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Home Buying in Larkspur : Real Estate Advice

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  • Home Buying6
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Activity 7
Thu Mar 12, 2015
Karen Peyton answered:
Not understanding how auctions work is a good way to become separated from your money. You would do well to align yourself with an agent knowledgeable about this facet of real estate, or minimally a title company. What "seems" a good deal, may not be, upon careful examination.

Best of luck!
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Wed Apr 30, 2014
Randall Ortiz answered:
You can contact me 916-529-3707. I can guide you in the right direction.
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Thu Mar 25, 2010
Anne Mosnier Kennedy answered:
Dear Paula,
There are many types of tax benefits depending on the property type, how is it used, how it is held (ownership type), how long it is held, if it is eventually sold for another investment property, other lossess you might have from other investments, etc., etc. Your tax advisor will be able to give specifics to your personal situation, but some of my favorite tax benefits are:
- indefinite postponement of capital gains taxes, even when you sell and buy another investment property
- writing off depreciation expense against your income (i.e., a non-cash loss against a cash gain)
- using IRA funds to purchase real estate so that your capital gains are forever tax-free
Note: all of these require carefully following IRS rules!
If you need a really good CPA who knows a ton about real estate, I have a great one in San Rafael who I can refer: Larry Smith, Smith CPAs, 415-458-5100,smith@smithcpas.com
Good luck, Paula - it's never to early or too late to start investing in real estate!
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Wed Mar 5, 2008
Liz Williamson Williamson answered:
Overall there are not that many foreclosures in Marin County. Right now, there are alot of what we call "short sales" A short sale is a home that the seller needs to sell and is on the market for less then what is owed. The lender must approve of the price of the offer. These take time as lenders are overwhelmed right now. These homes are on the Multiple Listing Service with a realtor.
It is very rare that in Marin a foreclosed home is going to be a great deal. Alot lender s will still look at what the market value is for a home and price it accordingly. If a lender is just looking to just retrieve what is owed and the home ends up at the courthouse, there are proffessional investors with cash who do this for a living you will be competing with, the prices usually go way up from the orginal price. You also must have at least 20% to put down as well as a pre-approved loan before you show up to court. When a home is up for auction at a courthouse, a Real Estate Agent is not allowed to assist you. You must buy the house sight unseen "as is" with no investigations. If you are still interested in foreclosures I would google foreclosures in Marin County, there are websites that you can buy that will list of foreclosed homes with the lender's name and phone number. My advise is seek a good mortgage broker first to find out what you can afford. Prices in San Rafael and Novato have dropped recently and you may be able to afford a home now without having to deal with foreclosures.
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Mon Apr 23, 2007
Judy Smith answered:
A good agent will show you a FSBO if it is the kind of property you are searching. As direct sellers are less knowledgable of the selling process and all that is required, a buyers agent would be very helpful to all parties. Foreclosures in Larkspur are fewer and will generally be listed as a regular sale. ... more
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Mon Apr 23, 2007
Eduardo Gutekunst answered:
That seems like an easy one. Your accountant and mortgage broker will be able to answer that question for you. But I can say that because of the historical rise in prices over the last forty years in Marin County, that you might have greater flexibility in terms than in most parts of the country. But remember, even if you can afford it, you have to be comfortable with the mortgage, you have to be able to sleep at night. ... more
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Mon Apr 23, 2007
Eduardo Gutekunst answered:
Even with prices falling in other parts of the country, prices in Larkspur and Marin County are edging up. As for offering an amount, a good look at comparables of recent SOLDS and ACTIVES will tell you if the home is priced aggressively. A call to the listing agent will also tell you if any other offers are coming in. Finally, the number of Days on Market will tell you if the seller might be willing to accept a lower price. As for type of home, the market in condos is a little soft and more likely to work with a lower offer. ... more
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