Home Buyers

The Most Expensive Homes For Sale In Every State

Thrillist has released a report of the most expensive homes for sale in every state including a $3.7 million home in Nebraska, where BLG Properties founder Doug Bend grew up, to a $135 million home in Beverly Hills, California. You can review the full report here.

Would you like to buy or sell a home in San Francisco? If so, please give us a call at 415-295-6370.

Why Should You Hire A Real Estate Agent To Buy A Home?

It is not a legal requirement to work with a real estate agent to buy a home, but here are seven reasons why you should consider doing so:

1. Market Knowledge Of Fair Purchase Price.

A solid real estate agent will have their thumb on the pulse of the real estate market and can best advise you on whether a particular listing is the best fit for you or if you should be patient and wait for another opportunity .

2. Advises On Anticipated Cost Of Improvements.

An honest real estate agent can tell you how much it will likely cost to make anticipated improvements to a home so you can determine a fair offer price.

They can also introduce you to quality contractors to make those improvements once the purchase has been completed.

3.  Brings To The Table A Team Of Trusted Advisors.

An experienced real estate agent will not only add value with their services and expertise, but will be able to recommend a quality mortgage broker and home inspector.

In addition, because the real estate agent works with the mortgage broker and home inspector on a repeat basis there will be added accountability for them to be responsive and to provide quality services for a fair rate.

4.  Provides Additional Purchase Options.

A savvy real estate agent will provide you with additional options. For example, you might have your heart set on a particular condo across the street from At&t Ballpark but a good agent will provide you with additional listings to make sure that condo really is your best option and to at least consider some alternatives.

5. Off Market Listings.

Some of the best deals are never listed on MLS. A well connected real estate agent can  sometimes present you with "pocket listing" opportunities that the real estate agent heard about through word of mouth that have not hit the open market yet. Pocket listings can be particularly important in a hot real estate market to possibly find you a purchase option at a good value before it hits the open market.

6.  Attention To Non-Market Disclosures.

A knowledgeable real estate agent will be able to spot any non-standard disclosures made by the home seller that might indicate future homeowner problems. In addition, a solid real estate agent will know the professionals who can provide accurate estimates of what it will cost to fix those problems once they pass from being on the home seller's plate to being the home buyer's problem.

7. It's Free!

If you do not purchase a home, your real estate agent will earn no commission. Even if you do purchase a home, your real estate agent's commission will be paid out of the sales price of the home by the seller at closing. In California, if you are not represented by your own real estate agent the seller's real estate agent can get both sides of the commission. You might as well be represented by a zealous advocate of your interests instead of having the seller's real estate agent theoretically represent both your interests and the seller's interests so they can earn twice the commission.

Are you looking for a rock star real estate agent to help you find the perfect home? Please e-mail us at Doug@BLGProperties.com or call us at (415) 295-6370.

6 Ways Owning A Home Saves You Money On Taxes

Thinking of buying a home to save some money on taxes? Here are a few reasons why buying your dream home might help you pay less to Uncle Sam.

1. Mortgage Interest Deduction.

Each year you can deduct from your taxable income the amount of money you paid in interest on up to $1 million in mortgage debt. 

In particular, a huge portion of your mortgage payments in the first few years of owning your home will mostly go to interest and only a small portion will go to the principal of the loan.  This deduction alone can add up to thousands of dollars. Your lender should send you IRS Form 1098 which will show how much  interest you paid on your home mortgage in the prior year.

2. Home IMprovements.

In addition to mortgage interest, you may be able to also deduct the interest on a home equity loan or line of credit for improvements to your home.

There are limits on the amount you can deduct if the home equity loan or line of credit is more than $50,000 if you are filing single or $100,000 if you are filing married or jointly. In addition, the amount you can deduct also has a limit if your mortgage is more than the fair market value of your home.

3. Expenses When You Move.

You might be able to write off the expenses you incur moving to your new home if you purchase a house that is at least fifty miles closer to where you work.

4. Taxes On The Appreciation Of Your Home Value.

For most assets, you have to pay capital gains tax if you sell the asset for more than what you paid for it.

For example, if you buy Apple stock and the stock increases in value before you sell it, you might have to pay capital gains tax on those gains.

In contrast, if you buy a home that is your "primary residence" for at least two of the past five years and it increases in value, you might not have to pay capital gains tax on the first $500,000 in gains if you file jointly or $250,000 if you are single. 

5. Mortgage Insurance Premium.

You are likely paying a mortgage insurance premium if you paid less than a 20% down payment on your home. You may be able to deduct this mortgage insurance premium as mortgage interest on Schedule A of your Form 1040 if you and your spouse earn less than $109,00 each year.

6. Property Taxes.

Finally, you may be able to claim an income tax deduction for the property taxes you pay on the assessed value of your home.

As an added bonus, unlike the $1 million limit on the home mortgage interest tax deduction, there is no dollar limit on the amount of real estate taxes that can be deducted.


Your county's acssessor's office should send you a statement showing the amount of property taxes you paid.

Propety taxes taxes can be written off in the year they are paid, not the year they are due. 

What can't you deduct?

Unfortunately, you cannot deduct:

(i) Utilities, such as electricity or water;

(ii) Home and title insurance;

(iii) Homeowner association fees or

(iv) Transfer taxes in a personal home sale.

This article provides some of the most common tax savings for home owners. That being said, because each person's tax scenario is unique you should definitely consult with your CPA to see if these potential tax breaks might benefit you.

Are you looking for a rockstar real estate agent to help you purchase a home? If so, give us a call at (415) 295-6370.

Disclaimer: This article discusses general tax issues, but it does not constitute tax advice.  No reader should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information presented herein without seeking the advice of tax counsel.  BLG Properties expressly disclaims all liability in respect of any actions taken or not taken based on any contents of this article.