In July, the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell below 3% for the first time in history. While many Americans have rushed to take advantage of declining mortgage rates, others question the hype. Are today’s rates truly a bargain?
Many clients ask me about the sale of their home capital gains taxes they may owe. Capital gains are the difference between how much you pay for a capital asset how much you sell it for. These gains can have important tax considerations when you sell your home. Home sale capital gains tax rates vary depending on how long you have owned your home, and whether or not it is a primary residence. While this article is not advice on how you file your taxes, it is intended to help you understand how home sale income is treated from a tax perspective.
Traditionally, spring is one of the busiest times of the year for real estate. However, the coronavirus outbreak – and subsequent stay-at-home orders – has led many people to reconsider whether to buy or sell real estate right now. In April, new listings fell nearly 45%, and sales volume fell 15% compared to last year.
Fortunately, as restrictions have eased, we’ve seen an uptick in market activity. Economists expect a rebound in July, August, and September, as fears about the pandemic subside, and buyers return to the market with pent-up demand from a lost spring season.
Purchasing in a housing market with limited inventory and many competing buyers can be daunting and discouraging. This environment is known as a seller’s market where the seller has pricing power due to a large amount of demand from prospective buyers. Even as the real estate industry undergoes a shift to more virtual practices due to the global pandemic, in markets like the Bay Area, sellers continue to retain the ability to command high prices for their properties.
It is difficult to think of a single segment of the economy that has not been dramatically improved by technology. I have spent my real estate career, and work in law prior to that, developing a tech stack to help me organize and optimize. For needs large and small, there is a tool to help you accomplish it and improve communication expectations.
I’ve been investing heavily in marketing over the past few years and I wanted to take a moment to talk about how to demystify social media. I was hesitant to even start a blog a few years ago. My husband who is a technology marketer, encouraged me to start publishing my insights on the real estate industry and I’ve since extended my outreach on LinkedIn, Facebook, and particularly, Instagram.
My goal for social media is to give my friends, family, and clients a curated view into my life. I acknowledge that it’s a limited set of highlights, but I’ve recently been getting a lot of positive feedback on my content. I am often asked how I approach my social output, how much time I spend, and if it comes to me as easily as it looks.
Optimize the timing
One of the first things a prospective buyer should do is find an experienced and responsive mortgage lender before making a purchase. In many cases, this could be six months to a year prior to when you want to buy a home. People often delay reaching out to a lender until they have saved a sizable down payment and are ready to put an offer in on a property.
Since the warnings about the coronavirus, a virulent virus rapidly spreading across the globe emerged, the real estate industry has been tasked with finding a way to prioritize public health while continuing to help clients buy and sell properties. Ten days ago Alameda County deemed real estate agents as essential workers under the shelter in place order. There has been significant effort at the local and National level to interpret the restrictions agents, buyers, and sellers must adhere to. The rules of engagement have been changing on a nearly daily basis but as of now, this is what we understand:
We are living in challenging times. Our daily routines are being disrupted and many people fear for their health, safety, and financial future. This is an understandable response to a global pandemic that we still don’t completely understand.
Yet despite this uncertainty, the virus will eventually run its course and our lives will return to normal. That may be weeks or months from now, but there is little doubt that years from now most of us will look back on this time and recognize the fear of this moment for just that.