Santa Cruz Real Estate Blog

How an SRES Real Estate Broker Can Help With Aging In Place

Whether it is you or a loved one, transitions can be difficult, especially if those transitions are part of the aging process. Having knowledgeable people on your team can make the that transition easier. For seniors who want to age in place, working with a real estate agent who specializes in the concerns of senior clients can be a plus. A senior real estate specialist or SRES is an important team player when determining how you will spend your golden years. They receive training about the resources available to senior clients and have a well-developed sensitivity to those clients' concerns. 

seniors real estate specialist in santa cruz caWhether it is you or a loved one, transitions can be difficult, especially if those transitions are part of the aging process. Having knowledgeable people on your team can make the that transition easier. For seniors who want to age in place, working with a real estate agent who specializes in the concerns of senior clients can be a plus. A senior real estate specialist or SRES is an important team player when determining how you will spend your golden years. They receive training about the resources available to senior clients and have a well-developed sensitivity to those clients' concerns. 

Aging in Place

Aging in place...

Termination of Tenancy Right for Crime Victims Expanded : Landlord/Tenant

This law extends existing provisions of law authorizing a tenant to terminate a tenancy when the tenant or a household member is a victim of domestic violence or elder abuse to also include a crime that caused bodily injury or death, the exhibition, drawing, brandishing, or use of a firearm or other deadly weapon or instrument, or that included the use of force or threat of force against the victim, and expands these provisions to apply if an immediate family member of the tenant is a victim of an eligible crime.

This law extends the existing law as follows:

  1. Adds a crime that caused bodily injury or death, that included the exhibition, drawing, brandishing, or use of a firearm or other deadly weapon or instrument, or that included the use of force against the victim or threat of force against the victim to the existing list of eligible crimes for which a tenant may terminate the lease if the tenant or a household member is a victim.
  2. Authorizes a tenant to terminate a lease if an immediate family member was a victim of an eligible crime.
  3. Authorizes any other form of documentation that reasonably verifies that the eligible crime or act occurred to be given to the landlord.
  4. Adds a victim of violent crime advocate to definition of qualified third party that may sign documentation to be provided to a landlord.
  5. Requires the tenant to provide a specified written statement to the landlord if the tenant is terminating tenancy because an immediate family member is a victim of an eligible crime, the tenant did not live in the same household as the immediate family member at the time of the eligible crime, and no part of the crime occurred within the dwelling unit or within 1,000 feet of the dwelling unit of the tenant.
  6. Requires the notice to terminate the tenancy to be given within 180 days of the date that the newly added eligible crimes occurred.
  7. Prohibits a landlord from requiring...

Eco Friendly Bridges May Save Time and Money for Carmel Valley Home Builders

Carmel Valley is an incredibly beautiful area with unique terrain. The terrain is one of the appeals of living here, but it also means that Carmel Valley homes for sale are often on steep hills or otherwise face potential access challenges created by the terrain itself. 

However, there is a solution. New research shows that glulam timber bridges can last between 75 and 90 years under ordinary use at the relatively low traffic levels you are likely to see on county and township roads in parts of Carmel Valley

These are bridges built from glulam, an engineered wood product that combines wood strips with glue to create a superior structural component compared to unmodified wood timbers. They are also cost effective. 

The research was conducted at J. Lohr Structures Lab. They calculated the typical load and stress tested the bridge to simulate use over a long time frame. The amount of stress incidents the structure survived suggests that such bridges can last for decades.

The bridge they tested was donated by Gruen-Wald Engineered Laminates of Tea. The U.S. Department of Transportation and the South Dakota Department of Transportation worked together as co-sponsors. 

Such bridges take less time to build than other alternatives. This is beneficial to the community by keeping road closures to a minimum. As we've seen with Big Sur fires or the slide that took out the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge, getting a community back and thriving depend, on speed and cost. For smaller roads and private residences these glulam bridges may one day have their day.

This type of bridge also fits in well with the aesthetic of ...

Unlawful Detainer (UD) Shielding : Landlord / Tenant

In part urgency legislation that took effect immediately on August 31, 2020.  Two laws: One extends UD Shielding for UD actions based on COVID rental debt and the other further expands UD shielding in general.

Until February 1, 2021 for any UD action based on COVID rental debt (owing from March 4, 2020 to January 31, 2021) public access generally to UD filing is foreclosed even when the plaintiff prevails in an action within 60 days of filing.

Beginning January 1, 2021, public access to UD fillings is permitted when a judgment against all defendants has been entered within 60 days.

In 2017, a law came into effect which restricted the general public access to unlawful detainer filings to the circumstance where the landlord prevailed within 60 days of filing.  The effect of shielding public access to UD filings was to impair the usefulness of credit reports in spotting a tenant with a history of being evicted through the unlawful detainer process.

This new law expands this public access limitation even further by eliminating public access even in those limited circumstances when the unlawful detainer action was filed between March 4, 2020, and January 31, 2021, and is based on the nonpayment of rent. It does, however, contain a special exception for the news media to pull unlawful detainer data for the purpose of gathering "newsworthy facts" by a reporter or other persons in the press.

Additionally, existing law allows access to case records filed in an unlawful detainer action to any person 60 days after the complaint has been filed if the plaintiff prevails in the action within 60 days of the filing of the complaint.

...

About Liver Cirrhosis Treatment. Is It Possible To Cure Liver Cancer?

curing liver diseaseCould Pacific Grove home owners someday benefit from new advances in CRISPR gene editing treatment for genetic diseases? 

MIT researchers have recently developed a method of using nanotechnology to deliver CRISPR gene-editing components into mice for treating defective genes in liver cells. Previous CRISPR delivery methods have used viruses that might in some cases elicit possible immune responses from the body. The new study demonstrates for the first time that you can make a nanoparticle that can be used to permanently and specifically edit the DNA in the liver of an adult animal. The success rate for cutting certain genes in 80% of liver cell using this new delivery system was about 80 percent, the best ever attained with CRISPR in adult animals. 

Daniel Anderson, associate professor of chemical engineering at MIT, and member of the MIT Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research and Institute for Medical Engineering and Science is senior author of the study on the Pcsk9 gene which regulates cholesterol levels. He reports that mutations of the Pcsk9 gene in humans is associated with a rare disease called familial hypercholesterolemia. This disorder is treated with antibody drugs that inhibit the Pcsk9 gene and which must be taken on a regular basis for the patient's entire life. Using the new nanoparticle method, the faulty gene is permanently edited in one treatment....

Rent Cap and Just Cause Eviction : Landlord/Tenant

Urgency legislation that took effect immediately on August 31, 2020.  Clarifies permissible rent increases under statewide rent cap law.  Clarifies the exemptions for a duplex.

Eliminates ambiguities under the Tenant Protection Act of 2019 as to exactly how to calculate the consumer price index for the applicable area -- giving the owner greater assurance that a given rent increase is legally permissible.  Clarifies that the exemption for a duplex applies to a single structure containing two separate dwelling units.

Under the Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (commonly referred to as the statewide rent cap and just cause eviction law or "AB 1482"), a landlord is permitted to raise rent by 5% plus inflation as indicated by the applicable Consumer Price Index.  But AB 1482 is ambiguous in describing precisely which Consumer Price Index ("CPI") measurement can be used.  These ambiguities are as follows:

1)  As passed AB 1482 did not specify which CPI measure is applicable such as the CPI-U for all Urban Consumers or some other measure such as the CPI-E or CPI-W.

2)  AB 1482 required that the CPI numbers for specified metropolitan areas rely on the CPI from April.

However, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics ("USBLS") does not include April numbers for San Diego, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

3)  AB 1482 prescribed the use of the CPI for the "region" where the property is located as published by the USBLS.

However, the only "regional" number it publishes is for the "West Region" which covers the 13 westernmost states.

4)  AB 1482 is ambigous as to whether the CPI for a given metropolitan area covers every property within the county described.

5)  AB 1482 was silent on rounding up or down the CPI

6)  Any rent increase would...

Upgrading Home to Pro, Perfect for Happy Aging

Once upon a time your house was filled with the laughter and happy chaos of children but now they have all grown up and moved away from the family home. Should you be looking for other Pacific Grove homes for sale? Why not consider instead remaining in your familiar home and neighborhood and upgrade and redesign the spaces to better meet your needs as you grow older.

Many older adults choose to downsize to smaller homes once their children move out on their own but many more choose the option of upgrading their current family to make it more “user friendly”. The facts are that with aging the body sometimes just can’t do what it once did, as well as it did. That does not mean however that you need to move away from the treasured family home and all the memories made and stored there. Upgrading the family home to meet your current and future needs is a viable and acceptable option.

Upgrading and Redesigning for Better Functionality

Your family home likely had more than one storey to it, with numerous bedrooms and likely more than one bathroom. Even though your kids have moved out you know they will be back, filling the house once again during holiday gatherings, or simply for surprise visits. And if they should have children of their own in the future you will definitely need those rooms and extra bathrooms. 

For now, for you and your partner, the house can be redesigned to make your everyday life easier. Simple additions and adjustments can make for less strain and chance of injury, ease of movement, and better accessibility.

Ideas and Tips to Help You with Your Redesign Plans:

As you may already be aware aging does not always happen as gracefully...

Fashionable Mask to Express Your Personality Amidst COVID

covid maskIn Monterey, your mask can be fashionable and express your personality. Take a deep breath before you begin. Basic knowledge of your sewing machine is necessary for this project. For all seams always remember to backstitch at the start and finish of each seam. You will have options for securing the mask to your face with elastic or shoelaces. You will need thread, material, scissors, two 7 inch pieces of elastic or four 15 inch shoelace pieces, an iron and sewing machine. A six-inch piece of pipe cleaner is optional. If you use round elastic, you will need to tie a knot on each end to keep it in place once sewn in. The material can be anything breathable.

Decide on the fabric you want to use. Some can be quite fashionable while some others can actually be quite helpful in filtering out aerosols of the covid -19 particles. Use one layer of tightly woven cotton with 2 layers of polyester spandex material. A sheer fabric like you see on evening gowns can also be used. This combination is likely to provide performance close to the hard to find N-95 mask. You can also use silk or flannel on the inner lining as well. A good quality cotton fabric, the type used for quilting, with a polyester liner is also is great. 

covid mask...

Foreclosure and Forbearance Protections: Small Landlords and Homeowners

Urgency legislation that took effect immediately on August 31, 2020.  Requires servicers to comply with applicable federal guidance regarding COVID-19 forbearance.  Servicer must comply with special notice and information requirements if a forbearance is denied.

A mortgage servicer shall comply with applicable federal guidance regarding borrower options following a COVID-19 related forbearance as provided by the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac), the Federal Housing Administration of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, or the Riral Development division of the United States Department of Agriculture.

With respect to a nonfederally backed loan, a mortgage servicer is required to review a customer for a solution that is consistent with the guidance to servicers as provided by the above entities. However, It is the intent of the Legislature that a mortgage servicer offer a borrower a post forbearance loss mitigation option that is consistent with the mortgage servicer's contractual or other authority.

A borrower who is harmed by a material violation of this law may bring an action to obtain injunctive relief, damages, restitution, and any other remedy to redress the violation and reasonable attorney’s fees and costs to the prevailing party.

If the mortgage servicer denies a forbearance request, they are required to explain why if the request was made before April 1, 2021. The servicer must specifically identify any curable defect in the written notice; Provide 21 days from the mailing date of the written notice for the borrower to cure any identified defect; Accept receipt of the borrower's revised request for forbearance before the aforementioned 21-day period lapses and; Respond to the borrower's revised request withing five business days of receipt of the revised request.

This law applies only...

Housing: Residential Entitlements Extended

Requires cities and counties to evaluate the impact of government actions on the cost of housing and associated impacts to minority communities and extends by 18 months, the time frame for the expiration, effectuation, or utilization of a housing entitlement for any housing entitlement that was issued prior to, and was in effect on, March 4, 2020, and will expire prior to December 31, 2021.

The California Building Industry Association writes in support, "This important measure has two critical components. First, it encourages local governments to consider the impacts their zoning decisions have on communities of color, and second, extends the expiration date of building permits or other entitlements necessary for, or pertaining to, a housing development project. This proposed legislation recognizes the extreme health and financial devastation due to this pandemic-induced recession has had on Californians and proposes a measured and time-limited response.

This law extends by 18 months any applicable time frame for any “housing entitlement.” This extension applies to any such entitlement issued prior to and effective on March 4, 2020, and that will expire prior to December 31, 2021.

“Housing entitlement” is defined in the statute to include:

  • A building permit, including extension of any applicable time frame within which an applicant must request issuance of a building permit;
  • “A legislative, adjudicative, administrative, or any other kind of approval, permit, or other entitlement necessary for, or pertaining to, a housing development project issued by a state agency”;
  • “An approval, permit, or other entitlement issued by a local agency for a housing development project that is subject to [the Permit Streamlining Act]”;
  • “A ministerial approval, permit, or entitlement by a local agency required as a prerequisite to issuance of a building permit for a housing development...

Residential Property Insurance. Fire Insurance - Consumer Protections

Assembly Bill 2756 Residential Property Insurance - This measure seeks to provide greater information to consumers on their homeowner policies. Additionally, it includes provisions which mandate 10% building code upgrade coverage for replacement cost coverage policies which will work to ensure more homes are rebuilt and existing housing stock is maintained when disaster strikes.

C.A.R. supported this measure as it provides more transparency to homeowners on information related to their home insurance policy.

Assembly Bill 3012 Residential Property Insurance -  This measure among other provisions, provides that certain information be included in a notice of nonrenewal of a homeowners insurance policy, clarifies that a policyholder shall receive the full amount of what would have been recoverable if the home were to be rebuilt at the original location, clarifies that policies which include additional living expenses (ALE) shall not limit claims if the home is uninhabitable, but not destroyed.  Additionally, the bill states that a policyholder is entitled to a payment of 30% (up to $250,000) of the stated policy limit for contents coverage in the event of a total loss without itemization and directs the FAIR plan to create a clearinghouse of policy information that should be made available to admitted insurers to encourage them to offer policies to FAIR plan customers.

C.A.R. supported this measure as it will help to alleviate the home insurance crisis that many Californians in wildfire prone areas face.

Senate Bill 872 ...

Fire: Defensible Space: Creation of Ember-Resistant Zone within Five Feet of a Structure

Establishes, upon appropriation, an ember-resistant zone within five feet of a structure as part of the defensible space requirements for structures located in specified high fire hazard areas.  Requires removal of material from the ember-resistant zone based on the probability that vegetation and fuel will lead to ignition of the structure by ember.  

However, CAL Fire will NOT changer defensible space inspection practices and forms or enforcement to to implement the requirement for an ember-resistant zone until the director makes a written finding that the legislature has approrpriated sufficient resources to do so, which the director will post on CAL Fire's website, that the Legislature has appropriated sufficient resources to do so.  Moreover, this law is to be "based on regulations" by CAL Fire, and the promulgation of these regulations is "contingent upon an appropriation by the Legislature in the annual Budget Act of another stature for this purpose."

Current law requires a person who owns, leases, controls, operates, or maintains an occupied dwelling or structure to maintain a defensible space of 100 feet from each side of the structure.  This bill would require more instense fuel reductions between 5 and 30 feet around the structure and create an ember-resistant zone within 5 feet of the structure to help reduce ember ignitions.

1)  An ember-resistant zone shall include any attached deck.

2)  Required the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) to not change defensible space inspeciton practices and...

Deeds: Extended Revocable Transfer on Death Deed Law

Law authorizing simple procedure for transfer of property upon death is extended for one year.

The California Law Revision Commission issued its report on the Revocable Transfer on Death Deed (RTDD) in November 2019, recommending that a number of changes be made to the RTDD process,
but that overall the RTDD should be extended for another 10 years and that the CLRC do a further
study prior to that 10-year sunset. (CLRC, Revocable Transfer on Death Deed: Follow-Up Study (Nov. 2019).) However, given the COVID-19 pandemic, the Legislature’s focus has been on the health emergency and its very difficult economic onsequences.

It has not been on other less urgent matters, including the future of the RTDD and the CLRC report. To ensure that the RTDD can continue until the Legislature can fully review the CLRC report and recommendations, this law extends the January 1, 2021 sunset for one additional year, until January 1, 2022.

Senate Bill 1305 is codified as Probate Code; Section 5600 et seq.

More readings about Laws Affecting Realtors

...

Disclosure and Point-of-Sale Compliance - Wildfire Defensible Space and Vegetation Management Laws, and Home Hardening

Disclosure: Disclosure and point-of-sale compliance re wildfire defensible space and vegetation
management laws, and home hardening.

This is a not a 2021 new law. It was passed last year. However, we are including it here because its most signicant provisions become effective January 1, 2021.

Requires delivery of a statutory disclosure re home hardening for homes in designated high fire areas built before 2010, and that seller list specied retrofits.

wild fire areasRequires seller of property located in designated high fire areas to provide buyer with documentation stating that the property is in compliance with local law pertaining to defensible spaces or local vegetation management laws. If there is no such local law, the seller shall provide documentation of compliance with state law, assuming the seller obtained such documentation within six months prior to entering into the transaction. But if neither of the above,the seller and the buyer must enter into a written agreement in which the buyer agrees to obtain documentation of compliance with defensible
space or a local vegetation management ordinance after close.

These disclosure requirements will apply to any property in which the Transfer Disclosure Statement is required to be delivered. TDS exemptions and cancellation rights apply.

Disclosures re Home Hardening Beginning January 1, 2020, if a seller, after completion of construction, has obtained a nal inspection report regarding compliance with, among other things,
home hardening laws (Gov’t Code 51182...

Simplified California Proposition 19: Break Down of Some Key Aspects

Proposition 19, Simplified:

proposition_19_voting_resultCalifornia Proposition 19 saw victory at the ballot box last November, and the new property tax breaks for some — and increases for others — will start affecting Californians in the coming months. Follow along as we break down some of the key aspects of this complex proposition. And for more in-depth information, check out the full Legal Q&A at on.car.org/prop19qa.

First off, who can take advantage of the tax portability benefits from Prop. 19?

All Californians who:

• Are over 55 years of age;

• Are severely disabled; or

• Own a home that has been substantially damaged due to wildfire or natural disaster.

For people in these groups, Prop. 19 made three significant changes to the way property taxes are calculated when they sell a principal residence and move into a new primary residence. What are those changes?

Sellers in these groups can now transfer the tax basis of their primary residence to a replacement property anywhere in the State of California. Previously, inter-county transfers were done on a limited basis.

Sellers in these groups can now transfer the tax basis of their sold property to their replacement property regardless of value. Previously, transfers had to be only to properties of equal or lesser value. (Some adjustments will be made if the property is of greater value.) Sellers and these groups may take advantage of this benefit up to three times — and victims of wildfires and other natural disasters have no limitations. Previously, sellers could only make use of this transfer one time....

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