REMINDER – APRIL IS ALL ABOUT PROPERTY TAXES!
April 12 (Monday) – California’s 2nd half property taxes due!
Remind your Buyers who purchased at the end of 2020 to pay!
Income tax filings due date however, has been extended from April 15 to May 17, 2021 this year, according to this news release from the IRS. We will take it!
EVICTION MORATORIUM FRUSTRATIONS: With all the problems and issues that have befallen us through the course of this pandemic, there is one that has not received as much traction yet.
We all know that government moratoriums, state and federal, are trying to limit tenant evictions so that there is at least a roof over the tenants’ heads as they struggle with no jobs, no income, no food. However, there is the other side of the coin – the matter of a landlord’s economic woes exacerbated by these moratoriums.
I came across the following story that hits close to home because this is something that could happen to any of our Buyer clients. The story, in summary, is that a Buyer purchased a home but the Seller would not move out. This happened right as the Stay At Home Orders started. Due to State eviction moratoriums, authorities could not force these Sellers to leave. The escrow closed in January of 2020 and as of the end of March, 2021, over a year later, the Buyers were still unable to take possession. Is this not a frustrating and enraging scenario? The down payment was handed over, the Seller got his net proceeds, the Buyer’s mortgage payments started and they still could not move in. Adding oil to the fire, it seems the Seller is not doing anything to upkeep the property as he continues to squat there for the year. How can this happen? What is the cautionary lesson here? It behooves the real estate professionals to protect your Buyer clients from falling for this type of unscrupulous advantage. Possession of the property after closing has to be handled in advance and well thought out to prevent scenarios like this.
THE DESPERATE RUN ON REAL ESTATE INVENTORY. Unless you have been simulating an ostrich with head in sand, you should know that there is a huge lack of property inventory on the sale market. Stay Home Orders were eased just a month or so ago and now everyone is desperate to buy, especially before the mortgage rates, which are rising, gets much higher. I thought perhaps only the mid level ($700,000) price market was affected, but it seems all levels have hit the same desperation. I handled a property that sold for over $2.2 million and, according to the real estate professional, there were 13 offers the moment it went on the market. The final offer chosen was not the highest, nor the one over the listing price. The Seller chose the all cash offer which had a 15 day escrow. And from what I understand, this Buyer purchased basically for land and location value. “The improvements needed improvements”, he said. I cannot disclose the address, but I took a look on Google Maps and I said, “Really?” And choked.
Just as a means of comparison with the above, at this link is a property being sold in Texas, listed for about $1 million less than the one I handled and in full move in condition. Go figure. Of course, this is Texas where problems with underlying infrastructure did not give it a good rep. However as reported in previous months’ blogs, a lot of Californians are migrating there as some major companies are relocating. Here is some financial planning: Sell in California (or New York) for $2 million, buy in Texas for $1 million and live like a king with the rest of the $1 million. After all, if you can work from home, what does it matter where you live? Yesssss!
THE RISE OF MANUFACTURED HOMES…. Don’t let those Manufactured Homes (aka Mobilehomes) fool you. They have all the luxury and amenities of a traditional home. During this day and age, there is no longer any stigma of living in or owning a manufactured home. If you can’t snag a traditional brick and mortar or can’t afford one anytime soon, here is your option, especially as Lenders are also making these types of mortgages available. A recommendation to real estate professionals – gather information and educate yourself so that you can put these types of transactions together. Set yourself apart from the crowded field of agents who only handle real property. There is a huge market out there for you to tap into. Here is an article to give consumers an idea of options.
COMPARE REFINANCE COSTS across the nation to figure which state is more affordable to live in. Closing Corporation, which is in the business of gathering data from settlement, title and loan agents on such costs, has put together their report, accessible at this pdf link.
I do want to emphasize that closing costs for a purchase would be much higher than for a refinance. The simple reason is that escrow fees are a reflection of the liability cost which the provider must sustain. The higher the purchase/sale price, the higher the liability cost and the higher the premiums paid to our E&O and government regulators. The “escrow fee” is not a gauge of the “service” that is rendered; it is a gauge of the cost for “liability to be carried”. A similar example would be the purchase of an insurance premium. The higher the insurance coverage, the higher the premium cost.
A PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT from the Los Angeles County Tax Collector (LACTC):
Payment activity notices are being sent to new property owners as a courtesy to advise them that first half property taxes were due in December and second half taxes are due in April. A copy of the original tax bill could also be included. The notice is not a demand to pay if already paid, but a notification if they have not. As a first time public service announcement from the LACTC it has caught many of our clients by surprise. See the announcement at this link on their site: https://ttc.lacounty.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/2020-21-Secured-Property-Taxes-Payment-Activity-Notice.pdf.
MY CUTIE OF THE MONTH is a cute but inspiring story of how one set of parents are building the confidence level of their child, one ski at a time. I love it!
My quotation for this month is from the “The Notorious RBG” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg. A reminder to me and all of us, during this time of our lives:
“So often in life, things that you regard as an impediment turn out to be great, good fortune.”
My YouTube offering for the month:
Escrow Tip #4 – The Catch to Disbursing Net Proceeds
You Have Questions? We Have Answers!
Juliana Tu, CSEO, CEO, CBSS, CEI, SASIP
“Escrow is my FOREMOST language!”
The opinions expressed in this blog are solely the author’s.
Your comments and viewpoints are always welcome.
Info @ VivaEscrow.com