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


Adjustable Rate Mortgages

When you get a loan to buy a house, you can choose a fixed-rate or an adjustable-rate mortgage. A fixed rate means the interest rate stays the same for the life of the loan. An adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) has a variable rate. Most ARMs provide lower interest rates at the beginning of the loan, and … Read more


What Are Landlords Responsible For?

Many people rent rather than own their homes. If this is true for you, you depend on a landlord to maintain your residence in good working order. At a minimum, landlords are responsible for ensuring homes are habitable and safe. The legal definition of habitable means the structure should be weather-tight with functioning heat, electricity, … Read more


The Accidental Realtor

In a typical real estate transaction, buyers and sellers each have a licensed real estate agent to represent them. Realtors are legally obligated to work in the best interest of their clients, and when each party has a Realtor, everyone’s roles and loyalties are well established. Sometimes, however, one or both parties in a transaction … Read more


The Tax Benefits of Investing in Residential Real Estate

Whenever I discuss the tax benefits of investing in real estate, I start with this disclaimer: I am not a tax professional and I am not giving advice here. My goal is to provide ideas for you to discuss with your tax professional. If you’re looking for a long-term investment, real estate is a great … Read more