All Blog Entries by Ben Nicolas

Found 151 blog entries published by Ben Nicolas.

 

 

Practicing social isolation is the most important thing we as a nation can do to "flatten the curve" and minimize the impact of COVID-19. Luckily, in the age of Netflix, there’s no shortage of things to watch while you’re housebound. 

But if we’re going to be stuck inside for a while, and it’s becoming likely that we will, we’re going to need more than just TV to get us through this. If you need some help thinking of ways to entertain yourself and your loved ones during social isolation, here are 10 ideas. 

1. Write Cards and Letters to the Elderly

This is a scary time for everyone, but no doubt it’s even more so for the elderly. They need love and comfort more than ever right now.

Making cards to send to nursing homes is a great

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With the coronavirus spreading rapidly, those who host Airbnb or other short stay rental properties probably have more reason to worry than the rest of us. 

For one, many people are canceling their travel plans in light of the virus spreading, which means a loss of income. But the other side of the coin means allowing people traveling from all over the world into your property and potentially contaminating it. A sort of "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation. 

If you do decide to continue renting out your space during this time, then you're probably wondering how you can protect your guests, your cleaners, and property managers from being exposed to the virus. Keep reading to learn more.

What is COVID-19 and Should You Be Worried?

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On top of everything else Los Angelenos have to worry about, add to the list the quickly spreading coronavirus. The state health department sites that since the beginning of February, 8,400 travelers have entered California by way of China.That means 8,400 people who have potentially been exposed to COVID-19. That number is especially troubling considering that many people who are testing positive for the virus--and are thus contagious--don’t have any symptoms. 

The thought of a massive outbreak in LA is scary, but the more you know about the virus, the more prepared you’ll be. Read on for what you need to know about the coronavirus. 

What is the Coronavirus?

COVID-19, or more commonly known as the coronavirus, was first discovered in China

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Despite the Los Angeles City Council cracking down on Airbnb hosts in the last two years, the home sharing business is still booming, it seems. A new report by CBRE came out on January 27th indicating that in the fourth quarter of 2019, LA had the most active home sharing units in the country. Home sharing includes units from Airbnb, Homeaway, Sonder, and more.

Short Term Rental Restrictions

The city of Los Angeles has enacted a variety of rules restricting home sharing over the last few years. In July 2019, some rules that went into effect included hosts having to register with the city, renters needing landlord approval to host, and rent controlled units were banned from participating in home sharing, among other restrictions. However, these

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In 2019, California lawmakers passed legislation making it easier for people to build Additional Dwelling Units (ADU) on their property. While ADU's are an investment of your time and money, they’re more than worth the upfront cost and hassle. 

There are all kinds of benefits to building an ADU. For one, they allow you to keep your aging family members nearby while maintaining some privacy.  They also add instant resale value to your home and renting it out to tenants means thousands of dollars in extra income a month. 

Interested in building one on your property? Then check out this guide to building an ADU in Los Angeles to get a better idea of the process. 

The Basics

Before you jump into building an ADU on your property, you should

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Want to get an early drink and a snack but can't find an open reservation at a nice restaurant? Then find a seat at the bar and take advantage of one of these 5 great happy hour deals on the east side of Los Angeles. Because the only thing that tastes better than a crisp glass of white wine after a long day at work is one that you bought at a discount!

1. Atrium 

Everyday 4PM-6PM Daily

The happy hour at this beautiful restaurant in Los Feliz is the perfect place to go for date night. It's steps away from The Los Feliz 3 movie theater and a very short drive to The Greek if you have tickets to a concert. They have an extensive HH menu including food, cocktails, and wine. The crispy BBQ dusted fingerling potatoes with french onion dip is to die

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Valentine's Day is only about a week and a half away, so it's time to start thinking about what you'll get the partner in your life. Instead of running to the Americana at the last minute, consider supporting one of the many small businesses that populate the east side of Los Angeles. 

No matter what your budget, you can find something that will fit the personality of your sweetheart in a locally owned shop. Your significant other will love that you got something special and that you gave your business to someone in the community. 

Not sure where to start your Valentine's Day gift search? You can start by strolling the shops on Vermont Ave in Los Feliz or Sunset Boulevard in Silver Lake and Echo Park. Atwater Village is also a great place to find

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When looking for a new home in Los Angeles, it's always smart to consider buying in an up-and-coming neighborhood. The cost of a house will be lower, and it will only be a matter of time before the area is bustling with new restaurants, shopping, and entertainment, thus driving up your home's resale value. 

If you're in the market for a place to live or an investment rental property, East Hollywood is the perfect area to look at for these reasons. Not only is the neighborhood growing rapidly, it's also in a great location. You're only moments away from entrances to the 101, about 10 minutes to West Hollywood or Glendale, and you can get away with telling people you live in "Silver Lake adjacent." 

Need more proof that this is a great place to

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Every Angelino knows that the city is experiencing a housing crisis with seemingly no end in sight. The opinions vary on who’s at fault and what can be done to fix it. But either way, home buyers and renters can agree that something has to change.

Luckily, in 2019, California lawmakers passed new legislation regarding additional dwelling units (ADU’s) that could help alleviate the affordable housing shortage. 

Keep reading to learn more about ADU’s, the new rules that took effect in 2020, and what it means for Los Angeles. 

What are Additional Dwelling Units or ADU’s?

If you’ve never heard the term ADU, you’re probably familiar with one of its colloquial names: in-law suite, granny flat, guest house, backyard bungalow… 

They all describe

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Los Angeles is filled with some of the best restaurants in the world, but having all those options at your disposal can be daunting. Sometimes it’s easier to spend another Saturday evening at your regular ramen noodle bar than try to agree on a new place to eat.

That’s why DineLA is the perfect excuse to get out there and experience a new restaurant for an affordable price. The special menus run from January 17th to the 31st, so before it’s over, be sure to check out one of these 5 best DineLA deals on the East Side.

1. Mohawk Bend in Echo Park 

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Mohawk Bend is a hip, yet laid back spot on the cusp of Silverlake and Echo Park. It’s also a place where vegans, vegetarians, and carnivores will all have plenty of food options to choose from. 

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