Real Estate Tips
You should have heard my jaw hit the floor when I first saw the latest numbers from the December 2020 Sacramento housing market update. Maybe I should grow a beard to pad the jaw a little or start wearing a football helmet with a buckled-in chin strap because I sense that the fireworks will continue for the foreseeable future in the Sacramento-Roseville-Elk Grove area. Let’s be real; everyone sees that for the foreseeable future. Please pick up a magazine or click on Google and check it out.
What you should know about down payment gifts with a mortgage is a fabulous blog written by our preferred lender, Dan Tharp. Enjoy — JaCi Wallace. With an extreme lack of inventory facing so many of my buyers right now, they need all the help they can get. The biggest obstacle for many is the lack of money for a down payment. Thankfully, one solution is to get some help in the form of a gift from a family member, close friend, or a charitable organization.
As a mortgage professional, I have become very familiar with the IRS code on this topic. There is so much confusion regarding the tax implications of giving a cash gift to help a loved one buy a home. Before I delve deeper into this, a disclosure: I am not a licensed tax preparer and don’t ever want to be one – I have mad respect for tax professionals. This article is not to advise specific tax guidelines but instead give some useful, general information to help lead you in the right direction. Please seek a tax professional for more detail.
Don’t believe the news. Or at least don’t believe a majority of it. You might think real estate is going the way of Blockbuster or disco if you watch the news these days. I can tell you with full certainty that it is not. In May, 1,556 homes went into escrow and that is 98% of the inventory that was available in Sacramento County in April 2020. The turnover rate in our area is incredible! Overall, pendings are up 46% from April 2020 and new listings are up 12.1% according to the May 2020 Housing Report for Sacramento County.
Often, buyers ask home sellers for personal property such as washers and dryers, refrigerators, lawn equipment, you name it. I have had several issues with personal property in 2019. So much so that I now suggest the buyers just do a bill of sale for $1. When things go wrong take a wild guess who has to fix it much of the time?
I had a seller who had said from the start to leave the fridge as it was an odd size. We put it in the listing agreement. His daughter had packed up the house and the movers took the refrigerator. We always write in the contract that any personal property is left in as-is condition with no warranty, expressed or implied. Of course, the buyers forget all this. The seller could not get to the stored refrigerator and it was packed away in storage for a month. The sellers agreed to pay a sum of money to the buyers to make them stop calling. The sellers decided they needed the refrigerator after all.
A tip for getting the edge when buying homes in Sacramento. The italics below feature an excerpt from a blog Elizabeth wrote several years ago. It is the same thing happening today. Agents call and ask if we have offers. We say not yet, but expecting offers any moment. Offers are often sent in poorly written, missing information and without proof of funds. Why would an agent ever send in anything less than picture-perfect offers?
Sometimes the offers never even make it in to us. We follow up with every agent and help in any way we can. Make sure you have discussions about your offers before they are sent to the listing agent. This will help with some of the smaller issues. Enjoy.