Homeowner Resources

Here are homeowner resources covering a range of things, from what grows well in the soil to mixing and matching room colors to handling a pinhole pipe leak.

Cal Water Service – for the latest info on the drought plus conservation programs and gardening and landscaping tips.

Metropolitan Water District of Southern California – useful information on gardening and landscaping especially with the current drought situation.

DigAlert – online resource that helps identify where utility-owned pipelines are buried on your property. Call 811 before digging up dirt for any project on your property.

CA Contractor State Licensing Board – check here to see if your plumber or electrician is licensed and what type of insurance they carry.

Get Prepared, California! – disaster preparedness to get you ready for that long-overdue earthquake!

Energy Upgrade California – good info about the state’s energy sources and needs plus tips on conserving energy and water while saving money with these bills.

Federal Trade Commission – various home-improvement topics are covered, including things to consider when hiring a contractor.

Paint stores – Supreme Paint/Manhattan Beach & Redondo Beach – Benjamin Moore paint; Sherwin-Williams/Hermosa Beach – Sherwin-Williams paint; Glidden Professional Paint Center/Lawndale – PPG paint; Home Depot/Hawthorne – Behr & Dutch Boy paints.

Energy.gov – here’s a primer on lighting choices and how to choose the right type of lighting for your needs.


Areas covered here to strengthen homeowner resources include interest rates, credit scores, mortgage lending, property taxes, and appropriate insurance coverage to name a few topics.

Federal Reserve Bank Q&A on credit reports.

IRS – there are publications on mortgage interest deduction(Publ. 936) and canceled debts and foreclosure matters(Publ. 4681).

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

LA County Auditor-Controller – here you can find the breakdown of your tax rate, which is the general tax levy of 1% plus the tax rate for voter-approved debt, and how these funds are spent. It also allocates the money to over 900 local taxing agencies, including the country, cities, and school districts.

LA County Assessor’s Office – as the name implies, this agency assesses all real estate located throughout the entire county.

LA County Property Tax Portal – great starting point to understanding about your property tax bill.

LA County Registrar-Recorder – provides copies of all deeds and recorded documents.

LA County Treasurer & Tax Collector – property taxes can be paid online here.

CA State Board of Equalization – find out the details about transferring your tax base to a new residence(Exclusions From Reappraisal – Propositions 60/90; 110; and 58/193), contesting your property tax bill(Decline In Value – Proposition 8), and appealing the assessed value of your property(Assessment Appeals).

IRS – there are publications on tax withholding to keep more of your monthly pay(Publ. 505); general information for homeowners(Publ. 530); selling your home(Publ. 523); and moving expenses(Publ. 521).

IRS – here’s a withholding tax calculator to help you possibly keep more of your take-home pay instead of waiting until the following year to have the IRS return it to you in May.

Insurance Information Institute – from the horse’s mouth; excellent primer on deciphering your insurance coverage, and more importantly, what type of coverage you really should be carrying.

CA Earthquake Authority – the only place to buy earthquake insurance in California.