Meet Fannie, Freddie, and Ginnie

Meet Fannie, Freddie, and Ginnie

  Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae are government entities established to support the nation's housing market.   After the Great Depression, the US Government realized the necessity of establishing government programs to revitalize the economy and support struggling citizens.  Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae were created to encourage lending for homebuying, and providing affordable loans to homebuyers. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are the largest sources of housing finance in the United States.  Ginnie Mae is a government-owned corporation within the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and offers mortgage-backed securities guaranteed by the US...Read more
What is FHA?

What is FHA?

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) provides programs to promote homeownership and to benefit both homebuyers and homeowners.  Although the country recently suffered through a housing crisis, it was nothing compared to the struggles homeowners faced in the 1930s.  At that time, most home mortgages were only 3-5 years, and large balloon payments at the end of the term were common.  Refinancing was not an option.  The Great Depression forced lenders to retrieve due mortgages, and many borrowers (now unemployed) were unable to make the payments.  Foreclosures skyrocketed.  Homeownership declined and lending came to a standstill. In 1934, the Federal Government introduced...Read more
Dingbat Retrofit

Dingbat Retrofit

  13,500 Apartment Buildings in Los Angeles County Require Retrofitting Los Angeles is known for its urban sprawl and is now home to over ten million residents.  The county developed rapidly after World War II and multifamily properties quickly began replacing traditional craftsman homes and bungalows.  “Dingbat” apartment buildings were born in the 1950s and feature flimsy first floors that often serve as parking spaces, a popular design during the height of LA’s car culture.  These “soft-story” apartment buildings can be found all over Los Angeles county with their names whimsically written in specialized fonts and geometric embellishments on the front...Read more
5 Tips To Prepare For Buying A Home

5 Tips To Prepare For Buying A Home

There are a few simple things you can be doing to set yourself up for buying a home   Buying a home may seem out of reach for many Californians, but with a little planning and a lot of patience, ambitious renters can make that dream a reality.  If you are dreaming of home ownership, here are some tips to help you get in the game.   Start Saving Now It may sound obvious, but solid financial planning can make sure you’re ready to purchase a home in the future.  When you set aside a portion of your paycheck –...Read more
10 Renter Remodel Ideas

10 Renter Remodel Ideas

If you are a renter and want to add some personality to your home, or a homeowner remodeling on a tight budget, here are 10 ideas that will upgrade your living space.   Many renters are understandably reluctant to spend money on home improvement features, and it can take homeowners years to save up for remodeling projects.  Even if your living situation is temporary or you are remodeling on a budget, don’t let that inspire a case of improvement paralysis.  There are several things you can do to freshen up your home, and the investment can even travel with you...Read more
Get Paid To Save Energy

Get Paid To Save Energy

  A new program will pay consumers for their energy-saving practices!   Although Earth Day is only official one day a year, there are many things we can do appreciate and protect the earth in our daily lives.  Now, you can even get paid for earth-friendly practices!    Depending on your total energy use, you could earn up to $300 per year from OhmConnect simply by saving energy in your home for just one hour per week.  OhmConnect has made saving energy even easier by automating energy savings with your smart devices or electric vehicles, reducing your energy usage without...Read more
5 California Native Trees For Your Garden

5 California Native Trees For Your Garden

Celebrate Earth Day by planting these 5 Native California Trees!   With Earth Day right around the corner, lets take a moment to appreciate our neighborhood trees!  Trees add a lot to a neighborhood. They are beautiful, they can provide habitat for wildlife, offer shade and shelter from the wind, cool urban neighborhoods, and even add to your property value!   Tree Disparity Unfortunately, trees are not shared equally in many California communities.  More affluent neighborhoods enjoy much more green space than low-income neighborhoods as demonstrated in the aerial video below, comparing Los Angeles communities.  The increasing popularity and affordability...Read more
Unaffordable Housing

Unaffordable Housing

Confronting the Housing Crisis in California   Having a place to call home is a signature component of the American dream. But for far too many people, finding safe, decent, affordable housing is extremely stressful. The United States simply does not have enough affordable housing, and nationally, the situation is only getting worse.   Rental Crisis California is no stranger to the struggles of affordable housing.  Once again, San Francisco tops the charts with the nation’s highest rents, according to a report from ApartmentList.com.  Rent for a 2-bedroom unit in the Bay area averaged $4,780 for the month of March,...Read more
Know This Before Buying A House

Know This Before Buying A House

A True Story From a First-Time Homebuyer   Owning a home is supposed to be part of the American Dream, but the buying process can seem more like a nightmare at times. As my husband and I prepared to buy our first home last year, I was shocked by how little I knew about it and how few definitive answers I could find online. As I bumbled through the process, learning on the fly, I developed a new understanding of the saying, "You don't know what you don't know."   SET UP FOR SUCCESS BEFORE YOU BEGIN Before I started...Read more
LA vs Airbnb

LA vs Airbnb

Los Angeles Cracks Down On Short-Term Vacation Rentals   Los Angeles city officials are proposing new rules as they contend with a housing shortage that activists blame partly on businesses that convert large swaths of apartments into short-term rentals, which can net more money per night.  The proposed plan would empower Los Angeles to fine homeowners for advertising illegal rentals as well as the sites that hosted the ads. As it stands, short-term rentals are illegal in many residential areas of Los Angeles, but the city has struggled to enforce those rules as Airbnb, VRBO, and other websites have exploded...Read more