Should a First-Time Homebuyer Choose a Fixer Upper?

If you’re a first-time homebuyer trying to stretch your limited budget to get as much house as possible, you may be tempted to buy a fixer upper, a house in need of extensive repairs. They certainly can be priced right. If you’re like me and your construction skills are taxed when hanging a picture, I’d … Read more


We Need More Market-Rate Housing

I recently attended a meeting where the Adventist Health Ukiah Valley CEO, Jason Wells, announced his plan to recruit 30 new physician specialists as soon as possible. One of his biggest challenges is the lack of appropriate, market-rate housing for physicians and their families. He noted that when the fire in Paradise, California displaced many … Read more


Foreclosure Quirks

The vast majority of residential real estate transactions follow a fairly familiar pattern. Sellers put their house up for sale. Buyers make an offer to buy it. They agree on a price and go into escrow. Disclosures and inspections and financing and a zillion other details fall into place (thanks to an enormous amount of … Read more


Road Maintenance Agreements

If it were up to me, all homeowners would be responsible for maintaining the section of road directly in front of their property out to the middle of the street. To make sure everyone maintained their portion of the road, a local committee of elected members would have the authority to keep the road in … Read more


Avoid Wire Fraud

Although this column is about real estate, it includes important information for anyone handling high-dollar transactions electronically. Whether you’re wiring money for real estate, a vehicle, or equipment, you can lose a lot of money in a hurry if you don’t know how to spot wire fraud. Sadly, this happened recently when a family here … Read more


How to Make Sure Your Offer Gets Chosen Above the Rest

Last week, I shared information about how to be the buyer whose offer is accepted. While I cannot provide a fail-safe way to guarantee your offer will be chosen, I can certainly give you good advice that will put your offer near the top of the list: get pre-approved for a loan. Remember, property owners … Read more


How to Make Sure Your Offer Gets Chosen Above the Rest

When property owners put their house on the market, they want to sell at the highest price in the shortest time period with the least inconvenience. Rather than chasing the promise of a few more dollars, many sellers will go for the sure thing. As long as offers are fairly close on price, sellers often … Read more


Checking Credentials for Home Improvement Projects

Many people in the real estate business have heard horror stories about home-improvement projects gone awry, made worse when the company hired was not insured and the homeowner was left to foot the bill. Here’s the type of scenario I’m talking about. Imagine Heather the Homeowner hires a contractor to complete a small home renovation. … Read more


The Housing Market is Doing Fine

I was at a seminar recently and the speaker, a respected economist, made me feel way better about the economy. Traditionally in America, we’ve faced an economic recession about every seven years, so by that measure, we’re overdue for a downturn. However, if you look at economic indicators, this speaker made a solid argument for … Read more