Protect Your Home From MediCal Estate Recovery

Protect Your Home From MediCal Estate Recovery

  California adopts major reform that will greatly reduce the scope of the state’s MediCal Estate Recovery program.  The new legislation will be in effect beginning on January 1, 2017.   MediCal is a California Medicaid welfare program serving individuals with incomes below 138% of the federal poverty level.  More than 12 million Californians rely on MediCal for health care services.  But when a MediCal beneficiary dies, the state can make a claim against the estate of certain individuals to seek reimbursement for benefits paid.  Deceased beneficiaries who were 55 years of age or older at the time he or...Read more
Topanga Home Tour

Topanga Home Tour

Calling all nature lovers!  Check out this stunning Topanga estate!   Topanga is a nature-filled getaway from the concrete jungle.  Nestled in these Santa Monica mountains are unique and sometimes quirky homes that reflect the lifestyle of the community. On Grand View Dr, Danny Elfman’s former abode is currently for sale.  The 3-bedroom, 4-bathroom home that was designed and constructed for the famed music producer boasts over 4,000 square feet and features a separate guest unit.   The three-story home has two living areas, each with their own fireplace, with lots of outdoor access and patios to incorporate the outdoors...Read more
California Mills Act

California Mills Act

  As a society, we are always striving toward growth, progress, innovation, and change.  But sometimes it’s important to look back at where we were and what we came from. California has a rich architectural history, and in an effort to preserve the state’s heritage, California has adopted several initiatives to protect historically relevant buildings, homes, and public spaces.  One such program is the California Mills Act, aimed encouraging the preservation and restoration of private historical residences.   What Is The Mills Act? The Mills Act is an important economic incentive program in California for the restoration and preservation of...Read more
Bay Area Techies Get No-Money-Down Mortgages

Bay Area Techies Get No-Money-Down Mortgages

  After living expenses, student loans, credit cards, car payments, and all your other bills, it can be a challenge to put away any significant portion of your income for a down payment on a new home.  If you happen to work in Silicon Valley making a decent salary at a tech startup, however, you may be eligible for a no-money-down mortgage loan. Mortgage lenders are vying for those well-paid Bay area customers by offering tailored loans, guaranteed 24-hour approval, and financial-planning services along with no-money-down mortgages.  Lenders are banking on the success of the tech industry and the potential...Read more
Airbnb Brings In New Billions

Airbnb Brings In New Billions

  Airbnb is not a small startup that can be casually dismissed.  It’s a snowball, now almost the size of the hotel industry.   AirBnB might not have all that much to worry about after all.  New partnerships with travel management companies and even airlines are solidifying the company’s longevity in the vacation rental industry.  So far, legislation to prohibit or regulate the site has been slow to be adopted or enforced.  Santa Monica did just receive the first payout from AirBnB for violations to city regulations.  But that sum pales in comparison to the boost they are receiving from...Read more
LA AirBnB Lawsuits

LA AirBnB Lawsuits

  Lawsuits are beginning to emerge in Los Angeles county as city officials crack down on unlawful short-term rental properties.   Several California communities have recently passed legislation aimed at managing the short-term rental market, particularly as offered by sites such as AirBnB. Anaheim has banned short-term rentals altogether. Many landlords have continued to operate unlawfully, believing laws regarding proper registration, rent control protections, and just cause evictions, would be impossible for the city to police. But Los Angeles is sending a message to landlords who try to skirt short-term rental laws for some quick cash. The Ellis Act protects...Read more
Unanimous Vote For FHA Condo Legislation

Unanimous Vote For FHA Condo Legislation

  Both the House and the Senate approved a bill by unanimous consent that will change FHA condo rules.  New legislation will streamline the FHA’s certification requirements, relax owner-occupancy requirements, and make condo financing more accessible.   On July 14, 2016, the Senate passed H.R. 3700, the “Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act” that has been long supported by the National Association of Reatlors®.  The bill passed by unanimous consent (427-0) in the House of Representatives in February, and will now continue on to President Obama’s desk for his signature. The new bill will make the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) recertification...Read more
Demand Wanes For Luxury Homes

Demand Wanes For Luxury Homes

  A surplus in the market of high-end homes may mean big deals for homebuyers.   The U.S. has seen a growth in inventory of high-priced homes.  Homes for sale between $500,000-$750,000 rose 15.9% in March compared to the same time last year, according to the National Association of Realtors®.  Homes over $1 million rose 12.6% year over year.  But many of these high-priced homes are lingering on the market for months and not fetching the desired purchase price. The real estate market in the U.S. is strengthening, for sure, but consumers are much more wary post-recession.  Stock market volatility ...Read more
What Brexit Means For U.S. Real Estate

What Brexit Means For U.S. Real Estate

Britain’s vote to exit the European Union may have positive consequences for the U.S. real estate market.   It’s still business as usually even after the recent Brexit vote 2 weeks ago.  Economists are still uncertain of both the short-term and long-term affects of the U.K. seceding from the E.U.  But some speculation suggests this could mean good news for U.S. real estate as the dollar is strengthening, at least in the short-term. The Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors®, Lawrence Yun, suspects the demand for real estate in the U.S. could rise.  Investors are showing additional interest...Read more
FHA Tightens Eligibility Requirements

FHA Tightens Eligibility Requirements

  It just got a little harder to get an FHA loan as the Federal Housing Administration tightens eligibility requirements.   FHA mortgages account for nearly 1 in 4 mortgage loans nationwide.  FHA loans are attractive to borrowers for the low 3.5% down payment, and attractive to lenders as payment is insured by the Federal Housing Administration. But borrowers are finding it more difficult to qualify for an FHA loan after the Federal Housing Administration recently changed its mortgage guidelines, affecting how lenders underwrite and approve FHA-insured loans.  In particular, the FHA has tightened its income verification for self-employed and...Read more