What California’s Water-Saving Plumbing Law Means to You

California Water-Saving Plumbing Law Effects Investment Property Owners, Sellers, Property Managers and Property Management Companies A California law enacted in 2009 is finally taking effect and causing concerns among property owners, sellers, buyers, and realtors.  California Civil Code Section 1101.4 requires owners of single-family residences which were “built or available for use on or before January 1, 1994” which will be altered or improved on or after January 1, 2014 to install water-conserving plumbing fixtures only when the existing plumbing fixtures are “non-compliant” by certain dates specified below.

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Home Improvements Critical Now More Than Ever

Home Improvements Cost-Value Cash-On-Cash Returns Rise as the Overall Market Rises I am often surprised when I see homeowners getting their homes ready to sell without anticipating doing any repairs or improvements.  I am even more surprised when I see realtors counseling their clients not to do repairs or improvements because “the market is hot, let’s just get it on.”  Notwithstanding the period of time during the Great Recession, where improvements did not give the cost-value returns we are used to seeing, properly thought-out home improvements will typically give homeowners very nice cash-on-cash returns when they list and sell their…

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Flood Insurance Relief for Palo Alto

New Flood Insurance Law Provides Relief for Palo Alto Property Owners In March of this year President Obama signed into law the Federal Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 which amends previous law – now homeowners in flood plains and districts, like Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, and Menlo Park will be provided relief.

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What the New Shared Fence Law Means to You

New California Fence Law

New Shared Fence Law As Of January 1, 2014 Have you ever heard “Good fences make good neighbors?”  Now, adjoining landowners are statutorily equally responsible for shared fences and boundary fences pursuant to California Civil Code Section 841 which took effect January 1, 2014.  Adjoining or contiguous landowners are now faced with a presumption that because they share an equal benefit of a shared or boundary fence that they are equally responsible for the reasonable costs of construction, maintenance, or necessary replacement of the fence.   Property managers or rental property management companies whose clients’ properties are affected by this new…

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Comfortable and Cost Effective, Energy Efficiency in Homes

Manage heating and air conditioning for optimum efficiency

High Energy Efficiency of Your Heating and Air Conditioning Systems Makes Your Home Comfortable and Cost Effective With the rising costs of energy making your home more energy efficient is tantamount to a comfortable and cost effective living environment. Comfortable interior environments make for a more friendly and welcoming home.  Improving the efficiency of your mechanical systems helps with comfort, but more importantly will save you money over the long haul.

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Buying a Home?

things to think about when buying a home

Seven (7) Things to Consider and Research before Buying a Home So you’ve made the decision to stop renting and buy a home.  Buying a home is very emotional, incredibly stressful, and requires diligence and strategy.  To make sure your pursuit is not fraught with pitfalls you should consider the following ideas:

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Palo Alto Main Library Gets a New Name

Palo Alto Main Library Name  is “Rinconada” After a long drawn out process Palo Alto’s main library has been renamed to “Rinconada Library” by the Palo Alto City Council.  Supporters of the new name have consistently argued that the library is not the main library because it is not the biggest library in the system, nor is it the administrative center of the library system.

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Should El Camino be Pedestrian Friendly?

Palo Alto Sidewalk

El Camino Real Sidewalk Widening Plan Hears Opposition from Palo Alto There is currently a wide-based effort to widen El Camino Real into a pedestrian friendly thoroughfare, however, those portions of real estate within the city limits of Palo Alto will not be widened without a fight. Palo Alto City Councilmembers have proposed an ordinance which will widen sections of El Camino from 12’ to 15-18’.

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Menlo Park to Revamp Downtown

Menlo Park Hiring Expert to Research Initiative to Revamp Downtown Plan The Menlo Park City Council has actually authorized investing up to $150,000 on a consultant to examine the brand-new effort proposed by locals that would significantly change the city’s downtown/El Camino particular strategy. 

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The Importance of Landscape Design and Architecture

Landscaping and architecture are key elements for value

Curb Appeal Adds Value to Your Home An important but often overlooked component of a well-designed residential property is the landscaping surrounding a home.  Savvy homeowners know that 15-20% of a property’s value should be spent on well-thought out architectural design and installation of quality landscaping materials and elements.

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