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My wife bought a house in San Francisco about 15 years ago and sold it recently. For our tax (capital gains) we were told that we need to obtain the old HUD-1 form from when the house was bought.

Unfortunately, my wife doesn't have the contact information anymore which realtor was involved in buying the house.

Is there any place we can contact to find out who (i.e. which realtor) was involved in buying the house?

Or is there even a better/easier way to obtain the HUD-1 form from when mywife bought the house?

Thanks for any clues :)

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Three companies may have copies of it: the bank, the Title Company (aka settlement company), and perhaps the real estate agent.

The bank (assuming you had a mortgage) is usually the easiest one to contact, as you're probably still making payments to them. They may have sent you the form in a large packet when you sold the house and paid off the old mortgage. There is a tradition of sending customers their entire mortgage file once they pay off the mortgage after 30 years - which is very rare nowadays but many banks still adhere to it because the mortgage business is built on momentum and very slow to change.

Otherwise, the title company should have a copy of it. If you don't know which company was used, they should be named as Trustee on the Deed Of Trust (which in most states is the official name of the document that we call a "mortgage"). The county recorder's office will have a copy of that Deed Of Trust on record if you can't find it anywhere. Some counties have digitized these so you could find it online, but some would require you to request a copy and pay a small printing fee for it.

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Some of the information on the HUD-1 form would have been useful to complete the income tax paperwork the next spring. It would have had numbers for Taxes, and interest that were addressed at the settlement. It is possible it is mixed in with the next years tax information.

If I needed a HUD-1 form from 15 years ago, I wouldn't ask the real estate agent, I would ask the settlement company. They might have a copy of the paperwork. They might have to retrieve it from an archive, so it could take time, and they could charge a fee.

The local government probably doesn't have a copy of the HUD-1, but they do have paperwork documenting the sale price when the transaction took place. I know that the jurisdictions in my area have on-line the tax appraisal information going back a number of years. They also list all the purchases because of the change in ownership, and many also list any name changes. You probably don't want a screen capture of the transactions page, but the tax office might have what you need. This is the same information that the title search company was retrieving for their report.

Question. Is there going to be capital gains? For a single person there is no gains unless the increase in price is $250,000. For a couple it is $500,000. I am ignoring any time requirements because you mentioned the purchase was 15 years ago. I am also assuming that it was never a rental property, because that would require a lot more paperwork.

  • thanks for your answer. Capital gains tax exemption (the $250,000 / $500,000 you mentioned) are only granted if you have been using the house for 2 out of the last 5 years prior to selling it or so I have been told. – Sebastian Oct 10 '17 at 7:28
  • Has it been vacant, or has it been a rental? – mhoran_psprep Oct 10 '17 at 10:09
  • We first lived in it but then it was rented the last two years before it was sold. So we should meet the requirement of usage. – Sebastian Oct 11 '17 at 8:03
  • and I think the last few months before selling it it was vacant (but just a very short time) – Sebastian Oct 11 '17 at 8:25

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