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Exam Code: CA-Real-Estate California Real Estate exam information search January 2024 by team

CA-Real-Estate California Real Estate exam

Appropriate knowledge of the English language, including reading, writing, and spelling; and of arithmetical computations common to real estate and business opportunity practices.

An understanding of the principles of real estate and business opportunity conveyancing; the general purposes and general legal effect of agency contracts, deposit receipts, deeds, deeds of trust, chattel mortgages, bills of sale, mortgages, land contracts of sale, and leases; and of the principles of business, land economics and appraisals.

A general and fair understanding of the obligations between principal and agent; the principles of real estate and business opportunity transactions, and the code of business ethics pertaining thereto; as well as of the provisions of the law relating to real estate as administered by the Real Estate Commissioner.

- Classes of Property

- Property Characteristics

- Encumbrances

- Types of Ownership

- Descriptions of Property

- Government Rights in Land

- Public Controls

- Environmental Hazards and Regulations

- Private Controls

- Water Rights

- Special Categories of Land

- Law, Definition and Nature of Agency Relationships, Types of Agencies, and Agents

- Creation of Agency and Agency Agreements

- Responsibilities of Agent to Seller/Buyer as Principal

- Disclosure of Agency

- Disclosure of Acting as Principal or Other Interest

- Termination of Agency

- Commission and Fees

- Responsibilities of Agent to Non-Client Third Parties

- Value

- Methods of Estimating Value

- Financial Analysis

- General Concepts

- Types of Loans

- Sources of Financing

- Government Programs

- Mortgages/Deeds of Trust/Notes

- Financing/Credit Laws

- Loan Brokerage

- Types of Loan Originators

- Title Insurance

- Deeds

- Escrow

- Tax Aspects

- Special Processes

- Transfer through Court Supervision

- Types of Vesting

- Trust Account Management

- Fair Housing Laws

- Truth in Advertising

- Record Keeping Requirements

- Agency Supervision

- Permitted Activities of Unlicensed Sales Assistants

- DRE Jurisdiction and Disciplinary Actions

- Licensing, and Continuing Education Requirements and Procedures

- California Real Estate Recovery Fund

- General Ethics

- Technology

- Property Management

- Commercial/Industrial/Income Properties

- Specialty Areas

- Transfer Disclosure Statement

- Natural Hazard Disclosure Statements

- Disclosure of Material Facts Affecting Property Value

- Need for Inspection and Obtaining/Verifying Information

- Reports

- Servicing Diverse Populations

- General

- Listing Agreements

- Buyer Broker Agreements

- Offers/Purchase Contracts

- Agreements

- Promissory Notes/Securities

- Purchase/Lease Options

- Advanced Fee
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CA-Real-Estate California Real Estate exam

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Real Estate
California Real Estate Exam
Question: 91.
Buyer Baker bought a farm. At the time of the purchase, the seller Sampson was growing corn
on the north 40 acres of the farm. Sampson intended to harvest the corn before the close of
escrow, but never got around to it. No mention was made of the corn in the sales agreement
and/or escrow instructions. Escrow has now closed, Buyer Baker is in possession and it is
time to harvest the corn. Who gets to harvest the corn?
A. The buyer would have the right to harvest the corn because he always intended to do so;
B. The buyer would get to harvest the corn because it goes with the land and is considered real
C. The buyer would get to harvest the corn because of his equity in the corn;
D. The seller would get to harvest the corn because the corn is his personal property and was
not mentioned in the sales agreement.
Answer: D
Question: 92.
Who signs the promissory note and mortgage?
A. Mortgagor;
B. Mortgagee;
C. Lender;
D. Beneficiary.
Answer: A
Question: 93.
When calculating the Consumer Price Index (CPI), housing expenses is one of the largest
denominators because
A. CPI is based upon all consumer purchases;
B. More people buy homes than buy businesses;
C. Housing impacts economy;
D. Housing is one of the largest expenses for consumers.
Answer: D
Question: 94.
As used in real estate practices, the land of a riparian owner borders on:
A. A river;
B. A stream;
C. A watercourse;
D. Any of the above.
Answer: D
Question: 95.
When four people own property as joint tenants:
A. They may hold unequal interests in the property;
B. There is still only one title to the whole property;
C. If one of the owners dies, her heirs become tenants in common with the surviving co-
owners as tenants in common;
D. Each owner has a separate legal title to his undivided interest in the property.
Answer: B
Question: 96.
A seller is required to deliver the Homeowner's Guide to Earthquake Safety to the buyer of
any one-to-four unit residential properties built prior to:
A. 1952
B. 1960
C. 1960
D. 1975
Answer: B
Question: 97.
A bona fide listing to sell real property must contain:
A. Consideration, mutual consent, competent parties, and writing;
B. Consideration, mutual consent, capable parties expressed time element and price;
C. Capable parties, mutual consent, lawful object, consideration, and be in writing;
D. Consideration, price, lawful object, competent parties, and legally sufficient writing.
Answer: C
Question: 98.
A contractor obtains a construction loan, and the loan funds are to be released in a series of
progress payments. Most lenders disburse the last payment when the:
A. Building is completed;
B. Notice of completion is filed;
C. Buyer approves the construction;
D. Period to file a mechanic's lien has expired.
Answer: D
Question: 99.
Which of the following represents an example of police power?
A. A condemnation action on property for construction of a freeway;
B. CC&Rs placed in a deed by a developer;
C. Enforcement of contracts by equitable civil proceedings in court;
D. Zoning laws which restrict and limit the use of land.
Answer: D
Question: 100.
Gross leases are most often used with:
A. Residential property;
B. Retail space;
C. Office space;
D. Shopping malls.
Answer: A
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Real-Estate California information search - BingNews Search results Real-Estate California information search - BingNews The 5 Best Real Estate Websites in California of 2023

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The search for a new house no longer begins and ends with a real estate agent. In California, where the real estate market is highly competitive, there are many free real estate websites and their coordinated apps that make it much easier to search large swaths of the state using different search criteria. Reliable sites also help buyers and renters find what they’re looking for faster and give them a better chance of getting in an offer early, especially in competitive real estate markets. Finding a house for sale in California, where the stock is generally low in a hot market, can be difficult without the ability to quickly find new listings, schedule showings, and make an offer.

There are many top real estate websites that residents can choose from whether they’re looking to buy, rent, or sell a house in California, and each has its own features and capabilities to consider. When weighing their options with the best real estate websites, California residents will want to consider the breadth of listings, the ease and cost of using the sites, and the different purposes for which they might be looking for a home—among other factors—and then choose the best site to suit their needs.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Zillow
  2. RUNNER-UP: Redfin
  5. ALSO CONSIDER: Houzeo

What to Consider When Choosing One of the Best Real Estate Websites in California

When shoppers are searching for the best real estate websites, there are certain elements that are important to identify to make sure the site will continue to meet the customer’s needs from the first home search all the way through moving day. Some of these elements are particularly critical for house hunters in California. Real estate websites may have been designed with slightly different purposes, audiences, or goals in mind, so the key to house hunting success is choosing a site that makes the most sense for each individual.

Site Type

What does the site actually do? Does it simply provide listings, or can users contact and hire a real estate broker directly through the website? Are the listings for properties that are for sale, or those for rental? For home sales, are the listings provided through a Multiple Listing Service (MLS) or are they for sale by owner (FSBO)? Understanding what the purpose of the site is will help users determine if it’s the right fit for them. For home buyers and renters, this means they can ensure that they are browsing the most appropriate listings. For instance, those who are interested in buying a foreclosure may want to focus their search using one of the best foreclosure sites. Meanwhile, sellers and landlords will want to consider the intent of the site so they can be sure their listings are reaching the right buyers or renters.

Search Parameters

The search parameters offered by a real estate website let shoppers and renters narrow the focus of their real estate searches so only homes or apartments that really meet their needs appear. Sellers can also tag their listings with key features so they are seen by the right buyers or prospective tenants. Parameters can cover a lot of ground, from the most basic information about the property to more detailed features, characteristics, and amenities. When conducting a real estate search by map, address, or ZIP code, users may be able to fine-tune their results with a variety of parameters, including:

  • Price
  • Neighborhood
  • Square footage
  • Lot size
  • Number of rooms and bathrooms
  • Nearby amenities
  • Neighborhood demographics
  • School district
  • Waterfront, city skyline, or mountain views

Buyers and renters can adjust these parameters to narrow down their searches and rule out properties that won’t work for them.

Site Tools

Buying or selling a home is a long and complicated process, especially for first-timers. Those involved in the process will need to deal with real estate agents, banks, inspectors, insurance companies, and sometimes attorneys—and every step along the way needs to follow a precise timeline. Having a robust suite of tools to assist in this process gives a real estate website a leg up on the competition, as users who can find everything they need in one place will appreciate the opportunity to streamline the process of buying or selling a home.

Buyers and renters may be interested in site tools to determine what they can afford to pay and what a home is actually worth. For instance, the best home value estimator tools can help buyers make more prudent financial decisions by accurately calculating the market value of a piece of property. Websites may also include links to lenders or insurance companies so buyers can get preapproved for a mortgage or sign up for a homeowners or renters insurance policy. For sellers, property management platforms, and tools that manage showings and purchase offers, can be great assets for those who are working on investment properties or handling their own sale. The convenience of centralizing many of the tools and services needed for the sale or rental process makes a real estate website more efficient for those embroiled in the buying, renting, and selling process.

Finding an Agent

Buyers, sellers, and renters may not know where to begin finding a real estate agent who understands the local market and can help them either find the right property for their needs or list their property and effectively promote it in a crowded real estate market. Some real estate websites can assist users by matching them with experienced real estate agents in their area. These professionals often play a key role in the home-buying or selling process, finding listings that meet the client’s needs, putting together an effective offer (or reviewing offers from prospective buyers), coordinating inspections and walk-throughs, working with the other side’s agent to iron out transaction details, and providing expert advice throughout.

Having this feature included in a real estate website can be very convenient for users since they will be able to connect with real estate or listing agents as they peruse listings or put together their own listing to post on the site. Websites to buy homes may even include reviews and ratings for each agent, helping buyers and sellers determine which agents will be easy to work with and are best suited for the job. For buyers, sellers, and renters who need a real estate agent, website tools can connect them with the right professional.

Ease of Use

It doesn’t matter how many bells and whistles a site has if users can’t figure out how to access the tools and services offered. Simple, easy-to-use search functions, save functions, and communication tools can make a real estate website a home buyer or seller’s best friend. If, however, the site is clunky, with tools that are hard to find, sections that are poorly labeled, and contact information hidden or missing, then it will add more frustration to the process than value. As such, finding a website that’s easy to use can be a major consideration for anyone buying, selling, or renting a home.

Listing Fees

While real estate websites typically allow buyers and renters to browse listings and schedule showings for free, they may charge sellers a fee to list their properties. Listing fees range widely depending on the site and the market. In some cases, websites may set these fees based on a percentage of the sale price or they may set a flat fee for every listing. They may also have different listing fees for home sales and rentals. As listing fees are out-of-pocket costs for sellers and landlords, comparing options can be an important step in finding a real estate website to list their properties.

Our Top Picks

We studied the various real estate websites that serve California and identified the best choices in several categories. The right option for a home buyer, seller, or renter will depend on the specific features and capabilities they’re looking for in a website.


Why It Made the Cut: Zillow’s high traffic, wide variety of listings, support for home sales and rentals, helpful home comparison tool, and connections to agents, inspectors, and builders make it a great overall choice.

As a real estate listing website that caters to buyers, sellers, and renters, Zillow is a one-stop shop for nearly anyone engaged in buying or selling a home. As noted in our Zillow review, the site has millions of property listings for users to view. This means that regardless of geographic location, buyers and renters are more likely to find a good range of housing options listed in their target area, including the best real estate listings for their needs. The site also draws in a great deal of traffic, with many buyers and renters browsing Zillow at any given time. As such, those listing properties for sale or rent know that there will be many eyes on their listings.

While many real estate websites focus either on sales or rentals, Zillow includes both types of listings. Users can search for homes for sale or rent immediately alongside an option to list homes for sale or rent. While Zillow is a truly comprehensive buying, selling, and renting website, it can take anywhere from 24 to 48 hours for listings to be updated on the site when changes are made.

Once a buyer or renter has identified a few properties they’d like to consider, they can take advantage of Zillow’s useful comparison tool to weigh their options. Browsers can choose up to five properties they’d like to compare, and Zillow will provide a side-by-side comparison of all the key points noted in the listing to make it easier to break down the similarities and differences between the properties.

Other great tools include Zestimate, Zillow’s estimate of a home’s market value, and a search function to match buyers or sellers with an agent and other professionals involved in the home-selling process, which is part of what makes Zillow such a comprehensive service. Even those who already have a real estate agent may need assistance finding a knowledgeable home inspector or reliable builder in their area. Therefore, the reviews and ratings of home inspectors and other professionals on Zillow’s website is a great added value.



  • Site type: Real estate listings website
  • Buying, selling, or renting: Buying, selling, renting
  • Search parameters: Price, beds, baths, square footage, home type, amenities, view
  • Site tools: Calculators, Zestimate, property management, advertising
  • Listing fees: $0 for home sales; $29.99 for rental listings


  • Relatively high site traffic and number of property listings
  • Users can search for and post both sales and rental listings
  • Helpful home comparison tool for buyers and renters
  • Customers can search for agents, inspectors, builders, and other professionals


  • Listing updates may not take effect for up to 48 hours


Why It Made the Cut: Redfin’s breadth of search filters, excellent tools to connect buyers and sellers with real estate agents, and turnaround time on listing updates make it a terrific option.

Redfin appeals directly to those looking to buy, sell, or rent immediately, reassuring users that the company has the entire process of home sale and rental covered in one easy-to-use spot. The site includes a wide variety of search parameters to help buyers and renters narrow down their search and zero in on properties that best meet their needs. In addition to standard search parameters such as price, number of bedrooms, and property type, Redfin allows users to filter listings by the quality of local schools, walkability scores, and the availability of open houses or virtual tours. Searchers can look for homes that have very specific features, such as a fireplace, a certain type of pool, an elevator, or primary bedrooms on the first floor, among other home features. All of these options mean that those looking to buy or rent can whittle down the search to find precisely the home of their dreams.

Sellers will want to note that Redfin does charge a listing fee, and although fees can be as low as 1 percent of the sale price, that only applies to sellers who also buy a home through Redfin. Listing fees for rentals will vary, so landlords will need to contact Redfin regarding their specific property. Beyond that, however, Redfin offers a great platform for buyers, sellers, and renters with many worthwhile features to consider. For instance, Redfin employs its own stable of agents. This offers users the opportunity to search for agents in a particular town and then select either Redfin-affiliated or independent agents from their listings, which include headshots, contact information, and user reviews of the agents. In addition, the listings on Redfin are frequently updated—the site claims that 70 percent of MLS listings are updated every 5 minutes, which is a quick turnaround time. This can give users confidence that listings are up to date and accurate.



  • Site type: Discount brokerage
  • Buying, selling, or renting: Buying, selling, renting
  • Search parameters: Price, beds, baths, square footage, home type, status, stories, home features, listing type, schools, walk score, open house and tour
  • Site tools: Affordability calculator, home value estimator, mortgage preapproval, agent finder
  • Listing fees: 1 to 1.5 percent of sale price; pricing varies for rentals


  • Users can search for and post both sales and rental listings
  • Buyers can connect to vetted, qualified agents
  • Comprehensive selection of search filters
  • 70 percent of listings are updated every 5 minutes


  • Low 1 percent listing fee only available if sellers also buy a home through Redfin


Why It Made the Cut: caters specifically to renters so they can limit their search specifically to rental properties.

Every aspect of the website has been designed with renters in mind. This means that renters can use the site’s available tools for more relevant and detailed searches to help them find the rental they need. Search parameters include the usual size and number of bedrooms and bathrooms, but it also include rental-specific delineations, such as move-in date sorting. includes a “Lifestyles” section that allows users to choose over-55 communities, student housing, senior housing, and short-term rentals, among others. Searchers can also hunt for properties with particular amenities, such as walk-in closets, balconies, or pet acceptance.

While the company does require users to pay an application fee of $29 plus tax, this fee includes the cost to screen applicants and is certainly less than one might pay a real estate agent to locate the perfect rental. Furthermore, the renter can use the screening report for up to 10 other applications within 30 days, so there’s a benefit to identifying several apartments of interest and submitting applications close together. doesn’t charge anything to list rentals, but property owners who choose to upgrade to a premium listing will need to pay an extra fee. This fee will vary from one rental market to another, but that cost may be worth it to take advantage of premium listing features such as larger ads, greater visibility across more syndication channels, and the ability to upload several videos.

There’s also a rent affordability calculator to help users determine how much they can afford to pay for a rental. This number can otherwise be tricky for renters to determine on their own because the calculations differ based on security deposits, included or excluded utilities, and whether furnishings are included. also has an extensive library of area guides for potential renters who aren’t already familiar with the area. Guides include information about the town and neighborhood, public transportation, schools, restaurants, and shopping, along with an explanation of the rental trends in the neighborhood, which can be especially helpful for people concerned about future rent hikes. With so much information available, area guides can help renters choose a neighborhood that suits their lifestyle and safety requirements.



  • Site type: Apartment listing site
  • Buying, selling, or renting: Renting
  • Search parameters: Price, beds, type, move-in date, lifestyle, amenities, affordability
  • Site tools: Rental calculator, rental management tools
  • Listing fees: $0; premium pricing varies by market


  • Rental-focused site
  • Area guides provide in-depth information about listing location
  • Robust selection of search filters and amenities tags
  • Easy-to-use rent affordability calculator tool


  • Application fee required for renters


Why It Made the Cut: specializes in foreclosures and vacant properties, providing support for both online and in-person listings as well as convenient remote-bidding options. is a listing site for homes that are vacant or in foreclosure and are being auctioned off. Home buyers interested in purchasing property in California will find a wide range of listings for foreclosures and vacant properties up for auction in the state. The site makes this process much less intimidating for newcomers, thanks to a variety of helpful tools tailored to the needs of buyers looking to purchase a home through an auction. For instance, the site offers the option to sort between in-person auctions (where the buyer can scout the property online but must go to the physical location to place bids), and online auctions (where everything is handled through the site). And for those who would prefer to skip the auction process altogether, the site provides a filter to screen out auctions and return only direct-buy properties for bank-owned properties.

The site notes that most of the properties listed are sold as is and many purchases can only be made in cash, which may exclude buyers who require financing. In addition, there’s a very limited amount of time—6 hours—to fill out the contract paperwork after the auction is finished, but provides a series of guides to help bidders through the process. also helpfully provides a checklist of resources to buyers to note the research that should be done prior to attending an auction, including checking the title and liens, reviewing the purchase agreement carefully to look for potential pitfalls, and preparing the funds to pay should they win the auction.

California users can also take advantage of’s Remote Bid option. Once they’ve downloaded the mobile app to get access to Remote Bid, users can place a bid the day before the property opens for auction, choosing their highest bid and letting the site do the bidding on their behalf. This means that the buyer doesn’t actually have to attend the auction in person, which may be very convenient. For those who are interested in buying several investment properties, Remote Bid can allow them to be in several places at once, bidding on desirable properties while the buyer monitors the action from their smartphone.



  • Site type: Real estate listings website
  • Buying, selling, or renting: Buying
  • Search parameters: Asset type, buying type, condition
  • Site tools: N/A
  • Listing fees: N/A


  • Comprehensive listings of local foreclosures and vacant properties
  • Choice of online and in-person auctions
  • Remote Bid option available through mobile app


  • Most properties need to be purchased up front with cash
  • Short 6-hour time frame to fill out contract information


Why It Made the Cut: Houzeo specializes in FSBO listings, and the various tools and resources make it a great option for individuals looking to buy or sell a home without an agent.

Houzeo is noteworthy among the best real estate websites in California because it focuses specifically on FSBO listings. Acting as one’s own real estate can be challenging, but sellers may prefer to sell their home without an agent to cut down on commission costs and fees, while home buyers may see FSBO listings as an opportunity to save money and negotiate more flexible transaction terms on a purchase. Although some sites may include FSBO listings, every inch of the Houzeo site has been designed with these transactions in mind, making it easier for buyers and sellers to navigate this type of sale.

Although there is no option to post a listing for free, Houzeo’s flat-fee structure simplifies listing costs for sellers and also includes syndication to other sites such as Zillow, Trulia, and Redfin. Sellers may want to note that any changes they make to their listing may not be reflected for up to 48 hours, so it’s important to check back to see that the site implements their updates.

Houzeo includes a number of other features and resources to facilitate FSBO transactions, including platforms for sellers to manage showings and purchase offers directly through the site or the company’s dedicated mobile app. Users can also set up a virtual visit with a licensed broker to go through the contract process in more detail. These resources can be invaluable to sellers trying to navigate real estate transactions without a real estate agent, making Houzeo an excellent option for FSBO sellers and buyers who are open to an agent-free process.



  • Site type: Flat-fee MLS listing site
  • Buying, selling, or renting: Buying, selling
  • Search parameters: Price, beds, baths, home type, square footage, stories
  • Site tools: Cost calculator, showing management, offers management
  • Listing fees: Starting at $349


  • Specialty in FSBO listings
  • Wide range of FSBO tools and resources


  • No free listing option
  • Listing updates may not take effect for up to 48 hours

Our Verdict

Zillow is our pick for Best Overall because of the sheer number of listings and the number of people shopping for them. The combination of inventory and resources will likely connect countless buyers, sellers, and renters with homes they love. The Runner-Up award goes to Redfin due to its outstanding search parameters, quick refresh rate, and support for both home sales and rentals.

How We Chose the Best Real Estate Websites in California

When determining the best real estate websites in California, we first looked at the type of listings available and who they might appeal to: buyers, sellers, or renters. Sites that specialize in certain types of transactions such as auctions or FSBO purchases were also considered during the review process. An important overarching factor we considered was the user experience provided by each site—Redfin vs. Zillow, for instance—including search parameters, calculators, tools, and educational resources.

Since many home buyers and renters prefer to search for listings with their smartphone, we also considered the functionality of mobile apps with each site. Where applicable, we weighed different listing-fee options as they pertain to both home sales and rental properties. Other observations came into play as we really dug into the sites themselves to evaluate their quality and audience, including update times when a listing change needs to be made and options to connect with real estate agents, inspectors, and other professionals involved in the home-buying process.

Before You Use One of the Best Real Estate Websites in California

Before buying, renting, or selling a home, even on a website with outstanding tools, there are some steps users need to take to make the most of the tools available. Sellers may want to consider finding an agent to advise the process. Hiring an agent early on allows sellers to reap the benefits of their expert advice and potentially field better purchase offers. The agent can also advise on some of the other steps to take prior to listing, such as sprucing up the exterior of the home so it shows in its best light, along with decluttering, depersonalizing, and neutralizing the decor indoors. Cleaning, basic repairs, and minor staging can also help get the house ready for showing.

Buyers have a different set of tasks prior to signing up and browsing listings. They’ll also need to get their house in order, so to speak—in this case, their financial house. It’s critical to check credit scores well in advance of trying to make a purchase so there’s time to correct any errors, and having more money to put toward a down payment may help a buyer qualify for lower interest rates and potentially no mortgage insurance. These steps show sellers that a buyer is serious about making an offer. Creating a realistic budget, preferably with the guidance of a real estate agent, can prevent disappointment during the shopping process, and getting preapproved for a mortgage will enable buyers to move quickly and confidently when making an offer. For both buyers and sellers, taking the time to work through these tasks ahead of time will contribute to a smoother process.

Renters, meanwhile, will want to consider what they can afford to spend on rent and still comfortably cover other living expenses while putting money into their savings account each month. Also, not all landlords will post rental listings online, and in some cases, prospective tenants can find great deals on apartments and other rental properties simply by walking around their neighborhood and keeping an eye out for “for rent” signs.

Cost of Using One of the Best Real Estate Websites in California

Buyers typically won’t pay anything to use a real estate website other than the cost of the home itself. Although the buyer’s real estate agent will likely earn a commission on the purchase, the seller usually covers that cost, along with their own listing agent’s commission. Sellers and landlords may need to pay a listing fee, but this varies quite a bit depending on the website. For instance, some real estate sites may allow sellers to list their property for free while charging landlords for rental listings. Listing fees can also be set at a flat rate or as a percentage of the sale price, so it’s important for sellers to weigh these costs when deciding on which real estate website to use.

In many cases, renters won’t be required to pay any fees to search for rental listings on a real estate website. However, some sites will charge renters a fee for applying for an apartment or other rental property directly through their online platform.

The Advantages of Using One of the Best Real Estate Websites in California

There are pros and cons to all methods of home buying and selling, but the best real estate websites in California can facilitate this process and help connect buyers and sellers or renters and landlords. In addition, the top websites may offer several other features and benefits to assist users so they can easily find a new home, sell their house or condo, or rent out their property.

  • High site traffic means that listings are exposed to the widest audience possible, so sellers and landlords can reach interested buyers and renters more easily.
  • Detailed search parameters allow buyers and renters to comb through listings more effectively and find the right property for them.
  • Helpful resources such as home comparison tools, local area guides, and rental calculators make it easier for buyers and renters to navigate the real estate market.


Buying, renting, or selling a home in California can be very complicated at times, and there are many concerns or challenges that may arise over the course of the process. Some of the most common questions people have about California real estate are addressed below to help them feel more confident about finding or selling a home in this market.

Q. Is it a good idea to buy property in California?

Despite having some of the highest home prices in the country, California’s real estate market continues to be very competitive. Due to the fantastic weather, scenic coastline, and small inventory of homes, demand for properties for sale in California will likely continue for the foreseeable future. If buyers can find a home they can afford, chances are that the value will continue to rise. It’s worth noting that obtaining property insurance in California may be more challenging than in other states as several insurance carriers have stopped accepting applications for new homeowners insurance policies due to increasing costs. In the end, though, it’s important to buy a house in a place that you love, so if buying a home in California is your preference and you have access to the funds to do it, then it’s not a bad idea.

Q. Where is the most expensive place to live in California?

According to U.S. News & World Report, San Diego is the most expensive spot in California right now, followed very closely by Los Angeles. Homes for sale in Southern California can be prohibitively expensive, but they may be worth the price for those dreaming of warm weather and sandy beaches. Northern California real estate markets are expensive as well, but they may be among the best places to buy a house in California for those looking for a temperate climate and ample outdoor activities.

Q. Can a foreigner buy property in California?

California state statutes don’t restrict ownership of property in the state to U.S. citizens, so there is no reason that a non-citizen can’t purchase property there. It’s true that some additional steps may need to be taken to purchase property, such as acquiring a Social Security number and tax ID number for identification. Additionally, non-citizens must note that the taxes on the property will be subject to the same laws that are in place for citizens.

Mon, 27 Nov 2023 02:35:00 -0600 en text/html
7 best online real estate schools in California for 2024

Choosing one of the best online real estate schools in California is your first step to joining our vibrant industry, and it’ll set you up for success for the state’s real estate exam. The state of California requires 135 hours of prelicensing coursework to become a licensed real estate salesperson. [1]

Our rigorous review of California real estate schools will help you evaluate each of the top platforms based on your budget, learning style, schedule and timeline for getting licensed. We want to empower you throughout your career. Your future in real estate starts here, and we’re here to guide you every step of the way.

*ACEABLE AGENT’S 92% PASS RATE IS STATE-SPECIFIC. Other pass rates listed are that schools national average pass rates.

The CE Shop

Best online real estate school in California for independent learners

Overall Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.


The CE Shop assembles the most sought-after features in online learning and keeps it simple so you save money. With affordable prices across their prelicensing packages, The CE Shop also frequently offers discounted rates.

Best for online-savvy, independent learners who can schedule their own study sessions and don’t want to be bothered with interactive or live classes with other students. The CE Shop is a great way to save money on your coursework and benefit from a solid, thoughtfully-designed set of online real estate courses.

Prelicensing Courses

Compare course packages at The CE Shop
Use promo code HW30 to save 30%

  • Pricing
    Education Type Starting at Main Package Features Upgrade Features Available
    Prelicensing $139 Coursework, Bundle including flashcards, glossary, study schedule, career resources & ebooks Exam prep package, Business Building Courses, first renewal CE package
    Continuing Education $75 All your required CE course hours to renew your license via online videos & learning platform Additional elective courses
    Exam Prep $135 Lesson breakdowns, simulated exams, readiness assessment, 24/7 access to support No need – everything’s included in the basic package
    Broker Licensing $115 Individual mandatory 45-hour courses Broker pre licensing exam Prep package
  • Pros + Cons


    • A free trial to try the course and platform
    • Options to bundle prelicensing and continuing education courses
    • Affordable pricing


    • Limited instructor interaction
  • Features

    Course Formats: Self-paced online courses.

    Course Access: Six months from the date of enrollment.

    Refund Policy: Get a full refund within the first 30 days if you haven’t completed more than 50% of the coursework.

    Pass or Don’t Pay: You’ll get the cost of the state license exam reimbursed if you don’t pass the first time.

    Exam Prep: Exam prep course for focused review of key material, personalized study recommendations based on readiness assessments, unlimited mock exams, and video webinars led by instructors.

    Student Support: Support is available from customer service agents seven days a week during daytime hours by email, phone, or live chat.

    Final Exam: The CE Shop offers online final exam proctoring nationally, but in California, the DRE administers the computer-based exam at exam centers throughout the state.

Colibri Real Estate

Best online real estate school in California for career development

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.


Colibri Real Estate offers some of the best online real estate courses in California. They shine because of its expertly designed online learning platform. With easy-to-use features to help you stay organized, you can easily stop and restart lessons, keep track of tasks and make a study schedule all in one place. You’ll not only have endless resources to complete your studies, Colibri Real Estate’s sleek platform will motivate you to leap into learning.

Prelicensing Courses

Compare course packages at Colibri

  • Pricing
    Education Type Starting at Main Package Features Upgrade Features Available
    Prelicensing $141 Coursework, Instructor Support, Study Guides & Coaching Videos Flashcards, Mock Exams, Review Guides, Readiness Assessment, Live Instructor Q&A & exam Prep Sessions
    Continuing Education $69 All your required CE course hours to renew your license Additional elective courses
    Exam Prep $115 Simulated Exams, Flashcards, Audio Guides Live exam prep webinars, Q&A sessions
    Broker Licensing $319 225-Hour Broker Courses, e-books, online study discussion access, 1-year professional membership Printed textbook
  • Pros + Cons


    • Thorough curriculum with practical insights
    • A sleek and interactive online learning platform
    • Courses available for all stages of your real estate career including continuing education and broker licensing


    • No free trial
    • Limited career resources
  • Features

    Course Formats: Self-paced online courses or instructor-led livestream classes.

    Course Access: Six months from the date of enrollment.

    Refund Policy: Get a full refund if you cancel a self-paced course within 30 days, or within 24 hours of the start of a livestream course.

    Pass or Don’t Pay: Eligible on packages which include exam prep, Colibri will refund the cost of your course if you score 80% or higher on the simulated exams and don’t pass the state license exam the first time you take it.

    Exam Prep: Includes digital flashcards, mock exams, a readiness assessment, audio review guides, live Q&A sessions & six one-hour live webinars with instructors for targeted exam prep.

    Student Support: Instructors are available by phone on business days or by email.

    Final Exam: Colibri offers virtual final exam proctoring nationally, but in California, the DRE administers the computer-based exam at exam centers throughout the state.


Best online real estate school in California for professional memberships

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.


The California Association of Realtors has partnered with OnlineEd’s learning platform to provide students with thoughtfully curated lessons, videos, and practice questions. This slower-paced platform with a simple design is perfect for those overwhelmed by excessive online features. Follow OnlineEd’s straightforward, clear, and easy-to-understand lessons with helpful feedback on review and practice questions. If you’re looking for an alternative to video-only coursework, study on-the-go with OnlineEd’s useful tablet and kindle-friendly lessons.

Prelicensing Courses

Compare course packages at OnlineEd

  • Pricing
    Course Type Starting at Main Package Features Upgrade Features Available
    Prelicensing $99 Coursework PDF & EPUB eBooks Exam prep, Instructor Support & Feedback, Printed Textbook, & Ethics CE Course
    Broker Licensing $299 Coursework, video lessons, online platform, printed textbook Individual elective courses
    Professional Development $150 Choose from variety of designations including luxury home specialist or REALTOR designations Individual courses
  • Pros + Cons


    • Tablet-friendly course format for e-readers
    • Access to professional membership resources
    • Free interactive demo


    • Limited instructor interaction
    • Dated user interface on online platform
    • No continuing education offerings
  • Features

    Course Formats: Self-paced online real estate courses.

    Course Access: One year from the date of enrollment.

    Click here for an interactive demo of the California Association of Realtors prelicensing course

    Refund Policy: Get a full refund if you haven’t accessed the course within the first two days of enrolling, minus the cost of shipped textbooks, if any. Get a full refund minus a $40 fee if you haven’t accessed the course but more than two days have passed since you enrolled. Get a prorated refund based on the number of chapters you completed within 30 days. You’ll get no refund if you’ve completed more than 50% of the course online.

    Pass or Don’t Pay: Not available.

    Exam Prep: Exam prep course for focused review of key material and simulated exams.

    Student Support: Customer service support by phone and email Monday to Friday, email support may be delayed on weekends.

    Final Exam: Online final exam, OnlineEd does not offer exam proctoring , but in California, the DRE administers the computer-based exam at exam centers throughout the state.

Aceable Agent

Best online real estate school in California for mobile learning

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.


Aceable Agent has perfected their unique course package offerings to give students what they want most first, and by making other features optional. Most prospective real estate agents prefer the convenience of self-paced online learning they can complete anywhere. Aceable Agent ensures you can conveniently access your course on your phone, tablet, and computer without compromising the ease of using their learning platform. If subjects have you stuck on your own, Aceable Agent has you covered with one-on-one tutoring and live webinars and Q&A sessions with experts.

Prelicensing Courses

Compare course packages at Aceable Agent

  • Pricing
    Course Type Starting at Main Package Features Upgrade Features Available
    Prelicensing $179 PDF Coursework, Instructor Support via Email, and 30-Day Money Back Guarantee PrepAgent State exam Prep including videos, audio lessons, flashcards, practice questions, ebooks, Live Tutoring, Webinars & Q&A
    Professional Development $79 Individual specialized online courses on a variety of topics Not Available
  • Pros + Cons


    • Mobile friendly online learning platforms
    • Engaging lessons with real-world applications
    • Unique features such as 1-on-1 live tutoring


    • No free trial
    • No continuing education or broker licensing offered
  • Features 

    Course Formats: Self-paced online courses.

    Course Access: Six months from the date of enrollment.

    Refund Policy: Get a full refund within the first 30 days.

    Pass or Don’t Pay: Pass the license exam within three tries or get reimbursed for the full price of your course.

    Exam Prep: Exam prep videos, 75 audio lessons, digital flashcards, more than 1600 practice questions, 100-page exam prep ebook, live webinars five times a week, live instructor Q&A sessions, 1-on-1 tutoring available.

    Student Support: Instructor support is available by email 7 days a week, customer support is available by email and phone Monday to Friday.

    Final Exam: Aceable Agent offers online final exam proctoring nationally (but an exam proctor is not required to complete your prelicensing final exam by the state of California.)

Kaplan Real Estate Education

Best online real estate school in California for various learning types

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.


Kaplan Real Estate’s two great strengths are its long standing reputation as a real estate education giant, and its commitment to providing users with tons of options. Kaplan is the only national real estate school providing courses in three formats – online OnDemand through work-at-your-pace videos, Live Online classes with expert instructors, and home study programs through text work. Perfect for every learning style, they equip their real estate courses with helpful interactive tools and offer schooling across your entire real estate career, making them a one-stop-shop education provider.

Prelicensing Courses

Compare course packages at Kaplan

  • Pricing
    Course Type Starting at Main Package Features Upgrade Features Available
    Prelicensing $179 Coursework, Access to basic exam prep materials, choose between OnDemand, Online Live Classes, Home Study formats Question banks, Interactive online study groups, Live Career Coaching Sessions
    Continuing Education $59 All your required CE course hours to renew your license in OnDemand & Home Study formats Additional elective courses
    Exam Prep $29 Audio study guide or real estate math course Mock exams, live study sessions, exam prep videos, flashcards
    Professional Development $299 Business building courses online video training Live online coaching sessions
  • Pros + Cons


    • Thorough curriculum with practical insights
    • A sleek and interactive online learning platform
    • Courses available for all stages of your real estate career including continuing education and broker licensing


    • No free trial
    • Limited career resources
  • Features

    Course Formats: Self-paced online courses, instructor-led livestream classes, or home study text-based courses.

    Course Access: Six months from the date of enrollment.

    Refund Policy: Get a full refund if you cancel any course within the first 30 days.

    Pass or Don’t Pay: Not Available.

    Exam Prep: Exam prep course for focused review of key material, practice question bank, customizable quizzes, performance tracker, mock exams, interactive online study group.

    Student Support: National and state-specific subject matter experts are available via email and will reply to your question within a business day.

    Final Exam: Kaplan offers virtual final exam proctoring nationally, but in California, the DRE administers the computer-based exam at exam centers throughout the state.


Best online real estate school in California for students on a budget

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Rating: 3 out of 5.


RealEstateU is perfect if you aren’t willing to wait – you’re geared up to get started now. If you’re not new to online learning, you’re comfortable learning independently and can organize your own study schedule, there’s no time to waste with RealEstateU. There isn’t a cartful of extra features to distract you, just comprehensive audio lessons accompanied by useful visuals and infographics to help the information to stick. RealEstateU often offers sale pricing on their packages, so you aren’t paying extra for what you need.

Prelicensing Courses

Compare course packages at RealEstateU

  • Pricing
    Course Type Starting at Main Package Features Upgrade Features Available
    Prelicensing $149 Audio lessons and infographic study materials Exam prep study guide, focused lessons and 13 mock exams
    Exam Prep $125 Practice exam questions, 13 simulated exams, exam prep lessons All included in the basic package
  • Pros + Cons


    • Affordable starting packages
    • Career resources such as an Agent Success Course
    • Unique features such as visual infographics for comprehensive lesson and study guides


    • No free trial
    • Limited instructor interaction
    • Limited interactive online platform features
  • Features 

    Course Formats: Self-paced online courses.

    Course Access: One year from the date of enrollment.

    Refund Policy: Get a full refund within 30 days if you have completed less than 50% of your course.

    Pass or Don’t Pay: Not available.

    Exam Prep: Focused study exam guide, practice questions, 13 mock exams.

    Student Support: Instructor and customer support available by email 7 days a week.

    Final Exam: Online final course exam. An exam proctor is not required to complete your prelicensing final exam by the state of California.

California Realty Training

Best online real estate school in California for local expertise

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Rating: 4 out of 5.


If you plan on starting a real estate career in California, you’ll find carefully crafted insider knowledge from CA Realty Training’s course offerings. Their lessons are engaging, filled with so much relevant and useful tips you’ll feel empowered to start your real estate career right away. Their online platform was designed specifically with student feedback, and they offer in-person classes across the state for anyone who needs extra clarity with coursework.

Prelicensing Courses

Compare course packages at California Realty

  • Pricing
    Course Type Starting at Main Package Features Upgrade Features Available
    Prelicensing $155 Digital text-based Coursework, flashcards, 1500+ practice questions questions, unlimited test variations & exams Live Training Videos, 3-Month Access to Live Courses led by California Real Estate Agents
    Continuing Education $59 45-Hour Package, Online Quizzes & Final Exams None needed – your course and exam prep materials all in one place
    Exam Prep $50 Flashcards, 1500+ practice questions questions, unlimited test variations, and exams broken down by category Video or live exam crash course
    Broker Licensing $270 Coursework, ebooks Video lessons, printed textbooks
  • Pros + Cons


    • Comprehensive courses designed with instructor knowledge and student feedback
    • Knowledgeable instructors specific California-based expertise
    • Free trial to try out the course and platform


    • No bundling of prelicensing and continuing education courses available
  • Features 

    Course Formats: Self-paced online course, self-paced video on-demand online course, instructor-led livestream online or in-person courses.

    Course Access: Six months from the date of enrollment and the option to extend an additional six months for $25.

    Refund Policy: Get a full refund within the first two weeks if you haven’t completed more than two-thirds of the online course. Get a full refund before your third class if you attend in-person classes.

    Pass or Don’t Pay: Receive a full refund on your course if you failed the license exam on your first try within five days of scoring 80% or higher on five CA Realty Training mock exams.

    Exam Prep: Flashcards, more than 1500 practice questions, unlimited practice tests, simulated exams with focus areas for targeted studying, crash course videos.

    Student Support: 24/7 access to a student portal with instructor, current student and alumni support, plus customer support via chat, phone, and email during the week.

    Final Exam: Online final course exam. An exam proctor is not required to complete your pre licensing final exam by the state of California.

Methodology: How we chose the best online real estate schools in California

Your trust is important to us. It’s why we work to earn it by sharing exactly how we rate the schools on our list. First, we evaluate the following must-haves:

  • Course offerings and curriculum comprehensiveness
  • Instructor quality and qualifications
  • Student support services
  • User reviews and ratings
  • Pass rates on licensing exams
  • Pricing and affordability

Next, we find the features that make each school stand out to prospective real estate agents like you. You get a first-look account of schools’ online platforms and how they’ll work on your commute or alongside your busy schedule. We find ways you can save money, time, or both by finding refund policies, money-back guarantees and pass guarantees. We jump through all the hoops so all that’s left for you to do is sign up.

Frequently asked questions

  • Which online California real estate school has the highest student satisfaction rating?

    Colibri Real Estate, Aceable Agent and The CE Shop lead with the highest student satisfaction ratings nationally between 96-98% claimed on their websites. Student satisfaction ratings can be provided by the real estate schools, rating websites like TrustPilot, or the Better Business Bureau. Remember that not all real estate schools provide satisfaction ratings but still provide student testimonials to share their student success stories.

  • Which California real estate school has the highest pass rate?

    Aceable Agent claims to have a pass rate of 92% in California and a 94% national pass rate. Keep in mind that pass rates are provided by real estate schools, and vary by state.

  • How quickly can I complete real estate training in California?

    The California Department of Real Estate (DRE) mandates that you cannot complete each of the 45-hour mandatory prelicensing courses in less than two-and-a-half weeks[4] each. The minimum time it could take you to complete your prelicensing coursework is about 8 weeks. Of course, we recommend taking all the time you need to feel confident taking your license exam. It can take nearly twice as long to complete the 360-hour coursework needed to get your broker license in California. But continuing education requirements in California can be completed as quickly as four weeks.

  • How much does online real estate school in California cost?

    Real estate prelicensing coursework can cost between $100 and $450. The more basic your course offerings, the cheaper the cost. Most basic online prelicensing packages include your e-textbooks and text-based lessons and final exam. The cost of online real estate courses will increase as you opt for upgrades like videos, livestream classes, exam prep materials, or career resources.

  • How many real estate agents work in California?

    There are almost 450,000 licensed real estate salespeople and brokers who work in California, with an average of 2,500 salesperson licenses being issued each month.[5]

  • How many hours of education are required to obtain a real estate license in California?

    You’ll need to complete 135 hours of prelicensing course work to qualify for your real estate exam in the state of California. The coursework is split into three 45-hour courses, and you can complete your courses entirely online through schools like Calibri Real Estate, Kaplan, and more.[6]

  • How do I get my real estate license in California?

    Getting your real estate license in California involves a few straightforward steps, let’s break them down here:

    1. Meet the Eligibility Requirements: you must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or equivalent.
    2. Complete Required Prelicensing Education: Enroll in and complete 135 hours of pre-licensing education from a state-approved real estate school.
    3. Apply for and Pass the California Salesperson License: Submit a license application to the California Department of Real Estate (DRE) within two years of completing your pre-licensing education.
    4. Obtain Fingerprinting and Background Check: Get fingerprinted and undergo a background check through a Live Scan service provider approved by the DRE.
    5. Secure a Sponsoring Broker: Before your license can be activated, you must associate with a licensed California real estate broker.
    6. Activate Your License: Upon approval by the DRE, your license will be activated, and you can start working as a real estate salesperson.
  • What is the California DRE and how does it relate to getting a real estate license in California?

    The California Department of Real Estate (DRE) is the state agency responsible for regulating and overseeing real estate licensing and related activities in California. They establish the requirements and standards to obtain and maintain your real estate license, approve real estate education providers, administer the real estate license exams, and oversee salespeople and brokers to ensure they’re following state laws. To check out more, visit the DRE website.

  • Can I complete the required education at my own pace or are there specific timeframes?

    The California Department of Real Estate (DRE) sets limitations on how quickly you can complete your coursework (at least 54 days), but you can take as long as you’d like. Schools offering online courses will provide you with the time you have to access materials, often between 6 to 12 months.

  • Where can I find a list of approved real estate schools in California?

    You can conveniently search for and find a list of all real estate schools approved by the Department of Real Estate (DRE) on their website. These schools are all approved to provide the 135-hour prelicensing courses that will allow you to apply for a real estate license in California.

The full picture: best online real estate schools in California

Finding the best online real estate schools in California is the first step to your empowering real estate career. With so many online real estate courses in California at your disposal, you have the freedom to customize your education to fit your schedule and career goals.

We’ve taken the guesswork out of choosing the best California real estate school, and now it’s your turn. Use our guide as a launchpad to your dream career, and let the schools on our list fuel your success.

We’ve rounded up the links and sites you’ll be frequenting most as a prospective real estate agent for the most up-to-date information on obtaining your license, choosing a school, and other requirements in California.

Fri, 29 Dec 2023 02:52:00 -0600 Natalia Oliver en-US text/html
California implements security measures following arson fire on LA freeway
  • More than a month after an arson fire damaged a Los Angeles freeway, security guards have been hired to monitor sites beneath Interstate 10.
  • No arrests have been made in the arson case that led to a one-week closure of a 2-mile stretch of the freeway.
  • The fire damaged nearly 100 support columns of the interstate, prompting the Biden administration to provide $3 million in aid.

More than a month after an arson fire at a storage yard damaged a key Los Angeles freeway, the state has hired security guards to watch out for smoke and other trouble at three additional sites beneath Interstate 10 that were leased to the same bankrupt businessman.

Associated Press journalists visited the properties and saw wooden pallets and other hazardous and flammable material much like what fed the Nov. 11 inferno under the freeway, which is used by 300,000 vehicles daily. Rats scurried beneath cars, trucks and RVs in various states of repair as electrical wiring snaked across the ground.

The state has subcontracted the security services as it fights to evict Ahmad Anthony Nowaid and scores of tenants subleasing through him in violation of his contracts with the California Department of Transportation (or Caltrans), according to court records.


They are due back in court this month.

Wooden pallets are stored on a property adjacent to the Interstate 10 in Los Angeles on Dec. 7, 2023. Since an arson fire damaged the freeway, the state has hired security guards to watch out for smoke and other trouble at three other sites deemed equally risky under Interstate 10. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

No arrests have been announced in the arson case that forced a one-week closure of a 2-mile stretch of a key corridor for America's supply chain and for commuters in the nation's second-largest city. Gov. Gavin Newsom said the property was in the hands of "bad actors."

The state leased more and more land to the businessman even as accusations mounted against him, raising questions about the government's vetting process before it leases land under California's freeways and highways.

Nowaid leased the storage yard that burned and four other properties from Caltrans — all but one of them under I-10 — through his companies, Apex Development Inc. and Metro Investments Group.


The guards from Treston Security Services are also at a receiving area where combustible items were moved to from properties leased to Nowaid, and a maintenance yard where Caltrans has set up temporary offices, Caltrans said.

On a December afternoon, one of those guards wearing a neon vest sat in a folding chair outside a gated storage yard stacked with wooden pallets that is leased to Nowaid.

Six tenants subletting spaces under I-10 described Nowaid as a bully. They showed receipts of their monthly payments to The Associated Press. Nowaid owes the state nearly $223,000 for one property, according to court documents.

"Where did all our money go?" said Alberto Mazariegos, who stores his business's industrial laundry machines at the site where he paid $1,100 in monthly rent. "The state empowered this guy. They are responsible too."

A person who answered a phone number listed for Nowaid referred questions to an attorney, Mainak D’Attaray. The attorney didn’t respond to calls and emails seeking comment on any of the allegations. D’Attaray said in a statement in November that Apex was not to blame for the fire and had made improvements to that property, though he said the company had not been able to access the premises shortly before the blaze happened.

The Nov. 11 fire quickly spread, fueled by wooden pallets, supplies of hand sanitizer and other flammable materials stored there in violation of the lease contract. The inferno damaged nearly 100 support columns of the interstate. Sixteen people who were living there, including a pregnant woman, were safely evacuated. The Biden administration gave the state $3 million in response to the disaster, though Caltrans has not released a final price tag.

Records show the state was aware of problems at the sites managed by Nowaid, with inspectors offering blistering reports identifying unsafe conditions for years.

Among the legal filings involving Nowaid while he did business with the state starting in 2008:

— A 2015 restraining order granted to a man who alleged civil harassment from Nowaid.

— A 2016 lawsuit by a recycling business owner who said she was subletting from Nowaid and was illegally locked out after he posted "two attack dogs at the premises, presumably to greet anybody who would dare enter," the court filing said. The lawsuit was eventually dismissed.

— A $70,000 settlement in a 2019 case against one of his companies to cover unpaid wages for construction workers.

In 2017, Caltrans sold Nowaid land used for a mobile home park in Ceres, California. Residents there filed a lawsuit in 2022, accusing him of overcharging for rent while leaving the property in squalor. That suit is ongoing.

Caltrans said the agency conducts reference checks before leasing its properties but declined to answer other questions about Nowaid's history.

Nowaid’s name is tied to at least 20 firms — including real estate, property management and construction businesses — that have registered with California’s Secretary of State. Two of his businesses separately filed for bankruptcy in 2016 and 2019, according to state court records.

Following the fire, Newsom ordered a review of all 601 so-called "airspace" sites that Caltrans has leased around roadways. The program dates back to the 1960s and most of the properties have been used for parking lots, cellphone towers, open storage and warehouses. The lots range anywhere from a few hundred to thousands of square feet, and they are concentrated in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay area.

The airspace leases have brought in more than $170 million for public transportation over the past five years.

The sites leased by Nowaid's companies "are outliers, and relatively few sites present confirmed safety or fire concerns," Caltrans said in a statement.

State inspectors paid six visits to the site that burned, starting in 2020, and reported repeatedly that flammable and hazardous materials were being stored there.

In February 2020, inspectors noted multiple subtenants, wooden pallets and washing machines. In September 2021, inspectors reported hazardous materials, and in August 2022, in a surprise visit by inspectors and the fire marshal, they found solvents, oils and a homeless encampment that had returned.

"This is a filthy unmaintained lease," inspector Daryl Myatt wrote in a September 2022 report. "This area has been utilized since the mid-1970s and looks like it."

In that same month, Caltrans warned Nowaid that hazardous materials were also found at two other sites leased by him, and inspectors were denied access to the remaining two.


Weeks before the fire, a tenant at one of the properties said Nowaid not only locked him out of his own business but showed up "with a person with guns" and that he was afraid that Nowaid might kill him. The case was dismissed when the tenant failed to show up in court.

Nowaid's tenants at another property flagged as unsafe said they installed lighting, large water tanks, and purchased fire extinguishers, which Nowaid was supposed to provide. About a dozen people work there at businesses ranging from a mechanic shop to a scrap metal recycling trade.

Caltrans officials visited this summer and told the tenants they would be evicted because Nowaid hadn't been paying rent. The tenants said they want to rent from Caltrans directly and would adhere to the rules.

"It makes me angry," said Felix Hernandez Rubio, a mechanic who paid monthly for seven years. "I have good credit. Some fool should not be allowed to ruin my name. This is violating my rights."

Fri, 05 Jan 2024 00:55:00 -0600 Fox News en text/html
8 Best Places to Retire in California, According to Real Estate Experts

The Golden State, with its mountains, beaches, deserts, palm trees, national parks, and sunny weather, attracts millions of visitors from around the world each year. Many dream of making California their home, and quite a few do just that. Retirees from all over the U.S., lured by the state’s natural beauty and lifestyle, seek their long-term homes here.

While California has much to offer, there are many factors to consider when planning for the future. The state’s cost of living is higher than the national average, and housing is relatively expensive, especially in the coastal and most desirable areas. Taxes are another consideration, as income, property, and sales taxes vary by state and city. The not-so-great news is that California is deemed one of the least tax-friendly states for retirees. That said, many plan accordingly and still head west to find homes in cities and towns that meet their financial needs. 

Taking into account cost, environment, location, lifestyle, services, health care, and more — plus tapping local real estate experts to provide insight — we've come up with a list of the best places to retire in California. As always, “best” is in the eye of the beholder, but we selected a few lower-cost options and some highly rated, pricey spots.

01 of 08

Greater Palm Springs

Taylor McIntyre/Travel + Leisure

“The Coachella Valley consists of nine incorporated cities, from Palm Springs in the west to Coachella in the east. And there’s something for everyone in our year-round outdoor playground — biking, hiking, golf, swimming, world-class spas, and music festivals,” says RoseAnne Foxx, CRS, realtor at Bennion Deville Homes in Palm Desert. “The desert is seeing growth, with eight top-tier over-55 communities and the latest construction, Cotino, in Rancho Mirage. The area’s median price for a 1,900-square-foot home as of October 2023 was approximately $580,000. For luxury homes in the top 15 country clubs, the median resale price was about $3,800,000 for a 4,500-square-foot home.”

About 125 miles east of Los Angeles, the area offers a wide range of home prices and lifestyles, including single-family abodes, condos, apartments, adult communities, and country clubs. Palm Springs International Airport serves major cities with convenient flights, and there’s shopping, entertainment, museums, and outdoor activities to be enjoyed. The cost of living is about 31 percent higher than the national average. And excellent health care facilities are widely available in the desert cities. 

02 of 08


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Located in Ventura County, about 60 miles northwest of Los Angeles International Airport, Oxnard offers miles of beaches, strawberry farms, and historic architecture dating to the late 1800s. Its harbor is the gateway to Channel Islands National Park, and the ocean provides opportunities for kayaking, surfing, boating, and seasonal whale-watching tours. Health care access is excellent, and while the cost of living is about 54 percent higher than the national average, affordable houses are available.

“Oxnard offers retirees the perfect blend of coastal serenity and vibrant community life. With its temperate climate, picturesque beaches, and rich cultural scene, Oxnard provides an ideal setting for a fulfilling retirement experience,” says Arturo Hernandez of Re/Max Gold Coast. “Oxnard’s real estate market is not only appealing, but it’s also accessible for retirees seeking an affordable haven. Entry-level homes and condos typically start in the $350,000 to $600,000 range, allowing retirees to embrace coastal living without compromising their budget.” 

03 of 08

Paso Robles

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About halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, Paso Robles is home to world-class wineries, lakes, hot springs, and stunning views of rolling hills and vineyards. The walkable downtown offers shops, restaurants, wine-tasting rooms, breweries, historic buildings, and a park. Retirees can enjoy numerous events and festivals throughout the year, including Summer Concerts in the Park. The median home price in October 2023 was $715,000, according to Redfin.

“Paso Robles, with its mild climate, cultural richness, and scenic beauty, stands out as a top-notch destination for retirees seeking a fulfilling and tranquil retirement,” says Liz Lee of Heart to Heart Real Estate. “Whether indulging in wine tastings, exploring the outdoors, or immersing themselves in the local culture, retirees can find a perfect blend of relaxation and excitement in this Central Coast gem.” There are numerous 55+ communities that serve seniors with a budget. They include the River Walk Terrace Apartments, a brand-new 79-unit rental complex for low- to medium-income occupants, as well as The Vintage at River Oaks, where homes typically sell from the mid-$700,000s to the $900,000s, and many other neighborhoods with price points in between.”

04 of 08


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Located in Los Angeles County, about 12 miles south of Los Angeles International Airport, Torrance borders the Pacific Ocean with a pier and white-sand beach. Shopping, entertainment, a local theater, parks, and excellent schools attract families and retirees to the city’s homes, apartments, condos, and adult communities. Torrance was also ranked among the 10 best cities to retire in America, as well as one of the healthiest places to live in the country, according to Plus, two major hospitals provide excellent access to health care.

Chris Teer of Vista Sotheby’s International Realty tells Travel + Leisure, “Torrance is a great place to retire, as it was rated one of the healthiest cities in all of California. Residents can take advantage of the amazing year-round weather by enjoying the local beach and nearby hiking trails. There are countless ways to stay active and live stress-free in Torrance.” According to Teer, the median home price is $1.1 million.

05 of 08


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“I always call Lake County California’s best-kept secret,” says Mara Eichelmann of Engel & Völkers real estate company. “We’re on the state’s largest natural lake with some of the best air quality in the country. A popular and quaint area of Lake County, Kelseyville is like an early American small town, with communities that are home to many retirees. One of my favorites is Buckingham, where there are beautiful homes on the lake, oak-studded walk streets, and friendly people.” Lake County was also named one of the most affordable places to live in California by Kiplinger.

Located about 125 miles northwest of Sacramento, the city of Lakeport, meanwhile, offers outdoor activities like boating, swimming, hiking, kayaking, fishing, and a variety of community events for retirees who enjoy a small-town lifestyle. Once considered part of Napa Valley before Prohibition, Lake County is home to several wineries. According to Redfin, the median home price in October 2023 was $339,000, and the cost of living and health care availability are close to the national average.

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Lauren Breedlove/Travel + Leisure

This lovely coastal town in Monterey County boasts parks, beaches, restaurants, shops, art galleries, and an ambience that makes it a favorite among visitors. It also tops's list of best places to retire in California in 2023. The cost of living here is about 52 percent higher than the national average, and health care availability is excellent. According to Redfin, the median home price in October 2023 was $2.3 million.

“Carmel-by-the-Sea is a perfect place to retire,” says Juan Mancheno, a local real estate broker. “The walkable downtown has restaurants, shops, well-lit streets, and many community events to enjoy or become involved in. And hiking and walking trails, golf, parks, and the seashore offer plenty to do outdoors.”

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Less than two hours north of Los Angeles, Bakersfield offers a warm climate and outdoor activities such as boating, kayaking, fishing, and hiking, and walking trails. The cost of living is slightly below the national average, and there are several hospitals, medical facilities, and urgent care centers in the area. Amenities for seniors include museums, parks, theaters, and shopping centers. U.S. News placed Bakersfield on its list of best places to retire in California, noting its dry summers and mild winters, as well as its year-round fresh, local produce. 

Bakersfield native and local realtor Marissa Aceves highly recommends her city as an ideal place to retire. “Bakersfield offers affordability, a strong sense of community, and a friendly atmosphere. The median home price is $439,000, and options include single-family homes, retirement communities, and condos.”

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Adrian Rudd/Travel + Leisure

Carlsbad was deemed one of the best places to live in California, according to, The city in North San Diego County offers beaches, a charming downtown, cultural activities, and a welcoming small-town atmosphere. The outdoor lifestyle, which incudes hiking, water sports, and a walkable village, attracts retirees. Tourists are also drawn by Legoland, The Flower Fields, and nearby resorts. While the cost of living is pegged at about 55 percent higher than the national average, residents appreciate the area’s weather, natural beauty, and excellent access to health care. reports that “Carlsbad is divided into quadrants that include different types of housing such as cottages, bungalows, and mansions overlooking the ocean, and are separated from areas where resorts and master-planned communities are located.” The National Association of Realtors reports the median sale price for a home during the third quarter of 2023 to be $978,500 in the Carlsbad area. 

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