Advice

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Considering 2 houses - same asking price - but one has much higher property taxes. Can this be fixed

Answer

If you are looking at a newer home in Ca the tax difference could be coming from a Mello Roos tax.  This is a special assessment put in place by a builder to help pay for playgrounds, schools streets and sidewalks.  It is a bond that goes with the property for a set amount of years.  It is not a % of your home value but a flat tax you pay every year until the bond expires.  You can check with the county tax office to see if Mello Roos tax is part of your tax bill.  It never leaves the property unless the bond expires or in rare cases, you can contact the manager of the bond and see about pre paying it off.  In my neighborhood, some of the homes that went into foreclosure and were sold for far less than 4 yrs ago when they were built, have a tax rate of 2-3% because the value of the home dropped yet the flat tax for Mello Roos is still in place.  I would encourage you to ask your agent  for more information on Mello Roos or call your local tax assessors/ collectors office.  Good Luck!

  (0)
How do I find an honest AND experienced agent?

Response

Your best solution is an agent that is referred to you by a friend or relative that they know or have worked with in the past.  If that is not possible, you can always call a broker and tell them your situation and have them refer someone to you.  They should follow up with you to make sure you are happy.  If you meet with an agent and feel they are tooo pushy or dont like their style just be honest with them and say what you feel.  If they care about doing business with you they should listen and make proper adjustments.  If not, thank them for their time and move on.  There are great agents out there who are in this for the long haul and will work hard for you, just keep looking until you find them.  If you are buying in Ca.  I would love  the  opportunity to exceed your expectations as your realtor:)

  (0)
what is a short sale and how does it work

Answer

a short sale is the process in which a home owner goes about selling their home when they owe more than it worth. In 99.9 % of the cases, the owner ( home must be your primary residence) must have a hardship to qualify with the lender ie: loss of job or income, health issue, death, or divorce.  The lender agrees to allow owner to sell at market value and takes a loss on the home.  The seller and lender must agree to the price and buyer.  Once the process is complete in most states, the lender cannot come back at you for the  difference between owed and sold /  or the loss.  There are some tax implications in some states.  There is a hit on your credit for 2 - 3 years. But this is a far better choice than a foreclosure.  The good new about Short Sales is that Obama has designated X amount of money to fund this program and there is a way to access a counselor direct that can walk you through the qualification process and even talk directly to your lender while you are on the phone.  It is the best program the government has funded so far and it is free.  Need more info??? email me and I will give you the phone # . 

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