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…

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…

Wire Fraud in Real Estate Transactions

By Michael Repka, Esq. Imagine the horror of inadvertently transferring most of your life savings to the wrong account and never seeing it again. That is what has happened to many homebuyers in California and across the nation. The scams are…

Long Listing Agreement Trap

By Michael Repka, Esq. In many ways, the deck is stacked against the Sellers when they sign a listing agreement with a real estate agent. Irrespective of whether the agent decides to use the Peninsula Regional Data Service (“PRDS”) form or the…

The Ellis Act: A Valuable Option for Investing in Rent-Control Cities

By Colette Thomason, Esq. Property investors often shy away from purchasing a multi-family building in a city with rent control.  Rent control often means low rent which in turn, to a landlord, means low income.  At the same time, rent control protects…

Eight Listing Traps to Avoid

By Michael Repka, ESQ. Many sellers enter into a listing agreement feeling very optimistic and with a high level of trust in their listing agent. However, there may be devils lurking in the details of the listing agreement that the sellers are being…

Tax Topics—Deductions for Pass-Through Entities

By Michael Repka, Esq. (LL.M.—Taxation, NYU School of Law ‘01) On December 22, President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Act”) into law. This sweeping legislation dramatically lowered corporate tax rates, encouraged multi-national…