Friday, December 29, 2017

Tax Reform & Real Estate

I kinda expected that everyone would have read about the changes. But, people are still asking me about it and one of my lender pals wrote a blog about how it's going to affect my clients.

He's a funny guy, that Mike Meena, so I just copied and pasted his's goes:

So the tax bill has been approved and it is not that bad, but it's not the end-all-be-all either.  Here are some of the key points and how Real Estate will affect your taxes going forward:
  1. All along they were going to change the Capital Gain Exemption from 2 of the last 5 years to 5 of the last 8 years and they changed it back this week to 2 of the last 5 years.  This means that you have to occupy your property for 2 of the last 5 years to get the $250,000.00 (if you are single) or $500,000.00 (married) Capital gain exemption. 
    1. This is the biggest win for Homeowners, and the country.  Real Estate is key to moving the economy forward and if they went to 5 years before you could sell, that would slow the economy immensely.
  2. There is a $12,000 personal Tax Exemption for individuals and $24,000.00 for couples. 
    1. This will cause more people to file short form taxes and take that exemption instead of filing the long form.  This may cause some people to say it is not worth buying, but I know I can convince them with numbers and the numbers don't lie and neither do I!  If they file the short form then they will not be able to write off charitable contributions, which will definitely hurt charities! 
  3. No more Interest deductions on a second home! 
    1. This stinks, but that doesn't hurt the middle class and I get it! 
  4. You can only write off $750,000.00 on all new mortgages taken after 12-15-2017. 
    1. Again, this is not a middle class issue in 48 states.  Sadly it is an issue here in California for the middle class, but they don't care about us because we have great weather! 
  5.  Property taxes and State income taxes can only be deducted up to $10,000.00.
    1. So you have Mello-Roos?  That stinks!  If you have a household income of $200,000.00 with the lower tax brackets and no state deduction aside from the 10k for property taxes then you would still save about $1800.00 in Federal taxes vs. last year! 
  6. The worst part about these tax cuts is that they are temporary and Congress would have to vote to continue them in 8 years, which means that they will probably go back up. 
    1. Is this where I say Yay?  Or shocker? 
Overall it will save most people money, but not everyone.  I know that I will be changing a few things to lower my tax liability, but most W-2 Employees don't have the same ability to do that.  I don't feel that the slight changes will have much effect on the Real Estate market or individual tax payers!  I am bummed about quite a few things personally, but I will get by. However, I'll need your help and here is my Go Fund me account!  Just kidding! 

Friday, December 22, 2017

Holiday Home Sales Activity

For anyone that doesn't think homes sell during the holidays...this post is for you! Well, and everyone else that is interested of course!

Santa Clarita Valley & all our little towns comprised of it:

Active right this moment is 379
In contract/escrow the number is 413. 
Closed escrow in the last 30 days is 287...a tad under our 300-ish norm....
but, really people, we are still selling homes!

And, whether your home looks as sweet as this or not....
priced right, every home will sell!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

A Week Before Christmas & The Offers Are Rolling In

Don't ever let someone say homes don't sell over the holidays!

I have a listing that went into escrow last week. I said, excellent, the rest of the year is tough.

Then, I had a past client refer their parents to me and we had to get their home on the market one week before Christmas!

So, they scrambled to do the pre-marketing needs, I used a different photographer since my regular one was on vacay, marketed the heck out of it with my networking groups.......and, the last 3 days have been a whirlwind, revolving-door type, wild ride of showings. I think my people were able to have breakfast, leave for showings, and then go to sleep at night in their home!

My phone was blowing up with requests to show, organizing with my clients, keeping track, following up.

And, then,....yes then, my e-mail started blowing up with offers. We have 5 now, expecting another one too.

Point of this post? 

Homes sell all year long.....and beautiful ones sell with multiple offers.........

Friday, December 15, 2017

Bitcoin in Real Estate?

So, my eldest son is all into the Bitcoin. He actually gave me some for my password he made up for me is so sweet! Husband and I watched an episode of Big Bang Theory last week that was talking about the dang stuff too!

In reading articles today I came across one that said that a brokerage in Texas did a full home purchase with the cryptocurrency! (my spell check program doesn't even know what that word is!)

At any rate, apparently another land purchase was done with Bitcoin as well. In Lake Tahoe for 1.6 million in Bitcoin in 2014. Yes, One Point Six Bitcoin.

Now, a rental management company is apparently adding payment options of Bitcoin for their tenants starting next year.

For those new to digital currency, Bitcoins are a long series of incredibly complex, military-grade encrypted alphanumeric characters that can be stored on a piece of paper, in a digital wallet or on an individual computer.
Bitcoin is subject to wild fluctuations in value as its value is based purely on supply and demand, unlike the dollar and other national currencies that have fiat value.
Currently, one bitcoin is valued at $17,742.10.
I am curious what some of you think of this stuff they call Bitcoin?
 Let alone if you own any Bitcoin yourselves?

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Ideas For The Back of Your Kitchen Island

Yes, the back. You know the part that everyone sees from the family room? The part that gets scuffed from feet accidentally kicking it while sitting on a bar stool chatting with you while you cook? Yep, that part.

I painted mine, same color as walls, just with a semi-gloss for ease of cleaning. Left all other areas white with the white cabinets..... and I thought I was being bold!

These are great though. Some other ideas from Houzz I didn't share. You know, bookshelves, built-in booth seating, painting (like mine), a wallpapered one I honestly thought was ugly. LOL

But check these out:

That is tile! Yes, tile! Super easy to keep clean and sooooo pretty!

This one is obviously wood, what a statement!

Well, this is a helluva bigger statement indeed!
Onyx....yep, back-lit too! Intense!

Nope, not wallpaper like I first thought.
It's actually metal. I dig it.

If I had to pick one for my house it'd be either the tile or the metal....but, who knows!
Which one did you like best?

Friday, December 8, 2017

Fires Don't Stop Real Estate

And, with that's the current loan rates from a lender pal of mine!

  • 30-year fixed conventional loan - 4.000% (4.066 APR). Loan amounts up to $453,100.00 =$2163.17
  • 15-year fixed conventional loan - 3.500% (3.615 APR). Loan amounts up to $453,100.00 =$3239.13
  • 5/1 ARM - Fixed for 5 years and then becomes variable - 3.375% - (3.478 APR) Loans up to $453,100.00 = $2003.14
  • 7/1 ARM - Fixed for 7 years and then becomes variable - 3.625% - (3.731 APR) Loans up to $453,100.00 = $2066.37
  • 10/1 ARM - Fixed for 10 years and then becomes variable - 3.750 - (3.868 APR) Loans up to $453,100.00 = $2098.38
  • 30-year fixed FHA loan - 3.750% (4.777 APR). Loan amounts up to $453,100.00 = $2135.10+ $326.56 PMI= $2461.66
  • 30-year fixed VA loan - 3.750% (3.955 APR). Loan amounts up to $453,100.00 = $2098.38
  • 30-year fixed Jumbo loan - 4.125% (4.131 APR). Loan amounts up to $3,000,000.00 = $14,539.49

Keep in mind that there are some issues with insurance coverage in some areas right now. Make sure you are in contact with your insurance company, particularly if you are in escrow!