Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Oct. 8, 2019

Rent Out Your Home Tax Free

This information is sourced directly from the IRS Website: Here

Rental Property / Personal Use

If you rent a dwelling unit to others that you also use as a residence, limitations may apply to the rental expenses you can deduct. You're considered to use a dwelling unit as a residence if you use it for personal purposes during the tax year for more than the greater of:

  1. 14 days, or
  2. 10% of the total days you rent it to others at a fair rental price.

It's possible that you'll use more than one dwelling unit as a residence during the year. For example, if you live in your main home for 11 months, your home is a dwelling unit used as a residence. If you live in your vacation home for the other 30 days of the year, your vacation home is also a dwelling unit used as a residence unless you rent your vacation home to others at a fair rental value for 300 or more days during the year in this example.

A day of personal use of a dwelling unit is any day that it's used by:

  • You or any other person who has an interest in it, unless you rent your interest to another owner as his or her main home and the other owner pays a fair rental price under a shared equity financing agreement
  • A member of your family or of a family of any other person who has an interest in it, unless the family member uses it as his or her main home and pays a fair rental price
  • Anyone under an agreement that lets you use some other dwelling unit
  • Anyone at less than fair rental price

Minimal Rental Use

There's a special rule if you use a dwelling unit as a residence and rent it for fewer than 15 days. In this case, don't report any of the rental income and don't deduct any expenses as rental expenses.

Direct Link To IRS Article: IRS Topic 415

Sept. 25, 2019

Is Your Silicon Valley House “Priced to Sell Immediately”??

 

Is Your House “Priced to Sell Immediately”?

In today’s real estate market, more houses are coming to market every day. Eager buyers are searching for their dream homes, so setting the right price for your house is one of the most important things you can do.

According to CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index, home values have risen at over 6% a year over the past two years, but have started to slow to 3.6% over the last 12 months. By this time next year, CoreLogic predicts home values will be 5.4% higher.

With prices slowing from their previous pace, homeowners must realize that pricing their homes a little over market value to leave room for negotiation will actually dramatically decrease the number of buyers who will see their listing (see the chart below).Is Your House “Priced to Sell Immediately”? | Keeping Current Matters Instead of the seller trying to ‘win’ the negotiation with one buyer, they should price their house so demand for the home is maximized. By doing so, the seller will not be negotiating with a buyer over the price, but will instead have multiple buyers competing with each other over the house.

The secret is making sure your house is Priced To Sell Immediately (PTSI). That way, your home will be seen by the most potential buyers. It will sell at a great price before more competition comes to the market.

Bottom Line

If you’re debating listing your house for sale, reach out to a local real estate professional to discuss how to price your home appropriately and maximize your exposure.

Sept. 18, 2019

Recession Fears: Should We Buy A San Jose Home Now Or Should We Wait?

What will happen to the housing market during the next recession? During the 2008 recession, the housing market crashed. In the years prior to what’s been called the Great Recession, subprime mortgages made buying a home accessible to almost anyone, including those who couldn’t afford to. As a result, there was a boom in homeownership and mortgages with little or no money down. As real estate prices declined dramatically, homeowners quickly found themselves “underwater” on their mortgages, meaning they owed more than the homes were worth. Struggling to keep up with payments they couldn’t afford amid massive layoffs and a stock market crash, millions of Americans began to default on their mortgages. It’s estimated that 9.3 million homeowners went through foreclosure or lost their homes. Some analysts argue that concerns over another housing market crash during the next recession are overblown. Laurie Goodman, founder and co-director of the Housing Finance Policy Center at Urban Institute, says it’s unlikely the housing market will crash again in an economic downturn. “Home prices aren’t expected to drop any time soon,” says Goodman. “In the past four recessions, they actually only dropped during one of them.” Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate, notes that “anything goes” lending practices were a big part of why the last recession crushed the housing market. Today, there are stricter regulations in place under the Dodd-Frank Act to make sure this doesn’t happen again. Full Article: https://www.bankrate.com/mo…/buying-a-home-before-recession/

Sept. 18, 2019

Buying A San Jose Home Is Reliable Investment


If you think long term, it's never really a bad time to buy a home. Real Estate has reliably risen in value over the long term. You're already paying somebody's mortgage, it may as well be your own.

Sept. 4, 2019

Pre-Approval

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is a crucial step in the home-buying process and it should be among the very first you take. A mortgage pre-approval helps you understand how much house you can afford, makes you more attractive to sellers, and alerts you to problems that may affect your ability to get a loan.

I can coach you through the homebuying process. Call me 408-561-1321

Aug. 27, 2019

Beware Of Online Home Valuations

Be careful about falling in love with home value estimates you see online because many are far above market value.

Those home sellers who “anchor” on inaccurately high estimates will overprice their homes for sale and then it's emotionally hard for them to lower the price. These online valuations are often off by 10-30% from the value arrived at by an appraiser or professional real estate agent. For a quick valuation of your home send me an email with your home address and I’ll provide you a no obligation valuation of your home. Email: louis.fong@compass.com 

Aug. 23, 2019

5 Easy Steps To Avoid Overwhelm From Media Overload


5 Easy Steps to Avoid Overwhelm from Media Overload

When someone is thinking about buying or selling a home, they want to be well-informed. They want to make the right decision for themselves and their family. They scour the internet for any information they can find about the housing market.

Today, there is an abundance of information available. It is often conflicting news. It can easily lead to confusion and concern, perhaps even causing a potential buyer or seller to cancel their plans to move altogether. Instead, the best things to do are sit down and take a deep breath.

In a recent article, Jeff Davidson, a recognized speaker on the subject of productivity, explained:

“The pace at which new information arrives will accelerate every day…Too often, the reflex to take action only exacerbates your time-pressure problems. Do not bite off more than you can chew, and acknowledge that often, the wisest response to too much competition for your time and attention is to simply slow down to assess the best way to proceed.”

To that point, here is an easy five-step process to follow if all of this information seems overwhelming:

  1. Calm Down – Don’t let the confusion lead to concern or panic.
  2. Slow Down – As Davidson suggests, just “slow down to assess.”
  3. Think – Remember the reasons you wanted to move in the first place. Are they still important?
  4. Plan – Determine whether or not the new information should change anything. If you need further clarification on some points, reach out to a real estate professional in your area for a better understanding.
  5. Act – After thorough consideration, feel good about your decision, whether you decide to move or not.

Bottom Line

Don’t let the plethora of seemingly conflicting information on the housing market stop you from moving forward with your life. Get valuable counsel from an industry professional you trust, and then make the right decision for you and your family.

Aug. 22, 2019

A Note About Personal Items and Theft While Your Home Is on the Market

If you are reading this while your home is on the market, be aware that theft from homes that are being shown is not uncommon. The most commonly stolen item is prescription medicine, followed closely by jewelry and small electronics.

Agents don’t always closely supervise their clients when showing homes, so that the “buyer” might wander alone through the house, with free reign to open doors and drawers. If your house is on the market, assume that someone is going to be nosy and go through everything you own. Consider renting a small storage unit to temporarily store expensive or cherished small items. Get a lockable box for your prescription medicines that you need to keep nearby. You could even consider getting a small home-monitoring camera to watch as people view the house.

Of special concern—even more so than when individual agents are showing your property to buyers—is an open house where the general public is invited. If you decide you want an open house, ask your agent to require visitors to sign in and list their names and phone numbers at a minimum. If the house is large enough, some agents will enlist a fellow agent to stand on the second floor or separate wing.

Still, a real estate agent is not a security guard. And requiring a sign-in is just a small deterrent, as there’s no guarantee that someone will list a true name and contact information. When you’re having an open house, you should be especially diligent about locking and storing all valuable items.

 

 

July 30, 2019

4 Tips To Sell Your Home Silicon Valley Home Faster

 

4 Tips to Sell Your Home Faster

Since June of last year, we have seen an increase in the inventory of homes for sale month per month. Every spring and summer, the inventory increases because people want to sell their home. For those with children, they may want to be in their new home for the beginning of the school year.

If you are one of those sellers, you may find these 4 tips helpful in getting your home sold more quickly.

1. Make buyers feel at home

Declutter your home! Pack away all personal items like pictures, awards, and sentimental belongings. Make them feel like they belong in this house! According to the Profile of Home Staging by the National Association of Realtors,

“83% of buyers’ agents said staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home.”

Not only will your house spend less time on the market, but the same report mentioned that,

“One-quarter of buyers’ agents said that staging a home increased the dollar value offered between 1 – 5%, compared to other similar homes on the market that were not staged.”

2. Keep it organized

Since you took the time to declutter, keep it organized! Before the buyers show up, pick up toys, make the bed, and put away clean dishes. It is also a good idea to put out some cookies fresh from the oven or a scented candle. Buyers will remember the smell of your home! According to the same report, the kitchen is one of the most important rooms to stage in order to attract more buyers.

3. Give buyers full access

One of the top four elements when selling your home is access! If your home is available anytime, that opens up more opportunity to find a buyer right away. Some buyers, especially those relocating, don’t have much time available. If they cannot get into the house, they will move on to the next one.

4. Price it right

As we mentioned at the beginning, more inventory coming into the market guarantees there will be some competition. You want to make sure your home is noticed. The key to selling your house in 2019 is ensuring it is Priced to Sell Immediately (PTSI). That way, your home will be seen by the greatest amount of buyers and will sell at a great price before more competition comes to market!

Bottom Line

If you want to sell your house in the least amount of time at the best price with as little hassle as possible, a local real estate professional is a useful guide. Call them today to find out what you need to do to sell your home more quickly.

July 3, 2019

Is Mortgage Debt Out Of Control?

Is Mortgage Debt out of Control?

The housing crisis of the last decade was partially caused by unhealthy levels of mortgage debt. Homeowners were using their homes as ATMs by refinancing and swapping their equity for cash.

When prices started to fall, many homeowners found themselves in a negative equity situation (where their mortgage was higher than the value of their home). As a result, they walked away. This caused prices to fall even further.

Headlines are again talking about record levels of mortgage debt, making the comparison to the challenges that preceded the housing crash. However, cumulative debt is not an important data point. If we look at the debt as a percentage of disposable personal income, we are at an all-time low.

Here’s a visual representation of mortgage debt as a percent of income:Is Mortgage Debt out of Control? | Keeping Current MattersFurthermore, according to a new report from ATTOM Data Solutions, more than 1-in-4 homes with a mortgage have at least 50% equity. The report explains:

“[O]ver 14.5 million U.S. properties were equity rich — where the combined estimated amount of loans secured by the property was 50 percent or less of the property’s estimated market value — up by more than 834,000 from a year ago to a new high as far back as data is available, Q4 2013.”

Bottom Line

Unlike 2008, homeowners have a comfortable level of mortgage debt and are sitting on massive amounts of home equity. They will not be walking away from their homes if the housing market begins to soften.