Signs of a Good Realtor – Part 2

When choosing the person who will guide you through one of the biggest financial decisions of your life, it’s important to know what to look for. Last week, I shared some ideas on how to spot a good Realtor. Here are a few more. Find Someone Willing to Give It to You Straight Once you … Read more

Signs of a Good Realtor – Part 1

The Ukiah Valley has plenty of Realtors, so it can be hard to know who to choose. Here are some ways to figure out which Realtors can help you buy a home for the best price in the shortest time with the least inconvenience. Start with Recommendations The first thing I suggest when choosing a … Read more

Buying Homeowners Insurance in a Fire-Prone Area

Insurance companies are always trying to reduce risk to improve their bottom line and, if idealists are to be believed, to prevent the heartache associated with the problems insurance is designed to cover. A few months back, I received a little love note from my insurance company stating that if I wanted to maintain my … Read more

Predicting Mortgage Rates Part 2

Last week, I reviewed the effects of interest rates on home affordability. This week, we’ll look a bit more closely at the market factors that influence rates. After a decade of stability when mortgage rates remained relatively low, we are now faced with rising rates and far less predictability. Economic markets don’t respond well to … Read more

Predicting Mortgage Rates Part 1

For the last ten years, mortgage rates have remained relatively steady and quite low. I knew those rates couldn’t last forever, but I certainly couldn’t have predicted the global events that have brought so much uncertainty, thereby sending economic markets on a wild ride and interest rates with them. Unfortunately, these rate changes are having … Read more

How Can Legislators Support Home Ownership Responsibly?

Plenty of studies demonstrate the connection between home ownership and building wealth—for the current generation and for generations that follow. Unfortunately, with the economy’s current trajectory (increasing interest rates and increasing inflation), it’s getting harder and harder to buy a home. With that in mind, the State Treasurer’s Office and an advocacy group called California … Read more

How Can We Get Rents Down?

Since 2017, I’ve been complaining about an executive order passed by Governor Newsom that limited property owners’ ability to raise rents to keep up with increases in the cost of living. I’m happy to report that the order finally expired. However, after Californians voted down statewide rent control, lawmakers (in their infinite wisdom) decided to … Read more

Make an Impression with Home Staging

When it comes to selling a house, most people want three things: the highest possible price, the shortest possible time on the market, and the least inconvenience. One way to achieve these goals is to use staging. Staging is the term used to describe furnishing a house to produce the most buyer-friendly appearance. This typically … Read more

Trees on the Line

If you’re wondering who owns the tree that hangs over both your property and your neighbor’s property, look at the trunk. If the trunk is on your property, it’s your responsibility. If the trunk is on your neighbor’s property, it is their responsibility. If the trunk is on the property line, you share responsibility. Shrubbery … Read more