Thursday, November 19, 2015

New Listing - 4140 61st Street, Sacramento (Tallac Village / South Tahoe Park), CA 95820

Adorable Tallac Village 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom, 1,027sf home on .12ac lot. You will love the spacious layout, large living room with custom lighting, stylishly remodeled kitchen, stainless appliances and lots of storage, inside laundry room, remodeled bathroom with slate stall shower and flooring, laminate flooring throughout and 3 big bedrooms. Backyard is nicely landscaped with sprinklers, planter beds, and drip lines. Also has central heat and air, dual pane windows, composition roof and detached garage. Short distance to Tahoe Park. Don't wait! Offered at $299,000. For more information and photos please visit 4140 61st Street, Sacramento, CA 95820.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

How to properly give or receive a downpayment gift for your home purchase...

A few years ago I was quoted in a USA Today article about parents who provide their adult children downpayment "gifts" for their home purchases. This is extremely common, and financial gifts are generally permissible with FHA loans, VA loans, and Conventional loans, though usually my clients do not understand the process in order to give or receive a financial gift. Lenders and loan underwriters have very specific processes in order to document the "source and seasoning" of financial downpayment gifts...

If you are a home buyer looking to give or receive a financial gift, I would NOT recommend just writing the recipient a check or transferring funds into that person's account. Generally, it is much easier for the person giving the gift to hang on to their own funds, and then deposit them on the recipient's behalf directly into the escrow for the transaction when that time comes. This is much cleaner and there are fewer steps to trace and document.

Just what do I mean by "source and seasoning" you may wonder? Well for one thing, lenders will not let just anyone give a buyer a financial gift. Generally gift funds needs to come from a family member, such as a parent, grandparent, sibling, child or even a spouse, if that spouse is not on the loan. In addition to this, the gift funds must be "sourced" directly from this family member's bank account. The family member will need to provide the lender bank statements and a trail of where the money came from. Seasoning refers to the fact that lenders want to see that these funds were not recently acquired -- they prefer to see funds that have been "seasoned" in an account for at least a few months.

The lender will require that the financial gift giver write a letter stating a few things; (a) the amount of the gift being given, (b) the property address of the home being purchased, (c) your relationship to the person receiving the gift, and (d) that the money is NOT a loan and that it is a gift that does not have to be repaid.

All lenders will have their own specific requirements, however these generally are the most common when giving or receiving a financial gift. Many of my transactions with first time home buyers involve the use of gift funds -- this is extremely common and it is pretty cool to see! I have had clients give and receive financial gifts anywhere from $1,000 to augment a buyer's downpayment, to a full 20% downpayment, and everything in the middle.

Friday, October 23, 2015

New Listing - 2025 Vallejo Way, Sacramento / Land Park, CA 95818

Charming 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom, 1,568sf Land Park home! You will love the spacious layout, wood floors, large living room with coved leaded glass window, arched doorways and stylish décor, remodeled bathroom, formal dining room, large kitchen with eat-in nook, separate family room with lots of windows, backyard great for entertaining with a built-in BBQ and a big deck! Also has a quarter basement, central heat and air, a composition roof, and a detached 2-car garage. Short distance to Taylor's Market, Marie's Donuts, Light Rail, and more! Don't wait! Offered at $449,000. For more photos and information please visit 2025 Vallejo Way, Sacramento, CA 95818.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Got a residential electric vehicle charger for my own house...pretty affordable and pretty awesome!

This is pretty cool. Nearly 2 years ago my husband and I got a Nissan Leaf electric vehicle. He drives is primarily to work downtown and back, and mostly charges his car in the parking garage. A company called Chargepoint just came out with an affordable residential charging unit, so we took the plunge and had one installed in our home. This thing is awesome. The unit we purchased was the Chargepoint 25 32-Amp hard-wired model and cost about $500. They do make other less-expensive units as well...we purchased this one because it charges more quickly. We had an electrical contractor professionally install it for us. SMUD and PG&E both offer incentives to installing residential charging stations. We are loving this so far.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Sacramento Real Estate Statistics for September 2015

Wanna know what I love about this median price trend graph for Sacramento County? It's relatively flat with a slight appreciation. Wanna know what else I love about this? It looks a lot like the graph from one year ago in September 2014. In the last twelve months, Sacramento County's median home price has increased approximately 5.5%. This is nice, steady, healthy, and sustainable price appreciation. No crazy spikes one way or the other! This is SO nice compared to trends from a few years ago when the Sacramento real estate market was super frenzied and chaotic. I have been a Realtor for over a decade now and this sort of market is enjoyable to say the least.

What is really nice to know is that the market is still way below the market peak in 2005 when the median price was nearly $400,000. With current home lending standards being such that buyers have to qualify for home purchases based on current income, assets, credit scores and employment and no artificial lending criteria, I think this nice steady price appreciation is here to stay. Nothing funky about the availability of lending exists -- like 10 years ago when buyers routinely claimed income on a loan application whether true or not. Or when the irresponsible "pick-a-payment" loans were available that created this fake low house payment. That's all gone and I don't foresee it returning.

In my own transactions, I am seeing many folks who purchased a home during the bust take this opportunity to sell their current homes and move-up into a larger home, downsize, or move into a different neighborhood. I am also seeing a lot of downpayment gifts from parents to their kids, allowing them to purchase their first homes. Interest rates are still low, hovering just around 4%. Generally as we approach the end of the year, the market slows a bit and the median price tapers a business volume has not slowed in the least, so I will be interested to see if the low interest rates motivate buyers to remain motivated to buy through the holiday season.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

How to apply for a temporary discharge of a federal IRS tax lien so you can close your Sacramento short sale....

While short sales are definitely a much smaller part of the Sacramento real estate market now than they were a few years ago, I am still doing plenty of them. And something that seems to be pretty common, that is seldom discussed, is the fact that many of the folks facing financial hardship also have unpaid income taxes. The IRS may place a Federal Tax Lien on you and your property if you have unpaid income taxes. This can be an issue if you need to sell a home because those liens need to either be paid in full or released before a sale can close. Luckily, there is a process to temporarily discharge tax liens so that a home can be sold.

The IRS wants quite a bit of documentation, packaged up in a certain way, and it can't be submitted until several other milestones in the short sale process have been reached.

I have done this for several of my transactions and it is definitely within my area of expertise. There is not a separate fee for my services to do this, and it is a part of services when I negotiate short sales for my seller clients.

The sellers will need to complete and sign IRS Form 14135 (Application for Certificate of Discharge of Property for Federal Tax Lien), and IRS Form 8821 (Tax Information Authorization) which provides permission for a real estate agent to talk to the IRS on the seller's behalf. Form 14135 outlines in detail the supporting documentation that needs to be sent in with the application. The list of items includes a description of the property, a copy of the deed for the home, a formal appraisal of the home, county valuation of the home, a copy of the formal tax lien as filed with the county, a purchase contract to sell the property, preliminary title report, short sale approvals, an estimated closing statement, and other supporting information as necessary.

An experienced real estate agent will be able to gather all of these documents and assemble the package for submission. If you are selling a home I would not suggest trying to complete this process yourself. It can be complicated. Even just filling out the forms correctly can be a daunting task if you haven't done it before.

When it is time to submit documents to the IRS, you will need to FedEx everything to them at once. For northern California properties, you will need to send everything to the IRS offices in Oakland. In the photo above, all of those documents amounted to about 160 pages, not including the real estate transaction or the short sale negotiation itself. You will need to track the package and find out who the file is ultimately assigned to. Then...follow up! This is not a difficult process but there are several nuances involved. I have closed several of these transactions. If you have questions or are in this situation, I welcome your call.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Ditch that old Toilet for one that conserves water...

Did you know that the State of California offers a rebate program for replacing old toilets with water conserving units? They do! The California Department of Water Resources will rebate up to $100 per household for the purchase and installation of one qualified "high-efficiency" toilet (aka, one that flushes 1.28 gallons or less). To qualify for the rebate, a homeowner must replace a low-efficiency toilet (aka, one that flushes more than 1.6 gallons). There are hundreds of different toilets that qualify as high-efficiency in many different styles.

There is limited funding for this rebate program, however it still has a couple million dollars available! To get started, visit the "Save Our Water Rebates" website. There is a brief online application and FAQ section...this is a nice way to modernize your bathroom and to help save water! Or at least get rid of that man-eating toilet.

Friday, September 18, 2015

New Listing - 5.83ac Commercial & Multi-Residential Land in Sacramento

Developers, here is the project you have been looking for. Located in a busy area hub with frontage and high visibility on Florin Road. Close to light rail station, schools, shopping, restaurants, and residential areas. Listing includes 8 parcels, 041-083-001, -002, -003, -004, and 041-086-028, -029, -030, -031; total size is approximately 5.83ac with individual lots varying from .68ac - .74ac. C2, C2-TO (Commercial), RMX, and RMX-TO (Multi-Residential) zoning. Billboard located on property brings income. Don't wait! Offered at $830,000, and recent appraisal available. For more photos and information please visit Florin Road Land 95822.