"Come for a day and stay for a lifetime…"(R)

Get Ready for Your Master Closet Reno

by Carla Griffin on August 31, 2018

Get Ready for Your Master Closet Reno

 

The layout of your master closet should blend elegant design with convenient usability. The right renovations can turn your closet into a chic gallery that shows off your sartorial taste. Have you been considering an upgrade for your closet? Here are four tips from pro interior designers for your next renovation: 

1. Replicate your favorite boutique. 
Borrow techniques from luxury stores by maintaining a minimalistic appearance. Your most prized outfits should be the first seen when walking into the room. Showcase shoes, suits and evening gowns on well-lit open shelves, preferably against the most prominent wall. Each piece should be spaced a few inches apart for easy browsing and optimal display. 

2. Spotlight your wardrobe. 
Consider elevating your lighting by mounting a grand fixture. Keep in mind that light from multiple angles can alleviate unpleasant shadows. You can also install light strips along the floorboards or for backlighting to specific cabinets and drawers. 

To add some modern character, implement subtle smart home technology by using dimmable, motion-sensored or voice-activated bulbs and strips. 

3. Make space for reflection. 
A full-length mirror is a must, though a trifold mirror is ideal for the full effect of your ensemble. Consider positioning it opposite the doorway to your closet, with ample access to your grand fixture to improve lighting. A smaller mirror at face-height near your accessories will help you view jewelry and accessories.

4. Get centered. 
The right island can act as a welcoming focal piece, lending additional storage space for scarves, hats, designer handbags and jewelry. Consider adding a comfortable chaise for putting on shoes or laying out the next day’s attire. 

{ 0 comments }

Why Prop 5 restores fairness to tax system

by Carla Griffin on August 20, 2018

Seniors in California who want to downsize from their three- or four-bedroom home, now that their children are gone, find themselves facing a costly and daunting dilemma. If they sell, they would lose the property tax protections they’ve enjoyed under Proposition 13.

Instead of paying what experts are calling a steep “moving penalty” in the form of a sharp property tax increase, these people stay in a home that could otherwise be sold to a young family. This is part of the reason why California is facing a crushing affordable housing shortage: fewer single family homes are reaching the sales market.

Voters can fix this problem and eliminate California’s property tax moving penalty by voting yes on Proposition 5, known as the Property Tax Fairness Initiative. The measure, qualified for the ballot by nearly 1 million registered voters, protects people 55 years and older by allowing them to take their property tax protections with them when they move, giving them the ability to move to a safer, more practical home, or one that is closer to their children and grandchildren, or health care facilities. That same protection would also be extended to the severely disabled and to victims of natural disasters.

The law was carefully written to ensure that people would be protected while still paying their fair share of property taxes. Currently, a homeowner’s property tax bill is calculated at 1 percent of the home’s assessed value at the time of the sale, with annual increases of no more than 2 percent. Over time, as California’s real estate market has heated up, that has provided long-time homeowners with an important safeguard against higher taxes. But it has also effectively blocked people from moving.

San Diego has not been immune. In fact, a recent census report indicated that San Diego’s population growth is rapidly outpacing its housing growth and the local median housing prices have risen more than 6 percent in the last 12 months alone.

Ballot measures passed in recent years attempted to address this problem by allowing residents to keep their assessment, as long as the house they bought was the same value or less than the one they sold. But there are sticking points. They could only do this once. And the new home has to be in the same county, or in one of 10 counties that allow these transactions. These rules are confusing and unfair.

Proposition 5 fixes this by allowing seniors the flexibility to move anywhere in the state, limiting the tax penalties they might face while also ensuring they pay their fair share of property taxes. For example, let’s say a senior sells a house assessed at $300,000 for $700,000. That senior then buys a new home for $800,000. The new assessment would then be $400,000, reached by adding the difference between the sale and purchase price to the original assessed value.

This measure enjoys significant support from taxpayer and from veterans’ groups, including the American Legion-Department of California, the California Association of County Veterans Service Officers and the National Guard Association of California.

This turnover of homes would be a welcome boost at a time when California is experiencing a severe shortage of housing. It would revitalize existing neighborhoods by bringing in young families with children and enhance enrollment in neighborhood schools.

In addition to unlocking the housing market, these sales would also mean an increase in property tax revenues from the home that is sold.

New buyers would pay higher taxes on that newly-assessed home, providing an increase in revenues to local governments and school districts. There would be other increases in economic activity, associated with payment of transfer and escrow fees and spending on housing renovations and furniture.

Seniors, the disabled and natural disaster victims should not be penalized by an unfair tax system that prevents them from making the housing choices that are best for them. Proposition 5 would provide the fairness and freedom that California deserves.

By Steve White,  president of the California Association of Realtors.

{ 0 comments }

Protect Your Art, Antiques and Collectibles

by Carla Griffin on August 16, 2018

Moving can be a hectic time. Packing up your home requires careful planning. If you own fine art, antiques or collectibles, you need to take additional measures to ensure your belongings get to your new home safely. Here are four things to keep in mind.

Take Inventory 
Know the condition of your belongings before movers handle them. Take detailed photos of your collection so that individual pieces can be clearly identified. If anything is missing after the move, the pictures will help you identify the specific pieces that must be found. For fine art and antiques, take photographs in bright lighting and from multiple angles. Don’t leave any room for guesswork should damage occur during transportation. 

Insure Your Move 
Moving companies are legally required to give basic coverage during transportation, but paying for full-value protection through your insurance agent is wise, especially for items that cannot be easily replaced. Insurance is another reason to take photos of your belongings — before and after images of mishandled valuables are powerful corroboration for reimbursement. 

Ensure Packing Best Practices 
Experienced fine art movers will wear fresh, white gloves when touching paintings, sculptures or antiques. They should provide clean moving blankets and special packaging for custom or delicate items and have a system for labeling and identifying fragile boxes.

Mind the Elements 
Certain antiques and art may deteriorate if exposed to extreme heat or cold for too long. Your movers should have climate-controlled moving trucks for your most sensitive belongings. Even if temperate conditions are not necessary, ensure that fragile belongings are the final pieces loaded into the moving vehicle, and the first pieces unloaded. 

Whether you’re ready to find your next home or need recommendations for local moving companies, get in touch today for help and resources to guide you through the process.

 

{ 0 comments }

Understanding Propositions 60/90

by Carla Griffin on July 28, 2018

{ 0 comments }

Choosing countertop colors

July 25, 2018
Read the full article →

5 THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE BUYING WITHIN AN HOA

May 26, 2018

  When purchasing property that is under the jurisdiction of a homeowners’ association (HOA), buyers should be aware of the following five things.   1. The HOA’s Rules   The covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs) is one of the most important … Continue reading

Read the full article →

Do you have a Will and/or Living Trust?

February 3, 2018

Are you aware that if you do not have a Will and/or Living Trust and you pass away, your property will need to be probated.   In June 2016, a new type of deed took effect in California: The Revocable Transfer on Death … Continue reading

Read the full article →

Energy Efficient Tips to Beat the Heat

August 16, 2017

  As we enter into the lazy hazy days of summer, most of us are seeking refuge in our air conditioned homes with our sprinkler systems running on all four cylinders. Unfortunately, as temperatures skyrocket rise so do our energy … Continue reading

Read the full article →

Four Benefits that Reverse Mortgages can Offer Seniors

August 11, 2017

Baby boomers: the ideal reverse mortgage candidate? According to newly-released government data, 32% of Americans aged 65 to 69 are employed—the highest percentage in 55 years. In addition, 19% of Americans aged 70 to 74 are still working, up from 11% … Continue reading

Read the full article →

Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) for Home Purchase

July 15, 2017

A Home Equity Conversion Mortgage for Home Purchase can be life changing for many Senior Borrowers!  People decide to move for multiple reasons.  Maybe their current home is too big or too small. Perhaps they would like to be closer … Continue reading

Read the full article →