Author Archive

23 Feb 2017

End-of-Year Foreclosures Continue to Fall

Recent foreclosure data published by CoreLogic details a lengthy trend of declining completed foreclosures and mortgages at risk for foreclosure. Take a closer look at a few key figures that show some good news about 2016’s housing market. Nationwide there were just 30,000 completed foreclosures in October 2016—that’s down from 40,000 in October 2015 and 3.6% fewer than September 2016 (a significant decline). The number of mortgages in serious delinquency, and thus at greatest risk for ...

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13 Feb 2017

Single Women: The Substantial (and Overlooked) Home-buying Demographic

Your intuition can probably tell you that married couples are the largest home-buying demographic. It makes sense: between family and financial goals and the purchasing power of two people, married couples have both the incentive and the means to purchase homes. But married couples are not the only buyers. Single women make up the second largest buying demographic, ahead of single men and unmarried couples. According to the National Association of REALTORS® 2016 Home Buyer and Seller Genera...

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09 Feb 2017

Crucial Legal Updates for California Real Estate Professionals

Find here a summary of important legislative updates affecting California real estate professionals. Assembly Bill 1650—Disclosure Requirements on Solicitations New legislation has been signed into law by the governor that affects disclosure requirements on real estate solicitation materials. A.B. 1650 is concerned with real estate licensees disclosing when they are performing a task that requires a license if it is intended as a first point of contact with a consumer. Thus any publis...

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29 Dec 2016

Gragg v. United States: IRS Tax Deductions Clarified

Many real estate professionals use their knowledge and expertise to invest in real estate. They know a good deal when they see it, know the laws they need to navigate, and likely have contacts in property management or are confident in their ability to manage a rental property. Rental losses are also potentially deductible, insulating investors from some risk. But how does this deduction work? In Gragg v. United States of America; Internal Revenue Service a real estate professional was found to ...

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19 Aug 2016

Formerly Homeless Student and Veteran Housing Legislation

Homelessness is a serious problem. Despite efforts to curb it—from government housing programs to charitable organizations and shelters—it persists. A recent federal House bill (with bipartisan cosponsorship) has been written that aims to help homeless and formerly homeless students and student veterans attain housing. H.R. 5290 would amend the Internal Revenue Code to “qualify low-income building units that provide housing for homeless students and veterans who are full-time students f...

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11 Aug 2016

Are You Being Watched?

Sellers marketing their homes are often concerned about what goes on inside their house when they’re not there. This has led to the installation of surveillance equipment in many homes for sale. Maybe the seller has a security concern: who is coming into my home and what are they doing? Are they stealing? Or maybe their interests are purely professional. What are potential buyers saying about my new floors? Is my agent working hard for me? Regardless of the motive, this is something real estat...

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04 Aug 2016

Landscaping to Your Environment

With much of the Western United States experiencing extended droughts, some homeowners are turning to alternative landscaping methods to save resources. Recently REALTOR® Magazine1 (pg 34-35) wrote about owners who are “rethinking the traditional American landscape” by moving toward yards that require less water and maintenance. The “desert landscaping” method, popular in much of the Southwest, is probably what comes to mind when picturing drought-resistant landscaping, but depending...

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01 Aug 2016

Update: H.R. 3700/ S. 3083 Signed into Law

As we predicted on July 20th, H.R. 3700/ S. 3083, the bipartisan housing legislation that passed through Congress without receiving a single “no” vote, was signed into law by President Obama on Friday, July 29th. The new law will reform HUD’s Section 8 housing voucher program (and any other family rental assistance programs) by requiring public housing agencies (PHAs) to develop new systems to properly review the incomes of families receiving assistance, to cease assisting families with...

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29 Jul 2016

U.S. Homeownership Rate Falls to Lowest in Over 50 Years

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, owner-occupied households fell to 62.9% of total households in the second quarter of 2016, the lowest rate of homeownership in the U.S. since 1965. This statistic raises concerns about the future of home ownership and housing affordability in the United States. Before potential causes of this decline are assessed, the numbers must be put in historical context. Census Bureau statistics show that after a low point in 1965, the homeownership rate climbed (fai...

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20 Jul 2016

H.R. 3700/S. 3083 Passes Congress, on to The President

Legislation with a significant impact on the function of Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) rental assistance and public housing programs, Federal Housing Administration (FHA) requirements for condominium mortgage insurance, and Department of Agriculture (USDA) single family housing guaranteed loan programs passed the Senate on Friday. H.R. 3700 passed through the House of Representatives on February 2nd, so the legislation will be moving to the President’s desk for approval or ...

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