New measures could boost foreign real estate investments in U.S.

Header ForeignRealEstateLawsWhen President Barack Obama signed the $1.1 trillion spending measure Congress passed on Dec. 18, he wiped out a 35-year-old tax imposed on foreign investors in the U.S. The measure, which helped avoid a government shutdown, now treats foreign pension funds the same as their U.S. counterparts so far as real estate investments are concerned. While it’s hard to predict specifics, there could be broad consequences on residential as well as commercial property prices around the country.

The original tax was designed to discourage foreign investment and protect domestic monetary markets. According to The Wall Street Journal, some experts expect the move to bring billions of dollars of additional foreign investment into an already-robust U.S. market for office buildings, apartments, and shopping malls.

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Agents give big in 2015

Header CharityReal estate agents are legendary when it comes to giving back to the communities they serve. No agents are bigger rock stars of community involvement than those who represent Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties.

In 2015, our terrific team members volunteered countless hours to help support people and causes throughout Southern California. Some felt a deep personal connection through their own life experiences or those of family members. Others wanted to make a difference in the neighborhoods they are proud to call home. Still others enjoyed the camaraderie of interacting with co-workers and community members as they came together to benefit a deserving charity.

Hundreds of our agents, managers, their families and friends participated in Coastal Cleanup Day, California’s single-largest volunteer event. They hauled off hundreds of pounds of debris to make our beaches, bays, and lagoons sparkled as bright as could be.

12-step checklist to prepare you for El Niño

151145 El Nino Preparedness Blog PostOver the past few months, Southern California residents have heard a lot about El Niño. Do you know what it is and how to prepare for its potential effects on your home?

El Niño occurs when the waters in the Pacific Ocean become unusually warm. Typically, this happens during the winter season, and it has a substantial effect on weather patterns. In Southern California, that can mean a wetter winter. In the past, our region has experienced torrential downpours and mudslides as a result of El Niño. However, it’s important to remember that no two El Niño events are the same, and how we will be impacted cannot fully be determined.

But, you can still prepare your home! The time to start is now. To help you get your home ready for the coming rain, we’ve put together this 12-step checklist. Download a copy, print it, and get to work protecting your home!

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Wine cellars throughout Southern California

Header WineWine cellars have been around long before refrigeration was even a possibility. In fact, large wine cellars date back over 3,700 years! Technically speaking, wine cellars are traditionally below ground, while wine rooms are located above ground. The purpose of a wine cellar is to provide consistent storing conditions that allow wine to age in ideal conditions. Typically, these conditions include a room that is 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit and has 65 to 75 percent relative humidity. Light is also a factor in wine productions. Cellars are kept dark to ensure the wine is not exposed to light — which can affect the quality.

If you’re a wine connoisseur, or even a casual wine drinker, take a look at a few of the homes here. Each comes equipped with a fully-functional wine cellar!

10 Tips for selling your home during the holiday and winter season

selling your homeDo you think putting your home on the market in winter and during the holiday season is a bad idea? You would be surprised. Buyers at year end are serious and motivated, and inventory may be limited as other sellers wait for the New Year. Your home may be a standout, particularly if you get it prepared by taking some simple steps.

Declutter your home
Start packing – you are moving. We all have pictures and objects that we think are charming because they are part of our lifestyle. But the potential buyer is not charmed by them and sees nothing but distractions. You want buyers to picture themselves in the living spaces you are selling, and not sidetracked by your personal objects. .

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