Tag Archives: real estate advice

Money Monday: You could save big with a refinance

“If your mortgage was originated in 2018, then it might be time to consider a refinance.

“According to new data, 80% of mortgages from last year carry an interest rate at least 0.75% higher than today’s prevailing rate (3.49%, according to Freddie Mac).

“But 2018-borrowers aren’t the only homeowners who could benefit from today’s low-rate environment. Data from property analytics firm Black Knight shows that pre-2004 mortgagees could also save big. Nearly all of this cohort could shave 1.75% off their interest rate or more with a refinance.” (Forbes.com. “80% Of 2018 Mortgages Could Save Big With A Refinance, Data Suggests.” https://www.forbes.com/sites/alyyale/2019/09/09/80-of-2018-mortgages-could-save-big-with-a-refinance/#68daef82459d)

Read more about it here on Forbes: “80% Of 2018 Mortgages Could Save Big With A Refinance, Data Suggests.”

Money Monday: Renovate or sell?

It can be a toss-up — renovating your home or selling and moving to a new place.

home

What should you do? Forbes has some things to think about. And while this article is specific to New Yorkers, the questions to ponder are universal.

Read the article here: “Should You Stay Or Should You Go? Expert Tips On When To Renovate And When To Sell.”

Money Monday: Don’t make these homebuying mistakes

When venturing into shopping and buying a home, avoid some common mistakes:

home buyer regrets

  1. Interviewing only one lender
  2. Not getting pre-approved right away
  3. Maxing out your mortgage limit
  4. Letting your dreams and emotions dictate which house you purchase
  5. Waiving contingencies without understanding just what that means

More tips for homebuyers are available in CNN’s article here: “7 first-time homebuyer mistakes to avoid”.

TOP TEN Legal Mistakes Buyers Make

In the complicated maze of trying to buy a home are the pratfalls and obstacles that can be so costly that you can regret ever buying a new home!
Call a Realtor(R) who is full time and has the track record to get the results you deserve.  The Department of Real Estate website will be able to tell you if there are any reprimands or suspension for any licensed agent or broker.

Continue reading

Five real estate tasks best done early

While I’m a big proponent of avoiding premature real estate moves, there are a number of tasks that are best done before you think they need to be. These are things that tend to take longer or often turn out to be more complex than people plan for.

Please, give me a call if I can help you in your home shopping process in any way! (619) 890-3648

1. Check your credit. Everyone knows that you should check your credit, or have your mortgage broker do it, some time before you get ready to start house hunting. What people fail to factor in are the real-life turnaround times on rehabbing your credit in the event there are errors, fraudulent entries, balances you need to bring down, or trade lines (credit accounts) you need to build up in order to qualify for a home loan.

Continue reading

Four affordable improvements to make to your home now

Now’s a perfect time of year to create a plan for how you can tweak and hack your home to be a happier place. Here are a few inexpensive suggestions:

1. Paint like a scientist. Studies show that painting rooms colors that are consistent with their purpose actually makes a home’s residents happier than they were before the paint job. Spending a weekend shifting to crisp and clean green bathrooms, soothing blue or cream bedrooms, and warm browns, golds, oranges, and reds for dining and living areas turns out to be one of the least expensive ways you can use your home to give your family an emotional boost.

fixer upper2. Fix (or toss) what’s broken. If your coffee machine has been sitting on the counter for four months waiting on a trip to the repair shop, you have drawers that don’t close all the way, your dining table wobbles or your shower needs regrouting, you are incurring a little drain of energy, getting a little injection of frustration every single time you look at or try to use these items. Throw out or repair items that don’t work — stat. Just let them go.

Then, create a little inventory for home projects that need to happen, and get a handyman or the appropriate contractors on the horn and get bids so you can budget and plan for getting them done.

Continue reading

Home improvements that pay off

The temptation is strong: Clean up the yard, declutter the house, and put it on the market without spending time and money sprucing the place up for sale. This is especially the case if you anticipate losing money on the sale.

Some real estate agents recommend you do little if anything to get your home ready for sale. This could work if you price the listing to look like a bargain. However, most buyers in today’s market are nervous and picky. They aren’t in a hurry and they want a house that’s move-in ready.

Continue reading

A Happy New Year With a Few Twists

mortgage debt forgivenessThe HOT topic for real estate that everyone was talking about coming up to the new year is official, but with an asterisk regarding the extensions of the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act and American Taxpayer Relief Act. This is a little lengthy article, but worth your extra 15 minutes to digest. While federal government has extended the tax law, California to this date has not extended their tax law, but more importantly the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness has been definitely extended. What does all this mean to you and your situation, whether owner-occupied or an investment property that is upside down and you’re wanting an answer to what you have to do, CALL ME for help. Letting a property go to foreclosure or doing a Deed in Lieu could put you in a liability situation for all the debt of a Trust Deed. I work with CPAs and attorneys that can help. After over 20 years of short sales, hundreds closed, you owe it to yourself to only talk to the BEST!  CALL NOW! JOHN A SILVA — 619-890-3648. MAKE IT YOUR BEST YEAR!

III. Extension of Mortgage Cancellation of Debt Relief

Q 4. What is mortgage cancellation of debt relief?

A. As a result of a foreclosure on a recourse loan, a short sale or a deed in lieu of foreclosure, a lender may cancel, reduce or forgive the debt that the borrower owes on the loan. The IRS and the California Franchise Tax Board consider this cancelled or forgiven debt as income to the borrower. As a result, the forgiveness or cancellation of the whole or a portion of the loan balance, often termed “cancellation of debt income,” may result in a tax liability.

The cancellation of debt income is generally treated as “ordinary income,” as opposed to capital gains income which is taxed at a lower rate, and the taxpayer will typically receive a 1099 tax form from the lender in the amount of the cancellation of debt.

Under the tax law there exist various situations where the cancellation of debt income is not taxable including bankruptcy, insolvency and when there is a foreclosure on a non-recourse loan. However, for most homeowners involved in a short sale, foreclosure or deed in lieu of foreclosure, the tax relief provided by the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 (H.R. 3648) signed by President Bush on December 20, 2007 and subsequently extended by the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, provides the most important protection against having to pay tax on the cancellation of debt income.

As a result of the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007, Internal Revenue Code §108(a)(1) (E) was added and provides that a taxpayer will not be taxed upon cancellation of debt income if the following conditions are met:

The property sold in the short sale is the taxpayer’s principal residence, as that term is used in IRC §121.

The cancellation of debt is Qualified Principal Residence Indebtedness under IRC Section 163(h)(3)(B). Qualified Principal Residence Indebtedness is a loan secured by the residence used to acquire, construct or substantially improve the residence. The income relief provided is capped at $1,000,000 in the case of a married person filing a separate return and $2,000,000 for all others. Any reduction of indebtedness excluded by IRC §108(a)(1)(E) will be applied to reduce the basis of the taxpayer’s principal residence, but not below zero. This could result in a higher amount of capital gains tax owed by the taxpayer. Also the cancellation of debt relief provided by the law, therefore, does not apply to any portion taken as “cash out” and not used to substantially improve the residence.

Q 5. How does the American Taxpayer Relief Act affect the mortgage cancellation of debt relief?

A. The original law applied to indebtedness discharged before January 1, 2010. That end date was extended by three years from 2010 to 2013 pursuant to H.R. 1424, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. The new law extends the date one year further to any indebtedness discharged prior to January 1, 2014.

Q 6. Does the federal law apply to potential cancellation of debt income under California tax law?

A. No. California has its own cancellation of debt relief law which has been codified as California Revenue and Tax Code Section 17144.5 which is similar to the federal law but with some significant differences (see next question). That law has expired. However, C.A.R. has sponsored Senate Bill 30 (Calderon, D- Montebello) to extend California’s debt relief protections which is currently pending. The proposed law would be effective retroactive to January 1, 2013. Information on the status of the bill can be found at www.leginfo.ca.gov.

Q 7. What are some of the differences between the state and federal law on cancellation of debt on qualified principal residences?

A. California law has different limits for maximum indebtedness and the amount of cancellation of debt income that can be forgiven which are detailed below:

The maximum amount of qualified principal residence indebtedness is $800,000 for married couples filing jointly, registered domestic partners filing jointly, single persons, head of household, or widow/widower; and $400,000 for married couples or registered domestic partners filing separately;

The maximum amount of debt relief income that can be forgiven is $500,000 for married couples filing jointly, registered domestic partners filing jointly, single persons, head of household, or widow/widower; and $250,000 for married couples or registered domestic partners filing separately.

This is an excerpt from California Association of Realtors Legal — Part 2 coming next week will be on Taxation of Foreclosures and Short Sale.