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Santa Clarita Real Estate Update
May, 2010 - Issue #67
It's a Great Time to Buy, but what about Selling?

by Joshua Suess • photography by Ted Dayton
If you haven't already noticed, this is a fantastic time to buy real estate in the Santa Clarita Valley. What we need to remember is this: Just like stocks, when real estate prices fall, it's usually the best time to buy. The rule on Wall Street is always buy low and sell high, and the same is true on Main Street.

Low interest rates and low prices equal a fantastic time to purchase - but is it a good time to sell? The answer is yes and no. There are currently eight price ranges that are actually experiencing a "sellers' market" and seven price ranges that still remain a "buyers' market." Knowing which category you fall in would be a key first step in choosing whether to sell now or not.

Second, your motivation to sell will be the most accurate predictor of the end result. Those who "want to move" may not have enough motivation to do what is necessary to sell in this market and those who "have to move" are and will continue to be the ones with a "sold" sign on their front lawns.

Third, it is highly recommended you speak with a real estate professional who handles and is familiar with all types of selling options such as short sales (including HAFA short sales), standard sales and others to properly advise you on what options are available to you in this market. The most critical aspect of buying or selling a home in today's market is having a knowledgeable real estate professional on your side to guide you through the process in order to avoid costly mistakes.
Joshua Suess is with The Suess Home Selling Team at Re/Max 702-4640 www.suessteam.com.

No More State Tax on Forgiven Debt
by Jennifer Thompson

There is good news for distressed homeowners! They will no longer have to pay California state income tax on debt forgiven in a short sale, foreclosure or loan modification. The recently-passed Senate bill aligns California's tax treatment of mortgage debt relief income with the federal law. This means that loans secured by "qualified principal residence" borrowers will now be exempt from both federal and state income tax. The existing federal exemption is for a debt up to $2 million, whereas the new California exemption is for indebtedness up to $800,000 and forgiven debt up to $500,000. The tax breaks apply to debts discharged from 2009 through 2012. If you have already filled your 2009 return, you may claim the exemption by filing an amendment.
Jennifer Thompson is owner of and Realtor® with Regal Realty of California 373-5636 www.regalrealtyca.com.
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