When you sell a stock, you owe taxes on your gain — the difference between what you paid for the stock and what you sold it for. The same holds true when selling a home (or a second home), but there are some special considerations.
How to Calculate Gain
In real estate, capital gains are based not on what you paid for the home, but on its adjusted cost basis. To calculate, follow these steps:
1. Purchase price: _______________________
2. Total adjustments: _______________________
- Cost of the purchase — including transfer fees, attorney fees, and inspections, but not points you paid on your mortgage.
- Cost of sale — including inspections, attorney fees, real estate commission, and money you spent to fix up your home just prior to sale.
- Cost of improvements — including room additions, deck, etc. Note here that improvements do not include repairing or replacing something already there, such as putting on a new roof or buying a new furnace.
4. Your capital gain: _______________________
Since 1997, up to $250,000 in capital gains ($500,000 for a married couple) on the sale of a home is exempt from taxation if you meet the following criteria:
"Carolina Joe" Idleman