“Community Property and Community Property With Right of Survivorship” – California law on holding title to property

California law on joint ownership of real property

California real estate law-c-

 

“Community Property and Community Property With Right of Survivorship”

A married couple or registered domestic partners may hold property as community property. (Cal. Fam. Code §760.)

Community property is similar to joint tenancy in that the shares are equal and there is also a right to possession of the entire property. (Cal. Fam. Code §751.) Unlike joint tenancy, there is no right of survivorship with community property, so the deceased spouse’s portion of the property is transferred by trust or a will, or through the rules of intestate succession if there is no will.

The primary benefit of holding a property as community property is for tax reasons.  If a husband and wife own property as community property, under both federal and California law there is a step up in basis for both halves of the property upon the death of the first spouse. In other forms of holding title such as joint tenancy or tenants in common only one half or the property will get a stepped up basis.

California also permits property to be held as community with right of survivorship (Cal. Civ. Code §682.1).  This form of ownership combines the benefits of community property and joint tenancy.  Upon the death of one spouse, the property passes to the survivor, without administration, subject to the same procedures as property held in joint tenancy. The right of survivorship can be terminated pursuant to the same procedures by which a joint tenancy may be severed. (Cal. Civ. Code §682.1.)  Additionally, this form of ownership also has the tax benefits of a step up in basis for both halves of the property upon the death of one spouse.

By Harrison K. Long.   Source of some information is California law and the California Association of Realtors.  This is for information only and is not the providing of legal services.  If you have questions about how you should hold title to real property in California, contact an experienced real estate attorney.

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U.S. Estate Tax Is On Your Right to Transfer Property at Your Death

Some people we talk with are confused about what the U.S. Estate Tax is and on what basis that would be owed and paid.

According to the Internal Revenue Service the U.S. Estate Tax is a tax on your right to transfer property at your death.

This consists of an accounting of everything you own or have certain interests in at the date of death (Refer to Form 706).

The fair market value of these items is used, not necessarily what you paid for them or what their values were when you acquired them. The total of all of these items is your “Gross Estate.” The includible property may consist of cash and securities, real estate, insurance, trusts, annuities, business interests and other assets.

Once you have accounted for the Gross Estate, certain deductions (and in special circumstances, reductions to value) are allowed in arriving at your “Taxable Estate.” These deductions may include mortgages and other debts, estate administration expenses, property that passes to surviving spouses and qualified charities. The value of some operating business interests or farms may be reduced for estates that qualify.

After the net amount is computed, the value of lifetime taxable gifts (beginning with gifts made in 1977) is added to this number and the tax is computed. The tax is then reduced by the available unified credit.

Most relatively simple estates (cash, publicly traded securities, small amounts of other easily valued assets, and no special deductions or elections, or jointly held property) do not require the filing of an estate tax return. A filing is required for estates with combined gross assets and prior taxable gifts exceeding $1,500,000 in 2004 – 2005; $2,000,000 in 2006 – 2008; $3,500,000 for decedents dying in 2009; and $5,000,000 or more for decedent’s dying in 2010 and 2011 (note: there are special rules for decedents dying in 2010); $5,120,000 in 2012, $5,250,000 in 2013 and $5,340,000 in 2014.

Beginning January 1, 2011, estates of decedents survived by a spouse may elect to pass any of the decedent’s unused exemption to the surviving spouse. This election is made on a timely filed estate tax return for the decedent with a surviving spouse. Note that simplified valuation provisions apply for those estates without a filing requirement absent the portability election.

For additional information, refer to the IRS and its Instructions for Form 706.

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By Harrison K. Long. Source of information is the Internal Revenue Service. See http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Estate-Tax. This is for information only and is not the providing of professional estate planning or tax services or legal services. You should always consult with an experienced attorney or a certified public accountant about estate taxes for yourself and your family.

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Orange County CA Home Selling Prices Moderate

Good news for home buyers is that Orange County price appreciation is no longer in white hot territory.

Home sellers this year 2014 need to seriously consider the comps and what buyers are paying for homes.

Our Orange County real estate market has changed during 2014, and buyers are looking to pay fair market value.

More Orange County homes listed for sale are sitting on the market without buyers.

Average market time for OC home selling has gone up, and active inventory of listings has been up all year. 8,057 Orange County homes are now listed for sale, which is 2,535 more than were on the market same time last year (a 45 percent increase in listings this year).

Orange County price and values skyrocketed from 2012 to the end of 2013. Sellers priced their homes above recent sale prices and received multiple offers – sometimes selling for more than list prices.

That’s stopped! Buyers at the OC now want to pay at value relative to recent sales – and expect to pay “fair market value”.

Orange County home selling usually cools after the kids return to school, and we expect this to moderate further from Thanksgiving through start of the New Year 2015.

Buyers have better options this years and are looking for nice upgraded homes and real value. Sellers are no longer in complete control and need to price their homes correctly while considering recent comp sales, location, upgrades, and condition of the home.

Sellers should price their homes realistically and correctly according to value from the start of marketing time and then expect positive results.

We here to help you evaluate the market in your area and price your home to sell.

Coldwell Banker residential brokerage

By Harrison K. Long. Source of some information is ReportsOnHousing.com and is for homes sold by all brokers and agents.

Professional REALTOR® agent representation and help for property owners, home sellers, private trust estate representatives, estate administrators, executors and heirs, probate and trust attorneys, estate planners, income tax professionals, public guardians, fiduciaries, investor group managers, bankers, and individuals, with listing and sale of properties at Orange County, CA.

Contact us at 949-854-7747 with your questions about home prices and values at Irvine, Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, and other Orange County CA cities and areas.

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Private Transfer Fees Recorded on Homes in CA Must Be Disclosed to All Buyers

The real estate developer at Ladera Ranch at South Orange County and other areas in CA have imposed and recorded Private Transfer Fees that are required to be paid by all buyers (PTFs) each time the home is sold.

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Privacy and Security Emphasized at 3163 Watermarke Place – Irvine CA homes

Privacy and Security Emphasized at 3163 Watermarke Place – Irvine CA homes

Premium lot location on the peaceful Meditation Garden! 3163 WatBeautiful, upgraded Watermarke home with premium lot location on the peaceful Meditation Garden!

 

 

 

 

Relax in spacious living room opening to patio and GardenEnjoy this excellent, well-thought-out floor plan with open-concept kitchen, dining and living area.

 

 

 

 

Living room opens to dining area - high ceilings & wood floorsAbundant natural light, volume ceilings and hardwood floors throughout.

 

 

 

 

Ideal ground level location for easy coming and goingIdeal ground level location makes coming and going easy, with no steps to very close private parking space in gated garage.

 

 

 

Gorgeous kitchen with granite counters & stainless appliances inThis Carlton Arms upgraded home features a gorgeous kitchen with granite counters, white cabinets to ceiling, stainless steel appliances including 5-burner gas range, built-in desk & cabinets and crown molding.

 

Kitchen with granite counters, raised panel cabinetry to ceiling

 

Well-designed open floor plan at 3163 Watermarke, Irvine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dining room opens to beautiful kitchen - perfect for entertaininWell-designed open floor plan at 3163 Watermarke, Irvine

Inside laundry room with built-in shelving is adjacent to kitcheMaster bedroom view of tranquil Garden, trees & fountain

Spacious master bedroom has views of the tranquil Garden, trees & fountain, plus walk-in closet, ceiling fan and new carpet.

 

 

Kitchen has built-in desk and extra cabinetsAdjacent bathroom with granite counters.

Inside laundry room.

Private patio next to Garden. Fun patio adjacent to trees, Garden and fresh air!

 

 

 

 

Resort-style swimming pool, fitness center and Clubhouse at WateExperience the Watermarke resort-style life with amenities that include Clubhouse, Concierge service, sparkling pools and spas, fitness center, tennis and basketball courts, movie theater, game room, and business center. Schedule a party at the Clubhouse with the Concierge

 

 

 

 

 

Lovely Garden

Love-love. Tennis anyone!

 

 

 

 

Watermarke is centrally located near the Irvine business center, Irvine Spectrum, Newport Beach, Orange County airport, UC Irvine, South Coast Plaza and easy freeway access.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Open-concept kitchen, dining and living area - high ceilings & c

Home offered at $384,000 – CRMLS #OC14118459

Property presented and listed by Harrison K. Long and Christi Long – Realtors and professional real estate representatives – CAL BRE 01410855 – Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Irvine and Orange County CA – 949-701-2515 (phone) – HKLong@cox.net

Coldwell Banker residential brokerage

By Harrison K. Long. We provide Professional REALTOR® agent representation and help for property owners, home sellers, private trust estate representatives, estate administrators, executors and heirs, probate and trust attorneys, estate planners, income tax professionals, public guardians, fiduciaries, investor group managers, bankers, and individuals, with listing and sale of properties at Orange County, CA. Contact us with your questions about home prices and values at Irvine, Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, and other Orange County CA cities and areas.

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Protect and Transfer Your Home’s Property Tax Basis to a Replacement Home at Orange County CA

Protect and Transfer Your Home’s Property Tax Basis to a Replacement Home at Orange County CA

Property taxes are very important for home owners in California and Orange County. This especially important because property taxes are based upon assessed values, and home values increased significantly.
People who have owned a home at Orange County for a number of years often ask about protecting their property tax basis when they buy and move to another home.
Ad valorem property taxes in California are primarily guided by California Proposition 13, a constitutional amendment enacted by voters during 1978. CA proposition 13

Annual property taxes according to Proposition 13 to be paid by owners are generally equal to one percent of assessed value of the home each year. (This assessed value can be increased by as much as two percent per year by the county assessor.)

Example: If you buy a home at Orange County CA at price of $700,000, the property value determined by county assessor/tax collector will be $700,000. So your annual ad valorem property tax during first year would be one percent of that – or the amount of $7,000.

If you want to sell your home and buy a replacement home in Orange County, and if you follow California law guidelines, you can sell first and then buy a different home – or you can buy a home in Orange County first and later sell the prior house – while taking advantage of transfer of Proposition 13 property tax basis.

To protect and transfer your home’s property tax basis to another home, you must follow all conditions for qualification and property tax relief as set forth by the Office of Orange County Assessor.

Proposition 60 was a constitutional amendment approved by the voters of California in 1986 – codified in Section 69.5 of the California Revenue & Taxation Code – and allows the transfer of an existing Proposition 13 base year value from a former home to a replacement home, if certain conditions are met.

PEOPLE 55 YEARS OF AGE OR MOREThis benefit is open to homeowners once in a lifetime who are at least 55 years old and are able to meet all qualifying conditions.

The following conditions must all be met for qualification and property tax relief to be granted under California Proposition 60:

a) Both the original property (former residence) and its replacement must be located in the same county. If the replacement property is located in a different county from the original, see possible transfer basis rules set for at California Proposition 90.

b) As of the date of transfer of the original property, the seller or a spouse living with the seller must be at least 55 years old.

c) The original property must have been eligible for the Homeowners’ Exemption or entitled to the Disabled Veterans’ Exemption.

d) The replacement dwelling must be of equal or lesser value than the original property.

e) The replacement dwelling must have been purchased or newly constructed on or after 11/06/86.

f) Without exception, the replacement dwelling must be purchased or newly constructed within two years (before or after) of the sale of the original property.

g) The original property must be subject to reappraisal at its current fair market value as the result of its transfer, in accordance with Sections 110.1 or 5803 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.

h) Without exception, a claim for relief must be filed within three years of the date a replacement dwelling is purchased or new construction of a replacement dwelling is completed.

For detailed information about Orange County CA home selling and possible protection and transfer of property tax basis – click here and see the web site at Office of Orange County CA Assessor.

Possible transferring your property tax basis from a home at Orange County CA while buying a replacement home at another county is a different subject – and covered by California Proposition 90. Orange and Riverside and two of the nine counties in California that are participating with the Prop 90 transfers between counties.

Coldwell Banker residential brokerage

By Harrison K. Long. This is for information only about California law and is not the providing of legal or tax services. For questions about your own situation, you should consult with an experienced real estate attorney and/or with the office of Orange County Assessor where your home is located.

We provide Professional REALTOR® agent representation and help for property owners, home sellers, private trust estate representatives, estate administrators, executors and heirs, probate and trust attorneys, estate planners, income tax professionals, public guardians, fiduciaries, investor group managers, bankers, and individuals, with listing and sale of properties at Orange County, CA. Contact us with your questions about home prices and values at Irvine, Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, and other Orange County CA cities and areas.

Protect and Transfer Your Home’s Property Tax Basis to a Replacement Home at Orange County CA

Posted in California real estate laws, Live at Orange County, OC home value guide, OC property value guide, Orange County home values, Orange County real estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Turtle Rock Irvine CA Home Selling Prices at an All-Time High

Turtle Rock Irvine CA Home Selling Prices at an All-Time High

Turtle Rock continues to be one of the most sought-after community locations for residential living and home buying in Orange County.

Turtle Rock home buyers were hot and busy last year during 2013, and home prices jumped with so few homes available for buyers.

Although home selling pace at Turtle Rock has moderated slightly this year, home selling prices are up more than 20 percent as compared with same time last year.

Turtle Rock has sold 39 homes so far this year through May 29, 2014 – with average sold price of $1,270,046.

Turtle Rock sold 44 homes last year during the same time – with average sold price of $1,054,830.

Home selling prices at Turtle Rock are still jumping even more – with 11 homes sold during the past 30 days (from April 28 to May 29, 2014) – and average home sold price of $1,441,527.

Some of the recent sales at Turtle Rock were homes with views and significant remodels, so prices were especially high.

Even though Turtle Rock Irvine home selling average prices are at an all-time high, this price average, we expect this to moderate somewhat for the remainder of 2014.

Turtle Rock Irvine now has 33 homes listed for sale (including detached single family homes and condominiums) – with average list price of $1,296,557.

Our Turtle Rock Irvine home selling prices and market update shows that we are still a sellers’ market with high home selling prices. However, buyers have more options and listings to consider than last year.

Coldwell Banker residential brokerage

By Harrison K. Long. This is information from CRMLS multiple listing service and is for homes for sale and sold by all agents and brokers.

We provide Professional REALTOR® agent representation and help for property owners, home sellers, private trust estate representatives, estate administrators, executors and heirs, probate and trust attorneys, estate planners, income tax professionals, public guardians, fiduciaries, investor group managers, bankers, and individuals, with listing and sale of properties at Orange County, CA. Contact us with your questions about home prices and values at Irvine, Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, and other Orange County CA cities and areas.

Turtle Rock Irvine CA Home Selling Prices at an All-Time High

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California Legislature Considers New Tax on Homeowners – SB 391

California Legislature Considers New Tax on Homeowners – SB 391

The CA state legislature has been considering a new tax that would be imposed on homeowners who need to record certain documents with their counties.

This $75 per document tax will be imposed on a variety of documents, which will include, for example, documents related to refinancing properties, taking properties in and out of trusts, making lot line adjustments, obtaining constructions loans and upon the death of a spouse.

This new tax would also apply to foreclosures (the owner would be responsible, not the lender) and filing mechanics liens.

Example: It is not untypical in a refinance, for six documents to be subject to the new tax, resulting in a tax total of $552. If a spouse dies, up to five documents need to be recorded, creating a total tax of $440 including existing recording fees.

SB 391 is in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

The CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® is opposing this bill.

Coldwell Banker residential brokerage

By Harrison K. Long. Source of information is the California Association of Realtors.

We offer Professional REALTOR® agent representation and help for property owners, home sellers, private trust estate representatives, estate administrators, executors and heirs, probate and trust attorneys, estate planners, income tax professionals, public guardians, fiduciaries, investor group managers, bankers, and individuals, with listing and sale of properties at Orange County, CA. Connect with us with your questions about home prices and values at Irvine, Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, and other Orange County CA cities and areas.

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Property Buyers in CA Should Be Advised About Implications of an Earthquake Zone Report

Property Buyers in CA Should Be Advised About Implications of an Earthquake Zone Report.

A California court of appeal has ruled that the real estate broker for buyers failed in their obligation to investigate, understand and communicate to buyers the implications of an earthquake zone report.   (Saffie v. Schmeling, filed March 7, 2014, Fourth District, Div. Two, 2014 S.O.S. E055716).

The court found that the buyer’s broker’s advice to client to “check [the report] out” is insufficient to avoid liability.

This case involved the sale of a vacant property in an earthquake zone.  The seller’s broker stated in the MLS “This parcel is in an earthquake study zone but has had a Fault Hazard Investigation completed and has been declared buildable by the investigating licensed geologist. Report available for serious buyers.”  All of which was true.  The problem, however, was that the report was from 1982 and in the interim were the Loma Prieta and Northridge earthquakes; much had changed in the building standards from then to the sale of the property in 2006.

After closing, the buyer found that he could not build. He sued his broker, the seller and the seller’s broker, alleging that omitting the date of the report was a misrepresentation. The trial court found the buyer’s broker liable for breaching the fiduciary duty to the buyer. The seller and the seller’s broker where held not liable.

Buyer appealed only as to the seller’s broker.  Following prior case law, the court found that, while a real estate broker owes their own client a fiduciary duty, they owe third parties who are not their clients only those duties imposed by regulatory statutes.  These duties include honesty, fairness and full disclosure as well as the Civil Code section 1088 responsibility for the truthfulness of statements in the MLS. The court found that the statement was in fact true. There was a report. The geologist did find the parcel buildable.  And the fact that the MLS did not state that the report was from 1982 was cured by the report’s availability, especially so when the report was dated May 20, 1982 on its face.  The court held that the seller’s broker had met the requirements of honesty, fairness, and full disclosure.

The buyer’s broker, however, did not fare so well. The buyer’s broker merely gave the buyer a copy of the report, telling the buyer to “check it out.”  The court states that the buyer’s alleged injury arises from the failure to investigate and understand the implication of the information that the report dated to 1982, a failure that the trial court found was the buyer’s broker’s responsibility, and not from the failure of the seller’s broker to provide information.  Certainly something beyond “check it out” was required of the buyer’s broker. (Saffie v. Schmeling, filed March 7, 2014, Fourth District, Div. Two, 2014 S.O.S. E055716)

 

Coldwell Banker residential brokerage

By Harrison K. Long.  Source of this information is the California Association of Realtors and is for information only – and is not the providing of legal or professional real estate services.  If you are a buyer of a home or residential property in California and have questions or do not understand an earthquake zone report for the property, you should consult with an experienced real estate attorney. 

Property Buyers in CA Should Be Advised About Implications of an Earthquake Zone Report.

Posted in California real estate, California real estate laws, home selling, Home selling guide, Real estate law | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Orange County CA Home Selling Moderating Towards Value and Price

Orange County CA Home Selling Moderating Towards Value and Price

BY –  Professional Real Estate Sales Representative and Realtor with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Irvine and Orange County, CA.

Orange County Great ParkOrange County CA home selling reached its zenith last year during March 2013 – when the number of homes for sale listings was close to an all-time low – at the same time when mortgage rates on 30-year fixed loans were near an an all-time low.

Qualified buyers wanted to avoid missed opportunity during that time and were especially aggressive to get homes under contract.

So during March and April 2013, many Orange County home sellers listed their homes for sale, received multiple offers, and got them in escrow with highest imaginable price in less than thirty days.

Orange County home selling market conditions have changed significantly since 2013 – with buyer demand moderating and taking more time on the market to get buyers and finish sales.

Orange County still has motivated home buyers who are more careful about value and pricing than last year.

Here are examples of Orange County cities with number of homes for sale, those now in  “pending” and under purchase contract, number of solds and average selling prices this year.

Irvine – is the top home selling market area at Orange County

  • 438 homes now listed for sale
  • average list price over $1.3 million
  • Irvine has 292 homes now pending under purchase contract.
  • Sold 255 homes so far this year first two months of 2014.
  • Average sold price at Irvine so far this year is $805,786.

Huntington Beach

  • 301 homes now listed for sale
  • average list price of $976,549
  • Huntington beach has 223 homes now pending under purchase contract.
  • Sold 205 homes so far this year first two months of 2014.
  • Average sold price so far this year of $912,147.

Newport Beach

  • 273 homes now listed for sale
  • average list price more than $3 million
  • Newport Beach has 93 homes now pending under purchase contract.
  • Sold 94 homes so far during first two months of 2014
  • average sold price so far this year of $1,648,000.

Costa Mesa

  • 120 homes listed for sale
  • average list price of $744,000
  • Costa Mesa has 107 homes now pending under purchase contract.
  • Sold 86 homes so far this year during first two months of 2014
  • average sold price so far this year of $647,284.

Orange County home buyers are looking for good prices and value more during these times.

With such great difference between average listing price in some cities and areas of Orange County, home sellers need to use comparative market value sold information more now as top criteria for pricing when listing homes for sale.

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By Harrison K. Long.  Source of some information is CRMLS and is for homes listed and sold by all brokers and agents.

Coldwell Banker residential brokerage

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Professional REALTOR® agent representation and help for property owners, home sellers, private trust estate representatives, estate administrators, executors and heirs, probate and trust attorneys, estate planners, income tax professionals, public guardians, fiduciaries, investor group managers, bankers, and individuals, with listing and sale of properties at Orange County, CA.  Connect with us at 949-854-7747 with your questions about home value and pricing at Irvine, Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, and other Orange County CA cities and areas.

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Posted in Corona del Mar CA, home selling, Home selling guide, home values, listing and selling homes, Live at Orange County, OC home value guide, OC property value guide | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment