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

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

Rain Barrel Pick-Up Free with Rebate May 31st.

Rain Barrels International IMG_2538Don’t miss your chance to get up to 4 rain barrels free with rebate.  Follow the links to purchase your rain barrel at: Rain Barrels International  You can only do one one-time rebate per household so make sure you get enough for your whole yard.

South Robertson Neighborhood Council

Orders are now being taken for a May 31, 2015 pickup date. Distribution will be from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Hamilton High School, 2955 South Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles, CA. Only rain barrels ordered in advance on the form below are guaranteed to be available.

Specifications of each rain barrel:
Designed with brass spigot for garden hose attachment
Barrel has a screen to prevent mosquitoes from accessing water
Side brass overflow
Made from plastic reused food grade barrels
Color Available: Black and Terra Cotta
*Color subject to availability

Price – $85.00 each

Payment is made via Paypal Secure Network after the form below is filled out.

For questions contact info@RainBarrelsIntl.com


Save Water – Save LA Great Success.

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.

California Science Center Earthquake Preparedness Advice

Most Californians live near an active earthquake fault. Would you be ready to ride it out if an earthquake hit today? With some basic planning and thinking ahead, preparing your home or workplace for an earthquake is easy. These tips on what to do before, during and after an earthquake were developed by the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services to help you get ready to ride it out! Don’t forget to check the section about the first three days after a quake so you can be prepared. To start your earthquake preparations, download a printable Emergency Supplies Checklist. Then check the tips below to see if you’re ready!

Before an Earthquake

  • Prepare an emergency kit of food, water and supplies including a flashlight, portable battery-operated radio, batteries, medicines, first aid kit, money and clothing.
  • Know the safe spots in each room-under sturdy tables or desks or against interior walls.
  • Know the danger spots-near windows, mirrors, hanging objects, fireplaces and tall, unsecured furniture.
  • Conduct practice drills so you and your family know the safe locations in your home.
  • Decide how and when your family will reunite if separated during a quake.
  • Choose an out-of-state friend or relative who family members can call after the quake to report their whereabouts and conditions.
  • Learn first aid and CPR (cardiopulminary resuscitation).
  • Learn how to shut off gas, water and electricity in case the lines are damaged. SAFETY NOTE: Do not attempt to relight the gas pilot. Call the utility company.
  • Check chimneys, roofs, walls and foundations for stability. Make sure your house is bolted to its foundation.
  • Secure your water heater and major appliances as well as tall, heavy furniture, hanging plants, mirrors and picture frames–especially those over beds.
  • Keep breakables, heavy objects, flammable liquids such as paints, pest sprays and cleaning products, in secured cabinets or on lower shelves.
  • Organize your neighborhood to be self-sufficient after a quake.

During an Earthquake

  • If indoors, stay there. Get under a desk or table or stand in a corner.
  • If outdoors, get into an open area away from trees, buildings, walls and power lines.
  • If in a high-rise building, stay away from windows and outside walls. Get under a table. Do not use elevators.
  • If driving, pull over to the side of the road and stop. Avoid overpasses and power lines. Stay inside your car until the shaking is over.
  • If in a crowded public place, do not rush for the doors. Crouch and cover your head and neck with your hands and arms.

After an Earthquake

Unless there is an immediate, life-threatening emergency, do not attempt to use the telephone. After a quake, be sure to:

  • Check for gas and water leaks, broken electrical wiring or sewage lines. If there is damage, turn the utility off at the source and immediately report gas leaks to your utility company. Check for downed power lines; warn others to stay away from them.
  • Check your building for cracks and damage, including the roofs, chimneys and foundation.
  • Turn on your portable radio for instructions and news reports. For your own safety, cooperate fully with public safety officials and follow instructions.
  • Do not use your vehicle unless there is an emergency. Keep the streets clear for emergency vehicles.
  • Be prepared for aftershocks.
  • Stay calm and lend a hand to others.
  • If you evacuate, leave a message at your home telling family members and others where you can be found.

Can You Go It Alone for Three Days?

The first 72 hours after an earthquake are critical. Electricity, gas, water and telephones may not be working. In addition, public safety services such as police and fire departments will be busy handling serious crises. You should be prepared to be self-sufficient–able to live without running water, electricity and/or gas, and telephones–for at least three days following a quake. To do so, keep the following items on hand in a central location:

  • Food. Enough for 72 hours, preferably one week.
  • Water. Enough so each person has a gallon a day for 72 hours, preferably one week. Store in airtight containers and replace it every six months. Store disinfectants such as iodine tablets or chlorine bleach, eight drops per gallon, to purify water if necessary.
  • First aid kit. Make sure it’s well-stocked with bandages and disinfectants.
  • Fire extinguisher. Your fire extinguisher should be suitable for all types of fires. Teach all family members how to use it.
  • Flashlights with extra batteries. Keep flashlights beside your bed and in several other locations. DO NOT use matches or candles after an earthquake unless you are certain there are no gas leaks.
  • Portable radio with extra batteries. Most telephones will be out of order or limited to emergency use. The radio will be your best source of information.
  • Extra blankets, clothing, shoes and money.
  • Alternate cooking sources. Store a barbecue or camping stove for outdoor camping. CAUTION: Ensure there are no gas leaks before you use any kind of fire, and do not use charcoal indoors.
  • Special items. Have at least a week’s supply of medications and food for infants and those with special needs. Don’t forget pet food.
  • Tools. Have an adjustable or pipe wrench for turning off gas and water.

For more information go to: California Science Center: http://www.californiasciencecenter.org Earthquake Country Alliance: http://www.earthquakecountry.info Red Cross: http://www.redcross.org/support/emergency-preparedness CDC: http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/earthquakes/ FEMA: http://www.fema.gov/earthquake

Celebrity Real Estate Needs

Celebrities have special needs to keep in mind when buying or selling real property. Many of these are issues I concern myself with all of my clients, but public people need to take special care.

First and foremost: discretion. Most people don’t think that the ownership of a house is public knowledge. It is. Anyone can take someone’s name and address and discover what you paid, where you live, where your tax bills go, if you got a loan on the property and how much that loan was for. All this information is public as it directly affects neighborhood value as property is typically measured by the sales of the homes surrounding it. So it makes sense that this is public record. However, people with famous names need to be more careful.

Predators, paparazzi and fans can look up where the famous live and put them in danger. This is why it is essential for a celebrity to veil their ownership. Be it with a trust, with a hidden name, or an limited liability company (LLC), it is essential that the name be shielded. As soon as the famous person decides to purchase, a lawyer should be contacted to set this process in motion.

I have heard instances where clients weren’t able to create a trust quickly enough for a deal and decided to push ahead with the listing. People looking at the house looked up the seller’s name and contacted the client through a secondary contact bypassing the typical protocol of communications with a real estate agent, and upsetting the celebrity seller.  It made the seller very uncomfortable.

If nefarious people viewing the property know that a “well off” person is selling the house, they can take advantage by “getting hurt” on the property and suing the landowner for damages. Shielding identity can prevent these scams from happening.

Safety is the next biggest concern for celebrities, as it is for all clients. It is important to have a house that is further back from the street where windows cannot be seen from outside of the property. Finding properties with long driveways, tall hedges, security systems and gates are always preferred.

Having contacts with security companies is also a necessity. It is important to get a professional out to the property to assess exactly what sort of system is needed for maximum protection. Have that system in place before the client moves into the property.

All of these elements are important with all clients, and all of our clients are treated as celebrities, but care must be taken if trust and service is the goal.

What is Going on with Interest Rates?

If you have been thinking about buying or selling a house, you really have to be aware of what has been happening the last few days. Time to make your plans and act on them soon.

This great article just came out in the LA Times that everyone that owns or hopes to own a home should consider.

1. Interest rates are starting to rise and fewer buyers will qualify for loans.

2. Short term: this will spur buyers to purchase as they try to get the lower interest rates.

3. Long term: this will create fewer buyers as the rates raise and affordability drops.

4. Fewer buyers will eventually quell demand for housing. Lower affordability means less people can purchase homes.

5. Fewer buyers means homes start to sit on the market, increasing inventory.

6. With less sales activity, appreciation starts to diminish.  Less buyers, less sales, means lower prices.

I’m not saying the sky is falling or we are in imminent danger that our market will start to slow. To the contrary, in the short term, I think our market will continue to heat up.   Not to mention that the infusion of cash in the Los Angeles market is undeniable.  But it is something to consider as a factor when thinking about your time line to buy or sell.

We now have two very clear key data points that suggest sellers should consider taking advantage of this short term market. 1. big buyer demand and now, 2. confirmed intelligence from many economic sources that interest rates are starting their rise.

Obviously if I could tell the future, I would be retired on a beach in Costa Rica right now.  But I want you to be looking at all of the possibilities as you make your choices.  I highly recommend selling and buying sooner than later if you are on the fence.

How Can Renters Solve the Housing Crisis?

This is a very interesting article and demonstrates exactly what I have been saying, both about the 10 year plan with real estate. (Plan on holding on to a property for 10 years and you will most likely end up ahead on your investment.) And it shows that the people with the money, investors, are snatching up as many properties as they can and renting them out as the rental market is so lucrative. Those that know how to increase their net worth are putting their money in real estate now. Follow the lead of those that have what you want. Buy low. Sell high. It’s low right now, so buy!

By Greg Rand Print Article
Residential real estate is not rocket science. We know that this housing crisis is:

1. Explainable – bad lending, mad speculation, wild expectations, government meddling
2. Isolated – bad mortgages, negative equity, strategic default, government meddling
3. Temporary – demand for housing always catches up to supply eventually

Rental Properties as Investments

Anyone with any experience and perspective will agree that this market will recover over the next 10 years, but what will this particular recovery look like? Since the root of the problem was unprecedented, the solution might be as well.

My belief is that renters are going to solve the housing crisis.

Homeownership rates have fallen by a few percentage points, which has translated into more than four million new rental households in just the past few years. According to the Census, 1.4 million of those were added between July 2010 and June 2011, showing that this trend is accelerating.

As a result, rental rates are growing at more than 5% per year, and this trend is also accelerating.
As a result of this, investors are pouring capital into American housing with a long-term mindset, kicking this trend into hyperspeed.

This crisis will not be solved by enticing home buyers. Their confidence is waiting for unemployment to come down and government to act responsibly, which could take a while.
But investors are confident right now. Why? Because they see the big picture. Rental demand equals stable cash flow. So what can be done to encourage them?

How about eliminating archaic waiting periods for investors who want to buy foreclosures? How about eliminating waiting periods for investors who paid cash and want to tap it with a refinance? Today they have to wait months to put that money back to work. Why not eliminate the overall bias against investors in FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and require big down payments to make it safe to lend, and lend.

Better yet, keep your eyes peeled for a private sector player to seize this opportunity to create America’s first national investor mortgage brand. The estimates are that half a million investor loans close every year, and who owns that niche? No one.

The Martial Arts teach you how to use the weight and momentum of your opponent against them (or so they say in the movies). This is the same thing. This drastic increase in rental demand is a by-product of the foreclosure crisis. Use it against the crisis by turning it into positive cash flow investments for those willing to be confident and take a risk in this environment.

Burn off that shadow inventory and create housing options for newly minted renters, which will, in turn, stabilize rental rates, and everybody wins. Good credit renters and buy-hold investors will be the heroes at the end of this saga.

Greg Rand is CEO of OwnAmerica.com and former managing partner of Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty.
For more information, please visit http://www.ownamerica.com.

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Dude, Why the Hell are you Renting!!!!

This is crazy. I just saw a listing of a great condo, FHA approved for $148,000. That means with just over $5,000 down you can pay less then $1,000 a month for a two bedroom condo in Tarzana. You add in the tax benefits and you are paying less then rent in that area.

Seriously, buy low and sell high. Now is the time for buying.

Hatteras Condo

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A Great Question: Part 1

This isn’t something so easily answered because there are a lot of ways to go about this.  My husband thought the best way was to play the lottery.  That didn’t work, so we did it the long way.

One of the biggest things that this “mortgage crisis” did for home ownership was make it nearly impossible to purchase with less then stellar credit.  So the absolute first thing that you should do if you are planning to buy a house is FIX YOUR CREDIT!!!!  It sounds like you are working on this and paying down your debt, so you are doing the right thing there.

Other programs that have gone out the window are the “No Income Verification” or “No Doc” loans.  You used to be able to just tell a bank that you were able to make payments, show them banks statements, and with very little down they would give you money.  (Of course, this is why there were so many defaults.)  Needless to say, they don’t do this anymore.

This is bad because living in today’s times it seems like more and more people are independent contractors or own their own businesses.  Because they need help with tax expenses, they write off everything they possibly can making their income as low as possible.  That shows in their tax returns and will cause a bank to deny them a home.  So, if you do own your own business, and want to buy in the near future, take the hit for the next two years knowing it will pay off by making sure you can get a loan when you want to buy.  Unless of course you can save 30% down first.

The good news is that there are some wonderful programs for buyers.  The best ones that are out there are the FHA programs.  You need only 3.5% down to qualify in many cases.  This is basically where the federal goverment is insuring your loan so you can qualify with the banks.  You do still have some private mortgage to pay, but it is significantly less.

So once you have fixed your credit, gotten control of your debt, and saved at least 3.5%, you can start shopping for a realtor.   Find someone that is familiar with the area and type of home that you are interested in purchasing.  If your agent specializes in commercial, they are not going to be the best at handling your contract and the steps that a home buyer will need to go through.

Also, find someone that you are comfortable with and trust.  I hate to say it, but I have heard many nightmare stories with this home crisis and it is really important to know that your agent is on the up and up.  In defense of my industry, we do work for free until you close your home.  So we want to make sure you have a quick and smooth transaction.  And now most agents are using Buyer Brokerage Agreements to make sure that the time and energy invested is paid back.

As for your mortgage, you can go to either a mortgage broker, that has relationships with many banks and investors giving them a wide range of mortgage “products” to choose from.  Or you can go directly to a bank.  They will see how much you can actually afford and give you a pre-approval letter.  You can find your own or get one from your agent.  Because they do a lot of transactions and work with a lot of different brokers, your agent is a good person to ask for a referral.