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

(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.

SoCalWaterSmart Turf Removal Program Funds Committed

It was announced today that the funds for the Turf Removal Program also known as Cash for Grass Program are all reserved and no more projects will be approved.  If you have already had your project approved your rebate should be reserved.  However, there is no money left for new projects to be approved.

BUT, there are still a lot of other great water saving programs that can be found on the website as well as at

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) 
announced that it will be closing its turf removal program to 
new applications today July 9, 2015 because available funding 
has been fully allocated. LADWP is currently retooling their 
program to continue a utility-sponsored rebate program for their
customers. The revamped program will be available soon – please 
check back. Please also check 
for additional instructions.


How I got Cash for Grass: Through SoCalWaterSmart Turf Removal Program.

How I got Cash for Grass: Through SoCalWaterSmart Turf Removal Program

After of lawn
After of lawn
Front Yard Grown In
Front Yard Grown In
Parkway After
Parkway After

Did you know you can get around $4 square foot to remove your thirsty lawn and help pay for new drought tolerant landscaping?  When I did this process I only got $2 square foot and still ended up with $3300.

How I got Cash for Grass: Through SoCalWaterSmart Turf Removal Program.

How I got Cash for Grass: SoCalWaterSmart Turf Removal Program (Reveal)

Feel free to add your own links to your own projects.  We would love to see your new yard!

Drought Tolerant Yard Design

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
© Copyright 2014 Flip Your Home LLC. All rights reserved.

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.

This Wednesday is THE day to go to Culver City

I bet you have no idea about all of the great things that will be going on in Culver City this Wednesday June 20, 2012.

The Culver City stop of the Expo Line is FINALLY going to be opening that day. Of course that means free rides and from the Culver City and Farmdale Stations from noon to 9pm with round trip passes given for your ride home.

And there is a huge Summer Solstice event in Downtown Culver City. There will be tons of music, art, food specials, and a best spiked lemonade competition.

If you haven’t experienced Culver City, or you need some fun to get over “hump day” come out to Culver City. That’s where I will be.

Straight from the Culver City Site: 

Downtown Culver City’s Third Wednesday kicks off first day of summer with Spiked Lemonade contest, live bands and the grand opening of the Expo Line to Culver City

The temperature is rising and the fun is just starting to heat up. Catch some rays on the very first day of summer in a neighborhood that is always hot and happening. Cool off with free samples of Spiked Lemonade at select establishments (virgin options available for the under-21 set), then vote on your favorite drink for a chance to win a Downtown Culver City prize package featuring gift certificates to restaurants, spas and tickets to the Kirk Douglas Theatre. The more samples you try the more chances to win! So throw back a couple of summertime spiked lemonade shooters and help decide who will win bragging rights for “Best Spiked Lemonade in Downtown Culver City 2012.”

You won’t need a designated driver either—Culver City just got a whole lot closer with the grand opening of the Expo Line’s Culver City Station! After checking out the rails, check out Downtown Culver City’s galleries, including Fresh Paint Art, Gallery 9, WWA and Royal/T, which will stay open late to welcome the long days of summer. Stop by Main Street to marvel at music by Marston, Lord of the Cello, who will perform on his unique six-string electric cello. Wear your dancing shoes–-Pilgrim Tunes will roam the downtown area with their spirited brand of acoustic Americana. Stop by the outdoor patio at Ford’s Filling Station to catch the sounds of New Orleans inspired by the swampy sounds of Louisiana rhythms. Visit the Kirk Douglas Theatre for an Open House featuring theater tours, ticket giveaways, free refreshments and music from LA’s rockin’ Irish band, Slugger O’Toole.  Full List of Activities

As the sun sets, celebrate the longest days of the year with a cocktail under the awning of a shaded patio eatery, or savor seasonal-inspired menus at one of Downtown Culver City’s fine dining establishments. Summer is the best time to explore Culver City’s downtown area, Southern California’s best-kept secret, featuring a wonderful mix of historic buildings, boutiques, theaters, galleries, and unique restaurants opening onto tree-lined streets. Parking is free in municipal structures for up to two hours, or valet parking is available at three convenient Downtown locations.

Bars, restaurants and retail outlets participating in the “Best Spiked Lemonade in Downtown Culver City 2012” contest include:

City Tavern
Rush Street
Culver Hotel (“Culver Lemonade”)
Ford’s Filling Station
Kay n Dave’s (“Oaxaca Mezcal Lemonade”)
LaRocco’s — (also offering Beach Boys karaoke)
Novecento Pasta and Grill
Tender Greens
The Whole 9 Gallery (“Peace Lemonade”)
Plus many more!

Carpool to the event and either valet park, or park for 2 hours free in one of our 3 available public parking structures; the Ince structure near Trader Joe’s is preferred. Please do not park in downtown’s residential neighborhoods.


Good news for residents served by DWP, Pasadena Water and Power, etc! This week, SoCalGas announced increased rebates and incentives for customers served by these municipal utilities in the LA County area. If you’ve looked into Energy Upgrade CA in the past but felt the incentives weren’t quite what you were looking for, now you are eligible to receive up to $8,000 in rebates and incentives from the combined SoCalGas and LA County rebates and incentives in your area! Please see the full press release below for all the details!


LOS ANGELES, Calif., June 12, 2012 – Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) has increased its incentives for customers served by municipal utilities in the Los Angeles County area who participate in the Energy Upgrade California program. These municipalities include the cities of Azusa, Burbank, Glendale, Los Angeles, and Pasadena. The incentives being offered by SoCalGas are in addition to the rebates LA County currently offers. When combined with SoCalGas’ incentives, customers could benefit from up to $8,000 for home energy-efficiency improvements.

Now through September 1, 2012, the Basic Upgrade Package, which includes sealing air leaks and installing insulation, and typically yields up to $320 in incentives, has increased to $1,000. The Advanced Upgrade Package has increased from $1,280 to $4,000 in incentives, which may include installing energy-efficient windows, duct replacement, a high-efficiency furnace, better heating and cooling systems, and high-efficiency water-heating systems. The more energy a homeowner saves, the higher the incentive.

To qualify for the incentives, customers must schedule a home energy assessment with a participating Energy Upgrade California contractor. After receiving the results and determining the work necessary, the homeowner then plans the improvements with the contractor. Next, the participating contractor applies for the incentive on the customer’s behalf.

“We are proud to offer this program to our customers because it rewards them for investing in their homes in order to realize long-term energy savings,” said Gillian Wright, director of customer programs and assistance for SoCalGas. “We’re always looking for ways to help our customers save money and help the region achieve both environmental and economic sustainability.”

“LA County supports the increased rebates and incentives being offered by SoCalGas to residents. This is a great opportunity for thousands of LA residents who were not previously able to receive the same rebates and incentives as those living in the combined Southern California Edison and SoCalGas territories,” said Howard Choy, General Manager of the LA County Office of Sustainability. “We hope this added financial benefit will help residents make much needed home energy-efficiency updates to their properties.”

Energy Upgrade California is a program that was created to help California reduce energy use. This collaboration among California investor-owned utilities, counties, cities and non-profit organizations offers incentives and rebates to customers who make upgrades designed to make the energy systems in their home work together efficiently, thus lowering utility bills and improving the home’s efficiency and comfort.

To learn more about the program in municipal utility territory and to find a qualified Energy Upgrade California contractor, please visit (search “UPGRADE”) or call 1-888-871-0345.

Or check my website and the Green Team at

Great House for Sale

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This is a wonderful home that just became available in my neighborhood. It is an up and coming area walking distance to tons of restaurants, summer fairs, downtown Culver City. We are a couple of months away from the opening of the Expo line going to downtown and 5 years from phase 2 going to Santa Monica. This is a great time to buy into a great neighborhood.

Regent Square Beautiful 3 bedroom, 2 bath Spanish gem featuring a gorgeous open floor plan with spectacular vaulted wood ceilings, hardwood floors and french doors leading to a front patio off of the living room! Remodeled kitchen, maple cabinets and butcher block counters. Good size bedrooms, including a proper master with walk-in closet, vaulted ceilings & glass door to back patio, master bath w/spa tub & skylight. Great LAR2 lot in revitalized Regent Square neighborhood! Walk to Helms bakery across Venice Blvd. and Culver City shops and restaurants!
3151 Hutchison Listing Info