Property Tax Basis Transfer for Seniors

Interested in moving your property tax basis when you sell your current home and buy the next one? For those over 55 in California, this is a great one time option.

There are actually two propositions involved.  Prop 60 applies to moves within your own county, and Prop 90 relates to moves between counties which are participating in the transfer arrangement. Unfortunately, of California’s 58 counties, only 10 have the cooperative agreement to accept a property tax basis transfer from other participating counties.

Cooperating Property Tax Basis Transfer Counties (Prop 90)

The counties cooperating in the property tax basis transfer are only these, as of the date of this posting: Alameda, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Tuolumne, and Ventura.

Some of the basics for the property tax basis transfer:

  • Homeowners must be 55 and older at the time of sale of the original property.
  • Homeowner must be on record both for the home that’s sold and the replacement property.
  • The replacement residence must be equal to or lesser in value than the original residence.
  • There are special rules for multi-family (duplex, triplex, fourplex) properties and for mobile homes.

In the most typical scenario, a senior homeowner would sell a house (or townhome or condo) and “downsize” to another, less expensive, smaller house or condo.  If the homeowner had been in the first property for a very long time, then the low tax rate would be hard to give up, but Props 60 and 90 enable that homeowner to go to another, less expensive home and carry the old tax rate along – one time, and either in the home county or in one of the participating counties.

I have known seniors to sell a house in Los Gatos, Saratoga or San Jose and move to The Villages or to gated senior communities out of the area but closer to their grown kids and make use of these two propositions.

It should be noted that while the price of the replacement home must be less than the home being sold, that doesn’t mean that the new home must be smaller. I’ve known people to move out of area and get a larger, newer, nicer home – at a lower price tag. So it’s really an economic downsizing (or “right sizing” as some like to say now).

For more information and to get all the details, please click on the California state page for these two propositions.

Campbell Real Estate Market Update, Nov 2009

The Campbell real estate market appears to be “past the bottom”, as is the case with much of the Silicon Valley housing market. In some parts of San Jose, “the bottom” was in February or March of this year.  Campbell may have hit that point sooner – but in any event it is now heading back toward a balanced market (30 is the balance point for this formula). (Images and charts from Altos Research, to which I have a subscription and permission to use these, as well as the RE Report, another subscription service of mine. Altos uses list prices, the RE Report uses sold data as well as list prices.)

 

campbell-CA-home-sales-market-action-index-11-10-091

 

Let’s look at the data for October in Campbell – actives, pendings, and closeds (care of the RE Report).

 

Trends At a GlanceOct 2009Previous MonthYear-over Year
Median Price$671,500$697,500 (-3.7%)$730,000 (-8.0%)
Average Price$717,461$760,850 (-5.7%)$783,941 (-8.5%)
No. of Sales2820 (+40.0%)17 (+64.7%)
Pending Properties4239 (+7.7%)18 (+133.3%)
Active5568 (-19.1%)105 (-47.6%)
Sale vs. List Price96.1%98.6% (-2.5%)96.1% (0.0%)
Days on Market3642 (-14.0%)77 (-53.5%)

 

While in many parts of the greater San Jose area the Days on Market (DOM) are lengthening, they are shortening in Campbell! Sales are up, but prices are still declining a bit (in several areas of Santa Clara County, prices are again inching up – this tends to happen in less expensive areas).  Pending sales are up and inventory is down.  So there are some mixed indicators but Campbell appears to be at or near “the bottom”.
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The Monte Sereno Real Estate Market Update, November 2009

The post below was published in November of 2009. For a more current look at the Monte Sereno real estate market, please see:

The Monte Sereno Real Estate Market

 

 

monte-sereno-homes-for-sale-median-list-priceThe Monte Sereno real estate market is trickier than most Silicon Valley markets to gauge because it’s so tiny.  With just four thousand residents, there simply aren’t that many homes for sale in Monte Sereno at any given time and there are even fewer solds.

Monte Sereno Real Estate Trends at a Glance

The info below is from my Silicon Valley REReport, which comes out monthly. Click on the link to see the full report on October’s home sales activity in Monte Sereno.

 

Trends At a GlanceOct 2009Previous MonthYear-over Year
Median Price$1,450,000$1,641,000 (-11.6%)$1,322,500 (+9.6%)
Average Price$1,450,000$1,689,750 (-14.2%)$1,322,500 (+9.6%)
No. of Sales1(-75.0%)(-50.0%)
Pending Properties4(0.0%)(+33.3%)
Active2324 (-4.2%)29 (-20.7%)
Sale vs. List Price104.6%97.3% (+7.5%)95.3% (+9.8%)
Days on Market977 (-88.3%)81 (-88.9%)

Home Values in Monte Sereno

Sellers often want to know, perhaps more than anything, what is happening to home values. “What’s my house worth?” is a perennial question because the answer can change from month to month.  Buyers want to know what any particular property should be worth – and often do not see eye to eye with sellers on this point.  Hence, few homes go into escrow (or under contract) each month. (The months supply of inventory has averaged 19 months in MS this year – more on that below – which indicates that there’s a bit of a standoff between buyers and sellers. Buyers aren’t buying in the vast majority of cases.)

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Tips for Home Buyers Competing Against Multiple Offers – More Financing Tips (Part 4)

financing-terms-multiple-offers-silicon-valleySan Jose is a hot seller’s market in entry level prices of many neighborhoods (Alum Rock, Evergreen, Blossom Valley, South San Jose, Willow Glen, Cambrian and more), and because of that, we are finding that in many cases, homebuyers are having to compete in multiple offers. (Offer writing generally tends to produce a lot of anxiety for buyers, and there are a lot of questions you may have about the whole real estate purchase offer process. Please also see my Q & A on Making an Offer on my other website.)

This post is part of a series on how to write a competitive offer when bidding in a multiple offer situation in Silicon Valley. We’ve looked at what terms are and why terms matter generally, and then we drilled down to particular financing terms: the deposit (and related issue of liquidated damages & default), loan type, downpayment amount & percentage,  and loan terms.

Today we’ll finish up the section on offer finance terms and will cover a couple of “easier” financing items:

  • presenting a pre-approval letter for your loan
  • having  a copy of the check when presenting the offer
  • providing “proof of funds” with your offer

This will be the last post on financing terms for your Silicon Valley real estate purchase agreement. After these we’ll move into a discussion of other terms in the contract.

The Importance of a Pre-Approval Letter

Why be pre-approved? Why not just be pre-qualified? A “pre-qual” is not very helpful to you in negotiating for the best price with any offer, so even if you are not in a multiple offer situation, I would encourage you to go to the trouble of getting your loan pre-approved.   Getting pre-approved is either no cost or low cost (I know one B of A lender who charges $50 to do a pre-approval, but many will not charge you for this service).  It does take time because you must gather together your financial documentation, but it is in your best interest to do it for a variety of reasons.  You do not want to find the perfect home only to find that you really don’t want to get the only loan that will help you to purchase that property, for instance. Know what your budget is before you shop and you will save yourself time, energy, and disappointment.  And when you are ready to make a bid, you will be far stronger.
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