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Great ideas for adding that ADU

by Carla Griffin on February 10, 2019

12 Amazing Granny Pod Ideas For The Backyard



by Carla Griffin on January 31, 2019

 A new year, a new beginning, and for some a much needed clean slate.   It is remarkably noteworthy, how many of us just want to put 2018 behind.    Alas, we’ve arrived! 
As you kick off 2019, forget the grand promises of running 40 miles a week and eating spinach for breakfast, lunch and dinner!    It is much more realistic to manage a slight shift in the right direction…a little morsel of positive change every day.     Win every day by doing little, attainable things to get to the big goal.   Plant seeds, water those seeds and watch them blossom.
Perhaps we can begin by planting more seeds of love in our relationships.     Have fierce conversations with the people we have mediocre relationships with.     You have permission to spread the zeal that you have today for a fresh start of a new beginning over 365 days year.   Remember, do a little bit of good each day.
The fresh possibilities that this New Year brings is even better with  Carla Griffin and B&A  Realtors.   They can help ignite your dreams of living in Resort-style living and living a lifestyle you never thought you could afford!    If you are not a client, make it a resolution to meet with them and let them show you that behind every closed door, is the possibility of a new dawn and a new day!  


Medicare – Surcharge for 2019

by Carla Griffin on December 28, 2018

Annual 2019 Medicare B Premiums $1,626 to $5,526

In 2019, Medicare recipients will see a change in their Medicare premium.  Most Medicare beneficiaries will pay $135.50 per month for their Medicare B premium.  However, if you have high income, you will pay a higher Medicare B premium.  High income is defined as adjusted gross income plus tax-exempt interest income of more than $85,000 if single or $170,000 if married filing jointly.

Medicare B premiums for 2019

Single tax                       Joint tax                            Medicare B   

   return income              return income                    Premium       

Up to $85,000                 Up to $170,000                  $135.50         

$ 85,001 – $107,000       $170,001 — $214,000        $189.60        

$107,001 – $133,500      $214,001 — $267,000        $270.90          

$133,501 — $160,000      $267,001 — $320,000        $352.20         

$160,001 — $499,999      $320,001 – $749,999        $433.40         

$500,000 or more            $750,000 or more              $460.50  

This means a single individual with $85,000 or less of income will pay $1,626 for the year 2019 for Medicare B.  If that individual earned $160,001, he or she will pay an additional $3,575 for a total $5,201 for the year 2019 for Medicare B.  Income of $500,000 will be $5,526.

Remember that Medicare premiums are for each individual on Medicare.  Consequently, a married couple with income of $170,000 or less will pay Medicare B premiums of $3,252 for the year 2019.  If that same couple earns $320,001, their annual Medicare B premium will increase by $7,150 for a total of $10,402.       

The high-income surcharge is an annual calculation based on your gross income from two years previously.  Therefore, your surcharge for 2019 is based on your 2017 income tax return.  This means if you had unusually high income in 2017 because of, for example, stock gains, you will now be paying higher Medicare premiums in 2019.  If in 2018 your income then decreased from 2017, your Medicare premium will decrease in 2020. 

You can appeal the surcharge if your income has substantially decreased since 2017 because of certain life changing events.  Examples include the following: getting married or divorced or becoming widowed; you or your spouse retire or reduce your work hours; you lose your pension income; or you lose income-producing property due to a disaster.  Social Security Form SSA-44 is used to request a recalculation.



Propositions 60/90 amended section 2 of Article XIIIA of the California Constitution to allow a person who is over age 55 to sell his or her principal place of residence and transfer its base year value to a replacement dwelling of equal or lesser value that is purchased or newly constructed within two years of the sale. These propositions are implemented by Revenue and Taxation Code section 69.5.

Proposition 60 allows for the transfers of a base year value within the same county (intracounty). Proposition 90 allows for the transfers of a base year value from one county to another county in California (intercounty) if the county has authorized such a transfer by an ordinance.

As of November 7, 2018, the following ten counties in California have an ordinance enabling the intercounty base year value transfer:

Los Angeles
San Bernardino
San Diego
San Mateo
Santa Clara

Since the counties indicated above are subject to change, we recommend contacting the county assessor’s office to which you wish to move to verify eligibility.

Eligibility Requirements for Propositions 60/90:


  • You, or a spouse residing with you, must at least 55 years of age when the original property is sold.
  • This is a one-time only benefit. Once you have filed for and received this tax relief, neither you nor your spouse who resides with you, can ever file again, even upon your spouse’s death or if the two of you divorce. However, if you become disabled after receiving this tax relief, you may transfer the base year value of your personal residence a second time due to the disability, which involves a different claim form (see Proposition 110).

Original Property

  • Your original property must eligible for the Homeowners’ Exemption or Disabled Veterans’ Exemption either at the time it was sold or within two years of the purchase or construction of the replacement property.
  • The original property must be subject to reappraisal at its current fair market value at the time of sale.

Replacement Property

    • The replacement property must be your principal residence and must be eligible for the Homeowners’ Exemption or Disabled Veterans’ Exemption
    • The replacement property must be of “equal or lesser value” than the original property.In general, equal or lesser value means:
      • 100% or less of the market value of the original property if a replacement property were purchased or newly constructed before the sale of the original property, or
      • 105% or less of the market value of the original property if a replacement property were purchased or newly constructed within the first year after the sale of the original property, or
      • 110% or less of the market value of the original property if a replacement property were purchased or newly constructed within the second year after the sale of the original property.

Note: When making the “equal or lesser value” test, it is important to understand that the market value of a property is not necessarily the same as the sale or purchase price.

  • The replacement property must be purchased or built within two years (before or after) of the sale of the original property

File a Claim

To receive retroactive relief from the date of transfer, you must file your claim within three years of:

  • The purchase date of the replacement property; or
  • The new construction completion date of the replacement property.

If a claim is filed after the three-year period, relief will be granted beginning with the calendar year in which the claim was filed


Get Ready for Your Master Closet Reno

August 31, 2018

  The layout of your master closet should blend elegant design with convenient usability. The right renovations can turn your closet into a chic gallery that shows off your sartorial taste. Have you been considering an upgrade for your closet? … Continue reading

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Why Prop 5 restores fairness to tax system

August 20, 2018

Seniors in California who want to downsize from their three- or four-bedroom home, now that their children are gone, find themselves facing a costly and daunting dilemma. If they sell, they would lose the property tax protections they’ve enjoyed under … Continue reading

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Protect Your Art, Antiques and Collectibles

August 16, 2018

Moving can be a hectic time. Packing up your home requires careful planning. If you own fine art, antiques or collectibles, you need to take additional measures to ensure your belongings get to your new home safely. Here are four … Continue reading

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Understanding Propositions 60/90

July 28, 2018
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Choosing countertop colors

July 25, 2018
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May 26, 2018

  When purchasing property that is under the jurisdiction of a homeowners’ association (HOA), buyers should be aware of the following five things.   1. The HOA’s Rules   The covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs) is one of the most important … Continue reading

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