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

What’s To Be Done About Noisy Neighbors?

In college, my friend’s dorm room was next door to a guy who played incredibly loud music late into the night. My friend was an early riser, and the late-night music was driving him crazy, so he asked the guy to keep it down once it got late. When that didn’t work, he retaliated. He … Read more

New Market, New Loans

For at least the last five years, interest rates have been at historical lows. Coupled with a housing shortage, these low rates have contributed to an increase in the demand for housing, and this increase in demand has led to an increase in housing prices. Well, things are changing. Rates are rising and so is … Read more