Jennifer Ross -
What Is A Fixture?
What is a fixture and what is not
a fixture is the basis for many real estate
When I take a listing, I walk through the
home with the seller to discuss fixtures. If
personal property is affixed or fastened to real
estate, it becomes a fixture. Fixtures become real
property when they are attached to the
If the seller has a certain affection for a
fixture, I suggest the seller remove it and, if
necessary, replace it. If a buyer never sees it,
the buyer won't want it. Soon as you call
attention to a fixture and tell the buyer they
can't have it, they'll covet it. It's just human
nature, quirky as that may sound.
People become attached to the strangest
things - such as drapes. Typically, if you can
remove window coverings by sliding them off a rod
such as curtains or drapes, those window coverings
are not considered a fixture. However, curtain
rods, blinds and window shades are fixtures.
How to Determine if Personal
Property is a Fixture
Every state has
its own guidelines for what constitutes a fixture,
but here are the five tests California courts use
to determine what is a fixture and what is not.
Not every test needs to be met.
It's called M-A-R-I-A.
Method of attachment. Is
the item permanently affixed to the wall, ceiling
or flooring by using nails, glue, cement, pipes,
or screws? Even if you can easily remove it, the
method used to attach it might make it a fixture.
For example, ceiling lights, although attached by
wires, can be removed, but the lights are a
Adaptability. If the item
becomes an integral part of the home, it cannot be
removed. For example, a floating laminate floor is
a fixture, even though it is snapped together. One
could argue that a built-in Sub Zero refrigerator
is considered a fixture, although it can be
unplugged, because it fits inside a specified
Relationship of the parties.
If the dispute is between tenant and landlord, the
tenant is likely to win. If the dispute is between
buyer and seller, the buyer is likely to
Intention of party when the item was
attached. When the installation took
place, if the intent was to make the item a
permanent attachment, for example, a built-in
bookcase, the item is a fixture.
Agreement between the
parties. Read your purchase contract.
Most contain a clause that expressly defines items
included in the sale and ordinarily state "All
existing fixtures and fittings that are attached
to the property."
How to Ensure That Fixtures Remain
with the House
Sellers and buyers
should specifically state in the purchase offer
which items will stay with the house and which
will go, especially if there could be confusion
over a fixture. Items such as kitchen appliances,
bookshelves, portable spas, water fountains, and
washers and dryers, should be noted in the
contract as included or excluded from sale.
In California, many buyers are confused about
koi ponds. Do the fish stay or go? The pond is a
fixture, but the fish can be carried away in a
bucket of water. Some koi are kept as pets. If a
buyer wants to negotiate for the koi, buyers are
advised to identify the type (some can cost $3,000
a piece) count the koi and write the fish into the
For legal questions, please consult a real
|How To File a
Filing an extension is super easy. I tell you
how to do it. Time Required: 15 minutes.
But first, let's talk about what an extension
is and what it is not. An "Extension" is a way to
ask the IRS for more time to file your tax return.
The deadline to file your 2009 return is April 15,
2010. Form 4868 will extend the deadline by six
months. With an extension, your deadline to file a
tax return is October 15, 2010. However, an
extension of time to file is not an extension of
time to pay. That means, if you owe, you should
pay the IRS by the April 15th deadline to avoid
penalties and interest. For more filing deadlines,
see the Tax Calendar.
1.Create a rough draft of your tax
return. Get an idea of approximately how much you
owe. If you need a very quick and reasonably
accurate estimate of what you might owe (or have
as a refund), take a look at these very helpful
and pretty easy to use tax estimating
2.Download the Automatic Extension
Form 4868 (PDF). Fill it out, and write a check
for the approximate amount of money you owe.
3.Mail the extension form with your check.
Make sure you mail it by April 15th. Here's a list
of mailing addresses for sending Form 4868 to the
4.If you don't make it to the post office
in time to mail your Form 4868, you can file your
extension online. Just make sure you e-file your
extension before midnight. And since it takes
about five to ten minutes to file the extension
online, you should give yourself enough time to
finish before midnight.
1.If you owe the IRS, you must pay your tax
in full by April 15th. If you do not pay your tax
in full, the IRS will calculate penalties and
interest on your outstanding balance. The penalty
for not filing is 5% per month up to a maximum
penalty of 25% of the balance due. By contrast,
the failure to pay penalty is 0.5% per month, plus
a monthly interest charge. The bottom line? If you
think you owe, file an extension!
even easier way to file your extension and pay
your taxes? Pay your tax using your credit card
and file your Form 4868 all at the same
There are two IRS-approved credit card services.
One is Link2Gov which offers extension payments
through Pay1040. The other IRS-approved payment
service is Official Payments. Both companies
charge a 2.49% convenience fee for using their
3.You can also file your extension
using your tax preparation software. Get
instructions for how to file an extension using
TaxAct, TurboTax, and TaxCut.
4.You can no
longer file an extension using the IRS TeleFile
system. TeleFile was a telephone-based service
used to file extensions and other tax-related
forms. TeleFile was discontinued in 2005.
no longer need to request a 2nd extension (old IRS
Form 2688). This form was used to request an
additional 2-month extension when the first
extension provided only a 4-month extension of
time. Now that Form 4868 provides an automatic
6-month extension, you will no longer need to
submit Form 2688.
"Our imagination is the only
limit to what we can hope to have in the future."
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Newseum to be part of Today's Front Pages. Each
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An archive chronicles events of historical
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days in office, and economic
|As always, feel free to give me
a call 800-913-7677 with your real estate
needs. I appreciate your referrals.
Over 21 years in
Serving all of San Diego
30 yr fixed: 5.35%
15 yr fixed: 4.69%
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