Real Estate

Real Estate Matters

Where have all the houses gone?

by Wendy McPherson

This story contains 784 words.

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Wendy McPherson manages about 145 agents for Coldwell Banker in two Menlo Park offices, plus Woodside and Portola Valley. She can be reached at


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Posted by older homeowner
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 19, 2014 at 10:48 am

This change in the capital gains tax is stupid and self-defeating as a revenue generator. Because of Prop 13, we older homeowners are paying a fraction in property taxes as our newer neighbors. Our home is now worth over 5X what we paid for it a quarter century ago. If we sold it, the new owners would be paying 5X the property tax of what we pay - FOREVER! Having raised our kids, we would like a smaller home, but the capital gains keeps us from moving. Also, if we moved, our new, smaller house would be more energy efficient.

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Posted by Homeowner
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 19, 2014 at 2:53 pm

Part of the problem is speculative buyers from overseas. What middle class family (especially if, God forbid, they need a mortgage) can compete with these all-cash buyers for a place to live?

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Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on Feb 19, 2014 at 3:56 pm


Middle class? Palo Alto shut the door to them a while ago, though at the very least there is hope that affordability might be discussed, now that the affluent are feeling the effects of being priced out.

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Posted by palo alto resident
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 19, 2014 at 4:25 pm

There is also the issue of property taxes, many of my friends would love to sell and move for a variety of reasons, but their current property taxes are based on a 10-20 year old property value and it doesn't make financial sense for them to move.

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Posted by Homeowner
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 19, 2014 at 4:48 pm

I think Wendy makes a good point about the Taxpayer's Relief Act. Paying a $400K penalty for after selling does hold sales back.

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Posted by PA007
a resident of Community Center
on Feb 19, 2014 at 5:20 pm

Wendy, People all have hope. but these days they have more.. Houses will be back in the market when hope is fading. It could take years.

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