What on earth does the decidedly ordinary-looking home in the photo have to do with the future of transportation, you might ask. In 2016, Elon Musk, founder and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, was stuck in traffic and decided to start digging – tunnels – to offer yet another transportation alternative. The Boring Company thus … Continue reading The Future of Transportation?
Manhattan Beach has an ordinance banning short-term rentals for less than 30 days in residential zones. The photo above is a property whose owner apparently didn’t get the memo, generating complaints from the neighbors, and a $4,000 fine by the city. The subsequent paint job in a nice shade of Pepto-Bismol pink, complete with huge … Continue reading Home Sharing: A Tale of Conflicting Interests
Appraisers have been in the crosshairs of the lending industry and regulators for decades – licensing, de minimis thresholds, HVCC and Appraisal Management Companies (AMC’s), Automated Valuation Models (AVM’s), Collateral Underwriter, evaluations, appraisal waivers and hybrid appraisals. Now a working paper titled “Appraising Home Purchase Appraisals” published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia in … Continue reading Appraisals Under Assault (again)
Most of us remember where we were when life-changing world events happened. I’m old enough to remember being on an elementary school playground when a voice over the loudspeaker announced the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963. And I’m certain most of us remember where we were and what we were doing when news broke … Continue reading Remembering 9/11
Late last year I had the opportunity to tour this amazing property with Laguna Friends of Architecture, a non-profit group dedicated to the appreciation and understanding of fine architecture and design. We often take our local architectural landmarks for granted, since we see them all the time, and this 34-acre campus encompassing some 320,000 square … Continue reading Christ Cathedral fka Crystal Cathedral
I normally write about stuff related to real estate, however remote the connection might be. I suppose this is about real property in a sense – the 160-foot wide area inside the 13-yard line at the Superdome in New Orleans (about 6,200 square feet). But more specifically, it’s about sports, and the integrity of our … Continue reading Let’s Preserve the Integrity of Sports
The recent sale of the Brady Bunch house in Studio City is an interesting study in the disconnect that sometimes happens between price and value (at least value as it relates to the market). As stated so eloquently by Warren Buffet, “price is what you pay, value is what you get.” For those old enough … Continue reading Brady Bunch House Sells for $3.5 Million
The term adaptive reuse is defined as “the process of reusing an old site or building for a purpose other than which it was built or designed for” [Wikipedia]. Basically, it is the idea of repurposing an older building for a new or different use, as an alternative to demolition and redevelopment, or perhaps more … Continue reading Adaptive Reuse: A Green Alternative
I’ve befriended a homeless guy. His name is Kenny – a Vietnam vet with family out of state, lived in his own apartment and worked decades for an aerospace company before retiring in 2012. At which time, for reasons that still aren’t quite clear, Kenny became homeless. He currently hangs out on the street by … Continue reading The Face of Homelessness
I stopped at a yard sale and picked up an architectural guide for Los Angeles County (published in 1994) for 25¢. It turned out to be a good inventory of accessible architectural gems, so I browsed online for a more recent edition, and wound up buying the 2003 edition of the same book for thirty … Continue reading Notable Orange County Homes
Tax reform legislation signed into law just before Christmas will have ramifications for virtually every taxpayer. Two features are particularly important with respect to their direct impact on the housing market: limiting deduction of mortgage interest on new loans in excess of $750,000, and deduction of state and local taxes (SALT, including state/local income and … Continue reading Are Home Prices on a Collision Course with Tax Reform?
Talk of a housing bubble is starting to rear its ugly head, as reminders of the last market crash still linger. Media coverage has been extensive over the past several months. In particular, a couple of recent articles in the Orange County Register caught my attention, one by Jonathan Lansner, and another by Jeff Collins. … Continue reading Is There Another Price Bubble on the Horizon?