Family Compound

This should happen more often:

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.

http://www.fox10phoenix.com/news/us-world-news/270597993-story

Dogs Are People Too

Thinking of selling? Make your house dog-friendly – they have clout!

LINK

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.”

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Oakland Modern

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.

http://www.contemporist.com/ceiling-house-echoes-shape-of-hillside/

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Four or Five More Years

An excerpt from this article:

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-home-prices-20170725-story.html

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.”

Parents-to-Children Transfers

This is solely about the transferring of the property-tax basis between parents and children, not income tax.

http://www.boe.ca.gov/proptaxes/faqs/propositions58.htm

What are Propositions 58 and 193?

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.

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The Rising Tide

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!

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-sea-level-rise-california-20170724-story.html

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?

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