Real Estate Today: We Know What We Can’t Do, Here’s What We Can Do

By Fran Flanagan

Home has never been more important than it is now in the middle of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Stay at home orders are giving us all the time to look at our homes in a different way.  Many of us are deciding that we might want something different moving forward.  Do we want to be closer to family?  Do our families want to move closer to us?  Do we need more office space at home?  Do we want something bigger, smaller, with a pool and view?

Whatever you real estate wants or needs are, this is a market where things CAN happen.  Conferring with an experienced realtor in conjunction with your trusted financial advisors can start a plan in process for the future.  

You CAN spend time talking things through with your Realtor and getting advice on where your next home might be.  Where are the communities that offer amenities which you might want or need, moving forward? The pace of our current market will allow the TIME we need to get your home cleaned out and ready for painters and stagers, or at least set a timeline in place.  

An experienced Realtor can help start conversations and make suggestions. 

As part of a tax deferring strategy, your accountant might suggest renting your home for a period of time.  This would allow you to change your home into an investment property and trade it later for other investment properties in a “1031 Exchange.”  This might sound a little complicated, but with experienced guidance, it can be a terrific way to navigate right now.    If possible, you might want to inquire about a refi which would allow you to take advantage of the low interest rates and pull out some equity from your home before you offer it for rent.  The monthly rental income will go a long way to enabling your future security. 

As a buyer, preparing yourself for stepping up as the “stay at home” order lifts, file your 2019 taxes as soon as you can, even though the deadline has been extended.  Another good thing to do now is to work on your credit score to make sure that it is above 700.  If you can get prequalified by a lender, do so.  You may be advised to pay off other debt.   You will stand out as an exemplary buyer when the time comes. 

Opportunity is everywhere.  Where to find it requires skill and preparation – and experienced advisors.  So, stay home, stay safe, stay healthy and start planning your next move. 

Fran Flanagan has been representing buyers and sellers in Pacific Palisades and Brentwood for thirty-eight years.  Her associate, Jill Newhouse Calcaterra, lives in Brentwood and focuses her attention there. 

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