More Trouble For AirBnB

More Trouble For AirBnB

  AirBnB is making headlines again in California as cities continue to roll out new legislation restricting both the site and homeowners.   It’s been a tough week for AirBnB in California.  The San Francisco-based startup sued its hometown this week over the city’s new rental restrictions.  Meanwhile, in Southern California, Anaheim has banned short-term rentals altogether.   SAN FRANCISCO San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors unanimously approved new legislation in June that requires short-term rental sites, such as AirBnB to police their own listings for properties that violate city regulations.  Specifically, San Francisco requires homeowners to register their rental unit...Read more
Buy Your Home With Only 1% Down

Buy Your Home With Only 1% Down

  In an effort to provide as many options as possible to potential homeowners, Quicken Loans has collaborated with Freddie Mac to provide a purchase mortgage loan that only requires a 1% down payment.   Here is yet another example of why you should shop around to find the best mortgage loan to suit your financial situation.  Mega banks such as Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase have only recently been able to offer loans with a 3% down payment.  Quicken Loans’ 1% down mortgage is 66% lower.   The program was spawned out of the partnership between Quicken and Freddie...Read more
Haven.  No More Mosquito Bites!

Haven. No More Mosquito Bites!

  Check out this new mosquito repellent that doubles as beautiful landscape lighting.  Enjoy your yard without the worry of mosquito bites!   Many California homeowners have been taking advantage of the wonderful year-round weather in most areas by creating lavish outdoor living areas, many equipped with a full kitchen, dining area, fire pit, and more.  But there is a least one caveat to living comfortably in the outdoors: bugs.  Mosquitos in particular are an obstacle many outdoor entertainers battle, especially in the summer months.  And with the added threat of the Zika virus, and other diseases mosquitos can carry,...Read more
What Is A Home Warranty?

What Is A Home Warranty?

  Whether you are buying your first home or selling a home and moving into another, a home warranty could be a valuable protection for your finances and your peace of mind.   A home warranty plan appears on the standard California purchase agreement under “other costs,” and may be paid by the buyer or seller in the transaction.  Many buyers opt for a home warranty plan, which average $350 to $500 for a basic warranty and $100 to $300 more for a warranty with extra protection. Buyers, particularly first-time buyers, like the fact that they can rely on a...Read more
How To Hire A Moving Company

How To Hire A Moving Company

  You've decided to hire movers.  What do you do now?   What’s the worst part about a new home?  The move!  But you’re an adult now; it’s time to stop banking on your friends and any acquaintance with a truck to help lug your furniture across town (and offering pizza and beer as compensation).  There are scores of moving companies out there for hire to fit your needs and your budget.  Full Service If you are particularly lazy and have some extra cash to burn, a full service moving company is the way to go.  Not only will they...Read more
Frogtown Fights Gentrification

Frogtown Fights Gentrification

  Residents of Elysian Valley in Los Angeles are campaigning against developers who they say are changing the landscape of the community.   Elysian Valley, also known as “frogtown,” is a neighborhood of over 7,700 residents in Central Los Angeles.  With the announcement of the $1 billion restoration project for the Los Angeles River, many residents felt the pressure of new investment and development in the community, causing them to organize for lower density. Activists are renewing the drive for neighborhood preservation with the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative, a ballot measure that fights overdevelopment and it’s dramatic negative effects.  The citizen...Read more
New Mortgage Servicing Rule Results in Victory For Homeowner

New Mortgage Servicing Rule Results in Victory For Homeowner

  The Dodd-Frank Act is proving to be a ally for homeowners and giving individuals a voice against big banks. New mortgage servicing rules took effect in 2014, implementing provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act, which impose significant obligations on mortgage servicers, including the obligation to conduct reasonable investigation upon receipt of a notice of error, and to respond to the notice within certain time frames and with certain information.  In May of 2016, the 11th Circuit United States Court of Appeals addressed the new mortgage servicing rules in a case between a homeowner and a mortgage servicer. In this case,...Read more
Maintaining Your Home In Retirement

Maintaining Your Home In Retirement

  Home maintenance is a big expense that needs to be factored into your retirement plan. When approaching retirement, most of us will try to calculate our future expenses and pad our nest egg to live comfortably in the coming years.  Retirees often have a fixed income with little flexibility, and unforeseen expenses can often turn into crisis.  Unexpected home repairs can throw a big wrench in your retirement budget and are one of the top challenges for retirees.  The Society of Actuaries, a trade organization, found that 20% of retirees cannot afford to spend $1,000 on an unexpected expense. Plan...Read more

5 Areas To Focus On For Home Security

  More than 1.7 million burglaries strike U.S. homes every year.  A good security system is necessary for thwarting thieves, but there are more things you can be doing to safeguard your home. The Exterior The first things burglars hunt for is a house that looks vulnerable from the street.  An overgrown yard, un-shoveled snow, overflowing mailbox, or stockpile of newspapers is a big advertisement that nobody is home and no one is watching the house.  If your home appears empty, they’ll consider it a target. Have a trusted neighbor, friend, or family member stop by periodically if you are...Read more
Reversal of Countrywide Verdict

Reversal of Countrywide Verdict

  “When the story of the lack of prosecutions from the financial crisis is finally written, the most important issue will be how difficult it turned out to be to prove fraud” The New York Times.   Shoddy mortgage practices were largely to blame for the Great Recession of 2007-2009.  One of the key players identified in contributing to the housing bubble and financial crisis is Countrywide, a mortgage lender acquired by Bank of America in 2008. Countrywide was running a program known as the High-Speed Swim Lane, or “hustle” which resulted in mortgages that did not meet the requirements...Read more