Pro Tip for 55 or Older Selling a House in CA

Filed under: Property Taxes

I’ve talked about Prop 19 before, but the topic has come up a few times recently and I wanted to revisit it. In California, if you sell a primary residence property with the intent to buy another primary residence, you can take the assessment value of the original property with you.

How Prop 19 Works

For example, you bought a house 15 years ago and paid $500,000 for it. Now, it’s worth a million dollars and you are ready to downgrade and are planning to buy an $800,000 house. Now you can take the $500,000 assessment to the new house, which will keep your property taxes lower and save you a few thousand dollars a year.

Both clients (buyers and sellers) and pros in the industry need to know about Prop 19 that makes this possible. It doesn’t matter what county you sold/bought in, the previous assessment transfers anywhere in California. It only applies to people who are 55 or older.

This would be really beneficial for people who bought the house a long time ago for $200,000, and now they are selling and buying another place for $800,000 or more. They can bring the tiny assessment to the new place.

How Many Times Can an Assessment Be Transferred?

This process works up to three times, so you can transfer the assessment to 3 different properties as you buy and sell homes over the years. This benefit is a big deal, especially for those people moving into retirement.

If you are in the group of people who have recently bought a new house and the county reassessed the new place, don’t worry: you have 2 years to get this application in. You can find the paperwork at most county websites or also at the Board of Equalization website.

This is an important topic, especially for anyone who is 55+. Don’t let these houses get reassessed. The county doesn’t really have a mechanism to see how old someone is. Our team is here to help our clients see that they don’t need to do the reassessment. Reach out if you have any questions.

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