Thursday, November 12, 2015

Skyrocketing Prices Drive Single Mom to Rent San Mateo Garage for $1K a Month:

Lori Moon, Diana Torey, Barbara Caylor and Emily White, from left, residents of the 40-year-old Forest Glen townhouse development in Mountain View, Calif.,
Lori Moon, Diana Torey, Barbara Caylor and Emily White, from left, residents of the 40-year-old Forest Glen townhouse development in Mountain View, Calif., pose for a portrait on Wednesday, July 29, 2015. (Josie Lepe/Bay Area News Group)
MOUNTAIN VIEW — Seven years ago, Lori and Alan Moon moved to Forest Glen Street, a shady lane of townhouses where their son, Michael, has grown up with his friends, playing capture the flag and building forts in the bushes.
"I've got a photo of all the kids," Lori Moon said, reminiscing in her kitchen, "six of them sitting on the front stoop, just being stupid, having fun."
But life is changing in "our little world," as she called the neighborhood. It is a story playing out all over Silicon Valley as high prices push out existing residents of older neighborhoods.
Lori Moon, a resident of the 40-year-old Forest Glen townhouse development in Mountain View, Calif., poses for a portrait on Wednesday, July 29, 2015.
Lori Moon, a resident of the 40-year-old Forest Glen townhouse development in Mountain View, Calif., poses for a portrait on Wednesday, July 29, 2015. (Josie Lepe/Bay Area News Group) (Josie Lepe)
In March, the 24 townhomes that line the lane were sold to the San Mateo-based Prometheus Real Estate Group, and residents say they have been left in a state of limbo about the new landlord's intentions. Fearing that their leases won't be renewed or that rents will significantly increase in a town where rents already have gone through the roof, four families have left, and others say their own departures seem inevitable.
"It's too much stress," said Emily White, another tenant, who came by Moon's home to discuss the situation. "People are leaving. People are emotionally detaching from each other."
"I'd just like to get my kid through the eighth grade," said Moon, whose son attends the neighborhood middle school. "But what are we going to do when we have to leave? Because Mountain View's out of control."
About 60 percent of Mountain View's residents are renters, and Forest Glen is a microcosm of the city, where hiring by Google and other tech companies is ratcheting up competition for a severely limited inventory of rental units. The result is that new two-bedroom luxury apartments can fetch between $5,000 and $6,000 monthly, while comfortable but older two-bedroom units -- including the 1970s-era townhouses on Forest Glen and 14 more on nearby Granada Drive, also purchased in March by Prometheus -- often cost $2,600-$2,900 and up.

"Middle-income people who have roots in the community are being priced out and are moving away," said Councilman Lenny Siegel, who has met with Forest Glen tenants and Prometheus executives, who say higher rents are needed to recoup investments when older buildings are upgraded. "The source of the problem is that we have too many good jobs, that Google and others are hiring at a rapid rate" and that construction of new residential housing isn't keeping pace.
Even as the council considers proposals to build several thousand additional units over the next few years, he added, "naturally affordable housing" is vanishing, as existing units are purchased and upgraded by developers, including Prometheus.
An exterior view of the Forest Glen Townhomes in Mountain View, photographed on Aug. 5, 2015. Residents are fearing costs to cover planned renovations will
An exterior view of the Forest Glen Townhomes in Mountain View, photographed on Aug. 5, 2015. Residents are fearing costs to cover planned renovations will be passed onto them. (Josie Lepé/Bay Area News Group)
"It's nuts," said Diana Torrey, a senior manager with a biotech firm, who with her boyfriend rents a three-bedroom Forest Glen apartment for $2,995. "I have lived in Mountain View almost my entire life. My kids have been going to school here since kindergarten. This is our home. I make six figures. And it really bothers me that my ability to provide a stable living environment for my children is out of my control because of greed."
Forest Glen's tenants include teachers, nurses, a vice president of marketing, a Google software engineer and a NASA Ames environmental engineer who serves on the Mountain View Environmental Planning Commission. Moon has been a hairdresser in Mountain View for 25 years, and her husband works in purchasing for a tech company in San Jose. Many have household incomes in excess of $100,000, but making rent still can be a struggle, even at existing levels.
Many three-bedroom apartments in Mountain View list for between $3,400 and $4,500, according to Neighbors Helping Neighbors, a nonprofit that helps clients navigate the Silicon Valley rental market. Because landlords typically ask tenants to prove income that's triple the rent, a $3,400 apartment requires a minimum annual income of $122,400, while a $4,500 apartment requires income of $162,000. Torrey lamented that she also has seen her share of three-bedrooms on Craigslist for $6,000, requiring $216,000 in income.
Emily White, a resident of the 40-year-old Forest Glen townhouse development in Mountain View, Calif., poses for a portrait on Wednesday, July 29, 2015.
Emily White, a resident of the 40-year-old Forest Glen townhouse development in Mountain View, Calif., poses for a portrait on Wednesday, July 29, 2015. (Josie Lepe/Bay Area News Group) ( Josie Lepe )
Jonathan Moss, executive vice president and partner at Prometheus, acknowledged that the "demand is clearly outstripping the supply" of available units in Silicon Valley and that the result is an "untenable situation where the cost of housing is far more than people can afford to pay." He said Prometheus has a general policy of capping annual rent increases for its 7,000 existing units around the valley at 10 percent. While rents have yet to increase at Forest Glen and Granada, he said, renovated units would go for "somewhat more than 10 percent" above current rates.
Prometheus must recoup the cost of renovations, likely to start in late April or after, he explained, ballparking them at $50,000 or $60,000 per unit.
The Forest Glen affair began shortly after Prometheus purchased the townhouses on March 18. Tenants were invited to a "meet and greet" with their new landlords at Prometheus's Madera apartments in downtown Mountain View, where luxury two-bedroom apartments can go for $5,300-$5,800. Tenants reported being told by a company representative that they should expect to receive 30- to 90-day notices by August, that large-scale renovations would begin in October, and that the renovated units would rent for "whatever the tech market can bear."
A number of local news reports followed, and a crew from ABC's "20/20" even flew in last month to film interviews for a possible segment.
But Moss said in July that those early comments were "confusing" and marked by "some misinformation" -- and that the Prometheus representative who made them has been replaced. Eviction notices will not be sent out, he said.
Ultimately, he said, Mountain View must address the imbalance between job growth and housing inventory. Only then will housing prices settle down. And until then, he said, just as single-family homeowners want to sell their houses at market levels, landlords will want to set rentals as the market dictates.
And the tenants of Forest Glen will likely continue to look for new homes in other cities.
Emily White, a social worker and startup veteran who moved to Forest Glen a year ago, walked down the shady lane the other day, pointing out the empty units.
"These people are gone," she said, "and this guy's leaving over here. And this couple -- she's a physician, and he's an IT guy, and they have a new baby, and they've decided they just can't make a life here. Our Shangri-La is unhinging."

Thursday, October 1, 2015

My Movers Damaged My Landlord’s Property—Am I Responsible?

Moving day is always a pain, but it can be infinitely more so if you damage your landlord’s property while trying to skedaddle out of there with all your stuff. And It’s even worse if you aren’t the one who broke the $500 picture window.
If your mover was at fault, it should offer to pay—but things aren’t always that simple. Here’s what happens when movers won’t pony up.

Your landlord has the right to come after you

Don’t expect your landlord to do the legwork of filing a claim. You hired the movers and invited them into the property—from the landlord’s point of view, it’s your responsibility to pay for damages. So you might have to eat the security deposit while you try to get the money back from the moving company.

You’ll have to review your insurance—and theirs

Yeah, we know—you did the responsible thing and took out insurance to cover your goods. Right? The problem is it covers only your goods.
Typical insurance provided during a move—such as coverage of 60 cents per pound, per item— “would not cover any damage done to the landlord’s building or property,” says Kim Weaver, compliance manager at Relocation Insurance Group in St. Louis, MO.
Instead, the moving company would have to use its general liability insurance, or its auto insurance if the damage was done by vehicle. Some companies may have only cargo and auto insurance. When choosing a mover, you should search the U.S. Department of Transportation’s licensing and insurance page for any companies you’re considering, Weaver recommends. There, you can view details about what types of insurance the company is registered for.
Just don’t assume a mover has general liability insurance.
“In my experience, to get licensed in most areas, a mover has to have insurance,” says Troy Doucet, lawyer and owner of Doucet & Associates in Dublin, OH. “That doesn’t mean everyone has insurance.”
And therein lies another problem: If movers don’t have insurance—or are operating illegally—they probably don’t want you to find them. So how in the world can you get them to pay?

You try to track them down

If you used an unscrupulous mover, your “options for pursuing reimbursement will be limited,” says Pete Johnson, co-founder of HireAHelper based in Oceanside, CA.
“The customer could tell the moving company they’re planning to take the issue to small-claims court,” Johnson says. “It might produce results and, if it doesn’t, then they can go ahead and file if they have an address for them.”
That’s a big “if.” Even otherwise official-looking movers may have websites without an office location or employee names listed, making it difficult or impossible to track them down. But if you can, here’s what you should do:
  • Review copies of all the forms you signed (the moving company is required to give you copies, so make sure you hang on to them). Did you sign a liability waiver? Even if you did, “it may not be enforceable in your state,” says Alicia Dearn, CEO of Bellatrix Law and trial lawyer. This means the company may have tried to trick you into backing down.
  • Get a lawyer—if only for a letter threatening litigation. “A situation like this is best resolved by negotiation—a letter from a lawyer can really work wonders in these disputes,” Dearn says.
  • Photograph the damage for evidence.
  • File a consumer complaint with the state’s attorney general office.
If the mover still refuses to pay, you’ll be looking at settling in small-claims court—it’s up to you to weigh the cost and decide if it’s worth pursuing.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Moving Checklist - 1 day until moving day:

eco moving green removals
 - Packing. Aim to finish the packing today, apart from a few essentials in the kitchen and bathroom. You will feel so much better when you can see the end is finally in sight. "Don't forget to clearly mark the boxes with the room name you would like them to end up in".
 - Dismantle & Disconnect.  Unless you have arranged with the removal company, you will be expected to dismantle any self-assembly furniture that cannot be moved out in one. Take down curtains and any fixtures you are intending to take with you. Make sure you have disconnected the washer and fitted the transit brackets to secure the drum. Defrosted the fridge / freezer unless you have arranged to have these moved with the food inside, if this is the case pack the contents into bags so they can be lifted out quickly.
 - Snack box. Make up a box of refreshments for the next day, bearing in mind that your cooker may be disconnected or in the back of a removal van. Include tea, coffee, sugar etc, and the most important item of all the kettle, you will have to keep the refreshments flowing as moving house is very thirsty work. A selection of cold drinks is also a good idea. Mark on the box "kettle things" or "brewing tackle" and it will be guaranteed to be last on, first off the van.
 - Toiletries box. Make up a box in the bathroom and put in the toiletries that you aren't using. Leave this box open to put in all the other toiletries tomorrow morning after everyone has got up and cleaned their teeth, you can then seal it up.
 - Outside items.  Anything outside that you can move, try and put either inside the garage or in a dry place, there is nothing worse than putting soaking wet outside furniture into a removal van along with all your other furniture.
 - Parking. If you have difficulty parking outside your house, it could be a good idea to park your own car or cars outside so that your removal van will be able to park outside. Remember the van needs more room than its own length to manoeuvre.
 - Draw a map. Sit down and either write out some directions or draw a plan on how to get to your new address, including a contact number.
 - Mobile phone. Make sure that your mobile phone is fully charged up for tomorrow, you are probably going to need it.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Discovering ways to end difference with a Moving Company in San Francisco:

Image result for mountain

Most moves go well, particularly when you deliberately pick a qualified moving organization from your territory of San Francisco who has a background marked by consumer loyalty. 

On the off chance that you have a protestation or worry about your prerogative, request that talk with the boss quickly. This is regularly the most ideal approach to determine your issues straightforwardly and minimize clash. 

What would it be a good idea for you to do if something happens notwithstanding your earnest attempts? Take after these ventures beneath to determine your issue rapidly. 

1. Know your rights. 

2. Try to avoid panicking and affable. 

3. Tell your moving organization that you're willing to trade off or arrange a commonly useful assention. 

4. Clarify the issue, and point of interest what you see as a reasonable result. 

5. Report in composing your worries with the moving organization. Record their reaction to your grievances in the event that you need records for future mediation.

View to more information to go: Elite  Moving Systems

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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Moving Industry Trends: 2014 in Review and 2015 Forecast:

Couple carrying boxes

As the housing market continues to recover, anticipates that competition within the moving industry will intensify, due to an increasing number of home sales. According to the National Association of Realtors, home sales are expected to be higher in 2015 and this growth in home sales  will benefit both buyers and sellers, as improvements in inventory, slower price gains and pent-up demand contribute to the trend. (MCR), a site that connects consumers with reliable moving companies, identified 2014’s moving industry trends and predicts how housing trends will impact the moving industry in 2015.
Moving on up
According to MCR data, 2014 was a year of expansion as consumers moved into larger sized homes. The median square footage of homes consumers moved from was 1,100 square feet, and moved into homes that were a median of 1,728 square feet.
On a national level, consumer moving trends indicated:

On the move
According to MCR data, out of state moves make up approximately 20% of moves on the site. In 2014, the top five states where the most consumers moved from were:
In 2014, the top five states where the most consumers moved into were:
Preparing for 2015
As home sellers, buyers and renters prepare for 2015, hiring professional movers is likely to be on their moving checklists. MCR anticipates the five below trends will be prevalent in the moving industry in 2015.
1) Mover availability will be tight in spring and summer months. 2014 was the strongest move season in years according to MCR’s moving company customer feedback. This increase resulted in a nationwide truck driver shortage, making it difficult for consumers to book the move dates they wanted. Consumers can expect this same problem in 2015 and should book a moving company as soon as they know their moving date. The average person books their mover only two weeks in advance, so beating that timeframe means consumers will have a better chance of getting the date they want. This is particularly important between Memorial Day and Labor Day, with moves peaking in August.
2) Major metros are still hot. In 2014, MCR reported the most moves in the nation’s largest cities, including Chicago, Atlanta, Houston, Denver and Dallas. Continued urban population growth and the return of post-recession new construction will continue to fuel moves in these cities. For consumers looking to move in these cities, MCR advises to book a mover at least one month in advance.
3) Interstate moves will expand to smaller cities. MCR anticipates growth in some of the mid-size cities that are joining the trend of urban development, with investments in jobs, housing, retail and dining. The 2015Emerging Trends in Real Estate report, published by PwC and Urban Land Institute, lists Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham and Nashville as “markets to watch”. MCR data identified a healthy number of moves in these cities in 2014 and expects the trend to continue into 2015.
4) Square footage will remain flat. According to MCR data, 2014 saw an upgrade in home sizes, by a median of 628 square feet. MCR does not expect any more significant upgrades. While the economy is improving, the rental market is still strong.
5) Mover scams are still a threat but more controlled. 2013 and 2014 saw the rise of illegitimate companies that preyed on unsuspecting consumers. These individuals and companies marketed to consumers looking for the lowest price, and then scammed them by drastically increasing the rate at the point of delivery or even holding goods hostage. In 2014, the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA) and state moving associations made significant efforts to educate consumers on how to choose a vetted, licensed mover. Using a site like helps consumers understand the industry rules and regulations and identify the licensed movers with verified reviews from real consumers.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Is it a strong job to Hire Moving Companies in Los Angeles?

A moving organization is such an organization which makes the moving errand a considerable measure simpler. Furthermore it will help their customer in moving, either family unit things or office things. An enormous number of individuals live in the Los Angeles. One of the principle reasons is the vicinity of the fundamental limbs of various work places, business establishments, and banks. In spite of the fact that moving is not a simple assignment, the moving organization in los angels will make this errand simpler and agreeable if the customer needs to move from/movement to LA. Considering a percentage of the focuses will make the employing assignment much easier. In the following piece of this article, the discourse will be made on those focuses.

The primary point to be considered is while the customer is moving to Los Angeles or not. All things considered, the customer needs to strive for the organization which is capable. Not all the organizations need to include themselves while moving to LA. The organizations which have sub-branches in diverse urban areas of the United States are just fit for doing this.

The second indicate be considered is while the customer needs to move from Los Angeles or not. There are various moving organizations in Los Angeles, which can offer their customers a nearly less expensive rate. So a customer will have various alternatives while picking a moving organization. It's ideal to contract an organization which has a decent notoriety in this division. An organization will finish the moving errands inside a shorter time of time on the off chance that it has a decent notoriety.

An alternate point is while the customers are searching for the organizations to help them for worldwide moving. The majority of moving companies offers their customer’s just neighborhood exchange, that is, from LA to the close-by urban areas. So the customers need to discover a suitable moving organization which offers universal moving offices. In spite of the fact that a customer will need to spend a great deal of money for this reason, it will make the moving errand a ton simpler, snappier and more secure.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Unpacking / Destination Checklist:

Be Prepared Before the Moving Truck Arrives

Make sure you allow yourself time before the movers get there to do an assessment of your new home. It’s best to clean, repaint and perform repairs while your space is empty.

When the movers arrive, have your payment ready. Most movers won’t start unloading without collecting the final payment.

As boxes are unloaded, equip yourself with a clipboard and check items off your home inventory as they come through the door.

Your movers are going to need help establishing a plan. Tell them how you’d like each room arranged and where you’d like boxes staged.

Thoroughly inspect all boxes, furniture and appliances to make sure they come off the moving truck in the same condition they left your old residence.

Plug in appliances to make sure they work properly. To be certain, your movers can arrange to have appliances and electronics professionally installed and serviced upon arrival.

Start unpacking in the kitchen. It could take a little while to unpack everything, so you’ll want to be sure that you have the kitchen set up to feed your help when the moving day ends.

Unpack your master bedroom and bathroom next. After that first night’s meal, a clean shower and comfy bed will give you the refresh you need to keep going on day two.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

SF Giants’ Hunter Pence Puts Houston Condo Up for Rent:

Two-time World Series champion Hunter Pence’s bachelor pad in Houston, TX, can be yours to rent.
The San Francisco Giants slugger, whose postseason heroics helped propel the orange and black to their third World Series title in five years in 2014, is renting out his 2,318-square-foot condo for a smidgen under $4,000 per month.
Pence, who hails from Texas and began his big-league career with the Astros in 2007, is clearly a fan of the loft look. The two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo features hardwood floors, high ceilings, exposed brick, and tremendous windows that look out on downtown Houston.
The home also includes a walk-in closet and balcony. The high-end kitchen features stainless-steel appliances, a wine chiller, and granite counters. Additionally, the condo comes with two parking spots, so renters with more than one ride won’t have to pick and choose who has to fight for street parking.
Pence has a well-deserved reputation for performing well in the clutch. There are no guarantees that living in this cool condo will help you hit the curveball, but who knows? It probably wouldn’t hurt.