HotelDel DownTown Sunset



    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 production.

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 after hours.

Merry Christmas to all!



  The Winner of This Month's Drawing Is... 


Erik Faulk

Erik has won a $50 Cohn restaurant gift card.  Congratulations!


The next drawing will be in a few weeks......



News & Views  


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.




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:

1. 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.
2. Consider 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.
4. Consider 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 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.
8. Consider 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.
9. Purchase 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 purposes..





Video of the Month


WestJetter WestJet Christmas MiracleChristmas Miracle

This heart 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.



As always, feel free to give me a call 800-913-7677 with your real estate needs.  I appreciate your referrals.




Acedemic Earth 


Jennifer Ross


Experience Counts!
Over 25 years in
Real Estate sales
Serving all of San Diego


Office: 800.913.7677
Direct: 619.985.7340





Current Mortage Rates

 ( weekly avg)

 30 yr fixed: 4.58%

15 yr fixed: 3.63%




Join My Mailing List

Subscribe Button