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Jan. 10, 2018

Real Estate Tax Reforms

Some new housing tax codes are in place and this post from Keeping Current Matters explains the impact it will have on the real estate market.

Disclaimer: This guide is not meant to be a resource for tax advice but instead a resource for basic information concerning only certain aspects of the new tax code and how they may impact the real estate market. You should get tax advice from your accountant or tax preparer who will explain how the entire tax code will affect your personal return.

This information comes immediately after the new tax code became law. Some of the information may be revised as the analysis of the new law evolves.

When the tax code was originally being overhauled by the House and the Senate, there were three major proposals being considered that would have substantially impacted the residential real estate market:

  • Changing the requirements for the exclusion of gain on the sale of a principal residence
  • The reduction on the limit of the Mortgage Interest Deduction (MID)
  • The elimination of the State and Local Tax deduction (SALT) which includes property taxes

Let’s look how the tax code has evolved from the original proposal, and decipher what impact experts believe it may have on the housing market.

1. Exclusion of gain on sale of a principal residence

Original Proposal: Owners would need to live in their house for at least 5 out of the last 8 years to claim this exemption. Under the former tax framework, a typical owner, who has lived in their house for at least 2 years out of the last 5 years, would pay nothing in capital gain taxes if they sell the house.

The New Tax Code: No change. The “at least 2 years out of the last 5 years” requirement is unchanged.

Impact on the Market: None.

2. Mortgage Interest Deduction

Original Proposal: Reduce the limit on the mortgage interest deduction (MID) amount from $1,000,000 to $500,000.

The New Tax Code: Reduces limit on deductible mortgage debt to $750,000 for new loans taken out after 12/14/17. Current loans up to $1 million are grandfathered.

Impact on the Market: Assuming a 20% down payment, this reduction in the MID will impact buyers that are purchasing a home between the prices of $938,000 and $1,250,000. Any home under the lower price is still covered and any home over the higher price was not covered under the former tax code either.

What does that mean to the market? Experts disagree. Calculated Risk’s Bill McBride:

“I think the impact of reducing the MID from a maximum of $1 million in mortgage debt to $750 thousand in mortgage debt will have very little impact on the housing market.”

On the other hand, Capital Economics claims:

“The impact on expensive homes could be detrimental, with a limit on the mortgage interest deduction raising taxes for those that itemize.”

3. State and Local Taxes (SALT)

Original Proposal: The elimination of the state and local tax deduction (which includes property taxes).

The New Tax Code: Allows an itemized deduction of up to $10,000 for the total of state and local property taxes and income or sales taxes.

Impact on the Market: Most experts agree that higher taxed regions will be impacted as homeowners in those communities now have a cap on these deductions.

Calculated Risk’s Bill McBride stated:

“SALT will have an impact on housing in some areas. Some people might choose to live in one state over another (if they have a choice), based on taxation. This could impact demand in certain states – especially for the middle and upper-middle class homeowners.”

Mark Zandi of Moody’s Analytics said:

“The impact on house prices is much greater for higher-priced homes, especially in parts of the country where incomes are higher and there are thus a disproportionate number of itemizers, and where homeowners have big mortgages and property tax bills.”

What will be the overall impact on the housing market?

For most of the country, the new tax code will not have a negative impact on the market. As Capital Economics reports:

“Given most households will see an overall tax cut, and potential buyers are likely to put that saving towards their home, we doubt it will have a significant detrimental impact on the housing market.”

There is also no doubt that some higher priced, higher taxed regions will be affected more than others. However, most experts agree that other portions of the tax code will favor the high-end buyer and seller, and this might mitigate many concerns. McBride explains:

“The corporate tax cuts (and other tax cuts) will mostly benefit the wealthy, and this will be a positive for high end real estate.”

What does this all mean to you?

To know for sure, you should sit with your accountant or financial planner and explore how all the aspects of the new code will impact your family.

Most families consider homeownership an essential part of the American Dream, and don’t purchase a home based solely on the tax advantages. The main reasons they buy a home are personal (they just got married, they are looking for a good place to raise children, they want to be near friends and family, they want to better enjoy their retirement, etc.). This will never change.

Looking at the new tax code, Mr. McBride’s opinion makes the most sense:

“There will be some negative impact based on SALT, but overall the impact of these policy changes on housing will be minimal.”

Here's a summary from National Association of Realtors of how it will impact California.


 

July 20, 2015

Listings, Listings and More Home Listings

Pasadena Views Real Estate Team is quite busy in this summer season with multiple home listings coming up for sale in Pasadena. If you are looking to buy a home or a condo in the greater Pasadena area, you might be interested in some of these homes.  

Some of these homes have not been added to the Multiple Listing Service yet and are upcoming.  Please click on a link for each home for more information and do not hesitate to give us a call at 626-629-8439 for more information!  If you are already working with a real estate agent, please forward this info on to them so that they can contact us.

Homes for Sale:

1080 Cordova #8, Pasadena, CA 91106
2 bedrooms and 1.75 Baths condo located on the top floor with a wrap around balcony and beautiful city views.

Property Website Link
Offered at $435,000

 

178 North Chester, Pasadena, CA  91106
3 Bedrooms and 3 Baths Single Family Alternative built in 2005 with almost 2,000 square feet of living space, a side patio with place for gardening. Great Pasadena locations next to restaurants, shopping CalTech and Pasadena City College.

Property Information Link
Offered at $735,000

1613 Casa Grande, Pasadena, CA 91104
Beautiful Spanish home on a large, private lot with 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, oversize kitchen/great room and a large bonus room with closet that can easily be used as an additional bedroom, family room or office.  Great curb appeal on one of the most beautiful streets in Pasadena.  Built in 1923.

Property Information Link
Price TBD

Spanish home for sale in Pasadena on Casa Grande

 

1481 Navarro Avenue, Pasadena CA  91103
Super cute and charming, 2 bedroom and 1 bath Spanish style home just perfect for first time home buyers. Outdoor deck extends the living space and makes it perfect for outdoor dining and entertaining.  The back yard has a prolific vegetable garden and is very private.

Property Information Link
Offered at $400,000

Exclusively represented by Irina Netchaev of Pasadena Views Real Estate Team Inc.


If you are interested in selling your home, call Irina Netchaev at 626-629-8439 for a private consultation.  

Posted in Homes For Sale
April 30, 2015

Move In Ready - Bungalow in Pasadena

Pasadena real estate market has been really tight over the last six months.  With an average price of a Pasadena home for sale being $809.000 in March 2015 per TrendGraphix, it is really hard to find an affordable, remodeled house for $500,000.  Our new property listing at 287 MacDonald in Pasadena will make it easier for a very special buyer to get in to a beautiful home with a huge yard!

Welcome to 287 MacDonald in Pasadena California!

This bungalow style home is set on a tree-lined street adjacent to the world famous Rose Bowl.  

It has been lovingly updated and is light and bright.  The living room features a large window overlooking the front yard and has laminate flooring.

Cottage living room in Pasadena

A brand new kitchen with granite countertops, new stainless steel built ins, wine tier and cooler, breakfast bar makes it a perfect place for entertaining both family and friends.

updated kitchen

With its Mahogany counters, it offers great storage space and convenient floor plan.

stainless steel appliances

This home also features 3 bedrooms and 1 bath.  All painted inside and out.  All the bedrooms have ceiling fans for air flow.  Lots of windows bring in the Southern California sunshine.  The bath has a jet spa and Travertine tiles.

staged bedroom Pasadena home

travertine tile bath with jet spa

This property sits on a huge lot and has a 2 car garage.  So many opportunities await.

huge pasadena lot

garage

With the interest rates being at the lowest in decades, it's a great time to buy a home at an affordable monthly payment.  

For more information, please give us a call at 626-629-8439.

Exclusively represented by Irina Netchaev of Pasadena Views Real Estate Team Inc. If you are interested in selling your home, call Irina Netchaev at 626-629-8439 for a private consultation.

 

 

Posted in Homes For Sale
Dec. 15, 2014

Preventive Rain Maintenance for Your Home in California

Rain Maintenance for your Home

We haven't seen much rain in California, but when it does rain it truly pours. When it pours we have a ghastly amount of mudslides, flooding, trees falling, roof leaks and a few more distresses that home owners encounter. It is absolutely important to perform preventive measures that can help deter these catastrophes from our homes and minimize the damage. This article will go over a few areas of the home that you will want to take care of before the next rainstorm hits.

The most important part of everyone’s home that is a definite must to maintain is the drainage system. Most homes fall victim to clogged drains and clogged gutters around the roof. Those gutters near the roof won’t unclog themselves once the rain starts pouring. The gutters will eventually get clogged, become overweight and could potentially collapse. The accumulation of wet leaves, dirt, water and possibly bird poop may bring them down. Not only that but the debris that goes down the gutter tube which lead to the outside drainage which may also cause the gutters to get clogged. So... it is always important, especially, if you have trees surrounding your home as we do here in Pasadena, to inspect the gutters monthly. Always keep them cleared and ready for the next rainfall

The other vital drains on the outside of the home that lead directly to the street should also be checked monthly. There will be days and even months in between rain falls which might mean the dirt or mud that was going down the drainage pipe could have dried up. This dried up dirt can form into a clay-like material which may cause flooding around your house. Most drainage pipes run from the left and ride side of the home to the street. If they ever get clogged then have a professional plumber use a hydro-Jet water machine to clear them out. If there are roots then the plumber can snake that area, cut the roots and then hydro-jet the rest to clear it. In addition, if you plan on planting a tree anywhere around your home then double check to see if a drainage pipe is running below. As the tree grows, its roots will ultimately destroy those drainage pipes. That alone could cost you a couple hundred dollars to re-do or even thousands.

Besides the drainage system around your home one should also maintain any hillside, vegetation or planters. If you live on a hillside then a great preventive measure to take is to build a retaining wall. However, building a retaining wall can be quite costly and before you decide to get it done get several estimates for your home and check the contractor's references.

Flooding around the foot of your home risks the possibility of water getting into the home and causing mold to grow inside of walls. Most homes are built with enough protection to prevent this from happening but the longer you let that water sit the more chance there is that it can eat through the stucco, seep through the cracks and get into the house.


find your dream home Interested in sitting down and meeting with one of our great real estate agents for an in-depth explanation of a home buying process and what to expect?  Give us a call at 626-629-8439.  We look forward to being of service!

Nov. 27, 2014

What Gift Are You Getting Your Home This Holiday?

A new paint job? New kitchen appliances? New bathroom décor? New air filters? New copper or plastic pipes?

home updatesTo some, these all sound like daunting tasks or a wallet eater but all of these gifts we contribute to our home may indeed increase its longevity and value! This idea of “new” or “re-installing” has its benefits down the line just like performing an oil change or tune up for your car, obviously on a longer time frame scale.

There are many opinions out there by contractors when one should change certain things with the home. I will mainly focus on home maintenance that is for the health and well being of you and your family.  So, take a deep breath with me and let’s start with your homes air.   

Yes, I asked you to take a deep breath because many homes with air conditioning have air filters. If you have allergies while in your home or notice much more dust on the counter tops then it is a good sign that you should change your air filters. You may even need to get the air ducts steamed cleaned out by a professional. It is recommended to change out your air filters once a year! This filtration system helps protect you and your family from unwanted odors, bacteria, pet dander, dust and above all allergies. Many people also have the mini air filters that you can get from tech stores but require you change or clean those twice a week! So, ask yourself when is the last time you changed your filters? 

If you have already taken care of the filters then you can breath easier. So, another question you should ask yourself is whether your skin is dryer after a shower? If your showers are foggy, have water spots or a build up of calcium then that means your water has tons of unwanted minerals and contaminates.  A good way to fix this is to go above and beyond and get a home water filtration system, which would do wonders for your pipes and your skin! By having a water filtration system you don’t get those water spots, you don’t get the very dry skin feel and you don’t get any calcium build up on faucets. You can go a step further if you know your home has a few leaks or is really outdated to have its piping system re-piped with copper or plastic as well.

While on the subject of water it is also very important to change your refrigerator filter. The filter lasts about 6 to 12 months, which is designed to remove lead, contaminants and other debris from the tap water. This is a filter you do want to change because you may not only be drinking tap from your refrigerator but ice as well.

There are many other gifts you can get your home but I hope you get the idea that you should really start doing the due diligence on your home. If you don’t fix a leak right away then you obviously know it may grow into a bigger problem. However, if you do decide to go for appliances this year for your home then the biggest benefit of all is that the industry has focused on their products to be more cost effective for electricity, water and labor.  

 I can go on and on of the different gift ideas for your home but they all have one thing in common which is that they are preventive care maintenance and help with the health and well-being of your family. So, with the bonus this year share some of that for the love of your home.

 

Nov. 17, 2014

The Buying Adventure of a Condo or Townhouse!

Pasadena is one of the greatest places for buyers looking for beautifully upgraded and remodeled condos and townhomes.  New ones are also being built near the downtown area (Old Pasadena).  With these great property opportunities come very important questions that a buyer should review before heading into the buying process. As a buyer you have to be well equipped and prepared for such a process especially if it is your first home purchase. We break down a few questions that buyers should have knowledge about before jumping the gun.

Pasadena condo complex on Cordova

First and foremost what is the difference between a townhouse and a condo?

In the broad sense a condominium complex is a multi-level dwelling of multiple units that share amenities, which can be a gym, pool or barbecue patio. A condo will most likely have designated parking spots in a garage where all residents’ vehicles will be whereas a townhouse will usually have an attached garage.

Majority of townhomes are normally 2 stories, which offers a small patio vs. a balcony in a condo. The major difference is that in a townhouse you only have a neighbor to the left and right of you unless you are placed in a corner unit.  Townhomes may also have amenities just like Condos.

 The two both share one major thing in common, which is a Home Owners Association.

So, what is an HOA? 

A Home Owners Association enforces community rules (known as CC&Rs), provide building maintenance and covers funding for the amenities or events hosted by the HOA. As an owner of either a townhome or condominium you pay a monthly HOA fee, which is simply what covers the costs of what the HOA enforces and provides. However, a portion of that is placed into an account that is set aside as reserve. This reserve is normally set aside for repairs that may include new roofing, garage, piping etc. It is extremely important as a buyer to read through an HOA agreement because there may be a few restrictions or rules that you may not agree with. 

Do the Due Diligence!

It is of extreme importance that a buyer do their due diligence when it comes to buying a townhouse or condominium. When a buyer does due diligence then their buying process is clear and understandable. To build your knowledge read this full article and feel accomplished that now you know more about one of the biggest purchases you will ever make.

 

If you want to read the full article then click the following link: Buying a condo or townhouse? 

June 30, 2014

Creative ideas for garage conversions

garage conversions pasadena

Most home owners with a single family residence have an enclosed garage that many times becomes storage space. Often that storage space contains objects that will never again be used so why not utilizing it for something else? By emptying the garage you will very quickly see that it could actually be an extra room or workspace. Basically an added 400 sq.ft that already has a foundation and with a little imagination, everything is possible!

Converting a garage can be fun but should also be done with utmost care. Before making any changes we do recommend that you first check with your local planning and development departments to make sure that you will not have any problems on resale. One example is that when selling a home in Pasadena, you as the owner have to provide the buyer with a City Occupancy clearance. What that means is that a city inspector will come out and look for certain safety items, check on permits for any changes done to the house and whether or not you have a usable garage.

The really great thing about garages is that they usually have a structure that is ready to be converted into a functional room. To create a comfortable and livable room you may want to put in a nice floor and more insulation. However, if you're looking to create a work space or art studio you might be better off keeping the concrete floor for durability. If you are unfamiliar with construction work we do recommend that you contact a contractor and do your due diligence when it comes to city building codes.

Here's an excerpt from our article:

"Have fun with your garage conversion! The garage door space can become a huge window or kept as is, in order to have a large opening to the outdoors. Paint the walls in funky colors and make it into a play room for the kids! So, if you are a home owner and have a garage that is not utilized and you need more space see it as a bonus room that can help you add another 400 Sq.Ft. to your home!"

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE


Do you own a home in San Gabriel Vally and curious to know you what your home is worth? Try out our simple Home Valuation site and in just seconds you will get an estimate of your home's current value and also see how much it could be rented out for! For more questions don't hesitate to call Pasadena Views Real Estate Team at 626-629-8439 to speak to one of our agents.

June 11, 2014

How to create a drought resitant garden

California Buckeye

Living in Southern California definitely has its perks! We get to wake up to blue skies and the pleasant heat from the sun almost every morning. Unfortunately, the dry desert weather is not as friendly to some plants and it also requires us to use more water when maintaining our gardens. If you are a homeowner in the greater Pasadena area, there are many good websites that provide local information about how to be water wise and we wanted to share some of that information here.

When landscaping it's often easy to forget what is required to maintain certain vegetation in the environment we live in. Who doesn't love the sight of gardens with lush green grass, exotic plants and vibrant colors? The back-side to planting gardens without thinking about our climate is that your garden will probably need a lot of watering to stay healthy. It's estimated that the average American household uses approximately 320 gallons of water each day and here in the South West almost 60% of that water is used outdoor. Furthermore, here in Pasadena it is estimated that people over water their lawns by 50-70%! The great thing is that just by applying some simple methods to the way we plan and maintain our gardens we can save many gallons of water.

The first thing to consider is what plants and flowers that you will have in your garden. There is a wide variety that are drought-tolerant and that are California natives. By choosing plants and flowers wisely you can create a garden that is both beautiful and also water friendly. Flowers like the Bigleaf Lupine and the Bush Sunflower are especially popular with the butterflies and will attract many fluttering friends.

Here is an excerpt from an article that gives you more tips about being water wise when gardening:

"To make sure that you are only watering with the amount of water the plants actually need, install timers, sprinklers and emitters. This helps you to keep track of your watering and you can simply sit back and enjoy your blossoming garden! Using mulch around your plants and along walkways does not only prevent weeds but also helps reduce water use on bare areas."

To read our full article go to this link.

 

June 1, 2014

Efficient ways to keep your home cool during the summer

1920x1200_fan.jpg

Summer is often associated to vacations and fun activities. However, if you live in the San Gabriel Valley summer is the time when you would rather stay indoors because of the sweltering heat! Home owners usually try to avoid using their air conditioner in order to save energy. We wanted to share some useful tips on home improvements and creative ways to keep the heat out of the house and keep the inside nice and cool.

Everything from your walls, roof, windows and the color of your exterior walls can affect the way heat is absorbed and cool air is retained in the home. Talk to a contractor to learn more about what you can do to improve the insulation and windows quality of your house. Remember to always keep doors and windows closed to avoid hot air coming into the house.

Your garden can also be a tremendous help to create shade and keep your home cool. By being smart about landscaping you can reduce the temperature in and around your home by a few temperatures.

Here's an excerpt from the article:

"Create shade either from trees, arbors, pergolas or awnings for east and west facing windows to help preserving the cool on the inside. If you enjoy gardens and would like to make the most out of yours, why not plant some beautiful fruit trees such as persimmon or orange trees? While creating that much needed shade you will also be able to harvest some delicious fruits as soon as they’re ripe! It is estimated that tree-shaded neighborhoods can have 3-6 degrees cooler air temperatures during the day."

Read the full article here


If you are thinking of selling your home or if you are curious to see the value of your home try our new FREE Property Valuation service here . In only a few seconds you can find out home much your home is worth. You can also contact us on 626-629-8439 to find out more.

May 29, 2014

The latest interior design trends for 2014

dining-room

If you own your home you have the freedom to let your creativity flow when making your interior design choices. There are no limitations for what colors you can paint your walls, what furniture to use or what material your floors should have. Are you the daring type that go for the vivid colors or do you prefer the calmer shades? We wanted to share some interior trends that are hot for this summer and throughout the year!

Cold or warm colors?
To find out what's trending in the color section we turned to ELLE Décor for inspiration. This year we found certain grays and blues that are quite popular. Flower and garden inspired colors such as Radiant Orchid, Cayenne and Violet Tulip have also made it on the list. If you are not too keen on going with the vibrant colors you can choose to just paint one wall in this color and leave the rest neutral. A splash of color gives your home depth and character.

Help your walls come to life
By looking at your interior walls as canvasses it might be easier to be daring when creating wall art. There are several ways to create texture to your walls and a small details goes a long way! 3D wall art is decorative interior art that can be in the form of flowers, metal shapes and more. Other wall textures can cover the whole wall with ripple patterns. Click here to get some more inspiration for cool wall ideas. 

Here is an excerpt of our article

"Summer is here and it's a season associated with many different feelings and impressions. Flowers are in full bloom, fruits are changing colors and overall everything feels a bit warmer and sun-kissed. In Pasadena our roads are experiencing the purple explosion from all the blossoming Jacaranda trees!"

If you would like to read the full article on interior design trends for this year click here