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Beware of real estate scams

Beware of Phishing Scams Targeting Real Estate

You may have read that wire fraud has been on the rise. These attempts to steal one’s money are targeting unwitting victims via their own personal email. Phishing is the name of a form of social engineering in which targets are tricked into handing over their own personal information and sensitive information like their logins. Criminals are no longer just interested in your social security, bank account, or credit card numbers. Any information they gather could be used in conjunction with login access that people can be tricked in to giving up. Lately real estate sites have been targeted.

Cybercriminals are after more than just credit cards and Social Security numbers. Any information meant only for you could be a target. Please note...any information that you input on this web site remains private and will be used for our eyes only and to assist you in buying or selling real estate. Your information is NEVER SHARED beyond the agent that is assisting you.

Here are questions to ask yourself tohelp you identify fake phishing messages:

1. Who is the email coming from? The email address should not be unrelated to the group, company, or organization they claim to be representing. 

2. Misleading links. Links in the email are not to where they say. You are consequently directed to false URL.

3. Generic terms and incomplete informationCybercriminals will use generic templates to mass email. The information they have on a person is incomplete so they may use pieces of your information to attempt to appear legitimate.

4. Requests for sensitive data. Legitimate companies will not ask for sensitive data to be conveyed through email. If the email is sending you to a link, verify the URL and make sure that you are not being directed to a false Login page.

5. Is it information on you that could have been gathered from an online profile?  Sometimes this information is included to make a phishing email convincing. Check the email for other signs of phishing before clicking any links or downloading any attachments.

6. Emphasizing urgency or alarm. To trick you into moving fast, they will incite phrases such as, “Your payment is late” or “Please take care of this immediately” or “You must take action”  causing you to reveal sensitive information without hesitation. Take a moment to consider the motivations of the sender before handing over information you otherwise wouldn’t.

7. Poor attention to spelling and grammar.  Most formal communication is written and edited by professionals. If an email is laden with typos or unusual syntax, be speculative.

8. Unnecessary account verification.  If there is no justification in the email to validate the verification, you should ask questions and ask that justification be provided.

9. Cybersquatting.  This is when cybercriminals purchase website names similar to official websites, hoping to mislead users who don’t pay close enough attention to the URL – i.e. g00gle.com or paypa1.com, instead of google.com or paypal.com.

Bottom Line- If something feels a little off within an email or their offer of reward seems too good to be true, trust your gut. It just may be.

Please note that San Luis Obispo Realty is a secure Real Estate web site and none of your information is shared or used for any purpose other than assist you in your real estate search or providing you with relevant or requested information. Please contact us directly if you want to talk to a "live real estate professional." We want you always to feel secure in your real estate search and experience with our company and web site.

Home Loan Closing Costs

Don't Forget About the Closing Costs When Applying for a Home Loan!

Some tips you should know when you are ready to buy and applying for a loan~

You’ve faithfully saved for that dream home down payment….but don’t forsake saving for the closing costs. Prepare for them to be 2- 5% of the purchase price.

Lenders are required to provide a buyer with a “Good Faith Estimate” within 3 days of a loan application submission. This estimate summarizes the details of the loan and anticipated closing costs. These costs will vary from lender and broker. 

Common closing costs include loan application fees, points, prepaid homeowners' insurance, an appraisal fee, inspection fees, transfer taxes, escrow fees, attorney fees, recording fees, prepaid interest , prepaid private mortgage insurance, title insurance, and title search costs. Other costs include the cost of obtaining a credit report, processing fees, courier fees and paperwork preparation fees. (Investinganswers.com)

Homebuyers should receive a closing disclosure 3 days before the estimated closing date on their home. The statement includes final details about the loan and the closing costs.


*Conventional loans do not offer buyer assistance with closing costs but inquire with your lender options available with FHA and VA loans to include a portion if not all of the closing costs within your loan to avoid having to come up with thousands more at closing. Keep in mind this will increase your principal loan balance and consequently, your monthly payment.

*Talk with your REALTOR® while you are considering the offer you want to make on a home. Consider asking for a seller credit at closing towards the buyer’s closing costs. This request may need to be reflective of your offer price in order to maintain favorable terms. Your offering price will become increasingly important if you are not the only buyer with interest in the property and there is a high likelihood that there will be multiple offers for the seller to consider. 

Speak with your lender early and determine how much you’ll be responsible for at closing. Unwelcomed surprises are not always avoidable in a real estate transaction but with a reliable agent and a good lender, lack of communication will never be the cause of disaster.

Consider us at San Luis Obispo Realty where we pride ourselves on sticking with you through every detail of your transaction!

Home Loan Options

California’s housing supply continues to fall short with job and population growth. None deny the extreme relevance of proponents in congress to initiate conversation if not to create bills to initiate action.  Supporters stress the need for radical change in the current approach to the housing crisis.  Ambitious environmental goals exasperate review processes and local controls are strict on new developments making progress almost impossible in some areas. The traditionalist NIMBYs (Not In My Back Yard) contest the activism of the YIMBYs (Yes In My Back Yard) and the PHIMBYs (Public Housing in My Back Yard) who advocate for tenant’s rights, argue for more affordable housing calling for precedence on subsidization rather than on market-rate development which would neglect to improve the housing situation for low-income people. PHIMBY efforts are instead focused almost exclusively on the production of subsidized, below-market-rate units, and strengthening tenant protections and rent controls for existing residents. (Benjamin Schneider, CITY LAB)

Statistics have revealed that the median renter income has grown faster than the median rent for the last six consecutive years. However, there has also been an influx of high-income renters entering the market which may be a strong variable in the reportingA new study published looked at cost burdened rates across the U.S. Some key findings about our own county included:

The number of cost-burdened renter households in San Luis Obispo, as defined by spending more than 30% of their incomes on rent has decreased by 4,687 since 2007. However, the cost burden rate in San Luis Obispo increased from 47.6% in 2016 to 51.8% in 2017 and is greater than the national average of 49.5%.

If you are tired of renting, call your REALTOR today for Low Income Home Loan Options for 2019! 

“High-5!” and “Hang 10!” .....And VOTE!!

“High-5!” and “Hang 10!”


 Proposition 5 - the Property Tax Fairness Initiative and Proposition 10 - the Affordable Housing Act

Proposition 5, the Property Tax Fairness Initiative-  C.A.R., the California Association of Realtors, provided an indicator of strong voter support by submitting nearly 1 million voter signatures to the Secretary of State’s Office and so by qualifying the proposition for this year’s ballot. The initiative is being proposed with the intention of creating opportunities for homeownership. Millions of equity-rich Seniors often stagnate themselves in homes that are no longer ideal living situations to avoid what can be experienced as a moving penalty under today’s current legislation. Most Seniors whom are taxpayers on fixed incomes, cannot afford the raise in taxes that the purchase of a replacement property in today’s market values would impose, thereby constricting them into a property that is no longer serving their needs. Having become accustomed to a tax basis they have budgeted on for years, these homeowners are not moving and so depleting even further the supply of a market in dire need of inventory.  It is the intention of Proposition 5 to incentivize homeowners into transitional housing, circulating equity back in to the economy and restoring balance to the market.

Proposition 5 allows those eligible the ability to transfer their current property tax base to the purchase of a replacement home into any California county. Property tax would then be based on their original home’s assessment, in addition to an adjustment consisting of the difference in value between the sale price of the original home and the sale price of the new home.

A broad group of bipartisan feel Proposition 10 would actually make the housing crisis worse. Proposition 10, deceivingly named the “Affordable Housing Act,”  contains zero funding for affordable housing, fails to provide a plan to create more housing and fails to address homelessness, a rapidly increasing consequence of the housing shortage. A yes vote would repeal the long-standing Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act of 1995 allowing local governments to adopt rent control measures that might eliminate homeowner protections. Homeowners would be subject to regulations and price controls enacted by unelected boards. Even nonpartisan Legislative Analysts feel that Proposition 10 would discourage new construction and result in existing rental units being taken off the market, which would actually reduce rental housing availability. Homeowners dependent on rental income to supplement mortgage payments may be forced to sell or convert rental properties into other more profitable uses. Homeowners may find incentive to convert long term rentals into short-term vacation rentals. Fewer rentals on the market will actually increase the cost of existing housing and make it even harder for renters to find affordable housing.

Proposition 10 will reduce home values for middle-class families at a time when many homeowners are counting on the homes to help finance their retirement. It even contains a hidden loophole requiring taxpayers to pay the initiative supporters’ legal bills for participating in certain lawsuits, even if they lose and even if their position is frivolous. This blank check benefits lawyers and puts taxpayers on the hook for limitless legal bills. (noprop10.org/the-facts)

The California Association of Realtors encourages homeowners and tax payers to get out and vote!

Vote “Yes on Proposition 5” and Vote “No on Proposition 10”.

Proposition 10 vs Housing Shortage

On the November Ballot, is the Proposition for Local Rent Control Initiative - Prop 10.        

Opposition to Proposition 10: 

Should it pass, it would allow local governments to adopt rent control ordinances that would in essence repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act enacted in 1995; the law that currently restricts the scope of rent-control policies that city and local jurisdictions can impose. The Proposition would allow for policies that would limit rental rates owners could charge for tenancy and make the determination of what is a fair financial return for landlords.

Sponsors of Propositions 10 - argue that the measure addresses the housing shortage situation in California, while those in opposition feel it would make the state's housing crisis worse and discourage investments in real estate, further suppressing the housing supply and deepening the crisis.

Many feel the initiative is the wrong approach: 

Republican gubernatorial candidate John Cox states, "Building more housing will bring rents down. This measure treats the symptom, not the disease - it’s a bad deal for renters." In another statement Cox said development regulations need to be eliminated to incentivize construction and decrease costs. (http://ballotpedia.org)

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg was recorded as saying "The SEIU initiative, while well-intentioned, I think is overwritten and if it passes would harm our ability to build more affordable housing.”

Please do your research and vote your opinion on Prop 10. Feel free to comment on this blog, to let us know how you feel.

San Luis Obispo Realty is a full service real estate company and dedicated to assisting you in your search for real estate as a commercial investment, rental, or home for you and or your family. We are also happy to list your home as a possible business investment rental, in this thriving area that provides housing for many students, families, and businesses. 

and our Morro Bay Affiliate & second location

Morro Bay Real Estate Partner

San Luis Obispo Realty
441 Marsh Street
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

CA BRE# 00577121


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