Real Estate Market Trends in Asheville

What do you need to know about Asheville real estate? Buying a house in this North Carolina city requires knowing a little bit about many parts of life.What Are House Values Like?Homes tend to retain their value better in this city than in the state as a whole. During the latest housing crash, for example, home prices actually stayed fairly consistent instead of plunging dramatically like many cities around the state and country. What’s more, home prices tend to be tens of thousands of dollars higher than the state median.What Are the Homes Like?And according to one real estate website, the median age of homes is about 15 years older than the national median age of 1974. Similarly, the median square footage for homes there is just over 1,300, roughly 200 square feet less than the U.S. median.That is not to say there isn’t a good selection of newer and larger homes available. Approximately 10 percent of the city’s real estate has been built since the year 2000, so there are still plenty of newer houses within the market.How are the Schools?If you are moving a young family, you will undoubtedly want to know about the school system in town. There are plenty of well-ranked elementary through high schools in Asheville, with many of the private schools receiving the best reviews.What is it Like to Live?The cost of living is less in Asheville than on average in the United States. According to the 2008 cost of living index, Asheville carries a 91.3 reading, while the U.S. average is 100. If you are making a decent income while living there, that can mean life is a little easier to pay for than elsewhere. Be aware though, that as of the 2000 census, the median income was almost $8000 less than the state’s median.One thing to consider is that crime rates tend to be slightly higher than the state average.Outside the crime data, it may be comforting to know that the temperatures in the city stay in a fairly mild range all year long, although it is more humid than the national average. And Asheville’s risk of being hit by a tornado is slightly lower than the state average and 16 percent lower than the U.S. average.Once you have decided that this is the city for you, local real estate agents can be some of your best resources in determining where and when to buy.
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Paying the Taxman – Estimated Tax Payments For the Self Employed

If you’re self-employed or earn income that is not subject to tax withholding such as rents, prizes, awards, interest, or alimony, or if you don’t have enough tax withheld from your salary or pension, you will need to make estimated tax payments throughout the year or face a hefty penalty at tax time.Self-employed individuals will also need to pay an extra self-employment tax on top of their regular income taxes. Estimating your tax payments isn’t too complicated. The IRS has worksheets you can use to calculate your quarterly payments. In general, if you anticipate owing over $1000 after subtracting your credits and current withholding, you should pay estimated tax payments. This number is adjusted by the IRS periodically.Estimated tax payment requirements vary for individuals, sole proprietors, corporations, and farmers and fishermen. Check with the IRS for guidance.For the self-employed, use Form 1040-ES from the IRS to make your calculations. Use your previous year’s tax return as a guide. This will come in handy when doing rough calculations as far as your deductions, expected income, and so forth. Take into account any expected changes both in your own situation as well as tax laws.The worksheet includes a tax rate schedule that you will need to refer to once you’ve come up with a figure of taxable income. In addition, you will need to pay self-employment tax on top of the regular income tax. Pay attention to the instructions for calculating this tax as there are different rates once you pass a certain self-employment income threshold.In addition, only 92.35% of your self-employment income is currently subject to the tax so you will first need to multiply you self-employment income times.9235 to get the amount that is subject to the extra self-employment tax. For example, if you expect to earn $30,000 as a self-employed individual, $27,705 will be subject to the additional self-employment tax. At the current rate of 15.3%, the self-employment tax would be $4239. It’s important to realize that this is in addition to regular income tax.As you work through the worksheet, you will have your final figure representing your estimated taxes for the year. If you will owe over $1000, you will then divide that number by four. You will then be responsible for making four quarterly estimated tax payments for that amount according to a schedule set up by the IRS. Depending on the calendar, the payment due dates vary from year to year. However in general, the first payment is due in mid-April, the second is due in mid-June, the third is due in mid-September, and the final payment in due in mid-January of the following year. Payment vouchers are included on the 1040-ES worksheet.As the year progresses, your estimated income may fluctuate. You can use the worksheet to recalculate your estimated taxes and amend your remaining estimated payments. Doing this will ensure that you won’t be left owing more than you anticipated should you earn more money than you thought. It also ensures that you aren’t overpaying the taxes either.Because you will need to pay these taxes one way or the other, it makes sense to be aware of the taxes with every check you cash. Figure out what percentage of every dollar you earn needs to be put aside for taxes and sock that money away immediately into an account specifically designated for your taxes.

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