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Landlords beware, California law that Protects Tenants’ Political Signage.

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california-laws

2016 is a presidential election year and the political arena is heating up rapidly just about everywhere across the country.  Demonstrations, pseudo riots, threats, destruction of property, you name and it is happening right now in Plainville, USA.  All one has to do is turn on the television and watch the nightly news to see how divided our wonderful country is right now.  I recently saw a Youtube video that showed a guy running over a political sign with his off-road Jeep simply because he disagreed with the candidate.  You can watch that video here if you like but I am not promoting that video and don’t worry, I am not going to pitch my candidate or denigrate any that are out there.  I want to protect my clients and would be clients; that is the sole purpose of this blog post pure and simple.  As a landlord or a tenant you need to know what you can and cannot legally do in regards to free speech and your property.   In California there is a law that spells this out clearly for all to know, it is SB 337, which was passed a few years ago.  I think that this particular year it may be important to be familiar with what it says and what it means.

The first question you might ask is, “this is a matter of free speech protected under the 1st Amendment”.  Well in that case you would be wrong.  1st Amendment rights are to protect you from the Government not from your tenant or landlord.  So, the aim of this Bill is to protect the tenant from landlords who would try to prevent a tenant from placing a sign.  This bill would also protect the landlord from a tenant that would put up any old sign and display it on-going without ceasing.  Since the 1st Amendment does not prohibit private enterprises from restricting freedom of expression, including landlords, California decided it needed additional legislation, SB 337.  Can’t have enough laws now can we.

California already had legislation that addressed places like Condos, Townhomes and Mobile Home Parks from prohibiting unit owners from posting non-commercial signs or posters on their individual properties subject to limitations on size and material, but there was nothing that regarding tenants/landlords.  SB 337 was introduced to specifically address the ability of tenants to display such signs.  Initially SB 337 gave the right for tenants to display non-commercial signs, then after some rewording it now only addresses “political signs”.  So, under this new law as a tenant I could post a political sign for my favorite green party candidate but not a sign encouraging the eating of vegetables over meat.  And as a landlord, I could not prohibit my tenants posting of a sign for his candidate even if I did not agree with candidate.  SB 337 does contain limitations for the sign, such as, no more than six square feet nor may it violate any law.  The sign must relate to a specific election, referendum, recall or other issue that is up for public vote and cannot be just generally political in nature.  Thus, a sign that says “Tax Reform Now” or “Free Tibet” would not be protected and the landlord may remove it.  Signs can be displayed no more than 90 days in advance and no longer than 15 days after an election or vote.

So if you are a tenant or a landlord and you don’t like a candidate that your tenant or landlord is in favor of that is protected speech under California SB 337.  That said; keep your Jeep off the grass and let’s all keep a level head this election season.  Please feel free to share this with anyone you know who is a tenant or a landlord.  It may be something that they are unaware of and could save them a major headache.

John Conca

Non-compliant plumbing fixtures & SB 407

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faucetNon-compliant plumbing fixtures & SB407

Have you updated your faucets and showerheads???   Are you getting ready to sell your home???  Well guess what?  According to a new piece of legislation called SB 407, you going to need to do just that.

As you are well aware California has been suffering from a long time drought, lakes are at an all-time low and I mean low.  Did you see the pictures of exposed buildings, bridges and other things that surfaced due to low water levels in our lakes and reservoirs?  People were walking out to the middle of Folsom Lake on dry land, now that is low.  Thank goodness for Senor El Nino, matter of fact it is raining heavily at the time I am writing this and lake levels are beginning to rise but we are not out of the woods yet.  We need much more rain and more snow pack in the Sierra’s to help us out of this drought.  The water aquafers need to be filled as well, so come on rain and snow, not that I like to shovel or anything.

The state of California also passed some new legislation, SB 407 requires that on or before January 1, 2017, noncompliant plumbing fixtures in any single-family residential real property shall be replaced by the property owner with water-conserving plumbing fixtures.  The fixtures that the bill is targeting are the faucets, showerheads and toilets.  I guess they could have wanted the water dispenser on my refrigerator to dispense water at a slower rate as well.  Maybe that would be a good thing so water doesn’t shoot out of the glass when you go to fill it.  Now that’s a waste!

The bill goes on to say that on or before January 1, 2017 any non-compliant plumbing fixtures need to be replaced by the home owner with water conserving plumbing fixtures.  Also, by the same date a Seller or Transferor of a single family home shall disclose in writing to the potential purchaser of SB 407 and whether the property has any non-compliant plumbing fixtures.  Those doing additions or modifications to their home may also be subject to this new law.  Read SB 407 for more info on that.

Non-compliant plumbing fixtures would include toilets, if they have a flush rate of greater than 1.6 gallons of water per flush.  Faucets are non-compliant if the flow rate is more than 2.2 gallons of water per minute and showerheads are non-compliant if the flow rate is more than 2.5 gallons per minute.

So, if you are thinking of buying or selling a home this year be sure to look for these items to be corrected before you buy or sell.  If you don’t you may get stuck with a headache and a potential delay of the escrow process.  Call, text, Facebook, email, visit my website or whatever works best if you need help Buying or Selling a home or if you have questions regarding this information, I can help.

 

Thanks for listening and don’t forget to share this information to your Facebook page.

 

John Conca

Broker Associate

Century 21 Select Real Estate

Number of homes for sale is crazy low.

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Placervillefeb16

 

Hi everyone,

 

I wanted to talk a little about the crazy low number of homes for sale in the area. Commonly referred to as “inventory” by Realtors. I was curious the other day about how many homes were for sale in the Placerville area and in the MLS system. What I found was astonishing. In all of Placerville there were only 120 homes on the market in the MLS. Now this chart refers to only the 95667 zip code and is for January of 2016, (See graphic).

So, I ran those same numbers and here is what it is as of this post…..112. This is very low inventory historically. Now would be the time to list your property for sale and not to wait until everyone else lists their homes for sale. Again see the chart and notice that the inventory increases dramatically in the months of May, Jun, July, etc. Don’t be caught up in the trend but rather set the trend.

If your home is not within the 95667 zip code and you would like this information for your specific area call me and I would be happy to get that information for you.

John Conca
530-306-3494

Here’s why 2016 will bring good news for potential homebuyers

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Article By Brena Swanson

Next year isn’t predicted to bring any giant hoopla to set off the market. However, moderate growth is more sustainable, and better for buyers.

According to Redfin’s forecast for 2016, “Most economists agree that housing prices and sales will continue to grow in 2016, just at a slower pace. Call it a slowdown, but not bad news.”

The New Year doesn’t bring all good news, with some bad tossed in the mixed. Overall, Redfin said, “All things considered, we see a fairly uneventful housing market next year.”

Here are Redfin’s five housing market predictions for 2016:

1. Prices and sales will grow half as fast

As price growth ebbs and mortgage rates rise, more homeowners will stay put. Sales will grow about half as fast as they did this year and prices will rise at a more normal 3.5% to 4.5%, down from almost 6% this year.

According to a recent report from RealtyTrac, for more than a third of the nation’s major metro areas, home prices have reached all-time highs in 2015.

2. Easier Credit

Americans for whom a mortgage has been just out of reach will have a better shot at qualifying for one in 2016.

Lenders will embrace new ways to measure creditworthiness and mortgages will evolve to serve a changing American household. For example, credit scores will better evaluate a person’s rental history and utility bill payments. More loans will allow buyers to include income from room rentals, live-in parents and extended-family members.

In a significant move for housing regulation, last week a bill was introduced in the House of Representatives that would allow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to consider alternative credit-scoring models beyond the FICO credit score the government-sponsored enterprises currently use when determining what loans to purchase.

3. More (and older) first-time buyers

We expect first-timers to make up a bigger portion of the market than they did this year. The reason is simple: The market will be more welcoming to them thanks to the aforementioned slowing price growth and easier access to loans. This year’s market dropouts have saved for bigger down payments and will be ready to give the market another shot early next year. And more of those millennials who had been holding off on buying for various reasons will finally be ready and able to in 2016.

In the Mortgage Bankers Association’s housing report that looks at the future decade, Lynn Fisher, MBA’s vice president of Research and Economics, said, “Improving employment markets will build on major demographic trends – including maturing of Baby Boomers, Hispanics and Millennials – to create strong growth in both owner and rental housing markets over the next decade.”

4. Slower market, slowing closings

The 2015 housing market was the fastest we’ve seen at Redfin. From January to October, the typical home was on the market for 36 days, four days faster than the same period in 2014. We expect the market to slow in 2016 as government-backed loans become more common and cash sales become less so. Because of low inventory, bidding wars will still be in force next year, but there will be a lower ceiling on price escalation as 2016 buyers won’t be willing or able to go as high as buyers have in recent years.

To help, here are a few tips from Minnesota Realtor Craig Kamman to help win a bidding war. On example he listed is to offer full price or more. Money is a major factor in a seller’s decision, but not the only one.

5. Continuing inventory shortage

The biggest risk to the 2016 market will be the continuation of inventory shortage, especially in the affordable segment of the market. The number of homes for sale shrank from 2014 to 2015 in 45 of the 60 metro tracked by Redfin. Inventory across all 60 metros is down 4 percent from a year ago.

The most recent pending home sales report from the National Association of Realtors said that sales have plateaued this fall as buyers struggle to overcome a scant number of available homes for sale and prices that are rising too fast in some markets.

Brena Swanson is the Digital Reporter for HousingWire.com, providing expert coverage on Millennials, lending and housing. Brena joined the HousingWire news team in February 2013, also serving in the roles of Reporter and Content Specialist. Brena graduated Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri.

Victorian Homes In Placerville

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Historical Placerville Victorians

If you’re here, you are likely enchanted by the lighthearted architecture and rich history found in Victorian style houses. Placerville is loaded with these houses as well as with interesting and old business buildings and stores such as the ones found on Historical Main St. Before we get to information on careful restoration or incorporating Victorian style into your own home, we should familiarize ourselves with the typical look found in the Victorian Style homes.

The west coast of the Unites States, surprisingly, includes far more examples of Queen Anne style homes than the North Eastern US. Keep your eyes peeled as you drive around town and side streets and you’ll get an eyeful of beautiful Victorian homes of all sizes and styles.

Famous Placerville Victorians

Here are some of the more famous Victorian style houses you can find while driving around Placerville.

The Combellack-Blair House 

800px-2009-0724-Placerville-CBhouse

 The Bee-Bennett House

SequoiaMansion2

 The Glen Morey Country House

Glen Morey Country House

The Albert Shafsky House

shafsky

The Seasons

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Placerville Victorians For Sale

Here are a handful of Placerville Victorian homes on the market at the time of publishing. Browse my website for current listings of Placerville Victorian homes.

Gorgeous Remodeled Victorian Close To Town 

coloma st victorian

Original Coleman 1890 Family Homestead 

coleman

Thomas Kinkade’s Victorian Christmas III

kincaid victorian

 

Victorian Style Home Series

This post is part of my Victorian Style Home Series. Follow my blog to receive updates on this series as well as helpful home tips and advice for buyers and sellers. Give me, John Conca, a call at (530) 306-3494 if you’re looking for an experienced Realtor in El Dorado County.

victorian style home cupid

Happy Thanksgiving

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Happy Thanksgiving!

no gobble 1

 

May Your Blessings Abound And Your Turkey Be Still

Have a great Thanksgiving making memories with your family and friends. Be filled with all the turkey, elk, rabbit, beef, chicken, fish, goose, lobster, pizza, duck, escargot, or tofu you can stomach! But mostly, be filled with the warmth of thankfulness for all you’ve been blessed with. 

Best wishes,

John Conca

 

How To Pack Up Seasonal Decorations

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Light The Pumpkins, Hang The Turkeys, and Deck The Halls

Holiday decorations are a time-honored tradition used to set the mood for celebrating your favorite holidays. Once the holiday has passed, however, the decorations start to look a little stale and feel more like clutter than decor. But what’s the best way to pack away your holiday treasures?

Contact me, John Conca; 530-306-3494, if you are searching for a home anywhere in El Dorado county, or if you are ready to sell your home. I’d be happy to discuss your options with you. You can find new Placerville listings here.

Flickr photo credit: Robert S. Donovan
Flickr photo credit: Robert S. Donovan

Begin With Boxes

Most of the time the things we use year after year are highly sentimental and of great personal value. These are the items you pass down to your children; items that are expected to outlive you. Whether you plan to store your holiday boxes in a climate-controlled storage unit, your basement, attic, or a spare bedroom, you should take into account any natural disaster that could strike. Any attic can leak, any basement can flood, any storage unit can have a meteorite fall through its roof and cause damage (ok, your items may be most safe in a climate-controlled storage unit), so plan accordingly by purchasing durable, water-proof, tight-closing storage bins in which to pack your precious heirloom candy dishes and handmade ornaments.

Take It Down

I like to start high and work my way lower. First I take down the fake cobwebs, the mistletoe, and any disposable items like candy-emptied advent calendars down and dispose of them. Then I take down the seasonal welcome signs, the hanging bat, the wooden Santa Claus (obviously I’m talking about any season here; these don’t all go up or down at once), the Easter Bunny wall hanging, and I set them in a safe spot like on my couch.

Next I empty the items from surfaces like bookshelves, the entertainment center, the mantle and the kitchen island and I place those with the other items on the couch. I try to sort them by size and/or fragility. Finally I pick up any decorations that hang out on the floor like the seasonal door stop, the welcome mat, the tree skirt and anything else and I clean them up before folding them and putting them on the couch.

The BIG Items

Flickr photo credit: Peretz Partensky
Flickr photo credit: Peretz Partensky

Christmas trees, Christmas lights, over-sized outdoor Halloween decorations, and anything that had “assembly required” printed on its box should be given their own time-slot to ensure proper care is taken with dis-assembly and packaging. With the Christmas tree, just work in backwards order from how you set it up. Except for the tree topper. I never understood why that has to go on last, but it makes sense that it should come down last.

Start with the most delicate ornaments, removing the hooks from each one and wrapping carefully in tissue, shredded wrapping paper or bubble-wrap and storing in either the packages they were purchased in, shoe boxes with tissue for padding or a box made for storing ornaments. Keep in mind you’ll probably want to store these boxes within a large water-proof bin. Finally remove the garland and lights from the tree and then the tree from its base.

Wrap Up Delicate Items

Flickr photo credit: greenacre8
Flickr photo credit: greenacre8

For the special items you’re packing away you’ll want at least 3 layers of protection:

  1. The initial wrap which will keep it safe from surface scratches. Tissue paper is my favorite as it’s usually abundant around holidays.
  2. The padding which keeps the items from being knocked around and breaking. As mentioned above; wrapping paper run through a shredder makes some great filling for this exact purpose. And you’re recycling!
  3. The outer package that will keep your items safe from the elements, pets, bugs, and curious children. This is usually the big water-proof storage bin, but sometimes it’s best to use shoe boxes within the big box to keep things organized.

Deal With The Bulky Items

Use your best judgment here. Sometimes it makes sense to cover a larger item with a sheet or blanket for protection from scratches, sometimes it makes sense to just put them in storage alongside the water-proof bins. Consider your storage area again here. If it’s in the attic, you might want to throw a tarp over the top of your larger items in case a tree falls and damages your roof during a storm letting water in. If it’s in the basement you might want to store the items too large for the safety of a bin on a higher shelf in case of flooding.

Flickr photo credit: lisaclarke
Flickr photo credit: lisaclarke

Move It On Out

At this point you should have a stack of boxes and several odd-shaped items in the middle of your living room and you should already know where it will be living for the next year. There’s not much else to do here but to get to it, so get to it! Move those items to storage. It’s a good idea to have teenagers around at this stage each year so they can do the grunt work for you.

Give It A Twice Over

I almost always find some odd, off-season item around the house in the weeks after un-decorating. The more diligent you are looking through your house, the less often you’ll have to head to storage to safely pack those items away. If your storage unit is a drive away it might be wise to keep an extra storage bin in a closet or garage for spare holiday decor you find in the coming weeks and for new items picked up throughout the year.

And Take A Deep Breath

De-decorating is a refreshing time. Do a little deep-cleaning where you find it’s necessary as you’re packing up and you’ll feel as good as after spring cleaning. Take care of and enjoy the space you live in for a better quality of life.

Thank you for stopping by! Please feel free to browse my website and follow my blog for updates on local events, real estate news, timely home maintenance suggestions and tips for buyers and sellers.