"Palos Verdes Resident since 1947"

May 2024 Newsletter

Dear Neighbor:

Lest you think all I do is to write you an occasional letter, I was honored to be named the #1 Berkshire Hathaway agent in the South Bay for the first quarter of 2024, and in the Chairman’s Circle (the highest level) for all of 2023.  Thanks to all of you whose family homes I have had the honor to sell over the past 40 years.

OK, done bragging.  I’m going to get into the weeds a bit here, but I think it’s important, as it is something any heirs deciding whether to keep or sell their family home need to be aware of (oh man, here come the grammar police).  In January of 2021, when the news was dominated by the latest Covid statistics, something called Proposition 19 went into effect.  Prop 19 had been approved by the voters the previous Fall with the highly publicized benefit that, if you are 55 or older, you can transfer the property tax base of your current home to your new one anywhere in California, regardless of the price of the latter, subject to a formula which I won’t get into here. 

The other (unpublicized) shoe dropped with a thud in the Spring of 2021:  specifically, if a family home is inherited upon the death of the parents, the property taxes on it are immediately re-assessed at current market value.  If you were planning to move into the family home, you’d better be getting along with your siblings, because the only way to avoid re-assessment is for ALL heirs to move into the house.  Even if you had planned to sell the house all along, and move as fast as you can to sell it without it looking unseemly, getting an unsecured (and unexpected and unwelcome) tax bill covering the period between the death of your parent and the close of escrow with the new owner, is pretty much unavoidable.  If the house has been in the family for many decades, this can be in the tens of thousands of dollars.  With my experience with the assessors, I managed to get a few of these waived in the beginning with the argument that no one knew about it.  Of course that doesn’t fly any more.

Back in the late 1980’s I had some involvement in the writing of Proposition 60 which, as you may recall, allowed anyone 55 or older to buy a replacement dwelling of a value equal to, or less than the sale price of their current home, subject to some minor provisions buried in the bill.  That experience taught me a few things about how Sacramento works:  one of the hurdles in getting Prop 60 on the ballot was selling the county assessors, who figured they would lose revenue, on it; as a result, it only covered intra-county transfers.  Prop 90 was introduced a few years later that allowed inter-county transfers, but only subject to approval of the receiving county.  I have the strong feeling that the only way they got Prop 19 past the assessors this time was to make it “revenue neutral” by soaking heirs in the way described above.

I have got a beautiful house for sale at 2256 Rue Le Charlene, RPV – 5 bedrooms, 3 baths, 3140 square feet with a magnificent, flat rear garden (pool, spa, barbecue area, big lawn), 3-car attached garage, and remodeled top to bottom.  This wonderful family home is on a cul de sac and currently listed for just $2,250,000.  Give me a call for a private tour – 310 613-1076 or email [email protected].  You can also check out my website for the latest:  www.DanaGraham.com.

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