Iowa City: Home Improvements That Lower Your Bills AND Get You a Tax Credit!

By
Real Estate Agent with Cardinal Realty - Locally Owned Real Estate Company

A $1500 Federal Tax Credit for energy saving home improvements that save you money - That's a win - win all the way for any home owner...Lightbulb for greener living.

The cold season is here in Iowa, at least according to the calender. Right now we're enjoying unseasonably warm weather here in Iowa City and it almost feels like spring...
Don't be fooled though, winter is around the corner and now is a great time to take care of some home improvements AND lower your bills in the winter months ahead. And while you're at it, remember that you may be eligible for federal tax credits for many home improvements you make in your home that save energy...

 

Tax credits are available for eligible purchases at 30% of the cost up to $1,500 for 2009 and 2010. Some of the more common eligible purchases are windows and doors, insulation, heating and air-conditioning systems and water heaters. It’s already in our own best interest to buy energy star products. Why not get paid by the government for doing it?

 

My first tip to you if you're living in an older home in Iowa City is to check out how much insulation you have in your attic. Until recently it was standard for homes in our area to have a  3 - 4 inches of insulation in the attic. Current data shows us that we need a minimum of 10 - 14 inches, (depending on the type of insulation used), to effectively keep the heat in our homes from going up and out of the roof. In fact, adding just 10 inches of insulation is likely to save us 20% on heating cost. Insulation is pretty cheap, so we're talking a good bang for the buck here!



Now before you rush off to spend money on home improvements, we know we can rely on the government to complicate the process when it comes to the eligibility requirements for this credit, so the best thing is to do is go to the government's EnergyStar Website and check out exactly what qualifies for the credit. Just as an example, the standard required for windows in 2009 is different to 2010 (!)



Below are some of the basic requirements as far as the standard type of home improvement I’m talking about in this post.
There are different time lines and requirements for solar, wind and geo-thermal energy that I’m not going into here. You’ll find more info about that on the EnergyStar Website.

  • The tax credit is available for products “placed in service” from January 1, 2009 - December 31, 2010
  • Eligible on improvements to the homeowners primary residence only
  • Installation costs are not eligible for the tax credit
  • A total of $1500 can be claimed in the two year period 2009 through 2010
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Denise Hamlin

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