January 5th, 2016 at 11:00 am

Laws about foreign real estate

When President Barack Obama signed the $1.1 trillion spending measure Congress passed on Dec. 18, he wiped out a 35-year-old tax imposed on foreign investors in the U.S. The measure, which helped avoid a government shutdown, now treats foreign pension funds the same as their U.S. counterparts so far as real estate investments are concerned. While it’s hard to predict specifics, there could be broad consequences on residential as well as commercial property prices around the country. (more…)

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October 21st, 2015 at 10:00 am

global real estate

Not all real estate agents are created equal. Many sales associates carry designations and certifications from accredited programs, such as those offered by The National Association of REALTORS®, while others have worked in a specific niche market throughout their career.

The benefits of working with a specialist abound when you are trying to target a specific market or buy a certain type of home. For example, if you’re a first-time homebuyer, working with an agent who specializes in first-time homes can help you find qualifying programs. The same goes for buyers and sellers looking across the pond. Janice Lee, a REALTOR® – Sales Associate in our Pasadena office has seen continued success working with international clients. “Being bicultural, not just bilingual is such a gift. It allows me to best negotiate on my clients’ behalf (both sellers and buyers)!” Whether you’re looking to make an international purchase, or sell your home to an overseas buyer, working with a specialist can help you reach your goals with ease.

Benefits to buyers

If you’re an international buyer looking to purchase in the U.S. or an American looking to buy in another country, you’re on your way to a smart investment. “The best asset to own on Earth is earth,” said agent Calvin Lo. Working with an experienced international sales associate gives you an advantage over other buyers.

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October 19th, 2015 at 10:00 am

house hunting

It’s the time of year when the air is thick with wicked words, scary sentences, grisly grammar, and painful puns.

So, what’s not to like? We decided to stir the pot and come up with a pot-puree of randomly related real estate horror stories and terminology. Our intent is not to shock you, but to unmask some potentially perilous pitfalls when it comes to the home buying and selling process. For good measure, we’ve thrown in info on a few Southern California homes that are monstrous in size or acreage, haunted, or a combination thereof.

Of course, working with an experienced real estate agent is the best way to avoid a frightful undertaking. OK, let’s go see if there are any skeletons to avoid in the closets out there.

You’re pre-approved? Really?


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October 14th, 2015 at 10:12 am

oceanfront properties

Thinking of buying a home on or near the California coast? Or maybe a place in the hills with an amazing view of the Pacific? Perhaps a cabin near a stream that flows into the ocean?

Before you take the plunge, bear in mind that a “lifeguard” of sorts is standing by to oversee many aspects of living within sight of the water: the California Coastal Commission (CCC).

Established in 1972 and made permanent four years later, the Sacramento-based commission’s mission is “… to protect, conserve, restore, and enhance environmental and human-based resources of the California coast and ocean for environmentally sustainable and prudent use by current and future generations.”

See that shining sea

How that mission is enforced has evolved over the years. Coastal access and unobstructed views remain high on the list of concerns that can potentially affect homeowners even miles from the nearest shoreline.

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September 21st, 2015 at 10:00 am

How to be a good neighbor

How neighborly are you? Do you know the family that lives next door? Did you welcome the couple who moved in across the street a few weeks ago?

September is Good Neighbor Month, so we encourage everyone to reach out and make friends (or at least attempt to!) with their neighbors.

This sounds pretty straightforward, but you might be wondering how exactly how you should introduce yourself to someone you’ve never met before and know nothing about. It’s actually pretty easy to do. Here are some of our suggestions:

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