Real Estate Topics

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Last week I promised to show you how to estimate what your tax bill would be if you bought another home. You can get a copy of the current bill at the following website - https://taxcolp.cccounty.us/taxpaymentrev3/lookup/

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Last week I discussed the basics of how tax bills are calculated. As part of your due diligence before buying a home, it is a good idea to have a look at the tax bill for that new home, so you don’t get any surprises later. I described last week how most lenders and escrow officers use 1.25%…

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Some homebuyers find that their actual house payment is higher than what they were expecting. They find that their principal and interest portion are exactly what the lender quoted them, but their monthly tax impound is much higher than the original estimate. Usually when most people first s…

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LANDSCAPING – This is one of the most noticeable aspects of your home as the buyer pulls up for the first time. Grass should be green (even if that means bringing in new sod), all areas should be free of weeds, remove dead/dying plants, cut back bushes as needed, and add some fresh plants/fl…

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So, the big economic news last week was the “inverted yield curve.” This is when rates on long-term US treasury investments are lower than the short-term ones. Normally, the rates are higher for the longer-term. When it’s inverted, it usually means that investors are pessimistic about the ec…

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Below are some tips to prepare your house whenever you will be gone for an extended period.

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There is a big difference in how to handle selling a house during a divorce depending on the status of the divorce. If a couple is separating temporarily or in the early stages of a divorce and no divorce court order has been issued, then everything is pretty much negotiable between the two …

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First, there were smartphones, but now we are seeing more smartHOMES. Here are some popular devices that can make your life easier and maybe even save you some money.

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I’m seeing more and more “smart” products in homes. You can run your thermostat, lighting control systems, and audio/visual systems from your mobile phone. There are refrigerators that can order milk for you when you are low. And security systems that can notify you when doors/windows are op…

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There are many ways to hold title to real estate. Two of the more common are “Joint Tenants” and “Tenants in Common.” (By the way, ignore the fact that “tenant” usually means a renter as that doesn’t apply in this case.)

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Based on the boilerplate wording in our standard real estate contracts, “fixtures” stay with the property when it sells but the seller gets to take all of their personal property. A “fixture” is something attached to the property and intended to be a fixture. So, your HVAC system is obviousl…

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There are 5 things that can have a big impact on your home insurance premiums.

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Here are some tips to maximize your home’s curb appeal:

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Besides the front view of the house, the next most important area to focus on when trying to sell your home is the kitchen. Remodeling can be quite expensive, but here are some tips that are more cost-effective.

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It’s common knowledge the California has a housing affordability issue that is just getting worse. As home prices have rebounded the last few years, rents have also risen dramatically. For most people, these increases have been greater than their increases in income, which is putting a serio…

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MORTGAGE – If you have a loan(s) on the property, the title company will ask your lender(s) for payoff figures for your loan through the day of closing (plus a couple of days after to allow for processing time). If your payment comes due in between the time they ask for that statement and th…

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Sometimes a “no closing costs” loan can be more expensive in the long-run. Every loan has closing costs and the lender only controls some of those costs like their own underwriting, processing fee, etc. There are other costs that the lender has very little control over, like the appraisal, t…

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The other day one of my clients asked about the “senior discounts on property tax” that she had heard about. I asked if she meant Prop 60 or 90 where you can do a one-time transfer of your assessed value if you downsize in home price but that’s not what she meant. I hadn’t heard of any other…

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When a real estate transaction falls apart, there are specific rules, notice periods and forms that are to be used.

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A real estate agent owes a different duty of care to different parties in the transaction. Put broadly, there are two main levels of care – a fiduciary duty and a duty of honest dealings. Fiduciary care is the highest legal level of care and honest dealings would be a step below that.

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Some people think that one way to easily pass real estate to their descendants is to add them to the title before they pass away. On the one hand, this can make for an easy transition of ownership because of the right of survivorship. However, most financial experts strongly recommend AGAINS…

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Most real estate contracts come with several contingencies (inspection, loan, appraisal, etc.) which give the buyer the right to cancel the contract.  There will be a certain number of days the buyer has to remove those contingencies. But what happens when the deadline passes? Is the buyer d…

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If you’ve set a goal to buy a house this coming year, but you are a little short on the down payment, here are some tips to cut your spending. These tips will work best if you set up a savings account specifically designated for the house down payment, and then each time you choose not to sp…

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In the past, investors with large gains in rental properties would move in (or do a 1031 from a multiple-unit property into a single-family home and then move in after a “reasonable” amount of time) and claim them as their principal residence. Then two years later, they would sell the proper…