Category Archives: San Mateo county

California Short Sellers No Longer Need To Worry About Federal Income Tax

California Short Sellers No Longer Need To Worry About Phantom Income

California Short Sellers No Longer Need To Worry About Phantom Income

With the surging San Francisco and Bay Area real estate market, shorts sales and foreclosures have seen a steep decline. Even so, they still exist in San Francisco, San Mateo County as well as neighboring counties and cities.

Thanks to California Senator Barbara Boxer who pushed this issue with the IRS and got this letter  as clarification about the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act.

“The IRS has clarified in a letter that California’s troubled homeowners who sell their homes in a short sale are not subject to federal income tax liability on “phantom income” they never received.”

Homeowners in California involved in short sales have been concerned with “phantom income” which refers to the amount of debt that is forgiven when a lender is willing to accept less than the full amount owed (as in a short sale). If you owed $500,000 on your mortgage, and the lender allowed a short sale for $450,000, you would have “received” $50,000 in phantom income.

In 2012, Congress extended the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act. The California version expired at the end of 2012. The Federal provision expired at the end of 2013. This year instead of waiting for Congress to pass (or not) the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act, the IRS and the Franchise Tax Board (California’s version of the IRS) eliminated the phantom income tax. In short, California short sellers of residential properties (1 – 4 units) will continue to be protected from taxation on the “phantom income” received in a short sale.

With so many issues nipping at the heels of still underwater homeowners at least the fact that Uncle Sam and his California cousin will not have their hands out at the end of any short sale transaction ready to collect phantom income will make things slightly easier for still distressed property owners.

Mortgage Debt Forgiveness: 10 Key Points

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What Are Bay Area Home Sellers Waiting For?

What Are Bay Area Home Sellers Waiting For?

What Are Bay Area Home Sellers Waiting For?

Record Low Inventory Still Has Many Homeowners On The Sidelines

With housing inventory sitting at record lows, both buyers and sellers have different feeling and concerns about the current Bay Area real estate market. Many buyers and sellers continue to be concerned, frustrated and perplexed by the current situation. Meanwhile many would be sellers still linger on the sidelines fearing that they will not be able to find a replacement home once they sell.

The overall predicament can be viewed as a classic Catch-22. Some potential sellers will not put their home on the market fearing that they will not be able to purchase

What Are Bay Area Home Sellers Waiting For?

What Are Bay Area Home Sellers Waiting For?

in a reasonable amount of time. Sure they can demand a seller’s contingency to find a home but that limits the desirability of a home. If a seller wishes to move to some Caribbean nation, Mexico or even Las Vegas then they will have no problem locating a replacement home.

How Have Buyers Altered Their Buying Strategy?

Buyers, on the other hand, have a much more challenging task. The task has been so daunting for some that they have given up their search. Redfin offered up some interesting statistics for buyers in (or not in) the current market. Some buyers have shifted their goals in response to the low inventory to look in other areas, other are willing to pay more while some have taken a break.

Don’t expect the low inventory to last forever. Eventually banks will release some additional REOs and things will loosen up.

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Where Is The Real Estate Inventory In The San Francisco Bay Area?

Where Is The Real Estate Inventory In The San Francisco Bay Area?

Where Is The Real Estate Inventory In The San Francisco Bay Area?

Who stole my Inventory? 50% Drop In Some Areas

In many parts of San Francisco and the rest of the Bay Area real estate inventory levels sit at one to two  month levels which has caused  feeding frenzy for home starved shoppers.

Things have become so bad that developers now rush to get their condos, single family homes and town homes everywhere from San Mateo to Upper Market. We took some numbers from Redfin that showed 2013 inventory figures for San Francisco and San Jose at 50% compared to one year ago. (See accompany chart)

Many people continue to speculate about the reasons for the low inventory such as a lack of new construction and investors snatching all of the rental properties.

Four Reasons For The Inventory Shortage

Here we offer a few reasons:

1-     Owners with short memories think their home will escalate in value like the number in 2005-2006, so they continue to hold onto their property even they wish to sell it. Many sellers seek to wait for the virtual peak before they sell their property. Don’t hold your breadth.

2-     With the new California Homeowners Bill of Rights taking effect, bank are nervous (or at least reticent) to move forth with the foreclosures without making absolutely sure that they have not made some error that could result in a lawsuit.

3-     Even with the recent surge in prices many homes continue to sit underwater so homeowners seem hesitant to jump ship with a short sale. Some of these homeowners might reconsider as they have until the end of the year to take advantage of the one year extension of the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Relief Act.

4-     Many “move-up” or “scale-down” homeowners who do wish to sell have reservations because although they would have no problem selling their home, they may encounter difficulty buying their replacement home.

Things will most likely not remain this way for all of 2013. Eventually the banks will release additional REOs and interest rates will tick up which will impact the market. It should be an interesting ride here in San Francisco and the rest of the Bay Area.

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San Mateo Single Family Median Home Prices Jump 20 Percent In One Year

San Mateo Single Family Median Home Prices Jump 20 Percent In OneYear

San Mateo Single Family Median Home Prices Jump 20 Percent In One Year

Santa Clara County Single Family Median Home Prices Jump Even Higher – 35 Percent In One Year

Most people attribute the phrase “What goes up must come down” to Isaac Newton. In the real estate market here in the San Francisco, San Jose and Peninsula areas that saying could be flip flopped, turned sideways and spun around and what would that mean to homeowners or possible home sellers?

Some Bay Area home sellers continue to take advantage of the low inventory and rising sale prices. Consider these key figures comparing the single family homes sales from January 2012 to January 2013

In January 2012 the Median Price for a San Mateo County single family home was $580,000 while January 2013 saw that number rise to $695,000 – that marks a 20% increase.

In January 2012 the Median Price for a Santa Clara County single family home sat at  $490,000 while January 2013 saw the median price dramatically jump to $660,000 – that signifies a whopping 35% increase.

Those numbers get even more startling if you look at the condo/townhouse prices.

In January 2012 the Median Price for a San Mateo County condo/townhouse registered $318,000 while January 2013 saw that median price leap to $415,000 – that marks a 31% increase.

In Santa Clara County for January 2012 the Median Price condo/townhouse was $273,000 while January 2013 saw the median price dramatically jump to $425,000 – an incredible 56% jump.

Either people have short memories or they just don’t wish to think about what happened from 2004-2006 when prices shot up at ludicrous speed.

Sure, we take into consideration that prices did tumble a significant amount when the bubble burst but these dramatic price gains may have buyers and homeowners asking some questions.

Buyers continue to ask, “How high over listing price should I offer?”

For homeowners who are thinking about selling or maybe just sticking their toes in the water by trying to sell as a FSBO they might be doing themselves an injustice. Does everyone think that the startling price gains will continue? Will the numbers slow down? Will they flatten or maybe even tumble again?

For a homeowner it comes down to motivation and realism. A homeowner might ask “Do I have to sell or do I want to sell?” If a homeowner would like to take advantage of these price gains then it might be time to jump in the market. Like stock investors too many people make the mistake of trying to “time” the market and sell at the apex. We might not be at the apex but the recent price gains look like we might be pretty close.

For a view of other Bay Area counties and statistics click on the link below

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-bgQlfMzykBM/USoRFl6wZvI/AAAAAAAAAcw/YC25A1EYacE/s1600/Data+Sale+2.png

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Filed under California, San Francisco, San Jose, San Mateo county

Underwater and Distressed Homeowner Panel Event Tonight In San Mateo

Underwater and Distressed Homeowner Panel Event Tonight In San Mateo

Underwater and Distressed Homeowner Panel Event Tonight In San Mateo

Homeowners With Underwater Or Distressed Properties Can Find Answers Tonight In San Mateo

In the first of the 2013 panel event series, Bay Area Resource presents their Underwater and Distressed Property Panel Event in San Mateo this evening. Even with the home values of San Mateo county and other Bay Area regions rising, many homeowners remain underwater. Still other homeowners have equity in their homes yet they have foreclosure sale dates. Still others continue to go round and round in a seemingly never-ending process with banks otherwise known as the loan modification dance.

Many of these above mentioned issues will be discussed with a panel of experts that include: Rebecca Pinger from Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto, Keisha Woods from Senior Homeowner Services, John Figone from Prospect Mortgage, Patricia Lowe from Intero Real Estate, and Jeff Johnston from Johnston Tax Group.

In addition to discussions about loan modifications, the panel will address other Hot Topics such as the recently extended (through January 1, 2014) mortgage Debt Forgiveness Relief Act which will benefit homeowners who wish to short sale their home, or who accept a deed in lieu of foreclosure or who choose to go the foreclosure route.

California Homeowner Bill Of Rights To Be Discussed

Another Hot Topic will be discussed will be the California Homeowner Bill Of Rights which took effect January 1, 2013. Some of the homeowners rights include: no dual tracking by banks, a single point of contact for homeowners seeking loan mods and the ability for homeowners to sue the banks in regard to certain wrongdoings in the case of foreclosures and the foreclosure process.

For those who cannot attend in person, the event will be available live through webstream and live chat at BayAreaResource.com (under panel events). Otherwise, the event will take place every third Thursday through 2013.

When: Thurs. Jan. 17th Time: 6-8pm
Where: 1100 Park Place ‘Lobby’
San Mateo CA, 94403
Off Hillsdale and 101
– Between Whole Foods/Crunch Fitness

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Filed under Banks, California, Events, Foreclosure, Loan Modifications, Mortgages, pre-foreclosure, San Mateo county, short sales, Tax Credits

San Mateo County Notice Of Default Rates

ZipCode

Default

Auction

Bank Owned

Total

94021

6.1%

6.1%

0.0%

6.1%

94074

6.7%

3.3%

0.0%

3.3%

94080

5.2%

1.9%

0.4%

2.3%

94014

5.9%

1.9%

0.3%

2.3%

94401

4.6%

1.8%

0.3%

2.1%

94020

4.3%

0.9%

1.2%

2.0%

94063

5.0%

1.8%

0.1%

1.9%

94060

6.8%

0.6%

1.2%

1.9%

94066

4.4%

1.6%

0.3%

1.9%

94015

4.8%

1.6%

0.2%

1.8%

San Mateo Notice Of Default Rates

San Mateo Notice Of Default Rates

San Mateo County Updates For 2013

Welcome back to 2013. Some good things have occurred since the calendar flipped into the New Year. Congress got part of its act together and extended the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Relief Act at least until January 1, 2013. The California Homeowners Bill of Rights officially went into effect on January 1, 2013.

Although most of the signs (not to mention values) of the Bay Area real estate market continues to swing upward, much of the Bay Area continues to experience distressed homeowner situations while other seem through the quagmire of an  underwater home.

The above numbers (from REI Source) reflect the current default numbers for San Mateo County per zip code. Although the numbers show a vast improvement over one year ago, they still show numerous homeowners in distress. Keep in mind that the above rates display a percentage not the total number of defaults.

Pescadero Takes First

Pescadero takes first place (94060) with a 6.8% default rate, while San Gregorio, CA 94074 takes a close second in terms of percentage of defaults. Granted the smaller San Mateo towns may have a higher percentage because the towns contain fewer total homes.

Anyone who would like the current numbers in their zip code, then feel free to contact us.

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30-Year Mortgage Rates Finish Year Near Record Lows

30-Year Mortgage Rates Finish Year Near Record Lows

30-Year Mortgage Rates Finish Year Near Record Lows

The 30-Year, Fixed-Rate Mortgage Hovered At 3.35%

As 2012 heads into the sunset, we see mortgage rates continue to stay at near record lows. These low rates keep home affordability in check but even with the low rates many Bay Area (San Francisco, San Mateo County) homes have climbed above affordable levels with the rise in prices.

The 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage hovered at 3.35% for the week ending Dec. 27, down from 3.37% a week earlier and 3.95% last year, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

Overall, fixed-rate mortgages finished the year near all-time lows but what does 2013 have in store for interest rates?

Some people have compared prices and interest rates back to the 1980s displaying that despite the price increases it remains cheaper to buy a home now than back in for example 1987.

What Will Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke Do?

With the housing market continuing its upward rise, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke may wish to keep interest rates low. Any significant jump might put the kibosh to the resurgent real estate market. We saw one example that if interest rates move up by 3 percentage points, a typical mortgage payment will jump by more than 40 percent. Something like that would surely cause prices to sink back down. Sure, many buyers have all-cash but not enough to drive the market.

What will happen in 2013? We will probably see a continuation of low rates and eager buyers. Have a healthy and prosperous 2013!

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Filed under Banks, California, Mortgages, San Francisco, San Mateo county