Feb
15

Claiming the capital gains exemption when you sell your home?

Question: Claiming the capital gains exemption when you sell your home?
I sold a home in 2008 and claimed the house selling exemption for my capitol gains and at that time I was single. I got married last year. Before we got married my spouse sold her home and made a profit on it. We are now filing a joint return. Can we claim the capitol gains exemption since she was single at the time she sold the home?

Best answer:

That’s a really good question! You should look through the IRS publication below on this subject, and there is an example in there that I believe is on point. (Example 1 under “married persons”, about halfway down). Based on this I would say you can definitely use the exlusion (just the $ 250K) and you can do so filing seperately or jointly (not legal advice). Good luck on the return! http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=106951,00.html

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Feb
14

What is the best way to sell a house fast in order to purchase a new home?

Question: What is the best way to sell a house fast in order to purchase a new home?
Sell first house – Purchase a new house

Answer:

if you sell your home first you may need to find temporary housing until you close on the new home.  Most people try to coordinate the sale of their current home with the purchase of their new home. That may be easy or hard depending on where your home is located and obviously it’s appeal. 

Find a great Real Estate Agent (like me) that can help you identify what needs to be done to make your home marketable/desirable and price your home sell without giving it away.

Give your answer to this question below!

Feb
11

Staging Your Home to Sell for Top Dollar

Home Staging Tips for Top Dollar Sale of your Home by Susan Botticelli, Realtor, Broker and Home Staging Expert. Susan specializes in residential sales in the Rancho San Diego area of El Cajon, California. Visit www.RanchoSanDiegoLifestyle.com or call (619)441-8473.
Video Rating: 4 / 5

Stage your living to attract homebuyers. Living Room’s are often the first space that a homebuyer views when walking through the front door. First impressions are crucial when selling your home. Start with a blank canvas and start removing everything from the area. Position furniture in a way that shows off the living room’s potential. Maximize space by removing un-used furniture and decor. Add tasteful accessories and artwork that are neutral in color and design. Wow the buyer with your newly staged living room.

Feb
10

Before buying a foreclosure do I need a home inspection?

Question: home inspection?

We recently purchased a home that was foreclosed. We knew the previous owners and keep in contact with them on a regular basis. They told us everything that they had going wrong with the house or any problems they were having (really, not much). The home was winterized about 4 months ago. Our real estate agent said since the previous owners are telling us everything with the house, it wasn’t necessary for us to put up the $400 to get the home inspection. I would feel better, however, to at least have somebody come out to look at utilities and termites. Is this possible to do, or when I sign up for an inspection, do I have to get the whole shebang?

Answer:

I always recommend that my clients get a home inspection.  The old owners may not even know everything that might be wrong with the house. “Pay the money it’s worth it”

You can have a home inspection even if you already purchased the home. but you should have done one prior to your home purchase. 

Virtually very mortgage  lender will require a satisfactory termite inspection prior to generating a clear to close. Most likely you had a termite inspection.

What do you think? Answer below!

Feb
08

Q&A:Home Purchase?

Question: Home Purchase?
My husband and I were pre-approved for a mortgage. We found a house we liked and put in a contract on it. We had a foreclosure  back in 2008  and some lates on other accounts around the same time. Since then we have had good credit. We have established new trade lines that are over a year old with no late payments. Our credit scores are 606 and 614. We are going through underwriting and they are telling us that we aren’t being approved because of the foreclosure we had, nothing was said when we were being pre-approved for a loan. The loan officer told me that I need to write a letter explaining how and why we went to foreclosure. We lost our home due to an ARM rate that we couldn’t afford it. Can this help with our FHA loan approval?

Best answer:

The loan officer that did your pre-qualification letter obviously did not know FHA guidelines. That’s why now that the underwriter is taking a closer look, they obviously don’t like what they see. One year of payments on trade lines doesn’t negate a foreclosure and your scores are still really low.

FHA guidelines are 36 months since foreclosure. Credit score ABOVE 620!

If there are negatives on your credit since the foreclosure. FHA will want you to have COMPENSATING FACTORS in order to get an exception. These are:

1) Job stability
2) Year over year growth in income
3) Paid off/down credit accounts
4) Paid off collections (except medical)
5) Assets (reserves)
6) Low DTI Ratio (Debt to Income) / Good income over your payments

A letter stating you didn’t anticipate your previous ARM payment adjusting is just not good enough.  Legitimate reasons are usually medical, death in the family forced change in income. 

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Feb
08

Home Buying?

Question by Ricky: Home Buying?
So I’m new at this home buying stuff – what’s an “escrow account”?

Best answer:

If you choose to have escrow or your mortgage company requires it. It’s basically a savings account they put your money into to save for things like PMI (mortgage insurance if you borrow more than 80% of the value of the home most mortgage companies require it and it is really expensive so do all you can to avoid it like the plague) and taxes.

So usually they just tell you that your mortgage payment is $ 1200/month…probably $ 275 of that is escrow. They collect in advance to pay your property taxes…they are not allowed to collect more than 20% more worth of taxes than your estimated tax bill…they usually have a little extra in the account because taxes go up every year and they don’t want to get caught short.

The bad thing about escrow is that you are giving your mortgage company an interest free loan on your money. They are going to make money on your escrow payments.  My feeling is why shoud I let them make money on my money if I could do it myself. If I put the $ 275/month in a money market account I am earning 5% interest on that money…if I send it to the mortgage company they are making that 5%.

The good thing about escrow is that if you are really bad at saving you don’t have to worry about your taxes being paid. They are doing it for you. You just send your payments every month and they take care of the rest.

So you need to decide if you can save the money on your own (you don’t get a choice on escrow if they require PMI they will pay that for you, you can’t do it yourself).

Good Luck!

What do you think? Answer below!

Feb
07

When staging a home, do you leave the staging items in the home when it sells?

Question : When staging a home, do you leave the staging items in the home when it sells?
I’m getting ready to list my home for sale, and I’m thinking about staging it. Before I buy items for the house (like furniture, decorations, plants, candles, etc.), I wanted to know if these items usually stay with the home when it sells or will I be able to take them with me?   I have already de-cluttered everything, taking down all personal pictures, magnets, etc. I have painted everything neutral and cleaned it up inside and out.

Best answer:

Great question!

Only permanent fixtures are standardly expected to be included with the price of the house. Example: hanging lamps, curtain rods (attached to the walls), built-in furniture, etc. Home furnishings would typically be negotiable.

Give your answer to this question below!

Feb
05

home buying?

Question by v1ru5: home buying?
Hi, I am currently in a process of buying a house. I am wondering about the law of the home ownership. My question is, when buying a house, is it also includes the land on which the house stood on?

Thank you for answering my question

Best answer:

Answer by cozdiver
When you buy a house, your contract should say how many square feet you get. If your buying a condo you only get that condo, no property.

Give your answer to this question below!

Feb
05

HGTV Segment on Home Inspection

HGTV Segment on Home Inspection featuring ASHI Inspectors

Feb
04

Q&A: how should i start with the home buying process as a first time homeowner?

Question by jennifer: how should i start with the home buying process as a first time homeowner?
I am 31 years old, have ok credit, and make @ 33,0000 per year. I would now like to buy a home but don’t know how to start the home buying process. What should i do to start the home buying process? I am also afraid that i will be turned down,if so what would i do to get approved?

Best answer:

Answer by Steve
Step one is to find a good mortgage broker and get pre-approved for a mortgage. This will tell you first, whether you can get a mortgage and second, how much mortgage you can afford.

Assuming you can get approved, next, figure out how much you can realistically afford to pay and then go online and see what type of mortgage that will get you. Don’t forget you will also have taxes and insurance to pay, so factor them in (the calculators will only give you the payments on principal and interest).

Once you have been approved and know how much you want to pay, find a real estate agent and start looking for houses in your price range. Be prepared for the real estate agent to show you houses more expensive then your price range…be firm.

Finally, research the neighborhoods available to you and see if you want to live there.

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