Proposition 19

Prop 19

Understanding how Proposition 19 affects property tax implications tied to your property transfer is an important consideration when buying or selling a home.

Starting April 1, 2021, homeowners who are 55 or older or those who lost their home in a natural disaster are allowed to transfer the taxable value of their primary residence to a new home in California. If you purchase a more expensive home, the tax bill will go up but by a lower amount than for other buyers.  This kind of tax transfer can be done three times and homeowners have two years to sell their current home and buy a new one.

The prior rule limited this exemption to a one-time transfer within the same county or between certain counties and only if the replacement property was of equal or lesser value.

Can my client buy/sell now and take advantage of the tax portability benefits before April 1, 2021?

If you wish to obtain the tax benefits of Prop 19 for a transaction that closes before April 1, 2021, whether it is buying or selling a property, I would recommend speaking to a qualified California real estate attorney.

If the replacement property is of equal or lesser value, does the tax basis of the replacement property change?

No. The taxable value of the original property may be transferred and become the taxable value of the new one.

If the replacement property is of greater value, how is the new taxable value calculated?

The new taxable value is calculated by adding the difference between the full cash value of the replacement property and the original property to the original taxable value. For example, if a seller of an original property has a $300,000 taxable value and a full cash value of $1M and then buys a replacement property for $1.5 M, the taxable value of the replacement property would be $800,000.

Can a replacement property be purchased prior to the original primary residence being sold?

Yes. This is how the current rule under Prop 60 works and Prop 19 uses nearly identical language.

How does Prop 19 affect the rules on intergenerational transfers to children or grandchildren?

Prop 19 eliminates the ability for a home to pass from a parent to a child or a grandchild without reassessing the home value unless it’s the child’s or grandchild’s primary residence. If the child or grandchild doesn’t live in the inherited home and instead chooses to rent it out, the tax value can be re-assessed. Right now, family members can transfer a home and the property value won’t be reassessed. They can also transfer other rental or commercial properties and exempt up to $1 million of the assessed value.

If the property is more than $1M over the original tax basis, what is the new taxable basis?

The new taxable basis will be the assessed value of the property at the time of transfer minus $1M.

When do these new rules on intergenerational transfers apply?

The new changes to property transfers among family are set to begin on February 16, 2021.

Where may a claim to transfer a tax basis be made?

Claims may be made with forms provided by the local county assessor’s office.

Source:  California Association of REALTORS®

Collect Moments

Collect Moments_Donna Chabrier Realtor

It’s a reflective time of year, right? We look back at the previous twelve month’s highlights, challenges, and moments that created a shift in our perspective. In this cute book, “Present not Perfect”, it suggests that you revisit your childhood by: driving by your childhood home, listen to a song you loved as a kid, watch a home video, or flip through old family photos. Whatever you choose, I hope your memories bringing you JOY!

Strategies for Buyers in a Seller’s Market

As many Buyer’s have come to experience in this frantic real estate market throughout the Sacramento region, it’s a TOUGH time for Home Buyers.  Most listings are getting multiple offers, well over list price, and with Buyers coughing-up the payment of most,  if not all,  escrow and title fees. But don’t get discouraged!  I’ve been successful with a number of Buyers in getting them well-prepared going into negotiations which has brought them success.

Here’s what I recommend to my clients:

  1. Have a current pre-approval letter from a local lender.
  2. Get copies of your bank/investment statements to serve as proof of funds for your earnest money deposit and down payment.
  3. Write a personal letter about your family and what you appreciate about the home.
  4. Search for homes that are 1-2% below your maximum budget so that you can offer above-list price and still stay within your pre-approved loan amount.
  5. Evaluate the standard costs that Sellers & Buyers regularly pay within each county and agree to pick-up whatever cost you afford.  This can often be a differentiator as it affects the Seller’s Net Sheet.
  6. If you need additional funds for closing costs, consider offering ex: $5,000 over list price but request that the Seller provide “a $5,000 credit toward recurring and non-recurring closing costs.”
  7. Review the standard contingency periods and shorten them to provide a sense of urgency (and security) to the Sellers. NOTE:  Be sure to discuss the appraisal and loan contingency dates with your Lender.
  8. Have your Realtor and Lender each call the Listing Agent to “pitch” your offer.

SALE PENDING: After losing out on their first house to multiple offers well-over list price, we found, and got into contract on an even better home for Nick, Nicole and Amelia. Relocating from Louisiana to Beale Air Force Base they couldn’t be happier with this spacious, like-new home in Lincoln. I showed the house via virtual FaceTime tours + inspections with family members but they finally got to see the house first-hand on Sunday (I was a bit nervous that they wouldn’t like it).

Mortgage Rates Hit Record Lows. Could They Fall Even Further?


One of the few bright spots for home buyers and owners in 2020—a year marred by a pandemic, economic recession, social unrest, wildfires, hurricanes, and a highly polarized presidential election—has been rock-bottom mortgage interest rates.

Mortgage rates have been tumbling since COVID-19 disrupted the nation’s economy, achieving what many experts had believed was impossible: They dipped just below 3% in July. Rates have since fallen even further, reaching an all-time low of 2.86% for the average 30-year fixed-rate loan in the week ending Sept. 10, according to Freddie Mac. They ticked up to 2.87% in the week ending Sept. 17.

Those lower rates have allowed buyers to stretch their budgets at a time when home prices are on the rise. Homeowners who refinance their existing loans can potentially shave $100—or more—off their monthly mortgage payments, saving tens of thousands of dollars over the life of their loans. (The exact amount depends on the size of the loan and the previous rate.)

Now, many folks are wondering if rates can fall even further—and just how low they might go. The U.S. Federal Reserve pledged on Wednesday not to raise its own short-term interest rates, currently at around 0%, to give the economy a much-needed boost. So could that lead to mortgage rates dropping further?”That’s the big question. Are rates going to keep falling? Are they going to rise?” says Len Kiefer, Freddie Mac’s deputy chief economist. “The honest answer is, we don’t know. Economists have not had much luck in forecasting” where rates will go.

The problem is, 2020 hasn’t been a typical year. There’s never been a pandemic in our lifetimes, and this recession is driven by a virus, not a housing bubble or oil crisis or other economic trouble. And while mortgage rates are influenced by the direction of the Fed’s short-term interest rates, it’s not uncommon for them to, well, do their own thing.”Technically speaking, mortgage rates could go lower. Theoretically, they could easily drop to around 2%,” says Senior Economist George Ratiu of®. “However, for lenders [who set their own rates], the likelihood of rates going much lower is pretty slim. They don’t want to take the risk of a lower rate over the length of a loan.”

That’s what happened in March. Rates fell to around 3.3% in response to the coronavirus-induced upheaval in the financial markets, and homeowners rushed to refinance their existing mortgages. Lenders were so overwhelmed by the surge in business that they raised their rates to temporarily keep new refinances at bay as they scrambled to catch up.Refinances have since slowed to more manageable levels, and rates have fallen.

Why mortgage rates could fall even further—or not

For buyers, even lower rates could at least somewhat offset home prices, which have jumped just over 11% year over year, according to the latest data. Those low rates can bring previously unattainable homes within reach. So it’s understandable that buyers are watching eagerly to see which direction rates will go.“If we were to see the economy struggle a bit, that might cause rates to decline,” says Kiefer. “If the economy is stronger than we expected, they might rise a little faster.”So what’s going on? Bear with us here for a brief mortgage finance breakdown.

Rates are determined more by investors than by the Federal Reserve’s own rates. Lenders don’t want to hold onto the mortgage loans they make, as they want to free up capital to make new loans and profit off those. So they bundle up their mortgages and sell these mortgage bonds, aka mortgage-backed securities, on the secondary market to investors.When the financial markets are all over the place (like this year), investors will often pull money out of stocks and pump it into the relative safety of Treasury and mortgage bonds. These are considered to be safer, long-term investments. Now, mortgage rates are tied to the 10-year U.S. Treasury bond market. So when the bond market is strong, mortgage rates fall.And right now the federal government has committed to buying up mortgage securities, to stabilize the market in the face of this economic downturn. That’s led to a surge in demand, which also pushes rates down. “Investors are still clamoring for mortgage bonds because a weak economy and volatile stock markets make a lot of conservative investors nervous,” says Ratiu. “Bond investors are attracted to mortgage bonds, because the real estate market recovery is stronger than the rest of the economy.”

Kiefer points out rates have typically fallen by about 2 percentage points a decade. In the 2010s, they were around 4%. So they could, potentially, fall further into the low 2% range if they keep up that pattern.He believes rates might stay where they are, or fall just a little more, into the 2.75% range.“If you’re in the market for a refinance or a home purchase, rates can move very quickly,” says Kiefer. “The rate [you] see this week could be very different next week. There’s a lot of room for rates to move.”

That means buyers and those seeking to refinance need to have a good grasp of what the numbers mean for them.“You can wait for a basis point lower, but ultimately you have to weigh the trade-offs given the fast-rising prices,” says Ratiu. “Home prices are rising fast, so waiting for a lower rate is likely to have little benefit.”

Provided courtesy of by Clare Trapasso,  senior news editor of and an adjunct journalism professor at the College of Mount Saint VIncent. She previously wrote for a Financial Times publication, the New York Daily News, and the Associated Press. She is also a licensed real estate agent. Contact her at


Interest Rate Buy Down

An interest buy-down is a real estate financing option that Buyers can use to offer list price AND retain an affordable mortgage. By providing a credit to the Buyers, it allows Sellers to get their List Price from a qualified deal. It’s a win-win for both parties. If you have questions, please let me know and my favorite Lender will be happy to explain the details and determine if it will work for you!

6 Mistakes to Avoid After Mortgage Pre-Approval

Once you’re pre-approved for a home loan…STOP! Homebuyers: Be sure to follow these six simple steps while you’re home shopping and while you’re in escrow. Also, TIP #7: DON’T purchase new furniture, appliances, etc. until after you’ve closed escrow. Want to learn more:

Take a Virtual Tour

Whether due to your out-of-town location or the current Covid-19 shelter-in-place restrictions, there’s no reason to halt your search for the ideal home. Many current listing provide a 3D tour but working with me I can take the experience one step further. Let’s plan a Facetime call that allows you to see the home through the eyes of a professional Realtor. We’ll explore and address your questions in real-time. If you like what you see, we’ll move on to the next step of scheduling a safe showing at your convenience. Just another one of the concierge-level services that I provide.

Real Estate Market Update April 1 – April 19, 2020

With a shortage of homes on the market, the properties for sale that are priced right are selling at almost full price…and in less than a month!  See the latest stats for Sacramento + Placer + El Dorado counties. All data provided by the Metrolist MLS.

_Market Update_Twitter

Home Buyer’s Guide



Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer, purchased several homes but it’s been a while, or you’re looking to buy an investment property, “Your Complete Guide to the HOME BUYING PROCESS,” can help you explore your options and answer many, if not all, of your questions.  This is NOT a 50-page book (who has time for that)?  It’s an easy-to-read eleven pages that will be your ongoing reference as you proceed to purchase a residential property.

Still have questions?
Don’t hesitate to reach out via call, text, or email.  Also, let’s stay in touch via social media  — look for the flying icons and click away.




Krysta Weikel Testimonial



Additional Resources:  Home Buyer Process Infographic

To order your easy-to-read guide that steps you through the home buying process, provides a glossary of terms, timelines, explains the standard costs involved, and de-mystifies the pre-approval process, COMPLETE THE FORM BELOW:  

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2020 Home Value Predictions


As recession fears mount, I wanted to share some information on why home prices are predicted to stay level (from MarketWatch). The last, “great recession” of 2008 was fueled by a series of events happening in sequence that in hindsight were avoidable:

  • An explosion in both home-building activity and mortgage credit to home buyers with no income documentation or down payment + 0% introductory loans that allowed them to be over-leveraged.
  •  Add to that rampant unemployment.
  • Very little home equity as it had been leveraged through home equity loans (often to purchase rental properties).
  • An unexpected downturn in the housing market as it was flooded with “upside down” rental properties.
  • A foreclosure crisis that could not be absorbed by the market, banking institutions, or loan service companies.


With this combination of events you begin to understand how this period of economic downward spiral was fueled by the perfect storm. Unlike the 2008 recession, the current housing market today is not driven by homeowners who are highly leveraged. In fact, the household debt-to-income ratio is at a four-decade low.


Since 1980, the U.S. Housing market has weathered all other recessions. Deputy Chief Economist Odeta Kushi with First America in a recent report is quoted as saying, “In 2020, we argue the housing market is more likely poised to help stave off recession than fall victim to it.” Kushi goes onto share, “With the exception of the Great Recession, house price appreciation hardly skipped a beat and year-over-year existing-home sales growth barely declined in all the other previous recessions in the last 40 years.


The recent growth in home prices is fueled by: Supply & Demand. While this is making the possibility of homeownership unaffordable for millions of Americans, it also means that countless more homeowners have seen their home equity grow substantially in recent years. This equity decreases the likelihood that they will be underwater on their loan if home prices were to dip and thus serves as a shelter during a downturn.

In terms of the corona virus’ effect on the housing market, Mark Fleming, Chief Economist of First America, states, “This time, housing is a casualty of a public health crisis turned economic, not the cause of an economic crisis.” In his recent post, he charts the differences between the pre-Great Recession housing market and the one at the cusp of the coronavirus outbreak.




“Today, house-buying power is nearly twice as high as the median sale price of home, implying that housing is not overvalued, and is in fact in a much better position entering this potential recession than it was ahead of the last,” continues Fleming.

But homeowners should stay alert for potential red flags! Be cautious of scenarios where:

  1. A significant number of homeowners begin to take cash-out or home equity loans that will result in a whittling away of their equity and this “safety net” against economic downturn.
  2. A ripple effect of foreclosures in our region which would cause your home to drop in value.


“Many expect the housing market to follow a similar trajectory in response to the corona virus outbreak. But, there are distinct differences that indicate the housing market may follow a much different path. While housing led the recession in 2008-2009, this time it may be poised to bring us out of it, ”
Mark Fleming, Chief Economist of First America

In closing, we can all take heart that our leaders, scientists, and healthcare providers are doing everything possible to minimize the economic effects of the corona virus. And, we can all do our part as well. #stayhome #staysafe