How to Avoid Getting Dropped as a Real Estate Client

In my office, we have a list of individuals and organizations we won’t do business with—most are vendors, others are past clients who behaved so poorly we won’t work with them again. The reasons vendors get put on the list can include things like doing substandard work, having no liability insurance or workers’ comp insurance, … Read more


Becoming a First-Time Homebuyer

Home ownership isn’t right for everyone, but it can be a great investment and provide a huge sense of satisfaction. Before you cross home ownership off your list because you don’t think you can afford it, let me tell you what it takes. The median house price in the Ukiah Valley is about $425,000. Since … Read more


Way to Go, Ukiah!

Ukiah is my hometown and I love living here. I know it’s not perfect, but no place is. One of the many things I enjoy about Ukiah is our unique sense of community. Last fall and again this summer, when fires threatened local homes, Ukiahans came together in truly remarkable ways. According to the logistics … Read more


Mortgage Do’s and Don’ts

Buying real estate is one of the biggest investments you’re likely to make. As such, mortgage lenders have to make sure you can afford what you’re buying. Here are some things you can do to improve your chances of qualifying for a loan. YOUR MORTGAGE TO-DO LIST DO provide your lender with your homeowner insurance agent’s … Read more


Play to Your Strengths

 For the past couple columns, you may have noticed that I’ve written about financial equations and analysis. This is my happy place. My favorite part of the real estate industry, and any other business venture, tends to revolve around concrete, numbers-driven data. I like working with things that are pragmatic and provable rather than abstract … Read more


Basic Finance: Internal Rate of Return

This is the second in a series about finance. Because saving for a down payment can have such an enormously positive impact on which property you can buy, I thought I’d explain a few things about how to invest your savings as wisely as possible. The idea of investing can feel quite intimidating, but once … Read more


Basic Finance 101: Compounding Interest

When it comes to buying real estate, many people tend to get a little overwhelmed by the financial side of things as they try to understand the short-term and long-term effects of the down payment, interest rate, points, and other financial factors. So, I thought I’d write a little series to explain some important financial … Read more


Homeowners Insurance and Wildfire Coverage

If your home burned in last fall’s wildfires, you may be interested in the following bills going through the state legislature right now. AB 1797: Replacement cost coverage With a few minor exemptions, this bill would require an insurer that provides replacement cost coverage to provide an estimate of the cost to rebuild or replace the insured structure … Read more


Water Rights for Homeowners

Many of us don’t think much about the water we use. If we turn on the tap and water comes out, we’re satisfied. When we hear ominous warnings about droughts, we stop watering our lawns (or limit watering to early mornings), but deep down, we’re not too concerned. The tap has never stopped working, so … Read more