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Want to Know More About ADU's (Accessory Dwelling Units)? Here is the Forum for You!

Pasadena area residents who own or plan to build on their property an ‘accessory dwelling unit,” known as ADUs or “granny flats,” could benefit from a public forum that the American Institute of Architects Pasadena and Foothill Chapter is holding in Pasadena this month.

The event, “Architects creating blueprints for better communities and the affordable housing challenge,” will be held at the Volpe Conference Room at Parsons, 100 W. Walnut Street in Pasadena on Saturday, November 10.

The free forum is part of the organization’s campaign to increase public awareness about ADUs and will offer an opportunity for participants to interact with experts to explore the possibilities for this type of housing for their own residence.

Participants will also learn about the benefits of ADUs and how to go about designing, building and funding ADUs and how architects are adding value to communities by creating new housing options to help close the affordability gap.

“Architects are not only designing large and complex projects,” Jay Zapata, AIA Chapter Vice President and Event Chair. “They are also heavily involved in local issues affecting their own communities. The ADU forum gives us an opportunity to have an open conversation about housing and homelessness and the value of architecture.”

Panelists will include Pasadena’s Housing Director William Huang, Chris Garner of Accessory Space, Jared Basler of the American Institute of Architects and the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, and Karyn Jones, a Construction Lending Specialist at U.S. Bank.

The forum is from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Lunch will be provided.For more information, visit or call (626) 796-7601. You may also send an email to


Saturday, November 10th 10:30am - 2:00pm 

Volpe Conference Room at Parsons, 100 W. Walnut St., Pasadena

Mark Your Calendars 

November 1st - January 6th - Moonlight Forest - Arboretum @ Wednesday - Sunday 5:30pm - 10:00pm

November 1st - Union Station Homeless Services Presents a Night of Magic - The Rose at Paseo Colorado @ 6:30pm 

November 2nd - Salsa on the Alley - Big Bang Theory Way at Union Street @ 6:00pm

November 3rd - Pasadena Farmers Market - Victory Park @ 8:30am - 12:30pm

November 3rd - 4th - 86th Annual Descanso Chrysanthemum Show - Descanso Gardens @ 9:00am - 4:00pm 

November 3rd - Family Nature Walk - Eaton Canyon Natural Area Park & Nature Center @ 9:00am - 11:00am

November 4th - Sake Tasting - The Gamble House @ 5:00pm 

November 6th - Election Day - Various Assigned Locations 

November 7th - Classy & Sassy Boutique Luncheon - Altadena Town & Country Club @ 10:30am - 12:30pm 

November 7th - Altadena Farmers' Market - Loma Alta Park @ 4:00pm - 8:00pm 

November 8th - Pre-Craftsman Weekend Old Pasadena Tour - Old Pasadena @ 4:00pm  

November 9th - Craftsman Weekend: The Gamble House Lecture & Tour - The Gamble House @ 9:00am - 11:00am  

November 10th - Pasadena Farmers Market - Victory Park @ 8:30am - 12:30pm

November 10th - Taste of Art: Los Angeles Restaurant Menus - The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens @ 9:00am - 12:30pm 

November 10th - Family Nature Walk - Eaton Canyon Natural Area Park & Nature Center @ 9:00am - 11:00am

November 10th - Pasadena Arts & Crafts Show - Hilton Pasadena @ 10:00am - 6:00pm 

November 10th - Neighborhood Tours Orange Heights - Jackson Street and Mountain Street @ 10:00am, 10:30am, 1:00pm, and 1:30pm 

November 11th - RG Canning Flea Market - Rose Bowl Stadium @ 4:00am - 3:30pm 

November 13th - Beginner Tai Chi - Descanso Gardens @ 8:30am - 9:30pm 

November 15th - South Pasadena Farmers Market - Corner of El Centro Street and Meridian Ave. @ 4:00pm - 8:00pm 

November 17th - Pasadena Farmers Market - Victory Park @ 8:30am - 12:30pm 

November 17th - Family Nature Walk - Eaton Canyon Natural Area Park & Nature Center @ 9:00am - 11:00am

November 17th & 18th - Jackalope Indie Artisan Fair - Central Park Pasadena @ 10:00am - 4:00pm

November 18th - January 6th - Enchanted: Forest of Light - Descanso Gardens @ 5:30pm - 10:00pm 

November 20th - Free Tuesday at Descanso Gardens - Descanso Gardens @ 9:00am - 5:00pm 

November 22nd - Thanksgiving Crafts - Villa Parke Branch Library @ 2:00pm - 5:00pm

November 22nd - The Thanksgiving Day 5K Run/Walk & Kids Mile Run - La Canada Memorial Park @ 8:30am 

November 22nd - Thanksgiving Brunch - Descanso Gardens @ 11:00am - 3:00pm 

November 24th - Pasadena Farmers Market - Victory Park @ 8:30am - 12:30pm

November 24th - Shop Small in Old Pasadena - Various Participating Small Businesses @ 10:00am - 9:00pm 

November 25th - Winter Festival at The Langham - The Langham Huntington Pasadena @ 4:00pm - 7:00pm

November 29th - Armstrong Garden Centers' Christmas Open House - Armstrong Garden Centers on Glenarm @ 3:00pm - 7:00pm 

November 29th - South Pasadena Farmers Market - Corner of El Centro Street and Meridian Ave. @ 4:00pm - 8:00pm 


Contract Corner 

Fixtures, Window Coverings, and Identified Items When Buying or Selling?

Fixtures: In the Residential Purchase Agreement (RPA) fixtures are included in the sale under paragraph 8B(1). They are defined as items of personal property attached to the land in such a way that they are considered part of the real property. Courts determine whether something is a fixture on a case-by-case basis, considering various factors such as intent of the fixture, method of attachment and how difficult it would be to remove. 

Window coverings: A “window covering” is one of the items included in the sale under paragraph 8B(2) of the RPA. Although the RPA does not specifically define a window covering, the simple meaning of this term would be something that covers the window. However, if the curtain panels are only framing the windows, not covering them, they may be able to be removed by the seller. 

Identified items: Rather than trying to figure out if something is a fixture or otherwise included in a sale, a buyer can instead identify in paragraph 8B(3) of the RPA whatever items the buyer wants included. 

Navigating through the labyrinth of details and information of a transaction is exactly why you, savvy buyers and sellers, need an experienced team. The SARKISSIAN + PERERA GROUP is here to help guide you through this process and ensure that you achieve all of your real estate goals! 

© 2018 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties (BHHSCP) is a member of the franchise system of BHH Affiliates LLC. Any unauthorized reproduction or use of this material is prohibited. This information is believed to be accurate as of November 1st, 2018. It is not intended as a substitute for legal advice in individual situations, and is not intended to nor does it create a standard of care for real estate professionals. BHH Affiliates LLC and BHHSCP do not guarantee accuracy of all data. Information has been obtained from various sources and will not be verified by broker or MLS.


New Options Open For Homeowners Seeking a Reverse Mortgage

You’ve probably seen actor Tom Selleck suavely pitching federally insured reverse mortgages on TV and thought, hmm, that sounds interesting. He says you can turn your home equity into cash and not pay back anything — no principal, no interest, no fees — for years after your retirement.

And it’s true: Some form of a reverse mortgage could be a good choice for you, but it might not be the government-backed type Selleck is hawking. Those loans have hit tough times, and growing numbers of lenders have begun offering alternatives — proprietary, non-government reverse mortgages, including an innovative variant unveiled last month that allows owners to retain their current low-interest-rate regular mortgages while pulling out additional funds via the industry’s only “second-lien” reverse loan.

A little background: Annual volumes of the Federal Housing Administration’s reverse mortgages have tanked to their lowest level in 13 years and appear headed for further declines. The program is a financial nightmare for the FHA, performing so poorly that the FHA’s commissioner, Brian D. Montgomery, complained recently that it is “still hemorrhaging money,” despite repeated reform efforts.

Worse yet, FHA recently discovered hanky-panky in the appraisals used for reverse mortgages. An internal study by the agency found that in a sample of 134,000 loans, a stunning 37 percent of them had inflated values — the appraisers hyped the numbers — thereby exposing the agency’s insurance fund that backs the mortgages to bigger hits down the road. Some of the bogus value estimates billowed as high as 30 percent over actual market value in 2008 and 2009, though the average has moderated more recently.

Federally insured reverse mortgages are targeted at homeowners 62 years and older. They allow borrowers to supplement their retirement incomes by converting their home equity into cash via lump sum payments, monthly payments, or credit lines. No repayment of the debt is required until the homeowners sell the house, move out, or die. If the amounts borrowed exceed what the house can bring in a sale, the lender can file a claim against FHA’s mortgage-insurance fund and receive compensation.

Because of continuing multibillion-dollar insurance-fund losses, FHA has tried to rein in the reverse-mortgage program by limiting the amounts seniors can borrow against their houses, raising insurance premiums, and requiring applicants to demonstrate that they are creditworthy. These restrictions and other issues such as high fees have contributed to the program’s sharp plunge in volume, from just under 115,000 new loans in 2009 to 48,385 in fiscal 2018, the lowest total since 2005.

Drastic declines in business volume like this have spurred lenders to come up with alternatives. At least four major companies now offer proprietary, non-government reverse mortgages. They include Finance of America Reverse, Reverse Mortgage Funding, Longbridge Financial, and One Reverse Mortgage. All of them allow much larger maximum-loan amounts than FHA. They also charge no mortgage-insurance premiums and may permit loans to owners of condominium units in developments that have not been approved for FHA financing.

Kristen Sieffert, president of Finance of America Reverse — which continues to offer standard FHA-insured reverse mortgages along with its four proprietary alternatives — told me “we want to create a new proprietary product market for the long haul” that offers homeowners nationwide more flexibility and innovation than FHA can. For example, at the end of September, her firm debuted the industry’s first and only “second-lien” reverse mortgage, which is designed to allow owners who have low fixed rates on a first mortgage to retain that loan while tapping their equity via a fixed-rate second mortgage requiring no immediate repayments.

Other companies’ proprietary offerings have their own special niche features designed to improve on FHA’s rules: Equity Edge’s program lowers the eligibility age for some borrowers to 60 instead of 62; One Reverse Mortgage permits loans on houses with solar panels, to cite just a couple of examples.

Proprietary reverse loans have their own downsides, however. Generally, they are not aimed at the lower- to moderate-cost housing market like FHA, so they screen out potentially large numbers of owners from coverage. They may limit the total amount of equity you can access more strictly than FHA and require better credit histories. Like all reverse mortgages, proprietary alternatives should only be considered after discussions with an experienced financial counselor to make certain you’re getting a good deal.

Bottom line: They’re an important, growing resource for senior homeowners and worth at least a look if you’re considering a reverse mortgage.


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