Friday, October 26, 2012

End Is Nigh For Certain Tax Exemptions

Currently, any debt forgiven by a lender in a short sale, loan modification, or foreclosure is
exempt from federal taxation. However, that exemption is scheduled to expire Jan. 1, 2013.    Borrowers will have to count mortgage relief from lenders as income on their federal tax returns, if the exemption is allowed to expire. That means, for example, a borrower
would have to pay taxes on a $100,000 reduction in principal owed on a loan, or a
$20,000 write-off in the amount owed after a short sale.

 An extension of the tax exemption – established under the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt
Relief Act of 2007 – is a strong possibility. But given that Congress will have to grapple
with serious fiscal issues after the November elections, there is no guarantee the
exemption will emerge from those negotiations intact.

 The Debt Relief Act exemption applies only to canceled mortgage debt used to buy,
build, or improve a primary residence, not a second home. The maximum exemption is
$2 million.

 Reinstating the tax would undercut the the effect of the National Mortgage Settlement
reached earlier this year in the federal government’s investigation into banks’
mishandling of foreclosure documents.

 Under the terms of the settlement, five of the biggest mortgage lenders must put some
$17 billion toward debt relief that enables borrowers to stay in their homes. Smaller
portions are reserved for short sales and refinancing.

For More Info Visit San Fernando Valley Short Sales & Foreclosures

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tough Market For Owner Occopied Buyers

SEATTLE, Oct. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The inventory of lower-priced homes for sale, which are commonly sought by first-time home buyers, has dropped by more than 40 percent in California over the past year, according to a new Zillow analysis, which tracks changes in the number of homes listed for sale on Zillow across the country as of Sept. 30, 2012 and compares inventory changes in the bottom, middle and upper tiers of home prices.
California has the highest annual rate of inventory reductions across all three housing tiers (-37.5 percent), but the inventory in the bottom tier of homes saw the biggest decline (-42.7 percent); with lower-priced homes in the Fresno (-59.7 percent), Sacramento (-55.4 percent), San Francisco (-53.2 percent) and Modesto (-50.5 percent) metros seeing the largest annual reductions. These homes commonly are purchased by first-time home buyers and, more recently, investors. Nationally, the bottom price tier has experienced an inventory reduction of 15.3 percent over the past year.
"First-time homebuyers are being squeezed out of the market by falling inventory and the rapid influx of investors looking to buy basic homes to rent out to the growing population of people who have recently been foreclosed upon," said Stan Humphries, Zillow chief economist. "Investors are paying in cash and can close sooner, which is more favorable to banks and homeowners looking to sell."

This is great news for sellers. Properties are selling with multiple offers and sometimes well over asking.  If you have been thinking of selling now just might be the time. Contact me and we can go over your options and see if now is the time for you to sell your home.

Heather Farquhar
Keller Williams Realty

San Fernando Valley Real Estate


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