Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Homebuyers looking to take advantage of Proposition 90 in El Dorado County have one year left to qualify.
The El Dorado County Board of Supervisors voted to end participation in the property tax swap program effective Nov. 7, 2018, giving those in the pipeline some time. This action, approved on a 4-1 vote, does not affect homeowners already getting the property tax discount.
Prop. 90 was approved by the board in 2009 as a way to revive a weak real estate market. It allows homeowners (55 and older) in another county to transfer their base property tax value to a home purchased in El Dorado County — thereby paying less in property taxes here. To qualify, the sale of the original home and the purchase of the new home must be completed within two years of each other. Prop. 90’s initial lifespan in El Dorado County was five years and in 2014 the board renewed the county’s participation for another 18 months.
Last year the board supported another five-year renewal with the caveat that the Chief Administrative Office provide an annual report — the first of which was released last month and detailed the loss in revenue to the county General Fund and special districts. On Oct. 24 the board discussed the report and after much debate voted to discontinue Prop. 90. The supervisors asked staff to come back with an exit strategy, which was the topic of discussion Tuesday.
Prior to the Nov. 7 motion — supported by Supervisors John Hidahl, Shiva Frentzen, Brian Veerkamp and Michael Ranalli — several speakers, many of them Prop. 90 beneficiaries and real estate professionals, asked the board to reconsider.
Pleasanton resident Phil Richardson said Prop. 90 was a key factor in his family choosing to live in El Dorado County. The family had planned to have three generations living here. Opting out of Prop. 90 means he and his wife might look elsewhere for a home, he said, even though their children and grandchildren have moved to El Dorado County.
Another Prop. 90 beneficiary called it “a game changer — not just for me but for others migrating from the Bay Area.”
Realtors argued that though the county loses some property tax, Prop. 90 is “revenue neutral” or “revenue positive” because those homebuyers spend their money in El Dorado County, generating sales tax revenue.
“It brings businesses here, it brings people here and it does bring families here,” said Michelle Thompson with Lyon Real Estate in El Dorado Hills.
Susan McVicar with Century 21 in Placerville urged the supervisors to “look at the big picture.”
“These new residents are creating jobs,” she said. “They are more than making up for the tax losses.”
Being able to quantify what is lost in property tax revenue but not what is gained in sales tax revenue was a sticking point for some board members. They also noted that the county takes a relatively small hit compared to the special districts, specifically fire districts and school districts, which solely rely on property tax revenue. Those entities do not receive sales tax revenue.
Conceding that the board will stick to its Oct. 24 decision, other speakers asked for more time to wind down Prop. 90, thereby allowing more people to qualify before the benefit disappears. Several speakers supported a two-year plan.
Ken Calhoon, an agent on the Divide, said the board’s action last year to renew Prop. 90 participation for five more years set retirement planning in motion for many people — some of whom aren’t ready or able to shorten their timelines.
“A longer phase-out period is required to lessen the economic impact,” Calhoon argued.
District 5 Supervisor Sue Novasel, the lone no vote in both actions to end Prop. 90 participation, proposed a two-year soft landing. Supervisor Hidahl countered with a one-year extension, which passed.
While recognizing that Prop. 90 has helped improve the area’s real estate climate, Supervisor Veerkamp said,” What also works is El Dorado County is a great place to come to. (Prop. 90) has put us in a good place but now it has run its course.”
Monday, November 13, 2017
The real estate investing business is more than numbers and properties. You can spend your days studying charts and looking at trends but if you don’t do the little things it doesn’t make a difference. Every investor should treat their investing like a business. With this, there are a few important principals that should guide almost everything you do. These are the thoughts, actions and beliefs that separate you from everyone else. Most of these have little to do with real estate but will ultimately define your business. A lack of principals and direction derails investors more than anything else. Here are four important principals you should consider in your real estate business.
- “I will not let fear dictate my business.” The single biggest obstacle to success is fear. Fear is around you all the time in almost everything you do. Many investors do not even get off the ground because of a fear of failure. They are so scared to be wrong that they do not fully commit to the business. There are so many negative voices out there it is easy to get sucked into thinking you are doing something wrong. Sure, failure is always an option but there is only one way to find out. What you will find is that once you overcome your initial fears it gets easier along the way. Even when you pass the initial stages of the business there are constant challenges when you will need to face your fears and step out of your comfort zone. Doing this is never easy but it will be some of the most rewarding feelings you will have in the business. The minute you start controlling your fears you will take charge of your business and start having the success you desire.
- “I am driven by my goals.” We are all motivated by different things. Some investors are motivated by money while others want to be successful for personal reasons. As long as you are motivated by something what that is doesn’t really matter. The best investors always have something pushing them to be better every day. In most cases they have a clearly defined set of goals. Do you know what you want out of the real estate business? You may have gotten thrown in the business after leaving your job or only close a few deals a year. Regardless of how you got here or how much volume you do if you are reading this you should consider yourself a real estate investor. With that you should take some time to write down your personal and professional goals. Be as specific as you can in terms of net result and timeframe. With your goals attach an action plan for how you intend to make it happen. When you get stuck you will revert to these goals and use them to push you. You can still close deals without goals but you won’t have a long-term business plan.
- “Do most important tasks first.” Your ultimate goal is to close deals and generate revenue. You are not simply looking to take up eight hours a day on busy work that gets you nowhere. There are literally dozens of things you can do daily to enhance and grow your real estate business. Regardless of where you are in your business you need to balance closing existing deals while generating new ones. With any new task you need to ask yourself just how important it is. How is working on the task going to help bring new deals or close the ones you are dealing with? Sometimes doing a task today may not bear fruit for several weeks. This is just part of working in real estate. However, there are many tasks that can make you feel like you are doing something but you are really just avoiding something difficult. Instead of the busy work dig in and face the most important, or difficult, tasks first. Everything else doesn’t matter unless the big tasks get done.
- “I will not let setbacks get me down.” Investing in real estate can be trying at times. With increased competition, there are going to be deals that fall through the cracks. These can be especially difficult if you have worked on securing a property for a while. When this happens you hit a fork in your business road. You can either complain and pout or you can learn from it and come back stronger. Those investors who fight through these times are better for it and will ultimately be more successful. Real estate investing can be a lot like being a hitter in the major leagues. To bat .300 means you make outs seven out of ten times at bat. A 70% failure rate can be difficult to deal with but you can let those setbacks get you down. As an investor, all it takes is a deal or two to put you back on track. Failure and disappointment is part of the business. You need to be willing to accept it and quickly move on.
Running a business is a mental game. There are constant emotions and feelings that can impact your daily operations. How you control these are more important than your ability to quickly break down the numbers on a property. As an investor, you can set your own principals and ideals that will drive your business. Whatever they are you need to have something you can lean on during difficult times.