How to Use a Reverse Mortgage to Pay for Your Vacation

If you’re at least 62 years old and you own your home outright, you can borrow against it and never have to pay back the loan. It’s called a reverse mortgage and it allows you to convert some of your home’s equity into cash. Unlike traditional mortgages, the loan does not have to be repaid … Read more


How to Choose a Realtor

In a small community like ours, most people know several Realtors, so what do you do when it’s time to buy or sell property–who do you choose to represent you? The answer is simple: you pick the person who can best meet your needs (as opposed to the person you meet for drinks after work). … Read more


Here’s Why the Cost of New Construction is Going Up

These days, buildings are a lot safer, more technologically advanced, and environmentally friendly than they once were, which is great. What isn’t great is the increased costs that occur when the government starts requiring every new home to incorporate each new innovation. If new technology is worthwhile and cost-effective, people will adopt it without the … Read more


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