South Lake Tahoe Home Values on the Rise?

December 19, 2015

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This graph shows that the average sales price has been increasing since 2012 for homes in South Lake Tahoe. This is great news for sellers because this most likely means that home values have been rising.  If you are doing some quick math, you may say that home market values have risen by 40%. However, keep in mind that the graph only tells a partial story. While the graph suggests that home values are up, it may not be good indicator to measure overall market accurately nor your home specifically.

The great news is that an increase in the average sales price is an indication of higher home values but that is as far as it goes. What it doesn’t tell you is that in the mix are homes of different sizes, neighborhoods, quality of condition, location, etc. Additionally, it doesn’t tell you the number of homes that sold below $300,000 and the number that sold above $600,000. A multi-million dollar sale can easily bump up the average sales price by almost a percentage point in itself.

For a 3 year period, this is still an impressive climb! In June of 2015, there was an upward spike which was followed by a cliff drop. From my professional experience, I can tell you that spike was an anomaly of several high priced sales followed by a supply glut and more lower priced sales. It appears that 2015 is the end of the steep rising trend for now. This may dampen the enthusiasm for the sellers, but it will make a more jubilant buyer. Happy 2016 to the buyers that are looking for South Lake Tahoe homes for sale!

To find a local South Lake Tahoe real estate agent, contact Jim Wire at 530-314-9008 or email to jim@hotwiretotahoe.com. To find South Lake Tahoe homes for sale, go to HotWireToTahoe.com. I have over 14 years of experience and I’ve been a Lake Tahoe resident for over 32 years. As a top real estate agent and long time local, you will benefit from my knowledge and experience of the area. I’m licensed in both California and Nevada.

 

California Attorney Warning Regarding Short Sale Fraud

June 23, 2010

Brown Orders Mortgage Foreclosure Consultants to Post $100,000 Bond or Face Prosecution

Threatening possible criminal and civil prosecution, Attorney General Brown ordered 386 mortgage foreclosure consultants to post $100,000 bonds and register with his office. Brown also unveiled a new loan modification fraud website (http://ag.ca.gov/loanmod).

Individuals and Businesses Brown Has Sued

Individuals

  • Sibpun Ampornpet
  • Eli Hassine
  • Quentin Hazell
  • John D H N Nielsen
  • Carol Pencille
  • Eric Pony
  • Paulette Pony
  • Wilma Pony
  • Hakimulla Sarpas
  • Dean Storm

Businesses

  • Lifetime Financial
  • E. Pony, Inc.
  • Nations Mortgage, Inc.
  • Greenleaf Lending, Inc.
  • Virtual Escrow, Inc.
  • Olympic Escrow, Inc.
  • Direct Credit Solutions, Inc.
  • Federal Land Grant (FLG), LLC
  • Land Grant Services, LLC
  • KBS Resources, LLC

5 Tips to Avoid Being Scammed

  1. Don’t pay up-front fees. Foreclosure consultants are prohibited by law from collecting money before services are performed.
  2. Don’t ignore letters from your lender or loan servicer. Responding to those letters is your best bet for saving your house.
  3. Don’t transfer title or sell your house to a “foreclosure rescuer.” Beware! This is a scam to convince homeowners they can stay in the home as renters and buy their home back later. It might also be part of a fraudulent bankruptcy filing. Either way, a scammer can then evict the victim and take the home.
  4. Don’t pay your mortgage payments to anyone other than your lender or loan servicer. Mortgage consultants often keep the money for themselves.
  5. Never sign any documents without reading them first. Many homeowners think that they are signing documents for a loan modification or for a new loan to pay off the mortgage they are behind on. Later, they discover that they actually transferred ownership of their home to someone who is now trying to evict them.

Flood Insurance Update: June 1, 2010

June 23, 2010

Flood Insurance Update: June 1, 2010

Congress, for the third time this year, allowed the National Flood Insurance Program to expire on May 31, 2010.

NAR has launched an all-member Call for Action to urge Congress to take immediate action on a lasting NFIP extension. Additional, information regarding NAR’s policy position are available at www.realtor.org.

Call for action>

After May 31, the NFIP will not have the statutory authority to issue new or renewal policies until Congress reauthorizes the program. This will not affect existing policies, renewal policies within a 30-day grace period, or policies purchased prior to the program’s lapse. Also, FEMA allows buyers to “assume” the seller’s existing policy without having to re-issue it (http://www.fema.gov/pdf/nfip/manual201005/03gr.pdf). The purchase requirement for flood insurance may be met with non-NFIP policies; for instance, Lloyd’s of London, Chubb and AIG have offered such insurance, but it can be very expensive and is limited to a certain number of states, with other conditions.

FEMA May 28 Notice: NFIP Reauthorization Information for WYO Companies and Agents> (PDF: 91K)

NAR has been working with FEMA, FHA, Fannie, Freddie and the VA to provide guidance, similar to what it provided in April, for lenders as to the steps they may take to meet flood insurance purchase requirement during an NFIP lapse. With updated guidance in hand, lenders should have the assurances that they need to continue to close loans. FHA has already issued updated guidance. Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the VA, and other lending authorities are expected to release guidance shortly, and NAR will post the guidance at www.realtor.org.

We encourage you to visit or direct your members to the following resources for additional information:

FEMA May 28 Notice: NFIP Reauthorization Information for WYO Companies and Agents> (PDF: 91K)
FEMA>
Office of Thrift Supervision Guidance on NFIP Lapses>
Fannie Mae Notice>
Freddie Mac June 1 Notice>
Veterans Administration (VA) Notice>
Veterans Administration (VA) Home Loan Loan Guaranty Home Loan Program>
FHA Appraisal and Property Requirements>
FHA Single Family Housing>

Flood Insurance Update: June 1, 2010

Congress, for the third time this year, allowed the National Flood Insurance Program to expire on May 31, 2010.

NAR has launched an all-member Call for Action to urge Congress to take immediate action on a lasting NFIP extension. Additional, information regarding NAR’s policy position are available at www.realtor.org.

Call for action>

After May 31, the NFIP will not have the statutory authority to issue new or renewal policies until Congress reauthorizes the program. This will not affect existing policies, renewal policies within a 30-day grace period, or policies purchased prior to the program’s lapse. Also, FEMA allows buyers to “assume” the seller’s existing policy without having to re-issue it (http://www.fema.gov/pdf/nfip/manual201005/03gr.pdf). The purchase requirement for flood insurance may be met with non-NFIP policies; for instance, Lloyd’s of London, Chubb and AIG have offered such insurance, but it can be very expensive and is limited to a certain number of states, with other conditions.

FEMA May 28 Notice: NFIP Reauthorization Information for WYO Companies and Agents> (PDF: 91K)

NAR has been working with FEMA, FHA, Fannie, Freddie and the VA to provide guidance, similar to what it provided in April, for lenders as to the steps they may take to meet flood insurance purchase requirement during an NFIP lapse. With updated guidance in hand, lenders should have the assurances that they need to continue to close loans. FHA has already issued updated guidance. Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the VA, and other lending authorities are expected to release guidance shortly, and NAR will post the guidance at www.realtor.org.

We encourage you to visit or direct your members to the following resources for additional information:

FEMA May 28 Notice: NFIP Reauthorization Information for WYO Companies and Agents> (PDF: 91K)
FEMA>
Office of Thrift Supervision Guidance on NFIP Lapses>
Fannie Mae Notice>
Freddie Mac June 1 Notice>
Veterans Administration (VA) Notice>
Veterans Administration (VA) Home Loan Loan Guaranty Home Loan Program>
FHA Appraisal and Property Requirements>
FHA Single Family Housing>

NO MORE STATE TAX ON FORGIVEN DEBT

May 9, 2010

Brought to you by the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

NO MORE STATE TAX ON FORGIVEN DEBT

Distressed homeowners no longer have to pay California state income tax on debt forgiven in a short sale, foreclosure, or loan modification.  Enacted into law yesterday, Senate Bill 401 generally aligns California’s tax treatment of mortgage debt relief income with federal law.  For debt forgiven on a loan secured by a “qualified principal residence,” borrowers will now be exempt from both federal and state income tax consequences.  The existing federal exemption is for indebtedness up to $2 million, whereas the new California exemption is for indebtedness up to $800,000 and forgiven debt up to $500,000.

“Qualified principal residence” indebtedness is defined as debt incurred in acquiring, constructing, or substantially improving a principal residence.  It includes both first and second trust deeds.  It also includes a refinance loan to the extent the funds were used to payoff a previous loan that would have qualified.

The tax breaks apply to debts discharged from 2009 through 2012.  Californians who have already filed their 2009 tax returns may claim the exemption by filing a Form 540X amendment.
 
Taxpayers who do not qualify for the above exemptions (e.g., second home or rental property) may nevertheless be exempt under other provisions.  Most notably, taxpayers who are bankrupt are exempt from debt relief income tax.  Also, taxpayers who are insolvent are exempt from debt relief income tax to the extent their current liabilities exceed current assets.

For more information about mortgage forgiveness tax consequences, go to California Franchise Tax Board’s Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Extended webpage and the Internal Revenue Service’s Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act and Debt Cancellation webpage.  The full text of Senate Bill 401 is available at www.leginfo.ca.gov

C.A.R. provides REALTORS® with many legal articles covering a wide range of topics of interest.  Some of the new or newly revised legal articles available at http://qa.car.org/ are as follows:

Nabbing a Bargain-Basement Mortgage Before Rates Rise .

March 23, 2010

Is it time to rush out and buy a house before mortgage rates go up?

As the Federal Reserve winds down its intervention in the mortgage market, rates on home loans are generally expected to rise at least modestly during the rest of this year from today’s unusually low levels. Some analysts believe mortgage rates will jump to around 6% by year end from 5% in recent weeks, while others see only a slight increase.

[MORTGAGE]

Meanwhile, federal tax credits available for some home buyers are due to expire at the end of April, adding to the sense of urgency many shoppers feel.

“I’d hate to miss out on really low [mortgage] rates” or the tax credit, says Jennifer Hale, a veterinarian who is looking for a new home near Minneapolis with her fiance, Lawrence Nystrom.

If rates do go up sharply, that will have a big effect on home buyers. Richard Redmond, a mortgage adviser at All California Mortgage in Larkspur, Calif., offers the example of a couple with combined pretax income of $100,000 a year and debt obligations (excluding mortgage) of $500 a month. At a 5% mortgage rate, he figures, the couple could qualify for a loan big enough to buy a $590,000 house, assuming a 20% down payment. At 6%, that would fall to $540,000.

Since late 2008, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages have been available for people with strong credit records at around 5%, near the lowest levels since the 1950s, thanks to the Federal Reserve’s heavy purchases of mortgage securities. At the end of March, the Fed is due to stop buying the securities. Most mortgage analysts think the immediate effect of the Fed’s withdrawal will be modest.

Laurie Goodman, a senior managing director at mortgage-bond trader Amherst Securities Group LP in New York, estimates that the Fed move will add a maximum of about 0.25 percentage point to mortgage rates. “There is a lot of private money on the sidelines,” waiting to buy mortgage securities once the Fed stops gobbling most of them up, Ms. Goodman says. She points to banks, money managers and foreign investors.

What happens to interest rates over the rest of this year depends on many factors that are hard to predict, including the strength of the economy, Fed policies and foreign investors’ willingness to buy U.S. debt.

Projections vary widely. At the lower end of the scale, analysts at Credit Suisse and FTN Financial Capital Markets forecast that mortgage rates will be in a range of roughly 5% to 5.25% at the end of 2010. Moody’s Economy.com projects about 5.7%, and Barclays Capital 6%. Barclays cites a general rise in interest rates propelled by heavy government borrowing and a strengthening economy as the main factors.

John W. Anderson, a broker at Twin Oaks Realty of Crystal, Minn., who is helping Ms. Hale and Mr. Nystrom search for a house, says the tax credit and fear of higher interest rates are motivating buyers “to move a little faster.” But he cautions against moving too fast because of the risk of overpaying or ending up with a home you don’t really like. “Getting the right home is the No. 1 thing,” he says.

Write to James R. Hagerty at bob.hagerty@wsj.com

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