Hi Alex, some advice on purchasing a home in CA
I saw your video about trying to buy a home, and I have some advice for you. I bought my home in the Inland Empire area (about 50 Mi. east from you) back in 2010, and beat out 40 other buyers that put in offers. How? It's quite simple, I found the home for sale on realtor.com the day it was listed, drove over to see it, and then (most importantly) I contacted the LISTING agent to put in an offer. The reason why? Because the LA has every incentive to sell it to me - due to the fact he gets double the commission since he doesn't have to split it with a buyer's agent. He still has a fiscal duty to you as well as to the seller (BTW you have to agree to this in the documents). His greed for the double commission won me the home, even though everyone I knew was certain there was no way I'd get it. Just look for the Listing Agent's phone number in the listing and call him directly. If, for some reason it doesn't work out, you just walk away from him and repeat the process with the next home you're interested in. It worked for me, it may well work for you, you may have never thought about this approach but greed usually wins the game, certainly did in my case. I'm sitting on nearly $1M in equity now and I'm glad I bought when I did.
On another note, I worked at Sony Electronics in Costa Mesa & Irvine, CA for about 17 years from 1983 - 2000 as a Electronics Technician and have used various methods to speed up troubleshooting as well. One surprising method I used quite often for finding mechanical intermittents: a toothbrush. Just swipe it across the pcb (for through-hole devices mostly) to find the broken solder connection. I spent a lot of time writing FPRs (Field Problem Reports) that were sent back to Japan to improve product design. Some of my methods may have been unorthodox, but they worked and sped up repair time. These days, I still do repairs on the side of mostly consumer audio products and PCs/laptops. I'm doing it more as a hobby, than a business - I still have all test tapes and discs as well as standard equipment - W/F meter, Freq. Counters, Scopes, Distortion Analyzer, etc. that I used back at Sony. I bought mostly the same equipment I used on my bench there since I'm familiar with it for all those years. If you ever need some help with audio tech, let me know. I'm still enjoying working on Amps, Tuners, Cassette Decks, CD players, etc. I can troubleshoot to component level when needed (it helps to have a schematic on hand!)
I hope the advice on the real estate purchase might be useful to you. Look forward to hearing from you if you have a chance or would like to respond or ask anything.