Emergency Preparedness: Lessons Learned From an Evacuation

Emergency Preparedness TipsA couple of weeks ago, my sister had to evacuate her home. At 2 in the morning.  The Woolsey Fire had jumped the 101 right down the street from her family’s home, and it was time to get out. I’m happy to say that in the end, after 5 days of evacuation, they and their home were just fine. But there were a lot of emergency preparedness lessons learned during this time that are worthy of sharing.Read More

Get Your Drainage On – Here Comes The Rain Again!

peninsula drainage for foundation protectionTheoretically, we’re approaching the rainy season here in the Bay Area (which we’ll hopefully have plenty of this year!) But while it’s still sunny and dry, it’s a great time to think about the drainage around your home and how to keep your foundation, in particular, protected from water.

Three key areas that you should focus on at this time are your gutters, your downspouts and underground drainage systems (typically French Drains).Read More

Driver Safety – On The Road Again

driver safetyWhen my Dad was in rehab after open heart surgery, one of his biggest questions was “when can I drive again?”  It struck me that, with everything else he had going on, getting back behind the wheel was practically his top priority. Why? Because driving equals independence and freedom. Remember when you first got your license and you would go for long drives without much purpose, just to be out on the road? The possibilities were infinite!Read More

Selling 101: All About Home Staging

Home Staging Information

If you’ve been to an open house in the last decade, you’ve definitely heard someone ask “Is this home staged?” Or maybe it’s just the definitive “This must be staged!” But how well do you really understand what home staging is and why it may make a difference in the sale of your home?

What is Staging?

Quite simply, staging is preparing a home to go on the market. When you stage, you want to make the home as appealing as possible to as many prospective buyers as possible.  This helps a Seller to garner the highest possible price on their sale.Read More

Closing 101: Home Warranty – What It Is & Why You May Need It

What Is A Home WarrantyLet’s be honest, the home buying process can be completely overwhelming. There are so many aspects that go into it, and even more paperwork that needs to be done. Who wants to add one more thing to explore or another thing to sign? While wanting to be “done” can be a strong desire, be sure to make room in your process for one last important thing – a home warranty.

What Is A Home Warranty?

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What Is Step-Up Basis?

Step Up BasisRecently, a good friend had her mother pass away suddenly. When I got the call, I reached out immediately, having been through a similar situation with my own parents. Aside from wanting to express my sympathy and support, I did also want to make sure my friend and her siblings were aware of an important tax ramification that my sister and I had learned about – that being the step-up basis.Read More

Is It The Right Time to Buy?

Is Now the Right Time to Buy?

One of the ever-present questions in real estate is “is now the right time to buy?” There are so many variables that people can look at. Some will confidently support “no” while others will champion “yes”. So how to make that decision on if it’s the right time to buy?  Ultimately, it’s a personal decision, but there are some sold financing points that are worth taking a look at in order to make a well-informed decision.Read More

Property Taxes 101: Props 13 / 60 / 90

Property Taxes Prop 13 60 90If you’ve ever lived in California or owned property here, you know there are some significant propositions that have been voted in over the years which greatly impact property taxes and ownership.  I remember as a kid when Prop 13 was on the ballot. While I wasn’t entirely sure what it meant, I did know that we were TOTALLY behind it and worked hard to get others to support it. All these years later, I understand why my parents wanted this proposition to pass, but I also see the impact that it’s had over 40 years on the state, the economy and the housing market.Read More