This Week’s Guest: Marc Durand–Residential Structural Inspections
(Mike next to Marc Durand with his “Speedy” work helmet! )
(Mike next to Marc Durand with his “Speedy” work helmet! )
@agingbabyboomers! Yes, I resemble that remark. RENT vs. OWNING? Perhaps you want to keep your home here in Sonoma County, rent it out and go exploring other areas to live. You could pull some cash out of your home here, rent it to cover the new debt service and then go rent in the south of France for a year? Spain? Way back east in the New England states or perhaps Oregon or even Texas! (remember, Austin is WEIRD!). A $250,000 1st at 5.5% is about $1,419 per month in debt service. You own a home in Rincon Valley, 3 bed, 2 bath, 2000sqft, rents going to be $2400 at least! Throw in social security, retirement and you’re GOOD to go (obviously speak to your accountant and retirement specialist for advice).
Special guest on tomorrow’s show will be Russel Lee. Russ lost his home in Fountaingrove during the firestorms of October. He decided to make the move back to Tennessee. We’ll be discussing what you can expect when you visit Tennessee and home prices. WARNING! Tennessee home prices can cause major anxiety among California homeowners!
Looking forward to long-term guest, Tom Havstad, permit consultant, and his take on the County of Sonoma and how it is coping with the onslaught of building permitting, septic issues and a post-fire working environment. Tom has great insight also on permitting structures which you might think are illegal or non-conforming. He can legalize your non-conforming lots too. Tune in for some frank discussion on the current state of the Permit Resource Management Division or “permit Sonoma county”!
Permit Consulting Services
12651 Fiori Lane
Sebastopol, Ca. 95472
Cell Phone: 707-695-0857
Office Phone: 707-874-2078
• GOAL: To create homeownership opportunities for young families and
preserve tax savings for seniors. Expand Proposition 60 and 90 voter mandated keeping of old property tax base.
• Proposition 13. California’s property tax system is based on the purchase price of a
home. Proposition 13 caps property taxes at 1 percent of the purchase price (Prop.
13 property tax base).
• Moving Penalty. When a homeowner relocates, their property taxes will be 1
percent of the purchase price of the replacement home. As a result, homeowners’
property taxes generally increase when they move.
• Seniors. In California, homeowners 55 years of age or older can transfer their Prop.
13 property tax base – only once – to a replacement home located in the same
county so long as the purchase price for the replacement is equal to or less than the
sale price of the original residence. These homeowners can also transfer their
Prop.13 property tax base to a home located in a county that has agreed to the
transfer (only 11 counties have agreed to inter-county transfers).
• Data. Data shows that homeowners are very aware of how their property taxes will
increase when they move. As a result, almost three-quarters of homeowners 55
years of age or older have not moved since 2000!
• Research. Because of the housing supply shortage, 65% of starter homes are
selling at or above the asking price which makes it very difficult for first-time
homebuyers to enter the market.
• C.A.R.’s Initiative. C.A.R.’s Portability Initiative would allow homeowners 55 years of
age or older to transfer their Prop. 13 property tax base to a home of any price,
located anywhere in the state, any number of times.
• Buy Up. For example: Homeowner originally bought for $100K ($1K/year for
property taxes), subsequently sells for $300K, and buys a replacement home for
$400K. The $100K difference between $300K and $400K is added to the original
Prop. 13 property tax base of $100K for a new Prop.13 tax base of $200K ($2K/year
for property taxes). Under existing law, this transfer could not be made and the
Prop. 13 tax base would be $400K ($4K/year for property taxes).
• Buy Down. Returning to the example: If a homeowner buys a less expensive home,
for example for $200K, the property taxes will be proportionally the same as for the
original home. In other words, if the tax base was one-third of the sales price, the
new property tax base would be a third of the new sale price (i.e., 1/3 of $200K =
$67K or $670/year for property taxes). Buying down reduces the homeowner’s
annual property tax bill.
• Arguments in Favor:
– No moving penalty. The initiative keeps senior homeowners’ property taxes low
when they move.
– Increased supply. As senior homeowners move, they create housing
opportunities for younger, growing families and first-time homebuyers that don’t
– Local finances. When a senior moves out and a young family moves in, the tax
revenue to the locality annually increases.
Northern California Engineering Contractors Association Hall of Fame – Inducted 2014
North Coast Builders Exchange Hall of Fame – Inducted 2002
City of Santa Rosa Board of Public Utilities, Santa Rosa, CA 1994 to Present
Board Member (Chairman – 1996 to 2013)
Sonoma Clean Power Authority 2013 to Present
“Our region has lost up to 7,000 living units, and we had a housing shortage before the fire. Also, we already had a homeless issue because of the high cost of housing in the region, and we will need temporary housing for them as well as the workforce from outside the area that will most certainly be needed to supplement the locally available construction workforce. In addition, we will need to provide housing (temporary and/or semi-permanent) for those displaced from their homes while they are rebuilding.
We also all need to recognize that this devastating fire(s) is having a damaging impact on the economy of our region. Jobs have been lost, businesses have shut down, etc., and property taxes will take a severe hit which will damage the ability of the county and our cities to function in a normal fashion. I have heard that there will be a 20% reduction in the GDP of our county in the short to intermediate term.
I am the Chairman of a group, currently entitled “Rebuild Sonoma Task Force”, which might change soon so that we can assist rebuilding in the other 3 counties also. The group is made up of builders, contractors, architects, engineers, business groups, financial institutions, and insurance brokers.
All of these groups have experience, and thus valuable input, to getting our region “back up and running” as efficiently and economically as possible.
This is not going to be an easy task by any stretch of imagination, but our group wants to encourage everyone to be patient and do this recovery correctly, more so than just quickly.”
Seniors have many factors to consider when it comes to downsizing and choosing a retirement community. They may need to think about their budget, medical needs, and proximity to relatives, but the lifestyle available in a community is essential to consider, too. Every community has its own personality, and it is vital to find one that truly feels like home. Here are a few key considerations to keep in mind.
Search for a community that feels like a comfortable fit
Look beyond the marketing brochures and first impressions when evaluating retirement communities — you must dig deeper to establish what the right fit for your needs is. For example, are you looking to continue specific hobbies you enjoy or broaden your social circle? Are you looking to maintain a lot of control as a resident or do you want more structure and less to be responsible for?
Make It Better notes that many retirement communities feel like a combination of a cruise ship and a college campus, providing numerous opportunities to stay socially engaged with others. A calendar full of daily activities to try out is common, but this can be a turnoff if you are looking for a peaceful, quiet new home or are less apt to take advantage of social activities.
Bankrate notes the increasing popularity of affinity retirement communities, or those that create niche communities based on a common hobby or characteristic. They may revolve around a specific professional background, serving the LGBT community, or interests like RV vacationing, nature, or specific colleges. When available, choosing an affinity community can help a senior feel at home quickly since they are easily able to connect to others with similar interests.
Consider factors like religion, median age, and services provided
Additional characteristics to consider include whether a place focuses on a specific religion. Many assisted living or nursing home facilities are religion-based, but each will vary in how dominant that faith is in the day-to-day activities. In addition, Huffington Post suggests that you check into the median age of the residents and try to get a sense of whether it is mostly singles or couples living in the community so you can determine whether you’ll feel like you fit into the group.
It’s important to consider the kinds of services and amenities each retirement community offers; not only will it help you better prepare for the move, you’ll have more tangible pros and cons to weigh between communities. Many will have hairdressers, barbers, housekeeping or laundry services, shuttle buses to take residents off-site, and on-site access to some level of medical care. Dining is typically included as well, but you should inquire about options, pricing, and meal plans.
Social opportunities can vary greatly from neighborhood to neighborhood
Opportunities for swimming, golf, and tennis are common within retirement communities. However, you may also find access to adult education classes, on-site entertainment, fitness classes, music, and more unique sports like “pickle ball” offered too. If you have issues with mobility or some special needs, you will want to look carefully to ensure the community is diligent about being compliant with the American Disabilities Act.
Potential retirement community residents have plenty of choices to sort through when deciding where to spend their golden years. Whether your loved one wants to continue a specific hobby, desires a community that revolves around a specific religion, or wants a place geared toward a niche interest, there are options available. Work with your older loved one to determine his or her priorities so you can find the retirement community that will quickly feel like home as they enjoy their golden years.
[Photo via Pexels] Courtesy of Author: Michael Longsdon (ElderFreedom.net)
Had a great discussion yesterday with County of Sonoma Clerk, Recorder, Tax Assessor and Elections Chief, Bill Rousseau. Click to hear the podcast! We had a far ranging discussion on keeping your property 13 status when rebuilding your destroyed home and repairing damage. Also, discussed: Propositions 60/90 and how you can move your low Proposition 13 tax base with you if moving. One of the emergency ordinances is found under Revenue and Taxation code 69.3. This allows larger parameters in a homes value if taking your old prop 13 tax base with you–up to 120% of the old value. Also, the number of counties allowing transfer of the old prop 13 base have been changed. Below are those counties:
Contra Costa, Modoc, San Francisco, Solano, Sutter, Los Angles, Orange, Santa Clara, Sonoma, Ventura.
Questions? You are encouraged to call: 916-272-3350 or your local County Assessor’s office.
We had a lot of “late” reporting of sales for July. I should have anticipated this due to the 4th of July 4 day holiday. It’s all GOOD though. We almost hit 500 sales falling JUST one short! Sales are up 8% over last year and total sales of SFD (single family dwellings–houses) was 499. This is good as all of last year we NEVER hit this vaunted mark. Under Contracts seem to be same as last month so perhaps we’ll break through the 500 barrier next month.
Below are the UC or Under Control houses, those now in escrow. Note the steep increase beginning back in January. We’ve flattened a tad over the last 2 months but could see increased sales on the horizon. All good!