California dreaming

We know California is a big state with a big economy, big trees and lots of people. But these generalities do not begin to suggest the magnitude, magnificence and only-in-a-dream realities of this truly wonderful place. So this week, we’re hitting the highlights, and every entry should be punctuated with a wow. Let’s just start [...]

Houses of the future

In my last column, we had some fun talking about how smart technology is beginning to transform our homes, creeping into our basic energy systems and every other nook and cranny of our homes. This is a trend that will surely continue, as developers, engineers, builders and home goods suppliers endeavor to one-up one another. [...]

It’s a new world, and getting smarter!

Happy New Year one and all. Many of you will be reading this article on your smartphones which, as we know, have become ubiquitous. And, in spite of the many things they currently do for us, we are only in the infancy of the “smart” world. This week we’re taking a look at the new [...]

The art of negotiation: Tips for sellers

Part two of our look at the dynamics, techniques and attitude required to make the best deals in real estate covers sellers. Let’s start with timing. The seller’s friends are scarcity and demand. When there are few houses on the market, and demand is high, the seller is in the driver’s seat. Whenever there are [...]

The art of negotiation: Tips for buyers

Real estate is a game, partially determined by chance, and timing, but skill does play a part. Each party to the sale – both seller and buyer– want to get the best deal and either move out or in, happy and content in the transaction. This two-part look at the dynamics, techniques and attitude required [...]

What can you get with a $1 million budget?

In the 1955-1960 television program The Millionaire, the millionaire John Beresford Tipton would call his secretary, Michael Anthony, into his drawing room. In a booming voice, he would utter the following, handing his assistant an envelope, “Mike, our next millionaire …” Mike would then set off to find the lucky recipient and we would watch [...]

Home sweet home

Statistics are fun. This week we’re looking at American preferences for their living quarters, and you may find the results a bit startling. First, the homeownership rate. Our research tells us that the rate of Americans who own their homes is somewhere between 56 percent and 67 percent, with different surveys quoting slightly different rates. [...]

What will $400,000 buy you in San Diego?

San Diego housing is expensive, isn’t it? Surely this is the prevailing view. But perhaps it is more affordable than you think. I thought I would take a look at what $400,000 can buy in today’s San Diego housing market. A $400,000 property with a 20 percent down payment, or $80,000, would require a $320,000 [...]

Livin’ la vida loca

Rv_classa

In past weeks, we’ve looked into some alternative living styles, particularly cohousing and shared living. And the list goes on. In an expanding paradigm, many people are seeking new, perhaps better, less expensive, and more exciting or more inclusive ways to set up home. As the shape of living units evolve, as more people decide to [...]

Shared housing: Roommates for young and old

In the last article, we talked about cohousing, a model of an intentional community that originated in Denmark and is now taking hold around the U.S. A more familiar way to form community is to share a home with one or more roommates. We usually think of roommates in the context of housing for younger [...]

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