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Nancy Celis' Real Estate Blog

Looking to Buy or Sell? Call me 626.893.6070

By NANCY CELIS | Agent in Whittier, CA

    Posted Under: General Area in Covina, Home Buying in Covina, Home Selling in Covina  |  September 19, 2013 6:58 AM  |  386 views  |  No comments


    Posted Under: General Area in West Covina, Home Buying in West Covina, Home Selling in West Covina  |  September 19, 2013 6:55 AM  |  382 views  |  No comments


    Posted Under: General Area in West Covina, Home Buying in West Covina, Home Selling in West Covina  |  September 19, 2013 6:53 AM  |  403 views  |  No comments

    FHFA has announced the extension of the HARP by two years to December 31, 2015.


    The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has announced the extension of the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) by two years to December 31, 2015. The program was set to expire December 31, 2013. We applaud this decision and will continue to fully support HARP for our eligible customers.

    At Bank of America, HARP has proven to be an important tool for enabling our customers, especially underwater homeowners, to achieve meaningful financial savings through interest rate reductions in a streamlined refinance transaction. Since 2009, Bank of America has been an important participant in HARP, providing interest rate reductions for more than 350,000 borrowers with loan-to-value ratios (LTVs) greater than 80 percent. This year we expect to fund more than 100,000 HARP loans.

    Posted Under: General Area in Covina, Home Buying in Covina, Home Selling in Covina  |  September 19, 2013 6:47 AM  |  381 views  |  No comments
    When You’re Ready To Buy or Sell Your Great Home

    A house can be well built, constructed to withstand time and the elements. It can demonstrate distinctive architecture, attractive landscaping, and unique accents, all of which are critical to its value. It can be bought, sold, rented, remodeled, and refurnished.

    It’s people who turn a house into a home.

    A home is a feeling, a sense of belonging, a place of deep roots. It’s a foundation upon which we build relationships, family, financial security, and an expression of ourselves.

    Home is both great memories and great expectations, because home is what we’re about.

    Selling or buying a home can be complex and a challenging experience. That’s why when the time comes for you to make this important transformation, you want a real estate professional that appreciates great homes, understands their true value, has intimate knowledge of neighborhoods, negotiates in your best interests, and cares about you first and foremost. 

    Where Dreams Begin!

    If you ever know of a friend, co-worker, relative or even a member of your social communities interested in buying or selling property, contact me today - 626.893.6070!

    Posted Under: General Area in Covina, Home Selling in Covina, Foreclosure in Covina  |  July 6, 2013 7:56 AM  |  455 views  |  No comments

    You've probably already considered your personal reasons for selling. Now you need to take into account the other factors involved, such as market conditions, your property's value and tax implications. Unless you're locked into selling your home (e.g., you've already accepted a job offer in another city), it's a good idea to look at the whole picture before deciding to sell.

    Assessing Market Conditions

    There's a rule of thumb to keep in mind when deciding to sell your home: Your home is only worth what a qualified buyer is willing to pay at the time it's on the market. The current real estate market fluctuates based on supply and demand, interest rates, general economic conditions, and other factors. The same house may sell for more or less under a different economy. Your REALTOR® can inform you of the going price for homes in your area at the current time; this data is included in a comparative market analysis (link to Appraisals and CMAs).

    Tax Implications of Selling

    There are many dynamics that can affect your tax liability upon selling your home. These issues include whether you purchased the home or inherited it, if you used your home for business or rental purposes, costs associated with selling your home, and any home improvements and additions that you've undertaken.

    The Federal Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 provides capital gains tax exclusions of up to $500,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly and $250,000 for single taxpayers or married taxpayers filing separately. Current capitol gains rates are 20 percent for those in upper tax brackets and 10 percent for those in lower tax brackets. Overall capital gains rates have been lowered even further -- to 18 percent and 8 percent respectively -- for assets acquired after December 31, 2000, and held five years or more.

    To qualify for this tax break, you must have used the home as your primary residence for at least two of the prior five years; these two years don't have to be consecutive. If you relocate for your job but don't meet the requirement, you may be allowed to take a capital gains exclusion proportionate to your circumstances. This exclusion is not a one-time benefit; you may take advantage of it once every two years as long as you meet the qualifications.

    The tax rules differ when you sell a home that you've inherited. If you sell the inherited home for a profit, you're required to pay federal and state taxes on the gain. If you keep the house as a second residence and/or eventually move into it after renting it to tenants, you may take the $250,000/$500,000 capital gains tax exclusion if you meet the requirements. When you're deciding what to do with inherited property, you should consider the current estate tax laws and basis practices.

    Beyond these general rules, it's wise to discuss your home's sale with a tax professional who can advise you on tax benefits in more detail.

    Timing Your Decision to Sell

    Because most sellers finance a new home purchase with the sale of their present home, they usually put their homes on the market before they begin their search for a new home. Learning the price you can expect from the sale often sets the pricing parameters for your new home search.

    Obviously, it's not wise to wait until the sale on your property closes completely before beginning to look for your new home. Timing your search properly with the buyers' transaction can make the difference between having the available funds to buy a new home and cutting down on the interim period between homes.

  • New Home Sales Climb as Prices Retreat

    Posted Under: General Area in San Dimas, Market Conditions in San Dimas, Home Buying in San Dimas  |  June 26, 2013 7:25 AM  |  453 views  |  No comments
    The price of a new single-family home dropped 3.2 percent in May, but sales increased 2.1 percent to 476,000, the highest level in almost five years, the Census Bureau and HUD reported Tuesday.

    Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected April sales to increase to 460,000 from April’s originally reported 454,000. April sales were revised to 466,000.

    The median price of a new home, according to the Census/HUDreport, dropped $8,700 to $263,900. April’s median price was revised up to $272,600—the highest price on record from the originally reported $271,600.

    The inventory of new homes for sale rose to 161,000 in May—the highest level since September 2011 from 157,000 in April. The months’ supply rose to 4.1 from 4.0 in April.

    The Census/HUD homes sales report showed a decided shift to lower priced homes: 13 percent of homes sold in May were priced at $150,000 or less compared with 7 percent in April, and 18 percent were priced at $400,000 or more in May, down from 22 percent in April.

    The average price of a new home tumbled $23,500 in May after skyrocketing $36,500 in April. The average price in May was 9.6 percent above May 2012.

    The median price in May, despite the month-over-month decline, was up 10.3 percent over May 2012. The median price has been up a staggering $44,100 in April, or 15.4 percent, to $330,800, the ninth time in the last 10 months the median price has shown a double-digit percentage annual gain.

    New home sales have increased for three straight months for the first time since July-September last year. May sales were up 29.0 percent over a year ago.

    The increase came in the same month in which the Housing Market Index, the monthly confidence survey conducted by the National Association of Home Builders, rose three points to 44, largely on the strength of an improved assessment of then-current sales prospects. The HMI jumped eight points in June to 52, the first positive—over 50—reading since April 2006. In June, builders’ assessment of “buyer traffic” improved to its highest index level since March 2006.

    The new home sales report tracks contracts for sale, not closings, and as such is comparable to the Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) compiled by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The NAR will release its May PHSI Thursday.

    The Census/HUD report for May also included data revisions back to February, which showed higher levels of sales in February and March in addition to April.

    In May, builders completed 546,000 single-family homes (seasonally adjusted annual rate), up from 524,000 in April. The gap between the pace of sales and completions was 70,000 in May, up from 58,000 in April, but down from the average of 124,000 in the previous 12 months, suggesting builders are likely to increase construction efforts to meet what may be an increase in demand.

    Regionally, sales improved month-over-month in May in three of the four Census regions, falling only in the South, where the sales rate dropped to 243,000 from 267,000 in April. In the Midwest, the sales rate was up 24,000 to 83,000; in the Northeast, up 6,000 to 35,000; and in the West, up 4,000 to 115,000.

  • Southern California home prices up 25% over last May

    Posted Under: General Area in San Dimas, Home Buying in San Dimas, Home Selling in San Dimas  |  June 25, 2013 11:57 AM  |  421 views  |  No comments

    Southern California’s housing recovery barreled forward last month, pushing prices and sales to levels not seen in years as buyers faced stiff competition during the spring home buying season.

    The median price reached $368,000 for all homes in the six-county Southland, which marked a 24.7% increase from the same month a year earlier and the highest price in five years. The number of sales, 23,034, hit the highest level for a May in seven years, real estate information provider DataQuick said Tuesday.

    Historically low inventory and mortgage rates have ignited bidding wars and helped turn the housing market into an economic bright spot — in the Southland and nationwide. Investors have also played a major role in the recovery that began last year, purchasing run-down, lower-cost properties to fix up and then rent out.

    Home prices in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Ventura counties all posted double-digit increases last month compared with May 2012. In Los Angeles, the median skyrocketed 30.2% to $410,000.

    “We’re deep into uncharted territory: Amazingly low mortgage rates, a razor-thin inventory of homes for sale, and the release of years’ worth of pent-up demand,” John Walsh, DataQuick president, said in a statement. “How this all plays out is educated guesswork at this point.”

    Southern California's housing recovery: An interactive map

    The swift price increases have raised bubble concerns among some, but many experts note prices remain far from the peak and say the spikes will likely ease as inventory increases from new home construction and as more owners — lured by higher prices — place their homes on the market.

    Still, May’s median price was 27.1% below a peak of $505,000 in 2007.

    The median sales price is the point at which half of homes sold for more and half sold for less; it is influenced by the types of homes selling as well as a general rise or fall in values. DataQuick said that most of May’s increase could be attributed to a general rise in value, while about a quarter came from a change in the types of properties sold.

    Homes priced $500,000 or more increased to 31.3% of all home sales, the highest percentage since February 2008. Meanwhile, homes selling for under $200,000 declined as investors flush with cash have already scooped up many of those properties.

    Sales declined in Ventura, Riverside and San Bernardino counties but increased in Orange, Los Angeles and San Diego counties.

    The sales of distressed properties also continued to fall. Homes that had been foreclosed upon within the last year comprised an estimated 10.8% of resold homes in May, a decline from 26.9% a year earlier.

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