My insurance agent calls me every year to schedule an annual check-up. She wants to review my policies and make sure my coverage is still appropriate. I have gone once or twice in the last decade or so, but honestly most years, I cancel the appointment and duck her calls. Who has time, right? NOT THIS YEAR! I learned a lot of things from the devastating Camp Fire, but by far the most valuable lesson I learned was the importance of Homeowner’s Insurance. In the days, weeks and months following the fire, I worked with and spoke to dozens of families affected by the fire. Some experienced total loss, some smoke damage and some homes were seemingly untouched. Here is what I learned: All Homeowner’s Insurance is not created equal. Some agents and companies bent over backwards to help, some did their best to put up every roadblock under the sun, and some were mediocre at best. Then there were the really unlucky one’s: those that had let policies lapse or were simply under-insured. For those that had “good” insurance, they had checks in their hands within a matter of days, and for the most part, and while I am in no way minimizing the loss or the emotional toll, many were better off financially because of fantastic insurance policies. Should my home ever be damaged or lost, I want to fall into that category, and I want you to as well!
Imagine passing away unexpectedly. Then imagine that you had equity in your home. . significant equity. . . And the bank foreclosed. Your loved ones get nothing. Impossible right? Unfortunately, it can and does happen. Probate is lengthy, and expensive and COMPLETELY AVOIDABLE!
I received a call from a friend of a friend who’s mother had passed away. The grown children all lived out of state, but mom’s house was here. When I asked if she was the executor of her mom’s trust, my heart sank when she said that mom had never set up a trust. Without a trust, there is no one who can legally sign a listing agreement and move forward...
Ah, that time of year already. . the mailbox is full of 1099’s and everyone is procrastinating tax preparation! It’s depressing under normal circumstances, but for those affected by the fire, it is probably beyond daunting. We have come across a few little tidbits of tax relief for disaster victims that you should be aware of. As always, we HIGHLY recommend you discuss these things with your CPA or tax preparer, but here are some items you may find useful. . .
According to the IRS, some victims of the California Wildfires may qualify for some tax relief. Most notably...
The Paradise CampFire changed everything. Literally, EVERYTHING. Like the housing collapse of 2007, we will forever put things into context based on pre- and post-fire. Those first few days were horrific. For those that escaped, the trauma that they endured was unimaginable. For those of us waiting for our friends and family to answer their cell phones or arrive at the bottom of the hill. . .well it was the longest day of our lives. And then shock and uncertainty set in. For days, the fire raged on and the residents of Paradise had no idea if their homes were still standing. Most of us sat glued to the news all weekend. Then Monday came and we began to check on our friends and clients. The stories of escape and the loss was truly horrifying. Our hearts broke both with and for our neighbors in Paradise.
The end of another quarter. . .as a recovering C.P.A., my life is no longer measured by quarterly closes, but old habits die hard and I am compelled at the end of every quarter to run numbers and analyze the trends The data is in for 3rd quarter, and it is safe to say that the market is shifting. We have had 6 years of double (or nearly) digit price appreciation and all time inventory lows, creating a major seller’s market. While median prices have continued to rise, albeit slightly more modestly, inventory levels and days on market are inching their way up. With inventory swelling, we are seeing an unprecedented number of price reductions. This isn’t to say that it’s a bad time to sell. . the buyers are still out there. It just means that sellers can’t price their home 5% above the last comp in the neighborhood and expect to have a bidding war. The market is flattening out. So, if you have been waiting to sell, wanting to ride the wave up, this may just be the time. Likewise, for those of you waiting to buy, with more inventory available, there will be far less competition and a lot more to choose from.
We wanted to make sure you know about all the avenues in which we can stay connected!
Hello fellow real estate investors,
Some of you are well versed with the term “1031 exchange” and others may have very little knowledge on the process. In this article, I will begin by defining what 1031 exchange is. Then explain some of the basic requirements and procedures for using a 1031 exchange. Finally, I will walk you through a hypothetical example to highlight the major tax advantages of utilizing a 1031 exchange to build and maintain wealth in real estate. If you ever have more in-depth questions about the process, please reach out to our team and we can provide more information and put you in touch with the right experts. *I am personally not a cpa, all the numbers included are simplified and estimated*
Believe it or not, negotiating the purchase price of a home and opening escrow is often the easy part of the transaction; it’s the challenges that arise during the escrow process that cause the wheels to come off! I remember one escrow several years back where I literally thought the whole deal was going to fall apart over a little poop. The escrow started off o.k., the buyers offer came in under asking price but wrote a very compelling letter to the seller about how badly they wanted the house and they were offering the very max they were qualified for. However, they understood they were buying the home ‘As-Is’ and wouldn’t nitpick repairs (famous last words). So sure enough, we get through inspections and there is a rather lengthy Repair Request. As often happens the ‘As-Is’ part of the initial negotiations had been completely forgotten by the buyers! To add insult, one of the items on the lengthy list was to remove ALL dog poop from the back yard!
The experts have been predicting for several years now that rates were going to rise. . it’s finally happening. Gone (for now!) are the 3% mortgages. We have now inched up to 4.5%. Sound high? Historically, that’s still a great rate, but unfortunately predicted to rise. If you are thinking about buying, but want to wait until prices drop, you might want to think again! Interest rates have a huge impact on the affordability of your home.
Human nature is ‘funny’ and, as Realtors, we come across all kinds. ‘Did the home inspector find too much?? ‘ ‘They must be making things up.’ ‘Did the home inspector find too little??’ ‘Obviously, they’re incompetent!’ It can be a no-win situation depending on what side you are on, buyer or seller.