Getting rid of clutter (collectibles) that you've collected over the years is a good start. A freshly painted door looks more inviting than a tired old door. Before you put your home on the market now is a good time to start packing up that stuff you haven't used in a while. Show off your closets, again, pack what you don't use every day. For more tips and suggestions contact Cheryl Fox at 818-207-2013. We are not allowed to solicit other broker's listings. If you have not listed your home and are not currently working with a Realtor and live in the San Fernando Valley, Santa Clarita Valley or West Los Angles we would gladly come by for a no obligation consultation.
Saturday, November 10, 2018
How Does the New Mortgage Interest Deduction Affect You?
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 enacted on December 22, 2017 suspends from 2018 until 2026 the deduction for interest paid on home equity loans and lines of credit, unless you used the money to buy, build or substantially improve the taxpayer's home that secures the loan. Many of you may have received solicitations to consolidate your debts with a home equity loan thinking you could deduct the interest (on loans up to $100,000) as in prior years. Beware of the temptation to obtain a home equity loan to pay off your credit card debt or personal living expenses because the interest is no longer deductible on your federal tax return.
There is a new dollar limit on total qualified residence loan balances. In 2018, Americans will be able to deduct interest they pay on mortgages up to $750,000 in new mortgage debt. Anyone who purchased a home before December 15, 2017 will be able to still deduct mortgage interest payments on up to $1 million in debt up until 2025.
There is a silver lining because California have not conformed to the new federal tax laws. For California the taxpayer can still deduct mortgage interest on mortgage loans up to $1 million and home equity loans (regardless of how the money was used) up to $100,000.
The new tax laws are very complicated. If you would like more information about the changes to the home mortgage interest rules or to discuss your tax situation, Cheryl A. Fox is available for a consultation. She has almost 40 years experience and can be reached at 818-995-9109.
Tuesday, November 7, 2017
Yes, there may be fewer homes on the market, but there are also fewer buyers out there competing for the same home you want. That gives buyers an important edge. "Families on a mission to move into a new home before school starts are out of the picture," said Forbes. "Competition for houses drops off in the fall, a time many people consider to be off-season in real estate. But there are still homes for sale - and in some cases, there's just as much inventory as there was during the spring and summer."
The benefit to sellers is that those buyers who are out there tend to be more serious, which means your REALTOR® can key in on the real buyers without having to sift through the riffraff.
If you're a buyer who closes escrow before December 31, and you may get a nice write off on your taxes. "Property tax and mortgage interest are both deductions you can take for your whole year's worth of income, even if you closed on your home in December," David Hryck, a New York, NY tax adviser, lawyer, and personal finance expert told Realtor.com. "Any payments that are made prior to the closing of the loan are tax-deductible. This can make a serious difference in the amount you owe the government at the end of the year."
There are also potential tax breaks for home sellers. "You can include all sorts of selling expenses in the cost basis of your house," said The Balance. "Increasing your adjusted cost basis decreases your capital gain because this is what's subtracted from the sales price to determine how much of a gain - or loss in some cases - you've realized. If you have less of a gain, you're more likely to fall within the exclusion limit, and if you're gain isn't excluded, you'll pay taxes on less." And that's just the beginning. Closing costs and home improvements may also be write offs for sellers.
Home for the holidays
Buy or sell early in the fall and you could be nicely situated in your new home in time for the holidays and before winter weather hits. Moving during a calmer time of year also means you may have better access to movers and other necessary resources than during the busier spring and summer seasons.
The right price
Did you list in the spring or summer with an exorbitant number that you thought you'd have no trouble getting because it was a hot market? That's pretty common these days. Whether you've had a revelation about the price you should be asking or have made updates to your home to justify a higher price, you're probably in better shape to get your (realistic) asking price in the fall. If you're a seller and you establish a smart pricing strategy, you could find your home standing out in the crowd and selling while others sit on the market under a blanket of snow.
Buyers also may have a better time getting a home that's within their budget because when there is less competition for homes, there is less chance of bidding wars and over-asking-price sales.
Fall may be safer for buyers and sellers
Here's something you may not have thought of. "Did you know that burglars have peak seasons? They do, Sarah Brown, a home safety expert for SafeWise.com, told Forbes. "July and August are prime months for burglaries to take place. Waiting until the fall [to buy] gives you an advantage when learning about a home and the neighborhood. You'll be settled in your home and can take precautions—like setting up that new alarm system—before the next burglary season rolls around.
For sellers, less competition for your home can be a good thing if it means your home is safer from theft.
Great deals on stuff to fix up your home
Coordinate the timing right, and those items you need to fix up your home for sale in the fall or update and upgrade after a purchase might be priced to your advantage. Check Consumer Reports for a full list of the best times of year to buy everything, and keep in mind holiday and Black Friday sales. You could score some great deals at this time of year.
Written by Jaymi Naciri
Written by Jaymi Naciri
Wondering What Your Home Is Worth? -- Let us show you.
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
It's not just condition that matters!
I just read article in the California Association Of Real Estate Magazine that spoke to Millennials regretting their real estate choices.
If nothing else I think this speaks poorly to the education and guidance provided by their agents.
Sure an agent is supposed to maintain an objective view but a more experienced agent can give the pros and cons when considering what to buy.
In my 43 years as a licensee I can only remember one time a client regretted her decision to purchase the house she eventually bought. And this was after a thorough discussion on remodeling costs and her financial ability to get these jobs done. My wife, Cheryl, as you probably know by now is a CPA and spends a significant amount of time educating our clients on fiscal matters and future needs.
Of course the final decision is always the clients.
The article states that about 44 percent of Americans regret their current home choice or the process they went through to get it.
If that's not bad enough, 71 percent of millennials were the most likely generation to regret their home-buying decisions compared to 28% or baby boomers.
More than 1/3 said that they wished that they had picked a different sized-home with 29% wishing that they had picked a larger home.
Just because a real estate agent has experience selling homes doesn't mean that they have the expertise or experience to advise and consult with their clients.
Thursday, July 27, 2017
Could Rising Home Mortgage Interest Rates
Cause Another Housing Crash?
It’s been 10 years since the last housing crash of 2007, where property values declined for the next 6 years. If you bought a house between the years 2005 – 2008 I’m sure you remember how quickly your equity disappeared and how you felt. So, if you are even thinking about selling your house in the next few years here is some information you might want to consider.
Most people, including news sources, especially the Daily News, which I used to read back then, real estate agents, and economists didn’t want to believe, or didn’t want you to believe, that we were in a housing bubble then and half the country doesn’t believe we’re in one now. Hou
Currently housing prices are near or even exceeding the pre-2007 housing crash. Every month prices seem to be hitting record highs while mortgage rates still remain at historic lows. But what happens when rates start climbing? How does this affect affordability and equity? Check out the chart below that I put together a couple of months ago.
The following illustration demonstrates what a mortgage interest rate increase of just 1% can mean for the housing market. Single family housing statistics for June 2017 in San Fernando Valley showed a median listing price of $800,000. The illustration uses the same income, 20% down payment and debt ratios with variable mortgage interest rates.
As you can see higher interest rates directly affects lower buying power/affordability. Although prices have been climbing overall sales have been decreasing. A couple of factors are in play here; one is a lack of inventory and the other is affordability.
In April of 2016 interest rates hovered around 3.64%. In April 2017 interest rates averaged 4.25% after a Fed rate increase in March 2017. Rates have been a bit volatile during the last couple of months even after the Feds slightly increased rates in June. They have signaled that there will be more increases this year, perhaps as early as September.
Although the Great Recession is officially over, according to Pew Research in 2015, Americans are still 40% poorer today than they were in 2007, the year before the global financial crisis.
So, what does all this mean for you? Well if you are a prospective home buyer and can afford a down payment and qualify for a loan now may be the time to act while rates remain relatively low. If you are a prospective home seller and are considering moving in the next couple of years this may be the time for you to sell.
While I’m sure we all wish we had a crystal ball no one can accurately predict what will happen in the future. There is an old adage in real estate that says; timing is everything. But not many of us can predict the top of the market or the bottom of the market.
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Protecting your nest egg.
Buying a home is an important financial decision. As a CPA, Cheryl Fox is a well-respected strategic advisor and consultant on many issues including residential real estate. Cheryl's clients include other Realtors, as well as white, blue and pick collar workers. Cheryl is a trusted financial advisor helping individuals plan and reach their financial goals. If you want more than just another real estate agent, call Cheryl at 818-995-9108 for your free consultation. Together with her husband, Jeff, they represent over 70 years of combined real estate experience and expertise.