Ways to Hold Title on Real Property

I was just speaking with title officer Brandon Miller from Fidelity Title about some of the different ways people can hold title to their real estate. He sent me this fantastic cheat sheet that I would like to share with you.imgres

Why should people should put their home in a Trust?  (This makes sure that if something happens to you, your loved ones have a directive on how to take care of your property.  It keeps it out of costly and time consuming probate!  PLEASE, if you love your family, get a trust.)  Why do investors want a property to be held in an LLC?  What protections does an LLC offer?

Below is a single sheet from Brandon Miller of Fidelity Title that makes it all clear and easy to understand.

Ways to Hold Title of Real Property

If you have any questions Brandon or I would be happy to talk with you about pros and cons of your options.
Brandon Miller
Fidelity National Title

Garage Fire: What not to do

Featuring guest blogger: Rick SolomonGarage Fire

One of my neighbors just had a garage fire and it made me think: this is fire information we should all keep in mind. Plus check that your fire extinguisher is where you thought it was, and that it is still good. The following is what not to do if you smell gas.

My neighbor described the fire: ‘The fire started due to a hole/leak in the hose that delivered gas to a gas dryer. He could smell the gas and he ran his hand over the length of the line to find the hole and turned off the gas temporarily, then duct taped the hose until he could buy a replacement, turned the gas back on and tested the dryer. After running for no more that 60 seconds, the large vent hose caught on fire thus catching the garage on fire.  Luckily they had a fire extinguisher handy and no one was injured.

fire_extinguisher_servicesTwo things he learned.
#1. If you discover a leak in the gas line don’t try to patch it. Replace the line (our 4′ replacement cost $28 at Home Depot) and keep the gas turned off and DON’T use the dryer until then.
#2. Get a bigger (or more) fire extinguishers than you think you need. Time is precious in a fire, and even if an extinguisher doesn’t fully put out a fire, it still give precious seconds until you and your family can escape or until the fire dept. arrives.’

Advice from the neighborhood expert Rick Solomon: Gas inside the home is relatively safe. It gives you the warning you have a leak based on the smell that is emitted. Gas is also lighter than air and dissipates. The problem was when you duct taped it, the corrugated gas flex didn’t allow the tape to fully seal. When the dryer started, there was an electronic glow plug folled by the flame of the dryer. Either 1 of them would be able to ignite any gas leaking in the vicinity of the heat source.

Technically gas is only coming into the house at approx 7″ of water column / approx 1/3 of a pound of pressure. Whereas water pressure is approx. 60-65 pounds within the house.

A simple test for a gas leak is the sniff test or a soap test. Mix up approx 10% liquid soap to clean water in a sprayer bottle. Then spray onto the suspected are of the pipe or connector. A leak will cause the soapy solution to make bubbles. Find the leak and either tighten the connection or shut off the gas serving that appliance. There is no legal miracle tape or glue for gas leaks.

Don’t use any soap solutions that contain ammonia as it will deteriorate some of the pipe and flex connectors we use in plumbing systems.

Rick Solomon from Rick Solomon Plumbing  plumberrick@sbcglobal.net

(310) 836-1437  License # 00743321

Based out of Los Angeles and founded in 1981, Rick Solomon Plumbing is a plumbing contractor and provides plumbing inspection, septic tank services, water purification system installation, and shower installation. They are licensed by the state of California. Rick Solomon Plumbing is insured and bonded. They provide emergency services.

Remember: It’s good to have 1-2 fire extinguishers in the house.

The Urban Parking Dilemma

This morning I woke to a message from a neighbor saying she was yelled at and threatened by another neighbor because she had parked on the street in front of the neighbor’s house.  She was concerned with the violence of the altercation and didn’t know what to do.  She didn’t want to elevate the anger by calling the police, but wanted advice.  Not being the best source for advice on specifically what to do in this situation;  I will share the ideas it did bring to mind.

bad-parking-7132531All houses (in Los Angeles) are supposed to provide covered parking, so I would like to remind everyone, we do have parking on our properties we are just not choosing to use it. (Most garages in my neighborhood are used as storage units, man caves or converted to rental units.) Considering our area was built up in the 1920s- 1940s many driveways seem to be too narrow to drive down, so there is that excuse not to use the garage. But it might be time for each of us to try consider a way to park on our own properties.

The spaces between driveways are meant to fit 2, I repeat 2 cars (in my neighborhood anyway). If we are all considerate not to block driveways, but pull all the way to the edge to allow more of our neighbors access to parking, we might alleviate some of the anger that comes from getting home from work and not being able to find a space near our own homes.

However, streets are for public usage. We do not own the spots in front of our houses. We all want to park in the spots closest to our houses. We all have that moment of annoyance when the spot in front of our house is taken. But these are public streets and people have the right to park on public streets. No one has the right to bully, harass, or threaten anyone in any situation, but especially in our own neighborhood. We all understand the frustration. But please try to deal with conflict while understanding we all want the same thing. We all just want the right to park by our own house and go inside and turn off the world.

Today think of one way you might be able to create more parking on the street.
– Park larger cars in the driveway/ smaller cars in the street
– Make more space in the driveway to park tandem
– Park motorcycles and mopeds on the side of the house
– Pull all the way forward to the edge of the curb when parking while not blocking driveways
– Pull your rv or boat into your driveway or backyard to make space for cars
– Tell your tenants to respect neighbors and park with empathy because we all get frustrated
– Park with empathy because we are all frustrated.
– Ask that guests pull all the way into street spots when they visit.

80ff1423dde637288a960590bbec6d5aPlease share your ideas on how to make this better. We all know the problems, looking for solutions here.

Thanks everyone for consideration over frustration.

Financing Makes It Easy to Green Your Next Home

One of the main reasons I educate myself in “Green Real Estate” is to make it more affordable to buy a home.  Using the programs that are in place many people can make upgrades to homes they need to make their home more comfortable, healthier, safer and better to live in.

Financing Makes It Easy to Green Your Next Home.

One really great resource is a free program with SoCal Gas:

George Kopf
Energy Advisor
BPI Certified Building Analyst
SoCalGas® funded Home Energy Advising 


600 Wilshire Blvd #202  •  Los Angeles, CA 90017

Flip Your Home Can Help

Flip Your Home

We don’t want to buy your home, we want to help you sell it for more money! 

Flip Your Home

Flip Your Home is a team of real estate and remodeling experts getting sellers maximum profits by connecting investors to pay for renovations.

You own or inherited a home that is or has become too difficult to maintain.  The systems are old, outdated, and potentially unsafe.  You might want to unload the property or retire to an easier life, but can’t sell the house getting the profits you need.  You might be over your head and feel helpless, but Flip Your Home can help you find the hidden gold hidden in your property.

You could fix up your own property for resale, but you don’t have the money, time or skill to renovate a home. Meanwhile, the biggest investment you ever made left you penniless and hopeless.  WE ARE NOT TRYING TO BUY YOUR HOME!

 What if we could get an investor to pay for renovations to your home and you could split the profits when it sells? The investor pays for the construction and everyone comes out ahead at the end of the transaction when your house sells for more than the current, unrenovated value.

 Your investment is your home — There is NO COST TO YOU. The Flip Your Home team uses its knowledge of the market, investors and contractors to create a marketable home.  We are professional home designers, builders and marketers who have years of experience flipping homes.

We work WITH your home, managing the process every step of the way, to renovate and sell your home for maximum value.

With the Flip Your Home program investors partner with the homeowner. The homeowner’s part of the investment is their home: you, as the investor, provide money for the renovations. The profits get divided between you and the homeowner with a small Flip Your Home service fee


Each deal is individually negotiated. All projects must be pre-qualified. Each investment is a risk and no profits are guaranteed.

(844) 2 FLP HOM (844) 235 – 7466 info@flip-your-home.com
© Copyright 2014 Flip Your Home LLC. All rights reserved.

SoCalGas’ Home Energy Advising Program

I was just contacted by SoCal Gas Energy Advisor, George Kopf.  They are working on connecting homeowners with people that can walk them through the different programs for rebates and incentives for energy upgrades.  How great is that to have someone to help you understand all of the options out there.  Here is the information he sent me.

SoCalGas Energy Upgrade Program
SoCalGas Energy Upgrade Program

Details on SoCalGas funded Pilot Programs

SoCalGas is funding two pilot programs that should interest every Real Estate Professional in southern California:

The Home Energy Advising pilot program provides independent expert advice and assistance for homeowners performing an energy upgrade to their home.



Are you interested in making your home more efficient?

If you are, you will be excited to learn SoCalGas is funding a pilot program that offers free Home Energy Advising for eligible homeowners.

Home Energy Advising Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: I’m a homeowner interested in making my home more efficient and more comfortable while lowering my bills.  How do I do that?

A: An Energy Upgrade might be just what you’re looking for! But where to start? Call toll free to be connected to a SoCalGas Home Energy Advisor, George Kopf,  (888) 382-2925 or George.Kopf@PopulusLLC.com.

Q: So what is “Home Energy Advising”?

A: Home Energy Advising is free, highly customized and ongoing expert phone-based assistance to eligible homeowners who are interested in making their home more efficient and comfortable through an energy upgrade.

Q: What does Home Energy Advising offer?

A: Home Energy Advising provides eligible homeowners:

Education on the ability of energy upgrades to make their home more comfortable, durable, valuable, safe, healthy, and efficient.
Assistance in determining the availability of incentives for energy upgrades, the options for financing their upgrade, and the qualifications of participating contractors.
Ongoing assistance moving forward with their project: help selecting incentive programs, expert technical advise, assistance reviewing bids, completing incentive paperwork, etc.

Q: Sounds great! So who is eligible?

A: The free Home Energy Advising service is a SoCalGas funded pilot program for homeowners who are SoCalGas customers and receive their electricity from a municipal electric utility (LADWP, Riverside Public Utilities, Glendale Water & Power, Burbank Water & Power, etc.).

Q: How do I find out if I am eligible?

A: Call (888) 382-2925 to be connected to your Home Energy Advisor. But hurry! Space is limited!  Make sure to tell George I sent you!

Home Energy Upgrade Programs
Home Energy Upgrade Programs

Financing Makes It Easy to Green Your Next Home

Financing Makes It Easy to Green Your Next Home.

It’s easy to fall in love with a fixer-upper, especially if you’re a first-time homebuyer on a budget.  You see the character, charm, and potential of a home, but worry about the costs to modernize and upgrade it, right?

You’ve got more options than you think. The best time to undertake green home improvements — to transform a fixer into a comfortable home with lower utility bills – is during your new home purchase process. A new generation of innovative programs allows you to finance the cost of your renovations through your mortgage. That means one mortgage, one closing, and no additional money down. Talk to your lender about the following options:

FHA Energy Efficient Mortgage
Finance the cost of improvements through a current or new FHA mortgage for 1-4 unit existing single family homes and condos, with no additional income qualification or cash down. Can be used for a range of upgrades, from HVAC modifications to insulation and windows.

FHA 203k Loan
Finance a broad range of repairs and renovations—including energy efficiency upgrades—up to $35,000 for the 203 streamline or $150,000 for the 203K full. Improvements must be completed within 120 days of closing.

Escrow Holdback
This conventional financing option can fund up to 10% of the improved value of the home, or $25,000. Upgrades must be completed within 30 days of closing.

Fannie Mae HomeStyle Renovation Mortgage
This conventional home loan provides a convenient way for borrowers to make renovations, repairs, or improvements totaling up to 50 percent of the as-completed value of the property.

Fannie Mae HomePath Renovation Mortgage (REO or Real Estate Owned properties)
This conventional home loan provides an additional 20 percent of the purchase price or $30,000, whichever is less, to pay for a wide range of repairs to HomePath-branded homes owned by Fannie Mae.

Jumbo Renovation
Finance up to $250,000 in major renovations through your mortgage, from green upgrades to kitchen and bathroom remodels. Can be used only for primary, owner-occupied residences



If you need help with these, I would be happy to point you in the right direction.

A Realtor’s Stage Production

All the Sales a StageI have come to realize selling houses is a bit like being in a play. You are so excited to get the role (listing), you study the lines (features of home), rehearse (create marketing materials), perform the show (open houses- negotiations-inspections-negotiations again) take a curtain call (sign off on contingencies) then when the show is over (the sale goes through) you get sad the project is over and are back to looking for another role.

I am happy and sad to have sold another one.

Spanish Style Townhome in Prime Los Feliz for Sale


OCTOBER 27, 2013 2pm-5pm

This deluxe Los Feliz townhome was built in 2005 in keeping with the Spanish character of the million dollar homes surrounding it. The main entrance is on tree-lined Observatory Street and the unit faces away from Los Feliz Blvd. for quite and privacy.

4301 Los Feliz #4 Living Room

  • 2 Bedrooms + Loft, 2.5 Bathrooms
  • 2nd Bedroom Functions as Media Room
  • Cook’s Kitchen w/ Granite & Stainless Steel Appliances
  • Duel Zone Hvac, Wood Floors, Washer / Dryer in Unit

The main floor has an open concept living / dining room with a beautiful limestone fireplace and two story vaulted ceilings. The cook’s kitchen has a huge passthrough to the main room and features stainless appliances and granite countertops. The entire lower floor is a resort-like master suite featuring huge walk-in closets, a jetted tub, separate shower and double sinks. Or you can just enjoy the large private patio and romantic evenings by the fireplace. Of course, your favorite room will be upstairs next to the loft you can use as an office or guest space. The upstairs bedroom was converted in 2008 into a state-of-the-art media room. With extra soundproofing and built-in speakers, projector and huge screen you can enjoy a cinema experience in your own home. The unit also features many high end details such as gorgeous wood floors, duel HVAC, washer and dryer in unit, powder room on the main floor and en-suite baths in both rooms.

The Los Feliz Villas are secured with controlled gates, have a workout room, extra storage and guest parking along with4301 Los Feliz #4 Media Room the tandem spots that come with this unit. All this can be yours walking distance from some of the best shops, restaurants, parks and attractions Los Angeles has to offer.

4301 Los Feliz Blvd., #4

Los Angeles, CA  90027

MLS # 13-714531

How Interest Rates Effect Your Purchasing Power

Interest Rate Chart

Here is a great chart showing the impact of rising interest rates on your purchasing power of a home. If you are a buyer who is still on the fence or a seller who thinks they should be holding out for more, the time to move is now. Rising interest rates decreases the pool of buyers for homes quickly and can leave your home out of reach for your buyers.  Price your home reasonably at current market value to take advantage of today’s buyers while they can still afford your house.

Have a spectacular 4th!