Everyone’s least favorite season of the year is probably the tax season. This time of the year is even more frustrating to businesses and investors who had a lot of transactions in the past year. Not to mention that different investments often require different treatment in taxes, as well as in tax deduction.

Real estate investment is one of the costliest and hardest investment sectors. To be able to make a profit in investing in real estate, the investor must make a lot of effort such as traveling to the property, preparations, and maintaining it in a good condition. One of the hardest real estate investment is the rental real estate, which requires active management in order to meet the needs of tenants living in the property of the landlord.

When paying taxes for a rental real estate property, the investor can minimize his or her income tax liability using various tax deductions. There are various Rental Property Tax Deductions available for landlords to use in order to save money in paying for taxes. Here are the five most common tax deductions that property owners can claim when filing their income tax.

1. Mortgage Interest, Unsecured Loans, and Credit Card Interest

If the real estate property is under a mortgage, the amount of mortgage interest paid for the year can be treated as a deductible expense. However, only the interest can be treated as such and not the principal payment. In addition, interest from unsecured loans (or loans that doesn’t require collateral) used to buy the rental real estate property can also be treated as a deductible expense. Interest paid for any credit card used for your business also falls to this category.

2. Depreciation

Real estate properties are known to appreciate in value over time, especially land. Buildings, on the other hand, can also appreciate in value, but its physical parts like the roof, the window, and doors decrease its value over time. These parts lose value because of the tear and wear that happens during its everyday use. Depreciation tracks the loss in value of these things. All real estate properties excluding land depreciate.

Each year, the owner depreciates the loss of value in the cost of the property and will continue to do so until the end of its useful life. For example, a $300,000 worth of house that has an expected useful life of 20 years will need to depreciate its value at $15,000 ($300,000/20) per year. This $15,000 can be used as a tax deduction.

3. Repairs, Maintenance, and Cleaning Fees

The cost of spendings used in the rental real estate property for repairs, maintenance, and cleaning, can be treated as a tax deduction. This is because these spendings are used for the business and to generate income. However, the repairs, maintenance, and cleaning fees that can only be deducted are those used within the year.

The cost of an improvement in the property (e.g. replacing the roof for a better one) will be depreciated for its useful life. These improvements also increase the value of the property. While repairs, maintenance, and cleaning spendings can be claimed at full at the same year tax year it was performed, improvements will be claimed every year until the end of its life span.

4. HOA Fees

The Homeowner Association or HOA Fee is a fee paid monthly by homeowners to assist in maintaining and improving properties in the association, according to Investopedia. If the property is used for private use, such as for residence or any other private purpose, HOA fees cannot be claimed as tax deductions.

However, if the property involved is being rented out, the HOA fees can be claimed as tax deductions. Moreover, if the property is used for private use earlier in the year and the owner decided to rent it out later, only the rented out portion can be claimed.

5. Property Taxes and Insurance

House insurance and property taxes that are in relation to the rental real estate property can be classified as a tax deduction. However, when the rental property is purchased with conventional financing and is paying monthly into an escrow account, these expenses cannot be claimed. The reason or this is because payments into escrow accounts are not deductible. Only those payments made out of escrow are good for tax deductions.

We all have them. From sneaking a fifth cookie after dinner to occasionally lighting up a cigarette, bad habits are easy to come by. But they also can prevent you from reaching your goals and jeopardize your mental and physical wellbeing.

So why do we still do them? And more importantly, how do we stop doing them?

Here is the science behind why we participate in unhealthy habits and how to kick them for good.

Why Do We Have Bad Habits?

The main answer to this question is stress and boredom. Bad habits are simply a coping mechanism to deal with those two issues. Everything from biting your nails to binge drinking on a Saturday night can be a response to either boredom or stress.

But this does not have to be the case. While it will take hard work, you can teach yourself new and healthy ways to deal with boredom and stress, which can take the place of your unhealthy habits.

Now that you know the top reasons behind a bad habit, let’s explore some ways to quit them.

Concretely Define the Habit or Behavior You Want to Change

Whether you want to quit smoking or start treating your significant other better, you need to start out by defining the concrete behavior you want to change or the habit you wish to quit. It’s critical to prime the habit-breaking process by thinking in terms of specific, actionable steps – like substituting out cigarettes for e-juice flavors or sending your partner a complimentary text once a day. It’s important to drill down on the concretes in order to formulate a plan of action.

Identify Triggers

Habits are typically situational, meaning that they’re tied to a particular location, time, person, or action. Going to a bar with friends may be enough of a trigger to have you binge drink just as seeing junk food laying on the counter will tempt you to eat a second candy bar. Or it may be the social anxiety sparked by a party you were invited to where you don’t know anybody. By knowing what your triggers are, you can push back and not have auto-pilot kick in, leading to indulging in your bad habits to cope with boredom or stress.

Dealing with the Triggers

Breaking a bad habit is about breaking a pattern. This means you have to do something about your triggers. Rather than go to a party where you don’t know anyone, invite a few of your close friends over for a game night. Proactively remove all junk food from your house.

Developing a Heathy Substitute

For most people, breaking an unhealthy habit isn’t about stopping but about substituting. This is where you come up with a game plan for going to a bar without drinking – like ordering a mocktail and talking to a close friend instead of ordering round after round of beer. Or, if you’re concerned about eating all of the cookies in your house, substitute them with a healthy and tasty snack instead, like fruit.

Accepting You’re Not Perfect

Progress is not linear. For every three steps you’ll take forward, you’re bound to take one step back. When it comes to breaking an unhealthy habit, you will mess up from time to time. We will take detours. It’s about accepting the fact that you’re not perfect – you’re human. Forgive yourself for these mishaps and realize that tomorrow is another day and another opportunity.

Committing to Change

Committing to change is vital. If you’re not ready and willing, you will not have the drive and perseverance to overcome a pesky habit over the long term. To find the motivation to overcome an unhealthy habit, you need to make a real commitment. To help with this, consider why you want to start improving your health. Do you want to have more energy to do the things you love? Do you want to feel better – both emotionally and physically?

It’s also important to understand that breaking a bad habit will be a long-term commitment. It won’t just happen overnight. You must have patience as you try to break free from a negative and unhealthy pattern.

Quitting an unhealthy habit will not happen right away. It will take a lot of elbow grease to change your patterns. Knowing your triggers and reasons behind your bad habits is a starting point for overcoming them. Be patient with yourself, develop a support system of friends and family, and learn how to replace unhealthy habits with healthy ones.

 

Are you the type that is always on the move? Some of us are just plain natural nomads who can’t imagine being in one place for too long. And that’s okay! Exploring the world helps you not only learn about other ways of life but also helps you learn about yourself.

If you are a natural nomad then you are really going to enjoy this guide to the seven longest roads in the world. The guide includes travel times, important stops, and cool tidbits about each route.

Some of these are certainly extreme adventures, like the Pan-American Highway which includes a portion of the route called the “Summit of Death,” a mountain pass in Costa Rica with an elevation of over 11,000 feet that many travelers can’t make it past.

If you’re looking for more of a relaxing road trip, check out the two longest roads in the U.S., Route 20 and Route 6. Both cross the entire width of North America and include awesome stops like Yellowstone National Park, the Rocky Mountains, and the beautiful California coast.

This awesome post was created by CarRentals.com. For the full guide, check out the post here.

There’s nothing worse than finding yourself in a productivity rut! For most people, it always seems like you lose motivation when you have the most work to do. While there is a lot of research online about ways to find and maintain motivation when you find yourself stuck in a rut, when it comes to getting motivated the most important thing is to find a routine that works for you.

For some, the best approach is to take a break from whatever you are working on. This can be achieved by taking a quick walk outside for some fresh air, getting in a work out, or spending time with friends and family. Another great approach for finding motivation when you are stuck in a rut is to watch or read inspirational content. TED, the popular media company that produces videos on technology, education, and design topics, is a great source of motivational content. If you’re wondering where to start or what videos to watch first, check out this infographic from Fundera on inspiring TED talks. They’ve compiled a list of 17 TED talks on motivation that are sure to inspire you and get you excited to get to work!

An Easter Message

by Lance Ekum

Tweet People often look towards their faith for inspiration during hard times. Now that Easter is upon us, it seems only fitting to turn to Easter scripture and the stories of Easter as a source of enlightenment and comfort. Whether you’re a follower of the Christian faith or not, the story of resurrection has applicable […]

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How Is Passion Found?

by Guest Author

Tweet Passion, how is it found? How does one go from wandering around in life, going from task to task with no focus? To finding the one thing that they really care about? Well, I’m sorry to break it to you, but there is no “one” almighty thing that gives your life purpose. Life is […]

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How To Improve Your Life Using Cryptocurrencies

by Lance Ekum

Tweet “bitcoin” (CC BY 2.0) by aronbaker2 Over the last few months, the topic of cryptocurrencies has been basically impossible to avoid. Whether it’s been the media coverage following bitcoin’s incredible surge in value or the rising adoption rates of ethereum, chances are you haven’t been able to go a week without hearing about cryptocurrencies. Throughout this time, […]

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Macau – From Humble Trading port to Gambling Capital of the World

by Lance Ekum

Tweet Having overtaken Las Vegas as the leading gambling destination in the world, Macau not only boasts many of the biggest and most spectacular casino resorts, it also has a rich and diverse cultural history just waiting to be explored and enjoyed. East meets west in the most spectacular of ways, ensuring that visitors will […]

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Christmas Around The World

by Lance Ekum

Tweet Everyone has a different way they celebrate Christmas. For some, it means decorating the Christmas tree on the first day of December every year and for others it means icing cookies with family to prepare for Christmas Eve. These traditions get us not only excited for the holidays and in the Christmas spirit, but […]

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Giving Thanks

by Lance Ekum

Tweet Thanksgiving is a time when family and friends gather around the table to enjoy a scrumptious feast and to celebrate each other’s company. Before cutting the turkey and filling the plates with nourishment, set aside the time to give thanks to the Lord. Although prayers of gratitude have been around far before Thanksgiving in […]

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