Purchase Real Estate with Bitcoin

By | Buyers, Economy, Sellers, Sonoma County info | No Comments

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An article on August 8 in WSJ online caught my eye: Lake Tahoe Property Sells for $1.6 Million in BitcoinsBitcoin is a software-based online payment system, a digital currency. Here is other article about this transaction in Martis Camp’s Lodge Estates. The transaction was paid using the bitpay service. 

At first it looks unusual but from a transaction perspective it is  more like a cash transaction. Instead of dollars, euros or yens, bitcoins are used. Similar to when paying with ‘foreign’ currency, an exchange rate is used. The property in Lake Tahoe sold for 2,739 BTC which was at the time appr $1,6 million.Dutch Euro

What currency or method is used to pay for property is something to agree upon between the buyer and the seller. Whether a buyer uses a mortgage, pays cash, uses a digital currency, or even an exchange -for instance an other property of equal value- doesn’t matter as long as the  parties involved agree and the method of payment is legally acceptable. Of utmost importance is to check with a CPA/financial advisor for tax consequences and an attorney as to possible legal consequences.

Bottom line: whether or not paying in bitcoin does not make a whole lot of difference to a transition as a whole. Buyers do their due diligence – the standard time for inspections etc in our local contracts is 17 days-, sellers do their due diligence -in this case whether the method of payment is acceptable – and upon agreement the deal closes.


Move to a Larger Home in 2012?

By | Economy, RE by the numbers, Sellers, Sonoma County info | No Comments

I have noticed that many homeowners would like to move but somehow don’t feel right now is the right time. This slideshow is a presentation showing that now is a great time to move to a larger home. It shows a comparison what it would mean financial if you would have move to a larger home in 2006 vs 2012. Since home prices have come down so much.  it might not feel moving up is a smart move. The numbers show differently. This is a test and I am looking forward to see whether you can follow the numbers without explanation. It is a Youtube movie. Don’t respond via comments but respond via email plse.


To Buy or not to Buy…

By | Buyers, Economy, Interest rates, Investing in Real Estate, RE by the numbers, RE Investing, Wine Tasting | No Comments

Operation Twist is the economic policy from the FED:  at their last official meeting in August, the policy making committee decided to keep interest rates low until 2013 …

This is good news for buyers… There is a time window to benefit from low interest rates… Time to get once’s financial house in order…

Some might think that waiting to buy is a better option, they decide to stay on the sideline… Smart idea???

Well depending on your situation: if you rent a home you pay for someone else’s  mortgage. Why rent when you can buy? All the first time home buyers I have been working with recently end up paying less in mortgage than in rent…

Will home prices go down further? All Real Estate is local. While the higher end in Santa Rosa/Sonoma County is expected to loose some more value in the coming time, the lower prices homes have been fairly stable in the last years.


But what if home prices are coming down a little further? You never know when the market has hit bottom until it goes up again. At that point there will be a lot more competition.In the mean time: you have to live somewhere, might as well pay your own mortgage and take advantage of the tax benefits when owning a home…

Bottom line: the current market in Sonoma is a great market for buyers: although the inventory is low, there are great homes coming on the market all the time. There is no such thing as the perfect home. But right now there is the luxury of not having to worry about interest rates going up dramatically.

Last note: in Netherlands most rental homes are owned by the government, our first home after we got married was government owned. Home ownership is becoming more common but not like in the USA. It’s called the American Dream for a reason.

Have a great weekend and enjoy harvest season in Sonoma County: the first weekend is the 13th Annual Wines and Food Affair