Shared Fences and Boundaries: New Law Jan. 1, 2014

For landowners with properties that share fences and other boundaries there is a new law going into effect on January 1, 2014.

According to the new law, Assembly Bill 1404 (codified as Cal. Civil Code § 841), landowners share an equal benefit of fencing and are equally responsible for the cost of construction, maintenance, or replacement, unless otherwise agreed upon in writing.

30-day prior written notices to all affected adjoining landowners are required for any intent to incur costs regarding a fence. The notice must include:

  1. A notice of the presumption of equal responsibility for the reasonable costs of construction, maintenance, or necessary replacement of the fence
  2. A description of the nature of the problem with the shared fence
  3. The proposed solution for the problem
  4. The estimated construction or maintenance costs to address the problem
  5. The proposed cost sharing approach
  6. The proposed timeline for addressing the problem

An adjoining landowner can dispute the notice by demonstrating with evidence that imposing equal responsibility would be unjust. To determine if equal responsibility is unjust, the court considers:

  1. Whether the financial burden on one landowner is substantially disproportionate to the benefit conferred upon that landowner by the fence
  2. Whether the cost of the fence would exceed the difference in the value of the property before and after its installation
  3. Whether the financial burden to one landlord would impose an undue financial hardship given that party’s financial circumstances as demonstrated by reasonable proof
  4. The reasonableness of a particular construction or maintenance project, including the extent to which the costs appear to be unnecessary, excessive, or the result of one landowner’s personal aesthetic, architectural, or other preferences
  5. Any other equitable factors appropriate under the circumstance

This law does not apply to a city, county, political subdivision, public body, or public agency.

Minimum wage will see a raise in these two California cities

According to a recent report, 13 states, California included will see an increase in their minimum wage for the new year.

In California, San Francisco will see its minimum wage raise from $10.55 to $10.74 and San Jose’s minimum wage will raise from $10.10 to $10.15.

It was reported earlier that San Francisco and San Jose are some of the most expensive cities to live in.

Most of next week’s increases will come courtesy of an inflation index. Ten states have tied their minimum wages to the index, guaranteeing that they rise with the cost of living each year. Other states, such as New Jersey and Connecticut, passed legislation in 2013 that will nominally raise their minimum wages. (California Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation that will raise the state’s minimum wage to $10 by 2016, but the first increase, to $9, won’t come until July.)

Please read “13 States Will Raise Their Minimum Wage For The New Year” for details.

Free Online/Hotline Mortgage-Assistance Program in Sacramento

December 10th through December 12th 2013, from 8 am to 8 pm, homeowners can visit event.hopenow.com or call (888) 845-0418 “to connect with housing counselors and mortgage servicers who can access required documents for loan modifications, short sales and other mortgage options,” according to SacBee.com.

Homeowners will also have the opportunity to apply for the Keep Your Home California program, which is a “$2 billion state managed, federally funded foreclosure prevention program.”

Vendors scheduled to participate:

  • Chase
  • Citi
  • HSBC
  • Nationstar
  • Ocwen
  • PNC
  • Select Portfolio Servicing
  • Seterus
  • Sun Trust
  • Wells Fargo

If your mortgage is not held by any of the above vendors, you can still speak with a housing counselor. The program ends tomorrow so give them a call today.

Please read “Event aims to help at-risk homeowners in Sacramento area and throughout Central Valley” for details.

Is the US experiencing another housing bubble?

According to Fortune Magazine, along with China, Australia, Brazil and New Zealand the US is one of the housing bubbles to keep an eye on. Although it appears as if things are recovering from the market crash of 2007, “higher prices in some parts of the U.S. have led one top Federal Reserve official to admit he is seeing fresh signs of a housing bubble,” as reported by CNNMoney.

“I’m beginning to see signs not just in my district but across the country that we are entering, once again, a housing bubble,” Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher told reporters last month after a speech in New York. “So that leads me … to be very cautious about our mortgage-backed securities purchase program.” (From CNNMoney) 

With the price of single-family homes on rise, and the “Fed’s easy money policies” keeping mortgage rates low, asset prices can see inflation, according to Fisher.

Please read “5 Housing Bubbles to Watch” for details on the housing bubbles in China, Australia, Brazil, and New Zealand.

 

Home ownership a bit too pricey for college grads

Damaged credit scores, missed student loan payments, and debt are robbing possibilities of homeownership for an increasing amount of college grads, according to recent reports. In addition to weak job perspectives, high debt levels “have made it hard for many young, educated Americans to buy homes.” CNNMoney

College grads are also increasingly choosing to stay with their parents in order to save money or pay expensive installments on student loans. Unfortunately, this move makes it harder for college grads to build the necessary credit history to someday get a mortgage.

“The result is a decline in percentage of 18-to-32 year olds heading up their own homes – just 34.3 percent as of this past March, according to Pew, versus 36.1 percent in 2007,” according to CNNMoney.

According to a recent report from the New York Federal Reserve “for the first time, the homeownership rate among college graduates was less than non-grads.

Read “Young and smart, but Millenials face homebuying hurdles” for details.

Put people to work, help the economy. Invest in Real Estate.

Info-graph from The Blog at Huffpost Business

Info-graph from The Blog at Huffpost Business

Wondering how you can put people to work, increase property values, and aid in generating 9.2 billion dollars in valuable renovations? Invest in real estate, according to Dean Graziosi, author of Be A Real Estate Millionaire.

“The economic impact potential,” according to Graziosi, “can positively transform the life of anyone who invests.” Real estate investing, through “creating more revenue for the jobs real estate investing creates,” also improves the health of both the local and national economy.

According to an accompanying info-graph, with just one home one real estate investor alone typically puts 15 people to work, as well as the employees, or team, of those 15 people. That home is typically renovated thus improving not only its own property value, but also the property values of surrounding homes.

Renovating property, placing occupants in homes, and improving property values also lowers crime rates, according to the “Broken Window Theory.”

 According to the theory presented in the info-graph, “when a neighborhood has more broken windows and dilapidated properties, it is more prone to further vandalism. When properties are improved, neighborhoods improve, which leads to less crime in that specific area.”

Graziosi concludes that although there is a shift occurring in the real estate market, it is still a great time to get involved. “It is still one of the most accessible ways for ‘mom and pop’ types to dramatically improve their financial picture.”

Please read “Want to Create More Jobs and Help the Economy? Invest in Real Estate…” for details.