Column: What you should consider before buying bitcoin

Bitcoin is in the news again. This time it’s Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s announcement that he recently purchased $1.5 billion worth last month.

Its price subsequently spiked above $40,000. That’s for just one bitcoin. Musk also revealed that Tesla is planning to accept bitcoins for car purchases. Let’s hope the company’s cashiers will be provided with enough cash in their tills to be able to make change. Now that you know Musk is jumping on the bitcoin bandwagon, you might be inclined to invest in it as well.

On the Market: What/where to sell and donate when downsizing

Megan V. Winslow/Los Altos Town Crier
Relocating to a new home presents a great opportunity to whittle down belongings.

Many home sellers these days either grew up in households that remembered the Depression or were a product of the “more-is-better” generation of collectors. Many of today’s smaller homes or condos don’t have much storage space. Younger families are looking more for experiences rather than things.

For sellers, the conversations often turn to: What do we do with the exercise equipment we don’t use? Aunt Mable’s old piano? Those old board games? The record collection? The books collecting dust on the shelves? The china we no longer use that the kids don’t want?

Nest Egg Column: There are some lessons everyone can learn from the GameStop saga

I’m sure by now you’ve heard about GameStop. The saga reads like a made-for-TV morality tale about how the little guys stuck it to the big bad rich Wall Street hedge fund investors through what’s called a “short squeeze.” But the story has not yet played out to its end, and there are valuable lessons that everyone should be gleaning from it.

What happened in brief is that a number of hedge fund managers saw GameStop as a company with poor growth prospects and a stock price in continuing decline. Consequently, they shorted its stock, which involves borrowing a lot of shares and selling them with the expectation of buying them back at a much lower price in the future, thereby making a lot of money.

On the Market: Noncontingent offers, explained

Given today’s real estate market, homebuyers have asked for an explanation of noncontingent and contingent offers when purchasing a house or condo.

Q: What does “noncontingent” mean? If I want to make an offer to buy a house, does it have to be noncontingent?

Owners of Apple or Tesla stock saw big gains as prices soared last year

If you own Apple or Tesla stock, first of all, congratulations! Your Apple holding grew 77% last year. As if that weren’t astounding enough, Tesla’s stock price soared 720%.

On the Market: Who pays for what in real estate transactions?

In every real estate transaction, there are associated costs outside the purchase price. I am often asked: Who pays for what? Each county has slightly different customs. For example, for title and escrow costs, Santa Clara County is a “seller pay” county and San Mateo County is “buyer pay.”

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