Questions to Ask When Buying a Home

If you want to buy a home, prepare to ask a lot of questions. This is not a time to be shy or to hold back because you think someone might be offended by a question. If you’re like most people, this real estate purchase will be the largest purchase of your life, so I … Read more

Get It In Writing

Recently, I received a letter from a woman who wanted to share her experience as a cautionary tale for trusting souls who may inadvertently lose their homes to unscrupulous family members. She and her sweetheart (they aren’t married) are in a legal mess because her partner made a verbal contract with his son, and according … Read more

What Happens to My Medicare Benefits If I Sell My House?

If you receive Medicare benefits, it’s important to know how selling your house may affect your taxable income—and therefore, your monthly Medicare premiums. While most everyone of a certain age is entitled to federal healthcare benefits through Medicare, high-income earners pay higher premiums for their coverage. In 2023, individuals with a modified adjusted gross income … Read more

As Fraudsters Get More Sophisticated, You Should Too

Technology continues to evolve, and with it, so do the ways we can be deceived. I’m not talking about artificial intelligence, but rather old-fashioned fraud perpetrated with new tools. In real estate, at least two types of fraud have happened right here in Mendocino County. Lest you think you’re immune, beware. The people who got … Read more

A More Affordable Housing Market

Last year was a perfect storm for the housing market: interest rates and homeowner’s insurance premiums skyrocketed, wages were stagnant, and fewer houses were on the market. So, it’s no wonder that last year was the least affordable year on record for single-family homes. “Affordable” indicates that people with the median income for an area … Read more

Get Ready to Buy

Traditionally, spring is the time when people put their houses up for sale. Flowers are blooming, birds are singing, and the hope is that the beauty of the season will render the homes on the market irresistible to prospective buyers. This spring, we’re likely to see quite a bit more inventory. People have mostly recovered … Read more

On Your Mark, Get Ready, Close!

On Your Mark, Get Ready, Close! You’re almost there. You’ve found the home you want to buy. You’ve made an offer. The seller has accepted. Now you’re on the home stretch. Be sure to do the following tasks for a smooth close of escrow. Clear contingencies When you and the seller signed the sales agreement, … Read more

House Hacking: Making Home Ownership More Affordable

With interest rates higher than they’ve been in years, those who want to buy a home are looking for ways to make it more affordable. According to Zillow, younger generations are willing to get creative when it comes to home ownership. One of the most common housing hacks among Millennials (ages 29-43) and Gen Z … Read more

Increase the Value of Your Home with Tax Incentives and Rebates

As a rule, homeowners want low utility bills and high home values. So, it stands to reason that if you are selling your house, your property will be more valuable if it contains new, energy-efficient upgrades such as added insulation, new windows, and electric appliances that keep it comfortable year-round without high utility costs. If … Read more