HOME & GARDEN
April 18, 2014 |
"This is the irony," mused homeowner Richard Turner as he looked over the newly installed and remarkably realistic-looking artificial lawn in his mid-Wilshire frontyard. "We grow grass to make the illusion that we don't live in a desert. Here I am, enhancing the illusion of a lawn that is the illusion we don't live in a desert. " And there's the rub. The iconic lush, green lawn - part and parcel of a mystique deeply embedded in the Southern California psyche and its landscape - has reached a crossroads.
April 15, 2014 |
Most Californians can't afford their rent. The state's affordability crisis has worsened since the recession, as soaring home prices and rents outpace job and income growth. Meanwhile, government funds to combat the problem have evaporated. Local redevelopment agencies once generated roughly $1 billion annually for below-market housing across California, but the roughly 400 agencies closed in 2012 to ease a state budget crisis. In addition, almost $5 billion from state below-market housing bonds, approved by voters last decade, is nearly gone.
April 13, 2014 |
Question: Thinking this would be cost-effective housing, I bought a condo in the Riverside County area. Since then I've asked the board to repair my unit's balcony railing numerous times to no avail. Six years later, I received a notification that the balconies on all 96 units must be repaired, costing each owner more than $3,000. I have no say in the way things are done around here. This homeowner association has wasted thousands of dollars on repeated cosmetic primping like painting, parking lot slurry seal, landscape and more.
April 13, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Renewal of important expired federal tax benefits for homeowners took a major step forward recently, but the route to final congressional approval is beginning to look longer - and potentially bumpier - than previously expected. Here's why. The Senate Finance Committee overwhelmingly approved a package of tax code goodies that includes a two-year reauthorization of the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act, plus similar extensions for deductions of mortgage insurance premiums and energy-saving improvements to homes.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 7, 2014 |
SACRAMENTO -- The state Senate took action to protect condominium and mobile home owners from fines from their homeowners associations for not maintaining yards at times when they face government water conservation orders because of a drought. State Sen. Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber) said his urgency measure is needed because some residents of common-interest developments face conflicting mandates when the governor has declared a drought. "It gives some comfort to the homeowners in homeowners associations right now who might be subjected to this double penalty," Nielsen told his colleagues.
April 6, 2014 |
Question: Our manager refuses owner requests for documents, causing our association to be sued several times a year. Each time she comes to court as a defendant, she brings her so-called evidence and answers, "Your honor, see Exhibit X. " She overloads on exhibits, most of which are contrived for the purpose of that hearing. Her main strategy includes putting on big exhibit head notes supposedly explaining what each exhibit consists of, but when the exhibits are scrutinized and read, they have little or nothing to do with what is head-noted.