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- Short Sale Seller’s Tax Break Ends 2013
- It’s Time to Change Home-Buying Strategies!
- Don’t Give Up Hope! Mortgage Programs Available to Help!
- Act Quickly! Sacramento Real Estate Prices on the Rise!
- Have you heard? Sacramento real estate is Booming!
- $18 million in mortgage settlement relief for California
- working on buying a short sale
- Folsom Short SaleTaxes; Saved By Fiscal Cliff?
- Folsom Short Sale Specialist Announces Debt Relief Act Extended
home buying information, contact a lender, buy a home, wereheretohelp.org, first-time buyer ,cma, comparative market analysis, find your dream home,Be an informed buyer, Find an agent, Get an appraisal, Comparative Market Analysis (CMA), fair market price, Schedule a home inspection,house hunting,financial planning, market value,connect with an agent, negotiate terms, write an offer, home search,buying a home,how to buy a home, home buying process, what to know before you buy a home, 5 house-hunting tips, Run the numbers, financial plan
Posted: 26 Nov 2013 04:41 PM PST
Housing prices are on the rebound but they are expected to continue rise well into 2014. With that said, it’s still a buyer’s market! Prices remain 30 percent below their peak price before the housing crash with mortgage rates remaining at all-time lows.
If you are ready to jump in to the real estate market, here are 5 house-hunting tips for you to take on your way.
#1. Run the numbers. First put together a financial plan to determine if you can really afford to buy. After all, just because it’s a good time to purchase a home, doesn’t mean it’s a good time for YOU.
A great way to see if you can buy a home is to contact a lender. A lender is an excellent resource to help you determine if you are ready to buy a home, and if for some reason you're not, they can usually help educate you on ways to improve your credit score so that you are ready to buy in no time!
#2. Be an informed buyer. You’re not going to buy a home simply because there are pretty pictures online. Online home searching is great place to start any home search. Visit wereheretohelp.org for all sorts of great resources and information to help educate any home buyer; first-time buyer, move-up buyer, investor, and empty nesters.
#3. Find an agent. As much as everyone complains about realtors, it truly is tough to go through the home buying process alone. Believe it or not, the most important qualities in brokers are honesty, experience, their connections with other agents, and them being able to negotiate terms on your behalf.
#4. Get an appraisal. An appraisal will help determine the market value of your property and ultimately, if you are financing your purchase, it will be used by your lender to determine the amount of your loan.
Even before you write your offer, it is a good idea to have your agent run a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) on the home and area you are interested in. Just because a seller is asking $400,000 for his/her home, it doesn't mean that it is a fair market price.
#5. Schedule a home inspection. Think you’ve found your dream home? Maybe you have, but unless you have a qualified professional walk through the premises to assess the property further, you might be paying for repairs or a new roof sometime in the near future.
If problems do a rises during the inspection, don't freak out; usually it can often be remedied with a simple adjustment in price. Be sure not to blow off this important step, ultimately it is important that you protect yourself and ensure the quality of your new purchase.
Posted: 19 Nov 2013 04:04 PM PST
Is there Tax due after a short sale?
Troubled Sacramento homeowners who’s short sale closes after Dec.31, 2013 will still get a break from their mortgage lenders, but could face a hefty tax bill next year after key provision that expires at the end of the year.
Homeowners who live in California states, like California, where mortgages are non-recourse—that is, where they aren't personally liable for the unpaid balance—may avoid the potential tax hit even if Congress doesn't act, according to a letter sent by the Internal Revenue Service released by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D., Calif.) on Friday. So it is just too early to tell if there will actually be a California Short Sale Tax.
The Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007 currently allows some homeowners Facing foreclosure void paying taxes on certain relief that they receive on their mortgages. The IRS considers debt forgiveness to be a form of taxable income! And that means.
Certified Sacramento Short Sale Specialist Forth Hoyt reminds homeowners There is still time to do a short sale, which may include a Sacramento area Short Sale relocation assistance or Short Sale incentive from $3,000 to as high as $45,000, depending on their lender, loan amount and individual situation.
More Questions About HAFA, HAFA Short Sale or Sacramento HAFA Short Sale Relocation Assistance? Contact us Today At Forth Hoyt's Sacramento Short Sale Center
Posted: 11 Oct 2013 12:47 PM PDT
It's that time of year again, there's a slight chill in the air, the leaves are turning vibrant colors, and its pumpkin spice everything. Autumn is upon us. It’s time for the seasons to change, and if you are a homebuyer, many real estate experts say it is also time to change your home-buying strategies.
Although, the fall real estate market sees less activity than the summer selling season, there are still numerous ways for buyers to get a great home for a great price.
Let's take a look at the benefits of fall buying, and discover a few ways to minimize the drawbacks.
1: Mortgage rates are at a historical low
This fall, the home buying market is unique because current mortgage rates are still sitting at historic lows.
Therefore, don't be discouraged from making a move in the fall because interest rates have increased, they're still at a historic low. Plus, there’s always a chance that next year they won’t stay this low.
2: Less choice BUT less competition
One of the top reasons that real estate activity slows down in the fall is due to the beginning of the school year. Buyers with young children stop looking for new homes because they don’t want to force their children to switch schools.
But, this can actually turn out to be an advantage. You now have a significantly smaller amount of competition! This creates more wiggle room for the buyer and gives the opportunity to buy the home of your dreams for a price that you can afford.
3: Buyers and sellers make sacrifices
Unfortunately, the amount of houses for sale does decrease. This means that if you make an offer, but can’t come to terms with the seller and the deal falls through, there won’t be a bunch of other houses that have exactly what you want. Therefore, you may have to loosen your requirements or wait until another suitable house goes up for sale.
Nevertheless, sellers will most likely be more flexible in terms of price reductions. So grasp this opportunity and take a serious look at the homes that are available, because sellers are l more motivated to make a deal in the fall. They might even be willing to pay some of the buyer’s closing costs or strongly consider lower offers.
4: Stray away from being greedy
A seller may accept a lower offer, but try not to be greedy. Even though the fall market is smaller, it's important to remember that there are still serious buyers out there. Just as sellers become more motivated at this time of year, buyers who are seeing their options reduced, are also becoming more serious. Not only that, looming cold weather and busy holiday schedules also contribute to the general buyer motivation, to close before winter's arrival.
Fall can be a great time of year to buy a home for a good deal. Since no one can predict future mortgage rates, hurry to lock in a historically low mortgage rate this fall!
Posted: 09 Oct 2013 09:36 PM PDT
If you think you don't qualify for a mortgage, don’t give up! There may be hope—if you know what to ask your lender.
Currently, there are a variety of programs that were created in order to help people refinance an existing mortgage or purchase a home. In addition, there are policy changes that have begun opening doors for some borrowers.
Therefore, there are several options to consider, depending on what your situation is.
1. If you are retired: In the past, a lender would have told a pension-less retiree that they needed to show they were taking regular distributions of a certain amount in order to cover their mortgage payments. But now, balances in retirement accounts can be used to determine mortgage eligibility—without touching the funds. This is because of a recent rule change at Fannie Mae.
2. If you are a cash-strapped homeowner: The Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) is a government-issued program that allows people whose home value has declined to refinance so they can have lower, more affordable rates. Homeowners can sometimes owe more on their mortgage than the home is currently worth!
Although this program has been in effect for years, there are many who still could qualify. Some of the people who currently qualify, may have applied for a HARP refinance in the past and had been denied. Since then, the rules have changed and now the program doesn’t require an appraisal. They also have removed the cap on how much a homeowner could be “underwater” on their current mortgage.
In addition, those with a current mortgage backed by the Federal Housing Administration may be eligible for the FHA Streamline program, which has no income requirement.
3. If you are a fixer-upper:
Lenders market FHA203(k) mortgages more heavily in urban areas, but properties that qualify for these “mini construction” loans can be located anywhere. Essentially, these loans allow people to purchase a home and finance improvements in one mortgage. The mortgage amount is based on the estimated value of the property once the improvement work is completed, while factoring in the cost of the work.
While the program is a benefit for homes like abandoned foreclosure properties, it can also be used for more less dramatic upgrades, such as modernizing the restrooms, or carpeting throughout the house. The main point that you have to remember is that the upgrade must increase the value of the home.
(More information about this program can be accessed at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development website)
4. If you don’t have a down payment:
Coming up with the funds for a down payment can be the biggest struggle for first-time home buyers. But there are several ways to seek help. State and local governments, employers and lenders offer assistance funds for home buyers who are expected to be successful as homeowners. In this case, buyers are often asked to complete a homeownership course in return.
Moreover, there is at least one avenue for 100% financing still available for buyers in the more rural areas of the country. That's the U.S. Department of Agriculture loan program, and you would be surprised who makes the cut.
Therefore, don’t lose hope. When you think all the doors are closed, a window will most surely open. Buckle down and do your research and you will soon reap the rewards.
Posted: 04 Oct 2013 03:38 PM PDT
Over the course of the past few months, Sacramento home prices have started rising twice as fast as the national average! They are rising even faster than the pace set during much of the last housing boom.
The median home price in Sacramento County grew by 22.4 percent, in the time period between January 2012 and January 2013. That’s the second-largest January-to-January Sacramento County home price increase in the last two decades. The last time this happened, it was the 2005 peak of the housing boom.
For the last few decades, Sacramento County has endured successive real estate booms and busts, each one larger every time. It seems as though another boom is upon us. Nevertheless, certain real estate experts have argued previously that another boom isn’t likely for awhile, given tight lending and a very slow economic recovery. They may still be proven right; only time will tell.
Despite the fast growth in prices, most homes in the Sacramento County still sell for 50 percent cheaper than they did during the highest point of the last housing boom.
But, if home prices increase at this pace for much longer, what does this mean for Sacramento homeowners? It means that it’s a good time to sell! While prices are high, it is the best time to sell your home and upgrade to a better one.
So there you have it: short and sweet. Happy Friday!
Posted: 02 Oct 2013 06:19 PM PDT
Have you heard? Real estate in Northern California is booming! Especially in the Sacramento housing market, which was actually among the hardest hit of any in the country during the collapse of the housing bubble.
Over the past year, the Sacramento area has actually had the largest gains of any metro region. Data suggests that sagging housing prices, are beginning to rebound with incredible strength.
Five of the top 10 cities with the fastest national growth are located in Northern California and two more are in the Southern California.
During much of the 2000s, loose financing had led to an oversupply of housing being built in the San Francisco Bay Area’s far outlying suburbs. Since the crash, there had been very little new construction, so when demand naturally increased due to the gradually improving economy, supply hadn’t been able to keep up and prices have jumped.
Not only did Sacramento have the biggest gain in home list prices over the course of the past year, but it also had the largest percentage of its listed houses go off the market, an inventory reduction of just over two-thirds. Nevertheless, Sacramento’s median listing price is still well below its mid-bubble 2006 peak.
Wracked by foreclosures and a flood of underwater mortgages, Housing price gains can’t come soon enough for many homeowners in the region.
Many of the other Northern California cities sitting atop the list owe their rapid price increases to a fairly different set of factors than those underlying Sacramento’s swift ascent. San Francisco, Santa Barbara and San Jose, have largely retained their value during the recession and owe the continued strength of their real estate markets to their booming economies where high-income people want to live.
While San Francisco only had the third-highest jump in housing prices over the past year, the report found that the City by the Bay had, far and away, the highest median home sale price in the country of $749,000 — about double the median price of buying a home in New York City.
Posted: 25 Sep 2013 12:09 PM PDT
In the past year and a half, California homeowners have received more than $18 billion worth of help from a national mortgage settlement with major lenders.
The state’s share of the settlement was divided evenly between principal reductions and short sales, and it includes more than $2.8 billion to residents of Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara and San Mateo.
The agreement penalized the lenders for something called “robo-signing” where bank employees fraudulently signed foreclosure paper work, as well as misconduct in loan servicing, and was limited to loans owned or serviced by those lenders.
The $25 billion national settlement was with the attorneys general of nearly every state, but California Attorney General Kamala Harris negotiated a separate version of this agreement with three different lenders. This increased the amount of help ,which went directly to homeowners. Under California’s agreement, only mortgage help that reduced what homeowners owed could be counted as credit in California’s share of the settlement.
As a result, 84,102 California families received first and second mortgage principal reductions. Bank of America delivered $11.16 billion and forgave second mortgages in full for over 36,000 California homeowners. JP Morgan Chase $4.07 billion and Wells Fargo $3.2 billion.
Good news or what?
Posted: 19 Sep 2013 11:08 AM PDT
If you are thinking of buying a home, especially a short sale, you will need a minimum down payment of about 3.5 percent of the purchase price. You might begin to panic if you don’t know where to begin. But there is no need because I have prepared five ways you can come up with a down payment to seal the deal.
1. Gift Money: Yes you can use Gift Money for your down payment. Money that was given as a gift from family or documented close relationship can be used towards a down payment. The giftor needs to provide a gift letter and a paper trail for amount they are gifting for the benefit of the buyer. In addition, they will have to provide a bank account showing that they had the ability to gift the money.
2. 401(k)/Retirement Loan for down payment: Typically, borrowed funds for a down payment are not acceptable, but isn’t there an exception to any rule? In this case it’s a 401(k) or an equivalent retirement account or event a current home equity line. All of these are accepted for obtaining a purchase mortgage loan.
3. Sale of a Good: Have you considered selling your recreational vehicle and using the net proceeds from the transaction as your down payment? For instance, let’s say that you decide to sell your motorcycle for $10,000. You’ll need to provide your mortgage lender with the full bill of sale, the bank statement depositing those funds and matching the bill of sale. As long as you can prove the sale from start to finish, you should have no problem using that money towards your down payment.
4. Trust Funds, Settlement Awards, etc.: If you happen to receive an inheritance, settlement, lottery winning, trust fund disbursement, family buyout, or even a gambling victory, all of these can be used for the down payment as long as the sourcing is fully documented from start to finish.
5. Line of Credit for down payment: Where a down payment lacks, strength in income can compensate. You can take out a personal loan or a line of credit and deposit the full funds into your bank account. After two months, the funds will be eligible for use in the transaction.
So if you don’t have a down payment for your dream house, you now know where to look!
Posted: 30 Jan 2013 08:13 PM PST
Folsom Short Sale Specialist explains how:
Fiscal Cliff Helped Folsom Short Sales?
How did the Fiscal cliff help Folsom homeowners?
Upside-down homeowners in Folsom now owe no taxes on their Folsom Short Sale!
Folsom Homeowners who do short sales — selling their homes for less than they owe to the bank — got a break when a deal was made in Washington on the fiscal cliff.
Folsom short sales won't owe Federal taxes to the IRS on the difference between the sale price and the loan debt. (Which was the case before 2007) because the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act was extended.
Read more here at: Folsom Short Sale Specialist Announces Debt Relief Act Extended
Now California may do the same…
Last December, California State Senator Ron Calderon introduced a bill; SB 30.
SB 30 will extend mortgage debt forgiveness for California short sales. If it passes, it will join the federal tax relief that has already been extended by Congress as part of the Fiscal Cliff deal.
The California Association of Realtors (CAR) has put its weight behind passage of Calderon's bill. The trade group says the bill is critical to the "continued recovery of California's housing market." A shortage of homes for sale in the state is driving up prices, and homeowners who are upside-down and struggling will be able to add to the number of homes for sale, knowing they will not face a huge tax burden if they short sale and get out.
Looking for a Folsom Short Sale Agent?
Questions on your particular situation?
Posted: 15 Jan 2013 01:56 PM PST
California state Taxes after short sale
Folsom Certified Short Sale Specialist: what about California’s Mortgage Debt Relief Act?
Short Sales, Foreclosures and loan modifications are still non taxable events as far as federal taxes are concerned… the Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007 provisions have been extended. Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007 generally allows taxpayers to exclude income from the discharge of debt on their principal residence.
The "American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012'' extends mortgage cancellation relief for home owners or sellers who have a portion of their mortgage debt forgiven by their lender, typically in a short sale or foreclosure sale for sellers and in a modification for owners. Without the extension, any debt forgiven would be taxable, which, for underwater households, represents a financial burden. The extension is for one year and is in Sec. 202 of the bill.
Struggling homeowners in California can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that Congress has included an extension of Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act in an eleventh hour bill to avoid a possible fiscal cliff crisis. The Act that was scheduled to expire on December 31, 2012, was extended in the American Taxpayer Relief Act until December 31, 2013. Don Faught, the president of the California Association of Realtors, credits realtors in the association for their role in advocating for this extension of the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act.
This relief will benefit homeowners who will have received mortgage debt forgiveness as a result of a reduction in principal (loan Modification), foreclosure, short sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure. Under the United States Federal Tax Code, any debt that is forgiven, including mortgage debt, is treated as income and, therefore, subject to income tax. As the expiration date drew near, homeowners rushed to complete short sales before the end of the year to avoid tax on the difference between their mortgage debt and the sale price. For many, this tax would have been thousands of dollars. By extending the Act, homeowners will not have to pay income tax on mortgage debt forgiven up to two million dollars. Please check with your tax professional for all applicable scenarios as not all mortgage debt is subject to the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act.
What about California state Taxes after short sale and the California mortgage debt relief?
Considering a Short Sale in Sacramento, El Dorado or Placer County? Questions on your particular situation?
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