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aguabella

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  1. aguabella

    House Hunters Renovation

    It wasn't a loophole available to these participants. The 14 day exclusion is intended for homeowners to rent their homes out occasionally, e.g. once a year during a college big game, for a major event, e.g. the Olympics, etc. Renovating your home doesn't constitute a lease to the production company. For tax purposes, the renovation constitutes a prize and is fully taxable. If these homeowners tried to claim that exclusion, it wouldn't surprise me if they rec'd a large tax bill several years after filing their return, including 3 years of penalties and interest.
  2. aguabella

    House Hunters International

    ??? How would the participant "let us know"? The editing occurs months later, during post-production. The participants have no involvement with editing and no idea what scenes and/or lines were included in their episodes until the air date. If you're not interested in backstories and editing, feel free to SOB (scroll on by) my posts. It won't bother me - in fact, I'll never know. If/when I address those subjects, it's for the benefit of readers that are interested in them. Sorry for the delay - away for the thread so missed your reply.
  3. aguabella

    House Hunters Renovation

    Uh, sorry but there's no 30 day rent exclusion. I believe you're referring to the 14 day rent exclusion. Unfortunately, I don't believe these renovations qualify. The exclusion requires a lease / profit motive. Improving a personal residence and/or tax avoidance doesn't constitute a profit motive, in my opinion. Never saw EHM but IIRC their tax scheme was actually studied and formal opinions were published. The practice was described as "shady". I haven't reviewed them recently but believe they used the same reasoning and reached the same conclusion. Didn't many of the EHM participants lose their properties to f/c due to increased operating and maintenance costs, including utilities and property taxes? Besides their income taxes on the renovation?
  4. aguabella

    House Hunters: Buying in the USA

    Under the terms of the HH standard contract, they're not allowed to make improvements prior to filming b/c they're (supposedly, lol) recreating their actual house hunt.
  5. aguabella

    House Hunters Renovation

    The "appearance fee" is included in the total renovation cost. They're 1099'd for the designer and contractors' fees + any materials, etc. For all the major participants, an HHR episode is a barter transaction. BTW, barter transactions are taxable. Sure, the buyers might have a (psychological) "wealth effect" but there's no pot of cash to sink into their renovation. Likewise, the professionals aren't paid for their services. They'd charge their time to marketing / promotion. You're referring to the LA cabinet maker, right? He wouldn't have received cash from the production company for either his services as a designer/contractor or his appearance as a home buyer.
  6. aguabella

    House Hunters: Buying in the USA

    WRT the HH U.S. version: It's a 30+ hour time commitment for the RE agents w/o compensation. Over the years, many have been disappointed with the marketing results. The casting agents consider applications when buyers are under contract but absolutely no filming occurs until escrow closes. (Many escrows fail to close.) ETA - not referring to HH Family, if they're not purchasing homes.
  7. aguabella

    House Hunters Renovation

    Nice photos, juliet73, although not really my style. Not sure that house had the footprint for that arrangement. If mine, I would have installed a narrow island with breakfast bar and moved the TV to the basement! Good question about "understanding" the renovation. I think that can be explained by their budget. 40K wasn't sufficient for the projects undertaken, to me, although it's not a property to over-invest in. I pulled the listing. Sometimes viewing the previous owners' set-up helps. Instead of 4 bedrooms, IIRC, they used the downstairs "bedrooms" as a dining room and study / TV room. (The property was vacant when toured during the episode.) Given the usage, subject to the comps, I'm not convinced an appraiser would classify the home as a "4 bedroom". PM me, guys, if you'd like to check out the listing.
  8. aguabella

    House Hunters: Buying in the USA

    ??? Confused. RE: Durham episode: HH doesn't usually change / dramatize the participants' occupations. Pulled up the PA - her age and general appearance matched up but her bio and photo didn't ring a bell. The Durham area has a large medical community, including another "Ashley", an md. No photo but kinda' sounds like the Durham house hunter. Did I miss something, Pickles? No news article on my feed for verification. No big deal, just curious - if anyone remembers. Didn't add anything to the drama -
  9. aguabella

    House Hunters Renovation

    Cheap and easy to throw up a barn door. Unless and until home buyers stop buying them, I believe we'll see more of the same.
  10. aguabella

    House Hunters: Buying in the USA

    Reading back the thread, I noticed the pool safety discussion. In AZ, the local area (Gilbert) probably has additional regulations. In that particular episode, the kids frolicked in the pool during a closing scene, supervised their parents (IIRC) and the film crew. HH standard contract doesn't usually allow the parties to move into the home before filming. I assumed / hoped the family would upgrade the pool prior to occupying the property. As an attractive nuisance, a pool significantly increases homeowners' liability insurance costs. Yes, homeowners should comply with local regulations. Typically, ho insurance policies require compliance. I believe the insurance companies drive safety improvements and compliance. For example, everybody notice that pools (in general) now lack diving boards? Concerned about a neighborhood pool? Consider referring them a good insurance agent.
  11. aguabella

    House Hunters Renovation

    (Denver episode, basement bar, add'l wedding reception): Agree, not necessarily my taste but an improvement. She was definitely doing that kitchen! Imagine hosting their reception with a (slightly) used kitchen ... lol In spite of the multiple entertainment zones, the basement appeared poorly planned and/or unfinished. Everybody see the appliances on the back wall? Why not install appropriately sized units under the bar (out of sight)? A TV blaring, adjacent to the bedrooms? An over-sized globe? Whatever -
  12. aguabella

    House Hunters Renovation

    ?? "remodel couple" - you mean the HHR participants, correct? If it's "donated", then it was free, right? Perhaps I'm not understanding but they do pay the cost of the renovation. If they engage a sub or buy some misc materials on sale, I don't believe they'll be dinged. But, if the production company provides it, that's another matter. You're correct, anything donated / free, e.g. labor for the id and contractor, s/b included in the 1099. And, yes, any donated materials would be 1099'd at full retail value. Technically, if it's 1099'd at full retail, the homeowners cost would be equal to their marginal tax rate, i.e. the tax rate on their last $ of income. As a practical matter, in some cases, it's my understanding that the production companies frequently 1099 a set amount, e.g. the 30K to cover everything but call it location "rent" for the couple's home. They're too lazy to track all the donated materials and the discounts received. Definitely! If these couples don't understand, they're in for a huge surprise when they work with that tax accountant. And, if they their tax withholding was insufficient and/or they failed to pay quarterly estimates, they'll be subject to penalties, too. Ugh!
  13. aguabella

    House Hunters: Buying in the USA

    Agree, big issue for HOA's. They're subject to state regulations but in general, HOA's use typical collection procedures and may foreclose. Technically, fees shouldn't increase under normal economic conditions. Why? Well, like any other well-run business, an HOA should include an allowance for uncollectible debts as a portion of their monthly dues. So, if/when a give homeowner defaults, they access that their reserve and monthly dues shouldn't increase. Sure, if another economic / market collapse occurs, that reserve may not be sufficient. Florida after 2008 is an unfortunate, recent example. And, if new HOA management just added or increased the reserve to cover defaults, it might be temporarily insufficient. This is one of the reasons I always suggest buyers review the HOA's books and records. Always important during that review to verify the % of rental units in any given complex / pud. Why? In general, they're more likely to default.
  14. aguabella

    House Hunters Renovation

    Good ideas on the vintage Denver episode, juliet73! Yes, I believe the open shelving above the sink is totally impractical and merely a dust catcher. No big deal but they found an existing gas line later in the episode. Uh, I wouldn't open that wall protrusion! It's probably holding something, e.g. the stack ??? Open it up and you must deal with whatever issue arises. You break it, you bought it! Hated the flooring, too. Perhaps they should have used flooring consistent with the home's existing flooring and threaded it in. More $$$ but anything to make the home feel larger. To that end, yes, they needed consistent colors. Good idea for the 2 tier countertop. Instead of moving the plumbing (more $$$), they could have left the sink on the other side and made it a large, 1 level, work island. Instead of buying the giant frig, why not go with a slightly smaller version, building it in the same general area with a few narrow pantry cabinets? That way, they'd have a counter above the d/w for clean-up. I believe that place had 3 doorways and 2 windows. Given the added d/r light, they could close up the window to the left of the stove (or reduce its size) and build the counter around that corner. The sink could possibly go there, under a smaller window, using the existing plumbing. This house (1,476 s.f., pm me for the listing) was too small (my opinion) for a formal dining room. I'd remove the entry-way door* but use that doorway to access a round / bar table in that area for dining. It'd be close to the dw and could be utilized during the day as an entry table. Then, the d/r plus l/r becomes a great room. Possibly the interior doorway between those rooms could be widened. * During the holidays or staged to sell, it could easily be set-up as a d/r, if necessary. In the early 20th century, that entryway would have been considered and used as an add'l room. Not sure the b/r layout change was worth the add'l cost. And, yes, hated that two-tone! 65K wouldn't be enough for that home! (Doesn't surprise me b/c they did a kitchen and bath plus add'l work and would have been charged city labor rates.) They did indicate they'd "touched every room". Not sure if it was included in the 65K but the listing confirms they painted the exterior before HHR filmed. Guess they ignored the no alternations before filming HH rule. *ETA - the door and any wood or the wood frame could be repurposed elsewhere in the home.
  15. aguabella

    House Hunters: Buying in the USA

    Good idea but HHR hasn't done that since (probably) their first season. Instead, they use their own casting team, working in only 3-4 metro areas per season. This past season included LA, Denver and Boston / NE, IIRC. For the HH U.S. version, if the couple intends to renovate, they typically designate the final scene as WATN and feature the couple's initial renovation work. They usually film over a 2 week period and aren't allowed to alter the home prior to filming so it's tough to finish large projects.
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