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Victor Gurrola's Advice

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  • 338 Contributions
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Victor Gurrola wrote:

New Tax? Not So Fast
Since the new health care bill became law, there's been some worry that there would be a new tax on home sales for everyone. Not quite. Only a very small percentage of the population would have to pay any kind of extra tax on a profit made from the sale of their home. The law only applies to those who make over $200,000 a year in income, or $250,000 combined for a couple filing together. Also, to have the tax apply to you, you would have to clear a $250,000 profit on the home sale, or $500,000 for a couple selling their home. So, an example of someone who would pay the 3.8% sales tax would be a couple whose combined income was $280,000. If they sold their million dollar home for a profit of $600,000, they would be taxed on $100,000 of the profit, or the amount that was over the half million dollar exclusion. Their total tax paid would be $3,800, plus any other previous taxes.However, most home sellers would not have to worry about this tax. Half of all homes sold in March were sold for $170,000 or less, falling far short of the profit margin needed to generate any kind of sales tax. The bill takes effect in 2013 and will only hit the top-earning 2% of families, according to The Tax Foundation. So don't worry your heads about paying massive taxes on your home sales, you most likely won't get hit with any.
February 02 2011
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Navigating Facebook
You always hear that Facebook is a valuable advertising and networking site, but you don't always understand why or how. There's several tips you can use to maximize the profitability and visibility that comes with Facebook.1. Make sure your profile is detailed and complete with appropriate pictures and details about yourself. People want to know about the realtor they're hiring.2. Import your contacts from email accounts. Facebook has a handy application that allows you to automatically send invitations to your contacts, asking them to "like" your page. It also permits you to screen who you send them to, just in case.3. Don't just use the account to talk about business. No one will be interested in every detail of your listings. Take the time to post things that are interesting to you, even if they don't relate to your job.4. Share photos and videos on the news feed. They will stand out from the regular text posts and draw more interest.5. Make sure you create a detailed page for your business. They don't require a separate account, but are managed under your general account. They appear in google searches, so be proactive in keeping the page up to date and post your business news here.6. Promote your page to friends and ask them to pass it on. The web will grow exponentially after awhile.7. If you post a listing on your page, make sure it has interesting information included. An easy way to do this is to create a photo album of the property and put the information in the captions.
January 13 2011
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Do the Double Dip
In my local real estate market of Southern California, I've noticed a peculiar trend. The inventory of high end homes is at a stand-still and many of the homes on the market have steadily declining price tags. Homes costing more than a million dollars, are generally not moving right now, sitting on the market for months at a time. There's also a trend of the asking prices for these homes moving in a downward direction. However, it seems to only be the higher end homes that are stuck in this decline. Moderate and lower priced properties seem to be staying at a plateau, rather than moving in either direction. Do you think the double dip is going to be relegated to only high end homes? Is this even a real double dip? Will it move into the lower end market as well?
January 12 2011
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New Year, New Fees
Fannie Mae is rolling out a new policy on mortgage fees that will jack up the cost of taking out a loan. Even if you've got a stellar credit score and a hefty down-payment, you could end up paying hundreds or thousands of dollars more than you would have last year. Based on your FICO score and LTV, you would pay anywhere from a quarter of a percent to 2.75% of the loan amount in add-on fees. The worse your credit score and smaller your down payment, the higher percentage you will pay. But there's more! Each aspect of the loan transaction that is perceived as a risk factor has its own fee added on to the loan amount. There's also an "adverse market fee" of .25% that is automatically tacked on to the loan amount. The fees are very similar to those debuted by Freddie Mac right before Thanksgiving. The justification for these huge hikes in rates? According to Edward J. DeMarco, acting director of the federal agency that oversees Fannie and Freddie, the add-ons are "necessary to protect the companies from 'the costs and risks' inherent in the mortgages they buy or guarantee."Aren't they just making the loans even riskier? By increasing the overall principle so much, they are just making it even more likely that people will have issues with paying their mortgage. Hopefully people have gotten smart enough and cautious enough to factor in those extra costs when looking at buying a home!
January 11 2011
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What are some strategies to keep in mind for people who want to sell their own homes?

Answer
Price is every thing. Oh and if you have a lawn make sure its nice and green.
January 10 2011
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what does bpo stand for?

Answer
Broker Price OpinionIt is the estimated value of a property as determined by a licensed real estate broker. It is not an appraisal. BPOs take into account the value of the comparable homes nearby, the condition of the home, it's physical attributes, and any projected repair costs that would be necessary to have the home ready for sale.
January 06 2011
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Fannie Mae launches new video to inform home owners about options to avoid foreclosure

Response
Thanks for the link. Sounds like a good tool to recommend to people.
January 06 2011
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Rancho Penasquitos is considered one of the Safest Neighborhoods in the US

Response
It's really interesting to look at these figures and what kinds of things they take into account for the statistics. For example, Irvine is considered one of the safest communities in the country. But, when you look at the stats, the type of crime taken into account are violent crimes like murder and rape. While that rate is incredibly low in Irvine, it has a surprisingly high rate of domestic violence.
January 06 2011
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Recovery Timeline: Never?
Though they were once creating thriving new communities, places like the Inland Empire. San Bernardino, and Riverside may never see a recovery from the steep decline they've experienced. Though the causes of the decline may be different from places like Detroit and Cleveland, which were devastated by a decline in manufacturing, they may experience the same results for the long term: population decline and vacancies. A city in decline is usually caused by a steep drop in population when people move away for a specific reason, like finding work elsewhere. However, the decline of places like the Inland Empire is a direct result of the housing boom and its subsequent rush of new tract communities, followed by the wave of foreclosures that left the neighborhoods akin to ghost towns. These towns may never recover, according to some economists. The values of the homes in those developing areas were once elevated by the boom, but could not be supported by the level of employment and income in the area. Since the beginning of the recession, some of the homes have lost up to 80% of their values, leading to a potential timeline of up to 20 years for a full recovery of value. Some areas of California have begun to recover but they are the coastal and city areas with highly desirable traits and a higher concentration of employment. Without a strong recovery in employment in the heavily affected areas, the markets might never recover.What are your predictions for the recovery of housing in the aforementioned areas? Do you think they'll ever recover? For those not in California, are there areas in your state that have similar issues?
January 06 2011
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Is a tenant liable for the entire amount on a lease agreement in California?

Answer
Usually there is a clause in your lease agreement about breaking your lease early. There is almost always a penalty for doing so and it's normally the equivalent of one month's rent or more.
January 05 2011
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