Senior in a 5 bed 3ba SFR and want to downsize, but can't afford the new property taxes.

Asked by Ak, Chino Hills, CA Sun Mar 16, 2008

I am about to turn 55 and live in Chino Hills, CA. and own a 5 bed 3 ba house in Chino Hills, CA. and would like to downsize. I have always planned on retiring in Newport Beach / Costa Mesa or similar area. Currently my house is most likely worth around $650K after a high of $800K. I can afford a smaller house in that price range if I sell this one which should not be a problem, however I can’t afford the property taxes of a $650K house. Right now I pay about $5K a year in property taxes, a simple sell and repurchase would almost triple that to $12K. Every one is focused on mortgage problems, I don’t have that problem. I along with many other seniors would sell and move if the property taxes were reasonable. Any idea on how I can move and keep my property taxes in the same general range? Even deeding the home to the state after we die to take their cut or similar ideas as I won’t have heirs would be fine.

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Web reference:


Harrison K.…, Agent, Irvine, CA
Wed Nov 12, 2008
AK ... We also recommend that you consider Proposition 60 and check out the link:
Orange County Assessor (California)
or see that link at
where you can see text of the law and ask questions about getting your property tax basis transfered.

Harrison K. Long, Realtor and broker, Coldwell Banker Previews
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Harrison K.…, Agent, Irvine, CA
Wed Nov 12, 2008
AK .. thanks for your good questions about down sizing when you turn 55.

I recommend that you consider using benefits of California Proposition 60, and here is the link:
This will allow you to shift your current property tax basis to the new home as long as you are careful, meet the guidelines, and use a good Realtor agent.

Please check that out and call us if you have questions. Also use our best web site for home and property searching at:

Harrison K. Long, Realtor and broker, Coldwell Banker Previews
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Christine Do…, Agent, Costa Mesa, CA
Mon May 26, 2008

Given your age, as others have mentioned you may continue to benefit from the low tax rates you have under Prop 13 by utilizing Prop 60 & Prop 90. Be sure that you are familiar with the necessary timeline to file the proper paperwork so that you keep your old tax rate. Also, be sure you follow the guidelines for purchase and sale amounts so you don't exclude yourself from the benefits.

If you would like to gather information on homes in Newport Beach and Costa Mesa, I would be more than happy to e-mail you listings or you can go to to do your own search.
Web Reference:
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Jacqueline W…, Agent, Irvine, CA
Mon May 26, 2008
Proposition 90 is definitely the way to go...looks like you have been given all the resources you need in the responses below. I encourage you to check out all the beach cities since each one offers a different value for your $$. You may also want to review each city on to get a better idea of each community and its demographics. Let me know if you need further assistance.
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Luke Hagenba…, Agent, NEWPORT BEACH, CA
Thu Mar 27, 2008
The layman's explanation of what Pro 60/90 are, can be found all over the internet with a simple Google search. That said, you live in Riverside County and are looking to relocation to Orange County, so only Prop 90 would apply to you. Prop 90 allows you to take your Prop 13 tax status with you to your new location, assuming the County you are moving to participates. Currently 7 counties participate in Prop 90 (see the article found at the link below). Orange County is one them, so you will be able to accomplish your goal. Isn't that great news?

My office is in Newport Beach and I would be happy to show you properties within your budget. Regardless, let me say congrats on being able achieve your goal of retiring to Newport Beach. You should be proud of yourself.
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Sandra Carli…, Agent, Newport Beach, CA
Mon Mar 17, 2008
Sylvia, Ute & Patti are correct about Prop 60/90. If you click on the Web Reference below you will see a one page synopsis of Prop 60/90 as well as the phone number to verify that the county is still participating.

Let me know if you need anything further. Newport/Costa Mesa is my area of specialization and I have an Associate you can speak with in Chino Hills. (You can find more seller resources on this site.)
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Sylvia Barry,…, Agent, Marin, CA
Sun Mar 16, 2008
Hello Ak:

Ah, the good and bad of Prop. 13 - We enjoyed the benefits of Prop 13 in keeping property tax low after we purchase a house, but when we want to move up or even down, we might face a big jump in property tax. This prohibits a lot of homeowners from moving.

This is particular difficult for seniors such as yourself who want to downsize but can not, because most of the houses they look at are much more expensive than the assessed value of their current home.
Since a lot of my senior clients have the same question, I have a webpage talk about the relief – Prop 60 and Prop 90. They are essentially the same, allowing seniors to move to a equal or less value residence but enjoy the same low tax basis as their current home. Prop 60 is for moving within the same county, prop 90 for moving to one of the 7 counties in CA.

One of the little detail is how you can go up 5% more if you purchase within one year of selling your home and up 10% within two years of selling your current home.

Please do consult your tax accountant for details and most current tax laws.

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Patti Philli…, , Carlsbad, CA
Sun Mar 16, 2008
Yes, It is very simple. You want to qualify for Prop 60/90. San Diego County is one of the rare counties which will allow residents from any other county in the state to relocate here and to bring your tax base with you. Some counties allow residents from one or two other counties, but are very restrictive. As long as the home you buy costs less than the home you sold, you will qualify (more or less) You will be able to get quite a nice home here in many areas at 650K or under.

The 60/90 prop is a one time tax relief, but will be helpful to you to solve your problem.

If you want more details, please let me know- I'd be happy to answer them. I was going to give you the link to that portion of the Tax Assessors Website, but it seems to be down right now!

I hold the Seniors Real Estate designation, and would love to help you if you have any interest in our county.


Patti Phillips
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Ute Ferdig, Agent, Auburn, CA
Sun Mar 16, 2008
Hello Ak. I understand your dilemma as I have heard many "seniors" complain about the same thing. There are some counties in CA that will let you transfer your tax basis from one county to another, but most counties will not let you do that. Some counties will let you transfer your tax basis if you buy within the same county. You should check with your county to see what their rule is and get a list of the counties that let you transfer your tax basis in from another county. I have included a link to an article that I found on the topic. I don't know how old the article is, but it provides you with further information on the topic. I hope this helps.
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