Tag Archives: public

Are ALL Real Estate Agents Equal?

In light of the fact that there has been some shocking news regarding a certain local real estate agent from San Diego, along with his wife and staff, being accused of duping over $15 million dollars from banks, investors and homeowners, I understand that many people question whether all real estate agents are the same, in acting dishonestly.

The normal response for people who personally know an agent of integrity, whom they even refer to all their family and friends, will say this is just an individual, and is not a general reflection of the masses. Yet I read and hear on social media websites that this categorizes all real estate agents as being dishonest, even those who have toiled for years and been ethical and forthright for their entire careers being cauterized. These are the individuals who need an education because of bad experiences, and I now challenge them to a call to action, to interview an individual agent like myself, while developing a relationship with the right real estate agent at their disposal whenever the need arises. A good real estate agent will have a grasp of the law at all times in the ever-changing, complicated world and real estate market we now have, then go to people to support them in the legal arena.

Are all real estate agents equal?My philosophy has always been that if you don’t ever get to speak with and do business with the real estate agent who is representing you, BEWARE! Many agents in the housing market have large teams of individuals, while the service and experience levels are severely low, due to new and inexperienced agents who look for high-profit opportunities, because of the low pay they earn. These mistakes lead to poor service, complaints to local association boards and the DRE; but more importantly, thousands of dollars in losses from the client’s pocket book. This may well be the case with this certain individual that is now in trouble.

I have seen another certain individual always advertising on local television, as another example of this type of representation, while the results produced have been average at best, according to many people I have helped and their friends giving feedback about them. As the old saying does: Don’t be duped by the fast-talking, nice-dressed and loveable smile.

While I am not here to condemn any individual, I feel my duty is to educate the public masses in the regard of how to hire the right agent to assist you in buying or selling your home. As another cliche goes, bigger is not better, but seeing the overall picture of their track record, years in the business and levels of hands-on experience are paramount, while being able to work directly with that individual on an ongoing basis is a must.

As in all crimes committed by people in authority; such as police officers, teachers, politicians, doctors, etc–there is that huge feeling of betrayal, while the important question of how did this happen by an individual held in high esteem in many circles of the community and their peers?

I hope that the blue-collar hardworking real estate agents like me will once again shine through this mess that the small minority of high-rollers create to most importantly the benefit of you, the client.

Call me today (at 619-890-3648) for an evaluation of your property or home search, and the right direction you deserve.

California targets property-tax payers

Beginning with the 2012 tax bill (due in April 2013), the state Franchise Tax Board will require property owners to break down their property taxes into deductible and non-deductible portions.

As many as 5 million California property-tax payers who have been taking the entire amount they pay off their state income taxes could see a major cut in their deductions when they file next year.

Beginning with the 2012 tax bill (the one due in April 2013), the state Franchise Tax Board will require property owners to break down their property taxes into deductible and non-deductible portions.

That means property owners who have been deducting their Mello-Roos fees — often running into thousands of dollars — will no longer be able to deduct those or any other special assessments like vector control or mosquito abatement.

In Orange County, 181,550 of the county’s approximately 900,000 parcels were subject to Mello-Roos in the 2011-2012 tax year, according to the auditor-controller’s office.  They were billed a total of $207.8 million.

The difference between deductible and non-deductible property taxes is not a new rule. Mello-Roos fees, which pay for roads, schools, fire stations and other public facilities in new developments, have not been deductible from state income taxes since the legislature authorized the special assessments 30 years ago.

Many property owners, however, routinely deduct the entire amount of their property tax bill from their state income taxes instead of only the parts that legally are deductible. Others just use the amount on the Form 1098 that their mortgage holder paid to the county tax collector on their behalf.

Until now the Franchise Tax Board didn’t to go after them. A new computer system being installed this year, however, will allow the agency to distinguish the portions of property tax bills that are deductible and non-deductible, said Daniel Tahara, a FTB spokesman.

He said the new scrutiny of property taxes is not due to any political pressure to increase tax revenues to close the state’s gaping budget deficit.

“Every year we look at areas of non-compliance and this happened to be one that came up,” he said.

Tahara said the agency is announcing the new rules now so taxpayers can make any adjustments this year for their 2012 state tax filing next year.

He said the FTB had planned to impose the new rules on 2011 tax filings due this April, but held off after getting “negative feedback” from tax preparers and the public.

Pat Yeckel, president of Canyon Tax and Bookkeeping Service Inc. in Rancho Santa Margarita, said that she and other tax preparers have known Mello-Roos and other fees weren’t deductible, but that clients usually don’t have the breakdown of their property tax bill.

It will be a particularly big deal for property owners in South County and other new developments where many of the public amenities were paid through Mello-Roos districts.

“This is going to be a big pain,” Yeckel said, noting that just getting the property tax paperwork can be a hassle.

Taxpayers will need a copy of their tax bills whether or not they pay their own property taxes or have them paid through their mortgage payment because they will need their parcel number in addition to the deductible/non-deductible breakdown for their 2012 state income tax filing.

For a full explanation of how the new deductible rules will work, CLICK HERE.

This article and information is from the Orange County Register: “State targets property-tax payers.”