Water Pipe Leaks West Portal

This was sent to me through the Greater West Portal Neighborhood Association.  If water pipe leaks in the West Portal Area have affected you, please contact below.

Dear Neighbors,

CBS 5 is looking into a long series of water pipe leaks along the L
Taraval line. Residents have had to make costly repairs to pipes between the street and their homes, often multiple times. It’s possible these unusual instances of corrosion in copper pipes are due to stray current from the MUNI LRV’s.

Since we began investigating this issue in 2007, the city has been
reluctant to release information related to their own investigation,
and has most recently told us their probe was “inconclusive” and
that there is no written report. However, officials say letters went
out to about 200 households in the area asking if they had trouble, and inviting them to request help. The city says only 1 household responded. We have not found anyone so far who received this letter.

Have you received such a letter? Or, have you filed a claim for water pipe work? Or, have you received any compensation? Or, have you had to pay for your own repairs?

If so, please contact CBS 5 Producer Abby Sterling at 415-765-8972 or asterling@kpix.cbs.com.

Thank you.

Buy and hold strategy-for wine

I just had to post this article from the San Francisco Business Times.  Must  be my mood today.  And of course, enjoying a glass of wine (or two) at dinner.

A buy and hold strategy, for wine?!  Why not?

Enjoy.

Earthquake insurance for your condo?

Getting earthquake insurance for your condo?  That’s the dilema for many condo owners.  Most (in San Francisco at least) home owners associations do not have earthquake insurance covering the condo common areas and buildings because it’s expensive, which would reflect itself in higher monthly home owners association fees.  I have had clients in the past who, at least initially, refused to look at condo buildings that did not have earthquake insurance-unfortunately, that limits the pool of available buildings.  In the end, you can 1) accept the buildings there are with earthquake insurance; 2) not buy a condo; 3) buy in a newer construction building up to current code and hope for the best; or 4) get over it and take a chance.  The following article was written in May of 2010, but it’s timeless in it’s message-I’ve had this same conversation with clients since I got into real estate in the mid-90’s.

Condo owners on shaky ground-San Francisco Chronicle

Loan Modification Considerations

This is an older article I’ve had saved from the San Francisco Chronicle-but still very timely.

With the economy still on the long, slow road in recovery (I wonder if there is a 12 step program for this?), many homeowners are still considering their options when it comes to loan modifications, short sales and foreclosures.  The SF Chronicle article reiterates the need to be cautious and ask lots of questions as it relates to loan modification considerations.

Of course the double whammy is that by the time you get to the point where you have to make the decision, there isn’t much money to pay professionals to ask questions.  Unfortunately, that’s exactly what you need to do.  Certainly, talk to your accountant, a real estate attorney, your favorite mortgage broker and your real estate agent to get a sense of what questions each of them would ask, your future goals and how a modification may fit into that plan.  Before you spend $1,500-2,000 for someone claiming they can do a modification for you, talk to all the folks I listed above.  For under $1,000, you should get all the info you need to proceed.

Loan changes can hurt your credit score-SF Chronicle

Time to move up in San Francisco?

If ever you think it’s time to move-up in San Francisco and get the most advantage out of the market you can, this could be a great time.

Here’s the thing.  It only works if you have some extra cash, or equity in your home.  With financing available, but lenders scrutinizing more, you need to qualify for the mortgage.  With rates lower, your good credit rating, and your equity, you may be able to get more for your money than you thought!

Time to move up in San Francisco-SFGate