Original Article – https://patch.com/california/marinadelrey/calendar/event/20211212/1622938/second-annual-holiday-lights-tour-contest

The Westchester Mental Health Guild is sponsoring its Second Annual Holiday Lights Tour & Contest, with more than 20 neighborhood homes participating in a driving tour of outdoor decorations. 

The Tour takes place in Westchester and Playa del Rey from 5 -9 p.m. every evening from December 12-26, with online voting through Dec. 19. To participate in the Tour, register at https://2021guildholidaylights.eventbrite.com, and donate at least $10. 

That donation covers your entire vehicle and gives you a list and maps of the homes on the Tour plus the right to vote for your favorite. It also gives you a chance to win a terrific New Year’s celebration gift basket.

The Westchester Mental Health Guild is a 501(c) (3) organization with the purpose of fundraising to support Airport Marina Counseling Service. AMCS operates a clinic at 7891 La Tijera Boulevard to provide affordable mental health counseling to the community and also to train therapists. 

For further information, you can access the Westchester Mental Health Guild website at www.westchestermhg.org, and the Airport Marina Counseling Service website at www.amcshelps.com. For questions, email: [email protected].

Original Article – https://patch.com/california/santamonica/where-find-christmas-trees-2021-near-santa-monica

SANTA MONICA, CA— As the country recovers from the coronavirus pandemic and looks back on the hardship of last year’s holiday season — which involved a lot of social distancing — families in 2021 will reunite and hunt for the right Christmas tree.

Some 350 million are growing in all 50 U.S. states, and at least 25 million of them are cut and sold each year.

Last year, the National Christmas Tree Association developed a guide including recommendations and best practices for Christmas tree sellers to follow. They include frequently sanitizing items and areas such as hand saws, tree cart handles, counter-tops, door handles and restrooms.

If a real Christmas tree is on your wish list this year, see our selection of great local farms near Santa Monica:

Want to get the most out of your real Christmas tree? It can take some patience, practice and good advice. Here are a few things to remember, according to the National Christmas Tree Association:

Original Article – https://www.realtor.com/news/trends/homeowners-gained-significant-home-equity-during-pandemic/

Here’s some great news for homeowners: They’re home equity rich.

With housing prices reaching record highs, a large and growing share of homeowners owe far less than what their homes are worth on the market.

About 39.5% of homes with mortgages in the U.S. were equity rich in the third quarter of 2021, according to a recent report from real estate information firm ATTOM Data Solutions. That’s compared with just 28.3% of homes this time last year. This means that homeowners could sell their homes for at least twice the amount they owe on their mortgages.

“There is no doubt that homeowners continue benefiting big-time from the relentless home price increases we are seeing around the country,” says Todd Teta, chief product officer of ATTOM.

In addition, homeowners are putting more money down when they buy a house, which builds equity right from Day 1.

Almost every state saw equity rates increase and underwater rates decrease, but the states with the largest share of equity-rich homes are concentrated in the West, where prices are also the highest.

Idaho, where prices have boomed in recent years, leads the pack as 65.1% of all homes with mortgages there were equity rich. Median list prices in the state surged nearly 28% in October compared with the same month a year earlier, according to the most recent Realtor.com® data. The rise is largely due to an influx of new residents moving in from California and other pricey states over the past few years, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The other states with the highest rates of home equity were Vermont (61.2%), Utah (60.9%), Washington (56.2%), and Arizona (53.2%).

In another good sign, there are also fewer homes that are seriously underwater. (A home is underwater when the owner owes far more to the bank than the house is worth.) Only 3.4% of homes with a mortgage were underwater in the third quarter, compared with 6% the year before. This is likely due to the high prices in the market.

However, the number of properties with foreclosure filings surged 68%. This is a direct result of foreclosure moratoriums enacted to protect homeowners at the beginning of the pandemic starting to expire. So a backlog of foreclosures that were stalled is now proceeding.

Although foreclosure is never a pleasant situation, if homeowners have equity in their property, at least that means they have the option of selling it and using those funds to find a cheaper living situation.

High equity rates can also inject a little more juice into the economy, as homeowners can tap into the equity in their house and use it to take out certain kinds of loans or a line of credit. That money could then be used to start a business or pay for remodeling.

“That translates into tens of thousands of dollars a year for 58 million mortgage payers—a major boost for the U.S. economy as it keeps climbing out from under the pandemic,” says Teta.

Original Article – https://patch.com/california/marinadelrey/holidays-near-how-help-hungry-families-marina-del-rey

Believe it or not, the holidays are just two short months away. As your kids make their Christmas lists, and you begin planning an elaborate holiday meal with all the trimmings, it’s also a perfect opportunity to seek out ways to help and give back to your Marina del Rey neighbors.

One way is by ensuring everyone in Marina del Rey has a holiday meal of their own and full bellies on Christmas Day.

For millions of families in Marina del Rey and other U.S. cities, a hearty holiday meal simply isn’t possible.

Los Angeles County is among those where residents sometimes struggle with food insecurity, according to Feeding America, the nation’s largest network of food pantries and food banks.

Before the pandemic, 1,079,900 people in Los Angeles County were considered to be food insecure, according to Feeding America. The continuing economic fallout from the pandemic has increased that number by 5.2% who could be on the brink of hunger.

Last holiday season, 80 percent of Feeding America food banks reported serving more people than during the same time the previous year.

This year could be similar. Nationally, Feeding America estimates that as many as 42 million people — including 13 million children — could experience food insecurity in 2021. As a result, food banks nationwide have seen a nearly 55 percent increase in use.

There are many ways you can help ahead of the holidays. Here are a few ideas:

Donate To A Food Pantry

Food pantries and food banks have experienced a 55 percent spike in usage through the pandemic, according to the latest Feeding America data, erasing a decade’s worth of progress toward ending hunger in the United States.

Donating to a food pantry is simple. Food pantries accept any food that is “shelf-stable” or nonperishable — this means you can keep it in your pantry and it won’t go bad. It’s also a good rule of thumb to only donate food that hasn’t reached its “sell-by” date yet.

See a list of what to donate to food pantries and what to avoid.

Here are the nearest food pantries in Los Angeles County:

Venice Family Clinic: Simms/Mann Health and Wellness Center (10 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays)
2509 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica

Venice Family Clinic: Colen Health Centers (Second and fourth Thursdays of the month)
4700 Inglewood Blvd., No. 102, Culver City

Food Distribution Center – WSFB – Ocean Park Community Center
503 Olympic Blvd, Santa Monica

Food Distribution Center – Saint Joseph Center
204 Hampton Dr, Venice

Westside Food Bank
1710 22nd St., Santa Monica

St. Mark Food Pantry
940 Coeur D Alene Ave, Venice,

Los Angeles Regional Food Bank
1734 E. 41st Street, Los Angeles

Volunteer At A Food Bank Or Pantry

More than half of all food programs in the United States rely entirely on volunteers, according to Feeding America. While volunteering can look different depending on where you’re at, here’s a sampling of the jobs you might do:

To volunteer, check with any of the food pantries listed above.

Host A Fundraiser

You can take action against hunger by hosting a fundraiser for Feeding America or any other local food bank or food pantry. Not only is it a great way to fight food insecurity, it’s also a fun way to interact with others while making a difference in your community.

Here are a few ways you can fundraise for Feeding America:

If you prefer to fundraise for another local food pantry or food bank, contact them to see how you can help.

Lobby Your Lawmakers

You can use your voice to advocate for those struggling with food insecurity. Federal food programs are a necessity in ending hunger — for every meal a food pantry provides, government food programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provide nine.

Organizations like Feeding America make it easy to reach out to your lawmakers using these contact forms.

Feeding America serves 200 member food banks that serve and supply 60,000 food pantries, kitchens and meal programs around the country.

Find your local food bank

Make a donation to Feeding America*

“The Impact of Coronavirus On Food Insecurity”

Take action against hunger

Patch has partnered with Feeding America to help raise awareness on behalf of the millions of Americans facing hunger. Feeding America, which supports 200 food banks across the country, estimates that in 2021, more than 42 million Americans won’t have enough nutritious food to eat due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. This is a Patch social good project; Feeding America receives 100 percent of donations.* Find out how you can donate in your community or find a food pantry near you.

The Original Article – https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/10/28/realestate/28hunt-tuma.html

The newlyweds were on their way to Tokyo when the pandemic stranded them in the unfamiliar environs of Los Angeles. Here’s what they found with their $1.5 million budget.

Kate and Brian Tuma were supposed to spend only about six months in Southern California, but when the pandemic forced them to stay put, they went looking for a place near the beach where they could both work from home. As Ms. Tuma said, “You just kind of have to go with the flow.”
Kate and Brian Tuma were supposed to spend only about six months in Southern California, but when the pandemic forced them to stay put, they went looking for a place near the beach where they could both work from home. As Ms. Tuma said, “You just kind of have to go with the flow.” Beth Coller for The New York Times

Kate and Brian Tuma never thought they would live in Southern California, let alone own a home there. Two years ago, the Chicago-based newlyweds were looking forward to a different adventure: moving to Japan for Ms. Tuma’s job as a lawyer. But first, her firm wanted her to spend a few months working out of its Los Angeles office, to get acclimated.

The Tumas, who met at church, were married in Las Vegas by an Elvis impersonator. (Ms. Tuma was dressed as Superwoman, Mr. Tuma as Julius Caesar.) Shortly thereafter, a Japanese moving company arrived to pack up their 33rd-floor Chicago condo and ship everything to California for about six months, while the couple rented a temporary apartment.

They found a place near the beach in a brand-new complex in Marina del Rey. It was also near the Commuter Express bus line, which Ms. Tuma, 43, could take to get to her office in downtown Los Angeles. The setup wasn’t perfect, but it seemed like a good fit for a short stay.

[Did you recently buy or rent a home in California? We want to hear from you. Email: [email protected].]

When the pandemic hit, the short stay became a long one. “It gave us a lot of time together after we got married,” said Mr. Tuma, 47, an accountant.

The living room in the 840-square-foot apartment was crammed with two desks, a Peloton bike and a treadmill. “It was like the Swiss army knife of apartments,” Ms. Tuma said.

After many months, it became clear that the move to Tokyo would be too complicated in the midst of a pandemic. “This was never someplace we thought about living permanently,” she said of California. “But there are so many things going on, you just kind of have to go with the flow.”

So she started exploring options to upgrade their space. With rental prices in the area rising fast, she figured they could buy a bigger place with a monthly payment close to or less than what they would pay for a rental. Mr. Tuma, an Air Force veteran, qualified for a V.A. loan with a low interest rate.

He made a spreadsheet, tracking various factors, including inflation and taxes, and eventually agreed that buying might not be a bad idea. Ms. Tuma made her own spreadsheet, keeping track of details like homeowner association fees and square footage.

Ideally, they hoped to find a place that was at least 1,400 square feet — about the size of Ms. Tuma’s Chicago condo, which they had recently sold — with low homeowner association dues, as well as proximity to the beach and public transit. “I refuse to commute in a car,” Ms. Tuma said. “To me, it’s such a waste of time and energy, and so draining.”

They enlisted the help of Ms. Tuma’s colleague, Helen Yang, who has a real estate broker’s license.

One challenge: With prices rising so quickly, recently sold properties weren’t useful for price comparisons. “The market is insane,” Ms. Yang said.

With a budget of up to about $1.5 million, they were open to homes that needed work, thinking that such places might be a better value in a hot market.

Among their options:

No. 1

Amazing Views

Beth Coller for The New York Times

This remodeled 1,200-square-foot, two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo in Redondo Beach had heated floors and expansive ocean views. There was a modern kitchen and a built-in double desk overlooking the ocean. The complex included a swimming pool. The asking price was $1.35 million, with monthly homeowner dues of $425.

Amazing Views
Amazing Views Courtesy of Redfin

No. 2


Beth Coller for The New York Times

This two-bedroom, two-bathroom fixer-upper in Marina del Rey was 1,400 square feet, with high ceilings and a breakfast nook. The unit was in a well-maintained condominium with a tennis court, pool, spa and gym, in an ideal location near their rental apartment. The price was $825,000, with monthly homeowner dues of $692.

Fixer-Upper Courtesy of Barbra Stover/Compass

No. 3

Dated but Spacious

Beth Coller for The New York Times

This two-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bathroom townhome in Marina del Rey, also near their rental apartment, was 2,000 square feet, with huge windows and a terrace. It was in a complex with two pools and a sauna, across the street from a small park. The price was $1.29 million, with monthly homeowner dues of $750.

Dated but Spacious
Spacious Courtesy of Ty Bergman/Manor Real Estate

California housing market to remain solid if pandemic is kept under control, but structural challenges will persist.

– Existing, single-family home sales are forecast to total 416,800 units in 2022, a decline of 5.2 percent from 2021’s projected pace of 439,800.

– California’s median home price is forecast to rise 5.2 percent to $834,400 in 2022, following a projected 20.3 percent increase to $793,100 in 2021.

– Housing affordability* is expected to drop to 23 percent next year from a projected 26 percent in 2021.

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 7, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Supply constraints and higher home prices will bring California home sales down slightly in 2022, but transactions will still post their second highest level in the past five years, according to a housing and economic forecast released today by the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.).


The baseline scenario of C.A.R.’s “2022 California Housing Market Forecast” sees a decline in existing single-family home sales of 5.2 percent next year to reach 416,800 units, down from the projected 2021 sales figure of 439,800. The 2021 figure is 6.8 percent higher compared with the pace of 411,900 homes sold in 2020.

The California median home price is forecast to rise 5.2 percent to $834,400 in 2022, following a projected 20.3 percent increase to $793,100 in 2021 from $659,400 in 2020. An imbalance in demand and supply will continue to put upward pressure on prices, but higher interest rates and partial normalization of the mix of sales will likely curb median price growth. Additionally, a shift in housing demand to more affordable areas, as the trend of remote working continues, will also keep prices in check and prevent the statewide median price from rising too fast in 2022.

“A slight decline next year from the torrid sales pace of the past year-and-a-half will be a welcome relief to potential homebuyers who have been pushed out of the market due to high market competition and an extremely low level of homes available for sale,” said C.A.R. President Dave Walsh. “Homeownership aspirations remain strong and motivated buyers will have more inventory to choose from. They will also benefit from a favorable lending environment, with the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage remaining below 3.5 percent for most of next year.”

C.A.R.’s 2022 forecast projects growth in the U.S. gross domestic product of 4.1 percent in 2022, after a projected gain of 6.0 percent in 2021. With California’s 2022 nonfarm job growth rate at 4.6 percent, up from a projected increase of 2.0 percent in 2021, the state’s unemployment rate will decrease to 5.8 percent in 2022 from 2021’s projected rate of 7.8 percent.

Growing global economic concerns will keep the average for 30-year, fixed mortgage interest rates low at 3.5 percent in 2022, up from 3.0 percent in 2021 and from 3.1 percent in 2020 but will still remain low by historical standards.

“Assuming the pandemic situation can be kept under control next year, the cyclical effects from the latest economic downturn will wane, and a strong recovery will follow,” said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Jordan Levine. “However, structural challenges will reassert themselves as the normalization of the market continues. Demand for homes will continue to outstrip available supply as the economy improves, resulting in higher home prices and slightly lower sales in 2022,” Levine continued.

Leading the way …® in real estate news and information for more than 110 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (www.car.org) is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States, with more than 200,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.

Original Article -https://patch.com/california/marinadelrey/what-can-fall-pumpkin-patch-visit-teach-marina-del-rey-kids

Throughout the pandemic, people all over the country sank deeper and deeper into their screens, often because they had no other choice. Especially in bigger cities and suburbs, people can feel more disconnected from the natural world than ever before.

Luckily, a simple trip to pumpkin patches and fields around Marina del Rey in search of the best jack-o’-lantern- or pie-worthy pumpkin can be not only fun and wholesome but also stimulating and educational. For parents eager to teach their children about how food is grown, pumpkins can be great teachers.

Some studies have shown that a 4-year-old child will ask up to 300 questions a day. That number might quadruple at a nearby pumpkin patch, where children will see an eclectic array of fruits, vegetables, animals and plants, maybe for the first time.

“Why is that pumpkin so huge and the other one is so small?”

“Why are they such different shapes?”

“Why is that pumpkin white, and why is that pumpkin blue?”

“How do you grow a pumpkin?”

“Does the pumpkin cost more than our house?”

“And over there — what is THAT?”

Even if parents may not know all the answers, knowledgeable farm staff will be on hand to answer all the child’s questions. And because kids are surrounded by beautiful nature and not a desk and a whiteboard, they’ll likely be excited to learn, without any of the negative associations they might hold with the classroom. What’s more, many farms offer small tours, classes and fun activities designed for children.

“Giving children the freedom to roam and pick their own pumpkins gives them a sense of independence and pride,” Wing Farms, an organic pumpkin patch in Ann Arbor, Michigan, wrote on its website. “This also can provide a teaching opportunity about pumpkins, gourds and other fruits and vegetables that grow on vines. Children will also ask questions about the animals, farm equipment, plants and more.”

A mother named Christy has turned a pumpkin patch visit into an entire educational unit for her young children. After getting some pumpkins for her nearby patch, Christy then reads a children’s book about pumpkins to her kids. She asks them to observe the pumpkins they picked out, and then describe and draw them in a nature journal. The next day, she reads, “From Seed to Pumpkin,” an illustrated book explaining how pumpkins grow. Afterward, the children guess how many seeds will be in the pumpkin, and then they carve the top off a pumpkin and count. When everything is counted, the family roasts the seeds and eats them.

From just a single trip, the kids worked on their skills in math, reading, writing and science, and got to try a new and healthy food. Here’s a detailed description of Christy’s pumpkin lesson.

To help your kids connect to the land and have fun doing it, check out one of your local pumpkin patches nearby, and ask if they offer any workshops or tours.

The Original Article – https://patch.com/california/venice/calendar/event/20211022/1374551/venice-afterburn-2021

The yearly gathering dedicated to Art and Community is back:
two days of art, music, mutant vehicles, dancing, love, and community, right by the beach!

The Venice Afterburn will take place again by the beach, on the Windward Plaza in Venice, California, on October 23rd and 24th.

An official Burning Man Regional event and family-friendly, the Venice Afterburn brings the magic of the playa to our ‘default’ world and aims to re-create the culture of Burning Man, celebrating the spirit of community, gifting, creative collaboration, and decommodification.

We create a space for burners to share their art, gifts, music, and all talents. The event is open to all participants, burners or not; it blends the vibrant, eclectic community of Venice Beach with the creativity of the Black Rock citizens.

Original Article – https://www.smdp.com/council-to-discuss-future-of-downtown-and-third-street-promenade/208814

The key item on City Council’s Sept. 28 agenda is a plan to revitalize Downtown and the 3rd Street Promenade with an array of business and entertainment opportunities.

Downtown Santa Monica, which has long been the economic heart of the City, is in a transitional period due to the pandemic, changing retail trends and an uptick in homelessness. Store vacancies are unusually high, while visitor spending continues to trail behind pre-pandemic levels.

The proposed Third Street Promenade Stabilization and Economic Vitality Plan, seeks to transform the area into a vibrant shopping and entertainment destination that offers a unique range of stores, arts outlets and nightlife offerings that will appeal to both residents and visitors.

The plan was designed by Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. (DTSM) in partnership with MIG consultants. City Council is set to both discuss the plan’s long-term vision and approve some preliminary zoning and license agreements to kick start the plan’s first steps.

Some of these zoning changes will allow certain businesses—such as childcare, pet stores and medical offices—to open on the Promenade for the first time. Other zoning changes will minimize the need for conditional and minor use permits to make it easier for businesses to open on the promenade. Businesses in this category include tattoo parlors, theaters and bed and breakfasts.

The intended goal of these shifts is to bring more diverse business types to the Promenade, including useful services for residents.

The plan also includes a wider array of community events, performances and activations. There is a proposal in place for DTSM to enter a new agreement with the City that allows it to run expanded programming on Arizona Avenue, Lot 27 and the Promenade.

Given a recent rise in community complaints about the safety and cleanliness of the Promenade and its surrounding garages and alleys, it is likely that councilmember discussion and public comment will also center on those topics.

Next on the agenda is the appointment of longtime City lawyer Joseph Lawrence as Interim City Attorney, because current Interim City Attorney George Cardona is leaving his position on Sept. 30.

Lawrence retired from his position as Assistant City Attorney in October 2017 after three decades of service in Santa Monica. He has twice served as Interim City Attorney and will be assuming the position for a third time with an hourly rate of $130.82.

The recruitment process for a permanent City Attorney is ongoing. This position has been vacant since April 2020, when then City Attorney Lane Dilg took the position of Interim City Manager following Rick Cole’s resignation.

Other items of note on the agenda include a City Manager’s report on the City’s economic recovery and a resolution change allowing for an off-leash dog area by the Big Blue Bus station.

Mayor Sue Himmelrich and Councilmember Oscar de la Torre have submitted a 13 item requesting that City Council form an ad hoc committee to make recommendations for the murals in the lobby of City Hall. In May 2021, de la Torre submitted a 13 item requesting the mural be temporarily covered over concerns of racist depictions of native Californians.

Prior to the start of public meeting, Council will meet in closed session to discuss ongoing litigation and negotiations. Members will be meeting with municipal employee unions to discuss an upcoming vaccine mandate and with the Santa Monica Police Officers Association to discuss an unfair labor practice charge related to the creation and powers of the Public Safety Reform and Oversight Commission.

If either of these issues are resolved it will be reported to the public at the start of the meeting’s open session.

[email protected]

Original Post – https://www.realtor.com/news/trends/electric-car-charging-stations-give-the-home-garage-a-powerful-upgrade/

When Peter Van Deerlin got his first electric vehicle in 2012, the now-57-year-old doctor wanted to be able to charge his car quickly enough to get to the hospital for middle-of-the-night emergencies.

He chose a Tesla Model S with a dual charger inside the car (a feature that the car maker later dropped) and installed a 100-amp electrical line in his garage in Moorestown, N.J.

The 100-amp line—the standard household outlet is 15 or 20 amps—served the couple well, said his wife, Vivianna Van Deerlin, 57, also a doctor. They have since expanded their fleet of electric vehicles, which now includes a Tesla Model 3, Model S and Roadster.

teslas charging
Drs. Vivianna and Peter Van Deerlin (seen at top) installed a 100-amp electrical line in their garage, which is sufficient to charge three vehicles.(Michelle Gustafson for The Wall Street Journal)

Around 2016, the Van Deerlins added a second Tesla wall connector and a NEMA 1450 outlet, which can be used to charge any electric vehicle. They also amped up the decor in their garage so that it would be “suitably nice” for the cars, said Vivianna Van Deerlin. She said they spent around $13,000 for Tesla-colored paint, a wall-mounted metal logo and decorative floor tiles.

President of a local club for Tesla owners, Vivianna Van Deerlin said she was an early adopter of driving electric for environmental reasons but fell in love with the car. “I love that driving electric doesn’t need to be a compromise,” she said.

As more luxury car makers roll out electric vehicles, homeowners are building or retrofitting garages to equip them with powerful charging stations. Options range from installing a simple, 220- or 240-volt outlet to devising elaborate systems that incorporate solar panels and battery walls.

garage decor
The Van Deerlins amped up the decor in their three-bay garage to include a wall-mounted Tesla logo and floor tiles.(Michelle Gustafson for The Wall Street Journal)

Entrepreneur and investor Rich Levandov, 67, and his wife, Robin Levandov, 65, a painter, are opting for the latter at their home in Sausalito, Calif. The couple, who split their time between Belmont, Mass., and Sausalito, have a simple 220-volt outlet and charger in Massachusetts. In California, they are installing Tesla roof tiles and a Tesla Powerwall, a series of roughly 2-foot by 4-foot batteries. The roof tiles will power the home and charge Mr. Levandov’s Tesla Model Y and four e-bikes, he said.

Electric vehicles make up roughly 3% of U.S. car sales, according to Pew Research. In August, President Biden signed an executive order calling for 50% of car and truck sales to be electric, hydrogen fuel cell or plug-in hybrids by 2030. Some of the pushback by consumers against e-vehicles is their price and the availability of charging infrastructure.

Summon for Tesla
Vivianna Van Deerlin using the Summon feature on her Tesla. It enables her to remotely back her car out of the garage.(Michelle Gustafson for The Wall Street Journal)

In North America, all electric cars can be charged using a standard J1772 plug, sometimes called a “J” plug, said Tom Moloughney, an electric-vehicle industry consultant. Teslas can be charged using a J plug but they need an adapter, which comes free with the vehicle. The amount of power a car gets during charging, measured in kilowatts, is a product of the outlet’s amperage, or the volume of electrons present, multiplied by voltage, which is the pressure of the electrical current, Mr. Moloughney explained. Standard household outlets are 120 volts with 15 or 20 amps, which is known as Level 1 charging, according to Mr. Moloughney. That translates to 3 to 5 miles of range per hour of charging, he said.

A screen inside one of the Van Deerlins’ Teslas shows the time remaining to charge.
A screen inside one of the Van Deerlins’ Teslas shows the time remaining to charge.(Michelle Gustafson for The Wall Street Journal)

Level 2 charging uses a 240-volt circuit and cars can be charged at amperages ranging from 16 to 80, depending on the car. “Every electric vehicle can accept different levels of power,” Mr. Moloughney said. “So you match the charger to what your car can accept.” A car that charges at 80 amps on a 240-volt circuit can take 19.2 kilowatts an hour, he said. That translates to 50 to 60 miles of range per hour, roughly 10 to 20 times as fast as a Level 1 charging setup.

While it is common for homeowners to upgrade to 240-volt outlets, wall-mounted charging stations deliver a more powerful and faster charge. The cost of upgrading is typically several thousand dollars, including labor and a few hundred dollars for the charging station itself.

In addition to brand-specific charging stations, dozens of companies sell brand-agnostic systems. One is ChargePoint, which sells charging stations that can work with all electric vehicles on the market, said Colleen Jansen, the company’s chief marketing officer. “Maybe you have a Tesla today and you want a Polestar tomorrow,” she said. “You don’t have to worry about getting locked into any one brand.”

Colin Morales has two electric charging stations at his home in Carson City, Nev., for a hybrid Range Rover and Porsche Taycan.(Jason Henry for The Wall Street Journal)

Colin Morales, a 58-year-old executive at a medical device company, has three ChargePoint stations, two at his primary residence in Carson City, Nev., and another at a home in San Jose, Calif. He has ordered a fourth for another home in Lake Tahoe, Calif.

Mr. Morales said he ordered the ChargePoint stations shortly after his partner, Stephanie Macauley, 56, who is retired, traded in her Porsche for a hybrid Range Rover. The thrill of greater fuel efficiency, and of helping the environment, was short-lived as the couple found themselves running all over town searching for a charging station.

Mr. Morales, who drives a Porsche Taycan and has a Ford F-150 truck, said he has plugged the cars into a 15-amp socket at night, only to wake up and find the vehicle 10% charged. “It would literally take three days if you’re on empty,” he said.

Mr. Morales said a 60-amp charging station lets him charge the Taycan in 6 to 7 hours if it’s empty.
Mr. Morales said a 60-amp charging station lets him charge the Taycan in 6 to 7 hours if it’s empty.(Jason Henry for The Wall Street Journal)

In Carson City, where Mr. Morales owns a custom, 5,500-square-foot house, he said he had his contractor install the two charging stations in an oversize, three-bay garage. Both stations are hard-wired into 220-volt outlets, but one is a 50-amp station and one is a 60-amp station. “It charges just a little bit faster,” he said. He estimated the Range Rover takes about 2½ hours to fully charge, and the Taycan takes between 6 and 7 hours if the car is on empty. The Taycan has around 220 miles of range, and the Range Rover has 50 miles of range using electricity plus another 400 miles using gas.

Mr. Morales installed a ChargePoint station to work with any electric vehicle.
Mr. Morales installed a ChargePoint station to work with any electric vehicle.(Jason Henry for The Wall Street Journal)

Mr. Morales said installation was more complicated at his home in San Jose, where his electrician ran wires under the house, between the breaker box and the garage. “I didn’t want the wire to show,” said Mr. Morales, who preferred to charge inside the garage. “I didn’t want this bulky charging thing outside my house,” he said.

Mr. Morales said he spent around $2,000 to install each charging station, including the electrical work. He estimated he is saving hundreds of dollars a month in gas. In San Jose, for example, Mr. Morales said his monthly electric bill has gone up roughly $50 per month since he installed the charging station. By comparison, he said he easily spent $200 a month on gas before switching to electric.

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