HOUSTON (FOX 26) – How often do you see your siblings and your extended family. One Houston man says most relatives don’t spend enough time together so do you know what he did? The story behind this mansion is just about as stunning as the home itself.
“I built this house for not just my immediate family but for my extended family including friends,” Reggie Van Lee said.
Reggie Van Lee was a performer in the Alvin Ailey Dance Company. He recently retired as an Executive Vice President at a Houston consulting firm. He moved out of his home in River Oaks after building this 20,000 square foot estate for himself, his three sisters and their families.
“This kitchen was designed for this house by my wife TJ,” Mark Szafarz said. He’s married to Reggie’s sister. “It’s fun. We each have our own spaces. So we can see each other as often as we want.”
That’s why the 59-year-old says he built this house so their family could make many memories together.
“As much as people say ‘oh that’s so nice of you to do this for your sisters.’ They have no idea the joy I get,” Van Lee said.
Millennials really love their puppies, and now, it’s starting to show in their home buying.
According to a recent survey by SunTrust Mortgage, 33% of Millennials were influenced more by dogs than marriage or children when purchasing their first home. The desire for more space and opportunity to build equity were the only two factors that topped having room for a dog.
Among Millennials who have never purchased a home, 42% said their dog, or desire to have one, would influence their future home-buying decisions. The survey said this suggests dogs might also influence purchase decisions of potential first-time homebuyers.
“Millennials have strong bonds with their dogs, so it makes sense that their furry family members are driving home-buying decisions,” Dorinda Smith, SunTrust Mortgage president and CEO, said in a statement. “For those with dogs, renting can be more expensive and a hassle; home ownership takes some of the stress off by providing a better living situation.”
Smith said while Millennials purchasing homes is on the rise and trending, their reasons for buying homes are different from previous generations.
“Millennials are trending toward homeownership,” Smith added. “Demand among Millennial-aged, first-time homebuyers is robust, and we expect them to continue adding strength to the housing market.”
This two-level family home in Oakland opens up to reveal spectacular uninterrupted views of the San Francisco Bay and both bridges. Located high on a mountain range, the original house was re-built after it was destroyed during a fire storm.
The ceiling continues through to the living room, that features a hanging fireplace. From this angle, you can see that the sliding glass doors pocket into the wall with the TV.
Home prices have now been rising for more than five years, the result of a growing economy, rock-bottom mortgage rates and a shortage of homes on the market. Economists said that absent a recession or a surge in mortgage rates, California home prices could keep climbing at 5% a year for the foreseeable future.
That’s faster than the long-term average of 3% nationwide, but it’s difficult to build housing in California and the economy is strong, said Richard Green, director of the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate.
“It could go on for another four or five years,” he said.
CoreLogic’s report showed that home prices in Southern California rose in every county last month compared to a year earlier, not just in Orange and Los Angeles counties.
In San Bernardino County, the median was up 12.3% to $320,000; in Riverside County, 7.5% to $357,000; in Ventura County, 2.7% to $565,000; and in San Diego County, 9.8% to $543,500. Across the region, sales rose 4.3%.
Chris Thornberg, founding partner of Beacon Economics, said he doesn’t expect a recession and thus doesn’t foresee a time when home prices stop rising.
“Candidly, the only thing that could upset the apple cart in California is if we build a whole bunch of housing and that’s as likely as an alien attack.”
Proposition 58, effective November 6, 1986, is a constitutional amendment approved by the voters of California which excludes from reassessment transfers of real property between parents and children. Proposition 58 is codified by section 63.1 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.
Proposition 193, effective March 27, 1996, is a constitutional amendment approved by the voters of California which excludes from reassessment transfers of real property from grandparents to grandchildren, providing that all the parents of the grandchildren who qualify as children of the grandparents are deceased as of the date of transfer. Proposition 193 is also codified by section 63.1 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.
In the State of California, real property is reassessed at market value if it is sold or transferred and property taxes can sometimes increase dramatically as a result. However, if the sale or transfer is between parents and their children, or from grandparents to their grandchildren, under limited circumstances, the property will not be reassessed if certain conditions are met and the proper application is timely filed.
These propositions allow the new property owners to avoid property tax increases when acquiring property from their parents or children or from their grandparents. The new owner’s taxes are calculated on the established Proposition 13 factored base year value, instead of the current market value when the property is acquired.
Which transfers of real property are excluded from reassessment by Propositions 58 and 193?
Transfers of primary residences (no value limit)
Transfers of the first $1 million of real property other than the primary residences. The $1 million exclusion applies separately to each eligible transferor.
Transfers may be result of a sale, gift, or inheritance. A transfer via a trust also qualifies for this exclusion. For property tax purposes, we look through the trust to the present beneficial owner. When the present beneficial ownership passes from a parent to a child, this is a change in ownership that is eligible for the parent-child exclusion.
What value of the transferred property is counted toward the $1 million exclusion limit?The Proposition 13 value (factored base year value) just prior to the date of transfer. Usually, this is the taxable value on the assessment roll. If a property is under a Williamson Act (open space) or Mills Act (historical property) contract, it is the factored base year value that is counted, not the restricted value.
Climate change has been hotly contested, and who knows what the eventual outcome will be. It’s unlikely that we will have to worry about any possible effects, but your kids might – and look out Mission Beach! Hat tip daytrip!
As glaciers melt amid the heat of a warming planet, scientists predict that coastal communities in the United States could eventually experience flooding from higher tides.
Conservative estimates range from an increase of about one to four feet in sea-level rise by the end of the century. Experts also warn that people should be prepared for unlikely but extreme scenarios of up to eight feet in sea-level rise, which would cause severe and chronic flooding in hundreds of coastal cities.
Grappling with this problem would be expensive for local governments. Anticipating the costly possibility, the city of Imperial Beach and the counties of Marin and San Mateo last week filed potentially groundbreaking lawsuits to push large oil and coal companies to foot the bill.
According to scientists, sea-level rise is underway in some seaside neighborhoods and comes on top of the potential for large storms to intensify because of climate change. Cities along the East Coast — such as Miami, Boston and Charleston, S.C. — face the greatest risk, but flooding is also projected to harm much of San Diego County’s coastline in the coming decades.
The major questions currently are: How much flooding will vulnerable cities experience, and how fast?
Jim the Realtor is legit - I interviewed three brokers; he said list price should be $100,000 higher than the other two brokers; listed it with him and had all cash (no financing) offer in two days, five day contingency period, closing in two weeks - and it closed at his recommended list price. I could not recommend anyone more than I recommend Jim the Realtor.
When we moved to San Diego in 2005 we rented a big house on Mt. Soledad (La Jolla) with 180 degree ocean views for the same payment as a mortgage on a dump in Chula Vista. Clearly something was wrong. Yet, the media was full of the usual happy-talk nonsense, so I was glad to find Jim's blog. I've followed his honest assessments and data since.
We decided to sell and move to AZ at Thanksgiving. Dec. 1st we met with Jim to sell our home. We closed today (29 days later). Jim orchestrated a feeding frenzy -- we had 25 showings in 2-1/2 days, multiple offers, and sold for well over asking price. I'd say he earned his commission! We have owned and sold homes in 5 different States always using experienced, productive, full-time realtors. Jim outshines them all.
You don't decide to sell and close 29 days later over Christmas (with COVID lockdown) without some miracles. Donna was amazing at performing lots of those miracles and ensuring that everything was done right and on time. They are a terrific team with a very responsive and professional network.
Where do we begin..2020 has been a year for everyone. When COVID hit and shut down both my husband and my businesses, we were left with a mortgage and very little income coming in. We were stressed, scared and felt stuck. We made the hard decision to sell our home and move out of state. We contacted the Klinges' and spent a good hour going over what we hoped we could accomplish. Jim and Donna came over with comps in hand and suggestions on improvements to get our house ready for the market. It was overwhelming to think about, but Donna was there and one step ahead in every scenario. Basically we just approved what they suggested and Donna handled literally everything. We placed our house on the market and within the first day we had multiple offers well above asking price! We couldn't believe it. We were overjoyed! Jim countered the offers to weed through them, and everyone came back with way more. It was amazing, and we are ?? sure it was because of the staging and repairs the Klinges suggested we do.
Due to unforeseen dishonesty from the buyers lender, we hit a big hurdle when trying to close. We had already moved out of state and were shocked when three days before closing the lender dropped a bombshell on the buyers and us. However, Jim and Donna handled it like veterans, not afraid to play hard ball and represent their clients. After a few phone calls with us, and several between Donna and the lender, they had a plan B-Z to make sure we were taken care of. In the end we closed with even more money than we ever thought possible and with very little work from us. The Klinges handled this entire "2020" worthy event with the utmost professionalism and did everything in their power to not only make this as smooth as possible for us, but we also walked away with more money from the sale of the house than we ever hoped for. After working with Jim and Donna, you don't ever use anyone else. They are hands down the best team to represent you in any scenario.
Working with Klinge Realty Group was a great experience! They are very responsive, professional and knowledgable about the real estate market! I would definitely recommend Klinge Realty Group.
Jim and Donna Klinge made the sale of our condo extraordinarily easy. They know the market and gave us sound advice backed by details and very considerable experience, reflected both in the initial pricing and subsequent negotiations. They work together as a team and are always available to talk. We had a few challenges with our property and they were able to coordinate the resolution to everything, including items that I would not think would ordinarily be their responsibility to handle. They made the whole process effortless on our part. They are folks with high integrity and we cannot recommend them highly enough.
Review for Member: Donna Klinge
I cannot believe there are no reviews of Donna yet, ugh!! She is the secret sauce of the Jim Klinge/Donna Klinge combo! I will touch on Jim here, but Donna is why I'm so totally loyal to these two (no offense to Jim :)).
I consider myself a rather savvy buyer/seller. I've bought/sold 7 times in about 15 years. On the buy side, Jim is the PERFECT combo of: completely digitally savvy (he will pull data all day long until you feel comfortable with your chosen house, area, school district, anticipated appreciation rate...anything!), he's super well respected and known in the area by other agents, an amazingly cool but strategic negotiator, is totally devoid of desperation for a sale/commission, and more.
Then once you get into contract phase, Donna literally handles every last and final detail in a concierge-like manner -- totally shielding you from the daily back and forth, noodling and annoyances of the buyer's requests. She solves it ALL; it's miraculous what that woman accomplishes over and above what is even expected in a buy/sell transaction.
On the sell side, Jim and Donna do the same, but even moreso. Donna in particular truly takes everything off your plate: she'll manage getting the house painted, the carpets replaced, she'll go on site (as she Jim both did for me when selling our rental properties) to work with the renters and make sure the house is ready to show -- freeing me to have to take time off of work to do so. They work with A+ integrity, too, so you know you are serving all parties fairly and lawfully throughout.
A home purchase/sale is the most considered you'll ever make. HIRE A SAVVY AGENT, not a friend!, and get what you need out of the transaction. Jim and Donna are our agents for life.
Jim and Donna Klinge are by far the most professional, personable and responsive realtors I have ever worked with. They provide VIP concierge level service in every area of the process of selling your home. My home was marketed so successfully that we received an offer the day after our first and only open house. Thanks to Jim's pricing and negotiating, our house is now the highest sold in our community. Jim's vast experience means he has worked with several realtors and knows the market all over north county. Donna is AMAZING in processing everything in the transaction. She scheduled trades people to work on the house in preparation for the sale as well as the repairs needed before closing. She communicated clearly every step of the way about what would be happening. She took the weight off my shoulders for the whole process. I will always use Jim and Donna for my future real estate needs and I whole heartedly recommend them to anyone buying or selling a home.
Jim and the team at Klinge Reality are without a doubt the best in the business! Not only was Jim helpful and extremely knowledgeable, he was patient and determined to help me find my first home. Jim and his team have been in the business for many years, and it shows. Jim is a wealth of knowledge and was my biggest proponent despite the temperature of the competitive market. I ended up getting the perfect property in my dream neighborhood all thanks to Jim. From the day my offer was accepted, Donna was a real lifesaver. She was extremely helpful, responsive, and knowledgeable when it came to every minute detail, and held my hand through the process. As a first time home buyer I had no idea what the process would entail, but Donna curtailed every concern I came across and made the escrow process feel seamless. Jim and Donna provided me the best home buying experience, and I am very grateful for all they did for me. It was truly a pleasure to work with Jim and Donna and I am already looking forward to the next time we work together!
Review for Member: Richard Morgan
Richard is an amazing realtor! He has high integrity and genuinely cares about his clients and their needs. Richard paid close attention to what I was seeking in a home and was very patient in our search to find it. I would highly recommend Richard and will use him for future transactions. Truly a different kind of realtor experience!
Could not be happier with my experience with Jim and his team. He helped me sell a very unique and challenging property. Throughout the entire process he was always available, honest, transparent, trustworthy, and always put my interests as a seller first. A (rare) true professional! During close of escrow Jim went above and beyond to complete the deal. It would not have been possible without his experience, fantastic team, and pure dedication. Highly recommended!
Thanks Jim and Donna Klinge!