Info On The Go Ep 19: 5 Homebuying Myths

Posted on September 10, 2019 at 10:12 am
Dietric Williams | Posted in Education, Info On The Go, Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

L.A.’s Pizza Scene Is on Fire

Of all the untrue stereotypes about L.A.— and there are many—one of the most outrageous is the idea that it’s impossible to find good pizza here. Sure, not every pizza shop measures up to some of New York’s most iconic slices, but the depth of style and flavor you can find in Los Angeles is nothing to be shrugged off. Here are some of our favorite new spots serving some really great pizza.

60 N. Robertson Blvd., West Hollywood

Brentwood’s celeb-owned-and-frequented pizzeria is finally serving pizzaiolo Daniele Uditi’s now-legendary neo-Neapolitan pies in West Hollywood, too. It wouldn’t be a stretch to suggest Pizzana is the best pizzeria in L.A.—beloved late food critic Jonathan Gold once compared it to the best pizza in the world (Franco Pepe’s pizzeria in Caiazzo, Italy). The Cacio e Pepe and Neo Margherita pies are tried-and-true favorites, but we’re also excited about the new Salmone—topped with smoked salmon, ricotta crema and herbs, it’s a nod to the signature pizza at Wolfgang Puck’s Spago. 4

1534 N. McCadden Place, L.A.

The iconic pizzeria featured in Eat Pray Love has landed in Hollywood, attracting a cool crowd. The bright patio and homey design pair perfectly with the impossibly thin-crust pizza. The Margherita is famous for a reason, and an absolute must-order. 

1315 3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica

Hailing itself as “maximum quality and minimum BS,” Paperboy is tucked into the second floor of the Gallery Food Hall on Third Street Promenade. Grab some thin-crust pizzas (like spinach and ricotta or mushroom and leeks), pair with some shareables (like baked littlenecks or hot wings), and wash it all down with Paperboy’s draft beers or housemade wine coolers. 

826 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica

A recent addition to the already powerful Rustic Canyon Family of restaurants is Milo SRO (a “standing room only” version of Milo & Olive, not too far away), a pizza shop rocking delicious, 48-hour-fermented dough. A much more casual, laid-back spot than its big sister, Milo SRO is bound to be a hit in a neighborhood that can sometimes feel dominated by high-end dining options. 

7212 Melrose Ave., L.A.

The former Napoleon and Josephine space has come back to life with LN2. Though Fairfax is already bustling with pizza options, LN2 is firing up some creative originals, like duck confit with butternut squash, and caramelized fig with onion jam. There’s a strong lineup of ice cream too, all made with liquid nitrogen (hence the name). 

12924 Riverside Drive, Sherman Oaks

Possibly inspired by all the New York culinary transplants in recent years, Chicago has sent one of its most famous deep-dish restaurants our way. Gino’s East will likely come equipped with far too many expats who can’t wait to give you their opinions on pizza, but that shouldn’t stop you from giving Gino’s a look. We could use more deep-dish in L.A. 

1101 S. San Pedro St., Unit F, L.A.

Steve Samson has opened a pizza shop in the same courtyard as his restaurant Rossoblu, just steps away. Superfine is a great addition to a burgeoning section of downtown Los Angeles, and its casual nature truly serves the neighborhood. Don’t leave without some signature chili oil. 

3219 Glendale Blvd., L.A.

Though chef/owner David Wilcox’s Journeymen in Atwater Village didn’t last nearly long enough, he’s kept the space and highlights all the best parts of his cooking at Hail Mary. The small plates and salads here are very tasty, but it’d be a huge mistake to leave without pizza. All of the pies are incredibly creative, covered with toppings made in house and sometimes featuring the homemade sourdough Jonathan Gold loved so much. 

8810 Washington Blvd., Culver City

The acclaimed Brooklyn-based pizzeria now lives in Culver City’s hip Platform complex after a popular pop-up run. You can expect pastas and salads along with pizza, but the real reason to head over is the Bee Sting, topped with sopressata, mozzarella, chili oil and honey. Spicy, salty, sweet and perfect. 

Posted on September 10, 2019 at 10:02 am
Dietric Williams | Posted in Entertainment, Food | Tagged , , , ,

LA County To Vote On Permanent Rent Control

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is set to vote Tuesday on whether to make temporary rent control restrictions in the county’s unincorporated neighborhoods permanent.

The ordinance would put a ceiling on how much rent in buildings that opened prior to 1995 (except single-family homes) could be increased each year, with a limit of 8 percent.

The amount would change from year to year, based on the Consumer Price Index. Under temporary ordinance that’s in effect now and set to expire in December, landlords are barred from hiking rents more than 3 percent.

Evictions without “just cause” would continue to be prohibited in all rentals, meaning that, for the most part, tenants could not be evicted unless they broke the terms of their lease or failed to pay their rent.

The permanent ordinance would expand on protections offered by the temporary version, including requiring landlords to provide relocation assistance when tenants take buy-outs (also known as “cash for keys”) or are evicted without fault.

The regulations would apply to rental units in unincorporated areas of the county, including East LA, Altadena, Montrose, and Universal City. The permanent rules would protect 100,000 renters across the more than 120 unincorporated communities in LA County, according to Supervisor Sheila Kuehl.

A number of the proposed rules are similar to those in effect in the cities of Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and West Hollywood.

Supervisors are also set to vote on a proposal to set up the first phase of an “eviction defense and prevention program” that would include “full-scope legal representation for eligible tenants.” It would establish “eviction assistance centers” in courthouses and provide workshops and events to help educate tenants on their rights and the resources available to them.

If the board votes to move forward Tuesday with the permanent rent cap and the other regulations, the ordinance would be written up by November 12 and would come back to the board for final approval.

To find out if an apartment is in unincorporated LA County, select the “district map look up by address” option from the dropdown menu on the county’s precinct mapping site.

Posted on September 10, 2019 at 9:39 am
Dietric Williams | Posted in Education, Real Estate | Tagged ,

Is a Rental Property a Good Investment?

The price of real estate has skyrocketed over the past several years causing many first-time buyers to consider purchasing real estate in more affordable parts of the country. While this won’t be your primary residence now, it could be someday. If that’s important try to imagine where you’d want to live and the type of home you’d want t live in. 

What To Know About Buying Rental Property?

Real estate markets can shift so buying property in a suburb today might be a better investment than buying something in-town…even if you don’t see yourself living there one day. Try to separate out the investment from your dream home. If it works out, great! If not, and you’ve focused on finding a solid investment, you can always sell that property and use the proceeds to buy the home you want in the future.

You should also consider what type of property might interest you. Do you want to buy a property that might house one to four families. If you’re looking for a property with more than one unit, do you want a duplex, triplex or quadruplex?  Typically anything more than four units is considered commercial property and that may impact the type of financing you get.  In some situations, buying smaller properties might give you more options vs buying a building with 10 apartments. You’ll need to educate yourself in this area to understand how the type and size of the building can affect the financing available to you. 

Managing and Maintaining Your Rental Property

Once you’ve chosen the type of property, you need to focus on the location and how you will manage that property. 

Long distance or out-of-state investors will need some local help (a family member or a professional management company) in order to manage the rental property. The reason is that, they won’t have the ability to quickly get to the property to handle problems or rental issues. If you’re going to rely on friends and family, you’ll need to have the property be in close proximity to them. If the property is too far, they’re less likely to help. 

The duties your property manager should undertake may include 1) scheduling maintenance or repairs, 2) helping find new tenants, 3) collecting rent, or 4) simply driving by to make sure the home is well-cared for. If you hire a professional management company remember to factor that cost into your budget and do some hard due diligence online before signing any type of contractual agreement.   

Keeping the property rented is particularly important. Sure, there will be times when the property is vacant – and you’ll need to cover those times financially – but vacant property carries its own risks (make sure your insurance covers those vacancies). 

Financing Your Rental Property and Tax Implications

Investment properties typically command a higher interest rate for the loan, have higher loan fees and require a higher down payment (usually 20% of the purchase price). You’ll also want the person(s) who prepare your taxes to walk you through the state and federal income tax implications. (Filing in the state in which the property is located may be another expense).

You may want to hire a real estate attorney to guide you in the purchase (even if one isn’t typically used for a residential deal in that part of the country) and be sure to get input on the lease you’ll be using for your future tenants.

There are loads of resources about how to be a successful real estate investor. I am more than happy to talk to you about how to value rental property, the ins-and-outs of being a landlord as well as the mechanics of renting vs buying a property you intend to live in. If you decide you don’t mind being a landlord check out Bigger Pockets an online community for real estate investors. 

Should you decide to purchase out of state, I have a vast array of resources and connections to help you find a real estate agent who can work with to help you make this investment.

That’s a quick summary of some of the biggest issues you’ll face, but there are many others: insurance, repairs and 1031 tax-free exchanges. As always, feel free to contact me should you need professional advise on how to proceed.


Posted on September 10, 2019 at 9:28 am
Dietric Williams | Posted in Education, Real Estate | Tagged , , , , ,

Info On The Go Episode 18 2019 Mid Year Forecast

Posted on August 13, 2019 at 5:39 pm
Dietric Williams | Posted in Education, Info On The Go, Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

8 Ways to Invest in Real Estate for Retirement

Let’s face it, investing of any kind can be complicated at any point in your life. However, investing in or near retirement can be especially arduous. At retirement you need your assets to be relatively free of risk while keeping pace with inflation. In many cases, you need your assets to provide income. Or, you want to minimize taxes and costs. It is definitely something you cannot afford to get wrong. Most of us need the money we have accumulated over our lifetimes to fund our golden years.So, is real estate a good investment at this stage in your life? It all depends. What are your interests? What kind of money do you have to invest? What are your financial goals? What kind of lifestyle considerations might come into play?

The Key Benefit of Real Estate for Retirement

Real estate is an asset class with high returns. It also usually offers a hedge against inflation. Since real estate has historically been inversely correlated with conventional assets, it can be a good way to diversify your investments away from the stock market.

Let’s take a look at eight ways to invest in real estate for retirement:

1. Own Your Own Home

For most people, their home is their most valuable asset — worth more than their savings.

However, this asset is not always thought of as a way to help fund retirement.

There are so many different ways to utilize your home equity to generate retirement income or hedge against unknown risks — from downsizing to leveraging equity to fund a long term care need and more.

2. Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)

A Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) is an investment in a collection of properties or other real estate assets. They are kind of like a mutual fund but instead of a collection of company stocks, it is a collection of properties. REITs have a special tax status that requires them to pay out at least 90% of their income as dividends. There are many types of REITs — some have very high risks (mortgage REITs — investments in mortgages) but most are quite stable (equity REITs — investments in actual properties).

3. Buy, Improve and Flip

“Flip or Flop,” “Love It or List It” and “Fixer Upper” are just a few of the many popular TV shows that showcase the ins and outs of buying, fixing and reselling houses for a profit.

Flipping, also called wholesale real estate investing, is when you purchase a property not to use, but with the intention of selling it for a financial gain.

The art of flipping can certainly be a profitable venture. It can also be a very good way to lose money, especially if you don’t have the right assets, skills and know how. You need real estate knowledge, home improvement skills, access to cash, some financial expertise and maybe a bit of luck to successfully flip properties.

4. Purchase Residential Property and Rent it Out to Long Term Renters

This is what most people think of when they think of real estate investing — buying a property and renting it out.

The trick is that you need to consistently have tenants who are willing to pay enough for you to cover any mortgage you have on the property plus: insurance, taxes and maintenance.

5. Purchase Commercial Property and Rent it Out

Experts suggest that owning commercial property can be more profitable than residential real estate. However, it can also have more risk, be more complicated (juggling multiple tenants) and require a bigger cash outlay.

6. Purchase Commercial Property and Run Your Own Business

Who has dreamed of retiring to an island and running a little grass shack bar in the sand? (It’s not really just me is it?)

Whether you have ideas about a beachside rum shack, a bed and breakfast in Ireland, a fishing shop in Belize, a bookstore in your home town or some other retirement business, the real value of your venture can often be in the real estate itself.

The biggest expense of most brick and mortar businesses is the real estate. So, owning the property could increase your long term wealth and monthly income.

7. Buy a Vacation Home and Rent it Out Part Time

Owning a vacation property as an investment usually means that you rent it out to tenants for shorter time periods. If you have the right house in a desirable location, you might be able to make as much money from a few vacation renters as you could from a year round tenant elsewhere.

And, maybe you can enjoy some time there yourself!

8. Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is a relatively new way to raise money for a business venture. The idea is that many people invest a small amount into a particular project. The crowdfunding concept is becoming an increasingly popular and low cost way to invest in real estate.

Let’s say that you want to invest in residential rentals and think the ideal property is a 10 unit building but you have nowhere near the assets to make that kind of investment. Crowdfunding allows you participate in that type of venture — without the huge capital outlay nor the hassle of buying and maintaining the property yourself.

Matt Rodak, CEO of Fund That Flip explains crowdfunding like this: “Real estate crowdfunding provides investors the ability to individually select each property they wish to invest in. This allows investors to be more selective on a project-by-project basis and build a custom portfolio aligned to their specific investment objectives.”

Source: New Retirement

Posted on August 13, 2019 at 5:27 pm
Dietric Williams | Posted in Money & Finance, Real Estate, Retirement | Tagged , , , ,

13 Best Grilling Tips for Summer

1. Gas vs. Charcoal

The age-old debate over which grilling method is “better” involves multiple variables, from flavor to cost to convenience. While no studies prove that either is healthier, gas does burn cleaner. Charcoal grills emit more carbon monoxide, particulate matter and soot into the atmosphere, contributing to increased pollution and higher concentrations of ground-level ozone. From a taste perspective, on the other hand, many people prefer the smokier, richer taste of food cooked on a charcoal grill.

2. Get It Hot!

Preheat your grill 15 to 25 minutes before you start cooking to make sure it reaches the right temperature (and to kill any bacteria). Your grill should be 400-450°F for high, 350-400°F for medium-high, 300-350°F for medium and 250-300°F for low heat. A properly heated grill sears foods on contact, keeps the insides moist and helps prevent sticking. While searing doesn’t “seal in” the juices (contrary to popular belief ), it does create improved flavors through caramelization.

3. Additive-Free

If you do choose charcoal grilling, we recommend additive-free lump charcoal, which is just charred wood. Conventional briquettes may contain wood scraps and sawdust as well as coal dust, sodium nitrate, borax and additives like paraffin or lighter fluid. As for lighter fluid, we recommend avoiding it altogether. Lighter fluid can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air, leave an unpleasant residue on food and pose a serious danger if used improperly.

4. Brush It Off

It’s easier to remove debris when the grill is hot, so after preheating, use a long-handled wire grill brush on your grill rack to clean off charred debris from prior meals. Scrape again immediately after use.

5. Oil It Up

Even on a clean grill, lean foods may stick when placed directly on the rack. Reduce sticking by oiling your hot grill rack with a vegetable oil-soaked paper towel: hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack. (Do not use cooking spray on a hot grill.)

6. Safety First

Food safety is a top priority, so keep these simple rules from the USDA in mind: avoid cross-contamination by using separate cutting boards, utensils and platters for raw and cooked foods; refrigerate foods while marinating; and never baste with the marinating liquid. (Make extra marinade just for basting or boil your marinating liquid first.)

7. Marinate Your Meat

Marinating does more than infuse food with flavor; it also inhibits the formation of potentially carcinogenic HCAs (heterocyclic amines), which form when grilling “muscle meats” like poultry, red meat and fish. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), marinating can reduce HCA formation by as much as 92 to 99 percent.

8. A Chimney Starter

A chimney starter (, $14.99) makes starting a charcoal fire a breeze. Just place crumpled paper in the bottom of the chimney, fill it with charcoal and light the paper. In about 20 minutes the coals will be ready to spread evenly in the bottom of the grill—no kindling, no lighter fluid, no perfect pyramid required.

9. Is It Done?

The best way to know if protein is fully cooked is to check its internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer.

10. Use A Grill Basket

Use a grill basket for foods that might fall through the grill rack or are too cumbersome to turn over one by one (vegetables, fish, tofu, fruits, etc.).

11. The Hand Test

To gauge the temperature of a grill without a thermometer, place your open palm about 5 inches above the grill rack; the fire is high if you have to move your hand in 2 seconds, medium if you have to move your hand in 5 seconds and low if you have to move your hand in 10 seconds.

12. Tame The Flames

Flare-ups happen when fat drips onto the heat source and catches fire. This causes carcinogenic PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) to form and accumulate on your food. Meat licked by flames also tastes “off” and flames may char the outside of food before the inside has thoroughly cooked. To reduce flare-ups, select lean cuts of meat, trim excess fat and remove poultry skin. And, keep a squirt bottle of water near the grill to quickly douse any unexpected flare-ups.

13. Give It A Rest

Most importantly, let finished meats rest on a clean platter, tented with foil, for about 10 minutes before carving so juices can redistribute evenly.

Source: Eating Well

Posted on August 13, 2019 at 5:07 pm
Dietric Williams | Posted in Entertaining, Ideas & Tips | Tagged , , , , ,

Housing Construction Surging in Los Angeles

Builders in Los Angeles County are on track to complete nearly 10,000 new homes before the end of the year, according to a new report from real estate company Marcus and Millichap.

The 9,400 units of housing on the way in the second half of 2019 is higher than the number of units constructed in all of 2018—or 2017.

Most economists agree that building new housing is a key part of addressing steep rental prices and home costs throughout the state. Gov. Gavin Newsom pledged last year to oversee construction of 3.5 million new homes by 2025. If distributed according to population, that would leave LA County responsible for contributing nearly 900,000 residences to that total.

Projects have been wrapping up at a relatively high rate over the last year, though not high enough to meet the pace proposed by Newsom. From June 2018 to June 2019, 10,680 units opened. That was double the roughly 5,300 completed in the 12 months prior.

New U.S. Census data also suggests this miniature boom won’t last.

In the first six months of 2019, developers in the Los Angeles metropolitan area (Los Angeles and Orange counties) received permits to build 13,015 homes. If that pace keeps up, the region will permit nearly 3,500 fewer homes in 2019 than during the prior year—a drop of 12 percent.

The local dip in new permits is part of a statewide decline in new housing development brought on partly by rising construction costs.

Still, at the end of June, nearly 28,000 new units were under construction in Los Angeles County, with most expected to wrap up by the end of 2021.

That’s a lot of new homes on the way to an area suffering from the effects of a profound shortage of affordable housing. But the authors of the Marcus and Millichap report argue that the region’s extremely low vacancy rate could prevent those new units from making a significant impact on the local cost of housing.

With just 3.6 percent of rental homes sitting empty (and thus ready for a tenant), there’s room in the market for new options; the report’s authors write that an “influx” of newly built apartments is unlikely to create “oversupply concerns” for investors.

That means that even a small surge in local development may not move the needle much for those struggling to afford rent.

According to a report released earlier this year by the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, the gap between wages and rents in Los Angeles is the third-widest of any metropolitan area in the country.

Source: Curbed LA

Posted on August 13, 2019 at 4:24 pm
Dietric Williams | Posted in Real Estate | Tagged , ,