#KeeMathews #TheKeeToYourNextHome #SacramentoRealEstate #ElkGroveRealEstate #Buyers #Sellers #Century21 #Century21Select
Open the windows! Let in the fresh air! Spring has sprung!
It is time for picnics, long walks, froliking outdoors, and spring cleaning. In order to help you organize, we’ve made a series of printable spring cleaning checklists. To save the best for last we are starting with the least dreaded room to clean – the bathroom.
NAR Issue Brief
Mortgage Debt Cancellation Tax Relief
Update on the current status of the mortgage debt cancellation tax relief provision that expired at the end of 2013. As soon as the last one-year extension was passed on New Years’ Day 2013, NAR began working on another extension of this critical tax provision. With NAR’s encouragement, champions of this provision introduced bi-partisan bills in both the House and Senate (H.R. 2994/S. 1187), to extend the provision for one or two years. Unfortunately, the current prospect of these bills being enacted in the short term is not particularly high. We are facing four big hurdles.
1. The Chairmen of both of Congress’s tax committees (Senate Finance and House Ways and Means) have committed to passing comprehensive tax reform legislation before the end of 2014. As part of reform, they have both indicated that they plan to go through the long list of expiring items, including mortgage debt cancellation, and cull those that are not worthy of permanence and make all the “worthy” ones a permanent part of the tax law. However, tax reform is unlikely to be completed in the coming months. If Congress were to extend the expiring provisions now, it might appear that they were giving up on tax reform. This is not a signal they wish to send.
2. There are over 50 such expiring tax provisions (often referred to as “extenders”). Congress rarely passes single tax provisions by themselves. The rules in both the House (and especially the Senate) could allow for added amendments that would turn a simple bill with wide support into a politically divisive bill.
3. The extension of the tax relief “costs” money to the Treasury. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that a one-year extension of the mortgage debt cancellation relief would cost $3.7 billion. Some Members of Congress will insist that amount be offset by raising taxes elsewhere or cuts in spending – an ongoing debate in Congress.
4. The Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Max Baucus of Montana, has been nominated by President Obama to serve as the next United States Ambassador to China. His departure from the Senate will turn the chairmanship over to Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon. As with any change in committee leadership, there will be an adjustment period.
In sum, NAR tried to have the extension passed by year-end but it was not possible. Because of the factors listed above, NAR has so far decided not to issue Member-wide Call for Action at this time, but has instead focused on working with Congressional leadership and the bill sponsors to find additional support for moving this legislation now that Congress has returned to Washington. Our lobbyists are in daily meetings with Members of Congress, pressing for an extension and providing the most up to date data on short sales and foreclosures to continue to highlight this as a top priority.
What can you do? First, you can contact your Representative and Senators to urge them to act on these bills. If you are in distressed situation, urge them to do so as well. The more Members hear from constituents, the better.
NAR cautions REALTORS® against giving clients tax advice, as every situation is different, but at this point our best estimate is that Congress will pass some extension of this law, probably late in 2014, and make it retroactive. There is precedent for Congress doing this, but no guarantee.
NAR cautions REALTORS® against giving clients tax advice, as every situation is different, but at this point our best estimate is that Congress will pass some extension of this law in 2014 and make it retroactive. There is precedent for Congress doing this, but no guarantee.
The City of Elk Grove is urging residents to voluntarily cut back water
consumption by 20 percent, joining numerous local agencies in a regional water conservation
Last night, the Elk Grove City Council unanimously adopted a resolution establishing support for
water conservation and conservation education.
“The state of California is facing a very critical situation, and the City of Elk Grove will do its part
to temper water usage and urge residents to conserve,” said Mayor Gary Davis. “Elk Grove is
committed to fostering an environment where the city, residents and business owners unite to
demonstrate good stewardship of our most precious resources. The City of Elk Grove is
committed to educating the community about the critical importance of water conservation
during this unprecedented drought.”
The 20 percent reduction can be achieved through increased water conservation at City
facilities, enhanced public information in collaboration with local agencies, and increased
enforcement of the City’s water conservation ordinances. Residents can help achieve the 20
percent savings by making small changes in everyday household routines. Household water
conservation tips and watering schedules are available on the Elk Grove Water District and
Sacramento County Water Agency websites.
In 2013, Northern California had its third consecutive year of below average rainfall and driest
year ever recorded. This has resulted in record low water levels at critical water storage sites,
including Folsom Lake. The City of Elk Grove is not a water purveyor. The Elk Grove Water
District and Sacramento County Water Agency serve the Elk Grove area and have both passed
voluntary conservation measures.
For more information about water conservation, contact the Elk Grove Water District at 685‐
3556 or Sacramento County Water Agency at 874‐6851.
The California Association of REALTORS® announced yesterday it received a letter from the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB), obtained by Board of Equalization (BOE) member George Runner, clarifying that California families who lost their home in a short sale are not subject to state income tax liability on debt forgiveness “phantom income” they never received in a short sale.
Last month, in a letter to California Senator Barbara Boxer, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recognized that the debt written off in a short sale does not constitute recourse debt under California law, and thus does not create so called “cancellation of debt” income to the underwater home seller for federal income tax purposes. Following the IRS’s clarification, C.A.R. sought a similar ruling by the California FTB. Now with the FTB’s clarification, underwater home sellers are also assured that they are not subject to state income tax liability, rescuing tens of thousands distressed home sellers from California tax liability for debt written off by lenders in short sales.
“We are pleased with the recent clarifications issued by the IRS and California Franchise Tax Board, which protect distressed homeowners from debt relief income tax associated with a short sale in California,” said C.A.R. President Kevin Brown. “We would like to thank Senator Boxer and BOE member Runner for their leadership in obtaining this guidance from the IRS and FTB. Distressed California homeowners can now avoid foreclosure or bankruptcy and can opt for a short sale instead, without incurring federal and state tax liability, even after the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 expires at the end of the year.”
This is wonderful news for California families still struggling with an underwater home. We still recommend all REALTORS® encourage their clients to speak with a tax professional who can advise them on their specific situation. This information in no way should be taken as either legal or tax advice.
(Sacramento Association of REALTORS® Web Log, Caylyn Brown Thursday, December 5th, 2013)
(City of Elk Grove Press Release, December 4, 2013)
Elk Grove — In response to the forecasted night temperatures in the upper 20s and low 30s, the City of
Elk Grove and Cosumnes Community Services District (CSD) have opened a warming center in Elk Grove
as a proactive safety precaution for residents who may be unsheltered or living in homes without heat.
The warming center, located at the Barbara Morse Wackford Community & Aquatic Complex at 9014
Bruceville Road, will be open from 7 p.m. to 8 a.m. on Wednesday and Thursday nights. The warming
center may remain longer, depending on weather conditions. The situation will be monitored daily and
the public will be updated in conjunction with the City and County of Sacramento and County Office of
The warming centers will offer seating and a heated room that will provide shelter from the cold
temperatures. The warming center will be operated by CSD staff. The Barbara Morse Wackford
Community & Aquatic Complex facility can accommodate pets.
Besides a warming center, other options to stay warm include stores, community centers, public
libraries, coffee shops and family and friends’ homes.
Sacramento County recommends the following advice to stay warm during freezing temperatures:
- Check on your family, neighbors and seniors, especially those living alone
- Make sure your pets are secure and safe out of the elements
- Discuss emergency plans in advance
Keep an emergency kit in an easy‐access location
Around the House and in Your Car:
- Clear debris from gutters and downspouts
- Store outdoor furniture, lawn equipment, decorations properly
- Secure outdoor plants or cover with blankets or plastic to prevent freezing
- Learn where your water shutoff valves are in case a pipe bursts
- Do not bring heating devices in doors that are intended for outdoor use, such as barbecues or other fuel‐burning devices
- Insulate pipes and allow faucetsto drip during cold weatherto avoid freezing
- Prepare your auto for cold weather
- Keep extra blankets, food and water in your vehicle
- Drive safely and slowly
- Avoid downed power lines
Additional cold weather preparedness tips can be found on www.SacramentoReady.org. For more
information about emergency preparedness, visit www.elkgrovecity.org/ep or contact City of Elk Grove
Emergency Manager Don Stangle at 478‐3610 or email@example.com.
Potential sellers may be hesitant to put their home on the market in the winter because of the misconception that it’s not an optimal time for selling. However, regardless of the time of year there are always buyers in the market for a new home. An advantage of selling in the winter is that you can stage your home to take advantage of the indoor warmth of the season.
Below are several ideas to help you stage your home for a winter sale, such as placing a warm throw over the corner of the sofa to encourage a cozy feel and turning up the thermostat.
– Maintain your walkways
– Make it cozy
– Clean the clutter
– Turn the focus to the fireplace
– Turn on the lights
– Turn up the heat
BENEFITS OF SELLING A HOME IN THE WINTER
-. Less competition
– Buyers are motivated to close
– Your home may show better
– You can take advantage of the holiday season
If you’re interested in selling your home, please contact me to learn more about its value and our local market. Be sure to share this information with family or friends who may be thinking about putting their homes on the market.
From my family to yours: Have a happy and safe holiday season with your loved ones.
(Courtesy NKS Financial)
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) recently announced its “Back to Work” program, which is giving individuals who suffered a long period of hardship during the recent housing crisis a second chance to prove they can carry a mortgage and own a home.
The program will waive many of the waiting periods associated with a significant “economic event” such as bankruptcy (Chapters 7 and 13), short sale or foreclosure.
Potential candidates may be first-time or repeat home buyers, and the program can be used for the 203K rehab loan. It must be approved by an FHA lender, and as some lenders are choosing not to participate, you may want to contact your mortgage professional for more information on this.
To participate in the program, individuals must be able to demonstrate they’ve recovered fully from the “event”, and document the fact that they did have a household income loss of at least 20 percent for a period of at least six months that coincided with the “event.” They also need to prove current, stable and documentable employment to qualify.
As well, they need to demonstrate a 12-month positive payment history, and this specifies on-time payment of all mortgage and installment debt. There is some latitude for credit card debt, but it is slight.
Applicants also must attend counseling sessions before being able to participate in the program. This is usually a one-hour session with a HUD-approved counselor, and was designed to help participants prevent the “economic event” from happening again.