Ten Lucky Home Decor Trends For 2013 By The Doyle Team, Greg & Lisa Doyle, J. Rockcliff Realtors

Despite its negative reputation, the number 13 does not always
have to be unlucky. Take these top 10 decor trends for 2013
from design experts, manufacturers and trend forecasters across
the country. They are fresh, fun and sure to bring good fortune to
any home.
A splash of color – Industry leader Pantone’s annual fashion color
report sets the tone for home decor as well as clothing, and the
spring 2013 report is no exception. Its softer-hued palette of
Dusk Blue, Lemon Zest, African Violet, Grayed Jade, Linen and
Tender Shoots is emboldened by Monaco Blue, Poppy Red,
Emerald and Nectarine.
Not your mama’s wallpaper – Repositionable wallpaper is a
new decorating mainstay. You can easily search online peel-and stick
wallpaper that is available in such themes as vintage, dots,
flower prints and modern. These can be removed and reused
hundreds of times without losing their adhering qualities. Some
companies offer color matching to allow customers to match their
repositionable wallpaper to an existing paint color, updated
decor or the new Pantone color palette.
Cooking up smart ideas – Next year’s contemporary kitchen will
include European frameless laminate cabinetry, multi-tasking
appliances, hands-free faucets, and increased smartphone and
tablet functionality. Value-oriented remodels will remain popular
with homeowners incorporating existing flooring, fixtures, cabinets
and/or appliances into their design plans to save money and
retain favorite design elements.
Let it shine – Energy-efficient LED products will continue to
dominate lighting, and will be prevalent in coves, tray ceilings,
toe kicks, and under and above cabinets. Chrome and polished
nickel will appeal to the emerging “Y” generation and baby
boomers modernizing their retirement homes. Tall, slender
outdoor lanterns in contemporary, cottage and transitional styles
will work well for those in smaller urban spaces.
Heavy metal – Home furnishings will also shine in 2013. New
metals such as rose gold and gun metal will be mixed, and
pierced, hammered and oxidized textural metals will be
especially popular. Vendors will add metal to their wood pieces,
and faux metallic animal print will provide texture and reflective
light in the textiles arena.
There is no place like home – Even as the economy shows signs
of improving, homeowners still find comfort in “cocooning” in the
warmth and safety of their homes. Adding an on-trend color such
as cranberry or velvety chocolate to a soothing palette of muted
tones and delicate detailing creates timeless interiors, and
incorporating vintage pieces fosters a sense of nostalgia,
heritage and solidity.
“Woodn’t” it be nice? – Next year’s trendy furniture will boast
reclaimed wood or reclaimed-looking synthetic wood.
Combinations of wood and metal will be popular, such as a desk
with a wood top and an iron base. There will also be a new
freedom to mix metals, linen or stone into wood, with the
juxtaposition of materials and finishes creating a beautiful
Watch your step – One of the biggest style trends of the year
will be porcelain tile that emulates the look of hardwood in hightraffic
areas, offering the natural beauty of wood with the longlasting
durability and ease of maintenance of tile. Rectangularsized
tiles – particularly those in long, linear plank styles – will
remain popular in floor and wall applications.
Back to nature – Consumers’ eco-friendly focus on using organic,
sustainable materials will continue into 2013. Homeowners can
choose from woven wood shades made from bamboo, grasses,
jute, reeds, rattan and other natural renewable resources for
honest, simple beauty. Timber and wicker furniture, ribbed and
woven finishes on accessories, and layered wool throws included
in the living area or the kitchen to bring a sense of the outdoor
into the home.
You can judge a book by its cover – Exterior design and
landscaping say just as much about a home as its interior
architectural counterparts. Stone, concrete and brick that blend
into the environment are gaining popularity as they require little
upkeep, and are superior to weather susceptible wood decks,
rust-prone metals and dulling plastics.

Lisa Doyle, www.TheDoyleTeam.com, Greg Doyle, San Ramon Homes, Danville Homes, Bay Area Homes, Bay Area Short Sales, Bay Area Foreclosure, Short Sale in San Ramon, East Bay Real Estate Market, Hardship

A 3.8 Percent “Sales Tax” on Your Home? By Greg & Lisa Doyle, J. Rockcliff Realtors

Question: Does the new health care law
impose a 3.8 percent tax on profits from
selling your home?

Answer: No, with very few
exceptions. The first $250,000 in profit
from the sale of a personal residence
won’t be taxed, or the first $500,000 in
the case of a married couple. The tax falls
on relatively few — those with high
incomes from other sources.

Long Answer: This question is gaining
more interest now that we are in 2013. At
the last minute, Democratic lawmakers
decided on a new 3.8 percent tax on the
net investment income of high-income
persons. But the claim that this would
amount to a $15,200 tax on the sale of a
typical $400,000 home is utterly false.
The truth is that only a tiny percentage
of home sellers will pay the tax. First of
all, only those with incomes over
$200,000 a year ($250,000 for married
couples filing jointly) will be subject to it.
And even for those who have such high
incomes, the tax still will not apply to the
first $250,000 on profits from the sale of
a personal residence — or to the first
$500,000 in the case of a married couple
selling their home.

We can understand how this
misconception got started. The law itself is
couched in highly technical language that only a qualified tax expert can fully grasp.
tax falls on “net gain … attributable to the disposition of property.” That would
include the sale of a home. But the bill
also says the tax falls only on that
portion of any gain that is “taken into
account in computing taxable income”
under the existing tax code. And the fact
is, the first $250,000 in profit on the sale
of a primary residence (or $500,000 in
the case of a married couple) is
excluded from taxable income already.
(That exclusion does not apply to
vacation homes or rental properties.)
Additionally, the director of policy
and communications for the nonprofit,
pro-business Tax Foundation had this to
say – “Some home sales would see a tax
increase under this bill, but it would have
to be a second home or a principal
residence generating [a gain of] more
than $250,000 ($500,000 for a
So there you have it. The sort of
people who would have to pay the tax
might include, for example:
A single executive making $210,000
a year who sells his $300,000 ski condo
for a $50,000 profit. His tax on the sale
of that vacation home would amount to
$1,900, in addition to the capital gains
tax he would have paid anyway.
An “empty nester” couple with
combined income of over $250,000 a
year who sell their $1 million primary
residence to move to smaller quarters. If
they cleared $600,000 on the sale, they
would be taxed on $100,000 of the profit
(the amount over the half-million-dollar
exclusion). Their health care tax on the
sale would amount to $3,800 over and
above the usual capital gains levy.
However, a typical home sale would
not incur any tax. In March, for example,
half of all existing homes sold for
$170,700 or less, according to the
National Association of Realtors.
Obviously, none of those sales could
possibly generate a $250,000 profit, and
so none would be subject to the tax. Thus,
for the vast majority, the 3.8 percent tax
will not apply. The Tax Foundation, in a
report released in April 2012, said the
new tax on investment income (including
real estate) “will hit approximately the
top-earning two percent of families” when
it takes effect in 2013.
Lastly, the Internal Revenue Service
says that to qualify for the $250,000/
$500,000 exclusion, a seller must have
owned the home and lived there as the
seller’s “main home” for at least two years
out of the five years prior to the sale. 

This article is for information purposes only.
Speak with your tax professional regarding
your specific financial situation.
Lisa Doyle, www.TheDoyleTeam.com, Greg Doyle, San Ramon Homes, Danville Homes, Bay Area Homes, Bay Area Short Sales, Bay Area Foreclosure, Short Sale in San Ramon, East Bay Real Estate Market, Hardship

THE REAL ESTATE LANDSCAPE OF WALNUT CREEK by Greg & Lisa Doyle, J. Rockcliff Realtors


Based on a study of Sperling’s Best Places (bestplaces.net), it seems that Walnut Creek is, all things considered, one of the top Bay Area cities in which to buy a home.

The median age of a home in Walnut Creek is 38 years.  More than half the homes in Walnut Creek were built between 1969 and 1979.  Although there are more new homes in Danville and Pleasanton than in Walnut Creek, most of Walnut Creek’s older homes are lovingly restored and meticulously maintained.  Nearly seventy percent of the homes in family-friendly Walnut Creek are owner occupied.

The median home price in the city of Walnut Creek is more than $486,000, but still only about two thirds the median home price in Danville.  The property tax rate is about $7.60 per $1,000 of home value.  This is about average for the region, but considerably lower than the national average of $11.20.

Housing in Walnut Creek costs more than three times the national average, mainly due to its super convenient location and easy accessibility to San Francisco.  There are currently about fifty single family homes for sale in Walnut Creek.  Prices range from about $450,000 to well over two million dollars.

In terms of average per capita income, residents of Walnut Creek earn about 75 percent of what residents of Danville earn, and this difference is reflected in the housing costs.