Global Teacher Shortage x Rewarding Teachers

“Quality teachers are the pillars of quality education – A human right,” says The UN Educational, Scientific and Culture Organization. We couldn’t agree more. The infographic (below) takes a look at the global teacher shortage.

So how do you staff up with incredible teachers? How do we get better teachers into the workforce and into our educational system. The answer to this question is not simple and we’d love to know what you think.

We like to think that rewarding teachers is a good start, but only part of the solution. Our Closing Cost Grants for Teachers is a reward that can only begin to express our gratitude for the incredible service of teachers. Sound off in the comment section below and let us know how you think how we can get increasingly better teachers in our education systems! We’d love to know your thoughts and opinions.

Your Questions About Closing Costs Tax Deductible

Mandy asks…

When purchasing a house, are the closing costs tax deductible?

Last year I bought a home. I know the interest and taxes may be deductible. A friend told me that the closing costs were also deductible. Is this true?

admin answers:

Mortgage Interest
Property Taxes
those are the only thing on your closing statement that can be used to Itemize your deductions

Publication 530
Publication 936

Mark asks…

Are property taxes paid via escrow closing costs tax deductible on federal tax return?

admin answers:

It is a common misconception that you can write off all real estate taxes you paid when you purchase a house.

If you buy or sell real estate during the year, the deductible real estate tax is divided by the buyer and seller according to the number of days each owned the property during the year.

During settlement, if they handle it correctly, you will reimburse the seller for RE taxes he already paid for days you will own the home. In this case, you can include the RE taxes you pay on the HUD form because they are for days in which you own the home, regardless of the fact that they are being paid directly to the seller and not the tax authority.

However, you can NOT deduct RE taxes you pay on behalf of the seller for days in which the seller owned the house. Conversely, if the seller pays RE taxes for days in which YOU own the house, regardless whether your reimburse the seller or not, you get to include those on Schedule A.

In summary, all RE paid for days in which you own the house, regardless who pays them, are a deduction on your Schedule A. All RE taxes you pay for days in which you do NOT own the house are not deductible by you on your Schedule A….they are added to the basis of your house, but you can not write them off.

Hope this helps 🙂

Robert asks…

Refinancing closing costs – tax deductible?

I have read both publications 936 and 530 from the IRS on this. I see where closing costs are included in the basis of the home when you buy it but what about when you refinance? Is it deductible then and if so, where does it go on the tax return?

admin answers:

It would be reported on the Schedule A. You must Itemize your deductions rather than taking the Standard Deduction in order to claim the qualified expenses on your Tax return

The only things allowed are Mortgage Interest , Points ( on a refinance it has to be split up for the life of the loan) and Real Estate Taxes , all other costs become part of the basis

William asks…

Are any of a Seller’s Closing costs tax deductible?

My husband and I were married in June. I moved into the home he owns and I owned my own home too. I sold mine and paid $11K in closing costs. I know the property tax part ($2700.00) I paid at closing is deductible, but what about any of the other fees I paid at closing as a seller? I sold the house for exactly what I owed the bank on it so I wasn’t upside down and it wasn’t a short sale or anything like that. But as you probably know there is a laundry list of other fees, the realtor’s commission being the largest part, then the taxes, etc.
Just want to get the most out of our tax return
Thanks for your help.

admin answers:

With out seeing the HUD no one can tell so take it to a tax pro as there may well be some that are deductible. When I say a tax pro I am not saying these pop up locations like Jackson Hewitt or Block get a real professional like a CPA. Well worth the money

Linda asks…

What portion(s) of my closing costs are tax deductible?

For an FHA refinance mortgage loan, what portion(s) of the closing costs can I wrote off??

admin answers:

You can deduct on schedule A, the amounts shown for (1) interest, (2) property tax for the period after you bought the home, (3) points or loan origination fees, (4) mortgage insurance.

All of the other costs would either (1) be added to the cost basis of your home or (2) be non-deductible.

Richard K
Master Tax Advisor
Enrolled Agent

This advice is based upon my understanding of the tax law at the time it was written as it applies to the facts provided by you. See my profile for more information.

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10 Quotes About Sacrifice and America

Teachers, firefighters, medical professionals and other great everyday heroes are celebrating a great man today. Every day, these people are also constantly sacrificing to help out country. With 10 quotes about sacrifice, we want to recognize that we respect and cherish them for it.

Quotes About Sacrafice

image via

Different types of people through the past said these quotes about sacrifice, but share the same thought: a good life and a good community takes sacrifice. We honor Dr. Martin Luther King and the every day heroes in our lives with our favorite 10 Quotes About Sacrifice and America. Enjoy!

1. “Dreams do come true, if only we wish hard enough. You can have anything in life if you are willing to sacrifice everything else for it.” – J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

2. “Sacrifice is part of life. It’s supposed to be. It’s not something to regret. It’s something to aspire to.” – Mitch Alborn, The Five People You Meet In Heaven

3, “Real magic can never be made by offering someone else’s liver. You must tear out your own, and not expect to get it back.” – Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn

4. “Acts of sacrifice and decency without regard to what’s in it for you create a ripple effect. Ones that lift up families and communities, that spread opportunity.” – Barack Obama

5. “Without pain, without sacrifice we would have nothing. Like the first monkey shot into space.” – Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

6. “Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

7. “The ultimate test of man’s conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today for future generations whose words of thanks will not be heard.” – Gaylord Nelson

8. “Great achievement is born of great sacrifice and is never the result of selfishness.” – Napoleon Hill

9. “Freedom does not come without a price. We may sometimes take for granted the liberties we enjoy in America, but they have all been earned through the ultimate sacrifice paid by so many of the members of our armed forces.” -Charlie Dent

10. “Freedom is fragile and must be protected. To sacrifice it, even as a temporary measure, is to betray it.” – Germaine Greer

10 Incredible Photos of Every Day Heroes: Firefighters

1. Perseverance

Every day heroes

image via Resonance Pub

2. Every Day Heroes Facing The Unknown

Every day heroes face a fire

Every day heroes face a fire via funhug

3. Rebuilding Our Future

4.Rescuing The Helpless

Herald Sun Heroes

image via Herald Sun (AU)

5. Rising From The Ashes

Firefighters Rescue

image via Nat Geo

6. Helping Animals in Need

every day hero

image via the telegraph

7. The Ultimate Brothers’ Keeper

Every Day Heroes

image via NatGeo

8. Sacrificing Their Own Safety For Us

9. Dog’s Best Friend? The Every Day Hero

10. And Yes, Rescuing Cats

Everyday Hero Rescues Kitty

image via that cute site

From the wildfires in Colorado to the catastrophe in Connecticut, firemen keep our country safe and help us recover when we need them most–they are usually the first on the scene and the last to leave. They are every day heroes – both our neighbors and our keepers. We have collected stunning photos from around the web (above) that remind us why we need to remember those every day heroes and thank them when we see them. We will do everything we can at Everyday Hero Housing Assistance Fund to help heroes with their housing purchase and assistance fund needs.

Image Credit: all images (above) of every day heroes have image credits/source in the description below the image and are not owned by EHHAF

Why We Need Every Day Heroes

This post seems like an easy topic to write about. How is it not obvious to some people why we need our everyday heroes? Firefighters, teachers, policemen and women, as well as, many more keep our cities running smoothly. In addition, they keep our cities moving forward. Yet, it seems like we constantly overlook every day heroes, as a nation.

every day heroes

image via starman series on flickr

USEHHAF is here because we each want to recognize and support the everyday hero in our life. Tired of trying to convince others around you to focus on everyday heroes instead of celebrities in tabloids? We designed a little questionnaire for them to see if they really prefer the hero in the press, or if they appreciate the quiet everyday hero.

  1. Who is your celebrity hero?
  2. What made them your celebrity hero?
  3. What experience would you want them to talk to you about?
  4. Name a teacher, firefighter, or other service man or woman who influenced you.
  5. What did he or she do that influenced you?
  6. How many other people you know that directly know this person?
  7. Did this person help or influence them in anyway?
  8. What experiences has this person had that they could share with you?
  9. Would you listen?
  10. Reflect on what you believe your foundation for a good life is. Which person, the celebrity or everyday hero, exemplifies that?

The last question is the most important. Don’t get us wrong, we like to follow and hear about celebrities, but we want our everyday heroes to come first. That’s why we’re working hard for them.

Did you answer the questionnaire? Send us a story about your everyday hero so that we can share it with others.

The Everyday Heroes Assistance Fund
How You Can Help Everyday Heroes

Official Statement Regarding Today’s Tragic Events in Connecticut

“Today is a sad day. A tragic day that will live with us all as a moment in our nations history that we will never forget. A day that has undoubtedly robbed the survivors of their youth and innocence. A day that saw the end of what were once promising and bright futures, and by this we are saddened.

We are a strong nation and on days like these, we need to do what we do best, pull together as one people indivisible as human beings and show our love and support for the families of today’s victims.

As parents, family members, friends and supporters of our nations heroes, Teachers taking the lead in our effort to educate and prepare our nation’s future leaders, we have all suffered a blow of historic proportions today and it goes without saying that EHHAF is here for you.  Our condolences, prayers and thoughts are with you.”  -Errol Andersen & The USEHHAF Team

5 Quotes About Everyday Heroes

There is a very special breed of persons that holds our nation together: Everyday Heroes. Everyday, teachers, firefighters, medical professionals, professors, and police officers risk their lives and/or give so much back to our community.

While the dictionary defines a hero as “a person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal”, we define it as a person who makes the choice to make a difference in others lives. This is major reason we launched USEHHAF–to help heroes get grants for their housing and home needs. Below is a list of a few of our favorite quotes about everyday heroes, we hope you enjoy and share this blog post with a hero in your life:

1. Everyday Heroes & Choices

Everyday Heroes Quotes

2. Everyday Heroes & Work Ethic

Everyday Heroes Quotes hours

3. Everyday Heroes & Sacrafice

Everyday Heroes & Something Bigger

4. Everyday Heroes Are Role Models

Everyday Heroes & Light

5. Everyday Heroes Triumph

Everyday Heroes Are Good Men

Are You A Hero? Get A Grant.
Hero Loan Options
Military Home Buying Tips

American Heroes, We Thank You!

Our American heroes, those who served in the past and are currently serving, are the people with whom we should be sharing the most thanks this holiday season. While thanksgiving holiday is ending, the holiday season is just beginning and we are so thankful for the heroes in and around America. Here are a few quotes to inspire that thanks this Thanksgiving:

Everyday Heroes Housing Assistance Fund’s Favorite Thanksgiving Quotes

1. How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our American heroes and she-roes. – Maya Angelou
2. As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. – John F. Kennedy
3. Caring for our veterans is the duty of a grateful nation. – Patty Murray
4. I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder. – G.K. Chesteron
5. The depth and the willingness with which we serve is a direct reflection of our graditude. – Gordon T. Watts
6. Graditude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. – Melody Beattie
7. What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for other and the world remains and is immortal. – Albert Pike
8. Kindness, like a boomerang, always returns. – Unknown

10 Quotes About Giving Thanks
Contact Us & Getting Housing Help

Your Questions About Home Buying Tips

Joseph asks…

Leaving near parents? Importance of location? Other home-buying tips?

So my boyfriend and I are planning to get married next year and are looking at houses to buy. We found one that’s a really great value for the size and quality of the home… the downside is that it’s in a very small town (we were hoping to live in a slightly larger town in the same area) AND it is about 5 minutes from his parents. My bf is very close to his mom and sister, but I’m afraid he’ll rely on his mom too much… and his dad has alcohol problems, not something I’d want my future kids to be around a lot.

The house is also 2 hours from my family, but we have to move there because of my boyfriend’s job.
As of right now the home would take about half of my boyfriend’s income (utilities, insurance, etc included) but less when I finish college and get a job.

So, to people who have been through this, what is your advice on living near your parents? How imporant is the town itself? (The neighborhood is safe, just boring.) And what financial issues should we be aware of? Thanks!

admin answers:

Everyone’s situation is different. It may sound a little old fashioned, but perhaps you might think further about making a 30 year commitment with someone you haven’t yet decided to make a lifetime commitment with. That said, I’m all for having family around. You probably won’t see them as much as you think. Life is busy and you have to plan time to see your loved ones, even if they’re nearby.

Financially I recommend being prepared for those once a year and once a quarter bills. I highly recommend getting an Esgrow account and having your mortgage cover your property taxes and homeowners insurance if possible. Once a year we also get a trash bill, car insurance, water, and sanitation are all once a quarter for us. Also have a back-up credit card (or even better yet a savings account) in case a window gets broke or you need to replace the hot water heater or furnace.

Thomas asks…

home buying tips in colorado?

i am planning to buy a single house in colorado, but dont know the location yet. What are some things to keep in mind when looking for a house for first time buyers? Is it a good choice to buy house which are pretty old like build in 60s?
i am looking for a house somewhere around $300,000. 4 bed room, 3 or 3+ bath

admin answers:

Well really depends on where you live in Colorado and how much your looking to spend. I would stay away from older homes unless you can get a good inspection or a GREAT deal (which are easy to come by). I find it hard to want to buy an older home when you have such newer development all around Colorado. Not necessarily new homes, but homes built 2000 and newer. If you have a more specific price range or area then it’s easier to determine if a 60’s house is a good idea or not…


Robert asks…

Any home buying tips?

I have never bought a home before and was wondering if anyone had any thing they could tell me about the process. Any tips or things they wish some one had told them before they bought their home. My husband is deployed, so I’m doing this alone and feel so lost! Thank you!

admin answers:

Oh goodie, a buyer! Lol Well your first step is to go over  loan programs with a loan officer. We can recommend one who is licensed in your state. Just fill out the form over that the side and don’t forget to ask about closing cost grants. Select the loan program that you feel has the best program based on your finanical situation. Go ahead and have them start the loan application process and get a qualifying letter. You’ll need this when you make an offer.

2nd make a list of what you “have to have” in your home and what you would “like to have”.

3rd If you don’t already have a realtor, I suggest you visit open houses in the area you want to live and talk with each agent. When you are ready, EveryDay Hero housing Assistance Fund can connect you with a professional Realtor in your local market.

4th Give them your list!

Now what happens from here is you will look at homes and when you find the one you like, you and your agent will sit down and write an offer. Make sure you have the agent pull all the solds in that area for the past 6 months, so you know you are making a good offer. Let’s not play games here, if the list price is a good price based on the solds, then offer them list price. Make sure to write in the offer that you want answer within 24 hours. Once the offer is written, depending on where you are, your agent may make a presentation to the seller, or it may be faxed over to the listing agent to present to seller. The seller has 3 options: #1 to accept, #2 to counteroffer, #3 to reject.

Once accepted, the paperwork is then sent to the closing company to prepare all the documents for closing. This can take anywhere from 30-60 days. The actually closing date is negotiable at time off offer and could be quicker.

Your loan company will complete your loan application and all the necessary credit checks etc. And send the mortgage package to the closing company either the day before closing or the morning of. At the closing you the buyer has the most paperwork to sign. It generally takes about an hour. Sometimes the seller will attend, sometimes not. Again each state handles this process differently.

Caution: Don’t go out an buy a bunch of new stuff until after you close!

I hope you enjoy the process and find that dream home! In fact don’t open any new credit until your loan is closed. None.

Ruth asks…

Tips on buying your 1st home?

I am going to start the process of buying a home. I am a first time home buyer. I hear that I should take the classes on home buying.

What are some tips on purchasing your 1st home?
Grants out there (and websites if available) for 1st home buyers? Things to look out for?
just about any information would greatly be appreciated.

admin answers:

Yes! Take those classes first. You will learn so much. I took 3 different home buying classes(even though I thought I knew alot about home buying) and I learned so much! Take lasses at Home Depot on how to fix things. You’ll need to know that soon enough. Don’t take on any major new debts. Get your total monthly debt service- all the monthly credit cards, and installment loans (including what you think is a comfortable mortgage payment) under 50% of your gross income. Lower is better.


1. Research: Make sure you work with a highly recommended lender to find the right rates and program for you.

2. Pre-approval: Get pre-approval for the amount of money you would like to borrow – this generally lasts for three months. Having your loan pre-approved means that if you find a property you like you can move quickly.

3. Documentation:

* Pay slips
* Group certificates
* ID
* Tax returns and financials for the past two years if you’re self-employed
* Enough savings to cover the deposit and other fees (where applicable)

4. Find your property:

* Find the right property. Location is important. Do you want to be near the beach, city, shops, medical centres, schools. Is this a property you wish to live in for a few years or will you move on quickly? What’s important to you, ie. Garage, view, number of bedrooms, room to expand, backyard, etc? Make a list and be prepared to compromise on a few things.

5. Always keep your lender informed:

* Let your lender know what’s happening at all stages – the more information and documentation you can provide them with, the faster they will be able to process your loan.
* If more than 30 days has passed since your pre-approval, you will need to supply your lender with:
o Up-to-date pay slips.
O Up-to-date savings/credit card/loan statements.
O Your updated assets/liabilities to confirm nothing has changed since pre-approval.
* Provide your lender with a copy of the Contract of Sale.

6. Appraisal: Your lender will order this once you have provided them with a copy of the contract of sale. If the property is currently tenanted it may be difficult to get access to perform the valuation which may take a little longer

7. Formal approval: If all your documents have been received and processed and the valuation comes back positive, formal approval on your loan will be granted

8. Loan documents Signing. Be prepared for hand cramps.

9. Settlement.

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Share Your Story

All of Us at Every Hero Housing Assistance Fund would LOVE to hear your story, and so would many other families who hope to own a home. If you’d like to send a photo and share your story of home owning success, use the comments section below.

You can write in the box below to leave a written testimonial. You can even attach an image of you in front of your home.

Please include your full name(s) [note: it’s okay to just use your last name initial or leave out your last name(s) entirely for privacy reasons], your rank and branch of service, as well the city and state where EHHAF assisted you in achieving home ownership.

Share Your Story