Able Glass, Window & Door has been installing windows and doors in all types of residential and commercial (apartment) buildings since 1969. Over the years we have seen many different types of windows, window systems, and installation methods come and go. Window trends appear with the different types of construction, architecture, and consumer tastes as well as the ever changing rules of the industry standards to ensure that a building is energy efficient. Window design and construction has gradually improved with technological advances in making a building use less energy, which helps reduce energy costs. Today, in the San Francisco Bay Area housing market, we are experiencing some new trends in the types of windows being constructed and installed primarily for residential rental and investment properties by professional property management companies. These trends continue to develop and evolve but here is an outline of what we are seeing in today’s environment.
If you’re looking for the perfect place to call home in the Bay Area, you may feel overwhelmed by the abundance of options. Mountain View, Saratoga, Los Gatos, San Jose, Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Los Altos, Menlo Park, Palo Alto… How do you narrow your options? You need to learn all you can about the pockets and enclaves in this amazing region of California. If you are looking for a family friendly area with charming homes that are priced reasonably, take a closer look at South Palo Alto real estate listings.
Palo Alto real estate is highly sought after, but it can also be extremely expensive, making home investment difficult. The good news is, Midtown Palo Alto, bounded by Oregon Expressway, Loma Verde, Alma and Highway 101, is more affordable than many of the other areas in town. When it comes to Palo Alto real estate, it’s the perfect location for a family looking to lease their home or find a home to invest in on a smaller budget with all the benefits of Palo Alto cache, schools, and community.
Even though e-cigarettes are increasingly being banned throughout California cities and counties Palo Alto’s City Council is not including them in their new proposed smoking ban for apartment buildings. For those of you who aren’t familiar with them e-cigarettes look like the real thing, they glow when you puff on them, and a smoker puffs out a cloud of vapor when they exhale. Many believe e-cigarettes are a “gateway” drug as the number of teenagers using them doubled from 2011 to 2012, and increased 61 percent from 2012 to 2013. Moreover, e-cigarettes have nicotine, emit formaldehyde, are addictive, and can be dangerous for people with heart problems. There are many unknowns with e-cigarettes and this is potentially the reason Palo Alto is not yet banning them in multi-family buildings.
If you are looking for a quiet, peaceful Palo Alto neighborhood look no further than Leland Manor, Garland, and Embarcadero Oaks. Located in the middle of Palo Alto, there exists these three small neighborhoods, all connected and which extend north from Oregon Expressway, to Middlefield Road, Embarcadero Road, and Louis Road.
These three neighborhoods were annexed into Palo Alto proper in the 1930s. Each quaint neighborhood has its own unique and pleasureful personality. Most of the homes in these neighborhoods were built in the 1930s to 1960s and many have been upgraded and improved with time. Many of the homes in these three mini-neighborhoods were built as three and four bedroom ranch-style homes, sprinkled with the occasional custom Eichler. The central location for Leland Manor, Garland, and Embarcadero Oaks allows for ease of access to US 101, local shopping, great Palo Alto schools, Stanford University, and community amenities.
In a historic move California Governor Jerry Brown issued an emergency order and declaration of water conservation rules which are now imposed on everyone in the state with the exception of farmers. There will be fines and potential rate hikes for residents that fail to hit stepped-up conservation targets as the state endures the fourth straight year of severe drought conditions. Governor Brown has issued water-saving orders for 25 percent statewide reduction in usage which includes bolstering enforcement of water waste, requiring drip irrigation at new construction projects, eliminating rouge farmers who divert water illegally from irrigation channels, and implementing an investment strategy in new water-saving technologies.
Tenants in California, by law, are entitled to rental property that is habitable. In other words, it must meet basic health and safety standards and is in generally good repair. Habitability is a function of the building codes combined with common sense workability. When a tenant is presented with a problem like a broken pipe, a failed water heater, or a defective electrical system they are granted certain statutory rights.
If a landlord or property management company fails to repair or adequately address the issue, once given proper notice, then the tenant has remedies. First, the tenant can pay for the repairs themselves and deduct the cost of the repairs from their rent. Second, the tenant can withhold rent. Third, the tenant can call the local code enforcement officer for an inspection which could lead to administrative problems for the landlord. Fourth, the tenant can file a lawsuit against the landlord. Finally, the tenant may move out without giving any further notice provided the breach of habitability is sufficient to warrant such action.
Are you a rental property owner? If so, it’s great isn’t it? You receive income from the rents, also known as other people’s money (OPM), and you realize capital appreciation from the equity gains in the value of the property – a rising tide raises all boats. In fact using OPM is a great strategy for paying for your child’s college education, and providing a passive income stream for yourself in your retirement. The key is buying and holding onto an investment property as soon as possible and taking full advantage of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) allowable deductions and expenses. Becoming educated about this investment strategy is easy, fun, and should be taught to your children.
Hire the Wrong Contractor and You May End up Paying a Different Price for Your Project Because New or Newly Remodeled Construction is Not Always What You Think it is
While I was practicing law we encountered many situations where clients were in disputes with their contractors during construction of new homes or even during a major remodel or major addition. We even had many clients who came to us during construction of their homes and wanted to have assurances or safeguards in place to protect their interests. In each case we accommodated the client and found ways to provide an extra set of eyes on the construction project. This is a great practice which “high-end” clients seemingly always looked for and did. Unfortunately, there were many instances where we were only called in after a disaster or major damage had already occurred. More importantly, the 2nd or 3rd contractor in is going to cost you more because they end up re-constructing the previous contractor’s defective work.
Over the years I took the deposition of several landlords – each of whom did not know the first thing about what the term “habitability” meant, nor could they articulate the law with respect to their requirements as a landlord. “[I]gnorance of the law is no excuse,” and many landlords and property owners have managed to skate by without knowing they are violating the law when it comes to habitability of rental units. California Civil Code Section 1941 et. seq. states in pertinent part that “a rental unit is required to be fit, or habitable, to live in and rent by tenants. The rental unit must substantially comply with local and state building, health, and safety codes that materially affect the tenant’s health and safety.” In California landlords and tenants each bear responsibility for certain kinds of repairs – however landlords ultimately are legally responsible for making sure the rental unit is habitable.