I have a unique Tahoe Keys duplex condo for sale. It is in the middle of a remodel so it would have to be a cash offer- although the seller is open to any creative solution. It has a 2 bedroom 1.5 bath unit that is currently rented and a studio with full bath and kitchen. The studio is in the remodel stage. The owner has the new kitchen cabinets, stove/oven, 40k BTU gas fireplace, and dishwasher uninstalled on site. He is tired of the project and just wants out. Not in the MLS yet-
It has one garage space, outside parking, keys amenities (pools, hot tubs, tennis courts, boat launching, private beach), a nice mountain and marina view, and 2 boat slips…… A legal duplex with one APN number….
Offered in the very low $300’s
When you finished with this project you could flip for a nice profit or keep it and rent one unit and keep one for yourself.
The Lake Tahoe basin remains a potential host for the 2022 Winter Olympics.
While local organizations have spearheaded efforts to bring the games to Lake Tahoe in recent years, there is reason for renewed optimism, according to Lt. Governor Brian Krolicki, chairman of Reno Tahoe Winter Games Coalition (RTWGC), a nonprofit organization dedicated to having Reno/Tahoe selected as the next North American region to host an Olympic Winter Games.
“The latest comments from the USOC are an absolute shot in the arm for the Lake Tahoe region’s latest bid to host the games,” he said. “This will allow us the necessary momentum to create a network and a partnership between Nevada and California that can focus on putting a package in place that makes it compelling for the USOC.”
A shakeup in the United States Olympic Committee leadership has led to a reprioritization of how the committee will approach the bidding process.
USOC Chairman Larry Probst and newly appointed Chief Executive Officer Scott Blackmun indicated they may want to pursue a 2022 Winter Games bid.
“Nothing’s off the table at this point,” chairman Larry Probst said during an interview at Associated Press headquarters Tuesday, when asked about a possible 2022 bid.
In the past, the USOC has focused on bringing the Summer Games to a bid city, as the games are typically viewed as a stronger economic engine for the host city.
However, in wake of Chicago’s last place finish in the bidding process for the 2016 Summer Games, the USOC indicated that bringing the Winter Games to the United States could be a positive step in repairing their relationship with the International Olympic Committee.
“The idea is to face in the right direction and start walking,” Blackmun said, “and we’ll know when we get there.”
According to reports from the Associated Press, the two strongest candidates to host the 2022 Winter Games are Denver and Reno-Tahoe.
“We’re really supportive of the USOC and the Olympic movement,” KieAnn Brownell, president of the Denver Sports Commission, told the Associated Press. “We have aspirations from the standpoint of wanting to host international events of all types. We’re going to follow the USOC’s lead and see where that goes.”
Bringing the 2022 Winter Games to Lake Tahoe would give the region an opportunity to dramatically improve its infrastructure, said Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Spokesman Dennis Oliver.
“Lake Tahoe could be the first Olympic site to deliver a Green Olympics with an underlying theme of sustainability,” he said.
Oliver said preparations for hosting the games should include installing a public transportation system capable of serving residents long after the event has concluded.
Oliver also envisions the creation of new more energy efficient hotel accommodations, athletic facilities with minimal impact on the local environment, and a system of feeding the athletes with locally grown agricultural products.
“It would be an event with an underlying theme of carbon neutral and I know a lot of local leaders would be interested in pulling it off,” Oliver said.
“The 2022 Winter Games would be a spectacle and a delight for several weeks,” he said. “But the improvements made to the infrastructure of the Lake Tahoe Basin in lead-up to the games would benefit residents for decades.”
Residents of El Dorado County can receive a free radon test kit until supplies run out.
The Tahoe Division of the El Dorado County Environmental Management Department has several hundred test kits available, said Virginia Huber, Tahoe Division Manager.
The kits can be picked up from 8 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 5 p.m. weekdays at 3368 Lake Tahoe Blvd. Suite 303.
“We recommend everyone in the South Lake Tahoe area test their home for radon,” Huber said.
Radon is an odorless, colorless, radioactive case that arises from the decay of naturally occurring uranium and thorium in soil. The gas is linked to 21,000 lung cancer deaths a year, second only to cigarette smoking, according to the EPA.
A report from the California Geological Survey in June 2009 estimated that 23,400 people in the Lake Tahoe area live in buildings where radon is likely to equal or exceed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended action level of 4 picocuries per liter.
The report was based on geological data, as well as results from a survey of 443 homes in South Lake Tahoe between 2006 and 2007.
According to the survey, about 40 percent of homes in the Lake Tahoe area are at or above the EPA’s recommended action level, while approximately 55 percent of homes in the El Dorado County portion of the basin who participated in the survey are at or above the recommended action level.
Winter is a good time to test a home for radon, Huber said.
“It’s the best time to test because your house is closed up,” she said.
RISMEDIA, —As part of the government’s high price-tag efforts to rejuvenate the flailing American economy, on November 6, 2009, President Barack Obama signed into law an expansion and extension of the home buyer tax credit.
With housing at the center of the country’s economic engine, extending the lifeline a little further for a little longer is being hailed as a significant measure by both economists and real estate leaders.
The estimated cost of the home buyer tax credit, part of the Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009, is $18.5 billion, yet another mind-boggling sum in a series of stimulus strategies. With that $18.5 billion comes great responsibility for real estate professionals—a responsibility to maximize the opportunity and help get the wheels of the housing market turning again.
“The extension and expansion of the home buyer tax credit was absolutely necessary for the housing market and, most importantly, the U.S. economy,” says Alex Perriello, president and CEO, Realogy Franchise Group. “Clearly, Congress and the Administration recognized that inaction on their part—and thus an expiration of the previous first-time home buyer credit—would have been extremely detrimental. We’re proud of the active role that Realogy management and brokers played in educating key policy makers in Washington about the economic benefits of extending and expanding the home buyer tax credit.”
“The extension of the tax credit—and its expansion to include qualified move-up buyers—offers additional hope for a struggling economy and unlimited opportunity for dedicated brokers and agents,” agrees Steve Brown, special liaison for Large Firm Relations, NAR, and broker/owner of Irongate Realty in Dayton, Ohio.
“Activity inspires people—this tax credit has stimulated the entire economy,” says Tami Bonnell, president of the U.S. Organization for EXIT Realty. “There was a glut of people who stood still, not sure what to do. Finally, especially with the addition of the existing homeowner portion of the credit, people are jumping onboard.”
According to Greg Rand, managing partner of Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty in Westchester County, New York, the home buyer tax credit helped the real estate industry—nationwide—to a 2009 fourth quarter that marked the biggest increase in home sales in 20 years. “The media is finally beginning to pick up on what’s going on and is finally driving some positive consumer confidence. This is prompting people to start thinking about purchasing a home.”
Absorbing the Details…Quickly
As Margaret Kelly, CEO of RE/MAX International, Inc., explains, “Congress extended the tax credit and amended it to include repeat buyers in hopes of securing a more sustained real estate upswing. However, the narrow window suggests none of us should count on another extension.” With a deadline of April 30, 2010 (closing must occur by June 30), consumers need to act fast in order to capitalize on the expanded and extended credit. In order for consumers to act fast, brokers and agents must serve as a trusted guide.
“First and foremost, we cannot and should not assume that real estate consumers know what we know,” advises Perriello. “As real estate professionals, we are closest to the situation and it is imperative for the industry to aggressively impart our knowledge and promote the key facts about the home buyer tax credit in order to educate potential home buyers about the various details that may specifically apply to their specific situations.”
Here are the main points of the tax credit legislation:
-The Timeline: The credit is available for homes purchased on or after November 7, 2009 and before May 1, 2010. The federal income credit can be claimed on one’s individual or joint tax return for the purchase of any single-family home (newly constructed or resale, single-family detached, townhomes or condominiums) between the dates of November 7, 2009 and April 30, 2010. Home purchases subject to a binding sales contract signed before May 1, 2010 will also qualify for the tax credit as long as closing occurs by June 30, 2010.
-Who’s Eligible: The tax credit is now available for first-time home buyers and eligible current homeowners. A first-time home buyer is defined as an individual who has not owned a principal residence during the three-year period prior to the purchase. This law applies for both parties in a married couple; if you haven’t owned a home for three years, but your husband has, then neither one of you can qualify for the tax credit. A qualified current homeowner who wishes to move to a different home (a “move-up” buyer), must have owned and resided in their residence for five consecutive years out of the last eight.
-Salary Requirements: Under the legislation, the income limits to qualify are the same for both first-time home buyers and current homeowners: Single taxpayers with incomes up to $125,000 and married couples with a joint income up to $225,000 qualify for the full tax credit. According to Goldman Sachs, these income limits make almost all first-time home buyers eligible and approximately 70% of current homeowners eligible. Single taxpayers who earn between $125,000 and $145,000, and married couples who earn between $225,000 and $245,000 are eligible to receive a partial credit.
-Credit Amounts: The maximum credit amount for first-time home buyers is $8,000; the maximum credit amount for current homeowners is $6,500. The federal tax credit amounts to 10% of the cost of the home, up to a maximum credit of $8,000 for first-time home buyers and $6,500 for current homeowners. Under the new legislation, a tax credit may only be issued for homes purchased for $800,000 or less.
-Tax Facts: Provided the home-owner stays in the home for three or more years, the tax credit is a true credit and does not need to be repaid. The tax credit is fully refundable, meaning the credit will be paid out to eligible taxpayers, even if you owe no tax or the credit is more than the tax owed. The credit is claimed using Form 5405, which you file with your original or amended tax return. Buyers can claim the credit on their 2009 taxes, even if the home is purchased in 2010, by filing an amended tax return.
-Fraud Prevention: The current tax credit legislation has built-in fraud measures, therefore, anyone claiming the credit must provide documentation to prove that the sale has closed, such as a copy of their HUD-1 Settlement Statement. The law also prevents anyone younger than 18 from claiming the credit.
Motivating Move-up Buyers
While the extended deadlines and increased salary caps of the tax credit are indeed a boon to first-time home buyers, the expansion of the tax credit to include current homeowners stands to have a significant impact on home sales.
According to Scott McDonald, president of RE/MAX Gateway in Chantilly, Virginia, and a member of the Top 5 in Real Estate Network®, “Over the last year, we have seen few move-up buyers as a result of lost equity, uncertainty of perceived value in the market as a result of foreclosures and short sales, and low consumer confidence. It is a matter of education on the Realtor’s part as well as the media to get the word out to our move-up market.”
“The expanded tax credit means that the gridlock caused by a stagnant ‘move-up’ market could be broken and the field could soon be wide open,” says Sherry Chris, president and CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate.
Ken Trepeta, director of Real Estate Services for the National Association of Realtors, explains that move-up buyers are eligible for the tax credit as long as the home being sold or vacated was their principal residence for five consecutive years within the last eight. “To elaborate, it must be the same home,” says Trepeta. “It is not enough that they have been homeowners for five consecutive years, they must have been in the same home for five consecutive years.” McDonald and Trepeta underscore the important fact that current homeowners need not sell their existing home in order to take advantage of the credit. They may keep it and rent it for additional profit.
Getting the Word Out
For the tax credit to succeed in buoying the real estate market, it is essential for brokers and agents to aggressively market the benefits—and the deadlines—of the legislation to consumers.
At Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty, Managing Partner Joe Rand, an attorney, has developed a home buyer tax credit website—www.homebuyertaxcredit.com—and a “Home Buyer Tax Credit Eligibility Test” that will let buyers know if they qualify. If they do, the program will provide an instant option to download the proper tax documents.
To get the word out about the website, the Rands are budgeting $100,000 of the firm’s marketing budget to broadcast media—specifically radio. “We’ve seen a lot of general interest in buying a home,” says Greg Rand. “Right now, if people aren’t aware or clear on the tax credit, they’ll seek out a source that explains it quickly—that, in turn, might just make our company a bit stickier.” Educating consumers on the tax credit is compulsory and many real estate experts are leading that charge.
“The bottom line for all consumers is ‘how does this impact me?’” says Bonnell. “We’re trying to help them answer that and we’re getting excellent results. I put on webinars to the general public—buyers, sellers, investors, etc.—twice on the second Tuesday of every month. On it, we go over the changes since the new adjustment. They can submit questions during the webinars and we typically answer them right there.”
Misunderstanding or confusion over the details of the tax credit can prevent many consumers from pursuing a home purchase. As Perriello says, “As professionals, it is our obligation to make sure we properly communicate the new tax credit details because an educated consumer is an empowered consumer.”
Industry leaders have high hopes for the extended and expanded tax credit, believing it may be just what the housing market needs to make its way out of the trough in 2010. But time is of the essence—and that’s all part of the plan.
“It is important that there is a clear time limit for the tax credit because the purpose of this economic stimulus is to jump-start momentum in the housing market and the economy,” says Perriello. “The expanded home buyer tax credit is intended to provide an incentive for a broader pool of home buyers to make a home purchasing decision in the early part of the year. Otherwise, lacking the urgency of such a deadline, more potential buyers might stay on the sidelines.”
“We expect the tax credit to continue to encourage home buyers to enter the housing market through the extension dates, then the typical spring market should take hold and the housing industry will help carry us further out of the recession if conditions remain stable,” says McDonald.
“The extended and expanded home buyer tax credit should help increase demand, stimulate home sales and, ultimately, reduce inventory levels,” adds Perriello. “In turn, this should help stabilize home sales prices. Those are all necessary steps that need to occur before we can have a sustainable long-term recovery in the market.”
RISMEDIA, November 30, 2009—Consumers are more conscientious about healthy living than ever before and this awareness is making its way to the homebuilding industry, particularly in the custom home market, says Michael Lenahen who owns Ponte Vedra, Fla.-based Aurora Custom Homes.
“As more consumers begin to realize how much their home affects every aspect of their health, they are beginning to see the importance of improving its environmental quality with products to benefit their health and that of their family,” Lenahen said. “The new emphasis toward healthy living focuses around four main categories – air, water, odor/fumes and lighting.”
According to the U.S. Green Building Council, pollutants are often two to five times higher indoors than outdoors and this can significantly affect air in the home causing breathing problems and respiratory diseases. When it comes to the quality of the air, Lenahen said several products are available on the market that homeowners should incorporate into their home such as:
-Advanced allergy filters to control dust particles and pollutants
-Dehumidification devices to manage the humidity in the home
-Variable speed air handlers to maintain the circulation of air throughout the home and ventilation fans to introduce fresh air into the home while removing stale, humid air
Improving the water quality in a home is just as important as the air quality, Lenahen said. Several products are available to improve the quality and efficiency of a home’s water flow and usage, including:
-Carbon filter and reverse osmosis units to purify drinking water by removing particulate matter and harmful minerals
-Whole-house water softeners to remove calcium and other harmful minerals while providing added benefit to the home’s appliances and pluming fixtures. Water softeners also improve skin tone and texture by removing calcium, magnesium and iron from the water.
-Underground cisterns to collect rainwater from the gutter and downspouts to use for irrigating the lawn and landscapeHealthy home living is also improved by the use of low Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) materials, which emit lower levels of gasses into the home from everyday materials such as paints, sealants, cabinets and flooring materials. Lenahen said homeowners should use the lowest emitting VOC products for custom homebuilding and remodeling projects, thereby reducing the negative health impact the products may have on the occupants. Low VOC products will have labeling to help homeowners find the healthiest option.
Better lighting solutions can also foster healthier living. Traditional light fixtures typically include high wattage bulbs, which waste electricity while adding excessive heat into the home. Suggested improvements include:
-Decorative light fixtures with less wattage requirements and soft-light emitting globes
-Compact florescent light (CFL) bulbs or L.E.D. fixtures and bulbs for longer life usage
-Next generation skylights, such as Velux Sun Tunnel or Solatube, that bring natural light into the home, reducing the need for artificial light and energy consumption
“These are just some of the many changes that can be made to current homes or built into new homes that will greatly improve the quality of life and health of its occupants,” Lenahen said. “The more consumers become aware of the positive affects of healthy living within the home, the more products will enter the mainstream of standard building practices.”
If you’ve been putting offmaking energy-efficient upgrades to your home because you are worried about the cost and think you can’t afford them, now is the time to stop procrastinating and take advantage of the energy-efficient mortgage (EEM) program and a new tax credit for upgrades.
What Is an EEM?
>>An EEM helps home buyers or homeowners save money on utility bills by enabling them to finance the cost of adding energyefficiency features to new or existing homes as part of their Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-insured home purchase or refinancing mortgage.
EEMs are one of the most beneficial and under-utilized programs that a homeowner can capitalize on in today’s market. Although they have been around since the ’80s, their use receded when subprime loans took the stage, explains Jana Maddux, program manager for California Home Energy Efficiency Rating Services (CHEERS®). “This is the best kept industry secret.”
>>Recent developments make this the best time for homeowners to give serious thought to making the upgrades that will lower utility bills while increasing the value of the home. Earlier, the maximum amount the FHA allowed for upgrades was $8,000. That stipulation was recently modified, so now the maximum amount of the portion of the EEM for energy improvements is to be the lesser of 5 percent of the value of the property or:
•115 percent of the median area price of a single family dwelling; or 150 percent of the conforming Freddie Mac limit.
Also, under the stimulus plan, upgrades are eligible for a tax credit of 30 percent of qualifying costs up to $1,500, but this is only through 2010.
Who Offers It and How Can You Qualify?
>>EEMs are sponsored by federally insured mortgage programs (FHA and Veterans Affairs) and the conventional secondary mortgage market (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac). Lenders can offer conventional EEMs, FHA EEMs, or VA EEMs. For instance, anyone eligible for the FHA section 203(b) mortgage insurance can apply for an EEM, once the cost of improvements and estimated savings are determined by a home energy-rating system consultant.
The first step is to have a CHEERS®rater or another approved energy rater complete an analysis of your home and obtain a report, which you then submit to the lender. The main criterion is that your savings after upgrades should exceed their cost.
“The CHEERS®report will show the existing condition of the house after conducting several tests, all of which determine how much air leakage there is and the estimated savings and future utility bills after improvements are made,” Maddux says. Raters are independent, and some may also be able to coordinate the entire upgrade process for you, for a fee.
Which Upgrades Qualify?
>>Insulation, new furnaces,air-conditioning and heatingunits, dual-pane windows,duct system and air leakagerepairs, water heaters, andlighting.
Buying a home can be a dauniting task that has both risks and rewards. The following is a shortened version of an article that first appeared in October on RISMedia. I think that is offers some usefull information for those people who have their sights set on the “foreclosure”.
Buying a foreclosure often is appealing to buyers trying to stretch their dollars. It’s finding a good one can that can be a challenge. Finding the bad one is easy.
The vast majority of the banks don’t want us to advertise them as ‘bank-owned’ because it comes with a negative connotation. This means no sign on the front lawn indicating the home is anything other than a traditional sale. A buyer probably won’t find a property advertised as a foreclosure on marketing materials.
Plus, in some markets, including Las Vegas, foreclosure inventory is actually down compared with last year as government programs attempt to keep owners in their homes and banks aren’t putting as many homes on the market. This is making it harder for buyers to purchace a foreclosure, and those paying with cash often win a bid over someone who needs financing.
If you’re considering the purchase of a home that is now owned by a bank, it’s also important to know at the outset just how much work you’re in for — and how much it is going to cost you. Many foreclosures are in various states of disrepair; some of the fixes are cosmetic, but some can be extensive.
Those looking for the best deal probably shouldn’t rule out non-foreclosure properties.
Many people have asked me recently how much money they should spend on fixing up their house to sell in the current market. My answer is always the same no matter what the market.
Get a qualified real estate professional to come and look at your property. That person will be able to show you other houses, which are comparable to yours both in size and condition, in your area. In your discussions with the real estate pro you may indeed decide that you need to remodel the kitchen, or possibly just some cosmetic fixes (painting, window coverings, or just de-cluttering) are all that you need to maximize your bottom line when selling your property.
It is best to look at all angles of the financial investment of remodeling say a kitchen or bathroom that may not significantly increase your bottom line. Once again consult a real estate professional before making a move.