Real Estate Tax Tip For Itemizers (aka Loophole ALERT) – Consider Paying Your Second Installment Property Tax Bill Early (as 2018+ is Now Capped)

  • December 27th, 2017
  • devinlucas

Consider prepayment of your property taxes in 2017. Newport Beach, California – H.R. 1, known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which both houses of Congress passed on December 20, 2017, contains a large number of provisions that affect individual taxpayers, especially homeowners. As of January 1, 2018 – single or married – you […]

Forming an LLC to Hold Real Estate in California

  • December 11th, 2016
  • devinlucas

Forming an LLC (a Limited Liability Company) to hold real estate has long been a common approach for estate planning, tax, liability and privacy concerns. While this practice is perfectly legal in California and elsewhere, there are some considerations and tax implications. High-end properties, especially those purchased in all-cash transactions, such as many homes in […]

Rental Increases in California: Timeframe for Proper Notice

  • August 5th, 2016
  • devinlucas

Rent Increases:Generally speaking (lease provisions must be reviewed), in areas without rent control (all of Orange County as of Summer 2016), there is no limit to the amount a landlord can increase the rent as long as proper advance notice is provided to the tenant. The length of notice is dependent upon the percentage of […]

Feds Expand Reporting Requirements In All Cash Purchases to Some Areas of California

  • August 4th, 2016
  • devinlucas

The U.S. Treasury in late July announced its intention to expand its Geographic Targeting Orders (GTO), temporarily requiring U.S. title insurance companies to identify the natural persons behind shell companies used to pay “all cash” for high-end residential real estate in six major metropolitan areas, including five in California. Expanding the GTOs is a continued […]

Evicting a Tenant Over Failure to Obtain Renter’s Insurance? Think Again.

  • May 19th, 2016
  • devinlucas

In Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, and Orange County Communities, where rental properties are abundant, landlords routinely require tenants to obtain “renter’s insurance” – insurance to protect the renter’s personal property, i.e. their T.V., clothing, etc. – in case of a fire, burglary, or other incident.  Many landlords take a firm position “requiring” the tenant to […]

Fair Housing Foundation’s Tip of the Month: Responding to Landlord Notices (and tips for landlords on how to serve a notice)

  • January 27th, 2016
  • devinlucas

From the Fair Housing Foundation – their “Tip of the Month”… Visit for more information… Responding to Notices Tenants: Receiving a notice from your landlord can be a very stressing occurrence. It is of the upmost importance that responding to the notice takes priority and that you respond as soon as possible to resolve the […]

Neighbor Disputes: Repairing or Replacing a Shared Fence

  • October 27th, 2015
  • devinlucas

In Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, Orange County Communities and elsewhere, good neighbors can be the key to a happy home; thus the reverse is also true. Neighbor disputes, frequently surrounding fence line and property line issues, can be the end-all of confrontational matters and lend to costly litigation. A shared fence, worn and in need […]

Hiring a Contractor? – A Few Tips to Consider

  • October 11th, 2015
  • devinlucas

Remodeling your Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, Orange County or other California property? – Hiring a contractor is a significant decision, with quality and pricing varying dramatically, especially on any larger scale project.  Check out this info graphic from the California Contractors State License Board and the California Association of REALTORS® for some good tips. -Devin […]

Option Agreements in California Real Property Transactions

  • September 10th, 2015
  • devinlucas

Most commonly, an “Option Agreement” is a rent-to-own situation, more frequent in a landlord-tenant context. Typically (though 100 percent negotiable), an Option Agreement works like this: The Property Owner (called the “Optionor”) agrees to sell a home and/or parcel of land (the “Real Property”) to the Buyer (called the “Optionee”) at a later date, for […]

Fair Housing Foundation Tip of the Month: Rent Increases

  • August 28th, 2015
  • devinlucas

Fair Housing Foundation Tip of the Month: Rent Increases In areas without rent control, there is no limit to the amount a landlord can increase the rent, provided it’s done so with proper notice and not being done in retaliation or based on a discriminatory motive.  In Los Angeles County some cities do have rent […]