Friday, July 25, 2014

Open House Saturday 12:30-3:30pm 1446 Golden Meadow Square, San Jose, CA 95117

Open House Saturday 12:30-3:30pm
1446 Golden Meadow Square, San Jose, CA 95117
Desirable "Merrivale West" townhouse complex
Centrally located off Payne & San Tomas Expressway
Call Robert Lei (408) 893-2410 if you have questions or would like to see the inside

Friday, July 18, 2014

Wiring Money from Overseas Bank Account vs. Opening a US Bank Account to Gift Money to Kids

From a Gift Tax perspective, it is better for parents to wire money directly from their foreign bank account to their kids in the United States. 

Some parents who live overseas make the mistake of opening a bank account in the United States for the purpose of transferring money to their kids in the United States.  However, that opening a US account and paying from that US account to their kids, makes them have to Pay a gift tax in the United States.

Going back to the first method, if the parents fund transfers take place overseas, then the buyers will not have to pay gift tax.
For full details, check the 3520 gift report form "

Annual Return To Report Transactions With Foreign Trusts and Receipt of Certain Foreign Gifts

Per bank social, you are allowed $100k per year.
If the buyers are buying the property for investment (rather than to live in themselves), then gifts will not be allowed.

Disclaimer: I am not a tax professional.  Please contact your tax professional for full details.

Where in the Prelim do I check to saveCondo vs. PUD

Question: How do you determine whether a property is a condo (i.e. has condo ownership) or is in a Planned Unit Development (aka PUD ownership)?
Answer: Check the Preliminary Title Report.   The Prelim Page#1 Item#1 To help determine whether the property is a h Condo or pud from prelim page1.

If Item #1 says "A Condo", then it's a condo.
If Item #1 says "A Fee", then most likely the property is in a PUD.

Check out Page4 of the preliminary title report:
If you see HOA and dues, then the property is part of a PUD because the owners pay a maintenance fee.

Divided interest in your unit plus undivided interest in the common areas.

Condos have undivided interest in the entire complex.

Different lenders charge different fees for different types of ownership.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

2 Ways to get Discount on Bank of America HELOC rates 7/16/14

Bank of America HELOC rates 7/16/14

For a Loan-To-Value (LTV) below 70% and HELOC loan amount of $300,000 the interest rate for the HELOC would start at 3.935% before discounts.

With the prime rate at 3.25%, this means the rate is:
 3.93% BofA HELOC rate
-3.25% Prime Interest Rate
=0.68% above Prime

There are two ways to get a discount on these rates:

1. If you set up direct automatic payment of your monthly HELOC interest, then you get a 0.25% discount.

  3.935% HELOC rate before autopay
- 0.250% autopay discount
=3.685% HELOC rate after autopay
 -3.250% Prime Rate
 =0.435% above Prime

2. To get even more discount, you could immediately draw $25,000 from the HELOC to get another quarter percent discount.  (You must keep that $25,000 balance on your HELOC for 3 months.)

 0.435% above Prime
 0.250% immediate draw >= $25k discount
 0.185% above Prime

Sunday, July 13, 2014

July 2014 Santa Clara County Real Estate Report Robert Lei

Silicon Valley real estate prices reached all-time highs in June.

Click the link below to read the full July 2014 issue of the Santa Clara County Real Estate Report

Robert Lei,
(408) 893-2410

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Converting Range To Gas : Pipe Diameter Calculation


What would be involved to convert an electric range to a gas range if the kitchen currently does not have a gas connection?

Some initial factors to consider are the location of the gas meter and existing gas lines.
The house in this video already ran a gas line to the furnace in the garage.

Another factor is the diameter of pipe you need to safely transport the gas. Typically for most gas ranges you need a 3/4" diameter pipe to feed it. If your gas meter is way over at the other end of the house, then you'll need to run a calculation that takes into account the BTUs and distance of travel. Specifically, you will need to take into account the worst case scenario of all gas appliances running at the same time, (i.e. all appliances pulling gas simultaneously). If the pipes are not wide enough for the extreme load, this could pose a hazard.

Running a new 3/4" gas line could cost approximately $700-$800. If you can use the existing gas lines because they are just servicing two other things, then you would just need to put a T and tap out of that for a lower cost of just $200 or so.

Friday, July 4, 2014

4th of July Festivities/Fireworks in/near Silicon Valley (2014)


Real Estate Agent with Century 21 (SUNNYVALE, CA) - (408) 893-2410
4th of July Festivities/Fireworks in/near Silicon Valley
(July 4, 2014)
By Robert Lei, Silicon Valley REALTOR, ePRO
Most Popular 4th of July Events in the entire Bay Area:
1. San Francisco Fireworks: Waterfront festival at Pier 39 with live music from noon until the Fireworks at 9:30pm.
2. San Jose: See below
3. Livermore
4. Mountain View Shoreline Amphitheatre
5. Angel Island
6. Richmond
7. Oakland: Festival of Family Fun at Jack London Square Friday July 4, 2014 from 11am-4pm. Dazzling performers including Uncle Sam stilt walker, jugglers, magicians, hula hoopers, clowns, and puppeteers.
8. Pleasanton: 9:45pm Alameda County Fair: Non-stop, razzle-dazzle fireworks set to music and a cool video tribute to Alameda County.
South Bay / Santa Clara County:
Friday, July 4. Fireworks at 9:30 p.m. at Gilroy High School sports field. Free
Friday, July 4. Independence Day BBQ/Salute to Military Heroes. All-You-Can-Eat BBQ served at South County Picnic Grove. No Fireworks. Cost

Los Gatos

Friday, July 4. Food & music from 11am to 4:30 p.m. at Oak Meadow Park on Blossom Hill Road. No Fireworks. Cost.

Friday, July 4. Afternoon pool party at the Milpitas Sports Complex with music, food, and games from 1-4pm ($2 per person), followed by an evening Concert and Fireworks Show featuring Pacific Soul from 7-10pm ($3 per person) with Fireworks at 9:15 p.m. on the Sports Center’s football field.
Morgan Hill
Friday, July 4. Parade in downtown at 10am. Fireworks at dark at Morgan Hill Outdoor Sports Center Community Park. Free
Mountain View
Friday, July 4. San Francisco Symphony performs at Shoreline Amphitheater at 8 p.m. with Fireworks at dark. Free with paid concert ticket.
Palo Alto
Friday, July 4
 "33rd Annual Summer Festival and Chili Cook-off" at Mitchell Park from noon to 5pm. No Fireworks.
Fireworks between 9 and 9:30 p.m. at EcoCenter Baylands Park. Free
San Jose
"Rose, White, and Blue Parade and Festival" Parade at 10am followed by food and entertainment from 11am to 3pm at The Alameda.  No Fireworks.

 Fireworks after the San Jose Giants game at Municipal Stadium. Free with paid ticket.
ENCORE Saturday, July 5. Fireworks after the San Jose Giants game at Municipal Stadium. Free with paid ticket.
DISCOVERY MEADOW Friday, July 4. 9:15 pm. San Jose America Fireworks show at Discovery Meadow in downtown San Jose for the first time since 2008.
A big thank you to the San Jose Rotary Club(along with Santa Clara County and the city of San Jose) for bringing the fireworks show back after a 6-year hiatus. (Note, there is no daylong festival event.
Can’t make it to the event? Enjoy the patriotic music simulcast on KLIV-AM 1590.)
PLAZA DE CESAR CHAVEZ Friday, July 4th and Saturday, July 5th: FUN, but no fireworks (except in your mouth) at the San Jose Bacon Festival at Plaza de Cesar Chavez.
ALMADEN LAKE PARK Friday, July 4th; for the first time ever, fireworks at San Jose's Almaden Lake Park.
Friday, July 4. Fireworks start at 9:30 at Cupertino High School. Viewing sites: Sedgwick Elementary School, Hyde Middle School, Portal Park, Wilson Park and Cupertino Creekside Park. Music and vendors at Creekside Park. No access, driving, parking or viewing from Cupertino High School. Free
Santa Clara 
Friday, July 4. Live music and food at the Pavilion in Central Park from noon-5pm. The fun continues at the lawn area outside the Community Recreation Center.  Bring your lawn chairs and blankets for more entertainment, a variety of food booths/trucks plus Fireworks at 9:30 p.m. at Central Park. Free
 California's Great America.  Friday, July 4 & Saturday, July 5. 11am-4pm. Mini-flag giveaway, a family BBQ, and patriotic fun all weekend long plus Fireworks Extravaganza at 9:45pm both nights.
Friday, July 4. Parade and music are part of a morning-long celebration at Kevin Moran Park.  No Fireworks 

Posted by
Robert Lei
Real Estate Professional
Century 21 M&M and Associates
South Bay; Silicon Valley
(408) 893-2410