Are you curious about mortgages for Proposition 19? California voters passed a new proposition last year that was meant to give the real estate market a boost, but many people are confused about what the law means for them. If you’re hoping to buy a home this year, keep reading for a quick overview of how these changes are impacting the real estate market.

Key Points

Ultimately, proposition 19 alters the way the value of a property is assessed for tax purposes in these situations:

  1. When real estate is transferred to children or grandchildren;
  2. Or, when a select group of people buy or sell their primary residence, including individuals with disabilities, anyone who survived a natural disaster, and seniors (55+).

What this Means for Property Taxes in California

Property tax is determined by the original purchase price of a home, taking inflation into account. The increase of this percentage is small, though. Before Proposition 19, property that was willed to children or grandchildren wouldn’t be assessed at the current market value (in terms of taxes). Instead, such taxes were based on the property’s original sale value, along with these small increments of inflation.

So, what has changed? Things will be a bit different from now on because there are new conditions in place that eliminate some of these tax breaks for beneficiaries. That’s the bad news about mortgages for Proposition 19 for some California residents. But let’s take a look at who the new law is meant to help.

Mortgages for Proposition 19: the Benefits

Now that Proposition 19 has gone into effect, real estate tax breaks will be available for seniors (55+), victims of natural disasters, and also individuals who have disabilities. When people who qualify purchase a new primary residence, it will be assessed (for tax purposes) based on their previous residence. Unless, of course, their former home was worth more. The intention is to make it possible for more disadvantaged people to purchase homes. For example, if a senior is on a fixed income, they may not be able to move if it would raise their property taxes. This is one of the advantages of Prop 19. Now, that same senior will no longer feel stuck in their current home if a higher property tax has been their main concern about moving.

The Takeaways

There are clearly both pros and cons to this new law, and it’s possible that many California residents didn’t fully understand the fine print when they voted it into effect. But the main benefit is that disadvantaged homeowners and victims of wildfires will now be able to transfer their tax base when moving to a new primary residence, allowing them greater mobility in the real estate market.

Guidance on Mortgages For Proposition 19

The process of applying for a mortgage can seem complicated and overwhelming. If you have more questions about mortgages for proposition 19, The Mortgage Genie is here to help. Karen Douglas can offer professional guidance with home loans, refinancing, reverse mortgages, and foreclosures. Browse her website for more information, or contact her at (925) 648-0981. You can also send an email to