Time to Revisit Your Trust

by Michael Repka, Esq. Historically, there have always been three important reasons why affluent California residents should establish a family trust. First, probate costs in California are extremely high and, if properly executed, a trust can…

2018: Year in Review

By Michael Repka, Esq. By virtually any measure, 2018 has been a turbulent year for Silicon Valley real estate despite the general local economy doing very well. Overall, businesses have been thriving but there have been some hiccups along the…

Reverse 1031 Exchanges

By Michael Repka, Esq. (LL.M.—Taxation; NYU School of Law (’01)) The federal government and the state of California provide for the deferral of tax when a taxpayer exchanges investment or business real property for other real property that…

Dishonesty in Real Estate

by Michael Repka, Esq. Dishonesty in Real Estate -- Fraudulent Marketing Techniques There are an awful lot of real estate agents out there and they all seem to be scrambling for the same potential clients. Given the low barriers of entry in the…

War Stories—Overly Aggressive Lien-Holder

By Michael Repka, Esq. I recently had a listing in Palo Alto, which illustrated the importance of having free legal representation as part of the listing. The facts of this war story are interesting to say the least. The home was owned by a…

Danger of Live Offer Presentations

By Michael Repka, Esq. In Silicon Valley, the typical approach to taking offers on a home is for the buyer’s agents to present their clients’ offer in-person to the listing agents and the sellers on offer date. The buyers are generally not present…

A Snapshot of Some Real Estate Related Propositions on the November Ballot

By Michael Repka, Esq. It is easy to tell when an election is coming up—just watch the countless television commercials paid for by special interest groups. However, every proposition seems to be either the greatest idea ever or pure evil, depending…

Hidden Dangers to Arbitration in Real Estate Contracts

By Michael Repka, Esq. When looking to buy or sell real estate, many clients ask their real estate agent whether they should initial the arbitration provision. If initialed by both sides, this provision binds the parties to arbitrate most disputes…

Expansion of Property Tax Transferability

By Michael Repka, Esq. (LL.M. (Taxation) — NYU School of Law) Since the passage of Prop 13 in 1978, California property tax on newly acquired property has been calculated based on the value of the property on the date of purchase. Although this value…