3 Mental Breaks For Your Tax Week (You're Welcome)


As we're all taking time this week to ponder those proverbial certainties-- death and taxes-- things can get a little heavy. Whatever you're doing this morning, it may be time for a more lighthearted mental break (or three)! These could be worth your while.

1. What Buying a House Can Do for You

This article gives a brief summary of the financial benefits of buying a house (in case you still feel like it's just another way to spend more money). It's a little dry, perhaps, but a good reminder.

2. Who's Selling a House in My Neighborhood?

If you need to sell first, but don't know whether it's the right time, this link is an easy way to find out about recently-listed homes in your area that compare to yours, what their owners hope to earn from the sale, how these prices compare to other areas, and some other information. When you click on it, you will be asked to enter your name, etc., and then your address, number of bedrooms, and number of bathrooms in your home. The information from this link just goes to me (I'm not going to spam you), and it generates a report specific to your home. Obviously, every home has other features that determine its true market value, but this is an interesting place to start if you want a quick idea to have in mind while going through your finances this week and dreaming for the future. After you send your info, it will take up to 30 minutes to pull the report together, so you can get back to your taxes while you're waiting.

3. What's My Home Worth?

This is one of my favorite tools-- same basic principle, but it's even faster than the last one-- the report usually comes through within 1-2 minutes. I actually use this program when I'm manually developing a market analysis, but this is a computer-generated version of the more specific report I pull together for clients. Because it asks for limited information from you, keep in mind that this report won't take into account the other variables that make your house unique. Depending on where you live (East Side St. Paul, I'm talking to you!), your quick report may even give you such a wide range of comparison properties that you'll still have no idea where your house falls. It's pretty fascinating, though, and includes photos so you can see how closely matched are the details like your finishes and lot size.

If you feel your house is worth more (or fear it may be worth less) than the report indicates, drop me a line and I'll tailor your report to give you a more exact number of an appropriate listing price for your home. I've been doing this for a while, so I'm always pretty confident about my numbers.


As you contemplate this season (now get back to work!)-- whether your current focus rests on death, taxes, or both-- I want to wish you joy and hope moving forward as well, wherever life takes you. Happy Easter to you and your family, good luck getting those taxes done, and let me know how I can best serve you.

Posted by L. Lathrop, for Jim Burns