Local Real Estate Questions Answered

My objective here is to give you food for thought and to open a public dialog about local real estate. This can only happen with your input and feedback.

Good Morning.

First a word of introduction.

I am John Skinner. I have lived and worked in the Pajaro Valley for the past 40 years. I have raised four children who have all attended Pajaro Valley Schools and graduated from Watsonville High School.

I currently work in real estate sakes as an agent for Keller Williams Realty. While the office is in Santa Cruz, I live and work in Watsonville.

Because real estate is a large part of our financial estate for most of us, news of the industry seems to be important to almost all of us. My problem is that the news reporting seems to be contradictory and confusing to the point that it is difficult for most of us to know just which way the market is trending. And the real estate industry's own state and national organizations tend to aggravate this trend by trying to put a positive spin on statistics.

I propose to author a blog devoted to real estate questions and issues at the local level. I invite you to submit questions of concern or interest to yourself. If I can't answer, I will consult with other professionals in the appropriate field to bring you an answer.

The most important issue I see currently facing many homeowners is the question of short sales. The government is working with the banks to try to alleviate this current supply of under water homes, but past government programs have not lived up to their promise. 

And one of the most significant moves made to date by government, the forgiveness of income tax on debt relief obtained during short sales, is set to expire at the end of this year. That means, that given the time required to complete a short sale, those who plan to participate in a short sale of their home this year, should be preparing to list that home within the next few months in order to abtain a buyer and close escrow by Dec. 31.

My objective here is to give you food for thought and to open a public dialog about local real estate. This can only happen with your input and feedback.  Please send me your questions and comments at jks@cruzio.com or leaving them in the comments here.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Jennifer Squires April 05, 2012 at 09:31 PM
What's the best way for families to transfer property among themselves? A regular sale or are there other ways to hand down homes, ranches, etc to relatives?
Trina Coffman-Gomez CRMS April 06, 2012 at 07:08 PM
the clue to your question is transfer, there is a document the county uses that defines the type of transfer made in order to determine if a reassessment of property taxes can be circumvented. In a sale, then the tax assessor can reevaluate the property taxes at the current market value. Keep in mind that the county will not assist you with completing this document because they will not take on any legal, liability. The best person to advise you would be an estate attorney. Trina Broker Integrity Lending
John Skinner April 07, 2012 at 10:25 PM
Jennifer asks what is the best way to transfer real estate between family members. If there is agreement on price and terms the parties need only prepare the necessary documents and take them to a title company for recording. In simpler, less litigious times, the title companies would prepare the documents at little or no charge, but in today's climate, it might be necessary and is definitely advisable to consult a real estate attorney for help with the contracts. There may be income tax considerations, estate tax considerations, and (as Trina mentions above) property tax considerations, so consultation with the family's attorney and tax professional should certainly precede the actual recording of the sale. John Skinner - Keller Williams Realty


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