Question: “Gary, a question. As the seller, what is the difference between a cash offer and one where the buyer gets a mortgage? Essentially, what’s in it for me? Are my closing costs lower with cash?” Answer: Your costs aren’t lower. What’s in it for you is: Your sale is more certain Possibly a shorter

Question: “My wife and I have our home for sale and just got an offer. My agent said to get the price up, we should basically pretend to have other offers and make something called a multiple counter offer to the buyer. I have a very bad feeling about this and really don’t want to.

Question: “I offered on a house and the sellers countered back, giving me 24 hours to respond. I did accept it, but a couple of days after the deadline. I saw the sellers when I had my home inspection and all seemed fine. They even told me they’d leave me the refrigerator, which wasn’t even

This week’s crazy building is Casa Milá in Barcelona, Spain. Also called “La Pedrera” (“The Quarry”), this strange, modernist-style building was the last public work by world-renowned architect Antonio Gaudí. It was built for land developer Pere Milá and his wife. Like Casa Batlló, another of Gaudí’s later works, there are bonelike structures that make

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This week’s crazy building is the Tokyo Big Sight in Tokyo, Japan. While it may look like some futuristic spacecraft or a supervillain headquarters, it’s actually a convention center—the largest one in all of Japan. Officially called the Tokyo International Exhibition Center, it was completed in 1996 for nearly $2 billion. It’s well known in the

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Question: “On my house and four rentals I have all adjustable mortgages and everything is going great. The rates vary from 2.5% to 3.5% and you can’t touch rates like that on fixed rates.” Answer: You didn’t ask, but I’m going to give you some advice. The conventional wisdom is that rates will go up

Question: “Hi Gary. I’m not sure what to do. I want to sell my rental house in UC, but am facing a big potential tax bill. You’d said it’s worth about $800,000 and I paid $150,000 for it. As we discussed, I do have some interest in buying a home here in the Bay Area

How to Know What Repairs to Ask For

Wednesday, 11 February 2015 by

Question: “I plan to buy my first home soon and want to learn as much as possible. I know I should have a home inspection done. But how do I know which findings are serious and what to ask to be repaired?” Answer: Great question! There are only 6 major systems of a home: Foundation

This week’s crazy building is From the Knees of my Nose to the Belly of my Toes in Margate, England. This 4-story house is as bizarre as the name itself. It had stood empty and decaying for 11 years before designer Alex Chinneck decided it would make an excellent art installation. Chinneck removed the old

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Fix-And-Flips: For Now, Just Say No

Saturday, 07 February 2015 by

Question: “What’s the best advice you’ve ever given for flipping real estate?” Answer: Right now, it’s “DON’T DO IT.” Competition is fierce, prices are up, and you’re not in a rapidly appreciating market that will bail you out. Many professional home flippers are leaving the San Diego market or getting out of the flipping business