Many “Clean Up” Changes to Real Estate Laws

Recently, the Legal Department of the California Association of Realtors® (CAR) released a memorandum informing members of changes to a variety of laws that affect real estate transactions in California. These changes were the result of so-called “clean-up legislation” that was sponsored by CAR. They were contained in two bills – AB1289 and AB2884. They…

Are You Overspending on Rent?

How much is too much to spend on rent? That amount is different for everyone, but the percentage of income that should be relegated to rent is pretty standard. “Chances are if you are renting you are spending too much of your income on your monthly housing expense,” according to mortgage expert Kevin Pierce from…

The Inside Scoop on HOAs

Last week we asked: To PMI or not to PMI? This week we tackle another of real estate’s burning questions: To HOA or not to HOA? It’s not an easy question to answer because everyone has an opinion, and it turns out those opinions are colored by all kinds of stuff, like age, gender, and…

Moving Abroad: Is It for You?

On the airplane seat next to us, returning to his new home after a short visit with family in California. On her way to meet her fiancé on the catamaran where he conducts daily sunset tours. Behind the counter in the organic t-shirt store just across from the beach. They were seemingly everywhere: people who…

To PMI or Not to PMI

Is Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) necessary? Will it help me buy a house? Is there a way around it? Those are the questions. Actually, they probably constitute only the tip of the mortgage iceberg if you’re buying your first home. But squaring away the PMI query is an important effort that will help you zero…

Choosing Window Treatments: Pros and Cons

Deciding on the right size, color, fabric and pillow configuration for your couch took three weeks. You still haven’t decided on the paint color for the bedroom, despite having seven different shades of blue in swatches up on the wall. It seems like every design decision you’ve made in your home was critical, but the…