Skip to content Sitemap


Over 13% of renters in CA can afford to buy a home but don’t know it

buy a home

Though affordability has been the largest obstacle for renters seeking to be homeowners here in Southern California, we shockingly discovered that 14 percent of renters actually can afford to buy a home they just lack the financial knowledge to do so. According to the California Association of Realtors, of the 6 million California renters, 826,000 could qualify to purchase a median-priced home within the counties they reside in.

Unfortunately, a lack of financial literacy has been their greatest barrier to entry. In a poll, nearly 75 percent of renters believe a down payment must be a minimum of 20 percent. They are entirely unaware of the fact that other mortgage programs exist in which they can put as little as 3 percent down. 69 percent of renters said they would buy if they could put less than 20 percent down.

These numbers are astonishing! Yes, affordability has caused the American Dream to fizzle for many, but it’s not entirely dead. Nearly 70 percent of renters in California still want the pride of homeownership and the sad part is, they don’t even know that it is attainable. Over 800,000 renters make enough income and have good enough credit to qualify for a mortgage with a lower down payment, but because of their misconceptions of what it takes to buy a home, they have not even looked into it.

Prospective first-time buyers should be aware that there are many different loan options out there, many of which allow for far-less than 20 percent down and some even offer down payment assistance. If you’re currently renting and unsure if you qualify, step one is to contact a trusted agent who can connect you with a reliable mortgage broker. They will shop different loans for you to find you the most suitable program that meets your needs and down payment abilities.


Seniors Renting Jumps 43% in 10 Years

Seniors Renting

We all know that the Millenial and Gen Z generations are prolonging their leasing years, but did you know more seniors are also choosing to rent? Data from RentCafe shows seniors are renting at rates exceeding younger generations! It showed that in the last 10 years, the number of renters ages 60 plus has increased 43 percent.

While the median age for renters is still younger than their owner counterparts, renters ages 60 and over grew to 9.37 million in 2017, outpacing their younger counterparts. Older owner households grew only 31 percent compared to the 43 percent increase in older renters.

What does this tell us? Well, we do know that this trend is across the board. Older owner households are increasing at a faster pace than younger owners and here’s why. Two words…Baby Boomers. With Baby Boomers now in their 60’s and most of them empty-nesters, they are downsizing. Either they are selling and buying smaller or renting. Homeowners ages 34 and under saw a decrease of 19 percent while owner households between the ages of 35 and 59 only decreased 12 percent.

It’s safe to say that as the older generations are losing their enthusiasm about homeownership, the younger generations are losing their value in the out-of-reach “American Dream” and this has therefore resulted in a surge in rental prices.

Airbnb Loses Court Battle


Wednesday’s ruling by a 3-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is a setback for the home-sharing platforms in their effort to avoid regulation by cities. Cities blame the rapid proliferation of short-term rentals for a shortage of affordable housing & disintegration of residential communities.

The Santa Monica ordinance holds home sharing companies are legally responsible for the booking of rentals residences not licensed by the city. Editor’s Note and “in plain English”: In the past home-sharing companies have sought to claim immunity from prosecution for violations of city ordinances restricting home-sharing. Instead they shrugged their shoulders & tried to pass responsibility to the home owners.

That’s appears to be about to change – particularly in California which is in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal’s jurisdiction. The court agreed with the city that the restriction doesn’t violate the U.S. Communications Decency Act of 1996, which shields online services from liability for the content that their users post on their sites.

In January, Airbnb and other short-term-rental sites won a ruling granting a temporary reprieve from a New York City law that compels them to turn over renter data, a requirement threatening to cut bookings in the city by half. Airbnb is also fighting in Paris, where it faces as much as $14 million in fines for allegedly posting illegal advertisements.

The courts’ interpretation of the 1996 law and the protection it affords”interactive online businesses” have become a central theme in legal challenges to Airbnb and its rivals. Federal judges in Los Angeles and San Francisco have found that cities can hold the companies liable for processing transactions, as opposed to simply listing information from users.

Airbnb and HomeAway argued the Santa Monica ordinance makes it impossible for them to operate, particularly if other municipalities adopt similar laws, because it would require them to monitor and remove listings for unregistered residences. If they don’t, users would be stuck looking at listings that they won’t be able to book, according to the companies.

The 9th Circuit panel concluded that Santa Monica’s statute puts only an“incidental” burden on the companies’ constitutional right to free speech. “Even assuming that the ordinance would lead the platforms to voluntarily remove some advertisements for lawful rentals, there would not be a ‘severe limitation on the public’s access’ to lawful advertisements.

Santa Monica said in a statement “the unanimous ruling confirms the city’s right to regulate home sharing to protect its limited housing stock for residents”.  “This is a big win for Santa Monica residents and our residential neighborhoods.”

Meet Kurt Galitski Real Estate Group.

KREG Featured in Forbes Magazine

We are pleased to announce Five Star award winner Kurt Galitski’s appearance in Forbes magazine in a special section for February 28, 2019. By earning this honor, Kurt has shown an outstanding commitment to clients. Please look for Kurt in Forbes magazine, and offer your congratulations on this recognition. The Five Star Real Estate Agent award is based on objective research criteria. Five Star Professional’s research team evaluates candidates from across major markets annually on ten criteria associated with outstanding service. Each of our award winners has shown a commitment to clients, strong industry credentials and has been evaluated on the quality of his or her practice. Kurt Galitski has met these criteria and has been honored with the Five Star Real Estate Agent award.


Jonathan Wesser | VP, Operations Five Star Professional

HUD Slashes Advanced Notice for Public Housing Inspections

Public Housing Inspections

According to HUD, its Real Estate Assessment Center currently provides as much as 4 months advanced notice before inspecting any multifamily units or any HUD privately owned apartment buildings to ensure the units  “decent, safe and healthy.”

The Real Estate Assessment Center is responsible for inspecting properties owned and operated by approximately 3,700 local public housing authorities in the nation. But HUD is cutting that lead time from as much as four months to 14 days. Beginning 30 days from now, on March 22, HUD will notify landlords and property owners 14 calendar days before an inspection is to take place.

According to HUD, its current system allows for property owners to use the lengthy lead time before an inspection to make “cosmetic, just-in-time” repairs to their properties, thereby ensuring that the pass inspection but not sufficiently sustaining proper maintenance throughout the year. “It’s become painfully clear to us that too many public housing authorities and private landlords are essentially gaming the system,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson said in a statement.

If the property owner declines, cancels or refuse to let an inspector review a property, HUD will record a presumptive score of zero. If a second inspection attempt results in a valid inspection within 7 calendar days, the resulting score will be recorded for the property in question. To read HUD’s full notice on the new inspection plan, click here.

Additionally, HUD said it is planning a series of listening sessions to gather input from the public and HUD stakeholders about a planned pilot program to test “innovative new approaches to inspecting HUD-assisted properties.” According to HUD, the initial listening sessions are planned for Philadelphia, Fort Worth, Atlanta, Detroit and Seattle

Orange County Multi-Family Report for Q4

Multi-Family Report 2018

Q4 has come to a close. As we look back on the successes of 2018, we reflect on the multifamily market which impacts so many of our property owners. We’ll start on a macro scale and hone in on the micro aspects of the market. Here is our 2018 Q4 multi-family report recap:

  • Orange County’s economy grew at a rate of 3.6%
  • The population of OC has grown over 3% in the last 6 years
  • Unemployment was 2.8% as of November 2018
  • The occupancy rate measured 96.2%
  • Average cap rate stood at 4.55%
  • Price per unit averaged $342,000 for 5+ units
  • Price per square foot rose to $341
  • Sales volume is down 29% year-over-year
  • Rent increased by 2.6%

As a property management company, we are proud to say our growth in 2018 has exceeded our previous years. Managing over 50 doors throughout Orange County, we strive to provide the highest level of customer service to our clients. In doing so, we’re expanding rapidly! With 17 years in business, our reputation speaks for itself. Just read our Yelp reviews.

Congress to Vote on Section 8 Housing Voucher

Section 8 Housing Voucher

As housing affordability continues to decrease nationwide, an effort is underway at the local and federal level to prevent landlords from discriminating against those who pay for housing using government subsidies, such as Section 8 vouchers.

On Jan. 3, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, a Democrat from New York, started the 116th Congress with a H.R. 232, the “Landlord Accountability Act,” to amend the Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimination at the federal level based on use of housing vouchers, including Section 8 vouchers.

Addressing the problem of landlords allowing Section 8 units to fall into disrepair and therefore no longer qualify for a voucher, the bill would also fine landlords up to $100,000 for taking actions or neglecting to act with the intention of disqualifying units from federal housing programs, Velázquez said in a press release.

Moreover, landlords could face a second set of fins of $50,000 that would go to “aggrieved tenants,” she added.

The bill would also create a new Multifamily Housing Complaint Resolution Program to investigate and try to resolve disputes through mediation and would make complaints publicly available.

A new $25 million grant program included in the bill would also support agencies that provide tenants with assistance and legal advice.

U.S. Senators Tim Kaine, and Orrin Hatch, a Republican from Utah, introduced a bill — the Fair Housing Improvement Act of 2018 — in November to expand the Fair Housing Act to prohibit housing discrimination based on lawful source of income or veteran status.

The bill was referred to the Senate banking committee, but failed to proceed before the end of the 115th Congress.

Washington, Oklahoma, Vermont, Utah, North Dakota, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, and Washington, D.C., already have such laws in place and more than 50 cities and counties prohibit discrimination against voucher households, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

California, Delaware, Minnesota and Wisconsin have laws that ban discrimination based on source of income but do not include housing vouchers and Indiana and Texas have laws that actually prohibit local governments from protecting housing voucher recipients.

In a press release, the senators said the federal legislation would give more families access to affordable housing& a shot at economic mobility. More than 2 million vets and low-income families use housing vouchers.

In August, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) kicked off a campaign to encourage more landlords to participate in Section 8 after finding “most” landlords do not accept voucher holders.

The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program has been “plagued with inefficiencies, onerous regulatory requirements and a flawed funding system for years,” the National Multifamily Housing Council said in a statement about the proposed bill.


Renter’s Insurance – Everything You Need To Know

Renter's Insurance

What is renter’s insurance and how is it different from homeowner’s insurance?

Renter’s insurance is an insurance policy that covers the contents of a leased property (generally, any livable structure with a kitchen and bathroom). There are even renter’s insurance policies for houseboats, RVs, and campers. Homeowner’s insurance, on the other hand, covers loss and damages to the property itself and accidents that may occur within the home or on the property. To simplify, the landlord’s insurance covers the walls out and the tenant’s renter’s insurance covers everything within the walls.

There are a few different types of coverage when it comes to renter’s insurance: contents coverage, liability to landlord coverage, and loss of use coverage. Many property managers will require all three as contents coverage protects a tenants belongings, liability protects the property in case of damage, and loss of use protects both tenant and landlord in the case that the property becomes uninhabitable due to a covered incident.

What does renter’s insurance really cover?

A simple policy protects personal contents against fire, theft, non-flood water damage, and any other incidents listed on the policy. A lot of policies will include items stored on the property like vehicles. Most renter’s insurance policies do not cover water damage as this applies to liability coverage. Renter’s liability insurance protects the renter if someone were to be injured in their home due to negligence. Liability to landlord insurance covers structural loss caused by tenant negligence.

How much does renter’s insurance cost?

The average cost of renter’s insurance throughout the US is around $15 per month, though prices vary greatly depending on location and coverage. Cost may be affected by: geographic location, crime rates per capita, regional claim related costs, property condition, coverage, whether the policy is bundled with other insurance policies like auto insurance, bulk buyers, credit ratings, and number of renters covered (if spouse is included)

Your Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

For many homeowners, fall is the season for football, checking chores off to-do lists and getting ready for the winter months. What can you do to keep your house in excellent condition? These maintenance tasks can help keep your home running efficiently:

Outside Your Home

Check window and door seals. When heat escapes through seams in your windows and doors, you’re wasting your money, and you’re probably still cold. But you can often spot problems with a thorough once-over. Look for spaces that may have insufficient caulking and make sure weatherstripping is in good condition. While you’re at it, check to make sure all of your locks are working well.

Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Fall tends to be dry in most places so checking your fire and carbon monoxide alarms should be done seasonally at the very least.

Clear out gutters. Clogged gutters can lead to leaks. Although this should be a twice-annual task, removing debris is especially crucial in fall since leaves might be collecting. Tip: It’s a lot easier to clean your gutters when they’re dry.

Inside Your Home

Keep an eye on major appliances. Many of us spend more time baking and cooking during the fall and winter months. Make sure your oven, dishwasher, and refrigerator can handle the activities of the season by checking seals and giving everything a good clean.

Clean your carpets. Allergens and dirt get trapped here, but you can help keep your carpet fresh by giving it regular attention. Fall is a great time to have your rugs steamed — just in time to impress your holiday guests.

Get your HVAC system inspected. Don’t wait until December to test your heating system. It’s better to find out about any issues well before you need to use your heater.

Buyers Need To Hurry As Prices Rise

Prices are still on the rise in the American bull market. In almost all parts of the country, sellers are exuberant as their home price keeps going up. The median sales price in July was $230,411, up 5.8 percent year over year.

But if your buyer clients are hoping to wait it out, you might want to remind them that mortgage rates are also increasing. The typical mortgage payment jumped 13.1 percent over that same one-year period, due to a nearly 0.6 percentage point increase in mortgage rates, according to a real estate data firm called CoreLogic.

Mortgage rates are expected to keep rising, too. CoreLogic researchers predict a nearly 10 percent increase in buyers’ mortgage payments by next July, twice the rate expected for home prices. Rates are expected to increase by about 0.43 percentage points between July 2018 and July 2019. Housing forecasters predict median home sale prices to continue to rise by 1.8 percent in real terms over that same period.

Based on these projections, CoreLogic researchers predict the inflation-adjusted typical monthly mortgage payment to rise from $937 in July 2018 to $1,003 by July 2019. Furthermore, real disposable income is expected to increase by only around 2.5 percent over the next year. That means “home buyers would see a larger chunk of their incomes devoted to mortgage payments,” CoreLogic researchers note.

To calculate the typical mortgage payment, CoreLogic researchers use Freddie Mac’s average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with a 20 percent down payment (not factoring in taxes or insurance). The typical mortgage payment standard is used to help judge affordability since it shows the monthly amount a borrower would have to qualify to get a mortgage to purchase a median-priced U.S. home.

Nevertheless, while mortgage payments are on the rise, they’re still low by historical standards, CoreLogic researchers note. In July 2018, the typical inflation-adjusted mortgage payment remained 26.8 percent below the all-time peak of $1,280 in July 2006. The average mortgage rate in June 2006 was 6.7 percent compared to 4.5 percent in July 2018.

Next Page »