Is Your Home in a Safe Neighborhood?


Neighborhood safety is high on the list for most of my clients, except in the handful of situations where clients are looking to build equity in an “up and coming” neighborhood. But determining the safety of a particular neighborhood is not necessarily something you can do by how nice the street looks. The Fair Housing discrimination laws to which real estate agents are beholden also muddies the water somewhat by regulating what agents can and can’t say to clients. While a straightforward

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Proposal to Tax Short-Term Rentals in California Stalls


State Senate Bill 584, a proposal to tax short-term rentals like Airbnb as a way of raising funds for desperately-needed affordable housing projects, won’t be going any further this legislative season. Here are the highlights. Senate Bill 584 Monique Limón, a Santa Barbara Democrat, introduced the bill, which would impose a 15% tax on short-term rentals beginning in 2025. The statewide surcharge, an addition to local transient occupancy taxes already charged in many California communities, was estimated to bring in

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The AI Boom Turning San Francisco’s Hayes Valley into “Cerebral Valley”


The pandemic narrative held that everyone was leaving San Francisco, but to some, that just meant more opportunity. Rents were falling, great properties were up for grabs, and it drew a specific sort of techie—those at the forefront of the artificial intelligence movement. Now, the San Francisco neighborhood of Hayes Valley is home to a growing number of AI start-ups, research labs, and collaborative work-live communities. In fact, the neighborhood has earned the nickname “Cerebral Valley,” and the communities it’s

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The Rent-Versus-Buy Debate—It’s not a Simple Formula


Some of the most impassioned comments I’ve read are on those posts making the case either for or against the long-term advantages of renting versus owning. That argument, like so many others, can be weighted in either side’s favor depending on biases and assumptions made. Perhaps more than any other decision, buying a home combines deeply personal quality of life and life planning issues as well as substantial financial considerations and multiple projections of what the future may hold. It’s a

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