The U-T asked their twelve real estate experts about the effects of Prop 19:
Q: Will Prop. 19 substantially increase home inventory in California?
Of the local experts, 11 out of 12 said NO, and the justification for the one YES answer could have been just as easily been reasons to say NO. Gary’s answer above was the best and most-accurate. See the rest here:
Question: Our house was titled “joint tenant with right of survivorship” after my husband inherited the property in 1998. We were not married at the time. However we legally married in 2013. Will one of us get the step-up in tax basis when the other passes, or do we have to re-title the house some way? We also want to avoid probate. We live in California.
Answer: As you know, California is one of the community property states that allows both halves of a property to get a step-up in tax basis when one spouse dies. This double step-up can be a huge tax saver, since none of the appreciation that happened before the death is taxed. Other community property states include Arizona, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. In Alaska, spouses can sign an agreement to make specific assets community property.
In other, common law states, only half of the property gets the step-up to a new tax basis when one spouse dies. The other half retains its original tax basis.
Although assets acquired during a marriage are generally considered community property regardless of how they’re titled, in your case the property was acquired before marriage.
The current title of joint tenants with right of survivorship would avoid probate but it would not achieve full step-up in basis when the first spouse dies, said Mark Luscombe, principal analyst for tax research firm Wolters Kluwer.
So you’d be smart to get the property retitled as “community property with right of survivorship,” which allows you to avoid probate and get the double step-up after the first death. California allows this “best of both worlds” option, as do Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Nevada and Wisconsin, have this option. In other community property states, you’d have to choose between probate avoidance and getting the full step-up.
This is nothing. What would be entertaining is if they required the listing agent’s commission to be exposed too.
The Department of Justice today filed a civil lawsuit against the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) alleging that NAR established and enforced illegal restraints on the ways that REALTORS® compete.
The Antitrust Division simultaneously filed a proposed settlement that requires NAR to repeal and modify its rules to:
Provide greater transparency to home buyers about the commissions of brokers representing home buyers (buyer brokers),
Cease misrepresenting that buyer broker services are free,
Eliminate rules that prohibit filtering multiple listing services (MLS) listings based on the level of buyer broker commissions, and
Change its rules and policy which limit access to lockboxes to only NAR-affiliated real estate brokers.
If approved, the settlement will enhance competition in the real estate market, resulting in more choice and better service for consumers.
“Buying a home is one of life’s biggest and most important financial decisions,” said Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. “Home buyers and sellers should be aware of all the broker fees they are paying. Today’s settlement prevents traditional brokers from impeding competition — including by internet-based methods of home buying and selling — by providing greater transparency to consumers about broker fees. This will increase price competition among brokers and lead to better quality of services for American home buyers and sellers.”
According to the complaint, NAR’s anticompetitive rules, policies, and practices include: (i) prohibiting MLSs that are affiliated with NAR from disclosing to prospective buyers the commission that the buyer broker will earn; (ii) allowing buyer brokers to misrepresent to buyers that a buyer broker’s services are free; (iii) enabling buyer brokers to filter MLS listings based on the level of buyer broker commissions offered; and (iv) limiting access to the lockboxes that provide licensed brokers with access to homes for sale to brokers who work for a NAR-affiliated MLS. These NAR rules, policies, practices have been widely adopted by NAR-affiliated MLSs resulting in decreased competition among real estate brokers.
NAR is a trade association of more than 1.4 million-member REALTORS® who are engaged in residential real estate brokerages across the United States. NAR has over 1,400 local associations (called “Member Boards”) organized as MLSs through which REALTORS® share information about homes for sale in their communities. Among other activities, NAR establishes and enforces rules, policies, and practices that are adopted by the Member Boards and their affiliated MLSs.
Watch your TV placement when staging a home. Real estate professionals faced with the issue are divided over where in the living room a TV should go—or even whether it belongs there at all.
Hayley Westoff, a Compass real estate professional, told Apartment Therapy that if the TV setup feels wrong, buyers could be turned off by the space. After all, buyers want to visualize themselves living inside a home, and watching TV is a big part of many people’s lives.
On the other hand, Allison Chiaramonte, a Warburg Realty agent in New York, doesn’t see the presence of a TV as a critical matter when staging a space. A TV shouldn’t be the focus, she says.
“While some think keeping a television in the living room at an open house is crucial, others say it takes away from the taste of the home,” Antonia DeBianchi writes on Apartment Therapy. “It’s a problem that sellers don’t seem to talk about, and its solution isn’t the clearest, either.”
When a room is awkwardly laid out, it could add to the challenges. For example, above a fireplace is a common spot for TVs, but if a mantle is too high or the fireplace is on the diagonal, its placement could feel unrealistic or awkward.
“Rearranging the furniture, and putting either a TV or mirror where the TV would go … really helps the buyer visualize what that setup would look like,” Westoff told Apartment Therapy.
Also, if the TV is outdated, many real estate pros suggest removing it. “If you have a really old, thick, crazy TV, it definitely makes people wonder why it’s not upgraded and wonder what else in the house might not be upgraded,” Chiaramonte told Apartment Therapy.
The best compromise: Have the TV blend in. If it’s mounted in a cabinet, close the cabinet if you can. If sellers have a giant TV, try to tone it down by tuning it to soundless images showing nature or peaceful scenery so it shows more as art.
I ran into a 3-offer bidding war yesterday where we were competing against a buyer who had offered a $50,000 non-refundable deposit. The seller wanted us to match it to stay in the game.
We didn’t like the sound of non-refundable (or their price), even though we agreed that it would be unlikely that a judge would allow a home seller to double-dip – unless there were actual damages. If the buyer did end up cancelling, and the seller sold it again for the same price or higher, is the seller damaged? Not really, but we didn’t want to risk potentially having to battle it out in court to find out.
Here is a great article about a case involving a non-refundable deposit of $620,000 – and how the courts felt about the seller trying to keep it:
Compass has opened the regional headquarters at the multi-use One Paseo in Carmel Valley.
“The move for Compass to One Paseo was an easy decision,” said Shana Pereira, San Diego general manager of Compass.
“What One Paseo represents in holding onto the community feel of Carmel Valley, but bringing a futuristic and modern vibe, is synonymous to what Compass stands for — being a full-service real estate brokerage and fostering our real estate agents’ businesses, while embracing the modern advancement of technology with the goal of making their lives easier,” Pereira said. “We hope that the move of basing our regional HQ (headquarters) at One Paseo shows our commitment to San Diego and the people that live here.”
She said Compass expects to have more than 100 agents in the One Paseo offices.
Here’s my brief tour of One Paseo:
We had the all-Compass virtual meeting yesterday where is was noted that the brokerage has made record income for five months in a row, and was profitable in 3Q20. Another 300 support people have been hired in the last three months, with another 200-300 expected to be hired by the end of the year. No mention of the IPO yet, but it has to be in the works.
For the third straight month the level of builder confidence in the new home market set a record high. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) said the Housing Market Index (HMI) it co-sponsors with Wells Fargo soared 5 points in November to 90. This is the highest level in the 35-year history of the HMI which set records of 83 in September and 85 in October. These are the only times in its history that the Index surpassed the 80-point level and is triple its level in April when the pandemic caused it to plunge.
NAHB cautioned, however, that 69 percent of the survey responses were received before the results of the presidential election were called on Nov. 7. The election results and their future impacts on housing market conditions, will be more fully reflected in December’s HMI report.
Robert Dietz, NAHB chief economist, said that builder confidence has soared because historically low mortgage rates, favorable demographics, and an ongoing buyer preference for the suburbs have spurred demand and raised new home sales by nearly 17 percent year-over-year. He added, “Though builders continue to sign sales contracts at a solid pace, lot and material availability is holding back some building activity. Looking ahead to next year, regulatory policy risk will be a key concern given these supply-side constraints.
Regional scores are presented as three-month moving averages. The Northeast increased two points to 83, the Midwest jumped six points to 80, the South and West each rose four points to 86 and 94, respectively.
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