Real Estate

George Walton is president of Alameda Structural, Inc., a Diamond Certified company since 2008. He can be reached at (510) 371-5956 or by email.

The Importance of a Pre-Purchase Soils Report

Posted on March 30, 2018 by James Florence

ALAMEDA — When buying a home in the Berkeley Hills, one important step is having a soils report performed by a geotechnical engineer. Why? Because if the home needs foundation work, you’ll need to know what type of soil it’s sitting on.

I’ve seen many instances in this area where foundation repairs were improperly engineered because no one had performed a soils report. This can lead to dire consequences—in fact, a foundation repair that’s incorrectly performed can result in a worse situation than what the home was previously in. For example, drilling a pier in the side of a hill that’s composed of landslide material can encourage a landslide to occur. Likewise, drilling a pier in the wrong kind of soil material can drag the house down rather than stabilize it. Read more

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Video: Real Estate Sewer Inspections

Posted on March 30, 2018 by James Florence

SAN FRANCISCO — Host, Sarah Rutan: When ordering inspections for a prospective home purchase, don’t neglect the importance of a sewer inspection. Today we’re in San Francisco with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Jonathan Millington of Ace Plumbing and Rooter to learn more.

Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, Jonathan Millington: Often I will see that people will have purchased homes, and they will have a home inspection. They will inspect the roof, the structure, the foundation, but oftentimes they will not have the sewer inspected by way of video inspection.

I highly recommend video inspection when purchasing a home to show you the quality of the sewer line and warn you of any upcoming expenses. Read more

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The Importance of Sewer Inspections in Real Estate

Posted on March 27, 2018 by James Florence

SAN FRANCISCO — Before purchasing a home, buyers typically have a number of inspections performed to ensure the property’s integrity. A few common areas of inspection include the roof, the structure and the foundation. However, there’s one area of the home where inspection is equally crucial yet often overlooked: the sewer system.

Most people know how important the sewer system is to a home’s functionality, which is reason enough to have it inspected before purchasing. What’s more, sewer line problems can be expensive to fix, with major repair projects often falling into the $5,000 to $10,000 range. Considering the potential expense, it’s certainly worth paying a couple hundred dollars to verify the sewer system’s condition before you buy. Read more

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How to Buy Additional Time for a 1031 Exchange

Posted on March 23, 2018 by James Florence

VALLEJO — If you’re planning to upgrade from one investment property to another, you’ll naturally want to retain as much of your original profit as possible. The problem is capital gains taxes can really put a dent in your bottom line. Fortunately, there’s a way to sidestep this issue: a 1031 exchange. This government-sanctioned tax loophole allows you to roll the profits from your original (“downleg”) property into your subsequent (“upleg”) property so you don’t lose money on the transaction.

However, 1031 exchanges come with a lot of rules, some of which can be anxiety-inducing—particularly the limited timeframe you’re given to complete your transaction. Once your downleg property has sold, you have a mere 45 days to find your upleg property and six months to close on it. Read more

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Video: Purchasing an Older Home

Posted on January 02, 2018 by James Florence

NAPA — Host, Sarah Rutan: If you’re thinking about buying an older home, you’ll want to look at a few key aspects before making an offer. Today we’re in Napa with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Voldi Chandler of Chandler Construction to learn more.

Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, Voldi Chandler: Here’s a couple things to consider before purchasing an older home. First, you want to check and make sure that it has a quality roof on it. A bad roof can lead to lots of other issues that could be unforeseen. The other thing is you want to check and make sure you have a solid foundation. That, obviously, is what your whole house sits on. Read more

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3 Considerations for Buying an Antique Home

Posted on January 02, 2018 by James Florence

NAPA — The idea of living in an antique home may seem romantic, but it’s easy to overlook the potential practical drawbacks. To avoid making a poor decision, take a look at three key aspects before making an offer.

1. Roof

One of the first things you should check before buying an antique home is the condition of its roof. A bad roof can lead to a lot of issues, many of which can affect the entire home. For example, undetected roof leaks can lead to issues with dry rot, which, depending on their extent, can result in the need for expensive repairs.

2. Foundation

It’s also critical to check a home’s foundation prior to purchase. Read more

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Permits and Real Estate

Posted on December 18, 2017 by James Florence

CUPERTINO — Many homeowners overlook the importance of getting permits for remodeling, plumbing and other types of work. The reality is that getting permits isn’t just important for ensuring work is done up to code—it can also affect future attempts to sell the home.

By law, sellers are required to disclose any work done to their homes without a permit. A lot of unpermitted work can be a deal-breaker for buyers, or at least prompt them to negotiate a lower price. That’s why being lax about permits can affect your bottom line if you decide to sell your home later.

In some cases, homeowners simply don’t realize permits are required for the work being done on their homes. Read more

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