Question: “[Bank name] is ridiculous! I just refinanced and they asked me for the stupidest things to verify things that shouldn’t even matter and frankly isn’t really any of their business. I will never use them again…” Answer: I don’t blame you for being angry. And frankly, I get mad and frustrated with lenders too.

Question: “My condo is listed for sale and I got an offer from someone who hasn’t even seen it yet. Should I accept it?” Answer: It depends… If you just put your condo on the market, I’d say NO. You don’t want to take it off the market during this prime early time and risk

Question: “I’m having trouble finding a home to buy. There isn’t a lot to choose from and all the nice ones seem to already have an offer. Any tips you can give me?” Answer: Here are three… Don’t automatically skip over homes with poor pictures. They could be real gems that are being overlooked due

This week’s crazy building is Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku, Azerbaijan. This unusual site is the brainchild of world-renowned architect Zaha Hadid, famous for the curves and unusual structure of her architecture. The design was meant to convey an optimistic future, a departure from the rigid, imposing Soviet architecture that dominates much of the country’s

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Question: “What’s the best way to make money quickly investing in real estate?” Answer: Sorry, but if there were any get-rich-quick ideas that actually worked, everyone would do them…and they would no longer work. The closest thing to a useful answer I could give you is to wait until we have another downturn (2 years,

Question: “Have you heard of virtual staging, where photos or graphics of furniture are added to photos of a vacant home to make it look staged. Do you recommend that?” Answer: I’ve heard of it. It’s a creative idea, but I recommend against it for 3 reasons: Homebuyers will be expecting a much nicer home

Question: “Hi Gary. Could you please email me a list of condos without HOA fees in P.B., Clairemont, U.C., and nearby areas…” Answer: That would be a very short list. As in VERY short. I’d estimate that 99.9% of condos have HOA fees. The rare exception would be a 2-4 unit property converted to condos w/o

This week’s crazy building is Xanadú in Calpe, Spain. This experimental set of 18 apartments were built as summer homes in 1971. The black facade, jumbled rooftops and cantilevered rooms make it a very unusual sight to behold. Xanadú’s architecture was inspired by castles and by the nearby peak Peñon de Ifach (pictured in the

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Question: “I inherited a condo from my dad last year and want to sell it and buy a rental property here. Should I do a 1031 tax deferred exchange?” Answer: [A 1031 exchange allows someone to sell an investment property, reinvest the proceeds in a new property, and defer some or all tax on the

Question: “I’m interested in selling my condo in La Jolla. I’ve already spoken with an agent who promised she’d accompany other agents for all the showings. Are you willing to do that?” Answer: I’d never do you such a disservice! Why is that a disservice? Because it usually dramatically reduces interest and showings. Let me