Real Estate Blog

The federal tax law signed by President Donald Trump Dec. 22, 2017, goes into effect for the 2018 tax year and generally doesn’t affect tax filings for the 2017 tax year. Here’s a detailed summary of the changes.

Owning a home can pay off at tax time. Did you recently buy a home in Brookings or the surrounding area.  Does South Dakota tax law allow for some deductions? It's best to check with your tax advisor first, but here are some tips that could help. *Need a recommendation for a tax advisor, check out VRS P.C. in Brookings*

If you're eligible, take advantage of these home ownership-related tax deductions and strategies to lower your tax bill:

Mortgage Interest Deduction

To claim the  mortgage interest deduction, you must itemize

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Every Monday Morning at 8:15am, join me on my Facebook page as I sit down with a local lender, and do a live interview and talk about a Mortgage Tip that may help YOU with your next Real Estate Purchase. 

This morning I sat down with Andrew Jallo from Dacotah Bank, giving us a great tip about seller concessions and what to look for.  You can reach Andrew at 605.692.8600 or  His office is located at 1441 6th St., Brookings SD 57006 or on the web at


Got a question for Andrew or any of my lender friends, feel free to email them or myself at  


- Alright, here we go. Little dark here, I don't know. I think we've said it before and our heads will shine off here

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I am doing exactly this as I write this blog.  My deck is huge and old, and I am ready to update it. I have talked to a number of Brookings contractors and received bids for completing this project in the spring. Here is what I have learned:

Plan a new deck that suits your property, meets your budget, and offers the best return on your investment. 

In the summertime when the living is easy, there's nothing quite like a deck for cooking out, entertaining, or simply relaxing. In addition to boosting outdoor living space, a deck can be an asset when you sell your home.

More good news: Decks add living space at a fraction of the cost of fully enclosed living area. You'll pay $25 to $35 per square foot for a pro-built deck compared to $100 to

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This Monday, I sat down with Danielle Engels and we talked about the Grants for Grads program with South Dakota Housing Development Authority. More information can be found at

- - Good mornin, Shane here from the Brookings Home Team powered by Century 21. Danielle Engles from Dakotaland Federal Credit Union. It is 8:15, Monday morning, means it's our Monday Morning Mortgage Tip. So, good morning.

- Good morning.

- How ya doin today?

- Good. - A little chilly out.

- It is a little cold out.

- And I feel short here, I'm in a, I'm in a shorter chair so. - I should shrink.

- You gonna shrink down a little bit. But, you're gonna talk a little bit about the Grants for Grads. We've had some questions about that, so I'll

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Be sure you’re sending the right message to buyers when you throw in a homebuyer incentive to encourage them to purchase your home.

When you’re selling your Brookings home, the idea of adding a sweetener to the transaction -- whether it’s a decorating allowance, a home warranty, or a big-screen TV -- can be a smart use of marketing funds. To ensure it’s not a big waste, follow these do's and don’ts:

Do use homebuyer incentives to set your home apart from close competition. If all the sale properties in your neighborhood have the same patio, furnishing yours with a luxury patio set and stainless steel BBQ that stay with the buyers will make your home stand out.

Do compensate for flaws with a homebuyer incentive. If your kitchen sports

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Most potential home buyers are a smidge daunted by the fact that they’re about to agree to a hefty mortgage that they’ll be paying for the next few decades. The best way to relieve that anxiety is to be confident you’re purchasing the best home at a price you can afford with the most favorable financing. These seven steps will help you make smart decisions about your biggest purchase.

1. Decide How Much Home You Can Afford

Generally, you can afford a home priced two to three times your gross income. Remember to consider costs every homeowner must cover: property taxes, insurance, maintenance, utilities, and community association fees, if applicable, as well as costs specific to your family, such as day care if you plan to have children.

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All right, a little adjustment here, as we get started, sorry about that. We got our high tech camera equipment here, in the way. It's all right. Should've had this ready to go.

- We'll get it.

- As you can see, Shane Andersen here with the Brookings Home Team of Century 21, powered by Century 21, and Justin here from Fairway Mortgage. And it is Monday morning, 8:15 on the dot. And that means it's our number 26, actually 26. Our 26th episode of the Monday Morning Mortgage Tip. So, it is cold here. First of all, Justin, I have to give you a huge kudos, a huge shout out for helping our clients, Janean's clients-

- Oh, yeah, any time.

- last week. We ran into a little snafu with them, on a different lender, Justin stepped it up and as

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House hunting is just like any other shopping expedition. If you identify exactly what you want and do some research, you’ll zoom in on the home you want at the best price. These eight tips will guide you through a smart homebuying process.

1.  Know thyself.

Understand the type of home that suits your personality. Do you prefer a new or existing home? A ranch or a multistory home? If you’re leaning toward a fixer-upper, are you truly handy, or will you need to budget for contractors?

2.  Research before you look.

List the features you most want in a home and identify which are necessities and which are extras. Identify three to four neighborhoods you’d like to live in based on commute time, schools, recreation, crime, and price. Then

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- Here we are. Good morning, and it is Monday morning, 8:15, which means Monday Morning Mortgage Tip. And this is Shane Andersen with the Brookings Home Team powered by Century 21. I'm here with Barb from BankStar Financial, and she will give us our Monday morning mortgage tip here for ya. First of all, I just want to give my condolences to all those Vikings fans out there. So there you go. I said it. Your turn.

- Hey, just lately we've had a whole lot of people calling around about rates. And I think that they may think that there's a rate for mortgage lending, and there's sure not. So, while it's smart to compare, you need to know a few things in order to get a good answer as you call from lender to lender. There are many different kinds

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By knowing how much mortgage you can handle, you can ensure that home ownership will fit in your budget.


Home ownership should make you feel safe and secure, and that includes financially. Be sure you can afford your home by calculating how much of a mortgage you can safely fit into your budget.

Why not just take out the biggest mortgage a lender says you can have? Because your lender bases that number on a formula that doesn’t consider your current and future financial and personal goals.

Think ahead to major life events and consider how those might influence your budget. Do you want to return to school for an advanced degree? Will a new child add day care to your monthly expenses? Does a relative plan to eventually live with you

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