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Housing Statistics Report for San Diego County and North San Diego County May 2013

I can’t speak for the rest of the country, but here in San Diego County we are experiencing low inventory, short market times and rising prices. Here is a snapshot of the April housing report along with two links to the full reports for both San Diego County as a whole and the North County area.

• The median price for all North County home sales – attached and detached – increased to $470,000 in April 2013 compared to $448,000 in March 2013.

• Detached homes in North County increased 1.9 percent in April 2013 to $535,000 compared to $525,000 in March 2013.

• Year-over median price in North San Diego County jumped 27.38 percent, compared to $420,000 reported in April 2012.

• April 2013 marked the highest price increase in North County since mid-2008.

• The countywide median SFD price increased 1.27 percent to $400,000 in April 2013 compared to $395,000 in March 2013.

• Year-over non-North County median price jumped 17.73 percent compared to $339,750 in April 2012.

• The number of North San Diego SFD listings (active and contingent) rose 0.76 percent in April 2013 compared to March 2013.

• The number of sold North San Diego County SFD units increased 9.03 percent in April 2013 compared to March 2013. Year-over sold SFD units increased 8.91 percent compared to April 2012.

• Median days-on-market for single-family detached homes sold in North County fell to 19 days in April 2013 compared to 26 days in March 2013.

• The HomeDex affordability percentage for all homes in North San Diego County decreased to 36 percent in April 2013, compared to 39 percent in March 2013.

May 2013 NORTH COUNTY HomeDex Report
May 2013 FULL COUNTY HomeDex Report

Information taken from HomeDex™ Copyright © 2012 by the North San Diego County Association of Realtors (NSDCAR). Used by permission.

Shifting Debt to Tax Deductible

shift debt.pngThe Mortgage Interest Deduction is available to homeowners for up to $1,000,000 of acquisition debt on the combination of their first and second home.  They can also deduct interest on up to an additional $100,000 of Home Equity debt.

While Acquisition Debt is used to buy, build or improve a principal residence, the Home Equity Debt can be used for any purpose.  It can be used for educational or medical expenses, to purchase a personal car or boat, consolidate debts or pay off credit cards.

A homeowner with $15,000 of credit card debt at 19% and sufficient equity in their home could replace it with a home equity loan at much lower interest rate. Not only would the interest rate on the home equity loan be about 1/3 of the rate paid on the credit card, it’s would now be tax deductible.

If the taxpayer was in the 28% bracket, the net interest on a 6.5% loan would be 4.68% after tax benefits are considered.

Shifting personal debt to Home Equity debt can result in an interest deduction and probably, a lower interest rate. For more information see IRS Publication 936 page 10 and consult your tax professional.

When to Sell the Temporary Rental

Temporary Rental2.pngSome homeowners, who were not able to sell during the recession, chose to rent their homes instead.  In some cases, they didn’t need to sell their home at the depressed prices and opted to rent it until the market recovered.

It’s a valid strategy but there are time restrictions that could have serious tax implications for some homeowners.

The section 121 exclusion for gain in a principal residence requires that the home is owned and used as a main home for at least two years during the five year period ending on the date of the sale.  This allows a homeowner to rent their home for up to three years and still have some part of the exclusion available.

The sale of a home with a $200,000 gain that qualifies as a principal residence would result in no tax being paid by the owner.  Comparably, a rental property with the same gain could have a $30,000 or higher tax liability depending on the length of ownership and tax brackets of the investor.

The housing market has dramatically improved in the last year.  If you have a gain in a home that has been your principal residence and it has been rented less than three years, you might want to consider selling it while you qualify for the exclusion.

If you are considering a sale on your principal residence that has been rented, consult with your tax professional for advice on your specific situation.  For additional information, see IRS Publication 523.

Boomerang Buyers

Waiting periods.pngIt’s estimated that 10% of the homes sold in 2013 will be to buyers who lost a home in the past five years.  Approximately 500,000 buyers who may have thought they wouldn’t own a home anytime in the near future will be homeowners again.

It’s estimated that several million of these previous homeowners will purchase again in the next eight years.  This kind of activity will contribute significantly to the housing recovery.

Some people thought that the housing crisis would cause a shift in values placed on owning a home but the boomerang buyers definitely don’t support that theory.  Having a home of your own, where you can raise your family, share with your friends and feel safe and secure is still part of the American Dream.

The rising rents, increasing prices and low, low mortgage rates are also influencing buyers into the market.  In many cases, it is cheaper to own that to rent.

All new buyers, including those who have experienced foreclosures or bankruptcies, must have good credit history and the ability to repay the loan.  It just may not take as long to reestablish the credit as some would-be buyers might have thought.

Read more about Bidding Wars This Spring, Spring’s Wild Card and Boomerang Buyers.

Refinancing Again

We’re constantly bombarded by lenders to refinance our mortgage under a variety of programs. The volume of offers can almost make you numb to the rational consideration.

There are common rules of thumbs that homeowners and agents use such as not refinancing more often than every two years or there must be at least 2% savings from your previous mortgage rate may not always be accurate.

The reality is that if you can refinance for a lower rate and you’ll be in the home long enough to recapture the cost of refinancing, it should be considered. The costs of previous refinancing that haven’t been recaptured by monthly savings may need to be added to the costs of the new refinance.

Take a look at the chart that shows the average rates according to Freddie Mac for 2012. They are lower today than they were in January of 2012 and for the ten years before that.

Refinancing may save you a substantial amount of money, especially if you’re going to be in your home for a long time. It is definitely worth investigating. To get a quick idea of what your savings could be, use this refinancing calculator.

Reimagining the Kitchen: Trends for 2013

Bell shaped range hood in contemporary home kitchen.
What looks like a hanging lamp is actually the Sorpresa Sphera range hood.
Today’s kitchen is a quick-change artist that adores families and loves simplicity.

If you’re looking to remodel your kitchen, we’ve got good news and bad news.

First, the good stuff. According to trend experts Lita Dirks and Dominick Tringali, you don’t have to shell out major cash to add space. Instead, look to expand what you already have. Read

Copyright 2013 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

Resolutions

New Year's Resolutions sticky postAfter spending the holidays with family and friends, this is a time of the year to start thinking about changes to make in our lives, both personal and in business. I wanted to share one of mine with you.

My goal is to become your REALTOR® for life. I want you to think of me first when you need to buy or sell and that you’ll recommend me to your friends too. That kind of trust has to be earned and I’m committed to helping you be a better homeowner even when you’re not buying or selling.

The strategy is simple. A well-informed homeowner will make better decisions. I’ll periodically offer information through articles and social media on a wide variety of home-related topics like maintenance tips, tax law changes, financing suggestions, insurance, equity building strategies, and rental property investments.

Please contact me if you need a recommendation on a service provider. My experience has built a list of reputable and reasonable contractors that you can rely upon. When you have any kind of home-related questions, I hope you’ll have the confidence to call me.

Happy New Year. I sincerely look forward to helping you or your friends.