Question: “Due to the crazy laws in California, I have to give my tenant a 60-day notice to move. But I’d like to get her out sooner by letting her skip the last month’s rent. Good idea?” Answer: No and yes. Offering an incentive is a good idea, but never give a tenant an incentive

Question: “My brother and I inherited a rental house that has been very neglected and is in horrible condition. Can we even sell it?” Answer: Definitely. There’s still good demand for fixer upper homes. Most people buying are “flippers” who fix and resell for profit. Others are just regular potential homeowners looking for a less

Do Termite Inspections Cover Fungus?

Tuesday, 25 November 2014 by

Question: “I saw a house that has a lot of fungus damage to the wood. Does a termite inspection cover that?” Answer: Yes. While it’s often called a “termite inspection”, the correct term is “pest control inspection,” which covers anything that can decay or eat the wood. And that includes fungus.

This week’s crazy building is the Sinjinmal Building in Incheon, South Korea. With a footprint of 13 by 65 feet, this tall thin building seems to pop up from the middle of nowhere—it’s described by its designers as “a book in an empty shelf.” The bizarre angles of its front steps are reminiscent of an

Question: “My son asked me to cosign on a loan so he can buy his first home. Is there any risk to me doing that?” Answer: Cosigning on a loan makes you as liable as the person you’re cosigning for. So if your son is late on his mortgage, his and YOUR credit will be

Why Do Homes Sell Over Market Value?

Wednesday, 19 November 2014 by

Question: “I used to be an agent and I remember once in awhile seeing a home sell at a price that was clearly over market value. I never could figure out why that happened. Can you hazard a guess?” Answer: I’d love to. There are few reasons homes very occasionally sell at a price clearly

Question: “I saw a house that I liked, but the driveway has a lot of cracks in it. Does that mean that the house has settlement problems?” Answer: Maybe. Maybe not. Driveway slabs are almost always poured at a different time than the house slab. And they typically aren’t as thick, aren’t reinforced with metal

This week’s crazy building is Zhongyuan Tower in Zhengzhou, China. Completed in 2011, it was briefly the tallest steel tower in the world (at 1273 feet) until surpassed by Tokyo Skytree. While the core of the building is tube shaped, there are structural elements surrounding it that widen at the top and bottom to create

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Question: “Hi Gary. I want to sell my rental and my tenant is interested in buying. Can you handle that for me?” Answer: Yes, I’d be happy to. But first, excuse me if I’m a Negative Nancy or, if you’re a Saturday Night Live fan, Debbie Downer. In my 30 years selling homes for clients,

Question: “Do you think it’s a good idea to wait to sell until next summer when prices are up?” Answer: You’re making a BIG assumption that prices will be up next summer. How do you know this? Do you have a time machine?  Is it because everyone says – incorrectly – that summer is