Lower Interest Rates Helping First Time Buyers in 2019

Economic gurus got one part of the mortgage forecast for 2019 correct. We’re certainly seeing a volatile year for rates.

What they didn’t see coming: Mortgage rates tumbled in March, the biggest one-week fall in a decade.

Now—instead of seeing mortgage rates edge closer to 5.25 percent, as some had predicted we’d see in 2019—we’re looking at an average 30-year rate near 4 percent.

The rate drop comes just in time for the spring home-buying season and will make monthly payments less expensive.

“This drop in rates is going to give the housing market a boost. It could help to make people come back into the market and consider buying a home.”


Bill Banfield, executive vice president of Capital Markets for Quicken Loans.

Mortgage rates have fallen by a full percentage point since late 2018. Going back four months or so, most forecasts weren’t expecting mortgage rates to drop as low as 4 percent for borrowers, Banfield says.

“This is a surprise to a lot of people,” Banfield says.

The average 30-year rate was 4.1 percent as of late March, the lowest rate since Jan. 2018, according to Bankrate.com data. But rates started to rebound a bit upward in early April. The average 30-year rate went back to 4.29 percent as of April 3, according to Bankrate.com.

By contrast, the average mortgage rate was 5.1 percent as recently as mid-November, which was a seven-year high, according to Bankrate.com. The average was hovering around 4.75 percent as 2018 drew to a close.

We’re talking about some real money here for homebuyers. Take a $200,000 mortgage. The mortgage payment for principal and interest would drop by about $120 a month if your rate is 4.1 percent instead of 5.1 percent on a 30-year mortgage, according to Greg McBride, chief financial analyst for Bankrate.com.

For the mortgage alone, the payment would be about $966 month at the 4.1 percent rate. It’s sort of like getting more than one month free each year.

For a homebuyer who was priced out of the market last spring, the lower rates could help get them back in the game.

Being able to lock in a 30-year fixed rate near, or even below, 4 percent helps put some “wind in the sails of homebuyers from an affordability standpoint,” McBride says.

The 30-year fixed rate mortgage remains the dominant loan for middle-class borrowers, particularly first-time homebuyers.

“This is a very attractive rate, which will lift the key spring home selling season.”


Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics.

How attractive? Well, it’s just a notch above the record low of 3.5 percent in late 2012. And if you go back 30 years, homebuyers were looking at an average 30-year rate of 11.13 percent in early April 1989, according to Bankrate.com’s data.

To be sure, many younger consumers cannot afford some of the homes on the market now, as prices keep going up in some markets. For-sale signs aren’t flooding the landscape, so the lack of available homes remains a problem. In some cases, too many buyers continue to be chasing too few sellers.

Lower interest rates would make payments more affordable and offset some high prices. But the drop in mortgage rates won’t solve all problems.

“It is not going to take a first-time buyer from a small home to a big home, but it does definitely have a small effect on purchasing power.”


Tim Gilson, associate broker for Keller Williams Domain and the Gilson Home Group in Birmingham, Mich.

But given the competitive nature for some well-priced homes, Gilson says younger buyers may still want to consider the benefits of having a good down payment.

“Cash on hand is the element that will put a buyer in a better position,” he says.

Here are some points to consider if you’re shopping for a mortgage.

Research First-Time Buyer Programs

“Virtually all banks (and some non-banks) have some form of first-time homebuyer programs.”


Keith Gumbinger, vice president for HSH.com.

You might be able to get some sort of subsidy on a down payment, perhaps a reduction on closing costs. Or maybe some lenders offer a mortgage to first-homebuyers through a relaxed credit score or some more wiggle room relating to how much debt you’re carrying relative to your income.

Quicken Loans, for example, notes that you may be able to qualify with a median FICO score of 580 or higher for a Federal Housing Administration loan to get a home or to refinance an existing loan.

Gumbinger says an FHA loan is a favorite of first-time homebuyers, as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development does not use risk-based pricing. In some cases, first-time buyers can find programs that offer a mortgage with down payments for 3 percent or 3.5 percent of the purchase price.

“Some of these changes reflect the reality that first-time homebuyers find it challenging to find an attractively-priced home. A smaller down payment can mean a larger mortgage and higher monthly payments. Many of these programs look to soften that impact,” Gumbinger says.

Flagstar Bank, one of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders, rolled out its Destination Home product in March, which offers the option for a zero-down, 30-year fixed mortgage to consumers who have credit scores of 600 or higher and meet other criteria. There’s no private mortgage insurance involved.

To qualify, the borrower or the property must meet some low to moderate income guidelines. The mortgage can be made for a home in a low- to moderate-income census tract in markets where Flagstar has bank branches. Or a low- to moderate-income borrower can purchase in any tract, as long as it’s a county where Flagstar has a banking presence. The maximum loan amount varies by state. The rate on the Destination Home product will vary based on the market. Recently, the annual percentage rate was 4.756 percent.

“We’re seeing a robust start to the spring with this product,” says Beverly Meek, first vice president and Community Reinvestment Act director for Flagstar.

Flagstar also has a gift program that offers up to $2,500 in certain markets. That gift program can help a buyer overcome the hurdle of a down payment or closing costs, depending on the loan product and other factors.

Consumers need to understand that many different homebuyer programs exist and will vary by bank and non-bank, as well as by state, Gumbinger notes. HSH.com lists a variety of state-backed homebuyer programs.

It makes sense to shop around and talk to different lenders about the mortgage options that might be available to you. Look into options for locking in a low rate, too, in case interest rates shoot up unexpectedly.

A variety of options exist. Quicken Loans has a RateShield product where someone can lock their rate for up to 90 days. If rates dip by the time they commit to a home, the shopper would get that new lower rate. Unlike some other rate locks, Quicken says a purchase agreement is not needed to lock a rate with RateShield, so consumers can shop with more certainty.

Expect a Few More Hurdles

The Federal Housing Administration is toughening up its standards for mortgages made to homebuyers with small down payments, low credit scores and high levels of debt. More than 28 percent of mortgage approvals made in the first quarter of 2019 had a credit score of less than 640.

Lenders expect that there will be some tightening of credit, particularly for buyers at the margin who may be taking on riskier loans. Nearly 83 percent of FHA home-purchase loans made in January went to first-time homebuyers, according to FHA. Just under 40 percent went to minorities.

The tighter standards would impact those who have the weakest financial profiles—FICO scores under 640 with debt-to-income ratios above 50 percent.

Gumbinger notes that loans with the lowest credit scores tend to default at a much higher rate. He says lenders are afraid that if they issue too many loans that later fail, HUD will no longer allow them to write FHA-backed mortgages.

“The FHA change does mean greater scrutiny,” he says, noting that higher-risk applications would go through a manual underwriting process.

“It’s fair to say that some buyers won’t be able to get a loan until their financial profile improves a bit,” he says.

To be fair, a low credit score and high levels of debt going in significantly increases the risk of a loan failure. Consumers don’t want to end up dealing with the “emotionally difficult loss-of-home foreclosure process,” either, he says.

“Better to wait and try again at a later time to help improve the odds of success,” Gumbinger says.

The financial crisis—and housing market crash in 2008—led to greater disclosures for consumers and more scrutiny.

“While there are a number of low-down payment, and even some no-down payment, loan options in the marketplace,” McBride says, “do not confuse this with the wild, wild West days of 2004-2006 when exotic and creative mortgage products got mainstream homebuyers into trouble.”

Step Back and Do More Research

If your budget is tight or your credit isn’t great, it may be best to start out talking with a HUD-approved housing counselor. See www.hud.gov.

Beth Martinez, who works on financial and homeownership education for the Michigan State University Extension in Detroit, says a HUD housing counselor can help a consumer improve a credit score over time by identifying trouble spots. There may be ways to spot errors and figure out ways to reduce or eliminate outstanding debt.

“It can take from a few months to two years to improve a credit score,” she says.

But it could help many entry-level buyers and others get a mortgage.

“Improving a credit score improves the chances of being approved for a mortgage loan and can lower the interest rate that the consumer qualifies for,” Martinez says.

©2019 Detroit Free Press
Visit Detroit Free Press at www.freep.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

Student Loan Debt: Ongoing Hurdle to Homeownership

The U.S. currently has a student debt load of over $1.4 trillion, which accounts for 10 percent of all outstanding debt and 35 percent of non-housing debt. The magnitude of the debt continues to grow in size and share of the overall debt in the economy. While this amount of debt has risen, the homeownership rate has fallen, and fallen more steeply among younger generations. To evaluate those trends, SALT® and the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) teamed up to conduct a survey of student loan borrowers who are currently in repayment in a new report entitled “Student Loan Debt and Housing Report: When Debt Holds You Back.” Notably, the median student loan debt amount is $41,200.

NAR_2017_Loan

Among non-homeowners, 83 percent cite student loan debt as the factor delaying them from buying a home. This is most frequently the case due to the fact that the borrowers cannot save for a down payment because of their student debt. Seventy-four percent of those who are delayed don’t feel financially secure enough, and 52 percent can’t qualify for a mortgage due to debt-to-income ratios.

NAR_2017_Debt

Among homeowners, 28 percent say student debt has impacted their ability to sell an existing home and move to a different home. These homeowners face a variety of problems: 21 percent believe it is too expensive to move and upgrade to a new home; 4 percent have problems with their credit caused by student loan debt; and 3 percent are underwater on their home.

The delay in buying a home among homeowners is three years. For non-homeowners, that number rises to seven years. Thirty-two percent of non-homeowners expect to be delayed more than eight years. Those with higher amounts of student loan debt and those with lower incomes expect to be delayed longer from purchasing a home than those with higher incomes and lower amounts of debt.

Forty-two percent were delayed moving out of their family member’s home after college, regardless of whether they were buying a home. This delay has a financial impact on both parents and the student loan borrower. Twenty percent were delayed by at least two years in moving out of a family member’s home after college due to their student loans. While 20 percent are currently homeowners, 30 percent live with friends or family, and half (15 percent) do not pay rent. Twenty-eight percent rent with roommates and 16 percent rent solo.

NAR_2017_Student

Among survey respondents, most are employed. Eighty-four percent are employed full-time, 6 percent are employed part-time and seeking full-time employment, and 3 percent are not employed. Seventy-nine percent received their loans from a four-year college, 19 percent from a two-year college, 29 percent from graduate/post-graduate school, and 7 percent from a technical college.

According to NAR’s Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, among recent homebuyers, 27 percent have student loan debt and the typical amount is $25,000. The share of those with student loan debt rises to 40 percent among first-time homebuyers. Even among successful homebuyers, this amount of debt is cited as a difficulty in their home-buying process.

To find the full report, go to www.realtor.org/reports/student-loan-debt-and-housing-report.

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Brought you San Diego Real Estate Agent and Real Estate Broker, Glen Henderson.  Glen has been a San Diego Realtor for 15 years and has been involved in over 1,000 home sales throughout San Diego County.  Contact him today with any questions at 619-500-3222 or visit Premier Homes at www.MyPremierHomes.com

If you would like to Search Houses for Sale in San Diego, visit www.GreaterSanDiegoAreaHomes.com

Pending Home Sales Slip, Trampled by West

For the housing market, gaining ground is proving to be a struggle.

On an annual basis—and for the eighth month in a row—pending home sales slipped, according to the August National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI). Activity backtracked 1.8 percent month-over-month and 2.3 percent year-over-year.

According to the Index, activity contracted in all of the regions in the U.S. In the Midwest, activity declined 0.5 percent from July, and 1.1 percent from the prior year; in the Northeast, activity decreased 1.3 percent from July, and 1.6 percent from the prior year; in the South, activity dipped 0.7 percent from July, but rose 1.3 percent from the prior year; and in the West, activity fell 5.8 percent from July, and 11.3 percent from the prior year.

NAR_Pending_Aug18

“Pending home sales continued a slow drip downward, with the fourth month-over-month decline in the past five months,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR. “Contract signings also fell backward again last month, as declines in the West negatively impacted overall activity. The greatest decline occurred in the West region, where prices have shot up significantly, which clearly indicates that affordability is hindering buyers—and those affordability issues come from lack of inventory, particularly in moderate price points.”

The good news? Yun anticipates relief—but at what point is uncertain.

“With prices having risen so quickly, many consumers were deciding to wait to list their homes hoping to see additional price and equity gains; however, with indications that buyers are beginning to pull out, price gains are going to decelerate and potential sellers are considering that now is a good time to list and bring more properties to the market,” Yun says.

Additionally, while affordability is being constrained by increasing rates, advancements on the employment front could offset the pressure.

“We have two opposing factors affecting the market: the negative impact of rising mortgage rates and the positive impact of continued job creation,” says Yun. “This should lead to future homes sales staying fairly neutral. As long as there is job growth, rising mortgage rates will hinder some buyers—but job creation means second or third incomes being added to households, which gives consumers the financial confidence to go out and make a home purchase.”

For more information, please visit www.nar.realtor. The post Pending Home Sales Slip, Trampled by West appeared first on RISMedia.

 

Brought you San Diego Real Estate Agent and Real Estate Broker, Glen Henderson.  Glen has been a San Diego Realtor for 15 years and has been involved in over 1,000 home sales throughout San Diego County.  Contact him today with any questions at 619-500-3222 or visit Premier Homes at www.MyPremierHomes.com

If you would like to Search Houses for Sale in San Diego, visit www.GreaterSanDiegoAreaHomes.com

How Does the Supply of Homes for Sale Impact Buyer Demand?

How Does the Supply of Homes for Sale Impact Buyer Demand? | Simplifying The Market

The price of any item is determined by the supply of that item, as well as the market’s demand for it. The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) surveys “over 50,000 real estate practitioners about their expectations for home sales, prices and market conditions” for their monthly REALTORS Confidence Index.

Their latest edition sheds some light on the relationship between seller traffic (supply) and buyer traffic (demand).  It also helps to answer the question: “Should I buy now, or wait until next year?”

Buyer Demand

The map below was created after asking the question: “How would you rate buyer traffic in your area?”

How Does the Supply of Homes for Sale Impact Buyer Demand? | Simplifying The Market

The darker the blue, the stronger the demand for homes is in that area. The survey showed that in 38 out of 50 states buyer demand was slightly lower than this time last year but remains strong. Only six states had a ‘stable’ demand level.

Seller Supply 

The index also asked: “How would you rate seller traffic in your area?”

As you can see from the map below, 23 states reported ‘weak’ seller traffic, 22 states and Washington D.C. reported ‘stable’ seller traffic, and 5 states reported ‘strong’ seller traffic. This means there are far fewer homes on the market than what is needed to satisfy the buyers who are out looking for homes.

How Does the Supply of Homes for Sale Impact Buyer Demand? | Simplifying The Market

Bottom Line

Looking at the maps above, it is not hard to see why prices are appreciating in many areas of the country. Until the supply of homes for sale starts to meet buyer demand, prices will continue to increase. If you are debating listing your home for sale, let’s get together so I can help you capitalize on the demand in the market now!

 

Brought you San Diego Real Estate Agent and Real Estate Broker, Glen Henderson.  Glen has been a San Diego Realtor for 15 years and has been involved in over 1,000 home sales throughout San Diego County.  Contact him today with any questions at 619-500-3222 or visit Premier Homes at www.MyPremierHomes.com

If you would like to Search Houses for Sale in San Diego, visit www.GreaterSanDiegoAreaHomes.com

Should I Buy Now? Or Wait Until Next Year? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Should I Buy Now? Or Wait Until Next Year? [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying The Market

Some Highlights:

  • The cost of waiting to buy is defined as the additional funds it would take to buy a home if prices & interest rates were to increase over a period of time.
  • Freddie Mac predicts interest rates to rise to 5.2% by the third quarter of 2019.
  • CoreLogic predicts home prices to appreciate by 5.1% over the next 12 months.
  • If you are ready and willing to buy your dream home, find out if you are able to!

 

Brought you San Diego Real Estate Agent and Real Estate Broker, Glen Henderson.  Glen has been a San Diego Realtor for 15 years and has been involved in over 1,000 home sales throughout San Diego County.  Contact him today with any questions at 619-500-3222 or visit Premier Homes at www.MyPremierHomes.com

If you would like to Search Houses for Sale in San Diego, visit www.GreaterSanDiegoAreaHomes.com

Appraisers and Homeowners Sync Up on Value

Appraisers and homeowners are syncing up on value, with appraisals in April just 0.33 percent below what homeowners predicted, according to the Quicken Loans National Home Price Perception Index (HPPI). The Quicken Loans National Home Value Index (HVI) shows appraised values rose 6.47 percent year-over-year.

QL_HPPI_May

The findings indicate homeowners are less likely to get a rude awakening when going through mortgage process; it is the closest the national appraiser and owner opinions have been in more than three years.

“The appraisal is one of the most important, although sometimes least predictable, parts of the mortgage process,” says Bill Banfield, executive vice president of Capital Markets at Quicken Loans. “The Home Price Perception Index is a way to illustrate the differences of opinion, and these differences affect everything from the type of mortgage a borrower can get to the expectations a seller has about the proceeds available upon sale of their home.”

Homeowner opinions are also improving when viewed locally. Less than 20 percent of the areas measured have appraisal values lower than estimated. San Jose is leading the way, with the average appraisal 2.75 percent higher than expected, and Chicago is trailing all cities, with appraisals an average of 1.68 percent lower than estimated. Only five of the 27 metro areas observed in the HPPI reported appraisals lower than what owners estimated.

While they are more in line with what owners expected, home values are continuing their ascent over last year’s level. The HVI reported a healthy 6.47 percent year-over-year increase, despite near-stagnant monthly change, with a 0.05 percent dip in home values since March. The HVI was pulled into the negative by the Northeast—the only region showing a decrease in home value, at a 1.24 percent decline. The Northeast was still the lowest when reviewing annual changes; however, all regions were positive, ranging from the Northeast’s 2.22 percent growth to the 9.44 percent jump in the West.

“The skyrocketing home values in the West is a trend with no end in sight,” Banfield says. “Until home-building pace picks up, in combination with more existing homes being listed for sale, affordability will continue to wane. The other regions of the country are showing annual price gains as well, but at a more moderate pace. Time will tell if the slightly higher interest rates in 2018 start to slow demand, or if the inventory shortage ends up being a larger contributor to price changes.”

For more information, please visit QuickenLoans.com/Indexes.

The post Appraisers and Homeowners Sync Up on Value appeared first on RISMedia.

Brought you San Diego Real Estate Agent and Real Estate Broker, Glen Henderson.  Glen has been a San Diego Realtor for 15 years and has been involved in over 1,000 home sales throughout San Diego County.  Contact him today with any questions at 619-500-3222 or visit Premier Homes at www.MyPremierHomes.com

If you would like to Search Houses for Sale in San Diego, visit www.GreaterSanDiegoAreaHomes.com

Entry Level Homes Becoming Even More Difficult to Find

There is all-but-dried up inventory on the market—and, for buyers at the entry level, any available homes are likely priced out of reach, according to the March Zillow® Real Estate Market Report.

“This year’s home-shopping season is shaping up to be even crazier than last, and, sadly, the group that will have the hardest time is first-time and lower-income homebuyers,” says Dr. Svenja Gudell, chief economist at Zillow. “These buyers will be competing for the few entry-level homes on the market, which are also the ones appreciating the fastest because of extremely high demand.”

Inventory has dwindled down 8.6 percent in the past year, the report shows, and, of the available listings, 51.4 percent are priced in the top tier. By comparison, entry homes make up 21.9 percent of the supply. According to the Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI), which gauges the median value, prices are up 8 percent year-over-year.

2018 Housing Trends

25 Largest Metros

“One way to take the edge off would be an increase in inventory, but that is easier said than done,” Gudell says. “There are some signals a shift may be coming—construction activity is at its highest point in a decade—but buyers shouldn’t hold their breath.”

According to Gudell, in this feverish market, buyers need a professional at their side.

“Getting preapproved for a mortgage and finding an agent you trust can go a long way in helping buyers act quickly once the right home does become available in this otherwise tight and stressful housing landscape,” says Gudell.

 

The post Drought Intensifies for Starter Supply appeared first on RISMedia.

Brought you San Diego Real Estate Agent and Real Estate Broker, Glen Henderson.  Glen has been a San Diego Realtor for 15 years and has been involved in over 1,000 home sales throughout San Diego County.  Contact him today with any questions at 619-500-3222 or visit Premier Homes at www.MyPremierHomes.com

If you would like to Search Houses for Sale in San Diego, visit www.GreaterSanDiegoAreaHomes.com

Pending Home Sales Strained – March 2018

Will They Break Through?

March’s pending home sales strained, up a paltry 0.4 percent in the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI). Two of the major regions in the U.S. experienced higher sales, with the Midwest gaining 2.4 percent and the South gaining 2.5 percent, but in the Northeast, sales slipped 5.6 percent, and in the West, slumped 1.1 percent.

“Healthy economic conditions are creating considerable demand for purchasing a home, but not all buyers are able to sign contracts because of the lack of choices in inventory,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR. “Steady price growth and the swift pace of listings coming off the market are proof that more supply is needed to fully satisfy demand. What continues to hold back sales is the fact that prospective buyers are increasingly having difficulty finding an affordable home to buy.”

According to Yun, any considerable improvement rests on supply.

“Much of the country is enjoying a thriving job market, but buying a home is becoming more expensive,” Yun says. “That is why it is an absolute necessity for there to be a large increase in new and existing homes available for sale in coming months to moderate home price growth. Otherwise, sales will remain stuck in this holding pattern and a growing share of would-be buyers—especially first-time buyers—will be left on the sidelines.”

For more information, please visit www.nar.realtor.

 

The post Pending Home Sales Strained appeared first on RISMedia.

Brought you San Diego Real Estate Agent and Real Estate Broker, Glen Henderson.  Glen has been a San Diego Realtor for 15 years and has been involved in over 1,000 home sales throughout San Diego County.  Contact him today with any questions at 619-500-3222 or visit Premier Homes at www.MyPremierHomes.com

If you would like to Search Houses for Sale in San Diego, visit www.GreaterSanDiegoAreaHomes.com

Rancho Del Rey Home for Sale – 1019 Acero Street, Chula Vista

Stunning Views from this Rancho Del Rey Home for Sale!

1019 Acero Street, Chula Vista CA 91910

Priced on a range of $919,900 to $969,900. This one of a kind home is located on a nearly quarter-acre premium lot in the prestigious “Aragon” development of Rancho Del Rey. You will enjoy panoramic views from Point Loma/Downtown to the mountains. The spacious floor plan features ample natural light, an open family room that opens to the kitchen and a full bedroom/bath on the lower level. Upstairs you will find the large master retreat, complete with a private balcony and large sitting room that has a full closet. (Easily could easily be a 6th bedroom.) The large yard is nicely landscaped with lush lawns and an incredible swimming pool and spa in back. The home features beautiful stone flooring on the lower level, an upgraded kitchen with a large pantry and more. The home also features a large three car attached garage and central A/C. There is no HOA and $147 / Month in Mello-Roos.

1019 acero street rancho del rey homes for sale1019 acero street rancho del rey homes for sale 1019 acero street rancho del rey homes for sale 1019 acero street rancho del rey homes for sale 1019 acero street rancho del rey homes for sale 1019 acero street rancho del rey homes for sale 1019 acero street rancho del rey homes for sale 1019 acero street rancho del rey homes for sale

Listing by San Diego Realtor Glen Henderson

Search All San Diego Homes For Sale at GreaterSanDiegoAreaHomes.com

About Rancho Del Rey & Chula Vista:

In 1542, a fleet of three small ships sailed into San Diego Harbor commanded by Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo. These explorations led the Spanish to claim the land. In 1795, Chula Vista became a part of a Spanish land grant known as Rancho del Rey or “The King’s Ranch.” When Mexico formed its own government in 1831, Rancho del Rey became known as Rancho del la Nacion or National Ranch. The ranch encompassed the area now known as National City, Chula Vista, Bonita, Sunnyside and the Sweetwater Valley. Rancho del la Nacion was used by the Spanish as grazing land for their cattle and horses until 1845 when it was granted to John Forster, the son-in-law of Mexican governor Pio Pico. The United States claimed California following the Mexican-American war in 1847 and admitted it as a state in 1850. From then till now, Rancho Del Rey has maintained a homey, comfortable lifestyle – merging many of the pleasant things in Southern California with many of the exciting and uniquely Californian attractions and places to visit. Residents of all ages enjoy both extremes in Rancho Del Ray, California’s one and only “King’s Ranch.”

Because of its many special qualities and enduring charms, homes in Rancho Del Rey sell quickly. Charming first-time buyer and senior homes, executive and luxury estates, recreational properties for active lives and special view properties of all styles and sizes can be found within or near this community.

Rancho Del Rey real estate includes a wide variety of homes for sale, condos for sale, water access properties, active adult communities, hobby farms and executive properties.

Premier Homes TeamSan Diego Real Estate Agents, Cal BRE # 01384181

Will I have to Pay Taxes When I sell My Home? Avoiding Capital Gains

Will I have to pay taxes when I sell my home?

This is one of the most common questions we receive from sellers that are concerned with paying capital gains when they sell a home.

You list your house for sale and hope for the best. Then fortune smiles on you and you sell it for a tidy profit. It can be tough to turn right around and give a healthy percentage of that profit to the Internal Revenue Service, but the IRS isn’t heartless. You may be able to keep most – if not all – of that money. You can exclude it from your taxable income using the home sale exclusion.

$250,000 to $500,000 Exclusion on the Sale of a Primary Residence

Unmarried individuals can exclude up to $250,000 in profit from the sale of their main home, and you can exclude $500,000 if you’re married and file a joint return with your spouse.

So if you’re single and you realize a $200,000 profit on the sale, you don’t have to report any of it as taxable income because this is less than the $250,000 exclusion amount you’re entitled to. If you realize a $255,000 profit or gain, you must report $5,000 of it as income.

The IRS details this further in Publication 523Selling Your Home

do I pay capital gains when I sell my house

do I pay capital gains when I sell my house

 

Of course, the exclusion isn’t automatic. The IRS imposes a few rules.

The 2-Out-Of-5-Year Rule

You must have lived in the home for a minimum of two years out of the last five years immediately preceding the date of the sale, which typically means you can’t use the exclusion on the sale of rental or business property. The two years don’t have to be consecutive, however. You might live in the home for a year, rent it out for three years, then move back in for 12 months just prior to its sale. The IRS figures that if you spent this much time under that roof, the home qualifies as your principal residence.

You can use this 2-out-of-5-year rule to exclude your profits each time you sell your main home.

Of course, this generally means that you can claim the exclusion only once every two years because you must spend at least that much time in residence, but some exceptions do apply. If you lived in your home less than 24 months, you may be able to exclude at least a portion of the gain.

A Change in the Location of Your Job

If you lived in your house for less than two years, you can exclude a part of your gain if your work location changed.

This exception would apply if you started a new job or if your current employer requires you to move to a new location.

Health Concerns

If you’re selling your house for medical or health reasons, document these reasons with a letter from your physician. This, too, allows you to live in the home for less than two years. You don’t have to file the letter with your tax return, but keep it with your personal records just in case the IRS wants further information.

Unforeseen Circumstances

You will also want to document any unforeseen circumstances that might force you to sell your home before you’ve lived there the requisite period of time. According to the IRS, an unforeseen circumstance is “the occurrence of an event that you could not reasonably have anticipated before buying and occupying your main home.” These events might include natural disasters, acts of war, acts of terrorism, a change in your employment or unemployment that left you unable to meet basic living expenses, death, divorce or separation, or multiple births from the same pregnancy.

The Partial Exclusion

You can calculate your partial exclusion based on the amount of time you actually lived in your home. Count those months, then divide the number by 24.

Multiply this ratio by $250,000 or by $500,000 if you’re married. The result is the amount of gain you can exclude from your taxable income.

For example, you might have lived in your home for 12 months, then you had to sell it because your employer asked you to relocate to a different office in another state. You’re not married. Twelve months divided by 24 months comes out to .50. Multiply this by your maximum exclusion of $250,000. The result: you can exclude up to $125,000 or 50 percent of your profit.

If your gain is more than $125,000, you would include only the amount over $125,000 as taxable income on your return. If you realize a $150,000 gain, you would report and pay taxes on $25,000. If your gain is equal to or less than $125,000, you can exclude the entire amount from your taxable income.

Suspension of the Five-Year Period for Military

If you or your spouse are on qualified official extended duty in the Uniformed Services, the Foreign Service or the intelligence community, you may elect to suspend the five-year test period for up to 10 years. An individual is on qualified official extended duty if for more than 90 days or for an indefinite period, the individual is:

  • At a duty station that’s at least 50 miles from your main home, or
  • Residing under government orders in government housing.

Reporting the Gain

Gain on the sale of your home is reported on Schedule D as a capital gain. If you owned your home for one year or less, the gain is reported as a short-term capital gain. If you owned your home for more than one year, it’s reported as a long-term capital gain. Short-term gains are taxed at the same rate as your regular income while the rates on long-term gains are more favorable: zero, 15 or 20 percent, depending on your tax bracket.

Calculating Your Cost Basis and Capital Gain

The formula for calculating your gain involves subtracting your cost basis from your selling price. Start with what you paid for the home, then add the costs you incurred in the purchase, such as title and escrow fees and real estate agent commissions. Now add the costs of any improvements you made, such as replacing the roof or furnace. Subtract any accumulated depreciation you may have taken over the years, such as if you ever took the home office deduction. The resulting number is your cost basis.

Your capital gain would be the sales price of your home less your cost basis. If it’s a negative number, you’ve had a loss. Unfortunately, you cannot deduct a loss from the sale of your main home.

If the resulting number is positive, you made a profit. Subtract the amount of your exclusion and the balance is your taxable gain.

Please, remember that this is not tax advice.  It does serve as a starting point for you and we highly recommend that you speak with a tax professional to fully understand all of the details before selling your home.

Contact your San Diego Realtor, Glen Henderson today if you have any additional questions regarding this article or in general about selling your home.

You can also visit www.MyPremierHomes.com and search all San Diego homes for sale at www.GreaterSanDiegoAreaHomes.com