As Foreclosures Keep Coming, Renters Are Threatened Once Again

But Lukes notes that, legally, the renter is obligated to pay their landlord, ” even through this whole, awful awful process. “We get that question a lot,” he says.

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Sell Or Refinance in 2011?

Still, selling is much more risky and difficult than refinancing.  You’ll have to weigh the pros and cons for yourself.  The bottom line?  Find out what type of refinance loan you qualify for.  Find out what your home would sell for.  Then check out the local real estate marketplace and see if you can save more by moving to a new place or refinancing.

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$18,000 IN COMBINED HOMEBUYER TAX CREDITS….

$18,000 IN COMBINED HOMEBUYER TAX CREDITS FOR A LIMITED TIME

Californians have a brief window of opportunity to receive up to $18,000 in combined federal and state homebuyer tax credits.  To take advantage of both tax credits, a first-time homebuyer must enter into a purchase contract for a principal residence before May 1, 2010, and close escrow between May 1, 2010 and June 30, 2010, inclusive.  Buyers who are not first-time homebuyers may use the same timeframes to receive up to $16,500 in combined tax credits if they are long-time residents of their existing homes as permitted under federal law, and they purchase properties that have never been previously occupied as provided under California law.

Under the federal law slated to soon expire, a first-time homebuyer may receive up to $8,000 in tax credits, and a long-time resident may receive up to $6,500, for certain purchase contracts entered into by April 30, 2010 that close escrow by June 30, 2010.  Additionally, under a newly enacted California law, a homebuyer may receive up to $10,000 in tax credits as a first-time homebuyer or buyer of a property that has never been occupied.  The new California law applies to certain purchases that close escrow on or after May 1, 2010 (see Cal. Rev. & Tax Code section 17059.1(a)(4)).  California law generally allows buyers of never-occupied properties to reserve their credits before closing escrow, but buyers seeking to combine the federal and state tax credits will not be able to satisfy the timing requirements for such reservations (see Cal. Rev. & Tax Code section 17059.1(c)(1)(A)).  Other terms and restrictions apply to both tax credits.

$18,000 IN COMBINED HOMEBUYER TAX CREDITS FOR A LIMITED TIME

Californians have a brief window of opportunity to receive up to $18,000 in combined federal and state homebuyer tax credits.  To take advantage of both tax credits, a first-time homebuyer must enter into a purchase contract for a principal residence before May 1, 2010, and close escrow between May 1, 2010 and June 30, 2010, inclusive.  Buyers who are not first-time homebuyers may use the same timeframes to receive up to $16,500 in combined tax credits if they are long-time residents of their existing homes as permitted under federal law, and they purchase properties that have never been previously occupied as provided under California law.

Under the federal law slated to soon expire, a first-time homebuyer may receive up to $8,000 in tax credits, and a long-time resident may receive up to $6,500, for certain purchase contracts entered into by April 30, 2010 that close escrow by June 30, 2010.  Additionally, under a newly enacted California law, a homebuyer may receive up to $10,000 in tax credits as a first-time homebuyer or buyer of a property that has never been occupied.  The new California law applies to certain purchases that close escrow on or after May 1, 2010 (see Cal. Rev. & Tax Code section 17059.1(a)(4)).  California law generally allows buyers of never-occupied properties to reserve their credits before closing escrow, but buyers seeking to combine the federal and state tax credits will not be able to satisfy the timing requirements for such reservations (see Cal. Rev. & Tax Code section 17059.1(c)(1)(A)).  Other terms and restrictions apply to both tax credits.

California short sellers to pay tax on mortgage debt

Governor Schwarzenegger last week vetoed a bill that would have prevented California homeowners who sold their homes via short sales or received loan modifications in 2009 from being taxed on the forgiven mortgage debt. 

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Homebuyer Tax Credit Chart 2010

To help stimulate home sales, both the federal and state governments are offering tax credits for Californians purchasing their piece of the American dream.  Federal law offers up to $8,000 for first-time homebuyers and $6,500 for long-time residents.  California law offers up to $10,000 for first-time homebuyers or buyers of properties that have never been occupied.  Here’s a handy summary of the two tax credit laws:

  HOMEBUYER TAX CREDIT FEDERAL CALIFORNIA
Amount of Tax Credit 10% of purchase price not to exceed $8,000 for First-Time Homebuyers or $6,500 for Long-Term Residents. 5% of purchase price, not to exceed $10,000 for first-time homebuyers or buyers of properties that have never been occupied. (See also Maximum Credit for All Taxpayers.)
Date of Purchase By June 30, 2010, but taxpayer must enter into a written binding contract by April 30, 2010. From May 1, 2010 to July 31, 2011, but an enforceable contract must be executed by December 31, 2010.
Principal Residence Yes. Property purchased must be the taxpayer’s principal residence which is generally the home the taxpayer lives in most of the time (26 U.S.C. § 121). Yes. Property purchased must be a qualified principal residence and eligible for the homeowner’s exemption from property taxes (Cal. Tax & Rev. Code § 218).
Type of Property House, condominium, townhome, manufactured home, apartment cooperative, houseboat, housetrailer, or other type of property located in the U.S. Single-family residence, whether detached or attached.
 Eligibility 1. First-Time Homebuyer: Up to $8,000 if buyer (and buyer’s spouse if any) has not owned a principal residence during the three-year period before date of purchase; OR
2. Long-Time Resident: Up to $6,500 if buyer (and buyer’s spouse if any) has owned and used existing home as a principal residence for 5 of the last 8 years.
1. First-Time Homebuyer: Up to $10,000 if the buyer (or buyer’s spouse if any) has not owned a principal residence during the three-year period before date of purchase;
OR
2. Never-Occupied Property: Up to $10,000 for a principal residence if the property has never been previously occupied as certified by the seller.
Income Restriction Yes. Tax credit begins to phase out for modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) over $125,000 (or $225,000 for joint filers). No tax credit at all for MAGI over $145,000 (or $245,000 for joint filers). No
Maximum Purchase Price $800,000. N/A
Refundable Yes. Any amount of the tax credit not used to reduce the tax owed may be added to the taxpayer’s tax refund check. No
Repayment No repayment required if the buyer owns and occupies the property for at least 36 months after purchase. No repayment required if the buyer owns and occupies the property for at least two years immediately following the purchase.
Multiple Buyers
(not married to each other)
Tax credit may be allocated between eligible taxpayers in any reasonable manner. Tax credit must be allocated between eligible taxpayers based on their percentage of ownership.
Maximum Credit for All Taxpayers N/A $100 million for first-time homebuyers and $100 million for never-occupied properties, both on a first-come-first-served basis.
Reservations of Credit N/A Yes. Buyer may reserve credit before close of escrow for a property that has never been occupied by submitting a certification signed by buyer and seller stating they have entered into an enforceable contract between May 1, 2010 and December 31, 2010, inclusive.
When to Claim Full tax credit may be claimed on 2009 or 2010 tax returns. 1/3 of total tax credit may be claimed each year for 3 successive years (e.g. $3,333 for 2010, $3,333 for 2011, and $3,333 for 2012).
Tax Agency Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Franchise Tax Board (FTB).
How to File First-Time Homebuyer Credit and Repayment of the Credit (IRS Form 5405) to be filed with tax returns Submit application to the FTB to obtain Certificate of Allocation. The FTB may prescribe additional rules and procedures to carry out this law.
Other Restrictions Cannot be an acquisition from related persons as defined; cannot be an acquisition by gift or inheritance; and buyer cannot be a non resident alien. Cannot be an acquisition from related persons as defined; buyer or spouse must be 18 years old; buyer cannot be another taxpayer’s dependent; credit is allowed for only one qualified principal residence; and credit allowed cannot be a business credit under Cal. Tax & Rev. Code § 17039.2.
Legal Authority 26 U.S.C. section 36. Cal. Rev. & Tax Code section 17059.1 (as added by Assembly Bill 183).
Date of Enactment November 6, 2009 (as revised). March 25, 2010.
More Information IRS Web site at http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=
204671,00.html
.
FTB Web site at http://www.ftb.ca.gov/
individuals/ New_Home_Credit.shtml
.

This chart is just one of the many legal publications and services offered by C.A.R. to its members. For a complete listing of C.A.R.’s legal products and services, please visit car.org.

Readers who require specific advice should consult an attorney. C.A.R. members requiring legal assistance may contact C.A.R.’s Member Legal Hotline at (213) 739-8282, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  C.A.R. members who are broker-owners, office managers, or Designated REALTORS® may contact the Member Legal Hotline at (213) 739-8350 to receive expedited service. Members may also fax or e-mail inquiries to the Member Legal Hotline at (213) 480-7724 or legal_hotline@car.org.  Written correspondence should be addressed to:

CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
Member Legal Services
525 S. Virgil Ave.
Los Angeles, CA  90020

California’s Home Inventory Shrinks to 5-Year Low


Real Estate News-The Mercury News

The Mercury News
Bay Area real estate investors snap up properties in Sacramento, Vegas
Bay Area real estate investors have gone on a shopping spree, snapping up homes in low-cost communities outside the region as falling home prices and low mortgage rates make the economics of buying rental property far more appealing.
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