Author: ft Editorial Staff

February 2007 Events

February is: Black History Month American Heart Month Library Lovers Month National Bird-Feeding Month National Hot Breakfast Month Special dates in February: 02/02 Groundhog Day 02/03 to 03/09 Mardi Gras 02/21 Ash Wednesday 02/14 St. Valentine’s Day 02/19 Presidents’ Day 02/12 Lincoln‘s Birthday 02/22 Thinking Day (Girl Guides) National Engineers Week (week of Presidents day) For more information on the month of February, go to...

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Have you heard?

Green building conference in Los Angeles The city of Los Angeles has been selected by the U.S. Green Building Council to host the 2007 Greenbuild conference. The LA Convention Center will be house the conference October 17-19, 2007. The theme of the Los Angeles conference will be accelerating green communities.   If you are interested in learning more about the 2007 Greenbuild conference, visit   How to sell in a slowing market Sluggish trends in California home sales are giving buyers in the market an advantage over sellers. As of September 2006, national averages suggest new home prices have slipped 9.7 percent, the largest decline in 35 years, and existing home prices have declined 2.5 percent during the same period.   To maximize seller profits in today’s market, sellers and their brokers must adapt. Staging is a proven technique to help sellers receive top dollar from buyers. The key to staging is to make the interior and exterior of a property look as generic as possible. This will allow potential buyers to envision themselves living in the space. Professional stagers may be used and often suggest clearing the space of mental barriers such as bold colors, cluttered countertops and bulky furniture that could prevent the buyer from seeing the house for what it is, rather than concentrating on these factors. Freshly-cut flowers never hurt, either!   Here are...

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An owner’s residence in foreclosure

This article examines the equity purchase restrictions which must be known and applied by all investors buying owner- occupied, one-to-four unit residential property during foreclosure.   The equity purchase sales scheme   An equity purchase (EP) transaction takes place when an owner-occupied, one-to-four unit residential property in foreclosure is acquired for rental, investment or dealer purposes by a buyer, who is called an EP investor. Conversely, an EP transaction does not occur and the EP rules do not apply if the buyer acquires the property for use as his personal residence.   Equity purchase statutes apply to all buyers who are EP investors regardless of the number of EP transactions the investor completes. The investor does not need to be in the business of buying homes in foreclosure for the statutes to apply to him. [Segura v. McBride (1992) 5 CA4th 1028]   Both the EP investor and his agent must comply with EP law or be subject to drastic penalties.   Also, all agents need to be aware that the EP agreement signed by an EP investor must be printed in bold type, ranging from at least 10-point to 14-point font size, and be in the same language used during negotiations with the seller-in- foreclosure. [Calif. Civil Code §§1695.2, 1695.3, 1695.5]   Thus, the EP investor and all the agents involved in the transaction must use a written...

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Management of exposure to liability

This article presents the components of a risk reduction program to be considered by a broker to regulate the activities and conduct of his agents with members of the public.   The reduction of uncertainties for harm Licensed brokers and agents interact between themselves and with members of the public. Their involvement with the public when acting under their Department of Real Estate (DRE) licenses is either in the capacity of: · an agent acting on behalf of an individual who has retained the services of a broker to be their representative in a real estate related transaction; or · an agent dealing with another broker, his agents or a member of the public in an effort to find a match for the individual they represent regarding ownership, financing or the letting of real estate. These two relationships brokers and agents engage in with members of the public require activities, such as investigating property conditions, negotiating purchase agreements and preparing documents, in order to attain a client’s objectives. All of these activities contain risks as addressed in this chapter. The risk of causing another person a loss are inherent in all activities conducted in the context of agency relationships. Agency relationships exist as either special duties (fiduciary) or general duties which are owed, respectively, to the client or the other party. The risks taken by a broker and his...

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Notices to vacate

This article presents the notices to vacate used by landlords and tenants to terminate month-to-month tenancies, other than by use of a 3-day notice to quit.   Termination of periodic tenancies   A tenant enters into occupancy of a single-family residential property under a lease agreement obligating the tenant to maintain the property’s landscaping.  The landlord soon receives complaints from surrounding property owners about excessive noise and a high number of visitors at the property late at night. On more than one occasion, the police have responded to calls from neighbors regarding the noise. Also, the city ordinance compliance department has given notice for the removal of disabled vehicles from the property. On a drive-by inspection, the landlord discovers the landscaping and lawn have deteriorated since the tenant has not watered.   Although the tenant consistently pays the rent on time, the landlord feels the tenant must be evicted even though several months remain on the term of the lease. The tenant is creating a nuisance by interfering with his neighbors’ use and enjoyment of their property and waste by failing to maintain the leased premises, both are justification to terminate the tenancy.   The landlord prepares and serves the tenant with a notice to vacate to avoid stating his reasons for terminating the tenancy. [California Civil Code §1946; see Form 569 accompanying this chapter]   The tenant remains...

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