Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Water Conserving, Low-Flow Plumbing Fixtures are Required in Single Family Homes in California Starting in 2017....

Due to legislation passed in California several years ago, starting in just a few weeks on January 1, 2017, ALL single family homes constructed before 1994 in the state must install water conserving plumbing fixtures. Some basic standards are:
- Toilets: use of no more than 1.6 gallons per flush
- Urinals: use of no more than 1 gallon per flush
- Showers: use of no more than 2.5 gallons per minute
- Internal faucets: use of no more than 2.2 gallons per minute

Generally, if you have replaced these items in your home in your pre-1994 home the last few years and purchased the fixtures in at suppliers in California, what you installed should be appropriate water conserving fixtures.

If you are selling your home, will you be required to upgrade all of your plumbing fixtures? Well, the short answer is no, you are not required to as a condition of closing the transaction. You as seller will have to disclose to the buyer if all of your home's plumbing fixtures are in compliance with the water conservation laws or not. I do suspect that if a seller discloses that fixtures in a home are not water conserving fixtures, then the buyer may be inclined to request that the seller bring the home into compliance with the law and replace all of the non-compliant fixtures.

At this point, I am not sure if or how appraisers will be asked by lenders to determine if a property has water conserving fixtures. Candidly, I am not even sure how one might go about measuring the flow of fixtures, short of turning them on and letting them run for a minute into a large bucket and then measuring the output. That said, I am sure appraisers will figure it out if banks demand it, or home inspectors and plumbers will figure out a way to do this if home buyers demand it...

I have a new listing coming onto the market in January that was built in the 1980's and while the seller was performing some other updates, he proactively went ahead and replaced both toilets, interior faucets, and the shower head to comply with the law.  The cost was about $600. So that is not completely cost prohibitive, but as most sellers try to net as much money as possible out of a sale, I am sure it is an expense most sellers would prefer not to absorb.

In 2019, all multi-family and commercial property will also have to comply with these water-conserving plumbing fixture standards.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Sacred Heart Holiday Home Tour - December 2 - 4, 2016

It's holiday home tour in East Sacramento again! 2016 marks the 43rd annual Sacred Heart Holiday Home Tour through the Fabulous 40's neighborhood. The homes showcase some amazing renovation and style while still preserving historic detail. All of the homes are decked out for the holidays too. Advance tickets can be purchased online or at a number of local stops (like William Glen, Emigh Hardware, Kerrie Kelly Design Lab, Pottery World, East Sac Hardware, Parkside Pharmacy, RodWorks, and others) until the Thursday night prior to the tour start for $30. This year's tour is Friday December 2nd from 11am to 8pm, Saturday December 3rd from 10am to 7pm, and Sunday December 4th from 11am to 5pm. Funds raised benefit Sacred Heart School.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Short sales in Sacramento are descreasing but not extinct...

Earlier this year in February, I posted statistics about the decreasing numbers of short sales in our Sacramento real estate market. The numbers of short sales had lessened significantly since the peak of distressed property sales activity, which came in late 2010/early 2011. Just as an update, here is a current snapshot of the short sale activity as of this last month, October 2016. You can see the downward trend even since my last blog post in February. Short sale activity is now approximately 2/3 of what it was earlier in the year. To see a short sale market snapshot from 2009 - 2016, click here.

My own short sale listing activity reflects the bigger market as well. In the heyday of short sales during the bottom of the Sacramento real estate market, more than 75% of my transactions where short sales. Now, this year, short sales represent less than 10% of my transactions...I am still doing them though. Some sellers in certain circumstances still have the need to do short sales. Short sales are not extinct, and I doubt they ever will be...

Monday, November 7, 2016

Meet our second addition - Nugget the mini aussie!

I figured with all of the craziness surrounding election day tomorrow, I'd post some lighter stuff. Last year we added a sweet puppy to our family, Citra. Over the summer we decided she needed a sister, so in September we added "Nugget" to our family. Nugget is also named for a variety of hops used in beer brewing, just like Citra.

They are about as sweet as can be together...but don't let those angelic faces fool you. It's been a nonstop dog party at our house for the last 6 weeks! In fact it was very difficult to get them both to sit still for this photo! And they have both stolen my heart. Citra is 13 months old, and Nugget is 17 weeks old. Looking forward to double the sweet companionship.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Sacramento County Supplemental Tax Bills....triggered by reassessment events and they must be paid...

My husband and I bought another house in January of this year, and just finally this week received in the mail our supplemental tax bill from Sacramento County. 10 months later! Wow...when we bought our last house, the supplemental bill came within a month or so.

What is a supplemental tax bill? Well, one is generated when a property goes through a "reassessment event." Properties are reassessed when there is a change in ownership, significant remodel or addition, etc. A supplemental tax bill reflects the difference between the previous assessment amount and the new reassessed amount...this can be an increase or a decrease depending on the circumstances. Generally, unless we are in a market of significantly declining values, most supplemental tax assessments will be increases, and there will be money owed. (FYI, your house is NOT reassessed by the county if you refinance and the house appraises for a higher amount than your original acquisition value. This tends to confuse people, and it is not a reassessment event.)

In the instance of a change in ownership, the new property tax assessment is based on your acquisition cost. So for example, if you purchased your new home for $300,000, that is your new assessed value. If the previous owner's assessed value was $200,000, then there will be a supplemental tax billing based on the increase of approximately $100,000 in assessed value.

It's not super simple to calculate the amount you owe or when you will owe it though...depending on if the property was purchased during the first or second half of the fiscal year, there may be one or two supplemental tax bills and they may be prorated. Luckily the Sacramento County Assessor's office has an online supplemental tax bill calculator.

In my case, I have a supplemental tax bill for both fiscal years 2015-2016 AND 2016-2017. Boo! But it has to be paid...

For those people who pay property taxes out of an impound account (paid with your monthly mortgage payment), the supplemental tax bill is not paid by your mortgage company. They will not automatically receive a copy of a supplemental tax bill like they do your regular first and second installment payment bills. Sometimes a mortgage company will have collected enough from you during your payments to cover the cost of the supplemental bill -- BUT you must contact your mortgage company, provide them a copy of the supplemental tax bill and find out.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Time to Check Before You Burn in Sacramento - November 1 - February 28

Every year for the better part of the last decade, from November through February, the Sacramento Region Air Quality Management District has implemented the "Check Before You Burn" program. They forecast regional air quality every day and when particulate matter is high, they may restrict or prohibit burning. Penalties for burning (wood, pellets, or manufactured logs in indoor or outdoor fireplaces, wood stoves, fire pits, or chimineas) start at $50 for the first violation. Please help maintain good and safe Sacramento air quality! You can check the website super easily here or sign up for daily emails. They also have an app available to download.

Monday, October 24, 2016

New Listing - 738 Commons Drive, Sacramento, CA 95825

Stunning 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 1,643sf single level end unit PUD! You will love this Moss & Moss Atrium model floorplan, spacious light and bright layout with amazing windows that really let the outdoors in! Vaulted ceilings, separate living and family room/den area, freshly painted interior, new flooring, dual pane windows, remodeled kitchen with maple cabinets, pantry and dining nook, large formal dining room, dual master suites, remodeled bathroom, newer central heat and air, LOTS of storage space. Close proximity to clubhouse and pools, American River Parkway, shopping and more. Village 1 in Campus Commons. HOA dues are $295/month. Offered at $349,000. Don't wait! For more photos and information please visit 738 Commons Drive, Sacramento, CA 95825.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Things that appraisers believe are adverse conditions that must be repaired prior to closing...Part 2...

A few months ago I wrote a post showing what one appraiser called out as an adverse condition -- exposed raw wood that needed to be repainted prior to closing...I felt that appraiser was being pretty picky since it was a few square inches of lightly worn paint on a 10-year old home.

Today's scenario is much more egregious -- this is some very obvious dryrot on the exterior siding of the house. Luckily, when I met the sellers to list the property, I noticed the deteriorated siding and trim, and we got a pest inspection before the house went on the market. The seller disclosed the pest inspection report to the buyer in advance, and the buyer agreed to take the house as-is...however the appraiser came along and required the repair work be done prior to closing the transaction. So, the buyer ended up paying for this work to be completed before closing.

One thing to note -- this was required of a conventional loan. A common misconception is that only FHA or VA loan appraisers will note deficiencies in a property and require repairs prior to closing. Conventional appraisers will too if they feel the damage is severe enough, or if the item poses a health and safety hazard.