Greetings from Jennifer Ross - Realtor
Christmas is almost here and I must say Santa already
delivered all my wishes! My daughter Alexandra
graduated from Syracuse University December 12th and is now home for
the holidays. She will return to New York City at the end of
the month to search for an apartment and pursue a career in Film
My son Eliot just finished three days of studio recording and
producton with his band "The Verigolds"! He continues
his day job in Life Science Technology and will pursue rock stardom
Winner of This Month's Drawing Is...
has won a $50 Cohn restaurant gift card. Congratulations!
The next drawing will be in a few weeks......
Toll Bros., the
luxury homebuilder, issued its quarterly report for the past three
months and the numbers are rather compelling. It reports sales of
1,485 units in the quarter, up 36 percent from a year earlier, and
that the average price of a new home sold was $703,000 compared with
$582,000 in Q3 2012. However, Chairman Robert Toll said there is
still plenty of room for growth. "The economy, while still
improving slowly, is far from fully recovered. National housing
starts, although projected to be up in 2013 compared to 2012, will
still be well below the average of the last 40 years despite an
increased population," he said.
San Diego County is the second-most populous county in California,
according to a new report from the Department of Finance -- second
only to Los Angeles County. The population in San Diego at the end of
July 2013 was 3.18 million, slightly ahead of Orange County. Overall,
California saw the population increase by 332,000 in the previous
year to a total of 38.2 million people. The increase was the biggest
since the prerecession years of 2003-04.
The population here -- and the lack of new home construction to meet
the growing number of people -- was a theme this week in the
presentation by Zillow chief economist Stan Humphries at the 14th
annual Residential Real Estate Conference at the USD Burnham-Moores
Center for Real Estate. He emphasized that 2013 home price
appreciation has been well above even the most optimistic
predictions. However, he suggested prices will continue to rise in
the new year but at a much slower rate. The uncertainty about
mortgage interest rates and the direction of the economy will keep
prices in check. However, Alan Nevin of Xpera Group said to heck with
all of that, supply/demand forces will keep prices
rising double digits in 2014.
This week's report on new home construction is a big winner. The
Department of Commerce said construction activity rose in November by
22.7 percent to an annualized rate of 1.09 million units, the highest
rate since February 2008. Most impressive was the report showing
construction of single-family detached homes rose by 20.8 percent. In
recent months, most construction activity was driven by multifamily
projects such as apartments and townhouses. Building permits for
single-family construction, a sign of future activity, rose by a 2.1
percent last month.
YEAR END TAX SAVINGS TIPS For 2013
There are number of steps that can be taken before the end of 2013 to
save taxes. Here is a list of some of the most important ones:
Avoid spikes in income which may push you into a higher tax bracket.
Spreading the recognition of income between 2013 and 2014 rather than
recognizing it all in one year may accomplish this goal. For most
individuals, the federal ordinary income tax rates for 2013 are the
same as last year: 10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33%, and 35%. However, the
American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA), passed at the beginning of 2013,
a new top rate of 39.6%. That rate only affects single individuals
with taxable income above $400,000, and married joint-filing couples
with income above $450,000. In addition, two new taxes that were
established by the 2010 Affordable Care
Act also went into effect for the first time in 2013 - a 3.8% tax on
investment income, and a 0.9% tax on salary and self-employment
income. These apply to single individuals with adjusted gross income
above $200,000, and married joint-filing couples with adjusted gross
income above $250,000.
prepaying deductible expenses in 2013 if you expect
to be in the same or a lower tax bracket in 2014. For example, you
could accelerate your home mortgage payment that is due in January,
or prepay state and local income and property taxes that are
not due until 2014.
3. Look at
realizing capital losses in your stock portfolio to offset against
capital gains. The federal income tax rates on long-term
capital gains and dividends for 2013 are also the same as last year
for most individuals - either 0% or 15%. However, ATRA raised the
maximum rate to 20% for individuals who also fall into the top 39.6%
ordinary income bracket described above.
converting a traditional IRA to a ROTH IRA before the
end of the year to produce income to write off against excess
deductions or to take advantage of lower tax brackets.
5. Use your
2013 annual gift tax exclusions to make gifts without
using any portion of your exemption from the federal gift and estate
tax (currently $5.25 million per person). Such annual gifts can be
made outright or to qualifying trusts. Each person can make a gift of
up to $14,000 per donee under the annual exclusion.
6. Give to
charity before the end of the year to get a deduction for 2013.
Contributions can be made directly to charitable organizations, or to
a donor advised fund, private foundation or charitable gift annuity.
7. Elect to
distribute up to $100,000 from your IRA directly to a qualifying
charity in partial or full satisfaction of your
required minimum distribution for 2013 if you are age 70 ½ or older.
Such a qualified charitable rollover will not be reportable for
federal income tax purposes. This benefit will expire at the end of
this year unless Congress extends it.
making distributions from a trust or an estate to the beneficiaries
of the trust or estate to shift income tax liability
from the higher income tax bracket of the trust or estate to the
lower tax bracket of the beneficiary. The highest rate (39.6%) for
trusts and estates starts at a very low level of taxable income -
$11,950 in 2013.
business equipment before the end of the year. Up to
$500,000 in equipment purchases can be expensed in 2013, rather than
being depreciated over a number of years. The $500,000 limit is
scheduled to be reduce significantly in 2014, to just $25,000. If
your purchases exceed the $500,000 limit, you could also take
advantage of a 50% bonus depreciation allowance in 2013. With a few
exceptions, bonus depreciation is scheduled to disappear in 2014.
10. Review and
update your estate planning. There have been many
changes in the estate and gift tax rules in recent years. Even if you
already have an estate plan, it may need updating. You may need to
make some changes for reasons that have nothing to do with taxes such
as births, deaths, and other life changes or for asset protection
Video of the Month
WestJetter Christmas Miracle
warming video highlights a Canadian airline's brilliant promotional
idea to provide a real-time encounter with Santa via a kiosk as
passengers on two flights check in, and then 175 'elves' deliver the
gifts that they had requested from Santa at the end of the 4-hour
flight in the baggage claim of their destinations.
always, feel free to give me a call 800-913-7677 with your real
estate needs. I appreciate your referrals.
Over 25 years in
Real Estate sales
Serving all of San Diego
yr fixed: 3.63%