Wednesday, March 25, 2015

No Trust In The Process Of Leaving Your Home To Your Heirs

And by "no trust" I'm referring to the fact that we may no longer need a "Trust" to leave our properties to our heirs. Glendale's assemblyman Mike Gatto is trying to untangle the messy red tape that can happen when someone passes away and doesn't have a Trust, or have one set up correctly.  See, here in California, you need what is called a Trust (aka Living Trust) to leave your home to someone after you pass away.  It's not as simple as just leaving it in a Will.  A Trust is a separate legal document that allows your property to be dispersed to the person(s) you name on the Trust.  And along with making this legal document you also have to make sure the title to your property reflect your property as having a Trust.  And if you don't do it right and pass away, your loved ones can pay through the nose to get your property passed into their possession.  It's a real tricky and expensive thing.  But read more here about what Mike Gatto's plans are for this and follow along because it could have an impact on anyone who owns property here in California

For more information on Trusts, Wills and everything else legal, call a real estate lawyer or estate planner.  I have a couple great ones I can refer you to if you like.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Questions To Ask When Buying A Condo

If you are looking to buy a condo, there are questions that may be very important for you to know.  I've put a star next to some of these questions that you may not be able to get the answer to until you are in escrow but the other ones, the listing agent should know or be able to find out

1. What are the monthly HOA dues?
2. What do those dues cover? Things like trash, hot water, cable, security....?
3. What amenities are in the building? A pool?  Workout room? Common BBQ area?
4. If there are no washer/dryer hookups in the condo, can I add them?
5. How many parking spaces do I get?  And are they side by side or tandem?
6. Is there guest parking?
7. In Los Angeles, condo buildings can not restrict you from having a pet. But they can limit the type of pet, number of pets and size so ask about this.
8. Who runs the HOA? An off-sight company or someone in the building?
*9. How much money are in the reserves?
10. Is there any litigation going on or pending with the HOA?
11. Are there any assessments now or pending?
*12. Are any units delinquent on their dues? 
13. Is there earthquake insurance on the building?
*14. If the unit does not currently have hardwood floors, can I put them in later?

Make sure to take this list with you when you see condos and if you aren't sure why you should be asking these questions, leave me a comment and I will explain further. And if you are looking to buy or sell your home, please consider calling me. I am always here to help.  

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Hours of An Open House

If you are one of those people who just like to drive out on Sunday and see what houses are having an open house, it may be helpful to know the times they are typically open. So here you go....

Here in LA, during the winter hours when the sun goes down earlier, we hold open houses from 1-4PM

During the Summer when the sun sets later we hold them from 2-5PM

These times change on the days we have the daylight savings time change.  So hop out this coming Sunday and see what's for sale..

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Are You Stuck In The "Just Thinking" About Buying A Home Phase?

Are you Thinking about buying but really just stuck in the "thinking" or "talking" about it phase? Have you been there for a bit but not really sure you can buy or that you can afford what you would be hoping for?  There is no better way to know if and what you can buy till you sit down and talk with me. That is what I'm here's part of my job. I'm more than happy to go over what your home may be worth, to things such as how much you would walk away with after the sale of your home minus fees, and I'll get you talking with a loan officer so that they can tell you what you would qualify for. We can figure out how you would sell then buy a new place and the options you have to do that with when you need the money from your sale to buy another.  If you're not needing to sell to buy a new home, we can talk about what you will need ready to make offers and what expenses are associated with buying.  And I do this all for free...I mean, heck, this is one way I get business so please don't hesitate to go over these things with me. Don't just get stuck in the daydreaming mode...let's chat today!


Monday, March 16, 2015

6 Things You Need To Do When Looking To Buy A Home

If you are about to start looking to buy a home, you will need to do these things to start your process:

1. Most important! Talk to a loan officer and see what your budget will be. Most people like to look up online a mortgage calculator and try to figure out where their price range is but what you can pay each month, can be very different from what you may qualify to buy.  And you really don't want to start looking at houses, fall in love with something and not be able to put an offer in (since you will need a letter from your lender to be submitted with your offer)
2. Get an idea of what areas you will be interested in. Some people can afford to live exactly where they want, while others' budgets limit them.  So be open to a few extra suggestions on areas as well.
3.  Make a list of the things you MUST have in a home and the things you HOPE you can get and just keep the list handy to look at when seeing homes.
4.  Find a good realtor.  Ahemmm. That would be me! I've lived in and sold homes from Mid City LA, West Hollywood, Hollywood, Los Feliz, Thousand Oaks, San Gabriel Valley, Santa Clarita and all of the San Fernando Valley (which is where my office is located) So shoot me a call and if you live further out than where I am, I know a network of great realtors that I can point you to as well.
5.  Look at the homes I send you as well as sites like and Zillow for homes as well (although stay clear of looking at the "Zestimates" that Zillow shows on their site.  Doing that is like going down a rabbit hole of no-good.
6. And lastly, go to some open houses and book appointments with me to see houses in person.  A lot of people change what they may think is important or not important once they start seeing homes in person. 

I can't wait to help you find your next home or sell the one you have now so don't wait and call me so we can get started!

Friday, March 13, 2015

The LA Marathon is coming...RUN!!

You have 2 options when it comes to the LA Marathon.  Run in it, or away from it.  So if you aren't in it, I have attached a link to the map below of all the streets you will need to avoid to stay away from it.  Good luck on Sunday.  And may LA street closures be ever in your favor.
                                                                 LA Marathon Street closures