SELLING YOUR HOME 101    Plan to attend on Sat. April 13th    REGISTER HERE

 Real Estate e-Newsletter
by Cynthia S. Radom Award-winning Certified Seniors Specialist REALTOR ®
                                Specializing in Trust Sales        Since 1994
    April-June 2019   ·   ·   (310) 288-0479  CalRE #01184864

                                     ** Writer and Publisher since October 1999 **

  Your Broken Sidewalks
Did You Know?
Cracked, raised, uneven, chipped...does that describe the sidewalk adjacent to your property? Did you know that under CA law the sidewalk repair is the responsibility of the adjacent property owner? Even the smallest lip can cause significant injury and lawsuits, but the local City takes the brunt of a suit.

Crumbling sidewalks and millions of dollars in legal payouts is prompting San Diego to consider having a property owner fix any damaged adjacent sidewalk before selling. Also under consideration is waiving the $1,600 permit fee if a homeowner repairs without the City's help. So, how do other cities handle sidewalk repairs?

Pasadena has a similar policy of owners fixing sidewalks prior to selling their property. San Fran and San Jose put a lien on a property with damaged sidewalks and allow cash-strapped home-owners to incrementally pay back the City for fixes. 
Furthermore, San Fran allows property owners to gather bids for repairs thereby reducing the expense. Beverly Hills conducts a sidewalk observation every two years and repairs any issue. In LA, the City and the adjacent property owner can be held liable for sidewalk injury, but repairs are required by adjacent property owner. The exception is when roots from City trees cause the damage, then the City takes over. Santa Monica will send someone to inspect issues and repair "as soon as possible". 
Let me know what happened: Have you ever asked the City to repair your sidewalk?

107 & 102 Years Old
Wishing Florence K. a very happy 107th birthday and to Joe S. - 102, both born on March 12th.

The real estate market is changing . Register to attend where you'll learn about the change. 
Too  Much To Handle 
When being a landlord becomes too much to handle, it's time to sell. Ownership of an apartment building, a retail store, a commercial or industrial property, even a single-family residence (home or condo) that you lease takes time, effort and money to manage.

Here are some points to consider:
- Has the rent kept pace with today's market prices?
- Are you letting some maintenance slide because it is too costly to fix or replace?
- Do your heirs want to inherit and maintain the property?
- Will your heirs take control of the property management today?
- How long has your property been vacant?
- Why are you holding on to the property?

An older property that has not been well maintained has lost value. When effort and expense become too much to handle, call REALTOR Radom for all of your property needs, (310) 288-0479.

Unmatched Exposure
Coldwell Banker continues as the leading residential Brokerage in the LA area offering unparalleled exposure for all its home and condo listings. A new marketing program for Sellers and Lessors rolled out recently with these highlights:
- 20-40 second TV ad during K-CAL 9's " At Home in Southern CA" Saturdays at 4:30 p.m.
- Larger listing photo in the  VIEW, CB's exclusive magazine inserted in every  LA Times Saturday newspaper
- Just Listed  and Just Sold cards sent to neighbors
- 20-second video on CB's YouTube channel.
- Home video tour in the MLS listing
- Almost 900 websites worldwide will include your home listing.
All for maximum exposure to get the most money for your property. Call REALTOR Radom for more info,  click here.
National Slowdown

Excerpts from a published report on the three reasons why the U.S. housing market is slowing. 

According to Goldman Sachs economists, the post-2012 boom in home prices is over having shifted to lower gear in the second half of 2018. Affordability remains the top issue.

The three fundamental drivers of the turn:
1. Mortgage rates have increased a full one percent since 2017, putting pressure on affordability. 
2. Home prices have grown faster than rents and incomes since 2012,
exacerbating the impact of rising rates.

3. The 2018 tax law changes reduced the tax benefits of owner-occupied housing relative to renting.

In late 2016, national home prices over-took the pre-crisis peak and have accelerated to new records ever since. As of August 2018, home price appreciation nationally had slowed for six straight months. Sales of lower priced homes were double those in the top tier in all areas, thereby addressing the affordability crisis.

Slowdown, but not a crisis, is the news according to Goldman. Despite the challenges in 2019 of yet higher mortgage rates and continued unfavorable tax policies, home prices are expected to achieve a soft landing. Among the drivers are incomes for lower wage earners rising faster, bolstering demand for lower priced homes, which have been selling quickly. This is a positive sign that consumer spending should remain strong. Goldman argues that if home appreciation were to cool off in the hottest markets, it could be a healthy development to prevent more extreme challenges with affordability.

Side note: In the LA area, the real estate market is staying strong in home sales under $1M and over $5M, however, in between is the biggest slowdown.

Treat Yourself
Now open is the stunning beach front resort, Rosewood Miramar Montecito.
Prop 13 Loopholes Addressed
Your heir may continue to keep the family long as they move in within one year after receiving the inheritance, and make it their primary residence. That is the ballot proposal presented to both houses of the CA Legislature for approval to be placed on the November 2020 ballot. According to an LA Times article, 63% of inherited homes in LA were used as second residences or rental properties in 2017 with a similar trend reported in a dozen other coastal counties. Examples found children receiving monthly rental incomes far in excess of their annual property tax bill for the parents' former home. Prop 13, followed by Prop 58, gives children who inherit their parents' home the ability to keep the low property tax even if they don't live at the residence. Such a tax break is unique to CA property owners and lawmakers want to close the loopholes. In 1986, voters approved the inherited property tax break (eight years after Prop 13 passed) giving children, stepchildren, sons- or daughters-in-law or adopted children the right to retain the home without reassessment. Furthermore, parents can transfer their businesses, farms, second homes and rentals if the total assessed value is less than $1 million. The proposed ballot measure requires that heirs move into their parents' home within a year of inheriting the property to qualify for a lower tax bill. If they don't, the property would be reassessed at its current market value, resulting in a substantially higher property tax bill. No tax change would occur for inheriting a business or a farm below the $1M assessment. Furthermore, CAR (CA Assoc. of REALTORS®) is considering support for an initiative that would further curtail the benefit, disallowing inherited commercial property to qualify for a tax break. A financial estimate, by a nonpartisan group, found that changes to the inter-generational transfer could raise $2 Billion in annual revenue by increasing property tax for 40,000 to 60,000 inherited properties each year. Two-thirds approval of both Legislature houses is required for the ballot. NOTE: When an heir rehabs an inherited home, a reassessment may occur on the home's improvements, but not on the land value (the major portion of an assessment is land).
Two-Year Deadlines
There are a couple of two-year  deadlines that are important f or Senior home owners, age 55 years or older, worth noting:
- Property Tax Transfer: A homeowner has two years after selling a primary residence to transfer their low property tax to an existing or newly built home. While the  equal to or less than rule applies when buying within the first year of the sale, there is an uptick benefit for the following two years.
- During each of the subsequent two years, there is a 5% market value increase, i.e. $1 million sale price: after the first year the replacement home can cost $1,050,000; the second year $1,100,000.
-  Capital Gains Deduction: When selling a primary residence, there is a tax-free capital gains deduction of $250,000 per owner ($500K per couple) when determining taxable gains. However, to qualify, the homeowner has to occupy the primary residence two years of the last five prior to selling.  If the owner vacates and leases, the home turns into an income property after the third year and the deduction for capital gains is not allowed unless the owner moves home.
- The capital gains reduction can be used more than once, but not within two years 
- Before  renting your home consider the effect on taxes before you move. A n investment property has different tax rules for you and your heirs.
Always consult a financial adviser prior to making a move. The above is general information and other requirements apply. 

- MUST-ATTEND Seminar:  April 13th

Attend my highly informative  seminar Selling Your Home 101 , in a small classroom setting, for Sellers and Successor Trustees. If you're thinking about selling the most expensive asset that you own. Or, if you're a Successor Trustee with legal duties to sell a property where others will (or will not) benefit from your actions. As a Seller, learn the secrets of putting more money in your pocket and how to best negotiate the sale of your home. Find out what many home Buyers already know who lost out during a multiple-offer situation.
$1,000/Day Fine 
LA is barring some property owners from  short-term rentals: stays less than 30 days at a time, in retaliation to online vacation rental companies (like Airbnb and HomeAway). Now, only a primary residence can be rented for this purpose as of July. Local hotel and residential property owners all over CA are complaining about short-term renters. CA desert cities have already implemented short-stay restrictions and regulations.

Hosts can rent their primary home up to 120 days annually, but must register with the City and maintain specific records. If an owner who registers with an online platform has exceeded the maximum rental days or has not registered their property, a fine of $1,000 per day can be imposed on the online hosting platform. There are limit extensions for owners who abide by the law. Barred from short-term rentals are owners of an apartment under rent control; a second home or an investment property.

While this new law took the City Council over three years to decide, those who oppose the restrictions continue to fight.
Click to read the full article.

Emergency List
Do you have one?

Fires, floods and earthquakes don't give much time if you need to quickly evacuate.  In the   midst of a crisis your mind is not focusing properly, so plan now for the unthinkable. Now is the time to o rganize and plan, just in case. 

Create a list of items in your home that you need or want to grab, and be prepared.  know people in the Woolsey fire who   lost everything. Even though they had time to gather must-haves, irreplaceable or cherished items, they left the house empty-handed. ( Brave firemen entered the burning home and gathered some family photos. That's all they have left. )

Right now , make a new "contact" in your cell phone called Emergency List. I temize what you want  to take and its location. You will be adding to the initial list over time, but keep it short. Then, ask friends and family members to make their list. Sharing is caring.
Props 60 and 90 vs. 5
Some Californians found Proposition 5 confusing as written, and couldn't decide to vote for or againstOthers defeated the initiative because an unlimited property tax transfer was unfair to other property owners or it deprived cities/counties from needed resource revenue.
Whatever reasons Prop 5 failed last November, it does not change some of the  most financially lucrative benefits for longtime homeowners who want to downsize now. Unchanged are the many perqs that Props 13,  60 and 90 continue to offer now as compared to Prop 5:
- Now:  T ransfer your current property tax to another primary residence within any of the 11 reciprocal CA counties.
    Prop 5 allowed the tax transfer within any of the 58 CA counties.  
- Now:  The cost of a replacement home has to be equal to or less than the sale price of your sold property.
    Prop 5 allowed the purchase of a higher priced home,   and only the price difference would be taxed at the current county rate (LA county is 1.25%).
- Now: A homeowner can transfer the property tax only one time.
    Prop 5 allowed unlimited times you can transfer the property tax.

A revised initiative of Prop 5 may be on the 2020 ballot.

   In Case You Missed It
- Nate 'n Al's (latest rumor) -  the new group of owners is reportedly moving the famous deli to 443 N. Canon Dr., site of  Wolfgang's Steakhouse.
- The Apple Pan has a new owner, but the original 1947 diner on Pico Blvd. will remain as is, with sister locations; the first near the Rams' stadium in Inglewood.
- Google has leased  One Westside , the renamed Westside  Pavilion read more .  

$5M++ Estates Market
The final count of estate sales in 2018 indicates a 7% decline for the $5M and up LA area real estate market. Only 580 closed sales; 157 of which were $10M+ and 43 were $20M+. Bev Hills leads the list with American Buyers totaling 79% of overall estate purchases.

New E-mail Address
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