Category Archives for Distressed Property

You Can’t Post That!

My husband tells me occasionally, YOU CANT POST THAT!  This picture might be one of those.  Never have I seen grass and weeds growing out of an indoor carpet! No photoshop here, this is actually growing in a distressed sale home in Livermore. Just when you think you’ve seen everything!


Short Sale Seminar

At the end of your rope and don't know what to do with a current mortgage that needs to be refinanced?  Struggling with an ongoing loan modification that just doesn't seem to be headed in the right direction?  We have answers for you.  You and your friends can attend this complimentary short sale seminar at the LIvermore Library.  My short sale negotiator will be present to answer all your important questions. 

Please RSVP to this seminar today!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

6:30pm to 7:30pm

Livermore Civic Center Library

Conference Room B

1188 South Livermore Ave.

Obama Signs American Tax Payer Relief Act

The now signed bill includes a provision to extend the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act, which will for one more year exempt the taxation of mortgage debt that is forgiven when homeowners and their mortgage lenders negotiate a short sale or loan modification (including any principal reduction).  While debt relief has been extended at the federal level, the California exemption expired at the end of 2012, so forgiven mortgage debt is considered taxable state income for now.

Here are other housing-related provisions included in the federal law:

  • The “Pease Limitations” that reduced the value of itemized deductions, including the mortgage interest deduction, are permanently repealed for most taxpayers but will be reinstituted for high income filers.  This provision reduces a taxpayer's itemized deductions by 3 percent of the amount of his or her adjusted gross income (AGI) that exceeds the threshold amount.  Under the new law, the Pease thresholds are $300,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly and $250,000 for single taxpayers (i.e., a married couple with an AGI of $400,000 would be $100,000 over the threshold; the couple’s deductions would be reduced by $3,000 which is 3% of $100,000).  No matter how high a taxpayer's AGI, the Pease reduction cannot exceed 20 percent of the amount of itemized deductions otherwise allowable for the year.  
  • The restoration of a tax deduction for mortgage-insurance premiums, including premiums paid to the Federal Housing Administration and private mortgage insurers.  This provision expired at the end of 2011 but has now been retroactively extended for all of 2012 as well as 2013.
  • 10 percent tax credit (up to $500) for homeowners for energy improvements to existing homes is extended through 2013 and made retroactive to cover 2012.
  • Capital gains rates will remain at 15 percent for those earning less than $400,000 (individual) and $450,000 (joint).   Gains above those income levels will be taxed at 20 percent.  Gains on thesale of principal residences will remain unchanged and continues to exclude the first $250,000 for single taxpayers and $500,000 taxpayers filing jointly.
  • For more details contact your accountant or real estate attorney.

Short Sale Friendly Tax Laws Extended

Good News for the New Year

Happy New Year! Besides it being a new year,  what else is new and affects you?

“The “fiscal cliff bill” passed by Congress on January 1 included a provision to exclude borrowers from paying taxes on debt forgiven through a short sale, foreclosure, or loan modification. Known as the Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007, the act was scheduled to expire December 31, 2012, but received an extension for another year.

Why is this important for you?  Well, if you are a move-up Seller/Buyer, this means there will be additional short sale homes to purchase. Also, most importantly, If you are having difficulty maintaining a current mortgage, this means that the current laws in place to protect you from taxes and deficiency judgement will remain in place through 2013. If you are considering a short sale, consider it now.  It takes about 6 months to complete from start to finish in most cases.  For other insights on the real estate market please contact me. I’m always happy to hear from you and am eager to help.  May this be the best year ever for you and your family!  


Call me for more details. Natalie Swanson 925-580-9829

Short Sales and Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007: What Now?


I had to repost this from my favorite KCM Blog.  I hope you find this information.  I did!

Will  the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 200 be extended past its current expiration scheduled for the end of the year?  As a reminder, the legislation ensures that homeowners who received principal reductions or other forms of debt forgiveness on their primary residences do not have to pay taxes on the amount forgiven.

The reason this act is important in today’s housing market is that, without the act, debt reduced through mortgage modifications or short sales qualifies as income to the borrower and is taxable. If the legislation is not extended, then it would require homeowners to complete a short sale or modification prior to year’s end in order to avoid a tax consequence.

In February, DSNews reported:

“Obama’s FY2013 budget proposal includes an extension of the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007…

In the Treasury’s Green Book, its summary explanation of the administration’s budget proposal, it calls for an extension of the tax break due to “the continued importance of facilitating home mortgage modifications.”

The administration is proposing an extension that would apply to any amounts forgiven before January 1, 2015.”

In today’s political environment, the passage of any budget proposal could be considered doubtful. However, both parties seem to be in agreement that this provision should be extended. We can only hope that it doesn’t fall victim to an election year.

Disclaimer: As with all tax issues, we strongly suggest you consult with your accountant to find out how this may impact you and your family.

Considering a short sale?  I can help.  Contact me today.   925-580-9829 or

Walk-In Wednesday – February 29th

Please join me for a complimentary consultation on Wednesday, February 29th between 5:30 PM & 7:30 PM. 

Come with your questions about the short sale process, foreclosure prevention, refinance, bankruptcy and credit restructuring. I can also provide you with a market analysis.  

Contact me for more details:

Free Tour of Foreclosures in Livermore, Saturday Feb 25.

Come join me at my Livermore Bank Owned Property Tour on Saturday, February 25.  First time homebuyers are welcome. You DO NOT need to be an investor to join us, although, investors are welcome. You will be met at my office briefly and then head out to see numerous bank owned properties available. Come personally to see some of the opportunities available in real estate. This a low-key event and you will be driving your own vehicle.  Each participant will receive a special bonus incentive for attending. I will have financing information available. Come with your questions and curiosity.

Where: Prudential CA Realty 1790 First Street, Livermore

When: Saturday, February 25, 2012  10 AM – 12 PM

Contact me for more details:  925-580-9829 or

Should Appraisers Use Distressed Properties as Comparables?

Clients often ask me if appraisers use distressed sales (short sales and foreclosures) as comparables when doing an appraisal on non-distressed properties.  Last month, the Appraisal Institute issued a paper on the subject, and in it,  explained the following:

“Foreclosures and short sales can provide important information for appraisers, who develop valuations based on market data and market forces.”  This is especially true when the number of traditional sales is limited.

“An appraiser should not ignore foreclosure sales and short sales if consideration of such sales is necessary to develop a credible value opinion.”

And they explained the possible differences between short sales and foreclosures:

“A short sale … might have involved atypical seller motivations and so might not be an ideal comp…”

A sale of a bank-owned property might have involved typical motivations, so the fact that it was a foreclosed property would not render it ineligible as a comp.”

The bottom line is that some will argue that distressed properties should not be used when appraising non-distressed properties. However, there is no longer any doubt that they will be. 

If you are interested in purchasing a home or need information about your own Upcoming sale, I'm here to answer your questions.

Contact me for more information: 925-580-9829 or

Your Pleasanton Market Summary

Average price per square foot for Pleasanton CA was $302, a decrease of 78.6% compared to the same period last year. The median sales price for homes in Pleasanton CA for Oct 11 to Dec 11 was $581,000 based on 244 home sales. Compared to the same period one year ago, the median home sales price decreased 17%, or $118,672, and the number of home sales decreased 9.3%. There are currently 160 resale and new homes in Pleasanton on Trulia, including 13 open houses, as well as 179 homes in the pre-foreclosure, auction, or bank-owned stages of the foreclosure process. The average listing price for homes for sale in Pleasanton CA was $854,152 for the week ending Jan 25, which represents a decrease of 1.2%, or $10,247, compared to the prior week.

Pleasanton Market Summary

Contact me for more information – 925-580-9829 or

Bank Owned Property Pick of the Week in Livermore: 5361 Lilac

This is the only solid bank owned property in Livermore in this price range. The few other ones I previewed had mold and location problems. This home at 5361 Lilac has good curb appeal, a nice floorplan and lots of potential. In a market where we are lacking quality homes, this one shines on the brighter side. Come with a paint brush and cleaning supplies, but this is a home that buyers should consider in Livermore.


Interested in others? Visit my website: www.NatalieSwanason.Com. Click that tab and view. Email me for more details.