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
August 2016 Free Museum Days!

August 2016 Free Museum Days!

  Museums are awesome, but I think we can all agree that free museums are even better.  There are 15 days in August where you can visit some of L.A.’s best museums for free!  Get your calendar ready!   FREE MUSEUM DAYS AUGUST 2016 August 2nd Kidspace Children’s Museum (from 4 to 8 p.m.) August 4th Japanese American National Museum (from 5 to 8 p.m.) MOCA Grand & MOCA Geffen (from 5 to 8 p.m.) Skirball Cultural Center (from 12 to 5 p.m.) Long Beach Museum of Art (3 to 8 p.m.) Huntington Library (note that you have to reserve passes for the free day in advance, and...Read more
2016 Summer Rental Rates, Los Angeles

2016 Summer Rental Rates, Los Angeles

  Los Angeles rentals are getting pricey!  This handy map shows the median rental rate for L.A. communities.   Los Angeles rental rates are at an all-time high.  Only 6 cities in the nation are more expensive than L.A., and half of those are in California! An online rental site, Zumper, mapped the median rent prices this summer in different areas of Los Angeles.  Overall, the median price a one-bedroom unit is $1,970, and two bedrooms run about $2,900.  Both one-bedroom and two-bedroom rental prices have gone up about 15% since this same time last year. Santa Monica is the...Read more
L.A. Bunker Hill circa 1940s

L.A. Bunker Hill circa 1940s

  Bunker Hill in Los Angeles is roughly five square blocks located in the Northwest area of downtown.  In 1959, the area was the subject of a massive “urban-renewal” project that would change the downtown landscape. In the early part of the twentieth century, Bunker Hills was home to some of the most elegant mansions, hotels, and Los Angeles elite.  By the 1950s, however, downtown was loosing its luster, and most of these large homes became subdivided into low-income housing. The Bunker Hill project started in 1959 and continued for the next 53 years.  We can see the dramatic change...Read more
18 Indoor Air-filtering Plants Recommended by NASA

18 Indoor Air-filtering Plants Recommended by NASA

  The average American spends 93% of their life indoors, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  Whether at home, work, or in an automobile, most of us spend the majority of our time in an enclosed environment.  This is problematic for many reasons.  The EPA’s Internal Air Study found that indoor concentrations of some pollutants are often two to five times higher than typical outdoor concentrations.  People often attribute colds and flus to weather conditions, but in fact, we get colds and flus because we are indoors and are exposed to higher concentrations of airborne pollutants including cold and...Read more
5 Common Escrow Deal Breakers

5 Common Escrow Deal Breakers

  You’ve put so much time, money, research, blood, sweat, and tears into finding your dream home, you don’t want the deal to fall apart at the last minute.  A survey by the National Association of Realtors® found that 1 in 16 home deals fall through.  Here are a few of the most common reasons a deal can go sideways, and how to avoid them.   Not Getting Pre-Approved You’ve been shopping for houses for months, found your dream home, and your offer was accepted!  But you never spoke with a lender about your loan options, and now you realize...Read more
Screened Porch: Bring The Outdoors Inside

Screened Porch: Bring The Outdoors Inside

  Many homeowners are expanding their living space to include outdoor areas, but how about bringing the outdoors inside?  A screened porch or patio can give you that outdoor feeling with indoor protection.   Before air conditioning, most homes featured a screened porch as a matter of necessity to offer respite from intense heat, and a safe, cool place to rest in the evening.  The popularity of screened porches has waned in the last few decades, but they are beginning to make a comeback in new homes and in home remodels. The screened porch is re-emerging with gusto as homeowners...Read more
7 Common Home Fire Hazards

7 Common Home Fire Hazards

  In 2013, there were 487,500 structure fires in the U.S., resulting in $9.5 billion in property damage, according to the National Fire Protection Association.  The good news is that structure fires are steadily declining, down from over 1 million in 1980, 624,000 in 1990, and 505,000 in 2000.  But when you analyze the data, there are few main culprits of house fires in the U.S., most of which are entirely avoidable.  Watch out for these seven fire hazards in your home.     1. Wiring In 2011, an estimated 47,700 home structure fires reported to U.S. fire departments involved...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