Lobbying our Legislators about Rent Control

I don’t own rental property, nor am I a renter. However, here is an example of why I care about unacceptable restrictions on private property ownership:

What happens if our elderly parents have to move out of their homes into a care facility? How will we pay for their care? Their homes would have to be rented out for income, and we’d need as much rental income as much as possible in order to afford their care. 

Earlier this week, the California Association of REALTORS (C.A.R.) issued a large-scale Red Alert, asking those of us represented by Democrats in the Assembly to call our legislators to express our concerns about two bills, AB 1481 and AB 1482, that together imposed unacceptable regulations on rental property owners. AB 1482 would have imposed a very restrictive rent cap and AB 1481 would have created an expansive “just cause” eviction right.

Last night, due in large part to REALTOR calls to legislators, C.A.R. was able to successfully negotiate a deal with the bills’ authors on amendments that allow C.A.R. to remove its opposition. This compromise strikes a balance between preserving the rights of rental property owners while allowing the protection of at-risk tenants. Of particular concern, small property owners are protected, and the reach of both bills are limited with a sunset date of 2023. These amendments will be made to the bills once they move to the Senate.

AB 1482 passed the Assembly last night and AB 1481 is still pending.

Here are the amendments that C.A.R. negotiated:

Amendments to AB 1481 – “just cause” evictions:

-Will only apply to tenancies after 12 months; and

-Will limit relocation assistance for “no-fault” evictions to an amount equal to one month of the tenant’s current monthly rent.

Amendments to AB 1482 – Rent cap:

-Will increase the cap in the bill from 5% to 7% plus regional CPI. (For example, in Los Angeles the full increase would be 10%); and

-Will preserve the right of landlords, through vacancy decontrol, to reset a rent to market rate once a tenant has vacated the unit.

Amendments to both bills:

-Both bills exempt entirely small property owners with 10 or fewer single-family detached homes; and
Both bills sunset in 2023.

Client Spotlight: Rose Mary (& Reyna!)

Reyna is Rose Mary’s beloved 4 year old Boxer. She was rescued by NorCal Boxer Rescue and they brought her to Rose Mary and her husband. Reyna is affectionate, smart, silly, loves all dogs and people and she’s always ready for a walk.  Speaking of walking, if it’s in a creek, all the better for her! After a 35-year long career, Rose Mary is continuing her art studies by focusing on classical portraiture and figure drawing.  Reyna is a willing model while she is sleeping and she never says Rose Mary makes her look heavier than she really is! Perfect, right?

Feng Shui: Activating the “Wealth” section

greggie studio

My real estate business partner Greg Jones is someone who happens to be married to me. He has a new “hobby” which he as turned into a business (Jones Art Works) complete with a business license, website, and a whole slew of paying customers already. Naturally, this takes him away from our real estate business, especially right now in the beginning of his new endeavor.

What does this mean for me?

I’ll tell you. It means that after a long day negotiating contracts, setting up our property listing promotions, meeting with clients and fellow agents, attending real estate marketing meetings, continuously learning and honing my skills and knowledge, exhausting myself showing or previewing properties, you bet I expect the dog poop to all be picked up when I come home! I also expect dinner on the table!

Instead of being an adult, however, I’ll go outside and pick up several piles of dog poop and come back in the house bragging (or, er, complaining) about how many piles I found, rather than simply just telling my dear husband that I wish I could come home to a clean poopless yard since after all, he’s been HOME ALL DAY to get it done.

Anyone out there sympathize with me?

Now to the topic at hand. The photo shown here is a corner bedroom on the lower level of our home, in what’s referred to as the “wealth” section, for those of you who are familiar with the basic concepts of feng shui. (I’m half Chinese but that doesn’t mean I know squat about feng shui, other than how to pronounce it.) Anyway, the guest bedroom was recently used as a “storage” room for all our extra crap. Boxes of old stuff we haven’t looked through in years, old furniture from when I was ten years old and Greg’s grandmother’s old furniture passed down to him, a new-ish rocking chair my mom bought for me because she wished I gave her grandchildren, framed artwork from family passed down, and other artwork from the 1980s that are completely out of style now, etc.

This former guest bedroom’s carpets have been torn up, the floor painted light blue, and is now complete with a pottery wheel, shop lights, damp storage, new sliding glass doors to the deck, and even a shop dog named Rufus the Dufus. The kiln is upstairs in the garage, installed after an electrician came in and added extra power. (That kiln goes up to more than 2000 degrees. Yikes!)

Activating the wealth section of our home has indeed added to the richness of our lives…

Next month: How changing doors in a decaying part of our home has enhanced our lives.

Available soon! 4636 Serra Ave., Fremont

Available soon! This 1944 sq ft 4-bedroom home has side access, a huge garage/workshop at the end of a long driveway, two levels of living space and a wheelchair/platform lift for easy access to the upper level. An excellent location with easy access to 880, shopping and recreation!

Property is still being prepped and has not yet been priced by the seller. Estimated date on the market: August 8, 2018. Inquire now for a Sneak Peek!exterior shot with driveway

1700+ sq ft San Leandro home available soon!

Located at 1085 Grace Street, this home has a Walk Score of 77 with easy access to Mel’s Diner, Ricky’s Sports Bar, Bayfair Mall and the Bayfair BART station. With 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, this home will be available by June, 2018. Stay tuned for more information!exterior photo

Mediterranean beauty! A picture’s worth a thousand words…

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Now available! CLICK HERE for details. This gorgeous five bedroom home has been extensively renovated. Per the seller, the home has been expanded to 3400 sq ft and has over $600,000 in upgrades:

Permits secured and foundations poured for detached garage with full bathroom and also a studio with full bathroom and rough electrical and plumbing complete. It has new underground plumbing, new underground electrical, new electrical panel with 400 amp,  new wiring inside, energy-saving LED lights throughout, new plumbing inside, new HVAC  system heat and AC dual Zone,  new roof, new paint, custom Milgard windows, stainless steel appliances.

Oh, the views! Located in the prestigious and sought-after historic Prospect Hill neighborhood of downtown Hayward, this home has stunning sunset views. The exterior includes a new retaining wall, in and out drive way, upgraded metal fencing with both gates remote-controlled. New landscaping with palm trees, new stucco with extensive trim work , outdoor deck on the 2nd story which also serves as outdoor living area on the bottom (veranda ) with fans for  summer, outdoor kitchen sink installed in veranda. For outdoor and indoor summer comfort, fans are in all rooms and living areas too. Custom closets in all rooms, smooth level 5  paint, luxury bathroom upgrades and custom vanity with mirrors, custom tub /shower combo in master bath, and Jack & Jill bathroom on ground level.

All living areas boast hardwood floors, all bathrooms and kitchen gleam porcelain tiles, and to help protect it all, video monitoring of all entrances and central alarm. Total expense: $600,000 in upgrades .

But wait, there’s more! This home has a wheelchair accessible ramp and two living areas upstairs and downstairs. For the party animal buyer, the home also has a wet bar in the outdoor patio area, in the kitch and in one of the living rooms tucked away in the corner for discretion…

Come visit this estate home in the burgeoning neighborhood with lots of investment being poured into this spectacular downtown Hayward community!

All information has been provided by the property owner. Buyers are advised to fully investigate the property to their satisfaction.

Rolling Stones! Al & Andy are at it again…!

AlAndAndy

“We know Anna May and Greg Jones and their brokerage, Realty World Neighbors, because of their involvement in the Prospect Hill Neighborhood Association, their efforts to help maintain the neighborhood’s open space and other projects.

“Our decision to appoint Anna and Greg as co-listing agents (and later as our buyers’ agents) arose because they work on a number of issues and we were impressed by their efforts and contributions. We have found that people who work well when they volunteer also do well professionally.

“Frequent communications kept us informed of progress over the transactions for which we hired Anna & Greg to assist in the Historic Prospect Hill neighborhood. We appreciated Anna & Greg’s attention and time to email, call or text as the sales progressed.

“As sellers, we appreciated the well-coordinated marketing plan for our unique home in the historic Prospect Hill neighborhood. They knew how to price it for the prevailing market conditions, how to promote it to the right groups and took care of all the paper work expeditiously. There were no errors, no last-minute deliveries or problems from the time we listed until the sale closed. We subsequently hired Anna & Greg to list and sell another home for us and we experienced the same high level of competency in that transaction too.

“We were extremely impressed by their knowledge of the market, pricing and their ability to get the word out about our home through their networks, professional organizations and advertising. They were very professional, competent and knowledgeable about real estate in the area.

“We’re delighted to now be in a larger Prospect Hill home and were able to purchase this home in part due to the negotiation skills of Anna and Greg. They negotiated on our behalf for the sellers to pay for repairs before we moved in. We would definitely hire Anna May and Greg Jones again and recommend them to others.”

-Al Parso & Andy York, Historic Prospect Hill Neighborhood residents

Working for Buyers: The Representation Agreement

Brown eyed rufusAll of us get our butts out of bed in the morning for different reasons. For us, it’s this pesky dog. Rufus the Dufus whines and cries and whimpers at the crack of dawn until we let him out to go potty. He is an annoying little 50 lb.-creature, but he gets us out of bed. It’s hard to be mad at him once our sleepiness subsides.

What gets us into the office is something entirely different. Our Clients have an expectation that we be at the top of our game when it comes to representing them. There is a big difference between a “Buyer Client” and a mere “buyer customer”. We ONLY advocate for the interests of Buyer Clients after they’ve formally retained our services to do so. We’d rather avoid working on behalf of buyers for weeks or months, putting aside our evenings and weekends and family time only to (argh!) have a buyer suddenly decide to have their newly licensed cousin represent them, for example.

Part of formal buyer representation includes an “Exclusive Buyer Representation Agreement”. This document outlines what the buyer and agent parties can expect of each other and what documentation is required to get started.  We take representation of Buyer Clients as seriously as we take our representation of Seller Clients. Here are a few of the benefits of formal buyer representation:

  • We’ve built a reputation among fellow agents in our market area for having rock-solid buyers. Our Exclusive Buyer Clients benefit from this by having their offers submitted by us be taken more seriously, especially in multiple offer situations which are common in our area. This means we have compiled a complete Buyer Package before we show even one property to a buyer.
  • Exclusive Buyer Representation ensures our Clients that they are our first priority. Evenings and weekends, for example, are reserved for Clients first and foremost.
  • Many of our Clients are high profile, very busy individuals. We take the time to preview properties for Exclusive Buyer Clients and record walk-thrus and report to them whether or not a property is even worth seeing.
  • We attend weekday real estate marketing meetings where we broadcast what our Exclusive Buyer Clients seek, and often learn about upcoming listings long before they hit the market.
  • We send out monthly real estate e-newsletters to broadcast to our databases what our Exclusive Buyer Clients want, and through this medium, we also learn about properties that will be available before they hit the market.
  • If our Exclusive Buyer Clients MUST move into a specific neighborhood, we’ll knock on doors and send mailers out to ask those neighborhood property owners if they have interest in selling rather than wait around for something to come available.

Right now, our Exclusive Buyer Clients include a recovering peninsula dweller buyer, the newly engaged couple, the seller of this gorgeous home who’s buying in the San Ramon area to be close to family, and also the family of a US veteran who’s seeking an affordable home in the East Bay.

We’re darn good at what we do, so there are certain steps we take before we use our talents, expertise, network and experience to advocate and help protect a Client’s interests. There are only 24 hours in a day, after all…

 

Jumping In Without Contingencies

client photoMeet our daring and dashing Exclusive Buyers Clients, M & B!

The subject of putting all your eggs in one basket doesn’t allow much wiggle room for an “out” — not without penalty, anyway.

When it feels right, there’s no denying taking the plunge. That’s what M & B did recently, in two ways:

  • They made an offer on a property with NO CONTINGENCIES
  • They got ENGAGED! To be married!

Let’s hope they don’t find anything wrong … with the property, of course. Otherwise, they’re stuck!

CLICK HERE for an artist reception featuring the work of “Slate Quagmier”, shown here.

 

Making the Case for Stairs

 

dogs on our stairs
(This is not a photo from a scary movie. These are our dogs Piglet & Rufus. If you can’t tell who is who, then you have no sense of humor.)

 

I don’t know about any of you, but I like tight buns. I like having them too, which is why I love living in a three-story house.

We have many clients who love stairs. They feel as if they’re on top of the world when their homes are up high. I remember shortly after moving in to our home, I sat in the hot tub located on the lower deck of my home with my mom. It was dark outside and the house was lit from within. I looked up at the three levels of my home and said, “Mom, I feel rich.”

I’ve also had dreams of living in a home with many levels and the higher up I climbed, the less “stuff” each space had. I’ve also had dreams of a vast “basement”-type area with what appeared to be hordes of space and so much potential for improvement.

Although I sometimes get winded going up the stairs when hauling up the laundry, I am grateful for the opportunity to do so. I know that walking up stairs helps me to keep my muscles strong and adds to my overall health.

So, how about a nice home with a built-in opportunity for a healthy daily work-out?

Meet Phil! Does he look pouty?

Here’s “Phil”! This 12-year old sweetheart’s mom is selling their long-time home at 2828 Eastman Avenue in Oakland‘s Allendale district.

Phil
Phil, 12, is not included

When the sale closes, Realty World Neighbors will make a donation in Phil’s honor to Bad Rap, where he was trained when he was a youngster…

A home is not a home without a dog!