Technology for a Smarter Home: 5 ways to make your home smart for under $1,000 bucks!

Nowadays all you hear about is new technology, from electric cars that park themselves to commercial flights bound for space. Well in real estate, Smart Homes are the “new thing”! Smart-home systems start at around $2,000 and top out at more than $1 million, offering homeowners remote-controlled lighting, window shades, swimming pools, door locks, thermostats and security cameras – not to mention cutting-edge sound systems and home theaters. I’ve even seen a system that turns a regular TV room into a nightclub with the touch of a button on your iPad. Innovation is the key to growth and from my experience as a Realtor; it pays to trick your house or business out with the latest gadgets.Don’t just do it to impress friends, family, and customers, but think of potential buyers, as well! In working with clients of all budgets, all over Los Angeles, and in both commercial and residential real estate, I’ve come across some interesting technology and trends. Some of these trends and gadgets are unimaginably expensive, others I find useless, while some are pretty impressive and tangible for home and business owners. Below are some of the smart home trends I’ve seen, which are useful and affordable, and will increase the value and “It Factor” of your property almost instantly!

1. NEST: The smart version of your everyday thermostat, designed to learn the temperatures you prefer while switching to energy efficient settings while you’re away. The more I look at homes, in all price ranges, but mainly those that have been recently updated, the more I see this Nest feature that sellers and agents are always bragging about or pointing out. Essentially it gives new life and sleekness to the boxy, outdated, boring old thermostats you see and throws in a feature that allows you to control the temperature of your home while you’re away, learns what you like, and helps you save a few bucks on your energy bill. Nest runs about $250 and seems to be worth every penny from what I hear.

Nest

2. Cyber Rain Sprinkler System: This is a sprinkler controller with a brain. It uses the internet to check the weather and automatically adjusts run times. This system is ideal for the homeowner who wants to conserve water and be alerted to problems with their landscape. The Cyber Rain Pro checks your controller status every time it waters and emails if it detects a problem. If an optional flow meter is attached, the Cyber Rain Pro will also email you if you have a broken sprinkler head or a leak in your irrigation pipes. The system can also be remotely accessed by your landscape professional. Considering the costs of water and the serious drought problems in CA, this sounds like a smart investment. I’m surprised more people aren’t using technology like this to conserve water and save cash! It’ll run you about $700 bucks, but I’ve seen some of my clients’ water bills and trust me…it’s worth it!

Cyber Rain

3. Phillip Hue: Combines brilliant LED light with intuitive technology. Puts both in the palm of your hand. According to the company site: “Together, the bulbs, the bridge, and the app will change the way you use light. Forever. Experiment with shades of white, from invigorating blue to soothing yellow. Or play with all the colors in the hue spectrum. Hue can wake you up. Help protect your home. Relive your favorite memories, and even improve your mood.” This is a smart LED lighting product that you control from you iOS device. Basically this system takes your home’s or business’ mood lighting to the 21st century. So when you’re putting your home on the market or planning a big restaurant opening, consider “setting the mood” and see what transpires! Costs $200 and you can buy it at the Apple Store.

Phillip Hue

4. Yale Smart Locks: Sleek Motorized Z-Wave Touchscreen Deadbolt for Remote and Automated Access Control. Runs about $250 and combines a highly secure lockset with an illuminated 12-button touchscreen keypad, which allows users to lock and unlock their home via manual control or Z-Wave compatible home controllers. The lock stores up to 25 custom entry codes for easy manual locking and unlocking, plus an automatic deadbolt lock function. It’s designed for seamless integration with any Z-Wave product or central home controller to allow for monitoring of the lock’s status and remote lock/unlocking of your doors. An upcoming Yale lock will feature NFC (near-field communication) tech that will allow you to open it by waving your smart phone over it Jedi-style. With devices like this, you’ll never get locked out again!

Yale

5. The iSmartAlarm System: The system is modular, letting you buy the pieces you need in order to put together the perfect system for your home. You’ll need a CubeOne, which is the brain of the system, and then you can add sensors for doors and windows, cameras, motion detectors and remote control keyfobs. If any alarms come up, you’ll get an alert on your phone, and you can see what’s happening through the app in order to respond appropriately. You can also use iSmartAlarm to see if your family is home — even when you’re working late — and check that all of the doors and windows are closed and locked before heading to bed. Starts at $199, while safety and peace of mind are definitely priceless!

ISMARTALARM-CAM

These days, you can automate just about everything, depending on your budget and needs. The smart home & business trend is something new today, but soon it’ll become the norm and be expected, so get ahead of the game and turn your home or business into a smart one! We may not be living quite like the Jetsons yet, but we’re getting there! If you’re looking for tips or recommendations for home automation, please contact me.

As always, if you or someone you know is in need of real estate assistance, commercial or residential, I am happy to help! Please contact me direct or pass my information along!

Julie Kryukova
Tel: 310.402.8181
Email: jkryukova@gmail.com

Real Estate Investors Can Defer Taxes with a 1031 Exchange

Beverly Hills real estate

Paying taxes on capital gains for property transactions has always been a hindrance to those involved in real estate investment. Why should investors pay taxes on profit from real estate transactions if they’re putting the profit right back into some other real estate transaction?

The answer: They shouldn’t.

That’s exactly why the IRS created 1031 exchanges: to allow for tax deferment on profit that is reinvested immediately. Notice it’s a deferment, not a credit or a reduction. It does have to be paid eventually, just not at the time of sale and not until the money is taken out of the property, at which point it is taxable. Eager to learn more, I found some info on 1031 exchanges at 1031.org.

What Is a 1031 Exchange?

Simply put, a 1031 exchange is a method of deferring the tax on capital gains until some point in the future, according to 1031.org. They’re called Section 1031 exchanges because Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code states that “no gain or loss shall be recognized on the exchange of property held for productive use in a trade or business, or for investment.”

Section 1031 was created to encourage reinvestment of sale proceeds of property into similar property. Obviously this stimulates business and growth. As long as the investor continues to put profit back into more property, taxes are not owed.

This all makes pretty good sense. Let’s say I invest in a house in Beverly Hills that costs me $100,000 (I WISH!). I put $50,000 into the house and put it on the market. It sells for $250,000. My $100,000 profit, or capital gain, is then put into another property that I buy to fix up and sell. This continues, and all of my capital gains are deferred with a 1031 exchange UNTIL I sell my last property and enjoy my profit. At that point, I pay all taxes owed.

Frequently Asked Questions About 1031 Exchanges

What is the benefit of a 1031 exchange versus just selling property?

A Section 1031 exchange is one of the few ways investors can defer taxes due on the sale of property (assuming it qualifies for a 1031 exchange). Deferring taxes allows investors access to the money that would otherwise be paid in taxes, allowing them to invest in another property.

What are the general guidelines to follow in order to defer all the taxable gain?

The IRS is very clear on this. The value, equity in and debt on the new property must be equal to or greater than the value of the property being sold for an exchange to be valid. This is even more important – ALL of the profit from the property sale MUST be used to buy the new property. If even a tiny percentage of the profit is used for something else, the 1031 exchange is not valid.

If there is already a contract to sell the property, is it too late to start a tax-deferred exchange?
No, as long as there has not been a transfer of title or a closing on the sale of the property, a tax-deferred exchange can still be arranged. Once the closing occurs, it is too late.

Can the replacement property eventually become the investor’s primary residence or vacation home?
Yes, but Section 1031 has holding requirements (minimum length of time the new property must be owned) that must be met prior to changing the primary use of the property. According to 1031.org, the IRS has no specific regulations on holding periods (though a minimum of a year is recommended), and “if the owner later on wants to take advantage of the home owner’s exemption (up to $250,000 or $500,000 for a couple), there is now a five year holding period requirement.”

Finally, remember that if you’re a real estate investor or considering becoming one, now is still a great time to do so. Mortgage rates are still very low and property values, though trending up, are also still very low in many parts of the country. As always, please let me know if you have any questions.Happy investing!

If you’re looking to buy, sell, or lease residential or commercial real estate in Los Angeles, please contact me direct at jkryukova@gmail.com or 310.402.8181.

U.S. postpones 2014 hike in mortgage fees

West hollywood real estate

It’s a Christmas miracle!

Planned fee increases that would have added to the cost of millions of mortgages will be postponed. Currently, borrowers seeking loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are set to pay higher upfront fees starting April 1.

The fees, ordered by the Federal Housing Finance Agency earlier this month, are meant to help safeguard banks against risky borrowers who might default.
But housing experts say they will add thousands of dollars to the cost of all mortgages insured by Fannie and Freddie, with the biggest hits taken by borrowers with less than perfect credit histories.

On Friday, the incoming chief of the FHFA, Mel Watt, said he intends to postpone the fees — and perhaps even cancel them — until more analysis is done. The FHFA oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Watt, a former Democratic member of Congress, has been confirmed to his post by the Senate and takes office on January 6.

In a statement, Watt said he intends to “evaluate fully the rationale” for the fees and their impact on Fannie and Freddie and the “availability of credit.”

The mortgage industry has been bracing for substantial increases in the price of loans in 2014.
“If these [policies] had been implemented, it would have increased borrowing costs dramatically,” said David Stevens, CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The hit for individual borrowers would depend on the amount of the home purchase being financed, according to Brian Koss, executive vice president at Massachusetts-based lender Mortgage Network.
Borrowers would have paid a fee when they took out the loan, or they could have effectively rolled the higher fees into their interest rate, raising monthly mortgage payments by as much as a quarter percentage point.

Even with the reversal, however, mortgages will probably get more expensive over the next few months anyway as the Federal Reserve cuts back on its purchases of mortgage backed securities, a program designed to keep interest rates low.

Stevens, the mortgage industry representative, said the proposed increases made little sense. Defaults on mortgages made in recent years have been much lower than on those made before the housing crash.

As a result, Fannie and Freddie are flush with profits, so much so that they have already returned almost all of their $187 billion taxpayer-funded bailout.

“The GSEs are making a lot of money,” said Stevens. “There’s no rationale for the increases.”

If you’re looking for commercial or residential real estate assistance, please contact me at
jkryukova@gmail.com or (310)402-8181 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (310)402-8181 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

Source: http://money.cnn.com

Recovering Housing Market to Spur Economic Recovery in New Year

WeHo

Next year will likely be the first year since 2000 that home purchases outpace refinances, according to Freddie Mac’s expectations. Furthermore, the rallying housing market should set the broader economy on a brighter path, according to Freddie Mac’s U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook for November.

“Led by a resurgent housing sector, 2014 should shape up to be better than 2013,” Freddie Mac stated in its outlook.

Housing starts, which have been slow, should rise to a pace of about 1.15 million in 2014, according to Freddie Mac.

This is more in line with the historical average of 1.1 million per year reported by the Census Bureau. In comparison, the Census Bureau recently reported household formation over the first three quarters of this year at just 380,000.

Freddie Mac expects home sales to increase 5 or 6 percent in the new year, but tight inventory will prevent further increases.

Home values will continue to increase, albeit at a slower pace. Freddie Mac expects home price growth to be about the same as home sales growth—5 or 6 percent.

Rental prices will also continue to rise, but like housing prices, their pace will moderate. Freddie Mac expects rents to rise at a pace of about 5.3 percent next year.

Mortgage rates will reach about 5 percent for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages by the end of 2014, according to Freddie Mac. While this will not threaten affordability in most markets, it may dampen affordability in a few higher-priced markets, according to the outlook.

Also, Freddie Mac noted there may be “some volatility in the short-term” resulting from uncertainty surrounding fiscal policies, such as the debt ceiling and the Federal Reserve’s tapering of its MBS purchases.

The overall good news for the housing market translates to good news for the broader economy, according to Freddie Mac.

The rise in housing starts should translate to 700,000 new jobs, according to economists at Freddie Mac.

These new jobs will help bring the unemployment rate below 7 percent “perhaps by mid-2014,” Freddie Mac stated.

Economic growth is expected at 2.5 to 3 percent for the year, which is “more than 0.5 percentage points better than is projected for 2013,” according to Freddie Mac.

If you’re looking for real estate assistance, commercial or residential, please contact me directly at (310)402-8181 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (310)402-8181 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting or jkryukova@gmail.com.

Source: DSNews

2332 Canyon Drive – Great 1920s Era Home in Los Feliz Village $939,000

2332 Canyon Drive Los Feliz, CA 90068

This Los Feliz retreat rests on a knoll above sought-after Canyon Drive. At one end are trendy boutiques and restaurants, and at the other, a peaceful park for hiking, kids, and pups. Inside the Roaring 20’s home are gleaming hardwood floors, soaring ceilings, a charming dining room with period built-in book cases, a living room with fireplace, a kitchen full of stainless-steel appliances, and a unique screening room. A walled and gated outdoor living area is perfect for entertaining!

http://www.2332canyondrive.com

Asking price: $939,000

2 bedrooms, 1.5 bathrooms, bonus room, separate dining room, large living room with high ceilings

TONS OF CHARM & CHARACTER!!!

Please contact me at jkryukova@gmail.com or (310)402-8181 for more information, private showings, or for any of your real estate needs.

 

6 Canyon night 2 7 Canyon night 3 008 024 007 020 019 002 018 017 015 010 001 009 1 Canyon night 2332 Canyon Drive

Fed attempts to free higher-priced loans from appraisal binds

A proposed rule was issued by six federal financial regulatory agencies that would create exemptions from specific appraisal requirements for a subset of higher-priced mortgages.

The proposed exemptions would save borrowers both time and money as well as promote the safety and soundness of creditors.

The Dodd-Frank Act imposed appraisal requirements for high-priced mortgages. Under the act, loans are deemed “higher-priced” if they are secured by a consumer’s home and have interest rates above a certain threshold.

The rule proposed would allow the following three types of higher-priced mortgage loans to be exempt from the Dodd-Frank Act appraisal requirements: loans of $25,000 or less, certain streamlined refinancing and certain loans secured by manufactured housing.

In January, the Federal Reserve Board, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the National Credit Union Administration, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency issued a final rule implementing the new Dodd-Frank Act appraisal requirements.

As of January 18, 2014, compliance with the final rule will become mandatory. The agencies listed above are jointly issuing the proposed rule on additional exemptions in response to public comments received previously.

Public comments are encouraged by the agencies on all aspects of the proposal. The public will have until September 9, 2013, to review and comment on most of the proposal. However, comments linked to the proposed Paperwork Reduction Act analysis will be due 60 days after the rule is published in the Federal Register.

 

 

Source: Housingwire.com

Year-over year US home prices up sharply in November

U.S.  home prices in November extended their steady recovery from the housing bust,  rising 7.4 percent compared with a year ago. It was the biggest year-over-year  increase in 6½ years.

CoreLogic,  a private data provider, said Tuesday that prices also rose 0.3 percent in  November from October. The month-to-month figures are not seasonally adjusted.  CoreLogic compiles its indexes by tracking sales of the same homes over time,  using data on sales in all 50 states.

The  gains in home prices have been widespread across most of the country. And  CoreLogic forecasts that prices will increase 6 percent this year.

Prices  in November were higher than in November 2011 in all but six states. And only 13  of 100 large cities that CoreLogic studies reported year-over-year price  declines. That was down from 20 cities in October.

The  sharpest increases were in Arizona, Nevada and Idaho. North Dakota and  California rounded out the top five.

Steady  price increases are helping fuel the housing recovery. They’re encouraging some  people to sell homes and enticing would-be buyers to purchase homes before they  get more expensive. Rising prices also reduce the number of homeowners who owe  more on their mortgages than their homes are worth.

“All  signals currently point to a progressive stabilization of the housing market and  the positive trend in home price appreciation to continue into 2013,” said Anand  Nallathambi, CEO of CoreLogic.

Despite  the gains, home prices nationwide are still nearly 27 percent lower than in  April 2006, when prices peaked during the housing bubble.

Some  of the biggest gains have been in states that were hurt the worst. Prices in one  of them, Arizona, have jumped nearly 21 percent in the past year, the most of  any state. But prices in that state are still nearly 40 percent below  their peak.

And  prices in Nevada have risen 14.2 percent in the past year but remain 53 percent  below peak levels.

The  states where prices continue to fall include Delaware, where they are 4.9  percent below a year ago, and Illinois, down 2.2 percent. Connecticut, New  Jersey, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania are also reporting declines.

Prices  rose 24 percent in Phoenix in the past 12 months, the most of any large metro  area. Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif. was next with a 9.7 percent rise. It was  followed by Los Angeles, where prices rose 8.4 percent.

Source: Sfgate.com