The Tax Benefits of Homeownership branden chhour

The Tax Benefits of Homeownership

I will be lecturing at Chapman University in the city of Orange on Saturday, March 28, 2015 between 3:45pm to 4:45pm about the “The Tax Benefits of Homeownership” and how it can actually lower the taxes you owe to the IRS. (See Attachment). Come out for support & invite your clients/friends too. This event is for Southern California renters, home owners, property investors, individuals facing foreclosure or short sale, or those looking to buy real estate at some point in their lives. There will be over 30 other real estate topics for you to choose from to help answer the daunting questions you may have.The entire event runs from 12:00pm to 5:00pm.

This no-sales pitch educational event will also have offers, discounts, and answers from local businesses that have anything to do with owning a home: solar, tax advice, home improvement, landscaping, and more!


Please register with this link ASAP:

Facebook Link Info:

This event can be a great introduction to your friends and clients as well. Please forward this email to your clients or family/friends. Any questions or concerns you have about real estate will be answered this day.

Hope to see you and your guests on March 28th!

The following topics will be covered:

  • Topics offered 12:00pm to 1:00pm
    • For Current Home Owners:
      • Loan Modifications Tips and Tricks
    • For Those Looking to Buy:
      • Avoiding Costly Buyer Mistakes
      • 1st Time Buyers and Loans
      • Show Me the $$$!! Down Payment Assistance
      • Ways To Improve Your Credit Score
    • For Those Looking to Invest:
      • Orange County Housing Market Report
      • Deferring Capital Gains Taxes: 1031 Exchanges
  • Topics offered 1:15pm to 2:15pm
    • For Current Home Owners:
      • Ways to Reduce Your Electric Bill
    • For Those Looking to Buy:
      • What Every Veteran Needs to Know About Purchasing a Home
      • How Interest Rates Affect Buying Power
      • Steps to Buy Your First Home
      • The Escrow Process
    • For Those Looking to Sell:
      • Moving On Up: Making a Smooth Transition
      • What to Expect With Your Home Inspection
    • For Those Looking to Invest:
      • Retiring on 18K/Month with NO 401(k), NO IRA, a Mortgage and a Plan


  • Topics offered 2:30pm to 3:30pm
    • For Current Home Owners:
      • Automatic Millionaire Homeowner
    • For Those Looking to Buy:
      • Life After Foreclosure
      • Closing Costs: What Should I expect?
    • For Those Looking to Sell:
      • Staging Your Home for Top Dollar
    • For Those Looking to Invest:
      • Property Management: Do’s and Don’ts
      • Renovation and Construction


  • Topics offered 3:45pm to 4:45pm
    • For Current Home Owners:
      • FHA Loans and Changes: What You Should Know
      • The Tax Benefits of Homeownership (I’LL BE SPEAKING HERE)
      • Go Green and Save Money
    • For Those Looking to Buy:
      • First Time Home Buyer Education – Certification Class
      • How to Bid and Win: Writing a Stronger Offer
      • Outside of the Box Lending
      • CYA with Homeowner’s Insurance
      • What Should my Financial Picture look like when Buying?
    • For Those Looking to Sell:
      • REALTOR Expert Panel – Ask an Agent!
    • For Those Looking to Invest:
      • Commercial Property Purchases: Do’s and Don’ts

Reasons to Hire a Realtor

I hear it all the time from friends and people whom I’ve met.

Branden Chhour
Realtor / CPA

  2. “The realtor doesn’t do anything. They just show me the house that I FOUND ON MY OWN and then gets paid.”
  3. “I’ll just use the listing agent as my realtor”

I am sure that you are saying the same and agreeing to those statements if you have never bought a home before. For those of you own a home or property, you might have had this preconceived notion as well.

Let me explain why anybody should care about real estate sales being handled by realtors.



There are real estate agents and there are realtors. Both are licensed to handle real estate transactions. However, REALTORS are members of the National Association of Realtors. They are held to follow the REALTOR® Code of Ethics. According to NAR, there are 17 articles in the Code of Ethics and they are strictly enforced.

If it is your first time buying a home, I would recommend utilizing a realtor to help you with the process. There’s an agency relationship, where the realtor has a fiduciary duty to look after the seller’s or buyer’s best interest. Realtors can save you time by doing most of the leg work, save you money during negotiations, and stress by handling all the phone calls. A good realtor essentially acts like a buffer between you and the other party.

Sure, Redfin and other real estate search websites are great. But they lack those intangibles listed above that a realtor offers to their clients. In addition, data on those sites are usually not up to date. Realtors on the other hand can provide the most up to date reliable data. They can offer in depth analysis straight from MLS – Data such as the average per square foot cost of similar homes, median and average sales prices, average days on market and ratios of list-to-sold prices that are more accurate than what you find from those websites.


  1. “The realtor doesn’t do anything. They just show me the house that I FOUND ON MY OWN and then gets paid.”

A realtor does more than just show houses for their clients. Realtors are resources for the clients to use because they usually have a good understanding of the neighborhood. They also will likely have a vast network of lawyers, contractors, attorneys, termite inspector, home inspector, and plumbers at the client’s disposal.

Realtors can identify comparable sales and hand these facts to the client to make sure they are not overpaying or underselling. For example, you may know that a home down the street was on the market for $350,000, but a realtor will know if it had upgrades and sold at $285,000 after 65 days on the market and after twice falling out of escrow. There’s a lot of administrative paper work in the background that a client does not see.


  1. “I’ll just use the listing agent as my realtor”

I know many potential buyers say they rather buy the house directly with the listing agent in hopes of getting a “better” deal. I would advise against this strategy if I was speaking to a buyer because it is like going to court where the plaintiff and the defendant shares attorney. If the opposing parties never share attorney in court, why would buyers and sellers share the same realtor? At the end of the day if a Realtor represents both buyer and seller, they will always side with the seller.

Speaking from my own experience, I would like to end this by saying if you have never bought a property before, I would recommend you hiring a Realtor like myself to help you facilitate the process. I have friends who are real estate investors, and they would use my service to help them administer transactions.


If you are interested in making a real estate purchase or a sale in Los Angeles County and Orange County, please reach out to me for consultation.


Los Angeles and Orange counties are the least-affordable housing market in the country

Los Angeles and Orange counties are the least-affordable housing market in the country. And it’s likely to only get worse.

That’s according to new figures due out Thursday from real estate website Zillow, which found that renters here need to pay more of their income to afford a place to live than anywhere else in the country.

Adding to the affordability woes, Zillow is predicting that home prices here will climb 5.7% in the next year, outpacing likely growth in most people’s paychecks.

For people who aren’t on the high end of income distribution — teachers, police officers — it becomes a real issue.
– Svenja Gudell, Zillow’s senior director of economic research
The real estate website crunched for-sale and rent prices and incomes across 35 housing markets in the U.S. It found that a family earning the median household income of $59,424 in metro Los Angeles — defined as L.A. and Orange counties — would need to spend 47.9% of its income to afford a median-priced rental apartment, and 42.6% to afford a median-priced house. Both were the highest share in the U.S., though L.A. tied with San Francisco in for-sale housing.

Prices here have grown much faster than incomes in the last few years, said Svenja Gudell, Zillow’s senior director of economic research. That’s pushing L.A. housing out of reach for many.

“For people who aren’t on the high end of income distribution — teachers, police officers — it becomes a real issue,” she said.

lRelated New FICO criteria could help borrowers
New FICO criteria could help borrowers

Zillow’s figures echo a recent study by UCLA’s Ziman Center for Real Estate, which also pegged Los Angeles County as the least-affordable market in the country, and said that the rent crunch here has spread up the income ladder, to affect more middle-class households.

It’s a twofold problem, economists say.

Housing prices here are high, though not as high as in the Bay Area, and comparable to New York, Washington and Boston. Those places score better on affordability measures, though, because people there tend to earn more than the average Southland resident. Median household income in the San Francisco area in the second quarter was $76,239, according to Zillow; in the L.A.-O.C. area it was $59,424.

L.A.-O.C. housing market is least affordable in U.S.
Prices have grown much faster than incomes in the last few years, a Zillow research director said. That’s pushing L.A. housing out of reach for many. (Cheryl A. Guerrero, Los Angeles Times)
“Los Angeles has a lower median household income than comparable cities such as New York or San Francisco but only a small difference in median rents,” the UCLA report said.

Even for professionals with good incomes, buying a house in Southern California is a heavy lift, as Natalie Lohrenz sees every day.

As the director of counseling at the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Orange County, she works regularly with first-time buyers trying to purchase a home in a place where the median house cost $600,000 in July, according to CoreLogic DataQuick. Last week, Lohrenz said, she met a registered nurse with a six-figure income who was struggling to buy a two-bedroom townhouse in Irvine.

@tear_down_my_reason Notice that most people live outside of California, I have relatives in Chicago and Michigan (not Detroit) and they like it there. Now that I have my piece of Golden State paradise near the coast (I have ocean views sitting on the throne). Remember Moonbeam V1.0 and small…
AT 1:16 PM AUGUST 22, 2014

“In the majority of the country, she’d have no problem at all,” Lohrenz said.

One reason California is so unaffordable, said Gudell, may ironically be that it got hit harder in the housing bust than high-cost East Coast markets. Prices crashed. Investors scooped up homes cheap. Then as the market recovered, the price of what was left surged.

“They almost overshot,” Gudell said. “These California markets have these extremely high home values now, but incomes haven’t kept up.”

Related story: High housing costs are a drag on California’s economy, report says
Related story: High housing costs are a drag on California’s economy, report says
Tim Logan
If there’s good news, it’s that those price gains are slowing down. Zillow projects — based on supply, income growth and other factors — that prices here will climb 5.7% in the next year, more than twice the national average. But that’s barely half the pace they grew over the last year, and down sharply from the 8.7% annual jump the firm projected a month ago. Slow income growth is clearly putting a damper on demand, Gudell said.

And the places where rents are climbing fastest tend to be places with strong job growth. Zillow said rents are up nearly 20% in the last year in Santa Monica and Venice, where tech jobs have surged. Rents have fallen in more remote areas such as Lancaster and Palmdale.

That trend probably will continue, Gudell said, as the housing rebound fades and growth becomes driven more by jobs and income.
“It wasn’t as much of a jobs story six months ago,” she said. “Now we have a healthy job market and that’s really what’s driving home values.”

In the long run, that’s a healthy thing, said Keith Gumbinger, vice president of mortgage-tracking firm Price growth based on market fundamentals is a lot more sustainable than growth generated by market swings. Still, he said, it’ll take awhile to work out the damage of the last few years.

“We’re falling back to typical dynamics, and that should be healthier overall,” he said. “But income growth, wage growth, has been pretty weak. They’ve got a ways to catch up.”