It is easy to add #YOLO under a picture on social media. It does not come as a surprise that this hashtag is one of the most commonly used captions among social media influencers and users. Used by millions of people, including adolescents, youngsters, and adults, the term ‘YOLO,’ holds a much deeper meaning than people have anticipated, and is much more than just a trending hashtag.
The phrase, ‘You Only Live Once,’ holds a deep message, especially for people who spend their entire lives building a stable career. YOLO is a form of motivation to push people into pursuing their passion, live their dreams, do everything on their wish list, and LIVE, because this life is the only chance they have.
Indeed, building a stable career to ensure financial stability is imperative for living a carefree life, but what is the point of earning big when one does not have the time to spend it? YOLO is a movement to help people understand that besides working on their careers, they need to make time for things that they admire and love.
Living life, the right way, and doing justice to the movement is Gianni Mendes Toniutti, better known as Gianni Mendes, an immigration lawyer, entertainer, singer, guitar virtuoso, and a rising social media star. Watching this man do everything in life has caused many people to think that he is not good at any of these fields, thanks to one of the most popularly used figures of speech, “Jack of all trades, master of none.” Gianni, who is referred to as the ‘immigration guru’ in the United States, is changing perspectives with the kind of lifestyle he spends. He not only is a highly-esteemed Italian-American immigration lawyer, but is also a singer, an accomplished guitar player, a successful entertainer, and a social media influencer.
Gianni Mendes is the jack of all trades and master of everything that he does. He is an inspiration for the people living in a world where dreams and passions are crushed in the name of professional stability. As a young boy, Gianni had multiple passions, but did he let ‘professional stability,’ get in his way towards success? No. He gave all his passions equal attention and time. In 2002, when he completed his Juris Doctor degree, he also released his first album, “Colores.” He took both his passions together, following the true meaning of the phrase, ‘You Only Live Once.’
Becoming a social media phenomenon
Gianni is the co-founder of TLRT, an Italian-American law firm, and currently heads the immigration department. Being a lawyer was always his passion, but the entertainment sector was also where his interest lay. After thinking of ways he could stay connected to both these industries, he decided to become an immigration lawyer.
Referred to as the ‘Immigration Lawyer of the VIPs’ by several notable media platforms, Gianni has worked with innumerable celebrities from the entertainment industry. As an immigration lawyer, he has worked with notable Brazilian and Russian models, national and international modeling agencies, top 500 Fortune companies, entrepreneurs investing in multi-million-dollar deals, and several others.
After finding success in the world of law, he decided it was time to make a name in the social media sector. Owner of a vibrant personality, Gianni came up with an out-of-this-world idea, something that never crossed anyone’s mind.
One day, he entered the Zara Store, not with an intention to shop but to do something hilarious. He went in front of the escalator, right where shoppers could see him easily, and pretended to be a human mannequin, the first-ever human mannequin. The two-minute video was uploaded on Instagram and YouTube, becoming viral in just a few hours. It spread a lot of smiles and laughter and acquired more than 260,000 views on Instagram and over 30,000 views on YouTube. The video helped him become a huge Instagram sensation. Due to his rapid fame through this and many other viral videos, many media platforms have started referring to him as the next Gianluca Vacchi, a business tycoon who became a social media sensation after his dancing video went viral.
Gianni’s love for the world of law and entertainment helped him stay determined throughout. He is a well-known immigration lawyer, with his law firm operating in New York, Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Rome, and Milan. Moreover, the passionate individual born in Sao Paolo, Brazil, and raised in Bologna, Italy, is working on his first Latin-Pop single, “Te Amaré,” which is inspired by Latin and Brazilian rhythms. With all his successes in life, he proves to the world that Gianni Mendes, indeed, is a man who can do it all!
Unlocking California’s Housing Gold: AB1033 and SB9 Offer New Avenues for Homeowners to Tap Equity
In the golden state of California, homeowners now have the opportunity to unlock a wellspring of home equity through two groundbreaking pieces of legislation: Assembly Bill 1033 (AB1033) and Senate Bill 9 (SB9). These laws are not only reshaping the real estate landscape, but also providing homeowners with innovative means to capitalize on their most valuable asset: their homes.
Governor Newsom recently signed AB1033 into law, marking a significant milestone in California’s housing evolution. This legislation enables owners of single-family homes in the state to not only build Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) in their yards, but also to subdivide their properties into two condominiums. “This game-changing move,” notes Matt Lucido, founder and CEO of Yardsworth, “permits homeowners to sell off the ADUs, effectively tapping into the value hidden within their yards for decades due to restrictive zoning laws.”
The core feature of AB1033 is its allowance for homeowners to not only construct ADUs in their yards, but also subdivide their lots into separate units — each designated as a condominium. The revolutionary aspect of this is that homeowners can independently sell the ADU, presenting an innovative approach to utilizing home equity that deviates from traditional methods like selling and moving, or borrowing against one’s home with second mortgages or cash-out refinancing. These conventional avenues typically involve high interest rates and the potential for displacement from one’s neighborhood, making AB1033 a refreshing and much-needed alternative.
“Historically, there were only two ways for a homeowner to tap into the equity of their homes. One, by selling and moving, but that’s not a great option with today’s interest rates; or two, borrowing against their home with a second mortgage or cash-out refinance — which is also untenable with today’s interest rates,” Matt Lucido shares.
However, it’s crucial to recognize that AB1033 primarily benefits homeowners who already possess ADUs. For those seeking to sell a portion of their yard and access the opportunity without pre-existing ADUs, SB9 remains the best option. Additionally, AB1033’s full potential hinges on its implementation by local municipalities, which may vary across the state. This means that the extent to which homeowners can benefit from AB1033 depends on the discretion of local authorities.
SB9 focuses primarily on allowing the subdivision of single-family lots into two separate units, and facilitates the construction of additional dwelling units. The essence of SB9 lies in its potential to expand housing options, while allowing homeowners to tap into the previously dormant value within their properties.
SB9’s provisions are designed to address some of the persistent challenges associated with housing in California. It permits the subdivision of single-family lots, creating opportunities for the construction of up to two additional units, whether in the form of ADUs, or even a new house or duplex. This not only encourages greater housing density, but also allows homeowners to maximize the use of their land, thereby capitalizing on their home equity without selling their homes or incurring high-interest mortgage debt.
While AB1033 and SB9 offer promising avenues for homeowners to tap into their property’s hidden value, several challenges and uncertainties must be considered in the implementation of these legislative measures.
AB1033, for example, has additional costs other than those associated with lot subdivision and construction. Homeowners opting for this route will also need to pay for legal counsel to establish a Homeowners Association (HOA) for the newly created two-unit condominium. Operating and maintaining such an association in the years to come adds complexity and expense to the overall expense, making AB1033 a potentially costly option compared to SB9.
Under SB9, the cost of subdividing a lot can range from $50,000 to $75,000. These expenses primarily arise from the need to create a new parcel map compliant with the Subdivision Map Act, city fees, and the involvement of consultants and surveyors. These costs can be prohibitively high for many homeowners, potentially limiting the accessibility of these opportunities. Companies like Yardsworth have stepped in to mitigate this challenge by covering all these fees and expenses for their SB9 clients, making it a more financially viable option.
Furthermore, AB1033 is not yet fully implemented, and its uniform application across California remains uncertain. Municipalities possess significant discretion when it comes to adopting and implementing the provisions of AB1033. Consequently, the extent to which homeowners can leverage this law may vary greatly depending on their location. In contrast, SB9 is a state-wide mandate, ensuring consistent implementation across all municipalities, making it a more dependable option for homeowners.
“California homeowners are still sitting on near-record home equity,” Matt Lucido points out. “The value of California homes has more than doubled in the last 10 years.”
The confluence of AB1033 and SB9 takes on added significance in light of California’s pressing housing crisis. Governor Newsom has persistently underscored the state’s need for 3.5 million new homes by 2025. These legislative measures, AB1033 and SB9, represent significant steps toward addressing this crisis. They offer pathways to unlock the latent potential within California’s housing market. They provide homeowners with innovative ways to access their home equity without the need to sell their homes, a practice often linked with gentrification-related displacement.
One of the central challenges in California has been the spiraling cost of homeownership. Today’s 20-year-high interest rates only make buying a home (or selling, moving, and rebuying) more expensive. As a result, homeowners are staying put in their homes, with no viable way of accessing their home equity. It is essential to find ways to access this wealth without resorting to high-interest borrowing, such as Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOC), with rates as high as 10 percent or more. This is where AB1033 and SB9 emerge as compelling alternatives. These laws facilitate homeowners in staying in their homes and neighborhoods while selling a portion of their property, thus allowing them to access their home equity without incurring considerable financial burdens.
The new California laws AB1033 and SB9 offer innovative solutions to unlock home equity for homeowners in the state. By permitting the subdivision of single-family lots and the construction of ADUs that can be sold independently, these legislations allow homeowners to tap into the dormant value within their properties. This not only provides a pathway to access much-needed funds without displacement, but also encourages housing density to help alleviate California’s crisis. However, potential barriers like municipal discretion over AB1033 implementation and high subdivision costs associated with SB9 must be addressed to ensure these laws fully deliver on their promise.
Overall, AB1033 and SB9 represent promising steps in the right direction to empower homeowners, stimulate housing growth, and inject liquidity into the state’s housing market. While uncertainties remain, their passage indicates California’s commitment to pursuing creative approaches that benefit both homeowners and the broader community.
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