Here's the scenario . . . You own a home in Piedmont or Crocker Highlands that has appreciated beyond your wildest dreams. While you would like to sell it and realize some of this timely profit, the thought of paying Uncle Sam his share of capital gains doesn't quite appeal to you. (Hmmm . . .)
Capital gains currently allow for $250,000 tax-free profit for a single owner or $500,000 tax-free profit for a married couple every two years!
While that amounts to a good deal of equity, it still may not cover those of you who bought your home 10, 20 or 30 years ago, and have potentially far more!
Have you considered renting your home for a few years instead of selling it? Once your primary residence gains new status as an "income-producing" property, you may defer ALL of your capital gains into a "like-kind" property through a 1031 exchange. "Like-kind" properties can include a duplex, rental unit, apartment house, or a coin-operated laundry mat for that matter! (There's quite a bit of latitude in the term "like-kind.")*
*Please speak with your tax advisor about the implications of a 1031 exchange. For the name of a tax exchange representative, please give me a call.
Sounds interesting, but how do I rent my home? No problem, I just happen to have the perfect solution (you knew it was coming). I am currently assisting a foreign diplomat secure a home in the Piedmont/Crocker/ Berkeley area. The family includes his wife, four children and one beloved elderly dog. They need a rather large home and one in which they can entertain dignitaries. Privacy and security a real plus. They will need it for 3-4 years. If you would like more information, please contact me. Or if you know of anyone who might benefit from such an arrangement (perhaps they spend the bulk of their time in a second home?) please pass this information along. This may be a terrific solution for everyone concerned.
Welcome back from Spring Break. Whether you basked in the sun in Hawaii, skied in Tahoe, built houses in Mexico with Piedmont's high school students, or stayed close to home as I did, Piedmont is officially bursting with listing activity and the available home offerings keep on growing! That's great news for interested Buyers. Piedmont now has 25 active listings with the average list price reported at $1,933,960 and average days on market (DOM) hovering at 47 days.
The DOM number may sound high, given past years' performances, but it doesn't represent the full picture. The home at 220 Scenic Avenue sold in eight days in this year's Spring Market, while 320 Sea View has clocked in more than 170 days and counting.
Why? The view home on Scenic Avenue finally found the price the market was willing to absorb, while the Mediterranean home on Sea View has not. In short, Scenic found its true value and the market responded quickly with multiple offers. I suspect that when the home on Sea View offers perceived value, the market will follow suit.
Price a home too high and you will be working against your own best outcome.
That's hard to hear and even harder to explain to eager Sellers who really "want what they want" or really "want what they need."
TRUTH - The market doesn't care what you want or what you need.
Often when Sellers hold out for more, they receive less. The longer a house sits on the market, the larger the discount the Buyers will come to expect. Your first offer is often your most motivated Buyer!
There are currently 22 active listings in Piedmont, making this week's total the high point in 2008 thus far. Ranging from a low of $899,000 to a high of $5,600,000, there seems to be a home for every budget.
Let's begin with Angela Grubb's latest visual treat on King Avenue. This home tells two stories. From the outside, it's an unassuming gray-shingle abode, but inside, it reveals a modern, daring and sophisticated 2-story contemporary that offers 6bdrms/6bths, level entry with wet bar, formal living and dining rooms, library, family room, study and massive chef's kitchen. With a large open floor plan that surprises and delights at every corner, this unassuming façade is really a transplanted New York Penthouse (sans Central Park) complete with breathtaking floor to ceiling glass walls looking out onto a beautifully landscaped level garden with built-in pool! One-of-a-kind? I suspect so. Exquisite? Absolutely! To see photographs, click on
www.Grubbco.com For Mid-Century Modern, check out Glen Alpine Road. This 4bdrm/3bth home offers the complete California lifestyle with large open floor plan and backyard featuring a paddle tennis court (think trikes, bikes and basketball hoops!). Just up the street from Hampton field, it's a terrific location and perhaps, this week's best value!
Not every home is worth the climb, but make an exception for 95 Oakmont Avenue. Work your way up the brick stairs and you will find a charming and elegant 4bdrm/3bth multi-level home with vaulted living room ceiling, formal dining room, remodeled kitchen, secluded brick patio and lush landscaping. It's a little bit of Italy right here in Piedmont. (Now all you need is an olive orchard or two!) Bellisamo! Perhaps my favorite home this week sits in Upper Rockridge on Amy Drive. This impeccably Smart and Sophisticated 4bdrm/2bth Prairie Style Beauty, featuring open floor plan, chef's kitchen, and family room leading to lovely garden and patio is a winner! Remodeled from top to bottom, it's truly a "turn-key" home in a charming neighborhood. (Make sure you ask for the Fortuny chandelier when negotiating your offer!)
Julie Gardner, has been writing The Perspective for 15 years and has published more than 500 essays. She is also a frequent contributor to the Sound Off column in the Real Estate section of The San Francisco Chronicle.