The Tax Benefits of Home Ownership – Part II

Last week, I shared the tax benefits associated with having a home office. This week, I’ll share another way to reduce your tax burden: if you have a medical condition that requires upgrades to your home, you may be able to write off part of the cost of those upgrades. Before I go on, I … Read more


The Tax Benefits of Home Ownership – Part I

There are lots of great reasons to own a home. One of my favorites is the tax benefits. Many homeowners can write off the interest on their mortgage and on the amount they pay in property taxes. But if you have a home office, you may be able to take advantage of additional tax savings. … Read more


If It Walks Like a Duck and Quacks Like a Duck, It’s Probably Rent Control

The City of Healdsburg is trying to bypass the Costa-Hawkins legislation by considering an ordinance related to “just cause for eviction.” In 1995, the California State Legislature enacted the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, preventing local governments from enacting rent controls on single-family homes and on housing built after 1995. Rent controls limit how much landlords … Read more


Create a Fire-Defensible Space Now

Given our experiences during the last few years, all of us need to be diligent regarding fire safety. Although I’ve shared much of this information before, please keep reading as it bears repeating until we’ve all taken it to heart. Each one of us is responsible for the safety of our family and our property—and … Read more


If Your Home Doesn’t Sell, I’ll Buy It

Even though most of us know there’s no such thing as a free lunch, we still get tempted when we see it advertised. Lately, I’ve seen lawn signs in front of homes for sale put there by Realtors who promise to buy your house if they can’t sell it to someone else. At face value, … Read more


When is it okay to suspend environmental protections?

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat just published an article highlighting Governor Gavin Newsom’s decision to declare a State wildfire emergency, a declaration that will speed up the process for dozens of fire-prone areas to be cleared of underbrush and thinned of trees, including 36,000 acres in the Ukiah Valley. There will also be some controlled … Read more


Opportunity Lost

Ukiah Unified School District has two excess properties, former school sites in Hopland and Redwood Valley. State of California legislation severely restricts public school districts from marketing and selling their properties without going through a very long and protracted process with any cash proceeds being restricted to capital improvements only. Therefore, the District’s best options … Read more


Why is Housing So Expensive Here?

Recently, a client moved to North Carolina where they paid $95 per square foot for a brand new home with upgrades. This didn’t include the cost of the lot, but it did include a mighty nice house. In Ukiah, it would cost $200-250 per square foot to build a comparable home. Since it takes about … Read more


Creating the Next Generation of Tradespeople

If you’ve tried to hire a general contractor, plumber, carpenter, roofer, electrician or laborer recently, you know how hard it can be. You can wait weeks or even months to schedule a repair or renovation, and longer if you want to build from scratch. For years, we’ve had a shortage of tradespeople in our area, … Read more