing sunglasses with an average discount of around 55 percent. Tuesdays: If you are shopping for men's clothes, it may be pants on Mondays but all other men's apparel is typically on sale on Tuesday with a discount around 42 percent. Wednesdays: You can save an average of 38 percent on shoes. Also look for great deals on kids' clothing with an average discount around 40 percent. Thursdays: Handbags lover's Thursdays typically offer a 36 percent savings. Fridays: Once you have purchased a new handbag you will need accessories to match. Look for an average of 42 percent off jewelry, belts and scarves. Saturdays: Underwear and outwear are on deep discount on Saturdays. Shoppers can save an average of 37 percent on intimates and a whopping 51 percent on jackets and outerwear. Sundays: Swimsuit prices are reduced approximately 52 percent on Sundays. What are your best online shopping tips?




Categories: Money Saving Tips  


Posted by Thomas Murphy on 3/2/2014

With the tax deadline come and gone it is important to know that not paying your taxes can have significant repercussions. Tax laws and even worse the fallout from not paying your taxes can be a complicated mess. You could get stuck with a tax lien, if this happens to you here are tips on what can you do to remove a tax lien? First, what is a tax lien? It is a legal way for the IRS to get an individual to pay tax debt. Liens can be placed on personal or real property when you fail to pay taxes within a given period of time. The lien is usually filed at a local County Clerk’s office and is a public document. It can also be filed with the Secretary of State. Through the lien the IRS gains legal claim on property until the lienor can pay the tax that is owed. Tax liens are not only inconvenient but they can also affect your credit rating. The sale of any personal property will also be difficult or even impossible. Your top priority should be to remove a tax lien as soon as possible. Here is what you need to know: 1. You have 30 days to respond to a tax lien after receiving a “Final Notice of Intent to Levy”. 2. Tax liens can expire but this may not be the best option. For tax liens more recent than November 6, 1990, the tax lien becomes unenforceable after 10 years. For all liens prior to November 6, 1990, the tax lien becomes unenforceable after six years. 3. A tax lien can show on your credit report forever. Even if it expires the lien will remain on your credit report, whether the IRS acts upon it or not. 4. Pay the tax that is owed. If you choose this option, your tax lien should be removed within 30 days. It can be removed from your credit report as well. 5. Prove a financial hardship. If you can prove to the IRS that levying money in your bank account will cause more harm than good and that it may cause you to never be able to pay them what you owe them. 6. Your best option is to consult with a tax professional to help you create a realistic tax payback plan or correspondence with the IRS.




Categories: Money Saving Tips  


Posted by Thomas Murphy on 2/9/2014

If you have credit trouble it can be difficult to get back on the right track. Poor credit impacts your ability to secure a loan, credit cards, and even a job. Credit ratings are also used by insurers, employers and leasing agencies. So where should you turn for help to repair your credit? There are many credit repair companies and while some are reputable some are not legitimate. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offers these signs to tell if the company is legit or not:

  • The company asks for money up front. The Credit Repair Organizations Act forbids repair companies from requiring you to pay fees before they have completed the promised services.
  • The company doesn’t want you to contact the three national credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) yourself.
  • The company encourages you to dispute all the negative information in your credit report, regardless of its accuracy.
  • The company recommends attempting to create a new credit identity and history by applying for an Employer Identification Number to use instead of your Social Security Number.
While a credit repair company may be helpful there are some things you can do yourself to repair your credit.
  • Once every 12 months, check your credit report.  Credit reports are available at www.annualcreditreport.com.
  • If you find errors, dispute incorrect information in your report.
  • Negotiate the removal of outstanding debt. Even without a credit counseling agency, you can contact the collectors of your outstanding debt to negotiate a pay-off settlement.
 





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 1/12/2014

Charitable donations are on the rise with more and more Americans giving to charity. While you may not donate to charity just for the potential tax deduction, it can be a bonus. You should always try to donate in a tax-efficient way. Here are a few helpful hints regarding charitable gifts: Know who you are donating to: Only donate to organizations with tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status. These are the only deductions that are deductible on your tax return. Before you donate to a charity check to verify its 501(c)(3) status. You can research tax-exempt organizations on the National Center for Charitable Statistics website.

Avoid capital-gains tax-Taxpayers can avoid paying the capital-gains tax by deducting contributions of various kinds of property. It should be noted that physical property worth more than $5,000 will need an appraisal of its value to claim the deduction. Give it to the kids. Taxpayers can gift up to $14,000 annually tax-free. A gift to your child can be an easy way to reduce your income and tax bite. The gift recipient is liable for tax on any gifts. While paying taxes is inevitable, giving to charity may help reduce what you need to donate to Uncle Sam.