Thursday, November 28, 2013

Sold! Great Townhome in a Great Area of NoHo

This condo was built in the past 6 years so it has all the new features and comforts someone is looking for.  It also has personal touches such as custom painting, custom closets, new and updated light features, as well as a lovely wine room that looks like it is straight out of something you'd see in NY with the brick wall features. It is super close to all the new restaurants and bars that are popping up all over NoHo as well as the Metro subway which takes you to downtown, Hollywood, LB, and Pasadena.  It is also located in a residential neighborhood which is great since you don't have to deal with facing a busy main street. Congratulations to the buyer of this beautiful condo!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Checklist of Places to Contact to Update Your Address When Moving

When you are ready to move there are a lot of places you need to contact to update your mailing address.  I have put together a list of most of the places you should have on your check list to update your mailing address.
1. credit card companies
2. bank accounts
3. stocks or other investment accounts
4. DMV for your license
5. car registration (which can be different from DMV in some states)
6. any online ordering sites you use such as amazon, ebay, overstock,, target, petmeds, shutterfly etc..
7. magazine and newspaper subscriptions
8. medical insurance and offices
9. car insurance
10. home owners or renters insurance
11. life insurance
12. your place(s) of employment
13. home phone company
14. home internet company
15. cell phone company
16. cable company
17. All utilities companies including gas, electric, water, garbage etc...
18. any government agencies you may be using such as social security, medicare, unemployment, disability, veterans services etc...
19. magazine/newspaper subscription services
20. any unions you may belong to
21. colleges and alumni
22. your children's school, nursery, or daycare provider
23. your place of worship
24. Landscape service you use
25. Your Union
26. All Productions you may receive tax records from or residuals on
27. United States Postal Services (here you can pick up a form at your local office and turn it in there or go to and change your address online...there is a fee to do it online though for identity verification purposes)

I know some people have more on their list than this but I hope this helps when you are ready to move.  And when you begin to start thinking about making that move, call me, I am here to help you buy, sell, or lease.

Are you paying too much for rent in the Valley?

Are you paying too much for rent?  Well, I guess if I ask that question to any renters, they answer would most likely be "yes...fact is LA is an expensive place to live. But I just saw this article on Sherman Oaks patch where they have a map of different areas and what people are paying for rent vs how much income they earn. It really is shocking...check it out

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Smoking In Your Own Home May Be Illegal

If you live in California, then you know we have a number of different smoking bans that prohibit certain areas from any smoking.  We see it at parks, beaches, all work places, bars and restaurants, and there are notices posted in most public buildings saying that smoking is not allowed within a certain distance of the building. If you have a minor in your car, you could be fined for smoking there as well.  But what about in your own home?  I know what some people may be thinking..."It's my home, I own it and I can do as I want"...right?  Well, it's just not that cut and dry.  There are so many people here that own a home that share walls and common spaces with other people.  We have a lot of owners of condos, townhomes, and other multi-family residences out here.  So if you own and live in one of those, should you be allowed to smoke?  Or on the other hand, should you have to live with someone else's cigarette smoke? I'm sure this is a hot topic on both sides of the coin but one California town has just banned smoking in homes where walls are shared. San Rafael has taken the step to say you can no longer smoke within your home if you share walls with another home. And my guess is, this will be the first of many towns to move toward a smoke-free living environment.  So be prepared LA...I'm sure some of our towns aren't far behind this one. Read more of the article here


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Good Things To Know About Income Taxes & Buying A Home

I'm writing this particular blog at this time because I have a few clients that are wanting to hold off on buying a home till after they do their taxes this next year.  So, it got me thinking about how income taxes, how and when you file them, and how that can affect buying a home. So here are just a few key points:

1. While you may be able to get pre-qualifed to buy a home based on your income taxes that you just had done, it may take up to 30 days after your taxes are filed before you can actually enter into a contract to buy a home.  Reason being is that it takes about that long before the government logs your taxes that you've just filed and they are usable for your loan officer to work with. So, if you are needing to have your taxes done before you purchase a home, do them sooner than later.

2. If you are someone who files a 1099 for your income taxes, then it is likely you have some write-offs you incorporate into your income taxes from business expenses. If you are looking to buy a home in the next year or so and you file a 1099, you will want to talk to your tax adviser as well as a loan officer Long before your house hunting process starts. We have a lot of people who file 1099's here in LA and so it is very common that we see people who make a very good living, but can't qualify for a loan.  And the reason is that when people write things off from their personal income, it reflects how much income is seen actually seen as being "earned".  So if you've been writing off a lot for a number of years, it may take a year, or two or even three of doing your taxes differently before you may be able to qualify for that home you want depending on how much you earn and how much you've written off.

3. Property taxes are a great write off every year...but remember this: While you can write off points from a loan and certain fees from the purchase of a home, property taxes will be prorated depending on when your home was purchased.  So unless you've owned that home for the full year, you won't receive the full year of tax benefits for owning that home until the following full year.

4. If you change the way you file taxes in the middle of the year, such as going from a W2 to a Schedule C or from a Schedule C to an S Corp then please talk to a loan officer as soon as possible if you are thinking of buying a home in the next year. They will need to guide you through how to best do this. 

So I hope those few points can help you out but the biggest point I should make, is that you should be talking with your tax adviser as well as a loan officer long before your home search begins. And if you don't have a loan officer, I have a great one I've worked with many times who can help guide you through all these tax related questions as well as many other questions you may have about purchasing a home. Feel free to contact Michael Razak at or 818.288.6851  Tell him I sent you. And when you are ready to buy or sell, give me a call. I am always here to help.


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Walking In My Clients Shoes

It's actually been a short while since I've been on here and added an article. And the reason is that I am now in my client's shoes and selling my home and moving.  I never take for granted how stressful this process can be. I try really hard to answer all the questions that come my way and empathize with my clients during this time that can be very exciting and very overwhelming.  But here I am...going through it all myself.  Luckily, I know about all the contracts and the 101 papers I have to sign, what they mean and what my time frames are so that helps. But I've often been asked...if you own a home and looking to buy another one, how do you go about doing that?  Especially if you don't have the other down payment for the new house already available without having to sell your current house.  And when can you start looking for a new home and put an offer in? So, when I get a little more settled with my own move, I will write about all the options, and sometimes the stressful lack-there-of, and how to work around these obstacles. So keep an eye out soon for that to come and until that time, if you have any real estate needs, even in the middle of moving, I'm never too busy to help you so give me a call. 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Medecino Farms Sherman Oaks

Well, they finally opened up on Ventura Blvd just west of where the new Ralph's will be. I have a feeling all these new shops are very exciting to the neighbors. At least, if I lived there, I would be happy. But I work right across the street so I guess that I good enough. Medecino Farms is not a place I had ever eaten before but when they opened up they brought a little sample box of sandwiches and salads to my office for us to try (and what a good idea on their part). Their food is really good...and so fresh. I'm very excited to have another place to choose for lunch. The only thing missing is a cross walk to get there since it's a really long block to walk to the light for...but, that's not going to stop me. Welcome to the neighborhood Medecino Farms!