The current real estate market is crazy. Prices are high, there are not enough houses for sale, and interest rates on home loans remain low. With the dynamic shift of people working and studying at home due to the global pandemic, some homeowners have realized that their current residence no longer meets their needs and need to find homes that are a better fit. Many require more space to accommodate adult children living at home or have kids homeschooling. Some are even considering moving to live closer to extended family or relocating from a small city footprint to a larger home in a rural neighborhood. There is also a wave of homeowners among the baby boomer generation who are down-sizing, many of whom are hesitant to purchase a new home because they fear paying a significant uplift on their real estate taxes. With annual real estate tax rates running at 1.25%, making a move can be discouraging, if not prohibitive, especially among buyers who purchased homes when the prices were significantly lower than they are today, putting many sellers outside the realm of affordability.

When my clients tell me they’re hesitant to make a move, I like to show them how California’s recently enacted Proposition 19 can be a solution for their problem. Under “Prop. 19,” California homeowners, ages 55+, can transport their property tax basis with them and retain it for use on the replacement home they buy, regardless of the purchase price. A senior can do this up to three times, and for persons who lost their homes in recent wildfires they may have unlimited tax basis transfers on their residential replacements. Beyond the personal financial benefits to buyers, Proposition 19 creates additional housing re-sale inventory for those who need different homes for their own changed circumstances. Whether working or schooling at home or for multi-generational living as a childcare or eldercare solution, the new law is a win-win as it also creates more inventory for down-sizing seniors and those seeking to live nearer to relatives in higher-priced regions of the state.

If you’re considering buying or selling a new home, I’d like to help you learn more about “Prop. 19” and how it could help you make the right move with an informed decision.


Contact: Tracy Warr // Napa Tracy Style Napa Valley Real Estate Specialist