State of the Market – A Top is NOT in sight…..

Lately I have had quite a few appointments where sellers were concerned about the future of real estate prices. With homes hitting new highs, they question the sustain ability of the market. My answer has been that I don’t think there is anything to worry about, as long as interest rates remain stable and the […]

Real Estate Continues to Rally, But for How Long?

The current Real Estate market in Long Beach continues to be strong. However the climb back to 2006’s peak values from 2011’s bottom, may be running up against a little bit of resistance as this year unfolds. My outlook is positive, but there are concerns on the horizon. The History of Long Beach Home Prices […]

Buying With a Partner When All is NOT Equal

When you buy a home with a partner or spouse and everything is split 50/50, it is easy. But what happens when what you bring to the table is different? How do you make it equitable for both parties when contributions are not equal? This morning I spoke to a couple that are looking to […]

Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Times and Locations

Times and Locations for Household Hazardous Waste Click for Flyer – Household Hazardous Waste Disposal The County of Los Angeles has hazardous waste pick up the second Saturday of each month from 9am to 2pm. The location for this drop off is 2755 California Avenue, Signal Hill 90755. The above link is flyer with complete […]

2015 Neighborhood Garage Sale Dates

Eldorado Park South – 6/27, registration deadline 6/11 College Estates – 7/11, registration deadline 6/25La Marina Estates – 7/18, registration deadline 7/2 University Park Estates – 7/25, registration deadline 7/9Los Altos X-100s (behind Kinkos) – 8/1, registration deadline 7/16(If you’re not sure about what area, contact Penny at or 562 572-2298 Registration Form (El […]

A Tepid Recovery

This recovery is very unlike the past two recoveries of 1985 and 1995. In both previous recoveries, prices climbed to new highs and powered forward for 5 – 10 years. The two previous price moves forward were 1985 – 1990 and 1996 – 2006. In both previous recoveries, it was like a light switch was […]

2014 Neighborhood Garage Sales

Sale Dates and Registration Deadlines: El Dorado  Park South – July 12th – Deadline June 26thCollege Estates – July 19th – Deadline July 2ndLa Marina Estates – July 26th – Deadline July 10thUniversity Park Estates – Aug 2nd – Deadline July 17th Registration Form is available below: Garage Sales 2014 – Registration side – ALL […]

The Future of Real Estate Prices

The investment world has no shortage of commentary and media on the state of the economy. CNBC runs 24/7 with analysts prognosticating the next boom or bust. Most larger stocks have analysts that follow with baited breath each new earnings report. Real Estate on the other hand, receives no such treatment or following. I just […]

2012 Prices up as much as 5+%, Inventory Low, Prices Poised to Rise!

1995 was a pivotal year. Prices stopped going down. It had been 5 long years since prices peaked in 1989/90. Each year seemed to drag on with no end in sight. The fact that prices weren’t going down anymore seemed like little consolation because the market still felt dour, unexciting. Maybe prices weren’t going down […]

Barron’s Real Estate Article Correct! – But Missing Risk of Higher Rates

Last month Barron’s cover story was about the housing market. The cover predicts that home prices will be headed up 7% in the next 3 years. This prediction almost seems a day late a dollar short, as in August I wrote that Los Altos homes price were up $30,000 year over year, which translates to […]

Tips for the New Landlord

Many moons ago, when I was 23 years old, I purchased my first duplex. The back unit was vacant and I was in a rush to get it rented. Being young and foolish, I just assumed that people were responsible and paid their bills. To make a long story short, one year and lots of […]

Los Altos Homes Up $30,000+, Year over Year!

Yesterday I had a client call me asking if I could help him calculate what his home was worth every year for the last 5 years. While I couldn’t say what his home was worth, I could run a quick analysis across the entire neighborhood of Los Altos on a yearly basis for home similar to […]

Organic Recovery or Fabricated?

If your personal financial household was experiencing a rough time, and you dipped into your savings or used credit cards to shore up your finances, make purchases or take trips, would you feel good about your newfound economic recovery? Probably not. But if you were the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics you would be […]

Lack of Inventory, a Problem for Agents Looking for Open Houses.

As an individual agent, my personal business does not provide enough statistical data to draw relevant market conclusions. For valid market data I rely upon the Multiple Listing Service. But what experiences I do have, becomes anecdotal evidence. I can then follow up on these anecdotal stories to see if my personal observations are market […]

Neighborhood Garage Sale Dates – 2012

Garage Sale 2012 Dates:   La Marina – June 23rd Printable Registration Form El Dorado Park South – July 14th Printable Registration Form College Park Estates – July 21st Printable Registration Form  

What are the Secrets to getting YOUR offer accepted?

You just saw a home. Your excited about the future. You can picture yourself coming home from work to your new home, working in the yard, or in the garage, or preparing dinner for the family. This new home is everything you could want. There is only one problem. Many other buyers feel the same […]

Barron’s Says Housing Market “Ready to Rebound”

 I just re-read Barron’s cover story from story from two weekends ago. Barron’s is the only paid subscription newspaper I get, in addition they tend to be conservative or on the bearish side of the coin. While I thought the article was quite lacking in substance, their timing I believe is of value. So here […]

Investors With Cash, the Federal Reserve & the Misallocation of Capital

What do these items have in common? Well, a lot. I recently met with a general parter of a prospective Real Estate syndication. This general partner said he has investors willing to throw money at him, but having integrity, he didn’t want to accept the money because he wasn’t sure if he could obtain the […]

Banks are Idiots – Wells Fargo Prefers You Screw Them, Than Be Paid Back.

Today I got to speak with Larry and Sean at Wells Fargo. This was my second day of three way calls with my client on the line, trying to get somewhere in an attempt to “Do the right thing” and save Wells Fargo $20,000, or more. Jenny & Jim bought their home about 10 years […]

The Importance of an “Accurate” List Price

The list price you choose serves two purposes: One –  Get people in the door & Two – Be high enough to not compromise your best possible outcome. Sellers often think the best way to choose a list price is determine the true value of a home, and then add some or a lot of negotiating room, but […]

How to Evaluate a Rental Property Quickly (Video)

When scanning new listings I use quick rules of thumb. This enables me to know within 20 seconds or less whether a property has the potential to break even, or have a positive cash flow. Is the monthly rent around 75% of the Price (divided by 100)? If this is the case, or close to […]

Fix Up is More Critical when Location is Less than Ideal.

Odds makers understand statistics. Specifically they understand the likelihood of two events happening. As an example, if you drive down the street, what would be the likelihood of seeing an older Volkswagen beetle? If you are in Southern California, this would be pretty likely, it might only be 15 minutes before you saw one. Then what […]

The 80/20 Rule Applies with Home Preparation

I just got off the phone with past clients that are in the process of getting their Dad’s home ready for sale. The home is a stunning Craftsman home in a prime historical district. The home has character and presence, the only problem is Dad let maintenance go for the last several decades. We talked […]

The Value of Trusted Advisors OR sometimes there really is a free lunch.

Recently, I purchased a new printer. Now those of you that know me, know that I do a lot of research before making a purchase, especially a tech purchase. Even though I am a real estate broker, I like technology. So I have chosen to build, maintain and implement all of our office technology. Herein […]

When you sell Crap as AAA, that is Fraud

We don’t have a problem with capitalism, we have a problem with crony capitalism. If the government doesn’t enforce existing law, they by default condone and promote more illegal activity. More laws will not solve a future scenario like the existing housing crisis, enforcing current laws, and prosecuting the fraud that occurred during the housing […]

Ode to Emma, Our Family Vizsla

About half of her energy was gone by evening, her eyes getting glassier with less expression. I was concerned when Penny brought Emma to the Vet in the early afternoon that I might not actually see her again. Fortunately I was able to spend one more night with her. She passed at 1:43 am. Even […]

Inflation or Deflation?

While I sell Real Estate, I think my natural inclinations are as an investor. And there is literally no place in the investing world where inflation or deflation will cause greater success or havoc, than in the world of Real Estate investment. This is because no other investment allows for such high levels of leverage, […]

Recent Economic Reads

I know it is pretty pathetic. Saturday night and I am blogging. Even worse, I am writing about a couple of good economic books that I have read lately. There are a couple of words you wouldn’t expect to see in the same sentence, “Economic book” & “Good”. The three books that I have read lately are: Exorbitant Privilege: […]

Economics is a Dismal Science.

If I were the dean of a college I would put the economics department in with the history department, or possibly the psychology department. Just the thought of associating the term “science” with economics is very misleading to all students and layman trying to understand economics and investment theory and downright insulting to scientists. The problem lies […]

Ben Bernanke – Between a rock and a hard place in Housing Market

Ben Bernanke is intentionally trying to devalue the US dollar to prop up the housing market. While I don’t agree with him doing this, I do understand why he is trying to destroy the dollar. Deflation by itself isn’t really a problem. I know that the word deflation is always associated with the Great Depression, […]

The Coming Bottom in Real Estate

In 1996, Penny and I had dinner at the “upper crusty” Canyon Club in Newport Beach with her great Uncle Bill. The conversation flowed to real estate and at some point great Uncle Bill emphatically stated that “It’s time to buy”. Not only was he right, he nailed it. You see, uncle Bill had been […]

Bank Repo’s and Short Sales – How Much do they Really Affect Prices?

It’s no secret that short sales and bank repos sell for less. These low sales didn’t affect sellers until the advent of the HVCC (Home Valuation Code of Conduct). This law, enacted by Andrew Cuomo, is an attempt to mitigate appraisal fraud. However, laws to regulate morality or integrity often do neither. If you want […]

How to Prepare your home for Sale, A video example – 1924 Fanwood

In these videos, we look at a home that didn’t need much work, but through proper home preparation, we were able to maximize the homes value with a few select improvements. Part 1 Part 2

How to Prepare your home for Sale, A video example – 829 Lees Ave

829 Lees – Living Room In these video, we look at a home that had been neglected and abused. The owner had let his sons live in the property and rent out rooms to all of the son’s college buddies. We came in and helped the seller maximize the homes value with an interior cosmetic […]

Negotiating the Highest Price for Your Home is Like Poker, You Must Know the Strength of the Hand you are Playing.

It takes years of experience to become a good negotiator. Much like a good poker player, a good negotiator is both technically competent, knowing odds and with years of experience, knows which rules to apply and how far they can “push it” for any given situation. In Real Estate, the strength of the hand you […]

Appraisals & Why Andrew Cuomo’s Legislation Must Die

On May 1st new legislation (by Andrew Cuomo) went into effect, which is crippling the Real Estate market. The piece of legislation that I am referring to is know as the HVCC or Home Valuation Code of Conduct. Theoretically the intent of the legislation sounded good, to enhance integrity in the appraisal industry. The result […]

Looking for Value in the Income Property Market

Last year, we began looking to purchase a piece of income property with a partner. Our search started with the 5+ unit category because this is traditionally where you find the best cash flow. After scouring the market for 6 months, we came across very little inventory, and even less attractive deals. If the Real […]

A Tale of Two Cities

The Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens starts off with a statement of contrast, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…..”. The real estate market, as well as the stock market, has embraced the opening line of this novel. One day the stock market is up 11%, then down […]

Market Showing Signs of a Bottom

 Recap – Last Year – A sharp correction In the 2nd half of 2007 market activity and prices fell off a cliff. (see for previous newsletters). The correction was so abrupt and dramatic, it ranked as the largest year over year price drop in California real estate history. (See Case-Shiller S&P Stats next page) […]

Home Prices Drop Double Digits in only 4 Months!

Credit Crunch – the Straw that Broke the Buyer’s Back. It was the perfect storm. A seasonally quiet time coupled with the now infamous “credit crunch”, quoted as the worst credit crunch in the last 20 years by Bear Stearns president, James Cayne. As the credit crunch started to unfold, it was unclear what would […]