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Tag Archives: Real Estate

Is Spring the Best Time to Buy a Palo Alto Home?

Is Spring the Best Time to Buy a Palo Alto Home?

The world of real estate is an exciting and confusing place filled with sage advice for home buyers and sellers. You may have heard plenty of recommendations on when to buy, when to sell, whether you should stage, and other helpful tips to get your home sold fast; however, it may be difficult to tell what will actually work.  If you own a home in Old Palo Alto or want to buy in Professorville when is the best time to act? Some Palo Alto real estate agents may tell you spring is the best time to sell your home, but is one particular season really the best?

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In My Opinion – Pocket Listings Don’t Help Home Sellers

In My Opinion – Pocket Listings Don’t Help Home Sellers

Do You Want To Shoot Yourself In The Foot?  Sell Your Home Off-Market Or Don’t Expose It To The Multiple Listing Service With An Open House – That Will Do The Trick Every Single Time – Guaranteed!

No matter what you call it, “off-market, private, or pocket listings” are on the rise again as sellers are somehow being persuaded again to keep their properties off of the Multiple Listing Service and out of the stream of commerce during this “red-hot” real estate market.  The typical “song-and-dance” they are told is that by keeping their property listing ‘private’ their privacy will not be invaded by troops of public gawkers walking through their homes, and that they will not have to hassle with signs, lock-boxes, and agents showing their property, etc.  Whatever the rationale that is being sold to sellers it is unfortunate because they are actually unknowingly leaving large percentages of potential profits on the table.

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New California Real Estate Laws for 2015

New California Real Estate Laws for 2015

Here is a quick recap of the new 2015 real estate laws effecting owners, residents, real estate agents, and brokers.  How these laws effect you, your business interests, your family, landlords, and tenants vary greatly depending on your individual circumstances, but please read and make yourself aware of the basics.  For detailed analysis or any questions don’t hesitate to give me a call 1-650-464-3797 or send me an email to sroberson@apr.com.

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Planned-Community Zoning Is On Table In Palo Alto

Planned-Community Zoning Is On Table In Palo Alto

The Palo Alto City Council will consider whether or not, and how, to change or adjust land-use designation process within city limits.  The Council will begin Monday October 6 to look at modifying the city’s somewhat difficult planned-community zoning, which was paused due to a citizen referendum.  The current zoning which has been in place since the early 1950s gives developers options to seek exceptions to current development rules in turn for public benefits that are negotiated on a case-by-case basis. Previous public benefits include everything from public common plazas, retail stores, sculptures, and affordable residential units.

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How To Avoid The Big Housing Crunch Awaiting Many Baby Boomers

How To Avoid The Big Housing Crunch Awaiting Many Baby Boomers

There Are Dire Predictions For Baby Boomers But It Can Be Overcome With Planning

Those American Baby Boomers born between 1946 and 1964 are facing some pretty serious issues in the foreseeable future none of which are as daunting as the cost of housing in their retirement years.  Notwithstanding the estimated costs of $220,000 a couple will need in retirement for health care costs housing costs will dwarf that number as most experts believe that boomers will be forced to spend in excess of 30% of their monthly incomes supporting their abodes.  The struggle is just beginning because housing costs, both for ownership and for rentals, is skyrocketing throughout the country.

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Palo Alto’s Comprehensive Plan Delays Prompt Zoning Changes – The Value Of Your Real Estate At Stake

Palo Alto’s Comprehensive Plan Delays Prompt Zoning Changes – The Value Of Your Real Estate At Stake

Citizens Should Get Involved To Help Mold The Future Of Palo Alto Growth

The massive overhaul to Palo Alto’s Comprehensive Plan is not expected to be completed for a couple more years, but several city council members would like to implement zoning changes right away because of all the development that is currently occurring and is on the drawing board.

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What Are Hard Money Loans And Why Aren’t They For Everyone?

What Are Hard Money Loans And Why Aren’t They For Everyone?

 

Importantly, hard money loans are not for first time home buyers.  Hard money loans are typically loans of “last resort” for borrowers who can’t find a conventional loan to accomplish the debt bridge between the down payment and the purchase price of real estate.  Hard money loans have sharply higher interest rates and usually are expensive to originate – much greater than traditional real estate financing.  Hard money loans are often used to bridge financing between undeveloped land and construction or to take advantage of a great deal that has to close quicker than they could get traditional financing.

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Your Investment Properties And Your Personal Assets Are Exposed To Litigation If You Haven’t Properly Protected Them

Your Investment Properties And Your Personal Assets Are Exposed To Litigation If You Haven’t Properly Protected Them

Why Forming an Entity to Protect Your Private Wealth From Your Investment Property Liabilities is Critical in Today’s Litigious Real Estate Environment

Do you believe that an investment or rental property insurance policy is enough protection for you and your personal wealth in the event of an accident or other catastrophe to your tenants?  If you are not sure or have not even thought about this then its time – right now.  The parade of horribles that can occur which could result in a serious injury, a permanently paralyzed tenant, or a wrongful death is not that far-fetched.

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What Are Real Estate Investment Trusts All About – And Why They Might Be For You

What Are Real Estate Investment Trusts All About – And Why They Might Be For You

Investing In A REIT Is Participating In The Commercial Real Estate Investment World Without Actually Buying

Real Estate Investment Trusts or “REITs” are companies or corporations or other entities that owns, and most commonly operates a portfolio or income-producing real estate or real estate-related assets.  REITs are designed for individual investors to earn portions or shares or fractions of the income produced through commercial real estate ownership.  The beauty of which is the investor is not required to actually go out and purchase the commercial real estate themselves as others have already done that. REITs come in all categories and may include office buildings, shopping malls, resorts, apartments, self-storage facilities, hotels, warehouses, and mortgages or bundled mortgage loans.

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How To Grow Your Nest Egg By Thinking Outside The Box

How To Grow Your Nest Egg By Thinking Outside The Box

In Your Retirement Quest Put Real Estate Investments In Your IRA And Watch It Grow

Over the years I have had many clients ask me if it was possible to put real estate investments inside of their IRAs.  The answer is “Yes” but the IRA has to be specific and has to not have certain restrictions.  Thinking outside the traditional investment box can reap many rewards for you and your family.  Here are some IRA basics and some ideas for getting real estate investments inside of your IRA.

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Why Real Estate Investors Continue To Make The Same Mistakes Over & Over Again?

Why Real Estate Investors Continue To Make The Same Mistakes Over & Over Again?

Due Diligence Will Reduce Mistakes For Real Estate Investors

Any time of day you turn on your television you can find several infomercials or shows which depict investing in real estate as an easy path to riches and wealth.  Every day you get in front of your computer screen you will run across ads and coy and clever marketing programs which also suggest that you should quit your job and begin a high-powered career in real estate investing.  The truth is that real estate investing, like every business requires significant education, due diligence, and perseverance.  Importantly, most new real estate investors make many mistakes along the way which are sometimes avoidable, but do help with the education process and learning curve.  Here are some very important topics which you need to become familiar with before you begin your journey down the path to real estate investing.

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Look Carefully At A Home’s Square Footage – It Might Not Be What You Think It Is

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If You Are Buying A Home Just For It’s Square Footage Think Again

How does the real estate marketplace calculate and represent square footage of listed homes in marketing materials and in the multiple listing services?  To be honest there are several common practices and it is quite possible that a home might have two or three square footages which are all close, but not the same.  Some people may include the garage square footage, some may include the basement, some may include unpermitted covered patios, and others may not include any of those areas.  To compound things there is no standard by which the entire real estate community utilizes, thus there will always be some ambiguity and lack of clarity as to the precise square footage of a home.

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To Gift Or Devise, That Is The Question!

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Tax and Estate Planning is Critical to Avoid Unnecessary Tax Burdens and Consequences

I have clients ask me all the time if it makes sense to give their property to their kids or should they wait to die and let their kids inherit it.  The practical answer from a tax planning perspective is to allow the property to transfer at the time of death.  If you haven’t spent any time planning your estate or your property succession strategy you should sit down and think about how you would like things to pass, and who should be the recipient of the properties.  If you have a substantial estate with multiple properties chances are you already have done this, if not an estate planning or trust attorney can help you through this process.  Planning now can prevent unnecessary taxes or burdens being placed on your loved ones.

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Six (6) Easy Ways to Save Money on Health Care Costs – And Invest in Real Estate with the Savings

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How much money do you spend on health care?  Each day that goes by your overall health care costs go up (even though you don’t realize it) for a few reasons; 1) inflation, 2) you get older every day, and 3) unless you are exercising regularly you are getting in worse shape day-by-day.  These three factors will drive up your long-term health care costs.  No matter how prepared you are for your retirement years these costs will continue to rise unless you do something about them.  I recently posted an article indicating the average American couple will spend $220,000 for health care costs during their retirement years – and introduced a real estate strategy to combat these costs.  This figure does NOT include long-term care such as a nursing home or other retirement facilities.  Please prepare for the future by looking at the short list below which can help you plan and reduce surprises.

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Durable Power of Attorney – What Is It And Do You Need One?

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A Durable Power of Attorney Can Provide Peace Of Mind, Comfort, and Ease of Transition For Families

As baby boomers approach retirement age there are many considerations which should be addressed regarding preparation for transitions and changes in their lifestyle.  Generally, most people will have to rely on others to help them at some point in their lives, whether it’s daily or periodic help.  Additionally, unforeseen circumstances and events can transpire which can lead to disruption in their daily or future routines.  In order to be prepared everyone, including children of senior baby boomers, should understand what a Durable Power of Attorney (POA) is, and consider having them in place as soon as reasonably possible.

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Health Care Retirement Costs For Couples Top $220,000 – Imagine A Real Estate Strategy To Help Pay For That

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Planning For Retirement? Did You Know That The Average Couple Needs $220,000 For Health Care After 65?  Real Estate Investment Strategies Which Can Help You Meet Your Retirement Obligations And Allow You Benefits You Haven’t Thought Of Are Available For You

Wow, That’s A Lot Of Money

Research and recent data show that in order to be comfortable in retirement a retiree couple must figure that they will be spending an average of $220,000 during their retirement on health care costs.  Importantly, this amount does not include nursing home costs, or other long-term care expenditures.  If the average retirement lasts 25 years that is approximately $8,800 per year for two people – now that doesn’t sound as bad, correct?  No matter what the real number is it is imperative that people plan for these costs and expenses.

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Dual Agency Only Creates Conflicts & Increases Risks for All Parties

Dual Agency Only Creates Conflicts & Increases Risks for All Parties

Fiduciary Duty to Whom? Real Estate Teams Can’t Possibly Uphold Their Fiduciary Duties To Sellers

A dual agency real estate relationship exists when a real estate agent or a broker represents both sides of a real estate transaction.  A common theme in today’s marketplace is where a “Team” hosts an Open House and if a buyer walks in and wants to offer on the house the “Team” will provide a buyer’s agent.  Well, in this situation, the fiduciary duty owed to the seller goes right out the window because the “Team” has both “implied” and “actual” knowledge of the seller’s inside information.  It’s impossible for the “Team” to adequately and faithfully uphold their fiduciary duties to the seller in this fact pattern.  How can a “Team”  representing both the buyer and seller in the same transaction get the highest price for the seller and the lowest price for the buyer without communicating confidential information during this exchange?  It’s impossible.  By definition an agent is required to act as a fiduciary towards their clients, however, under a dual agency scenario it is impossible to be a fiduciary for both a buyer and a seller in the same transaction; and splitting up a buyer’s agent from the seller’s agent in a scenario where they are from the same “Team” such as this does not pass the smell test.

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Do You Remember The Best Nine (9) Real Estate Movies Of All Time?

Do You Remember The Best Nine (9) Real Estate Movies Of All Time?

Movie Lovers – Test Your Memory of Real Estate Movies…

Do you remember watching any of these Real Estate Movies?  Some of these flicks are certainly worth watching again.  Logon to your streaming video vendor and cue up a few of these great classics. 

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