Saturday’s Probate Auction

Saturday’s Probate Auction

The probate auction can be a great way to get a good deal on your home purchase.  But buying a home at auction has significant risks.   When a homeowner dies, and their home is not held within a trust, the property will go through probate, which is the legal settling of a deceased person’s estate.   My clients had their eye on a home that was scheduled for probate auction in Alhambra.  It is walking distance to their parent’s home, making it convenient and ideal.   The home, while in a nice location, has a lot of deferred maintenance...Read more
How To Buy A Fixer

How To Buy A Fixer

  Need a heavily discounted property?  Try a fixer-upper!  But know what you’re getting into ahead of time…   Housing is expensive these days, whether you’re renting or trying to buy.  But our generation is much for handy and DIY-enthusiastic, so many hopeful homeowners are looking at “fixer-uppers” as a way to save some dough on the initial home purchase.  A home that has not been updated in many years, or one that is not habitable in it’s current state will be heavily discounted compared to newly renovated and move-in ready homes.  But beware of the risks and know what...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
LA Rental Rights

LA Rental Rights

    Los Angeles, along with several other densely-populated California communities, have been facing a housing crisis, particularly due to lack of affordable rental units.  Over 1,000 rent controlled units were removed from the Los Angeles market in 2015, displacing thousands of residents.  In response to the crisis, Mayor Eric Garcetti, along with the Los Angeles Housing and Community Development Department (HCIDLA), has launched a new campaign called, “Home for Renters,” to help renters better understand their rights as tenants.   Los Angeles County has the highest rate of renters in the nation; roughly 52% of Angelenos rent their homes. ...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
Wire Fraud Warning For Homebuyers

Wire Fraud Warning For Homebuyers

  The threat of wire fraud is real.  Find out how to identify home buying scams and protect your money from scammers.   In our ever-advancing hi-tech society, much of our information is shared online and via email.  Real estate transactions are no exception, with electronic signatures and online wire transfers becoming the norm.  As convenient as this may be, it also creates a vulnerability that hackers can exploit. The Federal Trade Commission and the National Association of Realtors recently issued a warning to homebuyers about email and money wiring scams.  Millions of dollars have been lost because of sophisticated...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
The LUVE Initiative Will Hit The Ballot This November

The LUVE Initiative Will Hit The Ballot This November

  Santa Monica residents will be voting on the Land Use Voter Empowerment (LUVE) initiative in the next election that would place severe restrictions on new development projects.   Santa Monica is well known for its opposition to tall, dense buildings and rapid growth.  SaMo councilmembers have a strong reign on development in the area – commercial, residential, and otherwise.  But a new ballot measure proposed by the extreme no-growth group Residocracy has even the most conservative councilmembers concerned. The Land Use Voter Empowerment (LUVE) initiative proposed by Residocracy would require almost all projects taller than 32 feet to be...Read more
Features That Sell A Home Fast

Features That Sell A Home Fast

  Does your home have what it takes to attract buyers for a quick sale?   Experts predict that 2016 will be a true seller’s market, as we have already seen for the first half of the year.  But that doesn’t mean that just any old house will sell for top dollar prices.  Most homes are a unique mosaic of attractive features and frustrating flaws.  Whether or not the “pros” out-weigh the “cons” will help determine how quickly your place will move. A study by Realtor.com looked at millions of listing records from the past three months and evaluated them...Read more