You are here: Home » 2015 » November


At some point in the past I was helping someone sell their home, and they had a pool. The week before close of escrow, he emailed me a link to a pool sweep on Amazon.com. They wanted me to pass it onto the buyer so the buyer can buy their own after close of escrow because my client was planning to take his with him when he left. I called and found out that he just assumed that the pool sweep goes with him. He just thought he was supposed to take his pool sweep like he would take his other personal property like furniture and clothing.


Luckily in this case he really didn’t need the pool sweep. He was moving to a home that didn’t have a pool and he wasn’t planning to put a pool in. So he was actually glad to leave it behind, which was good so we avoided an issue with the buyer who would be expecting the pool sweep to stay.


It triggered a thought in my mind that if this guy thought he could take it, I wonder if this may happen again in the future where it wasn’t such an easy solution. Our standard contract mentions that “pool equipment” is to stay with the property. So, is a pool sweep pool equipment or not? I assumed that everyone would think that a pool sweep is part of the pool equipment. But I’ve had some people argue forcefully with me that the pool works just fine without a pool sweep, and the sweep is a convenience item to help clean it. So the bottom line is I now specifically ask that the pool sweep stay when I write a contract for a buyer so that it’s in writing and there is no arguing about it later.


There are several ways to pass ownership of real estate when you die. Many of the other options can take a lot of time and money to set up (a trust) or must go through probate (a will) which can be a very expensive, time-consuming and frustrating. A new law goes into effect January 1, 2016 that creates another option called a, “revocable transfer on death deed. (TOD)” The TOD will be a very simple and inexpensive way to transfer ownership because it’s one simple document that is recorded with the County. This may become a great option for many people.


This will be for 1-4 unit residential units, and not more than 40 acres. It must be signed in front of a notary and must be recorded at the County within 60 days from the day it was signed. You can designate one or multiple parties to receive your property. It does not need to be given to the person you want the property to go to and it can be revoked at any time. You can also record another TOD after you record the first one, and whichever one is the most recent is the one that dictates who the property goes to. If the person you designate on the form dies before you die, the TOD just has no effect. And if you sell the property to someone else before you die, the TOD again has no effect.


The TOD in California will sunset on January 1, 2021 unless it is extended again. They want to make sure this doesn’t result in elder abuse with people taking homes from seniors. But even if it does go away, any TODs recorded prior to that are still valid.




When a couple divorces, and they agree that one of them will keep the house, they often forget that the lender expects BOTH parties to be responsible for the original loan until it is paid off. This is true even if a court has declared that only one of the parties is to be responsible for the payments.


Many a divorced person is surprised to get a call from their lender when the payment is late and they say, “But the judge said that my (ex-husband/ex-wife) is supposed to make that payment…” A divorce decree does not void a loan agreement. If the responsible party doesn’t pay on time, the other party must pay it, and then collect through the courts from the one that was supposed to pay it.


While this might not seem fair, the lender’s position is justified. They made a decision to lend a large amount of money based on an application from two people. Even if one of the parties doesn’t produce an income, they still have assets and their credit rating to protect, which the lender relied upon when making the loan in the first place.

The party not living in the home may have concerns about the payments being made on time to protect their credit rating. In addition, having that loan on their credit report will make it difficult to qualify for another loan, since the lender will include that payment when calculating their debt ratio.

There are several solutions: The property can be sold, which will pay off the old lender, and both parties will be relieved from liability. Another solution is for the remaining party to refinance the loan in their name only. The catch here is that they do need to qualify on their own.


Thanksgiving is just around the corner! I am chairing the annual Golden Hills Community Church’s FREE Thanksgiving Dinner for Brentwood. We serve a hot meal of turkey, ham, and all the fixin’s. We also try to send everyone home with a bag of food and some clothes. This will be at the Brentwood Vet’s Hall at 757 First St. from 10:30 to 2:00 on Thanksgiving Day. All are welcome to attend.


If you know anyone in the local area that could use a meal that day, but can’t make it physically to the Vet’s Hall, please email me their name, address and phone number at Brian@SharpHomesOnline.com and we’ll get a meal(s) to them Thanksgiving Day.


We are usually blessed with more than enough physical help the day of the event to serve the meals, but we could always use more canned goods and/or clothing. You can drop them off at my office anytime between now and Thanksgiving Day. We are in need of canned food (soup, tuna, veggies, fruits, etc.), non-perishables like noodles, cereal, bread, bottled drinks, etc. We can also use any type of clean, usable clothing, blankets, jackets, etc. New baby diapers in any size are also VERY popular! We are located at 320 Fairview Ave. in Brentwood. If you come by after hours, just drop them off on our porch.


If you will be around on Thanksgiving Day, you could also cook and carve a turkey (or ham) and bring it to the Vet’s Hall in the morning. Other needs for the day of the event will be pies, sweet potatoes and stuffing. The sweet potatoes and stuffing will need to be cooked and then dropped off Thanksgiving Day in a disposable pan. By the way, a big Thank-You to the Brentwood American Legion Post #202 for all their help and support for this event.


Return to top of page

Contact Us

  • Sharp Realty
  • 320 Fairview Ave.
  • Brentwood CA 94513
  • P: 925.240.6683
  • F: 925.524.2302
  • E: info@SharpHomesOnline.com
  • DRE# 01858431