From the category archives:

Inside the Trade

EBMUD sewer lateral ordinance explained

February 13, 2012

Alex Hardy of Pipespy, Inc. spoke at our office today about the newly effective Private Sewer Lateral (PSL) Ordinance. Under the PSL Program, most residential sales in Oakland, Piedmont, and Emeryville will trigger mandatory inspection—and in many cases, replacement—of a property’s sewer lateral. The ordinance was adopted to combat rainwater infiltration of the sewer system, […]

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Fraud in the chain of title

December 1, 2011

Here’s another interesting anecdote from Chicago Title in their December newsletter. In this one, two people collude to sell a property that is not theirs. Though crisis was averted, the story highlights the importance of title insurance had it ended otherwise.

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Understanding Mello-Roos taxes

October 31, 2011

Here’s a primer from Chicago Title explaining Mello-Roos taxes. It’s a somewhat esoteric topic within real estate circles. However, it’s highly relevant if you were buying in, say, Alameda where many properties there are subject to Mello-Roos.

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1031 exchanges and property development

October 24, 2011

Can a 1031 exchange be used to develop property? James Callejas of IPX 1031 answers this in their latest newsletter: Generally, development activities will disallow the use of section 1031 to defer capital gain taxes. However, as a result of a few Private Letter Rulings (PLRs) issued a few years ago, it may be possible […]

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Flopping short sales…a no-no

October 17, 2011

There is no shortage of scams in the world of short sales. Chicago Title’s latest newsletter gives an example of the unlawful practice of “flopping,” whereby a seller and buyer are related parties and collude to execute a short sale…only to have the buyer flip the property afterwards and split the proceeds with his partner […]

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California Association of Realtors 2012 forecast

October 13, 2011

The California Association of REALTORS has released their housing forecast for 2012. Next year, they expect unit sales and median prices to increase slightly. Buyers should expect to continue enjoying affordable prices and relatively low interest rates. Discretionary sellers—those not compelled by financial distress to sell—will constitute a larger portion of the seller mix; many […]

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Last day in San Jose

September 16, 2011

Last day of weeklong real estate workshop in San Jose.Learned lots of new tools. Will be posting video of the morning commute soon…to give people an idea of the work commute conditions from Oakland/Piedmont to Silicon Valley. Posted from WordPress for Android

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Taxation and real estate

September 12, 2011

James Callejas of IPX 1031 spoke at my office last week, giving a very insightful primer on taxation and real estate. He opened with commentary on the 1031 exchange business…before shifting into a fast-paced overview of recent federal tax policy changes, as they impact real estate-related wealth creation. (And of course, such changes may better […]

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Tools of the trade – Kodak Zi8

September 9, 2011

I’ve posted a wealth of info on this blog. But one thing was missing: VIDEO. So a couple months ago, I bought a high-definition pocket cam. The Kodak Zi8 rocks! It’s ultra-portable. And it’s best for capturing those real estate-related workshops and presentations—often insightful—I regularly attend. I’ve accessorized my Zi8 with an Olympus stereo microphone. […]

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Online open house resource

August 15, 2011 features: Map Search allows users to search for open houses within Google Maps, even down to the street level view. Route Planning makes plotting open house visits easy by allowing visitors to chart open house tours and print corresponding driving directions. Community Information provides school information, area descriptions and photo slideshows of local landmarks, […]

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