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You can brace and bolt your house almost for free—here’s how.Last year, a neighbor told us about the Earthquake Brace + Bolt program (EBB) that would allow us to brace and bolt our house for minimal cost.To take advantage, here’s what you need to do:1. Apply by the program’s deadline, March 19.2. If you’re accepted, you can have different contracto…
 
How do you hold title on your property? If you don’t know, you need to find out.Let me start my explanation with a story:I once had a dear client come to me; her husband had recently passed away, and she was ready to sell her house so she could move on and be with her children. We had gotten all the paperwork done and I had the title company review…
 
It’s a great time to refinance, and today we’ll explain why.Interest rates are still incredibly low, and this has led many people to refinance their homes. If you haven’t already thought about doing so, yourself, now may be the time to consider it. Refinancing could help you save a significant amount of money on your monthly payments over time. But…
 
The ability to get a spot approval for an FHA loan will help condo buyers and sellers alike.Few people know about FHA spot approvals, but it’s a resource that can open up many new options for potential condo buyers. If you own a condo or are looking to buy one, this type of approval likely affects you.The FHA loan was created for people who have ba…
 
Probate sales are often touted as a good deal, but is it risky to buy this kind of property? Before we get into this, let’s first define what probate is. In short, probate is the process by which the court determines how to appropriately distribute your assets after death. But, when buying this type of property, it’s important to understand the dif…
 
If you need to make a contingent offer to buy your next home, now’s the time to do so.Can you purchase a new home contingent on selling your current one? If you would’ve asked me a year and a half ago, the answer would’ve been “probably not”. Back then, we had very little inventory and high demand, which meant sellers were getting well-financed off…
 
Many buyers aren’t sure if getting a home warranty is worth it, so today we’ll get to the bottom of this question.Buyers often ask whether they should get a home warranty when purchasing a new property. Actually, yes—getting a home warranty is generally a good idea, especially given that sellers typically pay for a one-year policy at closing. And s…
 
We work with our fair share of elderly homeowners who are thinking about downsizing or moving closer to family, at which point we introduce them to Props 60 and 90. With this tax initiative, homeowners who are 55 years old or above are able to transfer their current property tax base over to a new home of equal or lesser value under the condition t…
 
If you’re thinking about refinancing your mortgage, you’re in luck. Today I’m answering some common questions about the topic.Today I’m back to answer a few common questions that homeowners have about refinancing. First, Dan recently asked me, “If I refinance my home, is it going to increase my property taxes?”The simple answer is no. When you refi…
 
About once a day, someone will reach out to me and ask for a referral. When people ask for a referral, there are three implied questions within that request: Can I trust this person? Does this person care? Can they help me?People want to know that the person they’re thinking of working with is trustworthy, compassionate, and competent.Many people w…
 
What exactly is included in the sale of a home?Oftentimes, whenever buyers see that a home’s MLS description says it comes with a washer, dryer, refrigerator, ect., they assume that those items are included with the home when they buy it. That’s not true—that just means the seller is offering them as part of the sale. If you want these items to be …
 
It’s hard to believe that 2018 is almost over. As the holidays are fast approaching, we want to take a moment to wish you and your family a warm and safe holiday season. It’s the season of giving, and we’d like to give you some insight into fun events going on in the area. Check out the list below to see our recommendations for ways to spend the se…
 
Here at the Dave Knight Real Estate Team, we love helping people buy and sell homes. I also love saving money, and today’s topic will be tips about how you can save money yourself if you’ve been thinking about retrofitting your home to prepare it for an earthquake.The credit for this tip goe to my neighbor Jim, who told me about the **EBB Program, …
 
Today I want to talk to you about a really powerful lesson that I learned from Matt Townsend. You may have heard of Matt Townsend, but in case you haven’t, he is the author of “Starved Stuff: Feeding the 7 Basic Needs of Healthy Relationships,” as well as the person who helps train Keller Williams agents. He has even worked with fellow author Steve…
 
Sellers often ask whether or not they have to do an inspection before they sell their home.This is a great question, to which the general answer is no. As a seller, you don’t have to discover future or current problems; it is the responsibility of the buyer to hire an inspector and discover existing problems. The seller is responsible for disclosin…
 
Today I want to pass on some information for those of you whose properties were damaged by the recent wildfires. If your property wasn’t damaged, you may have friends or family that could benefit from this information.The county assessor recently sent an email to most of us Realtors with information about what you can do if your property was damage…
 
Today I’m here to answer two questions that often come up when people are talking about condos and townhouses.The first question is, “What’s the difference between a condo and a townhouse?”This is the best way to look at it. A townhouse is just going to share walls with somebody else. It may be two stories or three stories, but there will be nobody…
 
I’m here today to answer the question, “Can I sell my home as-is?” Long answer short: You can. However, there is a common misunderstanding you should know about. Here’s a hypothetical situation you could run into:Let’s say there’s a Brian from Illinois who calls me and says, “Hey Dave, I’m the successor trustee of a property. My parents have passed…
 
If you’re a homebuyer in our area and you don’t want the general public to know where you live, there are ways you can buy a property anonymously.Most people who want to buy a home simply write an offer for it in their name. After that, the title company records that offer in their name. The problem with this, though, is that anyone who has access …
 
Today, we want to invite you to a fun event. Mark your calendars for Saturday, April 21 for our Paper-Shredding and E-Waste Event. If you have boxes of files to shred or old electronics to get rid of, bring them by. We will pay for the shredder and the E-waste company. All you have to do is stop by La Salle High School (3880 E Sierra Madre Blvd). W…
 
According to the latest reports, there are currently 400,000 homeowners in LA County who aren’t taking advantage of the savings on their annual property tax bills, leaving as much as $30 million unclaimed.If you own your primary place of residence as of January 1 of this year, the homeowners exemption will reduce the taxable assessed value of your …
 
Happy 2018! You’ve all asked me some great questions this last year, and today, I’m utilizing this time to pose a question that has had a huge impact on my life. I hope it has the same effect on yours.This is a very personal story. About three or four years ago, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called ITP. I’ve been fine for the last thre…
 
What is a “reverse mortgage?” Today I have Don McCue, owner of Reverse Mortgages Plus, here with me to discuss what they are and how they can help you.So what exactly makes it “reverse?”A reverse mortgage in its simplest form is a mortgage. To qualify, we do the exact same process as a conventional mortgage. I collect documentation, submit it throu…
 
Should you sell your home during the holidays?I’ve been asked this question about four or five times in the last couple of weeks. This is a seller question but if you are serious about putting your home on the market, you need to consider things from the buyer’s perspective.Buyers who are looking for a home during the holidays tend to be more serio…
 
How do you deal with a 1031 exchange? Today I’ll be answering this question for you so that you won’t be confused when you hear this term in your real estate dealings.First, what even is a 1031 exchange? I’ll use an example to help me explain. My friend Brian purchased a small condo in Azusa (sp?) for a couple hundred thousand dollars. He sold it r…
 
What do our current market conditions mean for buyers and sellers in Los Angeles? Is now still a good time to buy?Here’s the biggest thing you need to remember—historically, we’ve seen seven-year cycles in the real estate market over the last 100 years from top to bottom. Right now, we’re in year 10 of our current cycle, so we’ve lasted three more …
 
We recently received a great question from Lynn that we wanted to answer today. She wanted to know, “Is there a good rule of thumb for how much to fix up a house before putting it on the market?** Also, what improvements give homeowners the best return on their investment?”**Every house is different, so there are a few different questions that we w…
 
We received a great question recently from one of our clients. The question is, “What is the Mills Act and what does it do?”The Mills Act is a government program that incentivizes those who own historic homes to keep up the preservation of those homes. They incentivize these homeowners through a discounted rate on their property taxes. For example,…
 
If you’re a homeowner, putting your property in a trust is a wise decision.Typically, there are two reasons people put their home in a trust. The first is for the tax benefits. To that end, it might be a good idea to talk to your accountant about how putting your property in a trust would specifically help you in this standpoint.The second reason i…
 
Today I’d like to share two questions that can help you determine whether now is the right time to sell your home.It might sound counterintuitive, but something I love about my job as a Realtor is helping people figure out when it’s best to not sell.The first question to ask relates to your closing costs and capital gains. Do you know what they wil…
 
One question I get all the time is, “How do you sell your home to buy another?” When it comes to selling a home in order to buy another, you have a few options on the table.The first and best option is actually to buy your new property without selling your old one at all.If you can afford to do this, it puts you in a position of power where you can…
 
Can you really trust a Zillow Zestimate?This is a hot topic I get asked about quite a bit. Sometimes a Zestimate is high, sometimes it’s low, and sometimes it’s accurate. Let me share a couple examples of what I mean.The first involves the CEO of Zillow, Spencer Rascoff. In 2016, he sold his property for more than 40% less than what the Zestimate p…
 
What is the difference between a buyer’s agent and a listing agent? What does it mean to have dual agency?A listing agent is hired by a seller to represent them in the sale of their property. The listing agent has a fiduciary obligation to the seller to negotiate on their behalf and to sell their home for the most money possible. The listing agent …
 
Can you put your in-laws in the garage?Hopefully I’ve got your attention with that question! It actually pertains to a new bill that passed in California which allows you to add a second unit to your property and rent it out or convert your garage into livable space.“This bill aims to create more affordable housing statewide.”Here are the main bull…
 
What is a home inspection? Why is it important? Why is it so important to hire a good inspector? I’ll answer these questions for you today.First, what is a home inspection?A home inspection is when you hire an inspector to come to your property to inspect everything from the roof all the way down to appliances. The inspector then creates a report f…
 
We talked a little about this in our last video, but today, I’d like to go into more detail on how to avoid paying capital gains taxes when selling a property.Let me start by saying that I’m a Realtor, not an accountant. This is a fairly common scenario, though, so I am able to give you some direction.Let’s say that your grandparents owned a proper…
 
I get asked quite a bit about capital gains taxes when selling a property, so today I want to talk about how you can avoid them if you’re selling a property. Let me preface this discussion by saying that I’m a Realtor—not an accountant. You need to verify all of this information with your accountant and work with them before you make any decisions …
 
Are you considering buying a home but having trouble thinking of how you’re going to afford it? Here are a few strategies and things you need to know to help you on your path toward homeownership. If you’re renting a property, it’s natural to want to compare your current rent amount to how much your mortgage payment would be if you bought a home. T…
 
Just over a year ago, the market was flooded with cash offers. That made things very difficult for buyers with financing. They were losing out to these cash offers and their chances of winning against them was low.Now the cash has dried up, making it a lot easier for buyers to write offers and get them accepted. So, what does the LA real estate mar…
 
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