How Real Estate Transactions Go Sideways – Part II

I’ve been in real estate for more than 40 years, and the vast majority of transactions I’ve witnessed have been between people who are honest and forthright. However, I have also seen a few disreputable shysters take advantage of unsuspecting victims, which is why I recommend a trust-but-verify approach—and that includes always getting title insurance. … Read more

How Real Estate Transactions Go Sideways

You’d be amazed how many people buy real estate from a neighbor or a friend only to find out they bought the property from someone who didn’t own it free and clear. People can have undisclosed rights to your property, so it’s important to be aware of these. How do you do this? Through title … Read more

No Evictions?

On March 16, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Executive Order N-28-20 with much fanfare, paying homage to COVID-19 and declaring an emergency in California and worldwide. His order recommended that local jurisdictions follow the state’s lead and do two things: Enact a moratorium on tenant evictions for commercial and residential properties if tenants can prove financial … Read more

Save Thousands By Understanding Base-Year Tax Assessments

Typically, when a property changes ownership, a new tax base is established. Since property taxes are paid at the same time every year, new property owners have to pay a “supplemental property tax” to cover the time from the close of escrow (purchase date) to the beginning of the fiscal year when property taxes are … Read more

Real Estate Investing – Part IV

I’ve written three “Real Estate Investing” columns covering single-family residential properties; duplexes and four-plexes, apartment complexes with fewer than five units and larger apartment complexes (with up to sixteen units). I recently received a request to write a column on investing in commercial real estate, so here you go. Commercial Property Rentals Commercial property is … Read more

Real Estate Investing – Part III

As the headline implies, this is the third column in a series about real estate investing. I started with single-family homes, moved to duplexes and four-plexes, and now I’m on to small apartment complexes (residential real estate with 5-12 units). These come with advantages and disadvantages; they have a better price-to-income ratio than the smaller … Read more

Real Estate Investing – Part II

Last week I shared information about investing in real estate, specifically purchasing a single-family home for use as a rental. This week, I’ll share why duplexes and four-plexes can be even better investments if they fit within your budget. Let’s use a four-plex as an example. In Ukiah, you can purchase one for about $650,000 … Read more

Real Estate Investing – What Are My Options?

Years ago, I wrote a series of columns about investing in real estate. Since I’ve recently gotten questions on this topic, I thought I’d dust off the old columns and bring them out for an encore. The most important question to start with is this: why should anyone invest in real estate? The answer: because … Read more

Changes to Home Loans for Veterans

2020 Changes Starting in 2020, U.S. military veterans will be able to qualify for more expensive home loans without having to come up with a down payment. When it comes to home loans, there’s a dividing line between conforming loans and jumbo loans. The maximum amount for a conforming loan right now in Mendocino County … Read more