Say Thanks to the Good Guys

When people’s perceptions about community safety take a negative turn, I pay attention because it usually means there will soon be a decline in property values. People don’t want to live in unsafe neighborhoods. As a real estate broker, this affects my business. However, the real reason I care so much about community safety is … Read more

Getting Your Finances in Order

Unless you have enough cash to buy a home outright, acquiring a home requires finding a lender who thinks you’re a safe bet. This means it’s time to get your finances in order. Affording a home includes both short-term and long-term costs. Lenders can confirm that you have enough money for a down payment, but … Read more

Tips for a Quick Sale

When it comes to selling your house, it can be tempting to ignore some of your Realtor’s advice, especially when they want you to do a bunch of work that may seem unnecessary. The fact is you are not objective about your house. No one is. A Realtor can help you see your own blind … Read more

To Save on Taxes, Timing Matters (Part II)

When it comes to income and investing, understanding how timing affects your taxes is a big deal. Profits from your investment property are affected by the timing of sales as well as how you hold the property (including how you manage depreciation). Installment Sale If you own property free and clear (or with very little … Read more

To Save on Taxes, Timing Matters

When it comes to income and investing, understanding how timing affects your taxes is a big deal. Let’s say you take a trip to Las Vegas to celebrate the coming of the new year. You head to the casino and at 11:00 pm on New Year’s Eve you win a $2 million jackpot. You keep … Read more

Right Problem, Wrong Solution–Rent Control

In 1995, the California State Legislature enacted the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, preventing local governments from enacting rent controls on single-family homes and on housing built after 1995. Rent controls limit how much landlords can charge their tenants. Proposition 10 would repeal the Costa-Hawkins legislation, thereby allowing local governments to adopt rent control ordinances without … Read more

Maintain Your Property

As I was driving into town to come to work this morning, I noticed the weeds growing up in the median strip on Perkins Street near the Hwy 101 onramp and offramp. I’ve noticed these weed for weeks and they irritate me. If you checked the median near Hwy 101 on Gobbi Street, I expect … Read more

How to Avoid Getting Dropped as a Real Estate Client

In my office, we have a list of individuals and organizations we won’t do business with—most are vendors, others are past clients who behaved so poorly we won’t work with them again. The reasons vendors get put on the list can include things like doing substandard work, having no liability insurance or workers’ comp insurance, … Read more

The Tax Benefits of Investing in Residential Real Estate

Whenever I discuss the tax benefits of investing in real estate, I start with this disclaimer: I am not a tax professional and I am not giving advice here. My goal is to provide ideas for you to discuss with your tax professional. If you’re looking for a long-term investment, real estate is a great … Read more