Greetings from Jennifer
Ross - Realtor
daughter Alexandra was home for a brief stay during Christmas.
She's now spending a semester abroad in Florence Italy and having the
time of her life! The trip over was tough... San Diego to New
York, to Munich to Florence. Unfortunately, I had
recently watched the movie "Taken" which was not a smart
move on my part. But on each lag of her trip, I received
a text saying "I've arrived and haven't been taken
yet!" Upon her arrival in Florence she took a taxi
to a hotel where students from all over the world met and had a three
day orientation and recovery period. The students had no idea
who their host families were until the families arrived to pick them
up after orientation.
Alexandra lucked out and has a wonderful family. The mother is
a professor at Syracuse University in Florence where she teaches
Italian and Women's Studies. She has a 20 year old son who is
also a student at Syracuse. Their 3 bedroom flat is in the
center of Florence and only a ten minute walk to the University.
Each weekend the school takes the students on trips. In
addition to her classes she hopes to get an internship with at an
online fashion/food TV magazine where she will edit short
films. Next weekend she visits Venice for Carnival!
La vita è bella! (Life is good)
The Winner of This Month's
has won a $50 restaurant gift card. Congratulations!
The next drawing will be in a few weeks......
There is lots of
real estate news this week. For all of 2012, sales were up 9.2
percent to 4.65 million units, the highest volume since 2007. Median
prices nationwide averaged $180,800, up 11.5 percent. Here in the
West, sales rose 5.1 percent in December while the median price was
$239,900, up 17.3 percent from December 2011.
Another report out this week from Zillow shows U.S. home
values ended 2012 with an annualized increase in value of 5.9
percent. Here in San Diego, home values rose
10.0 percent for the past year to an average of $373,400.
The Zillow report shows some of the hardest hit real estate markets
in the United States bounced back with a vengeance last year with
prices in Phoenix up 22.5 percent, Las Vegas up 13.9 percent, and
Denver up 12.1 percent.
A survey of real estate professionals and homebuyers
expect the market in 2013 to be even better than last year. People
surveyed by Point2Homes, an online search engine, were especially
optimistic here in California (50 percent).
Ways The American Taxpayers Relief Act May Affect You
This month, Congress reached an agreement in the "fiscal
cliff" negotiations, and President Obama signed the American
Taxpayers Relief Act into law.
Here are 5 housing-related provisions included in the federal law:
- Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act
extended for one year
- 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 the sale of principal residences will
remain unchanged and continues to exclude the first $250,000 for
single taxpayers and $500,000 taxpayers filing jointly.
Laughter is the
shortest distance between two people.
Laughter is an instant vacation.
The difference between genius and stupidity is; genius has its
A woman's mind is cleaner than a man's. She changes it more often.
As always, feel free to give me a
call 800-913-7677 with your real estate needs. I appreciate
Over 24 years in
Real Estate sales
Serving all of San Diego
yr fixed: 2.94%