Trump tax plan unveiled, wealthy homeowners to pay more

BY JOTHAM SEDERSTROM, Inman News

In a dramatic departure from a preliminary tax reform plan unveiled earlier this year, the latest draft of what’s been dubbed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, authored by House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady, would limit the mortgage interest deduction to new and existing loans of $500,000 and under, down from $1 million, and cap property tax deductions at $10,000.

Released Thursday to members of Congress, the revised proposal would disproportionately impact high-earning homeowners reeling from high property taxes on the West Coast and Northeast while potentially reducing the incentive for millions of Americans to buy new homes.

The Trump administration’s original tax framework included a proposal that would potentially jeopardize homeowners with a $70 billion annual tax expenditure by doubling the standard tax deduction, housing experts warned at the time.

The latest reform plan raises the standard deduction from $12,700 to $24,400 (married), $9,350 to $18,300 (head of household), and $6,350 to $12,200 (single), the Wall Street Journal reported.

“One of the major advantages of homeownership is that deduction, and if people choose not to use it because of the doubling of the standard deduction, it will remove, to a degree, the incentive to buy a home, said Matthew Gardner, chief economist at Windermere Real Estate, citing numbers by the Tax Institute Center that project that the percent of filers claiming the deduction would plummet from 21 percent to just 4 percent should the bill become law.

The revised proposal, meanwhile, would maintain a plan to reduce the tax rate on limited liability companies and other so-called pass-through entities to 25 percent, but would be limited to passive owners, leaving principal investors with a blended top tax rate of 35 percent.

As new details of President Trump’s tax code reform gradually came to light Thursday, real estate industry trade groups cautiously doubled down on earlier criticisms of the proposal.

“We are currently reviewing the details of the tax proposal released today, but at first glance it appears to confirm many of our biggest concerns about the Unified Framework,” said  National Association of Realtors President William Brown in a statement to Inman News.

“Eliminating or nullifying the tax incentives for homeownership puts home values and middle class homeowners at risk, and from a cursory examination this legislation appears to do just that,” Brown added. “We will have additional details upon a more thorough reading of the bill.”

The mortgage cap and limited property tax deductions threaten to jeopardize high-income taxpayers with expensive homes, according to the Wall Street Journal. The plan also maintains the top bracket of 39.6 percent for high-income households and would phases out the estate tax, which includes estates worth approximately $5 million or more, according to the report.

For professional services firms — a definition that could extend to include real estate brokerages in addition to law firm and financial advisers — the proposed 25-percent pass-through rate may no longer apply, as the default rate would be considered 100-percent labor income.

“This bill leaves too many small businesses behind,” said Juanita Duggan, CEO of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), in a statement. “We are concerned that the pass-through provision does not help most small businesses. Small business is the engine of the economy. We believe that tax reform should provide substantial relief to all small businesses, so they can reinvest their money, grow, and create jobs.”

Aaron Lesher, CPA and head of customer success at Hurdlr, said he “tends to agree” with the NFIB that the new rates don’t do enough to help small businesses, but he sees where real estate professionals may still be able to benefit from the changes.

“Even though real estate agents could be considered professional service providers, the nature of their brokerage relationship is usually that of an independent contractor,” Lesher said. “Since real estate brokerages don’t typically withhold taxes for their agents or provide many benefits outside marketing, and agents are still responsible for business expenses and taxes, agents would still be viewed as businesses and be able to claim the 25 percent treatment.”

Short on details and broad in scope, the earlier proposal, negotiated over several months among a group known as “The Big Six,” including Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, National Economic Director Gary Cohn and top House and Senate Republicans, would have lowered corporate rates from 35 to 20 percent while slashing the number of personal tax brackets from seven to three.

The revised plan holds true to the corporate rate of 20 percent, but breaks down the tax brackets into four groups rather than three: 12 percent, 25 percent, 35 percent and 39.6 percent, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with additional details about the tax plan.

Top 30 Real Estate Brokerages On Social Media

via Property Spark

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These real estate brokerages are reaching thousands of people by using the power of social media.

Before, going into the list, we would like to say that these real estate brokerages do not have to be our clients, subscribers or followers.

Furthermore, we did not solicit any real estate brokerages before the research or writing of the lists.

Here’s how the Real Estate Brokerages are selected:

Initial Research on Real Estate Brokerages

We looked at hundreds of popular Real Estate Brokerages across North America. We found these real estate brokerages through different mediums including:

• Google
• Bing
• Facebook Search
• Instagram Search
• Twitter Search

Inclusions and Ranking (Objective Data)

Once we had our list of popular real estate brokerages. We looked at objective data regarding the real estate brokerages’ social media presence, including the following:

Followers:
• Facebook Page Likes
• Instagram Followers
• Twitter Followers

Engagement:
• Facebook Post likes, comments, shares and views (for videos)
• Instagram Post likes and comments
• Twitter favorites and retweets

Inclusions and Ranking (Subjective Data)

Finally, we make sure that all the real estate brokerages who made the final 30 have a great social media presence based on subjective variables, including the following:

• Brand image (quality of graphic design, pictures, videos)
• Value of content (how useful the content is to followers)
• Content mix (the mix of different types of posts)

With that being said, let’s get into the top list! Enjoy!

#10: The Boutique Real Estate Group

“Inspired by purpose, driven by passion”; that’s a motto we definitely want to hear from a real estate brokerage company. The Boutique Real Estate Group knows how to engage their followers on social media as they provide luxurious and dreamy photos of property interiors and exteriors.

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Inman Innovator Awards 2017

via inman

They are the visionaries, the forward-thinking, the stubborn, the obsessed, the tech-savvy, the creative minds always pushing boundaries. They are entrepreneurs pushing the old ways aside, data scientists discovering new ways to examine behavior, marketers inventing new ways to showcase properties, agents developing new ways to reach clients, companies building new technologies, brokerages creating whole new ways of doing business. They are the Inman Innovator Finalists, and they’re leading us into the future of real estate.

He’s an entrepreneur who made himself into a media brand. She’s an agent who landed a $20 million listing after just a year in the business. It’s a company that developed an augmented-reality tool to show prospective buyers what an interior-decorated home might look like — during a showing, on their phones. They’re all finalists.

“We are honored to celebrate so much creativity and invention,” said Inman publisher Brad Inman. “Never in the history of the Innovator Awards has there been so much innovation and, therefore, never has our list of finalists been so large — these are exciting times.”

This is our 4th nomination for an Inman Innovator Award and we are truly thrilled, said, “Raj Qsar,” Founder & Owner of The Boutique Real Estate Group. What we are doing is truly impacting real estate on a global scale and helping our agents and clients succeed.

Who will win? The 2017 Inman Innovators will be revealed at Inman Connect in San Francisco the week of August 7-11, 2017, followed by the not-to-be-missed party that’ll wrap up Inman Connect San Francisco and celebrate the Inman Innovators.

MOST INNOVATIVE BROKERAGE

 

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The Boutique Real Estate Group

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An indie broker talks tech, trends and creation

Catch Southern California- based influencer Raj Qsar at the Indie Broker Summit

Raj Qsar is the principal/owner of The Boutique Real Estate Group and spends much of his time traveling to far flung destinations educating those in the real estate industry on the finer points of effectively using technology and social media.

The Southern California-based influencer will take the stage during Inman’s Indie Broker Summit on Monday, August 7 to address brokers from across the country on how to strategically think about their technology choices in their own practices.

 

Register Now

We caught up with Raj to get his take on the advantages of being an independent broker and what other indies should watch out for in the coming year.

What do you see as the biggest benefit to being an independent broker?

Ability to adapt, change and execute quickly and the freedom to create & curate stories from the ground up.

What are your best tips and tricks for building your client base?

Real life networking and using technology to become more efficient.

What do you see as the most important trends (good or bad) that independent brokers should be keeping an eye on in the coming year?

Good: The merging of multiple techs into one platform.
Bad: So much “copying” and not enough creation.

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Indie broker hires goodwill ambassador to spread positivity

via inman

The inspiration for this new position came from Raj Qsar’s father-in-law, a savvy business owner

  • The Boutique Real Estate Group has added a “Goodwill Ambassador” to its team.
  • Ambassador’s “sole purpose is to spread goodwill to everyone he meets.”

The Boutique Real Estate Group has added another person to its team, and it’s not another agent, marketing guru or office management whiz — instead, owner Raj Qsar opted to hire a “Goodwill Ambassador,” a person whose only job is to spread positivity wherever he goes.

 

The inspiration for this new position came from Qsar’s father-in-law, who has owned a commercial cleaning company for more than 35 years.

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“The idea came from him and his good friend,” Qsar said. “They are in the soap business where they sell soap to restaurants.”

“His friend would always eat at restaurants and comment on how beautiful the silverware and stemware looked,” he added. “So after some time, he designated him as his goodwill ambassador.”

When thinking of the perfect person to take on this role, Qsar says he immediately thought of Chuck Underwood, a close family friend who recently listed his home through The Boutique.

“We recently sold his home in Orange County and found him a gorgeous new home,” he says. “Throughout the process, he fell in love with The Boutique and was so impressed by how we operated our brokerage and the way we marketed his home.”

Beyond his newfound passion for the brokerage, Qsar says Underwood’s experience as a business owner along with his wide network of friends, associates and colleagues make him the perfect person to extend The Boutique’s reach beyond the immediate community.

After Qsar announced Underwood’s addition to the team on Facebook, a number of friends offered their congratulations, saying that he was the perfect man for the job.

“I can’t think of a more qualified person for the job,” wrote one commenter. “Congrats, Chuck!”

Underwood will take on a number of projects, the first of which is attending a build day with Giveback Homes on June 3, and taking on the hosting duties for the brokerage’s new office opening in Brea, California, and all of the festivities surrounding that event.

Underwood says he was “a bit intimidated” when Qsar came to him with the idea, but he knew he had the chops to take on ambassador duties.

“The Boutique is such a powerhouse brand in the Orange County real estate market, but I knew that with my outgoing personality, dedication, drive and true enthusiasm I could get the job done for The Boutique,” he says.

“It means I have a weight on my shoulders and am determined to spread goodwill to everyone I meet every single day,” Underwood added.

Although Underwood is barely a week into this new position, Qsar says they’re planning to expand the program to include additional ambassadors.

“Yes, of course,” he says excitedly of adding more ambassadors. “We already have a waiting list of three prime individuals who have applied for the position.”

Screen-Shot-2017-04-14-at-3.04.01-PM-450x450For more information the the Goodwill Ambassador program or to learn more about The Boutique please visit www.JoinTheBoutique.com

Top chef at Yard House restaurants selling Yorba Linda estate for $10 million

via The Orange County Register

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Carlito Jocson, the top chef for Yard House restaurants, is selling his modern, five-bedroom Yorba Linda house on one of Orange County’s highest peaks for $10 million.

Set on 3.1 acres, the estate includes a full-size outdoor kitchen with a bar and wood-fired pizza oven. Two glass-tiled fire pits flank a zero-edge swimming pool.

In addition to an expansive parking area for guests, there’s space to add a helipad, says listing agent Raj Qsar of The Boutique Real Estate Group.

Built in 2011, the 8,320-square-foot home designed by David Streshinsky of DKY Architects boasts double-height ceilings, a restaurant-caliber kitchen, 1,200-bottle wine room and home theater. The house also has a solar-power system.

Grounds include drought-friendly landscaping and a meditation garden with more than a dozen olive trees. A basketball court and disappearing entertainment system are among the outdoor amenities, and the Pacific Ocean can be viewed in the distance.

The house is by far the highest priced Yorba Linda home offered on the Multiple Listing Service right now. The next most expensive one is a seven-bedroom, 9,411-square-foot residence built in 1995, with a $5.18 million price tag.

Jocson is a Yard House vice president and its corporate executive chef. He’s also an original partner. He said his favorite room is – of course – the kitchen, relishing the layout and plating his creations on the large island

“I wanted to build the kitchen with a sense of community,” he said. “It’s the (home’s) heart. From a chef’s standpoint, I love to feed people … I want them to watch me.”

When a chef friend created a seven-course meal at the house, Jocson added, “He didn’t skip a beat. It felt like (cooking in) a restaurant.”

He also savors how the master suite’s sliding glass doors open to the zero-edge pool. “I wanted to wake up in the morning and jump in the pool straight from the bed,” he said.

With four grown children out of the house, Jocson said it’s time to downsize.

Jocson and his wife Elizabeth for the past decade have been feeding homeless and needy Orange County residents through The Storehouse ministry of North Orange Christian Church, where they are members.

Yard House restaurants are known for their contemporary atmosphere, rock music, eclectic food and more than 100 beers on tap. The chain, with 13 states, was sold to Darden Restaurants by private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners in 2012 for $585 million in an all-cash deal.

Christina Boladian of the Boutique group is co-listing the house. A video of Jocson and the home is here.

We Are Hiring! The Boutique Real Estate Group

OCOM-JobPosting

The Boutique Real Estate Group is expanding! And we are SUPER excited! We are looking for an amazing individual to fill our Orange County Operations Manager position. If you are looking for that next bold move or know someone who would be perfect then please email us your Resume, CV and headshot to info@TheBoutiqueRE.com and we will be in touch. We LOVE it here and YOU will too…

 

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10 Stunning Real Estate Listing Videos from 2015

Each year, agents and brokers nationwide continue to raise the bar for the quality of real estate videos. Properties are showcased in ever more unique fashions. Homes for sale are better staged and styled to help buyers envision themselves living there. All in all, more effort is put into making these videos visual masterpieces — ones that compel agents’ audiences, earn them new leads, and nurture existing ones. In 2015, this real estate video trend continued, as countless great listing videos were created by industry pros across the country — including the 10 featured below.

Check out each of these stunning real estate listing videos from 2015 and discover what makes them great … and how to emulate them with your own real estate video marketing strategy.

1930 Providence Road, Charlotte, North Carolina — Savvy + Co Real Estate

Knowing your audience: That’s how you win over real estate buyer leads. In the case of this gorgeous residence in Charlotte, the agency representing the listing, Savvy + Co Real Estate, knew the outdoor space would appeal to those who like hosting get-togethers: family BBQs, swanky pool parties, and everything in between. Telling the story of planning such a gathering through the eyes of a would-be owner is a perfect way to exhibit what life could be like for potential buyers. Of course, this narrative is just a part of the promotional angle of the video — showing the owner stroll through the listing also gives viewers a crystal clear view of every facet of the home.

1972 Outpost Circle, Los Angeles, California — The Boutique Real Estate Group

Another real estate video that offers a glimpse of life for the homeowner through an actor comes from one of the best-of-the-best listing video producers, The Boutique Real Estate Group of Orange County, California. The production of this video is stellar: from the background music that spurs our homeowner to sway rhythmically throughout the residence to the overhead drone shots of the Hollywood Hills. While selling a high-end home in L.A. may seem like an easy gig, it still takes a lot to stand out in the luxury market, and BREG does an incredible job at showing off this particular property in a distinct light.

21 Hurlingham Drive, Conyer’s Farm, Greenwich, Connecticut — RUHM Luxury Marketing and Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Greenwich

RUHM Luxury Marketing is no stranger to making lists of the best real estate listing videos — and there’s a clear reason. The company goes above and beyond — spending who knows how much — to craft award-worthy videos that look like those an Oscar-winning director would shoot. For this listing video of the lavish Hurlingham estate in Greenwich, Connecticut, the video marketing agency went the extra mile to showcase not just the home, which looks beyond pristine, but also the expansive property surrounding the house itself, which includes the best nature has to offer and a picturesque farm. There’s also insights from the estate manager and even nearby residents. Admittedly, this is a home that’s aimed at the super-millionaire, but the real estate video still shines brightly and does an astounding job of convincing any viewer the residence would be right for them.

6454 Shinnwood Road, Wilmington, North Carolina

Aside from creating first-rate tips-and-tricks real estate videos to her home buyer and seller audience, Edwards does a wonderful job with her listing videos. From start to finish, you get the complete sense that she has her business in order. We see her chic branding at the very beginning of the clip and immediately know how to find her online when she shares her social media info. Then, we get to hear from her and the dedication she and her team put into learning the ins and outs of her new listing. Finally, we see every detail of the home as Edwards and Co. tour the property. Oh, and the drone footage of the stunning water out back certainly doesn’t hurt.

12958 Northside Road, Monticello, Prince Edward Island, Canada

No matter how amazing your real estate listing video looks, if no one knows how to get in touch with you, it probably won’t help you secure more leads and clients. Michael Poczynek of Prince Edward Islandunderstands this: He wisely incorporates every potential way in which his audience could contact him in the opening seconds of his videos and posts his phone numbers at the bottom of the screen throughout the clip. Add in the fact that he explains everything a prospective home buyer could ever dream of knowing about the Monticello home for sale, the ocean nearby, the surrounding community, and the intricate details of the property’s interior and exterior and you’ve got one extremely well-produced video. It’s little wonder as to why Poczynek has accrued hundreds of thousands of views on his YouTube channel.

4847 Rim Road, Santa Barbara, California

Ideally, your real estate videos will provide clarity regarding your listings, like an oral explanation of the properties’ dimensions and features or text overlays highlighting updates made to the residence. Sometimes, though, all you need to do is let the home for sale and the surrounding area speak for itself, as real estate cinematographer and drone photography specialist Douglas Thron does for this video he shot for a Southern California listing. In just four minutes, Thron was able to exhibit practically every major attribute of the community, including the stunning pier and cliffside area, and the home itself.

3168 Countryside Drive, Brampton, Ontario, Canada — Open House Television and Royal LePage Real Estate Services

Taking essentially the opposite approach from the previous video is the firm Royal LePage, which employed Open House Television to create an intricately detailed listing video that spends just as much time and effort explaining the ins and outs of the property — everything from the dimensions of the marble tiles in the foyer to the pre-finished Oak hardwood floors in the dining room. When it comes to promoting a home for sale, there’s no such thing as providing too much information to prospective buyers, so if you produce a script that’s 2,000 words long, don’t feel the need to shorten it for the sake of brevity. Instead, do what the real estate agency behind this recording does and let no home characteristics go unexplained.

7320 Popp Road, Fort Wayne, Indiana — Wieland Real Estate

If there was an award for “Best Real Estate Listing Video Staging,” this one from Indiana-based Wieland Real Estate would certainly get a nomination. The warm (literally and figuratively) and inviting living room, cozy home office, book-filled bedroom, and bright kitchen are just some of the many astounding rooms we pass through via this expertly crafted digital tour. Add in the elegant ballad strumming in the background and the perfect branding to close out the video (both the cameo from the agency’s head Troy Wieland and the prominent logo and call to action) and you’ve got yourself one phenomenally developed listing promotion.

333 22nd Street, Santa Monica, California — Christophe Choo

Mr. Choo has got this digital real estate marketing thing down pat. After explaining how he drives thousands upon thousands of visitors to his real estate website each month via his organic search engine optimization (SEO) efforts at Inman Connect San Francisco, it became clear he’s one the premier online marketers in the industry. This listing video is just the icing on the cake: Having already mastered written content, Choo and his team headed to the world of video, where they’ve produced awe-inspiring clips like the one above that really make viewers feel like they’re invited guests into this multimillion-dollar Santa Monica manor. As the tour guide, Choo does a remarkable job of suavely describing each of the home’s biggest draws. Should you ever decide to get in front of the camera for your own real estate videos, use Choo as an agent to imitate.

1611 Mokulua Drive, Kailua, Hawaii — 360 Property Videos and Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties

It’s definitely difficult to screw up a real estate video in such a magnificent locale such as Hawaii, but even with the resplendent natural setting and a handsome high-end home to boot, it takes a lot of effort to pull of a video like this one for Honolulu-based agent Tracy Allen’s luxury listing. Those aspiring to live the seaside life with warm weather year-round and easy access to the beach, trails, and mountains are clearly the primary demographic this clip targets. And though this may be a limited audience, the production value of the video likely attracted a hefty number of prospective buyers.
Get help with your real estate video production for your YouTube channel in our detailed Academy post, which explains how to brand your account, the types of real estate videos to create, and much more.

What real estate marketing tools do you use to create listing and other videos? How do you come up with real estate marketing ideas for your videos? Share your ideation and production methods with us below!

Items required for a home loan

Important Documents Your Lender Will Need From You.  Yea. It’s a crazy list!

Using this list of key documents, gather all the materials into one online folder so that you’re never scrambling to find the right paperwork.  We suggest dropbox or google drive.

  • Copy of your driver’s license or passport
  • Proof of regular rental or housing payments
  • Copies of your two most recent paycheck stubs
  • Copies of your W-2’s from the past two years
  • Copies of your federal tax returns with all schedules for the past two years – state not needed

 

Are you self-employed?

  • A statement of year-to-date profit-and-loss for the business
  • Copy of any corporate tax returns and K-1’s for the past 2 years

 

Proof of assets:

  • Copy of all current IRA statements, stock and bond accounts, or any other retirement or investment accounts for the past 2 years
  • Copy of current bank statements for each account for the past 2 months
  • Documents on the value of personal property like automobiles
  • Forms showing the face amount and value of life insurance policies
  • Copy of lease agreement for all rental properties
  • Copy of any student loan deferment letter or agreement reflecting the monthly payment

 

Additional documents you may need:

  • If you are divorced, a copy of the final divorce decree
  • If you have filed for bankruptcy, the complete bankruptcy paperwork including discharge paperwork
  • If you are an active veteran, a statement of service, DD-214, and Certificate of Eligibility

 

Shopping Your Loan? Here are some good questions to ask…

Print out the following list and keep it on-hand as you start shopping for your home loan. Meeting with loan officers can be overwhelming — this way you won’t forget to ask important questions.

  • Is the mortgage fixed or variable?
  • If the loan is fixed, what is the interest rate or annual percentage rate (APR) of the loan?
  • If the loan is variable, when does the rate change? And how is the rate change determined?
  • How long are quoted interest rates good for?
  • Is the Good Faith Estimate guaranteed?
  • What are the escrow requirements for taxes and insurance?
  • Is there a penalty for paying off the loan early?
  • Do you allow extra principal payments?
  • How long do funds, say for a down payment, need to be in my bank account before closing?
  • What are all the closing costs? Will you provide a written list?
  • Are any of the costs or fees negotiable, or capable of being waived?
  • Which financial firm will service the loan?
  • How long does the funding process usually take? Are on-time closings guaranteed?
  • What changes, such as employment changes, should I avoid before the loan closes?

 

For questions or comments please contact Allycyn Bennett with United American Mortgage Company at 949-717-7290 or Abennett@uamco.com

To find out the current value of your home please visit http://GetMyHomeWorth.com

Items Needed For A Loan

Tom Schick & Linda Ginex | Keeping In Touch

We wanted to keep in touch with you over the years and present to you, the amazing real estate company that we work with, The Boutique Real Estate Group.

After ten years in real estate, we noticed a fatal flaw. The industry is consistently 5-10 years behind in everything they do. Instead of coming up with new ideas, most real estate agents react to old ones or just “keep up”.

We love real estate. That’s why we’re fixing it. No other real estate brokerage in California offers everything we are capable of offering to you. We believe sellers should expect more out of their agent. After all, your agent is marketing one of your family’s most valuable investments. Why not do everything to defend the highest possible sales price?

A bit about us:

A few recent examples of our work include:

4582 Oceanridge, 502 Nineteenth, and 6826 Hidden Oaks.

Please connect with us at www.TheBoutiqueRE.com

Curious about the value of your home? Visit www.GetMyHomeWorth.com to find out today.

Now, we would love to hear from you so give us a call or email and let’s chat.

Tom & Linda

 

The Boutique Real Estate Group

Tom Schick & Linda Ginex