What Is The Most Rewarding Way To Save Yourself Thousands Of Dollars?

by Beth Swanson on March 24, 2012

The real estate market, to be perfectly honest, is presently a bear AND bare market – nobody seems to be interested in buying, and so many people are holding on to property that is worth a good deal less than the amount they initially paid for. Many of us have decided to donate our homes to charity instead of selling them, and this article deals with why this is such a financially AND spiritually rewarding option.

This might sound like an idea straight from the playbook of Mother Teresa, but on a business sense you are saving thousands of dollars, not to mention unconsciously relieving yourself of stress.

Yes, it can take a lot of prayer and perseverance to get past the onus of owning an unproductive piece of real estate – the monthly payments and maintenance you make can seem pointless at times, which it often is. You’re paying property taxes and other bills each month, the costs of which you know you won’t recoup through a sale.

By donating your property to charity, you can free yourself from this burden. The monkey on your back can jump off and mosey over to the zoo where he belongs – you can use your monthly payments for more productive and valuable endeavors, such as investing on more real estate, or better yet, setting up that much-needed retirement fund.

Selling your home for less than you paid is more than just expensive, it’s depressing! After everything you’ve done to keep your house spic-and-span and spiffy, thus ensuring a high market value (or so you think), you may instinctively think people would recognize this. Perhaps they do, perhaps they don’t, but the bottom line is that you can make the Red Sea part next to your property and customers will still be paying seventy – or even sixty – cents on the dollar due to the sluggish real estate market!

To reciprocate for the selfless act of donating your home, you get a tax deduction. This tax deduction is based on your home’s current value on the market. And if you donate in lieu of selling your property, you could also save money on those real estate commissions. Remember that we are talking about two agents here whom you would usually pay commissions to – your agent as well as your buyer’s agent. Then there are the miscellaneous costs going to lawyers, home inspectors, closing costs, et cetera, et cetera. Believe it or not, you might be in better financial shape if you have decided to donate your home compared to selling your home, which can be a long, arduous AND costly trek before you have finally completed the process.

Even if you still live in your home, it is still possible to donate your home. You can use the “life estate” technique, where you would still be able to reside in your home and qualify for the tax break, and once you pass away, that would be when your property’s title would be transferred to charity.

Time for some quick last words on giving your home away – think about how good it could make you feel afterwards. It is innately satisfying to help those who are in need, suffice to say that it is the Christian thing to do. Nothing fattens the heart and purifies the conscience more than knowing your property had gone to a good cause. It would be the charities’ prerogative whether they would sell the home or leave the property as is-where is. And it would definitely make your day (and ours too) if you find out the home went to a needy family who couldn’t be more happy to finally have a place to live in! You can definitely thank the Lord for tax exemptions, but would be doing more in His eyes by being there for those who are in need.

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