Could rent control be coming to San Diego?

A statewide vote to allow more widespread rent control could have big implications for San Diego County if it passes.

The effort, led by tenants rights groups and bankrolled by Los Angeles HIV/AIDS activist Michael Weinstein, qualified for the Nov. 6 ballot in June.

If approved by voters, the initiative would repeal a 1995 law that limited county and city governments’ ability to slow rent hikes. Even if it passes, it would still be up to local lawmakers to approve rent control or approve citizens’ initiatives.

San Diego is one of the few big cities in California with no form of rent control, unlike San Francisco, Berkeley and Los Angeles.

Alan Gin, an economist at the University of San Diego, said rent limitations may help some people but it could result in less housing being built, something desperately needed in the state.

“Housing prices have gotten way out of hand in California,” he said. “Even though I don’t think (rent control) will work, I can understand people’s frustration.”

Economists typically argue that rent control will lead to a reduction in the quality and quantity of housing available. But, that hasn’t stopped frustrated renters in San Diego and the rest of California from taking action.

The average San Diego County rent in March was $1,887, pushed up by an influx of new, high-end apartments downtown, said MarketPointe Realty Advisors. It has increased 8 percent in a year.

A local organizer for Prop 10, Paola Martinez, said low-income Californians are struggling to survive. She said arguments that rent control would slow housing production are hard to stomach for low-income renters.

“Housing is being created, it’s just not the type of housing we need,” she said of new residential projects. “We are not building affordable housing.”

One of the most common arguments against rent control is that if a landlord knows they can’t charge more, they won’t fix up the apartment. Try telling that to a San Diego renter, Martinez said.

“Even without rent control, those issues are still there,” she said. “We’re seeing increases of rent at a super high rate in pretty deplorable conditions, uninhabitable conditions. Their landlords aren’t making any repairs, even when they are increasing the rent.”

Prop. 10 would repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, which bans cities and counties from capping rent increases on apartments built after 1995. If passed, it means new apartment buildings that are being constructed downtown could be subject to the law. The act also prevents rent control on single-family homes.

Read the rest HERE!

‘Faceless Bunker’ From ‘Fixer Upper’ Takes Title of This Week’s Most Popular Home

Why it’s here:
 Chip and Joanna Gaines strike again! It’s another example of a home featured on “Fixer Upper” with a premium price tag. The “Faceless Bunker” from the show’s second season got a major face-lift from the home renovation team, and a major markup when it recently landed on the market.

The current owners bought the place in 2014, when it was listed for a mere $349,900. The remodeled abode sits on nearly 2 acres, and has a signature Gaines look, with gleaming floors, a new kitchen, and a gorgeous master suite with spa bath.

See the homes HERE

Pot Humor: 12 Hilarious Planters to Perk Up Your Home

When you think about exciting home decor, chances are good your mind probably doesn’t immediately drift to planters.

Terra-cotta, ceramic, plastic—they’re pots. For plants. What more is there to say on the subject?

A lot, apparently! In fact, there’s a whole, wide world of weird, hilarious, and creative—did we say weird?—planters out there, just waiting for you to discover them.

So check out these fun ways you could be showing off your houseplants. Although to be honest, if you snag one of these, we have a feeling no one’s going to be focused on your plants

See the 12 HERE

Lower the Drawbridge: This Week’s Most Popular Home Is a Castle in Michigan

1. 8 Marquette Dr, Marquette, MI 

Price: $1,500,000
Why it’s here: Hear ye, hear ye, all those with royal aspirations. This is one cool castle. The 15th-century-style facade is festooned with turrets and flags and gives way to a modern interior. Designed and built by the owner, general contractor Jorma Lankinen, the layout includes four bedrooms, 3.5 baths, and 5,546 square feet. 

Fit for a king, the spread includes a large living room with floor-to-ceiling brick fireplace, casual and formal dining areas, hand-painted murals created by a local artist, and a well-appointed kitchen. The master suite offers a private deck, plus there’s an office, a home theater with a bar, and a sauna.

Asked why he built the magnificent palace, Lankinen said, “Because I could. It’s my personal home. I’m a builder. I’ve been building homes for 45 years already. I just wanted to build something unique.” Mission totally accomplished!

The home builder says he’s ready to move on to his next project and create another custom-built home. Can he top a castle?

See the rest HERE

Renters Become Majority in More than 20 Major US cities – The Millennials are Not Coming to Save the Market.

The notion that somehow an affluent set of Millennials is going to shift the housing market is not happening.  What is happening is rather clear; historically low housing inventory is causing prices to inflate in the face of what has been very low new home building.  If you want to buy, your options are usually an outdated crap shack that is already at an inflated price or in some new areas, glorified condos where builders are trying to max out every square inch of development where you can smell what your neighbor is cooking.  The fact remains the same, over the past decade there has been a dramatic shift of renter household formation (not homeownership).  For Millennials, tastes are dramatically different.  Sure, you have Taco Tuesday baby boomers glued to Fox, MSBC, or CNN (typical age of viewers is 60+) so many are simply out of touch with the wants of younger Americans.  Builders however understand this dynamic and multi-family unit construction has been running briskly for the last few years.  Many large cities have now converted into renting majority locations.

Majority Renter Cities Expand

More than 20 large cities are now renting majority cities.  This is a big shift and of course goes against the trend that things are back to “normal” in the sense that if you want to own in certain locations you will need to overpay for a crap shack.  Low inventory and house humping logic are powerful draws.  Many over spend dramatically when they buy.  You see this with DINKs – they buy with two incomes but then pop out a kid and suddenly realize that in many overpriced hoods that daycare is expensive if you want to maintain a dual income household.  We’re talking $1,200 to $1,800 a month.  Forget about feeding an extra mouth or two.  Yet they assume today will be like tomorrow.  Nothing in their formula accounts for unexpected costs.

Read the rest HERE

10 Castles for Sale That Are Fit for Royalty

American fans of the British monarchy will be double-checking their alarms to ensure they don’t miss a moment of the upcoming royal wedding of Britain’s Prince Harry to American actress Meghan Markle.

Inspired by their impending nuptials, we’re highlighting 10 castles fit for a king and queen, or at least a duke and duchess. As Lorde helpfully pointed out, most of us will never be royals. But that doesn’t mean we can’t live like royalty, right here in America.

There are gorgeous properties in varying styles, sizes, and ages. One of them is a stunner in Milwaukee, modeled after a French chateau.

“My sellers have put the house on Airbnb, and they were booked solid because of the castle feel,” says listing agent Melanie Gilmore-Gaar.

Because who wouldn’t want to be queen for a day—or a least a weekend?

But a weekend stay is far different from owning your own castle, which means maintenance, more maintenance, and lots of mowing the lawn.

“The backyard is the size of a football field,” Gilmore-Gaar says of her listing. The upside is a spacious place for entertaining and perhaps even hosting events such as (nonroyal) weddings.

Practice your bow and curtsy, put on your fascinator, and check out these 10 glorious castles on the market.

See the Castles HERE

How Much Space Can $200K Get You?

At $1,585, the median price per square foot in Manhattan is miles away from Cleveland’s ($53/square foot). We calculated that, for $200,000, you could buy a tiny 126-square-foot room in the borough, but it would be difficult to actually live in such a place. Plus, it’s highly unlikely you’d even find a listing of that size and price in Manhattan.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, in Cleveland, for $200,000, you could buy more than enough space to enjoy, and then some. You could own a house so big that you’d be hosting fancy Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings, with spare rooms for your extended family.

San Francisco, Boston and San Jose are in the same boat as Manhattan, where prices are sky-high, and the market is on fire, while El Paso, San Antonio and Memphis boast an affordability similar to Cleveland’s. San Antonio stand outs from the latter group with its thriving business activity, and the health and education sectors driving the economy in the area. The development pipeline is also robust, so San Antonio is definitely worth looking into, because with $200,000, you could buy a sizable 3,249-square-foot home there.

For the same amount, you could purchase a home ranging from 400 to 600 square feet in Los Angeles and San Diego or one as large as 2,000 square feet in Nashville or Orlando. Some might describe moving to LA as the American Dream, but you’d need a lot more than $200,000 to buy your dream house there. Orlando can be seen as an alternative to LA, with its pleasant climate, its nightlife and job opportunities—the one major difference being that the cost of living is considerably lower.

Although major cities, the following are slightly more affordable than San Diego or LA. For $200,000, you’d end up with decent living conditions in Miami (835 square feet), Portland (773 square feet) and Chicago (1,102 square feet), but probably not in the neighborhoods you’d want.


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