Who Pays Commission: Buyers or Sellers?

When people decide to buy or sell property, sellers want to earn as much as possible and buyers want to pay as little as possible, so unless they understand the value of having a Realtor, neither of them will be interested in paying a commission, or brokerage fee, on the sale. Buyers bring the cash … Read more

The Post-COVID Market

If you’re wondering whether now is the time to buy or sell a house in the Ukiah Valley, the answer is an unequivocal yes. For sellers, the supply of residential properties on the market is severely limited, making each property more valuable. And for buyers, the historically low interest rates make homes more affordable than … Read more

Rise in Rental Fraud

It’s always puzzling to me when a landlord goes through the trouble of collecting information from a potential tenant, and then doesn’t bother to verify it before handing over the keys. About a third of residential rental applications include some form of fraud. Sometimes it’s fairly harmless, like pretending a senior in high school is … Read more

Just Say No to AB 2501

I’ve written a few columns on rent control lately because the State of California is paving roads with good intentions, and we all know where those lead. No one disputes that California has a housing shortage. In late 2019, we were about 3.5 million homes short of meeting the need of California residents. No one … Read more

Preparing for Power Outages…Remember the PSPS?

As we all adjusted to life in the face of a shelter-in-place order from the coronavirus outbreak, it got me thinking about other disruptions. Usually, we cannot know the exact nature of upcoming disasters, but typically, we know enough to plan for the kinds of interruptions they can pose. The last time my life was … Read more

Delayed Mortgage Payments

Although the shelter-in-place order continues to lighten and allow more economic activity, it’ll be a long time before things return to normal—if they ever do. For some lucky people, the shut-down simply meant working from home, but for others, it meant being fired, furloughed, or forced to stop work because of a coronavirus illness and … Read more

Avoid Wire Fraud, Especially During the Covid-19 Shelter-in-Place

When the shelter-in-place orders came down in Mendocino County and around the country, a certain unscrupulous portion of the population started wringing their hands in anticipation. When people are encouraged to do business online, especially high-dollar electronic fund transfers, the opportunity for fraud increases. If you are in escrow purchasing a property right now (or … Read more

Prepare Now to Buy a House After the Pandemic

Although it may feel like the Covid-19 pandemic will last forever, it won’t. If you want to be ready to buy a house as soon as things open up, here are some steps you should take today. Pick Your People Real estate is a team sport. If you think of it like baseball, we can … Read more

Just Cause for Eviction

In my last column, I reviewed three California laws that interfere with negotiations between landlords and tenants. State Assembly Bill 1482 or the “Tenant Protection Act of 2019” went into effect January 1. It prevents residential landlords from raising rent more than 5 percent, plus the local rate of inflation, in a single year. State Senate Bill … Read more