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What You Need to Know About Senate Bills 9 and 10

Recently, new Senate bills 9 and 10 were passed here in California in an effort to reform single-family zoning. Last month, California Gov. Gavin Newsom approved two historic measures to not only expand housing production in the state, but streamline the housing permitting process and increase density in an effort to create more inclusive neighborhoods closer to major employment hubs.

Newsom is also working to enable more housing production, address barriers to construction and hold local governments accountable for these efforts. These bills come as the state is still challenged by soaring home prices coupled with an ongoing homelessness issue and an affordable housing shortage.

A Look at the Bills

SB 9 provides additional tools to add much-needed new housing while easing California’s housing shortage. SB 10 sets up a more streamlined, voluntary process for cities to zone for multi-unit housing, so it’s faster and simpler to construct new housing.

The bills aren’t beloved by all, though, and a battle of sorts has ensued whereby 250 cities object to legislation that, they believe, will undermine local planning and control.

Governor Newsom counters that by saying: “The housing affordability crisis is undermining the California Dream for families across the state, and threatens our long-term growth and prosperity.”

The Governor also announced last month that the state will add $1.75 billion into a new California Housing Accelerator, designed to speed up the construction of 6,500 affordable multi-family units that previously stalled out due to lack of low-income housing tax credits and tax-exempt bonds.

It’s all part of a $22 billion allocation that the state is hoping will kick start new housing while easing homelessness at the same time, says the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Senate Bill 9, brought forth by San Diego Senate leader Toni Atkins, would mean that cities in the state can approve up to four housing units on what used to be zoned as single-family lots. The bill also proposed that municipalities must approve splitting single-family lots in order to be sold separately.

Senate Bill 10, sponsored by Senator Wiener, makes the process easier on cities that want to zone for smaller, lower-cost housing developments of up to 10 units in an effort to quell California’s housing crisis.

Key Points of Each Bill

What Both Bills Do…

Both SB 9 and SB 10 are both designed to alleviate the affordable housing crisis by relaxing perceived land use and California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)  barriers to A.) increase density and B.) streamline the production of multi-family housing development across the state.

The goal of the above bills is a noble one when taken from the point of view of solving the housing shortage in CA. But, on the other hand, detractors of the bills say properties could lose value if the neighborhoods they’re in become dotted with duplexes, all while creating heavier traffic, and introducing more smog and other environmental impacts.

Contact Agent Prolific

Would you like to know more about Senate bills 9 and 10 and how they affect you in your real estate search? Just contact us by filling out our online form or by phone!

There’s no better way to kick off our first event back at the office than by celebrating with our clients that make this all possible! On June we hosted our wonderful clients and strategic partners to personal suit fittings, food, drinks, and live music!! It was truly a great day spent with some amazing guests! Keep an eye out for our next event!

What should tenants, landlords, business owners, and those who are furloughed or unemployed do during these uncertain times? Should tenants still pay their rent? Should landlords still file notices? Can business owners start a bankruptcy? Things are fluid and uncertain as financial distress may result in unpaid rents, mortgages and more! Watch Miguel Contreras of Agent Prolific at Dwell Well Realty interview Jason Turner, a Real Estate and Bankruptcy Attorney at J Turner Law Group, as they discuss evictions, credit, and bankruptcy during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

We are living in a whole new world. The COVID-19 pandemic seems to have shaken our lives and shifted our society. It is too soon to determine what will come out of this: economically, it seems more than likely that we will be in a deep recession (maybe a depression). The uncertainty of things has surged panic levels. People are fearful and nervous.

What is a self-employed person, business owner, or sales professional to do during these bizarre days? In such a confusing time, it is tough to conduct business as usual, when most everyone is working remotely from home (except for those in essential industries or mission-critical roles). Should you call on prospects, send out marketing material, email, text message? Is it in good taste? Should you put things on hold until we’re out this?

The answer will vary for everyone: BUT, Here are three things you should do to stay relevant during these trying times.

Do not stop communicating! Your clients/prospects are just as nervous, uncertain, and frightened as you. More than likely, they’re dealing with the same issues you are: adjusting to working from home with kids, possible loss of work, or diminished income. This moment in time presents an excellent opportunity for you to reach out to let them know  how much you care and that you understand their situation because, frankly, you’re living it also. Empathy goes a long way – sometimes, having a great conversation is the perfect medicine for anxiety. Believe it or not, it will make you feel better also.

We have so many technological tools at our disposal this day in age, and we must take advantage of them! I highly suggest utilizing the power of video. Video has magical power, especially when YOU are speaking directly to the viewer on the other end. Unlike a written post, email, or text message, with video, the viewer sees your face plus your facial expressions and they make eye contact with you. It gives them a feeling of being right there with you, with an added (subconscious) bonus of you looking like a celebrity. I recommend your record educational videos on pertinent information that may impact the lives of your clients or industry-specific videos (i.e., how your industry is handling the pandemic).

Also, use video conference services like Zoom, Go to Meeting, or Google Hangout to facilitate group conversation. A big (and fun) trend right now is a “Virtual Happy Hour.” I’ve done a few, and they’ve led to fantastic conversations. But what I’ve found most compelling and conducive to talk are short, personal video messages sent via email, text message or Social Media. Customized short videos sent to a specific individual or small group allow for a deeper connection. The persons receiving your message will thank you for taking the time to reach out and this will create a fantastic rapport. There’s a catch – just like in the real world – YOU HAVE TO BE GENUINE in your message, you need to care and love on them, they can spot a contrived fake immediately! You can use apps like Marco Polo, BombBomb or Dubb.

Many of these services offer free trials.  I use Dubb extensively and highly recommend it.

 >>>>> Click here for a FREE TRIAL of DUBB <<<<<<<<<

More than ever, we need to be champions for our clients and our prospects, ambassadors of information and resources. Now is the time when we ask, “How May I Help?” Because what we’re all going through is bigger than us or any industry. We should be a bridge to resources and information within our industry and world at large. For instance, if you uncover a new program that can help someone out, share it. We can’t be coy or bashful; this is the time to be bold. It’s time to think about the community at large and how you can be a part of lifting it. Share your knowledge, expertise, talents and information! Your clients will value you and thank you for it. Plus, if you’re a resource for others, you’ll always be in demand.

Let’s keep our hearts warm and our minds sharp! We’ll get through this together!




As government orders change and are asking us to stay at home or shelter in place, many workspaces and businesses have either closed or limited work in an effort to comply with the safety instructions. Though this is part of a massive action plan to slow the spread of the coronavirus, business owners and employees alike are taking a massive economic hit.

We’ve already started seeing the ripple effects in the forms of layoffs, unpaid furloughs, reduced hours, etc. 

**If you have been personally impacted and are foreseeing problems paying your mortgage do the following!

(The number is on your mortgage statement)

They will not be able to assist you as they are not involved in servicing your loan.

Many lenders are offering forbearance to homeowners during this time. Meaning you may be able to skip mortgage payments up to several months, though each bank will have different options and processes.


Download Now! 

Be safe! We’re all in this together!

Peace and Love

The reality of what it’s going to take to slow the COVID-19 Pandemic has finally hit Americans. As a nation, it appears that we are finally starting to realize that this thing is extremely serious. While we are keeping a light heart and coming up with the funniest memes ever, I believe that we are collectively doing our part to keep our communities safe and not overload our hospitals.  The experts have recommended the best course of actions to take are: Social Isolation, Sheltering in Place and Social distancing. And, as more and more municipalities make these recommendations mandates, it is beginning to hurt and economically injure small businesses. How can small business keep up with overhead like payroll, rent, insurance, etc. if customers can come in to buy their product or service?

Thankfully, the SBA has emergency funds / disaster relief for small businesses and non-profits to help bridge the major gap that this crisis is creating in their budgets.

Click on the video as Miguel Contreras interviews Ryan Smith of Think SBA, Inc. You will discover where to start the process to obtain the disaster relief your business needs to get thru this.

You can also follow this link to initiate your application here :


Read SBA press release-

SBA to Provide Disaster Assistance Loans for Small Businesses Impacted by Coronavirus  (COVID-19)

Baby Boomers and the Fear of Selling

Are you a Baby Boomer? Do you realize it makes financial and lifestyle sense to sell your empty nest but are afraid of the consequences or are unsure of the next steps? That fear is quite normal, and you’re not alone. But having a professional on your side who can walk you through the selling process is key.

Maybe you’re thinking: “I want to sell my home, but what do I buy now?” or, “If I buy a replacement property, my property taxes will go up.” These are valid concerns. But fear not: in California, Prop 60 and Prop 90 protect home owners and sellers age 55 and up from property tax increases when sellers replace their primary residence.

According to the California State Board of Equalization, Propositions 60/90 allow a person who is over age 55 to sell his or her principal place of residence and transfer its base year value to a replacement dwelling of equal or lesser value that is purchased or newly constructed within two years of the sale.

But despite that knowledge, Baby Boomers are still largely resisting selling their homes to downsize.

For generations, the situation went something like this: the kids grew up and moved out of the family home and Mom and Dad put a For Sale sign up on the lawn not long after. This isn’t always the case anymore, with the traditional empty nest storyline taking a backseat to the decision to remain in the family home and age in place, says CNBC.

Why They’re Not Selling

Baby Boomers have to live somewhere but they’re having an increasingly tough time downsizing and locating an available inventory. This is causing disruption – a stop-gap if you will — in the normal “move-up” market.

The oldest Baby Boomers are now in their early 70s, an age that used to spur the desire to downsize into a retirement community, condo or apartment. It doesn’t have that same effect anymore due in large part to the fact that Boomers are simply healthier and working longer than any other generation. Translation: They’re not quite ready to trade in their family homes for the Del Boca Vista retirement life in Southern Florida.

Others aren’t eager to sell because that means they have to leap into the home buyers’ market, which is stifled by low inventory and high prices at the moment, points out CBS News.

This is a tough pill to swallow in real estate circles because Americans over the age of 65 have the highest homeownership rates of any generation, with nearly 80 percent of seniors owning their homes, compared with 35 percent of Americans who are under 35. 

Americans over 65 will be the fastest-growing segment of the workforce over the next six years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While the overall workforce will increase five percent during that time, people aged 65 to 74 will grow by a whopping 55 percent.

Many Baby Boomers are still working, precluding them from leaving their homes too soon. The BLS says that 9.8 million Americans over the age of 65 are still working, the highest number since 1948. In fact, older workers have been staying put in the workforce in greater numbers since the 1990s, ensuring that the prospect of retirement today is very different than it was even a generation ago.

Three decades ago, when people retired, it meant they were nearing the end of their lives as they approached 70. People are generally stronger, healthier and more fit today than their parents were. And with the life expectancy close to 80, Baby Boomers are aware they have more time to work and save before finally settling down and retiring.

Many Baby Boomers in fact do want to sell their large homes and downsize so they can start to enjoy life and travel. But what’s holding them back? They’re unsure of the process, where to start, and who to trust. They don’t want the disruption in their lives that comes with selling, yet they know downsizing is something they will need to do at some point. Perhaps they’re reluctant to let go of the home in which they had their children, built a family and made memories. They may not know what they would do with all their stuff, or where family gatherings would be held if they were to eliminate the family home.

All of these are valid concerns. Addressing them one by one is important so as to get over that fear of selling. It’s time to redefine what living means to you!

Contact Agent Prolific

If you are a Baby Boomer and are ready to face your fear of selling your home and downsizing, let us help you every step of the way. Please contact us in San Diego by phone or complete our online form.

If you’re interested in buying or building a granny flat for investment purposes, you understandably want to know how it will pay off for you down the line. With rents in San Diego rising steeply year after year, a granny flat can deliver positive returns, stronger rental yields,  and additional cash flow from residential rental property – a prospect that’s generated increasing interest among investors recently.

If you’re a homeowner living in a hot rental market like San Diego’s, you might be wondering if  a granny flat is even a good investment. Turns out, it is. Building a second rentable unit gives you quite a bit of flexibility and financial freedom, but before you commit to anything, consider the following:

A granny flat is a good investment if:

  1. You plan to own the home for the long haul and can rent it out for several years.
  2. You already own the land due to the rent-to-cost ratio being favorable.
  3. There isn’t an owner occupancy clause that forces you to remain on the property.
  4. You have access to capital or home equity to build.
  5. The rental market is hot and is slated to continue that way at least for the near future.
  6. This type of property is a good lifestyle fit for you.

State of the Rental Market

You’ll first have to estimate how much monthly income you can make off renting a granny flat. Just remember, granny flats that are free standing are usually more desirable for renters, whereby you can charge slightly more than you could for an apartment building. This is especially true if the flat is accompanied by a garden or outdoor living space.

Next, take a look at the rental vacancy rate, which is the percentage of homes for rent that is unoccupied. The vacancy rate dictates factors like rent and prices. For example, landlords can raise their rents in a market where there are very low vacancy rates, such as in San Diego, where the vacancy rate is at 3.3. percent.


Many homeowners underestimate the cost of building a granny flat, but in general, you should estimate $200 to $300 per square foot. If you plan to add a second story or convert a loft into a granny flat, it will be closer to $300 per square foot.

Take the following into account:

  1. Permitting fees $5-30K
  2. Design fees ~8-10K (usually 10% of the construction cost)
  3. Construction cost 80-200K

Fortunately, in San Diego, costs can be reduced dramatically thanks to a recent decision by county officials. It is now cheaper and easier to build granny flats through multiple pre-approved design plans that property owners can use to speed up the permitting process and save thousands on architectural work, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune. The county has also waived $15,000 in permit and development fees for granny flats.

This is in response to a housing shortage that has no signs of improving any time soon. The hope is that this simplified, less costly process will prompt more people to build granny flats in an effort to close the housing gap and assist low-income seniors, veterans and others at risk for homelessness.

Since 2016, approved accessory dwelling units have increased 63 percent throughout the state, and San Diego in particular, thanks to the looser regulations and easier permitting process that has allowed people to maximize their property potential with granny flats.

Financing Options

While they make great cash flow opportunities, granny flats can be tricky to finance. Many of the major banks such as Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Chase don’t offer mortgage products to finance accessory dwelling units, which is what granny flats are. But since this can be a six-figure investment, most homeowners simply can’t pay for the whole project in cash.

You could finance this project with:

  1. Cash or liquefying investments
  2. Home Equity Line of Credit
  3. Home Equity Loan
  4. Construction Loan
  5. Cash-Out Refinance

The cost involved in adding a granny flat will depend on the type of granny flat you choose. But you’ll probably spend a minimum of $100,000. If you decide to build, there are many options in terms of design and type of dwelling, from prefabricated and modular homes to dwellings built from scratch. The one you choose will depend on your budget, available designs and desired features. 

Adding Value with Granny Flats

Wondering if a granny flat will increase the value of your property? The short answer is yes, but only if it is in compliance with local council regulations. There are many instances where a granny flat can add significantly to the value of your property, but do your homework on the many variables that will play into your return on investment, including size, location and cost.  

Contact Agent Prolific

Whether you’re looking to buy or sell, or learn more about cashflowing granny flats as a real estate investing option, contact us in San Diego by phone or fill out our online form.

Agent Prolific recently hosted a seminar where experts educated us on the building process & the new laws that took place in CA regarding Granny Flats! Watch our video to find out how much easier and LESS expensive it is to add a granny flat to your property! 

It’s no secret San Diego has a housing shortage, and has been struggling with this for years. Its latest solution to this crisis is to encourage the building of granny flats on existing properties. Essentially, granny flats allow parents of adult children to live close by in their own space, or they can be used to generate rental income. Families are returning to the good old days of multi-generational living arrangements, but they’re not just putting granny in an extra bedroom at the back of the house. They’re actually giving granny her own home in a separate space on the property.

It’s the best of both worlds. Adult children can better take care of Mom or Dad while being very close by, yet because the homes are separate entities, privacy is the main benefit of this buffer zone.

With real estate at a premium these days, it’s tougher than ever to buy a house within your budget, let alone one that’s ideally located close to work, school, etc. To combat this struggle to find quality, affordable housing, San Diego County has found a way to remove some of the red tape that can get in the way. The answer: granny flats.

Thus, San Diego is making it cheaper and easier to build granny flats by providing multiple pre-approved design plans that property owners can use to speed up the permitting process and save thousands on architectural work, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune.

Bridging the Gap

The hope here is that the simplified, less costly process will prompt more people to build granny flats, yet another way to close the housing gap and assist low-income seniors, veterans and others at risk for homelessness. The county has also waived $15,000 in permit and development fees for granny flats.

Granny flats aren’t just for senior citizens on fixed incomes, they’re considered ideal for recent college graduates and young people with lower-paying jobs who can’t afford the high rent and mortgage of a single family home near the city. On top of boosting the local housing supply, granny flats are generating income for homeowners so they won’t struggle as much to meet their mortgage every month.

It’s easy to obtain everything needed for a building permit, as the floor plans, elevations, and roof plans are not only permit-ready, but downloadable as well. The approval process has been streamlined as well, making it “over the counter.” This means a property owner can secure all the approvals necessary to build a granny flat in one day with a visit to the Development Services Department downtown.

Because you can get your plans reviewed on the same day, there’s no need to wait two weeks to get plan corrections back.

A Few Words on the Housing Shortage

Well, it’s really nothing new, but it still needs to be said. The dire situation in which the region finds itself was not a sudden occurrence. In a nutshell, San Diego County has simply not built enough homes to keep pace with the rate of economic and population growth for decades.

Californians say housing affordability is a huge problem. Just 27 percent of households can afford the price tag of a median home in this area, at $655,000. In fact, low-income San Diegans spend almost their entire paycheck on rent, according to the Voice of San Diego. San Diego’s lack of homebuilding since 2010 has resulted in 59,000 fewer units than what is required to match the population growth that has happened in that time. The region is great at adding jobs and people to its ranks, but housing to fit them all? Not so much. Ever since a recession hit Southern California in the early 1990s, homebuilding never recovered, and today it’s still struggling to keep up.

This latest effort by San Diego to improve the housing situation through pre-approved design plans is all well and good, but it still costs money to build any type of dwelling. That’s where rehab loans come in. Rehab loans make it easier to increase the square footage and value of a home, as buyers are paying more for larger homes with more living space, especially with a granny flat or rental unit.

Contact Agent Prolific

Whether you’re looking to buy or sell, or learn more about granny flats as a viable real estate investing option, contact us in San Diego by phone or fill out our online form.

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