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If your husband makes a commission of $50,000 you are absolutely correct that he should set aside money for estimated payments. Let's assume that you are in the 25% tax bracket for federal taxes. If your husband does not have any other wages or earned income then the income he generates from the real estate activity would be subject to self employment taxes. Self employment taxes are 15.3% of the first $118,500 of earned income.
So if you assume that your husband generates a taxable profit of $50,000. This would be subject to self-employment taxes of 15.3%, federal income tax of 25%, and California State tax (estimate 10%). At a taxable income of $50,000 you are looking at a combined tax rate of 50%. Of course if you are in a lower tax bracket the burden would be lower and if you are in a higher tax bracket the tax burden will be higher.