Short sale homeowners off the hook for tax liability

California families who have lost their home in a short sale are not subject to state income tax liability on debt forgiveness “phantom income” they never received in a short sale.

Last month, in a letter to California Sen. Barbara Boxer, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recognized that the debt written off in a short sale does not constitute recourse debt under California law, and thus does not create so-called “cancellation of debt” income to the underwater home seller for federal income tax purposes.  Following the IRS’s clarification, C.A.R. sought a similar ruling by the California FTB.

Now with the FTB’s clarification, underwater home sellers also are assured that they are not subject to state income tax liability, rescuing tens of thousands of distressed home sellers from California tax liability for debt written off by lenders in short sales.

short sale

“We are pleased with the recent clarifications issued by the IRS and the California Franchise Tax Board, which protect distressed homeowners from debt relief income tax associated with a short sale in California,” said C.A.R. President Kevin Brown.  “We would like to thank Sen. Boxer and BOE member Runner for their leadership in obtaining this guidance from the IRS and FTB.  Distressed California homeowners can now avoid foreclosure or bankruptcy and can opt for a short sale instead, without incurring federal and state tax liability, even after the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 expires at the end of this year.”

Top 4 most common home pricing mistakes in Visalia

When it comes time to sell your home, setting the right price is everything. Do it right from the start.

Call me for a free market analysis of what your home could sell for, compared to similar homes in your area.


Now THIS is a home for the Holidays

Move by CHRISTMAS!! QUAIL RUN lifestyle is unique.

2 Story Custom home built by Wood Bros. on 1/2 acre lot. Step through the front door into majestic ceilings with formal dining room opposite the formal living room. Continue to Family room with built-in entertainment center and spacious windows overlooking lush back yard.
5335  W Grove Ct,  Visalia, listed at $749,900

Gourmet kitchen has island, stainless, nook with wet bar and pantry. It flows into a dream laundry/craft room and full bath. Bedroom/office combination can also be extra TV den. Meander up the staircase to owner's suite with sitting area and french doors to 14'X 30' Deck plus owner's bath has exercise room, jetted tub, dual sinks and closets + walk-in attic.

3 more bedrooms and bath upstairs. Spacious yard offers tiled patio under deck, raised trex deck, granite firepit, meditation corner and more. Quail Run has 21 families surrounding 4 acre park and tennis court.

 Gated for privacy! This special home has the feel of comfort, relaxation and pure enjoyment!!!

Call Darlene Loose to schedule an appointment. (559) 625-9364

Gorgeous Visalia two-story in Quail Run neighborhood

Two-story custom built by Wood Bros. on 1/2 acre lot. Step through the front door into majestic ceilings with formal dining room opposite the formal living room. Continue to Family room with built-in entertainment center and spacious windows overlooking lush back yard.
5335  W Grove Ct,  Visalia, listed at $799,000.


Kitchen offers center island, flat surface countertops, wet bar in breakfast nook + desk area. Bedroom/office combination can also be extra TV den.

Meander up the staircase to owner's suite with sitting area and french doors to 14'X 30' Deck plus owner's bath has exercise room, jetted tub, dual sinks and closets. 3 more bedrooms and bath upstairs. Ask about Romeo & Juliett feature!!

Spacious yard offers tiled patio under deck, raised trex deck, spectacular firepit, meditation corner and more. Quail Run has 21 families surrounding center park and tennis courts. Gated for privacy!

This special home has the feel of comfort, relaxation and pure enjoyment waiting for YOU!!

Call Darlene today! (559) 625-9364 

HARP changes put refinancing in reach of more homeowners

(BPT) - When the federal Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) launched in 2009, millions took advantage, but many other homeowners found they couldn't qualify to refinance their underwater mortgages. Today, significant enhancements have made the program more accessible for homeowners and a great opportunity to lower payments or build equity faster.



If you owe as much or more on your home than its current value, you're considered "underwater" or "upside-down" on your mortgage. For some homeowners, the situation has led to foreclosure. Others, however, have stayed current on their mortgage payments, and those are the people HARP is intended to help.

You may be eligible for HARP if:

* You are current on your mortgage.

* Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac backs or owns your mortgage, and they acquired your mortgage on or before May 31, 2009. Use Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's online tools to find out.

* The mortgage is for your primary home, a single-family second home or a one- to four-unit investment property.

If you're underwater but still able to afford your current mortgage payment, you may wonder why you would want to refinance. Refinancing a higher interest rate mortgage is a great way to obtain a lower rate that saves you money over the life of the loan. Unfortunately, traditional refinances are not designed to help people whose current home debt exceeds their home's value. For underwater homeowners, qualifying for refinancing is virtually impossible without HARP.

When you refinance through HARP, you'll likely end up with a lower monthly payment, a shorter-loan term or you can even refinance an adjustable rate mortgage into a 30-year fixed rate mortgage. You can invest those savings in other areas, such as home improvements, retirement savings or college funds. Home improvements, in particular, can be a great investment because they can increase your home's value, even as you continue to pay down how much you owe on it.

With mortgage interest rates still historically low - but likely to rise - and the changes to HARP, it's a good time for underwater homeowners to consider applying for the refinancing program. More homeowners will qualify under the new provisions, and some who were previously declined for the program may now be able to qualify for it.

Key HARP changes include:

* No underwater limits - Borrowers will now be able to-refinance-regardless of how far their homes have fallen in value. Previous loan-to-value limits were set at 125 percent. For example, if your home value was $100,000, your mortgage couldn't exceed $125,000 in order for you to qualify for HARP. That limit has been lifted, so now you may qualify even if you owe much more than your home is worth.

* No appraisals or underwriting - Most homeowners will not have to get an appraisal or have their loan underwritten, making their refinance process smoother and faster.

* Modified fees - Certain risk-based fees have been reduced or eliminated altogether for borrowers who refinance into shorter-term loans.

* Less paperwork - Lenders have the option of qualifying a borrower by documenting that the borrower has at least 12 months of mortgage payments in reserve.

Perhaps most important, the deadline to apply for refinancing through HARP has been extended. Homeowners now have until Dec. 31, 2015 to apply, but take advantage of current low mortgage rates. To learn more about the new HARP and if you may be eligible to participate, visit www.HARP.gov.

PRICE REDUCED: One of Visalia's finest homes

1749  Augusta Ct,  Visalia, listed at $979,000.
This home is rated number one in LOCATION, CURB APPEAL, FEATURES, FUNCTION and WARMTH.

When you see it you will ask...why it is priced so well. It is so over the top, words and pictures do not do it justice.

The exterior style is warm and inviting with the wrap around porch and professional landscape.

The interior design is high end - from colors, volume, materials, finish, appliances, fixtures,  and lighting. The home is designed around entertaining with a huge patio including full outdoor kitchen, pool/spa with water falls, and a cabana with outdoor kitchen.

Additionally there is a boat storage or hobby shop building and a generous three car garage. The interior kitchen and baths are all out of a magazine. Oh..did I mention the home has a complete solar electrical system.

Call your Darlene today to see one of Visalia's finest homes.

Majestic home in Quail Run

QUAIL RUN beauty
2 Story Custom built by Wood Bros. on 1/2 acre lot. Step through the front door into majestic ceilings with formal dining room opposite the formal living room. Continue to Family room with built-in entertainment center and spacious windows overlooking lush back yard.

5335 W Grove Ct Visalia, listed at $799,000.
Kitchen offers center island, flat surface countertops, wet bar in breakfast nook + desk area. Bedroom/office combination can also be extra TV den. Meander up the staircase to owner's suite with sitting area and french doors to 14'X 30' Deck plus owner's bath has exercise room, jetted tub, dual sinks and closets. 3 more bedrooms and bath upstairs.

 Ask about Romeo & Juliett feature!!Spacious yard offers tiled patio under deck, raised trex deck, spectacular firepit, meditation corner and more. Quail Run has 21 families surrounding center park and tennis courts.

Gated for privacy! This special home has the feel of comfort, relaxation and pure enjoyment waiting for YOU!!

Call Darlene today. (559) 625-9364

Quality at every turn, this home has it all

3908 W Oriole Ct Visalia, listed at $574,000.
Spectacular Custom 4 bedroom home on 1/2 acre lot near end of cul de sac.

Quality built into every square foot with 10' ceilings, crown moldings, surround sound, gourmet

Game room incl. pool table, entertainment built-ins and computer centers, Elegant owner's suite with granite & designer sinks and fixtures, jetted tub, walk-in shower and more, One of three bedrooms on opposite end of home offers another smaller owner/type suite.

Formal dining room off entry. 3-Car finished Garage with 9' high doors. RV parking with dump-electrical. Salt water pool has spillway from spa, waterfall, and lounging pad in water.

 Covered patio with stone pillars, recessed lighting and stamped concrete offers great enjoyment by family or entertaining.
kitchen with Granite Countertops, Bosch DW, 48 Sub-Zero , Wolf gas range + another electric oven, warming oven, wine refrigerator, Raised Panel Alderwood Cabinetry open to Great Room with step-up ceiling to 12', stone fireplace/mantel and wall of windows overlooking covered patio.

Call Darlene today! (559) 625-9364

Six tips to liven up your laundry room

(BPT) - With the average American family doing more than 400 loads of laundry each year, it's no wonder that the laundry room has become one of the most popular remodeling projects in the house.- Often out of sight and out of mind, most laundry rooms are designed like closets rather than efficient utility rooms. But according to Decorator Jenny Komenda, who blogs at The Little Green Notebook, with just a few inexpensive changes, you can brighten your clothes and your mood by transforming your dark and dingy laundry room into a bright, functional (and even enjoyable) place.


Check out these tips from Jenny, The Home Depot, Tide and Maytag for the Brilliant HE Clean campaign on how to create more efficient and enjoyable laundry rooms:

*Dealing with a dark, cave-like laundry room is a chore in and of itself. By taking off the doors on a few of your upper cabinets, you'll open up the space and create a place to store baskets. Assign baskets for every member of the house, which makes sorting a breeze.

*Why not decoupage or paint the insides of your cabinets for a fun pop of color? It's a guaranteed smile each and every time you reach for your detergent. Also don't ignore the door. Adhere some cork panels on the inside of the cabinet doors and create a space to pin all those stain removal tips.

*Don't like the cabinets, floors and countertops in your laundry room? Every surface can be painted or resurfaced. Update your laundry room with paint and a concrete overlay for less than $30 in materials. Say goodbye to the outdated linoleum, brick pavers and old, dark cabinets.

*A rolling laundry butler can be your best friend, doing triple duty with a hanging bar, a rolling basket and a drying rack. It's the perfect choice for smaller laundry rooms that haven't been updated in a few decades.

Renovation loans give homebuyers an edge in a competitive market

(BPT) - Just a year ago homebuyers could choose from a bounty of properties on the market. Today things are starkly different. In many locations throughout the United States, inventory of homes for sale is at historic lows, creating a seller's market where multiple buyers get into bidding wars over move-in-ready homes.

"Move-in-ready homes may be selling like hotcakes, but older homes or damaged properties are often passed over," says Margaret Kelly, CEO with RE/MAX. "This is a big opportunity for smart buyers who are willing to overlook cosmetic or other imperfections."


If buyers can look beyond aesthetic characteristics like paint color, hardware and floor coverings, they may discover a diamond in the rough, especially if the home is in the neighborhood where they prefer to live. For example, if they like the overall design of a particular home, but the kitchen is straight out of the '70s and the deck needs major repairs, a renovation loan can help them purchase the property while upgrading the kitchen and outdoor space exactly how they want them.

"Many homebuyers are surprised you don't need a ton of money in the bank to fund improvements," explains Kelly. "A special type of loan called a renovation loan is ideal for these types of homes because it covers both the cost of the mortgage and repairs."

Renovation loans can also help buyers who want to purchase in a particular neighborhood where most home prices exceed their budget. Properties that need work are typically listed at a lower cost and often go unsold, creating an opportunity for people willing to make improvements. Buyers can use a renovation loan to get into the neighborhood of their dreams, quickly build equity and customize a home to their personal preferences.

Several variations of renovation loans are available. FHA renovation loans are called 203(k) loans. How much money you want to borrow and the kinds of improvements you plan to make will determine which of the two 203(k) types you need. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have their own specific types of renovation loans.

Requirements for the borrower, the amount you can borrow, and the overall structure of the loan are different for each program. Typically, the loan is based on the estimated home value after improvements, and buyers will need to get bids from licensed contractors to help determine the total loan amount as well as a timeline for the work to be completed.

Because finding a home and getting approval of a renovation loan can be complicated, it's wise for buyers to work with a real estate specialist who has experience in these types of sales. For example, RE/MAX agents lead the industry in professional designations and many have experience working with buyers who want a renovation loan. Visit www.remax.com to find an agent in your area.

"A renovation loan really does give homebuyers an edge in today's competitive market," says Kelly. "It's definitely something to research and determine whether it's right for you."

Spectacular, custom home built with quality

Spectacular Custom 4 bedroom home on 1/2 acre lot near end of cul de sac.

Quality built into every square foot with 10' ceilings, crown moldings, surround sound, gourmet kitchen with Granite Countertops, Bosch DW, 48 Sub-Zero , Wolf gas range + another electric oven, warming oven, wine refrigerator, Raised Panel Alderwood Cabinetry open to Great Room with step-up ceiling to 12', stone fireplace/mantel and wall of windows overlooking covered patio.

Game room incl. pool table, entertainment built-ins and computer centers, Elegant owner's suite with granite & designer sinks and fixtures, jetted tub, walk-in shower and more, One of three bedrooms on opposite end of home offers another smaller owner/type suite.

Formal dining room off entry. 3-Car finished Garage with 9' high doors. RV parking with dump-electrical. Salt water pool has spillway from spa, waterfall, and lounging pad in water.

 Covered patio with stone pillars, recessed lighting and stamped concrete offers great enjoyment by family or entertaining.

Tranquil living in custom Marseille home

Live in MARSEILLE!

Custom home by Bogard Construction on huge corner lot-room for pool. Split bedroom plan with spacious office with double french doors off entrance. Formal dining room open to living room with magnificent windows overlooking lush landscaping.

1848  N Salierno Ct,  Visalia, listed at $354,900.
Corner fireplace and entertainment center (not built-in so not a problem to accomodate a larger tv, etc.) Gourmet kitchen with island and overlooks breakfast nook with bay windows to back yard. Owner's suite has huge walk-in closet, jetted tub and french door opens to arbor and path to tranquility.

Owner is intending to paint the exterior trim and arbor to freshen up home. Also Carpet Allowance.

Call Darlene for an appointment today. (559) 625-9364

Beautiful custom home in Hidden Oaks

Custom home on cul de sac lot in Hidden Oaks.



Crown molding, built-in entertainment center in living room, arched doorways and beautiful tile flooring in kitchen and dining room. Island in gourmet kitchen. Owner's suite has shower and walk-in closet. One bedroom has custom built-in desk set-up with storage cabinets for two.

Unique high end Hunter Douglas window coverings throughout. Oversized garage. Spacious side yard with vegetable garden. Must get inside to appreciate this amazing home.

Listed at $239,000.

4 bedroom, 2 bathroom beauty with traditional sale

Ready to move in? Then you'll love this traditional sale.

Kitchen is open to vaulted living room/dining room with windows across the entire back of home to enjoy the patio and landscaping. Breakfast nook is spacious too.

5406  W Cherry Ave,  Visalia, listed at $198,800.

Laminate wood flooring in entry, living room, hall and owner's bath. Vaulted owner's suite with walk-in closet. Ceiling fans throughout. Security doors at front and from laundry into garage to catch the breezes on those nice days.

Patio wraps around the house for multiple uses. Includes the Refrigerator, washer and dryer with no warranties.

Don't miss this spectacular home

2046 W Sunset Dr, Visalia, listed at $589,000.
With a new, lower price, it's easier than ever to imagine living in this spectacular Green Acres home along Mill Creek.

The beautiful 4 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom home sits on .6 acres and has 3,208 square feet of living space.

The formal dining room just off the entry flows into a gourmet kitchen with a span of windows overlooking the gazebo, patio and fenced pool and a spacious lawn area.

The kitchen features an island, newer 2-drawer dishwasher, double ovens, 5 burner gas range & cabinets in nook area. Beyond the nook is the living room with full wall of windows to back yard.

The fireplace is nestled in a full brick wall. Beyond is what could be an in-law suite with its own living room, bedroom with walk-in closet, and full bath with its own access.

The bedroom wing has hand textured walls and crown molding. The new owner's suite bath has dual vessel sinks, beautiful tile re-model and spacious walk-in closet. There are French doors leading to the yard.

Two guest bedrooms have a Jack-n-Jill bathroom set-up.

A breezeway leads to an over sized garage with 220v, new roll-up garage doors, textured walls and cabinetry.

The pool is updated, newer dual paks (3) and water heater. The home features mostly dual pane windows.

This well maintained home is a must see. Call Darlene Loose for an appointment today! (559) 625-9364.

Backyard paradise with beautiful home

One of the nicest pool homes you will see on corner lot-1/3 acre of lush landscaping.
2348  N Carson Ct,  Visalia, listed at $405,000.

Dramatic ceilings, open living area, huge formal dining room plus nice office, Nook to back with loads of windows. Granite, stainless, tile floors and loads of windows overlooking custom patio across the entire back of home. Arbor in upper corner for entertaining has electrical, color everywhere, fountain, vines-you want it, it may be here.

Owner's suite is spacious with french door to pool and patio. Huge custom organizer closet, Soaking tub, two vanities and linen storage. Dual sinks in hall bath. Sink in Laundry room.

Storage in Garage. This home has all those extra touches of a home in many of the gated communities-just a little smaller scale.

MUST See if you like Big Yard!

Call Darlene Loose today! (559) 625-9364

4 bedroom home with great amenities

Hunters Crossing 4 Bedroom plus office with French doors off entrance.
4821  W Russell Ct,  Visalia, listed at $251,000.

Split bedroom, 2nd bedroom has full bath also. Laminate wood floors in entry, living room, office, kitchen, dining and halls. Canned lighting in living room.

Kitchen (corian) is open to dining room. Dual sinks in owner's suite with walk-in closet. Some updated lighting fixtures, Mostly walk-in bedroom closets, electrical package for ceiling fans.

Lush back yard with covered patio-path extending into gazebo area with electricity, 3 gas line areas for pit, etc, lighting, street lamp and nice storage shed.

Whole house fan, Solar Screens (except East side) and size of Heating and cooling was increased at time of construction.

Call Darlene Loose today. (559) 625-9364

242 E Chestnut Ct, Visalia, CA 93277

4 Bedroom, 2.5 bath custom built home on culdesac.
Pool had new gunite in 2012, has 4 spa jets along a swimout. Kitchen remodeled with GE Profile Stainless Appliances and new tile/backsplash and pendant lighting. Carpet replaced (2012) in bedrooms, tile throughout balance of home. Instant hot water in Kitchen and Laundry sinks. Open Beam vaulted ceilings in family room with oak built in and fireplace. Formal living and dining rooms at front of house. Owner's suite has spacious owner's bath with seperate tub and shower, mirrored walk-in closet and two vanity areas. Cebtrak vac. Large covered patio with access to nook, full bath and owner's suite. Fruit trees on East side of home. Cozy gazebo beyond pool. Breaker Box is newer and newer roof. Partial newer fencing. Excellant community near Blain Park and NO FLOOD INSURANCE needed. Established landscaping and surrounding areas.

Simple ways to save water, money and your landscaping this summer

(BPT) - With many states facing drought this summer, homeowners across the country will be looking for ways to save their landscaping while conserving water at the same time. Even if you're not in a drought-affected area, it pays to keep conservation in mind when it comes to watering outdoors. Using less water is good for the environment and your wallet.




Fortunately, maximizing the efficiency of your watering efforts and taking steps to conserve water outdoors can help trim your water bill this summer, even if you live in a severe drought area, such as in the western regions of the country. Here are simple ways to conserve water, save money and preserve your garden, lawn and landscaping this season:

Efficient, effective irrigation

Traditional watering methods for lawns, gardens and flower beds waste a lot of water through run-off, over-saturation and evaporation. Rather than spraying water over plants, use a method that delivers the right amount of water where it will do the most good - the roots of plants.

Drip irrigation systems, like those offered by Mister Landscaper, can help you water more effectively. These systems deliver water as close as possible to plant roots, allowing you to achieve better results with less water used. You'll also lose less water to run-off and evaporation. Place the system on a timer, and you can also ensure you're watering at optimum times of the day to reduce evaporation and waste. A starter kit with 50 linear feet of tubing - ample enough to handle most gardens and planting beds - costs less than $1 per foot. Visit www.misterlandscaper.com to learn more.

Water lawns, gardens and flower beds either early in the morning or as evening approaches to ensure you don't lose moisture to the hot sun. And if a day is windy, hold off watering lawns altogether as the breeze could leave you watering the sidewalk or driveway, rather than your grass.

Reuse, recycle and preserve

Even during a drought, some rain and condensation will occur. Take steps to capture natural moisture. A rain barrel situated beneath a downspout ensures you can catch run-off from your home's roof. While using barrel water may not be practical with most irrigation systems, it's a great option for watering container gardens or even indoor plants. You can also use household water, such as water left over from boiling vegetables or pasta, to water potted plants. Just be sure to let the water cool completely before using it.

You can help plants retain more moisture by placing organic mulch around the roots. The mulch will also help keep down weeds that would compete with plants for much-needed moisture. Depending on where you live and the type of mulch you choose, you can buy a bag of mulch for just a few dollars.

Finally, adjusting the type and location of plants is a great way to grow a drought-resistant garden or landscaping bed. Check with your local agricultural extension or search online for naturally drought-resistant species that do well in your area. By planting these hardier varieties, you can help keep your environment green and growing through a long, dry summer - and avoid the money drain of high water bills.

Cute Tulare home with lots of potential

This home is a traditional sale in Tulare.
184  W Lois Ave,  Tulare, listed at $132,500.

The kitchen was updated some years ago and includes refrigerator, newer carpeting. Formal Dining room open to living room with fireplace wrapped with bookcases.

Enjoy 3 bedrooms and 1 bathroom in 1,670 square feet of living space.

Exposed hardwood floors in first bedroom which has double doors to 2nd bedroom. Carport with storage area/shop at rear (with non-functional shower)-also cooling.

Alley access with double gate to back yard. Have a termite clearance in file.

Call Darlene Loose today! (559) 625-9364

Lush landscape with pool in a must-see home

One of the nicest pool homes you will see on corner lot-1/3 acre of lush landscaping.

Dramatic ceilings, open living area, huge formal dining room plus nice office, Nook to back with
2348 Carson Ct. Visalia, listed at $405,000.
loads of windows. Granite, stainless, tile floors and loads of windows overlooking Custom patio across the entire back of home.

Arbor in upper corner for entertaining has electrical, color everywhere, fountain, vines-you want it, it may be here.

Owner's suite is spacious with french door to pool and patio. Huge custom organizer closet, Soaking tub, two vanities and linen storage. Dual sinks in hall bath. Sink in Laundry room. Storage in Garage.

This home has all those extra touches of a home in many of the gated communities-just a little smaller scale. MUST See if you like Big Yard!

Call Darlene Loose for an appointment today! (559) 625-9364

Nice family home with newer features

This home is located in a nice, established neighborhood on cul de sac street in popular northwest
1025 N. Oakwood, Visalia,, listed at $139,900.
Visalia.

Enjoy 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms in 1,656 square feet of living space.
 
It also has some new and newer features to appreciate. There is a new garage door and garage door opener. The interior was repainted in 2010, some new linoleum in the kitchen and master bedroom in 2006. The exterior trim was painted in 2010.

Call Darlene Loose for an appointment today. (559) 625-9364.

Negotiate Your Best House Buy

2046  W Sunset Dr,  Visalia, listed at $589,000.
By: G. M. Filisko

Keep your emotions in check and your eyes on the goal, and you'll pay less when purchasing a home.

Buying a home can be emotional, but negotiating the price shouldn't be. The key to saving money when purchasing a home is sticking to a plan during the turbulence of high-stakes negotiations. A real estate agent who represents you can guide you and offer you advice, but you are the one who must make the final decision during each round of offers and counter offers.

Here are six tips for negotiating the best price on a home.

1. Get prequalified for a mortgage

Getting prequalified for a mortgage proves to sellers that you're serious about buying and capable of affording their home. That will push you to the head of the pack when sellers choose among offers; they'll go with buyers who are a sure financial bet, not those whose financing could flop.

2. Ask questions

Ask your agent for information to help you understand the sellers' financial position and motivation. Are they facing foreclosure or a short sale? Have they already purchased a home or relocated, which may make them eager to accept a lower price to avoid paying two mortgages? Has the home been on the market for a long time, or was it just listed? Have there been other offers? If so, why did they fall through? The more signs that sellers are eager to sell, the lower your offer can reasonably go.

3. Work back from a final price to determine your initial offer

Know in advance the most you're willing to pay, and with your agent work back from that number to determine your initial offer, which can set the tone for the entire negotiation. A too-low bid may offend sellers emotionally invested in the sales price; a too-high bid may lead you to spend more than necessary to close the sale.

Work with your agent to evaluate the sellers' motivation and comparable home sales to arrive at an initial offer that engages the sellers yet keeps money in your wallet.

4. Avoid contingencies

Sellers favor offers that leave little to chance. Keep your bid free of complicated contingencies, such as making the purchase conditional on the sale of your current home. Do keep contingencies for mortgage approval, home inspection, and environmental checks typical in your area, like radon.

Undeveloped acreage with potential

Undeveloped property in Visalia with potential.
Undeveloped 5.72 acre parcel which has been split from the front parcel of an old home.

E Douglas Ave,  Visalia, listed at $97,500.

To the north of the parcel, along Tracy Street, is a small subdivision with homes.

Call Darlene Loose today. (559) 625-9364

Don't-Miss Home Tax Breaks

By: Dona DeZube

From the mortgage interest deduction to energy tax credits, here are the tax tips you need to get a jump on your returns.

  • Mortgage interest deduction
  • Private mortgage insurance deduction
  • Prepaid interest deduction
  • Energy tax credits
  • Vacation or second home tax deductions
  • Home buyer tax credit repayment
  • Property tax deduction
  • Mortgage interest deduction
One of the neatest deductions itemizing home owners can take advantage of is the mortgage interest deduction, which you claim on Schedule A. To get the mortgage interest deduction, your mortgage must be secured by your home — and your home can even be a house trailer or boat, as long as you can sleep in it, cook in it, and it has a toilet.

Interest you pay on a mortgage of up to $1 million — or $500,000 if you’re married filing separately — is deductible when you use the loan to buy, build, or improve your home.

If you take on another mortgage (including a second mortgage, home equity loan, or home equity line of credit) to improve your home or to buy or build a second home, that counts towards the $1 million limit.

If you use loans secured by your home for other things — like sending your kid to college — you can still deduct the interest on loans up $100,000 ($50,000 for married filing separately) because your home secures the loan.

PMI and FHA mortgage insurance premiums

Helpfully, the government extended the mortgage insurance premium deduction through 2013. You can deduct the cost of private mortgage insurance as mortgage interest on Schedule A — meaning you must itemize your return. The change only applies to loans taken out in 2007 or later.

Updated 4 bedroom home with pool and covered patio

2707  S Stevenson St,  Visalia, listed at $169,900.
Imagine living in an established neighborhood with re-modeled pool and home.

So much is updated: Composition roof (2003), Fresh Ext Paint (2013), Interior Paint (2011), Carpet and tile flooring (2011), 2-inch blinds (2011), MSBR Tile at Shower/Vanity (2011), Kitchen Tile Counter top/back splash 2013.

This warm home has Central Heating and Cooling plus evaporative cooler.

This is a 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom 1,708 square-foot home with living and family rooms that flow into the dining room.

Fenced pool with small grass area, concrete on sides of home so low maintenance.

Nice front deck with lattice cover. Newer garage door and opener too. Great value!!

Call Darlene Loose for an appointment today! (559) 625-9364

Exquisite: Visalia's finest home hits the market

1749  Augusta Ct,  Visalia, listed at $1,200,000.
This home is rated number one in LOCATION, CURB APPEAL, FEATURES, FUNCTION and WARMTH.

When you see it you will ask...why it is priced so well. It is so over the top, words and pictures do not do it justice.

The exterior style is warm and inviting with the wrap around porch and professional landscape.

The interior design is high end - from colors, volume, materials, finish, appliances, fixtures,  and lighting. The home is designed around entertaining with a huge patio including full outdoor kitchen, pool/spa with water falls, and a cabana with outdoor kitchen.

Additionally there is a boat storage or hobby shop building and a generous three car garage. The interior kitchen and baths are all out of a magazine. Oh..did I mention the home has a complete solar electrical system.

Call your REALTOR today to see one of Visalia's finest homes.

Price Reduced: This custom home is not to be missed

1048  W Victor Ave,  Visalia, listed at $340,000.
Take a look at this exceptional custom home with vaulted ceilings, raised panel cabinets in gourmet kitchen with breakfast bar with 6 suspended seats.

There's 20 inch tile flooring extending into dining room and hall. Triple slider from exquisite living room to covered patio and pool.

Enjoy 3,550 square feet of living space with 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms.

The loft is open to living room and has bedroom/personal bath and huge office/gameroom. Curved wall in entry to hall leading to 2 bedrooms and elegant owner's suite and bath with Jetted tub/tile surround, designer sinks and french door to patio. Huge walk-in closet. Hall bath has new shower enclosure, cast iron tub with corian surround and designer sinks.

Bedrooms have mirrored closet doors and l-year-old neutral carpet.

Pool has aggregate interior, stained concrete decking starting at patio, waterfall, rock affect and slide. Basement is additional family room with storage area and a 7' X 10.5' walk-in safe.

Exterior walls are 6', R19 and ceilings are R50, commercial footings, shear panels. plumbed for central vac and more.

Call Darlene Loose for an appointment today! (559) 625-9364

Tons of upgrades and space in this country home

37385  Millwood Dr,  Woodlake, listed at $369,000.
Sitting on 2.44 acres, this 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home features Hardi Plank siding, solar panels (PGE aver. $100 mo), a generator for emergencies, a whole-house fan, Solar Tube, tile floors throughout most of the home (carpet in bedrooms) and an over sized garage.

The custom, open floor-plan home built by RUPP with views of the valley and the Sierras in the distance.

The home is 1,898 square feet. The kitchen has granite counter tops, Jenn-Aire Appliances, an island/vegetable sink, roll-out shelving in raised panel Alderwood cabinets and a corner window to catch views of Sierras. 

The interior features vaulted ceilings and plenty of windows to the patio and fenced yard for pets. There is a corner floor-to-ceiling Heatolator fireplace. 

The formal dining room has buffet and bay window facing the west hills. The spacious laundry room has cabinets, including a washer/dryer. 

The insulated, over sized garage has more cabinets and a pull-down ladder to overhead storage. 

The air conditioning was replaced 2011! 

The owner's suite has a walk in closet, French doors to patio, bay window sitting area and walk in shower. 

The circular drive invites your guests to meander up stepping stones to cozy front porch.

Call Darlene for an appointment today! (559) 625-9364. 

Opportunity is knocking with this 5 bedroom Visalia home

2927  W Payson Ave,  Visalia, listed at $245,000.
This is a hard-to-find 5 bedroom home with a den/office downstairs complete with 2.5 bathrooms.

Step into the living room and dining room with dramatic high ceilings and flow into family room (with corner fireplace), which is open to breakfast area and spacious kitchen with stainless appliances and walk-in pantry.

Enjoy 2,825 square feet of living space in the Shannon Ranch neighborhood of desirable northwest Visalia.

The staircase to upper level from both the entry way and kitchen - the owner loves this convenience and you will too!

The owner's suite has a soaking tub and separate shower, plus a walk-in closet.

Out back there is a nice lawn area and fenced pool. Wide concrete area along garage side of home all way to back yard. It also has an alarm system.

Call Darlene Loose for a showing today! (559) 625-9364

Remarkable estate with 17 acres of cherries

10606  Avenue 272,  Visalia, listed at $1.55 million
An exquisite estate on two parcels totaling 27.6 acres with about 17 acres in cherries.

This 3 bedroom, 4 bathroom home features the finest quality from windows, appliances, Cabinetry, lighting and finished touches offer a French Country feel.

Each bedroom has its own bathroom, the 812 sq. ft owner's suite in upper level has 3 walk-in closets, window seats with storage and two desk areas.

The remarkable grounds offer garden areas, zen garden, a children's playground, rose gardens. Imagine capturing lazy walks along the creek and large entertaining lawn areas where owner has opened grounds to Wish Upon a Star and Visalia Art events and more.

Call Darlene Loose for an appointment today! (559) 625-9364.


Cozy 3 bedroom home in Beverly Glen neighborhood


Imagine living in the high-demand Beverly Glen area with established landscaping. This cozy home has 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms in 1,518 square feet of living space.

This home features dual-pane windows throughout most of home.

There are hardwood floors (covered by carpet) in bedrooms, living room and possibly under vinyl in dining room.

1609  W Laurel Ave,  Visalia, listed at $138,000.

One bedroom and bath is on opposite side of others and would make a nice office niche. Original charm in kitchen with older gas range, dishwasher and microwave.

Owner built a huge family room with slider to back yard. Breezeway between house and one car garage.

This is an opportunity to fix up and live in mature neighborhood near downtown and schools. Termite report in file-NO termites!!

Call Darlene Loose for an appointment today! (559) 625-9364