21 Reasons for Title Insurance

Every transaction someone asks “Why do I have to buy Title Insurance?” Maybe you answered “Well, the lender requires it. It protects the lender.”

It may surprise you to learn there are myriad ways that title insurance protects buyers, sellers, and everyone else related to the transaction. To give you insight as to the many ways that title insurance benefits everyone, I am providing the following flyer. Feel free to copy this and give it to your buyers and sellers. It only adds to your credibility as a consumate transaction specialist.

CA Homestead Exemption 2021

The homestead exemption applies when a creditor attempts to enforce a money judgment against a qualified dwelling.

Prior to January 1, 2021, California Code of Civil Procedure§ 704.730 stated that a specified portion of equity in a homestead is exempt from execution to satisfy a judgment debt and prescribes that the amount of the homestead exemption is $75,000 for a single homeowner, $100,000 for married couples or heads of household, or $175,000 for those over 65 years of age or disabled.

EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2021, California Code of Civil Procedure § 704.730 states as follows:
(a) The amount of the homestead exemption is the greater of the following:

(1) The countywide median sale price for a single-family home in the calendar year prior to the calendar year in which the judgment debtor claims the exemption, not to exceed six hundred thousand dollars ($600,000).
(2) Three hundred thousand dollars ($300,000).
(b) The amounts specified in this section shall adjust annually for inflation, beginning on January 1, 2022, based on the change in the annual California Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers for the prior fiscal year, published by the Department of Industrial Relations.

Click here to download a .pdf version of this flyer

California’s Proposition 19

Proposition 19 significantly changes certain property tax transfers, exemptions and revenue for Wildfire Agencies and Counties.

Specifically, primary residents over 55 may now carry their current tax assessments to a replacement residence in any California county.

Also, Parent-to-Child exemptions are limited to the first $1 million of value over the parent’s assessed value. The exemption is also limited to only primary residences of both the parent and child.

Understanding Forbearance in Escrow

Due to the 2020 pandemic, millions of homeowners have requested a forbearance plan from their loan servicer. Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) homeowners were given the option to suspend their mortgage payments by entering into a forbearance agreement with their loan servicer if they have a federally backed mortgage.

Click HERE to download a printable image of this flyer.

Stay Savvy…Stay Safe…

The FBI recently released its 2019 Internet Crimes Report. The top category, Business Email Compromise (BEC), and Email Account Compromise (EAC) once again topped the list, dwarfing all other categories and, despite continued warnings, continues to grow year after year.

These BEC scams often lead to wire transfer fraud. According to the FBI, there were 11,677 victims in 2019 with $221 million in losses due to wire transfer fraud. This compares to 11,300 reported victims and $150 million in losses in 2018.

Click on the Flyer to Download it.

Stay Savvy - Stay Safe Anon

New California Laws for 2020 – Part 2

Our legislators were busy as bees last year, enacting 50 new laws affecting your real estate practice. As a real estate advisor, you need to be able to explain how these new laws may affect your clients. Bookmark this post and refer back to it often. I have provided links to summaries and texts of each of the new laws to answer all your questions.

This is the second of two posts covering the new laws for 2020.

LANDLORD/TENANT: DISCRIMINATION ON THE BASIS OF SOURCE OF INCOME SB 329

“Discrimination” on the basis of “source of income” has been expanded to include a refusal to rent to a tenant based on the tenant’s receipt of federal, state or local housing subsidies including “Section 8. Effective 1-1-20

MezuzahLANDLORD/TENANT: RELIGIOUS ITEMS MAY BE DISPLAYED ON ENTRY DOORS SB 652

This law, with certain exceptions, prohibits a residential property owner and a common interest development from enforcing or adopting a restriction that prohibits the display of religious items on an entry door or entry door frame of a dwelling. Effective 1-1-20

LANDLORD/TENANT: TENANT ALLOWING OCCUPANCY OF PROPERTY TO PERSON AT RISK OF HOMELESSNESS

SB 1188 Creates a legal framework allowing a tenant, with the written approval of the owner/landlord, to take in a “person at risk of homelessness.” Effective 1-1-20

 

LANDLORD/TENANT: STATEWIDE RENT CAPS AND JUST CAUSE EVICTION

AB 1482 Imposes statewide rent caps of 5% plus inflation and just cause eviction requirements on rental properties. Various exemptions apply including single-family homes and condos (not owned by a corporation or REIT) and properties where a certificate of occupancy has been issued within the past 15 years. Effective 1-1-20

LANDLORD/TENANT: FAMILY DAYCARE HOMES

SB 234 Requires large family daycare homes with up to 14 children to be treated as a residential use for purposes of all local ordinances. Clarifies that apartments may be used as family daycare homes. Effective 1-1-20

LANDLORD/TENANT: RENT INCREASES ABOVE 10% REQUIRES 90-DAY NOTICE AB 1110

The notice period for increasing rent above 10% in any 12-month period is 90 days. Previously, it was 60 days. Effective 1-1-20

LANDLORD/TENANT: RECYCLING BINS AB 827

This new law requires a multi-family dwelling of five or more units, among other businesses, to provide customers with a recycling bin or container for a waste stream that is visible, easily accessible, adjacent to each bin or container for trash other than that recyclable waste stream (except in restrooms) and clearly marked with educational signage. Effective 1-1-20

Recycling bins

LANDLORD/TENANT: EXTENDS INDEFINITELY A LAW PROVIDING VARIOUS PROTECTIONS TO TENANTS IN FORECLOSED PROPERTY INCLUDING 90-DAY NOTICE TO TERMINATE A MONTH TO MONTH TENANCY SB 18

This new law extends indefinitely the requirement that a landlord of a foreclosed property provides a month to month tenant with a 90-day notice of termination and that existing leases must generally be honored. Effective 1-1-20

INSURANCE: 75-DAY NOTICE OF NONRENEWAL

AB 1816 Requires insurers to provide at least a 75-day notice of nonrenewal of a homeowner’s policy (currently 45 days) and raises the limit on a homeowner insurance claim covered by the California Insurance Guarantee Association (CIGA) to $1 million. This law also allows the insurer to be proportionately relieved of their responsibility to participate in the Fair Access to Insurance Requirements (FAIR) plan. For policies that expire on or after 7-1-20

LEAD PAINT ABATEMENT IMMUNITY

AB 206 Grants immunity to landlords or agents who voluntarily abate lead paint hazards and provides that such efforts cannot be considered evidence of uninhabitability pursuant to certain lead paint abatement programs. Effective 1-1-20

LOANS: PROHIBITS CALIFORNIA FINANCING LAW LICENSEES FROM RECEIVING CERTAIN CHARGES ON A CONSUMER LOAN

AB 539 Prohibits California Financing Law (CFL) licensees from receiving charges on a consumer loan at a rate exceeding 36% per annum plus the Federal Funds Rate for loans with a principal amount from $2,500 to $10,000. Effective 1-1-20

REAL ESTATE LAW CLEANUP: TECHNICAL CHANGES THAT CONFIRM EXISTING LAW REGARDING DELIVERY OF THE TDS, NHD AND AD AB 892

This law clarifies and confirms existing law that delivery of the TDS and NHD is generally not required for leases of any duration, but the Agency Disclosure form is required for residential leases of more than one year.

Confirms that there is no cancellation right for a buyer based upon delivery of the visual inspection when purchasing from an unrepresented seller. Effective 1-1-20

Recording FeesRECORDING FEES: COUNTY MAY INCREASE FEE BY $1

AB 212 Counties are authorized to increase their recording fees by $1 to defray the cost of document storage. Effective 1-1-20

TAX: NO CONFORMITY WITH OPPORTUNITY ZONE TAX BENEFITS AB 91

California did not identify Opportunity Zones (OZ) to mirror federal law which would have resulted in greater incentivization of real property investments in these areas.

TAX: EXEMPTIONS FROM REASSESSMENT: NARROW EXCLUSION FOR CERTAIN PARENT-CHILD TRANSFERS OF PROPERTY THROUGH A CORPORATION

AB 872 Creates a property tax change in ownership exclusion in the case of a parent to child transfer of stock in a qualified corporation following the last surviving parent’s death limited in scope to the parents’ residence and the parcel of land upon which the home is located provided that among other things: 1) the residence has continuously served as the child’s home, and 2) the property’s assessed value does not exceed $1 million. Effective 10-9-19

SewerUTILITIES: COSTS FOR EXTENSION OF WATER AND SEWER SERVICES SB 646

This law requires the estimated reasonable costs of labor and materials for installation of facilities associated with a water or sewer connection to bear a fair or reasonable relationship to the payor’s burdens on, or benefits received from, the water connection or sewer connection. Effective 10-9-19

APPRAISAL REQUIREMENTS INCREASES FROM $250,000 TO $400,000 FOR CERTAIN HOME SALES

Certain home sales of $400,000 no longer require an appraisal as federal regulators increase the threshold at which residential home sales require an appraisal from $250,000 to $400,000. The rule will not apply to loans sold to or guaranteed to the VA, FHA, HUD, Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. The final rule has yet to be published. Once published the rule will be effective

MOBILE HOMES: APPLICATION PROCESS; RIGHTS OF BUYER AND SELLER WHEN SELLING A MOBILE HOME THAT WILL REMAIN IN THE PARK; RIGHT OF FIRST REFUSAL AFTER DISASTER; AND RIGHT TO A COMPANION SB 274

Park Management must respond within 15 days to a seller and the prospective purchaser by providing application standards for the park where the mobile home being sold is located and a list of the necessary documentation. If a buyer is rejected for financial reasons, they have a right to supply additional financial information which the park must consider. A park that fails to comply is liable for damages to the seller.

Additionally, a homeowner has a first right of refusal when a park elects to rebuild after a disaster. A homeowner that lives alone has the right to designate one companion at a time to live with them free of charge, up to three a year. Effective 1-1-20

mobile homes