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In real estate, the old adage is that nothing is as important as timing. There’s never been a better time to have a house on the market than r…

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When considering a home loan, traditional banks often come first to the minds of home buyers, but borrowing from a credit union has some advan…

Real Estate Topics

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The shift towards work-from-home has had had MAJOR impacts on how we live and on the economy. This is changing where people eat lunch (at home vs. at a downtown café), what they wear (sweats instead of Brooks Brothers), and I could give many more examples. But one of the biggest impacts is t…

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I’ve had several people ask me if the “coming foreclosure wave” is going to devastate the real estate market just like 2008. What they are talking about are all the loans that are in “forbearance” right now. These are loans where the lender is allowing the borrower to stop making payments fo…

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I frequently get calls or emails from potential buyers asking about one of my listings. Out of professional courtesy, I always ask if they are already working with an agent. This is often followed by a pause, then they say, “...um, no. We don’t really have an agent. We want to go through you…

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COVID infection numbers are dropping and life seems to be heading back towards “normal.” However, certain segments of the economy are still struggling to get back on their feet. Federal and state governments are still trying to provide assistance so I wanted to give you a summary of some of …

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COVID appears to be on the wane, the vaccine is rolling out, restrictions are being relaxed, and large chunks of the American economy are booming. However, unemployment is still very high in certain sectors. Prices for lumber, cars and other consumer goods are spiking. All while the governme…

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This is part 5 in a series of articles I’ve been writing about capital gains taxes in regards to real estate. Today I’ll discuss possible withholding taxes at the time of sale.

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This is part 4 of a series of articles I’m doing about capital gains taxes. A quick summary is that most people can avoid up to $250K in gains as a single filer and $500K in gain as joint filers when selling their principal residence. The IRS defines your “principal residence” as you living …

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This is part 3 of a series of articles I’m doing about capital gains taxes. If you missed either of the first two, contact me and I’ll send you a copy.

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Last week I wrote about how some of my clients are actually running into capital gains taxes on the sale of their residence because prices have appreciated so rapidly the last few years. I wanted to clear up two myths that I often run into.

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Real estate prices have risen so far that some of my clients may owe capital gains taxes on the sale of their residence. This means that their properties have actually gained more than the exclusions ($250K for single filers/$500K for joint filers.)

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During the peak of the COVID crisis last year, the CDC issued a nationwide moratorium on residential evictions if the tenant was negatively impacted by COVID. It was extended several times and is set to expire on June 30, 2021.

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If you are looking to rent a home from someone you don’t know, you need to be very careful. Potential tenants need to make sure that the landlord actually OWNS the property and that they aren’t some scammer who just took over some vacant property.

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Back when Obamacare passed in 2010, it did add a new 3.8% tax on the “unearned” income of high-income taxpayers (single-filers making more than $200K and joint-filers making more than $250K). This is called the “Medicare Tax” because it is meant to shore up Medicare’s shaky finances. It woul…

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There is a classic book written during the subprime mortgage crisis that should be required reading for anyone interested in finances called, “This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly.” They describe many times over the past several centuries where the “experts” explain how…

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Now that real estate prices have risen again, many investors are looking for loopholes to avoid paying some or all of the capital gains taxes. There USED to be a loophole that actually went away many years ago, but I still hear people talk about it as if it was still valid.

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Prop 19 just went into effect on April 1st. This gives some homeowners more options in regards to “property tax portability.” Prior to the passage of Prop 19, you could only transfer your tax base one time if you moved within the same county, or if you moved to certain counties in California…

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I still remember that sinking feeling when I took the call, even though it’s been more than 15 years ago…, “Brian, the floors are RUINED!” The call came from the buyer’s agent and I had just given them the keys earlier that day on a transaction. The day before, the Seller had removed their k…

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I don’t know if you heard, but we had a Presidential election recently… With a new President and the Democrats having control (via tie-breaker) of the House and the Senate, many people are expecting/hoping for a roll-back of some of Trump’s tax policies.

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A 1031 is where a real estate investor exchanges one investment property for another, and if they follow the rules, their capital gains taxes are deferred. One of the rules is that the investor cannot take possession of the funds from the sale of the first property before they buy the second…

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One major factor that has been driving our recent red-hot real estate market has been the super-low interest rates. The Federal Reserve has been pulling every lever they have in an attempt to drive interest rates as low as possible to help stimulate the economy. So far it’s been working on b…

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If you have out-dated cabinets, consider painting them versus spending big bucks on full replacement. Another option is to just replace the doors and have a laminate put over the boxes, but that’s an article for another day…

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You may qualify for a tax credit if you meet certain qualification when buying a new residence in Contra Costa County. This is for “first-time homebuyers,” which generally means that you haven’t owned a home in the last 3 years, but there are other ways to qualify. [See my article last year …

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I recently noticed a significant change in how Zillow connects buyers and real estate agents. Zillow used to make it easy to contact the listing agent on each listed property. They were listed prominently on each listing with a way to reach out to them. Some buyers would think they were bett…

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Last week Governor Newsom extended the moratorium on evictions in California through June 30, 2021. This is not a blanket prohibition on all evictions, but it does stop evictions if the tenant is unable to pay all or part of their rent due to a COVID-related reason. The tenant is still respo…