To put it lightly, home prices tanked during the financial crisis. The S&P Case-Shiller 20-City Home Price Index fell from from more than 200 to as low as 140, a decline of about 30 percent, and the 10-City index fell by about 33.4 percent. In a just a few years, home prices had lost pretty much every dollar of value they had added during a meteoric rise in the first half of the decade.
Odds are, if you own your home, the idea of a sale in recent years has been unattractive to you for exactly these reasons. The last thing you want to do during an economic recession or an anemic recovery is sell your home for a loss, so if they could, many people held on to their homes, hoping that prices and the market would recover.
The S&P Case-Shiller indexes haven’t yet recovered to their pre-crisis levels, but at 165.8 for the 20-City and 180.15 for the 10-City, they are each sitting at about 80 percent of their pre-crisis peaks. This is healing — if not outright health — in most major real estate markets, although at 79 percent of its pre-crisis peak, the national-level index is slightly weaker.
The time may be right to sell, and to hopefully sell at a gain instead of a loss. If this is the case, you can expect a fiscally weary Uncle Sam to reach out his hand and ask for a cut of the proceeds. Fortunately, there are a few provisions in the tax code that can help you pocket your profits and build your life wherever it is you move next. Click through to see a few tips to minimize capital gains taxes on the sale of your home.