Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Consider This Proposition--Prop 60, 90 & 110

For the most part, (always check current tax rules--they change) if you are 55 and over, you can have your existing property tax payments carry over to your replacement property. This is mostly for replacing a Alameda County property in Alameda County and a Contra Costa County property in Contra Costa County. The two counties here also cooperate with each other. Other counties participate with each other too, but they are very slim to none.

I carry a Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES) designation as do some other real estate professionals. The SRES requires that the agent undergo a certain number of hours and courses geared to helping seniors attain qualified professional help regarding real estate matters. Although I am not a tax professional, and this is by no means tax advice, the courses introduced a few propositions that tend to spill into our line of business. And, they tend to be a bit tricky, so please consult a tax professional before considering the move and the benefit.

I recently helped a couple sell and replace an Fremont CA home--Alameda County property with another Alameda County property. In a nutshell, the properties must close escrow the same day--we did. One of the claimants must be 55 or older or disabled (prop 110--is for disabled)--we did have a 55+ claimant. We filled out the forms. We called the tax assessor's office, etc. We were ready.

For reasons beyond the scope of this blog post, our claim was denied, temporarily. We will appeal the case because everything was in place exactly the way we needed it. Basically, the only variant was that the claimant was removed from the purchase contract 1 week later by order of the lender for the purposes of financing only. He was to be added back on title after the close of escrow. Trying to redraw loan documents and have the claimant added as a "non-borrowing spouse" would have cost us the most crucial part of the requirement, and that is closing escrow on the selling property exactly the same day as the replacement property. We did that against many odds. The title thing we had to deal with later.

Advice to those who are considering the Proposition:
  1. close escrow on the same day
  2. be over 55
  3. all buyers be on the contract if lender likes it or not--be a "non-borrowing spouse" if applicable. DO NOT let the lender push you around AND
  4. remember #1 again.
Please consult a tax professional for further information on Prop. 60, 90 and 110. Here are two good links to get your started.

By Jeff Pereyda

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