Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Thought of the day!

Never limit yourself because of others' limited imagination; never limit others because of your own limited imagination.
Mae Jemison, astronaut

Monday, March 29, 2010

HomeBuilders newspaper - How accurate are they - and where do they get their research from?

Do they know what they are speaking of when it comes to "OUR real estate market"? They published an article for March 29-Aprl 11,2010 - Titled Greenville Home Sales continued slump in February. I believe our Team Leader Tommy Stevenson should send them our stats and his posts on Condo sales are up!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Hampton Inn and Suites RiverPlace Hotel in Greenville

Hampton Inn Downtown Greenville, South CarolinaPosted in Greenville Hotels, South Carolina Hotels | March 13th, 2010
If you’re a local of the upstate of South Carolina, then you know that the area is quickly growing as both a popular economic destination for new business ventures, but also as a popular vacation destination. The area is booming with thriving companies, including BMW, Michelin and is adding many new large corporations. Additionally, Greenville is situating itself as one of the premier medium-sized cities in the Southeast. One of the major hotspots is RiverPlace, which is in downtown Greenville, featuring hotels, restaurants and vibrant nightlife. Most of the city’s outdoor festivals and summer events take place in the Riverplace area, and there’s no greater place to experience it then at the Hampton Inn RiverPlace Hotel in downtown Greenville.



This hotel is one of the more sleek hotels in Greenville, though there are more hotels being added to the downtown area, including a Marriott, which is opening just down the street in the spring. I really recognized the attraction of the RiverPlace Hampton when having dinner beside it at the Lazy Goat, which is one of the sleekest restaurants in Greenville, reminding visitors of what they might experience at a New York City tapas bar. Located at the culture hub of Greenville, the hotel is within close proxmity of art galleries, chic restaurants and outdoor events. Guests with a balcony may enjoy watching a spring concert on the lawn at Larkins on the River.

Hampton Inn is often known as the budget brand of Hilton, yet this hotel in Greenville, South Carolina is far from budget accommodations. The Greenville hotel features plush beds with spacious sitting areas, which often include a sofa, coffee table and a couple chairs. However, to get the best experience, I highly recommend one of the rooms that overlook the Reedy River. Other amenities include a complimentary hot breakfast, free high-speed Internet access, coffee and tea service, a fitness center and the usual.

In all honesty, this downtown Greenville hotel isn’t your typical Hampton Inn hotel and certainly isn’t your typical Greenville hotel. You’re going to get a few things here, that you just aren’t always going to get at many hotels in Greenville. You’re getting what’s probably the best balcony view in Greenville (Few Greenville hotels even have a balcony, let alone a view) and you’re getting a spacious room with comfortable bedding. Most hotels don’t just sell their mattresses, usually because they are hotel mattresses and let’s be honest, they can often leave much to be desired. However, Hampton Inn features Serta beds that are available for purchase. Don’t think that’s something your highway hotel does is it?

Photo from the Hampton Inn and Suites RiverPlace Hotel in Greenville.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Senate Bill Timeline

Senate Bill (H.R. 3590) before Reconciliation Bill changes
The healthcare bill passed by the Senate and House will go into effect over a number of years. In 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013, most of the bill’s provisions involve new taxes and obligations. For the most part, the healthcare system changes begin in 2014, with some aspects of implementation farther in the future. Below is a timeline of some of the major provisions of this bill.
This timeline reflects only the Senate bill signed into law on March 23, 2010. Now, the Senate is considering a Reconciliation Bill (H.R. 4872) which, if passed, will alter the details of these provisions. NFIB opposes the Reconciliation Bill because in many ways, it takes a bad bill (H.R. 3590) and makes it worse.
2010
􀂃 Small business health tax credit: This will do little to nothing to help small firms afford insurance. The credit is very restrictive and puts small business owners through a series of complicated tests to determine the actual amount of the credit. (1) Very few small firms will receive the full credit (only firms with 10 employees or less). For firms with 11-25 employees, the credit is reduced per employee. Firms with more than 25 employees get NO credit. (2) Only firms who pay their workers $25,000 or less are eligible for the full credit. The credit is reduced as the average wage goes up, stopping at $50,000. The credit is only available for a maximum of five years.
􀂃 Brand-name drug tax: Manufacturers and importers of brand-name drugs will pay a tax of $2.3 billion. This cost will be passed on to consumers.
􀂃 Age 26: Children may stay on their parents’ policies until age 26.
2011
􀂃 W-2 reporting: Employers will be required to report employees’ health benefits on W-2s.
􀂃 HSA & FSA limits: Consumers can no longer use HSAs and FSAs to purchase certain items, including most over-the-counter medication prescribed by physicians.
􀂃 HSA penalty: The penalty for making non-qualified purchases with an HSA increases to 20%.
􀂃 FSA limits: Cafeteria plan FSAs will be limited to $2,500 (inflation adjusted after 2011.)
􀂃 Medical device tax: Manufacturers and importers of certain medical devices will be taxed $2 billion per year (for 2011-2017) and then $3 billion per year thereafter. These costs will ultimately fall on the consumer.
􀂃 Small business health insurance tax: An annual fee on health insurance providers will be passed on to consumers. This tax will fall on the vast majority of plans that small businesses purchase, but not on self-insured plans (such as most big business and labor union
National Federation of Independent Business
1201 F Street NW * Suite 200 * Washington, DC 20004 * 202-554-9000 * Fax 202-554-0496 * www.NFIB.com
policies). The amounts are $2 billion for 2011, $4 billion for 2012, $7 billion for 2013, and $9 billion per year for 2014 through 2016, $10 billion thereafter, with certain exceptions.
􀂃 Tanning salon tax: A 10% excise tax on indoor tanning services begins.
􀂃 Federally subsidized long-term care: Voluntary payroll deductions begin for the CLASS long-term care program. All working adults will be automatically enrolled unless they choose to opt out. This program will almost certainly cost the federal government far more than what the payroll deductions will cover. So this entitlement is yet another unfunded liability to add to federal deficits for decades to come.
2012
􀂃 1099 reporting: Businesses will have to send Form 1099s for every business-to-business transaction of $600 or more – a tremendous new paperwork burden for small business.
2013
􀂃 Cadillac tax: The government will collect a so-called “Cadillac Tax” – a 40% excise tax on health coverage in excess of $8,500 annually for an individual or $23,000 annually per family. This tax is inadequately indexed for medical inflation, so as healthcare costs rise, more and more people will be swept into this tax each year. This is similar to the Alternative Minimum Tax – designed to hit the “rich” but reaching farther and farther into the middle class each year.
􀂃 Fewer deductible medical expenses: New limits are placed on the deductibility of medical expenses on individual income tax returns. This provision raises the 7.5% AGI floor on medical expenses deductions to 10%. The AGI floor for those 65 and older (and their spouses) remains at 7.5% through 2016.
􀂃 “Medicare” payroll taxes: The Medicare payroll tax on wages and self-employment income in excess of $200,000 ($250,000 joint) will increase to 2.35% and is not indexed to inflation. This tax marks the first time that funds designated for Medicare will be diverted elsewhere – specifically to pay for the insurance policies of people under the Medicare age. This establishes a precedent for treating the payroll tax as a revenue raiser for other purposes.
2014
􀂃 Health insurance exchanges: Up until 2014, the bill collects a great deal of taxes but does little to change healthcare. In 2014, that begins to change with the opening of insurance exchanges.
􀂃 Premium credits: The federal government begins subsidizing individuals up to 400% of the federal poverty line – around $88,000 today. These credits will subsidize individuals purchasing insurance in exchanges, but not those with traditional employer-sponsored plans.
􀂃 Medicaid eligibility expands: The income level for Medicaid eligibility rises, bringing tens of millions of new people into Medicaid. This Medicaid expansion will account for around half of the total increase in insurance coverage and will place considerable new financial pressure on states, with higher taxes a likely response.
􀂃 Medicare cost-cutting: Beginning in 2014, Medicare must begin recommending ways to cut costs in the provision of care.
􀂃 Benefits package: Federal government defines essential benefits package. All policies must comply.
National Federation of Independent Business
1201 F Street NW * Suite 200 * Washington, DC 20004 * 202-554-9000 * Fax 202-554-0496 * www.NFIB.com
􀂃 Individual mandate: Starting in 2014, all U.S. citizens and legal residents must have qualifying health coverage or pay penalties. For an individual, the penalty begins in 2014 at the greater of $95 or 0.5% of household income. In 2015, it grows to $495 or 1.0%. In 2016, it reaches $750 or 2%. (For families, the figure will be $2,250.) After 2016, the amount will rise by a cost-of-living adjustment.
􀂃 Employer mandate: The bill contains a complex employer mandate requiring some firms to provide insurance, pay penalties or both. The penalties are based on (1) the number of full-time employees, (2) whether or not the firm offers coverage, and (3) whether or not one or more employees qualify for government subsidies toward the purchase of health insurance. An employee qualifies for a subsidy if his or her household income is below 400% of the federal poverty line ($88,000 for an individual today). Here are some of the rules:
o More than 50 full-time employees. Does not offer insurance. Has one or more employees receiving premium subsidies. Penalty = $750 per employee.
o More than 50 full-time employees. Offers insurance. Has one or more employees receiving premium subsidies. Penalty = lesser of $3,000 per subsidized employee or $750 per employee.
o More than 50 full-time employees. Offers insurance. Has no employees receiving premium subsidies. No penalty.
o 50 or fewer full-time employees. No penalty.
There are extra penalties for firms who have a waiting period before employees are eligible for insurance.
􀂃 Small construction company employer mandate: In all other industries, firms with 50 or fewer employees are exempt from the mandate. In the construction industry, the exemption only applies to firms with 5 or fewer employees. Consider a construction firm that does not provide insurance and which has seven employees and a payroll of $250,000. This firm will owe $5,250 (= 7 employees x $750). In addition, the law does not define what it means by “construction firm” and leaves that definition to regulators.
National Federation of Independent Business
1201 F Street NW * Suite 200 * Washington, DC 20004 * 202-554-9000 * Fax 202-554-0496 * www.NFIB.com

"Fixes to the Healthcare Bill"

Here are the “fixes” to the healthcare bill. See bullets two and three below.

Bullet two: imposition of a 3.8% Medicare tax on all interest, dividend, rent, and most capital gains – UNBELIEVABLE

Bullet three: 20% penalty (40% if you don’t tell IRS ahead of time to look at your tax return) if you have a transaction on your tax return that only changes your taxes and NOT your economic “position” in a “meaningful” way. Guess who gets to decide if those conditions are met.

I honestly cannot imagine life under this bill. And it is just the tip of the iceberg in the spiral into socialism.

________________________________________






Congress Passes Health Care Reform “Fixes”
CCH Analysis of Tax Provisions in Patient Protection and 2010 Reconciliation Acts Now Available

In what appears to be the final chapter in a year-long debate about reforms to the United States health care system, on March 25, 2010, Congress passed the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (2010 Reconciliation Act). The legislation makes some significant changes to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Patient Protection Act), as signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010. Some of the highlights of the 2010 Reconciliation Act include:
 Broadening of the definition of dependents to include children under age 27 for purposes of the general exclusion for reimbursements for medical care expenses under an employer-provided accident or health plan, and for certain other purposes.
 Imposition of a 3.8% unearned income Medicare contribution tax on net investment income beginning in 2013. Generally speaking, net investment income includes interest, dividends, annuities, royalties, rents and certain other income and gains not generated in the ordinary course of an active trade or business, or which is generated in the trade or business of trading financial instruments or commodities.
 Codification of the economic substance doctrine. To satisfy the codified standard a transaction must change the taxpayer’s economic position in a meaningful way apart from tax savings, and the taxpayer must have a substantial purpose for entering into the transaction. A stiff 20 percent “strict liability” penalty is imposed for underpayments attributable to the disallowance of claimed tax benefits by reason of a transaction lacking economic substance, and an even stiffer 40 percent penalty applies to nondisclosed noneconomic substance transactions.
 Increase in the estimated tax payments for certain large corporations.
 Exclusion of "“black liquor” from the cellulosic biofuel producer credit.
Combined, the Patient Protection Act, as amended by the 2010 Reconciliation Act, represents the largest social reform in decades. The legislation is designed to effectuate fundamental reforms to the US health care system and includes over $400 billion in revenue raisers and new taxes on employers and individuals.

CCH’s Award-Winning Briefing Now Available

Since 1913, CCH has provided tax professionals with the most comprehensive, ongoing, practical and timely analysis of the federal tax law. CCH’s Tax Briefing highlighting the tax changes made by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, lives up to that tradition. Find out how these changes will impact you, your business and your clients.

But Wait, There’s More — Check Out CCH’s Explanation & Analysis!

CCH’s Law, Explanation & Analysis of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is now available to IntelliConnect™ subscribers. This all-in-one, practical resource provides detailed analysis of these new tax law changes, and is loaded with practical guidance, examples, planning strategies and opportunities.

View the most up-to-date coverage of this and other federal tax legislation.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

New Website

I am so excited about my new webpage & blog... visit me at www.victoriacottlegreenvillehomes.com
visit me at www.victoriagreenvillehomes.com

Website

I am so excited about my new updated website - check it out & visit me at victoriacottlegreenvillehomes.com

Home For Sale in Greer, SC

Victoria Cottle | Keller Williams Realty | 864-275-3953


701 Austin Woods Ct, Greer, SC
Approx. 1792 HSF3 bd/2ba large bonus room on corner lot, vinyl w/ brick accents. Greeting you at the front door is hardwoods in Foyer, Kitchen, Dining
3BR/2BA Single Family House
offered at $183,250
Year Built Unspecified
Sq Footage 1,792
Bedrooms 3
Bathrooms 2 full, 0 partial
Floors 1
Parking Unspecified
Lot Size 0.24 acres
HOA/Maint $200 per month


see additional photos below
PROPERTY FEATURES


























- Fireplace- High/Vaulted ceiling- Walk-in closet
- Hardwood floor- Living room- Bonus/Rec room
- Dining room- Breakfast nook- Dishwasher
- Stove/Oven- Microwave- Attic
- Laundry area - inside- Balcony, Deck, or Patio- Yard

ADDITIONAL PHOTOS


Photo 1

Photo 2

Photo 3

Photo 4

Photo 5

Photo 6
Contact info:




Victoria Cottle
Keller Williams Realty
864-275-3953
For sale by agent/broker

powered by postlets Equal Opportunity Housing
Posted: Mar 25, 2010, 4:25pm PDT

Great New Listing With it's own Personal Pool

Victoria Cottle Keller Williams Realty 864-275-3953


608 N Cashmere, Moore, SC
4 bd/2.5 ba home in cul-de-sac, vinyl w/ stone accents. Court yard entry into an open floor plan with a 2-story foyer. Great room with hardwoods, gasf
4BR/2+1BA Single Family House
offered at $230,000
Year Built2005
Sq FootageUnspecified
Bedrooms4
Bathrooms2 full, 1 partial
Floors1
ParkingUnspecified
Lot Size0.24 acres
HOA/Maint$0 per month


see additional photos below
PROPERTY FEATURES
































- Central A/C- Fireplace- High/Vaulted ceiling
- Walk-in closet- Hardwood floor- Living room
- Dining room- Breakfast nook- Dishwasher
- Stove/Oven- Microwave- Granite countertop
- Attic- Laundry area - inside- Balcony, Deck, or Patio
- Yard- Swimming pool- Jacuzzi/Whirlpool

COMMUNITY FEATURES










- Garage parking- Clubhouse- Fitness center
- Swimming pool(s)


ADDITIONAL PHOTOS



Photo 1

Photo 2

Photo 3

Photo 4

Photo 5

Photo 6
Contact info:




Victoria Cottle
Keller Williams Realty
864-275-3953
For sale by agent/broker

powered by postletsEqual Opportunity Housing
Posted: Mar 25, 2010, 3:41pm PDT

Beautiful New Listing

Victoria Cottle Keller Williams Realty 864-275-3953


102 Hollyridge Road, Spartanburg, SC
1.5 garage 4 bd/ 2.5 b two story home is located in Woodlake subdivision near 85 in Spartanburg County on approximately one acre. Openfloor plan featu
4BR/2+1BA Single Family House
offered at $255,000
Year BuiltUnspecified
Sq Footage2,872
Bedrooms4
Bathrooms2 full, 1 partial
Floors2
ParkingUnspecified
Lot Size1 sqft
HOA/Maint$0 per month


see additional photos below
PROPERTY FEATURES































- Central A/C- Central heat- Walk-in closet
- Hardwood floor- Tile floor- Living room
- Bonus/Rec room- Office/Den- Dining room
- Breakfast nook- Dishwasher- Stove/Oven
- Microwave- Attic- Laundry area - inside
- Balcony, Deck, or Patio- Yard

ADDITIONAL PHOTOS



Photo 1

Photo 2

Photo 3

Photo 4

Photo 5

Photo 6
Contact info:




Victoria Cottle
Keller Williams Realty
864-275-3953
For sale by agent/broker

powered by postletsEqual Opportunity Housing
Posted: Mar 25, 2010, 3:20pm PDT