When seeking to purchase a residential property, most will engage a licensed Real Estate agent.
An initial crucial decision will be the listing (sale) price.
The agent owes the seller a fiduciary duty to act in the seller’s best interest.
The agent receives a commission as long as the agent successfully finds a prospective buyer that meets the listing price.
Generally, if there is a willing buyer for the listing price, the seller is obligated to pay the commission, irrespective of the seller’s decision to later terminate the agent or the deal, or if the seller hires a new agent.
In this context, one most beware of the possibility that the agent may set the listing price too low, ensuring the commission and an expedited sale.
The agent fears a high listing price without a buyer and no commission.
While it is prudent to set a realistic price, the agent still owes a fiduciary duty to obtain the best possible deal, this usually means the best possible market price.
So don’t be too quick to agree to the agent’s recommended listing price.
Re-financing Real Property has increased lately due to low interest rates.
Sometimes a borrower will need to add a third party in order to qualify for the loan.
This could be parent or other third party (e.g. brother, uncle, or in-law).
If the co-signor is not an exempt spouse or child, the borrower risks a partial property tax increase.
It is well advised to consult an attorney to confirm whether the situation possess a risk of tax re-assessment.
Under the right circumstances, the attorney can help the borrower avoid any tax increase, even if the co-signor is a non-exempt individual, such as a parent or grand parent.
For more information, please contact the Law Offices of Hanlen J. Chang.
One of the main purposes of setting up a Trust is self-sufficiency, meaning I and my loved ones are able to handle our own affairs, and do not need to rely upon a government organization or agency.
The way we do this is by putting it in “writing”, in a legal and regulatory manner, that will be accepted by the financial and governmental organizations.
With the present Covid-19 virus, it is more clear than ever that our government is overwhelmed and lacks the resources to take care of all those who need it. Courts are shut down or have significantly delayed and reduced services.
Thus the “Planning” in Estate Planning is the most important aspect. Preparing in advance for a probable and certain event is a no-brainer. We will all die. Real life experience tells us that more “goes wrong” than right, and that hoping for wining the lottery ticket is a fool’s errand.
If you have time and capability now, why wait for the stressful and frustrating emergency to materialize, requiring an “immediate resolution”, only to find that you must rely on the governmental system and “get in line” of a large backlog of others.
When you set up a Trust you designate a successor Trustee who will wind down your affairs upon death. It is advisable to transfer or relate as many assets (e.g. real estate, financial accounts, life insurance) to the Trust allowing for a complete bypass of the Probate Court process.
Pursuant to the new SECURE act recently passed by the senate and signed into law by the president, any IRA, whether Traditional or Roth, must be depleted within 10 years from the original owners date of date.
This is a simplification and limitation from the prior rules which allowed tax-deferred withdrawals depending on the age of the of the beneficiary pursuant to an IRS life expectancy table.
The new 10 year limit would apply to anyone except an exempted group, such as a surviving spouse.
For more details you can visit Investopedia on Stretch IRAs.
AB 1482, California’s statewide rent control (limiting annual rent increases and imposing just cause eviction restrictions) has several property owner category exemptions, for most of pertinent are:
1. Single-family owner-occupied residences, including a residence in which the owner-occupant rents or leases no more than two units or bedrooms, including, but not limited to, an accessory dwelling unit or a junior accessory dwelling unit.
2. A duplex in which the owner occupied one of the units as the owner’s principal place of residence at the beginning of the tenancy, so long as the owner continues in occupancy.
3) Housing that has been issued a certificate of occupancy within the previous 15 years.
4. Residential real property that is alienable separate from the title to any other dwelling unit, provided that both of the following apply:
owner is not any of the following:
real estate investment trust, as defined in Section 856 of the Internal Revenue
limited liability company in which at least one member is a corporation.
The most common exemption are residential homes and condominiums under category 4 (assuming the property does not otherwise qualify for municipal and city specific rent control.)
One type of real property that may not be exempt are “quasi-condo” structures under tenancy in common arrangements.
LLCs are also exempt, as long as no corporation has a membership interest.