SRCAR Encourages your Support of AB 1098.

On Friday, August 30, the legislature passed AB 1098, a bill that would reinstate VLF funds to the four newest cities in California, including Menifee and Wildomar. We encourage you to download the attached letter of support and email it to the following people. The Governor could make a decision on this measure at any time so time is of the essence.

Thanks to Senators Anderson and Emmerson and to Assemblymen Jeffries and Nestande for their affirmative votes to move this bill forward. 

SUPPORT letter for AB 1098 

nancy.mcfadden@gov.ca.gov,

gareth.elliott@gov.ca.gov,

anna.pozdyn@gov.ca.gov ,

gavin.newsom@ltgov.ca.gov

http://gov.ca.gov/m_contact.php

Your February Housing Report

Housing stats for Southwest California for January 2011. Sales volume, median price, foreclosures, trends & commentary.

2010 Recap Realtor Report

If you click on that little red Realtor Report just above the chart, you’ll get to a slightly larger version of the report which will be easier for your old eyes to read. You’re welcome.

City Manager panel welcomes Realtors to our new home.

Yesterday our Association held our inaugural event in our brand new home. We closed escrow back in March and have been doing the TI’s  since then  and completed our move just last week. There’s still a couple areas under construction and we’ll bring you more photos when we’re all done.

mgrBut timing presented a terrific opportunity for our association to acquire a new facility, to own our own home free and clear and have a great place for our members to meet, to learn and to shop. As I tell folks, it’s always a good market for somebody and in this case, what was a bad market for the Jaguar dealer that previously owned the place turned out to be heaven-sent for Realtors. Big facility, lots (but never enough) parking, nice high-tech gadgetry, a huge meeting room with food prep facilities that can be rented out – a win-win for SRCAR.

mgrSo for our kick-off event, we did an RAF fundraiser featuring a panel of four of our local city managers moderated by yours truly. Temecula’s Shawn Nelson, Murrieta’s Rick Dudley, Menifee’s Steve Harding and Wildomar’s Frand Oviedo joined us for the morning providing city updates and fielding questions from over 150 Realtors.

mgrWe started the morning with a breakfast put on by our affiliates – including fresh-made strawberry waffles by the one and only Billy McDougal, eggs, sausage & bacon prepared by Judy Edgerton, plus fresh fruit, muffins, juices and coffee from our terrific support team of affiliates. Waffles were so popular we set up back-up waffle irons in the board room to meet demand.

mgrThe facility seats nearly 200 at tables, well over 300 in conference seating. The front of the room features two large projection screens to present slides, overheads, video or live feed directed from the media center. There are also 55″ screens strategically placed in the lunch room, the board room and behind the front desk so live events can be played throughout the facility, webinars can be conducted or calendars of coming events and other promotions can be played during normal business hours. For us that’s all pretty cool stuff.

mgrAs I noted in my remarks, we are indeed fortunate to have the city managers in place we do. With 5 cities in close proximity, the potential is there (and has been in the past) to compete for housing, compete for businesses and work counter-productively to the well-being of the region. Our city managers and councils have adopted a more cooperative mode the past few years understanding that each location may be a better fit for one particular venue and that a win for one is a win for our region.

mgrEach Manager gave a 15-20 minute overview of where their city is financially, what they have planned, how the housing crisis has both hurt and helped them, how they’re coping with budgetary restrictions, how they’re working with businesses and attracting new jobs to the area. The Managers were uniformly upbeat believing we’ve been through the worst for our area, we’ve adjusted to that decline and are poised to benefit from the pending up cycle. With continued strong demand for housing, inventories of 3 months or less and stable to slight price appreciation for the past 18 months, they are well supported in their idea that, at least for us, the worst may be over.

Questions from members covered a range of topics from healthcare to builder fees to infrastructure improvements. Our cities continue to move forward with civic projects and substantial highway improvements funded by local redevelopment fees because – as one manager put it, if we don’t use it the state will just steal it – as they have done the past couple years.

mgrA great morning was capped by an opportunity drawing including a flight over the valley, a day at Disneyland and an iPad. Everyone who attended took home something from the event, some a little more than others. Welcome members to our new Realtor home.

Southwest California March Housing Update

Here’s the March housing update for Southwest California. In addition to unit sales and median price for the past 2 years, I’ve also compared our Q1 sales for 2009 with this year to see where the trendlines are. Overall, sales are up slightly constrained only by lack of inventory. Our median price is holding it’s own – up a little/down a little by city. After 3 years of dropping like a rock, holding steady looks good. There’s also a demand chart showing inventory levels at around 2 months for each of the 6 cities.

However, the chart on sales and inventory by price point illustrate that inventory of homes in the salable range under $400,000 is only about a month. The final chart shows our mix of product with REO’s now comprising less than 20% of our market, down from nearly 90% just 18 months ago. Short sales now make up over 50% of our market but have a failure rate of 70%. So backing out the 5 year inventory of $million$$ plus homes that aren’t selling and the percentage of short-sales that won’t sell – our inventory is in desperate need of an infusion. We wish the banks would either foreclose and sell, or get out of the business.

March Housing Summary – Southwest California

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New Homebuyer Tax Credit in the Works for CA

Schwarzenegger expected to sign new $10,000 California homebuyer tax credit

By Jim Wasserman
jwasserman@sacbee.com

Published: Wednesday, Mar. 24, 2010 – 12:00 am | Page 1B
Last Modified: Wednesday, Mar. 24, 2010 – 10:48 am

Homebuyer tax credits are almost certainly returning.

Sacramento-area buyers can begin claiming $10,000 tax credits starting May 1 under a bill expected to be signed soon by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The legislation allocates $200 million for more state tax credits – twice what was offered last year to 10,659 buyers of new, unoccupied homes. The state’s newest housing stimulus will grant $100 million in tax credits to first-time buyers of existing homes and $100 million to anyone who buys a new, unoccupied home.

The state Franchise Tax Board on Tuesday estimated nearly 32,000 homeowners statewide might get the tax breaks. Buyers must close escrow or reserve a credit on or after May 1 and before or on Dec. 31 to qualify.

The bill, AB 183, passed both houses of the Legislature by near unanimous votes. But one local lawmaker, Assemblyman Roger Niello, R-Fair Oaks, voted against it.

“I think it’s a lot of money in a deficit situation that doesn’t have the desired benefit,” Niello said Tuesday, noting that housing prices are still depressed despite earlier credits designed to stimulate the market.

Niello’s view was clearly a minority one, however.

“This tax credit has a proven track record,” said Assemblywoman Anna Caballero, D-Salinas, who authored the bill along with Sen. Roy Ashburn, R-Bakersfield. Caballero said California’s construction industry reported a 39 percent increase in building permits after the first round of tax credits began in March 2009 and proved more popular than expected. It ran out last July 2.

Schwarzenegger spokesman Mike Naple said Tuesday the governor supports the bill “and is expected to sign it.”

The governor signaled his intent Monday while signing two other budget bills. In a signing message, he commended the Legislature for approving the tax credit bill, saying it will stimulate “the housing industry, creating jobs for thousands of Californians.”

Schwarzenegger proposed the housing stimulus in his January State of the State Address to help revive the California economy. The new state tax credit would take effect one day after expiration of a federal $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers.

As was the case last year, buyers won’t be eligible for the full $10,000 credit if they owe the state less than that amount over a three-year period. Buyers can get up to $3,333 off their tax obligation in each of the three years after buying a house.

Buyers must be at least 18 years old and be unrelated to the seller. They must live in the home they buy. First-time buyers are defined as those who have not owned a home in the past three years.

The Franchise Tax Board estimates the tax credit will cost the state $6 million for the fiscal year ending June 30 and $69 million next year. For three years after that, it will cost the state treasury $67 million, $54 million and $4 million.

This year’s legislation is different in that it allows buyers of new homes to reserve a tax credit in advance. A buyer signing a sales contract in June can claim the credit in November when the house is completed, a capital-area building industry official said Tuesday.

“In our parlance, that allows dirt sales,” said Dennis Rogers, a vice president at the Roseville-based North State Building Industry Association. “We’ll be able to build new houses now and get jobs going.”

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more: http://www.sacbee.com/2010/03/24/2629239/schwarzenegger-expected-to-sign.html#ixzz0j9gKwH0N

Open Rancho Springs Hospital Now

srcar

Open Rancho Springs

Greetings,

Please take 1 minute and click on the attached Action Alert. Our community is under-served by medical facilities yet there is a gorgeous state-of-the-art facility sitting fully staffed but unable to open right in the Golden Triangle. State agencies are playing politics with our health care and we need to let them know we’re tired of it.

rancho springsSend a letter to the following decision maker(s):
Director, Office of the Governor – Inland Empire Larry Grable (if you live in California)

Below is the sample letter:

Subject: Open Rancho Springs Medical Center NOW!

Dear [decision maker name automatically inserted here],

I am writing to bring to your attention a potentially dire medical services issue that impacts thousands of lives throughout Southwest Riverside County, an area with a population of approximately 500,000.

The Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) and the California Department of Health Services (CDPH) are responsible for reviewing and approving applications to construct and license new healthcare facilities in California. Once OSHPD issues a ?Certificate of Occupancy?, it is entered into a process for an array of further reviews by CDPH. The CDPH has the authority to license the new facility for use.

In early November 2008, Rancho Springs Medical Center, located in the City of Murrieta, completed a $53,000,000 state of the art expanded hospital facility; almost five months after completion Rancho Springs still has not received final approval licensing to open the facility. The completed facility is fully, furnished and staffed with 60 medical professionals including nurses, nurse practitioners, and physicians, but unable to provide much needed medical services to an already statistically proven underserved population. The opening of the facility is stalled due to CDPH’s unwillingness to approve the project, directly and negatively impacting the taxpaying citizens of the region.

We are asking for you to join with us to solve this problem. We are hoping to find a solution by curtailing the increasing difficulties with hospital construction and licensing in order to provide medical care and employment in our region.

I urge you to fix this problem here and now so we may prevent similar issues from happening throughout California.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

Take Action!
Instructions:
Click here to take action on this issue
Tell-A-Friend:
Visit the web address below to tell your friends about this.
Tell-a-Friend!

What’s At Stake:
This letter has also gone out from our partners at the Southwest California Legislative Council.
Campaign Expiration Date:
April 26, 2009

Small Business Call-to-Action.

You may be aware that the Southwest Riverside County Association of Realtors has been a supporting Partner of the Southwest California Legislative Council since its inception. The SCLC, a coalition of Southwest California Chambers of Commerce, Legislative Representatives and business representatives – advocate on behalf of Southwest County Businesses. Each of you, as working Realtors, is the owner of your own business. The SCLC has proven to be an effective lobbyist for local concerns and we have a great dialogue with our local Legislators.

Today the SCLC posted recommendations on the Proposition votes upcoming in May. I’ll cover that in other posts.

They also issued this Action Alert to let your Legislators know how you feel on the Employee Free Choice Act. This is Federal Legislation that has a decidedly un-business friendly twist. While the bill’s impact on Realtors would probably not be significant, I encourage you to consider the impact from a small business standpoint.

Click on the bills for more info and a chance to make your voice heard. You’ll be done in about 12 seconds. Thanks

Take Action

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Each year, the we take positions on issues that impact Southwest California businesses. We also provide you with the tools to play a role in our efforts! Click on a issue below for a brief summary and then submit your letter of support or opposition.

Federal Proposals

Action Needed: Protect Secret Ballot Elections for Southwest California Workers

Two Federal proposals, H.R. 1409 and S. 560, would undermine long standing principles of workplace democracy and fairness and result in employees having less ability to determine if they wish to be represented by a union. It does so by allowing unions to collect employee signatures in public-or so-called “card check” and do away with the secret ballot process.

H.R. 1409 – Employee Free Choice Act

S. 560 – Employee Free Choice Act

We Mean Business

Each year, we hold our State Legislators accountable to issues that impact Southwest California businesses. Find out our Legislators rank on those issues.

Click for the 2008 Vote Record

A Coalition of the Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce,

Murrieta Chamber of Commerce and the Lake Elsinore Valley Chamber of Commerce

sclc

Prop 8 Tax Relief Expanded back to 2001!

I spoke with Riverside County Assessor/Clerk/Recorder Chief Larry Ward yesterday about Prop 8 property tax reductions this year. He wanted everyone to know 2 things and communicate it to their clients.

  • EVERYBODY who had an adjustment last year will automatically be re-evaluated this year. Last year, you may recall, they re-assessed every property in the county that had been purchased since 2004. Those Buyers will get another swing at reducing their taxes – and with property values off by as much as 30% in some cases, chances are good they will save a few more greenbacks this year.
  • This year – EVERYBODY who purchased a home since 2001 will automatically be re-assessed. They figure County-wide, our prices are roughly back to 2001 levels so rather than being bombarded by individual requests, they’ll just do it by area and year and save everybody the trouble.

I know a number of people I’ve spoken with who got a re-assess last year didn’t feel it represented the current value of their home too acurately – but if you do have a problem with it you can always file an appeal at the time. They’ll notify you of your new value in July and you have until September to file.

Remember – if you do decide to file that Reduction in Value Form, don’t pay anyone up-front to provide the numbers. A reputable Realtor can help you out.

For a complete rundown please visit: The Riverside County Assessor – County Clerk – Recorders office.

Kids Eat FREE – Every Night of the Week.

Everybody enjoys an evening out, a nice dinner with the family after a hard days work, a break from the routing. But the economy has given everybody a little case of the shorts and it’s not that easy to justify a pricey meal out if it means dining out or paying the rent.

So here’s a handy little guide to Realtors and friends that will let you feed your kids for FREE every night of the week. It takes a little planning but it’s worth it. Heck I made it through 2 years of college by knowing where the best happy hours were – $1.50 for a beer and dinner was on the house.

Make it fun, make it an adventure, make it through to the other side of this downturn.

Please feel free to add your own discoveries in the comments.

Disclaimer – Deals can vary by location. Be sure to call first;

Sunday –     IHOP @ 18248 Collier, Lake Elsinore

Monday –     Original Roadhouse Grill @ 26440 Ynez, Temecula

Tuesday –    Pat & Oscars @ 29375 Rancho California, Temecula

Chick-Fil-A @ most locations

Coco’s @ Sun City & Lake Elsinore

Denny’s @ most locations

IHOP @ Temecula Parkway location

Wednesday –  Carnitas Express @ 26900 Newport, Menifee

Carrows @ most locations

Coco’s @ most locations

El Torito @ Temecula & most locations

Thursday –     Carrows @ 24640 Madison, Murrieta

IHOP @ Temecula Parkway

Friday –         IHOP @ Lake Elsinore

Saturday –     Denny’s @ 28915 Rancho California, Temecula

Please post any good deals, two-fers, freebies  – help them help us.

Record Local Home Sales in 2008 – More Boomtown News

Following last month’s article on local homes sales, I was asked by several readers if the data was available in chart format. As indicated, 4 of our 5 regional cities posted record home sales in 2008 despite the challenges of the national economy, California’s personal budget struggles and rising unemployment numbers.

chart

That resurgence was at least partially behind a recent Forbes.com article entitled ‘America’s Post-Subprime Boomtowns’. (http://www.forbes.com/2008/12/11/foreclosure-home-sales-forbeslife-cx_mw_1211realestate.html) It calls out the top ten markets in the country that, in some cases have suffered the most as a result of the sub-prime melt-down, but that are poised to come roaring back after the fall. Not surprisingly, California cities are in 7 of the top 10 spots – and right up at the top of the list are Perris at #5, Temecula at #3 and Murrieta at #1.

“Woodbridge joins Murrieta, Calif., Queen Creek, Ariz., and Port St. Lucie, Fla., on a list of towns that have been ravaged by subprime mortgages and foreclosures but where buyers are returning to the market. Using data from RealtyTrac, an Irvine, Calif.-based foreclosure listing firm, we examined every U.S. town with a population under 100,000 to identify places where purchases of foreclosed properties have surged most in the last year to get a sense of the towns in which buyers are investing” according to the Forbes article.

Rounding out the top 10 for California is Brentwood at #4, Antelope at #6, Hesperia at #8 and Lincoln at #10. Only Woodbridge, VA (#2), Queen Creek, AZ (#7) and Port Saint Lucie, FL (#9) scored from outside the Golden State.

Accompanying the article is a slideshow highlighting sales figures and median price information on each of the markets citing data from RealtyTrac, the Bureau of Labor, Foreclosure Radar and others.

If there was ever a doubt in your mind about our status in a year or two, a quick read through this article will let you sleep a little easier at night. First time homebuyers and investors are taking advantage of historically low interest rates, buyer incentives (including the recent $8,000 first time homebuyer credit), and a continuing inventory of fire-sale priced homes to move-in and move-up. As that inventory starts to decrease, prices will start to increase.

In a companion article entitled ‘America’s Best Long Term Housing Bets’, California failed to score a top 10 position citing the roller-coaster nature of our market. If you can time the peaks and troughs here, you’ll do extremely well. If you can’t, well…. Perhaps that’s why we scored the top five positions in ‘America’s Luxury Foreclosure Capitols’ with Laguna Niguel, San Juan Capistrano, Ladera Ranch, Tustin Foothills and San Jose.

We did only moderately better with ‘America’s Fastest Changing Cities’ where Los Angeles claimed the top spot as a result of its massive out-migration. Perhaps not surprisingly, we did extremely well on the list of ‘America’s 100 Most Expensive Zip Codes’ and we also scored several awards among ‘America’s Most Expensive Homes’, including the #1 home at $165 million in Bel Air as well as #2 at a paltry $125 million in Beverly Hills.

One other list where we failed to make the grade (gratifyingly) was ‘America’s Fastest Dying Cities’. #1 on that hit parade, Bensenville, IL, followed by Kokomo, IN and Austintown and Middletown OH. Most of these places are located in the rust belt and auto manufacturing and related industries factor heavily in their make-up.

After the pounding we’ve taken the past couple years, I’m still happy to be sitting here in Murrieta, CA (#1 Boomtown) on a rainy March afternoon instead of up to my cajones in snow in Hamtramck, MI (#8 Dying). No offense to Michiganders.

Menifee – The 1st State of the City

menifee

An assortment of business and civic leaders gathered today for the inaugural State of the City address for California’s newest city, Menifee (incorporated October 1, 2008). It was a low-key event compared to many I’ve attended but the atmosphere was positive and upbeat and, dare I say, small-town America friendly. It was held at the Sun City (now part of the City of Menifee) Masonic Lodge. The room was hot, the sound system archaic, the food was bland but nobody cared because there was a sense of enthusiasm and purpose in the message and it was great fun to be a part of this 1st celebration.

After a prolonged introduction of VIP’s including council members from neighboring cities as well as representatives of county, state and federal legislators, 3rd District Jeff Stone gave the Welcome Announcement. There have been times past when I have been less than complimentary of Jeff but he has grown remarkably in the Supervisors role. His talk was candid yet optimistic about the challenges facing  our nation, our state and our region. The very thought that citizens would want to incorporate a city during these trying economic times is a testimony to the American spirit. Jeff provided insights on the recent budget battles in Sacramento and the impact those decisions will have on our municipalities.

Frequent readers are aware that though California as a whole is tragically liberal Democratic, the Inland Empire and especially our region of Southwest California is delightfully conservative Republican – one reason our region does better than many other areas of the state. So while there were some jabs thrown at the recent stimulus bill, our leaders are not one to look a gift horse in the mouth. If there’s pork to be ladled out, we’re lining up with our BBQ sauce to make the most of it. Since most of us work hard and pay our share of taxes, no use letting all that government generosity with our money go only to the undeserving and the ungrateful. So we will continue to build roads and infrastructure while keeping as many people as possible employed. And while the county is facing fiscal challenges, Jeff has introduced a SCRAPE Program designed to cut waste, reduce consumption of resources and increase our environmental sensitivity while maintaining service in this fast growing region.

Mayor Wallace Edgerton‘s address was equally upbeat. In spite of being brand new, in spite of star-up costs and in spite of property tax revenue significantly lower than forecast, the City is anticipating a budget surplus of over $5 million this year. Frequently citing Etionne’s search for the ‘heart and soul of a city’, Mayor Edgerton confessed it was probably a little early to determine the heart and soul of Menifee. But he cited several examples of the search for the heart.

He noted the attendance of officials from neighboring cities as a conduit to the heart of our region. As our region progresses, so too will the prosperity of ALL our cities – not just one or another but all together. He applauded the staff that has been assembled to guide the young city, noting a level of experience well in advance of many established cities, let alone a city so new. These people are the heart of city government. He pointed to the new mall as the business heart of the city,  Mt. San Jacinto college as the cultural and educational heart of the city, and the way the citizens themselves have come together behind the city as the caring heart of the city

After the week we’ve had – between our state legislature’s double dealings and tax increases, and the Obama dog & pony circus, this is the event that should have been televised as a heartland success story and a very upbeat way to end the week.

Unfortunately we’ve still got a couple days left. No doubt somebody’ll figure out some way to screw it up.

But not in Menifee.

(Your Association was a proud sponsor of this event)

Help Flush State Septic Regulations

Time is running out for input on proposed statewide septic regulations. CAR has been represented at every regional meeting that has been held throughout the state but the deadline is approaching for final arguments. As proposed, these regulations would prove onerous to many homeowners in our area, including property owners on The Wine Country, La Cresta, Meadowview and many county areas not served by sewer systems. If you have not yet taken the time to respond to the Red Alert that was issued, please take a moment to respond NOW.

You can read a copy of the proposed ordinance by following the link below as well as the accompanying draft of the EIR. In order for your comments to be considered, you need to comment ONLY on the material in the EIR as that’s what this comment period is about. Comments on the proposed regulations themselves will be disregarded. You can take your talking points from the letter (please contact me for a full pdf copy of the CAR letter) submitted by our Legislative Analyst Elizabeth Gavric, put them on your own letter head and submit them for consideration to the state hearing board by February 9.

Thank you for your help. This could have a major impact on many homeowners in our area

The state of California has released the proposed regulations for onsite wastewater treatment systems (OWTS) and the accompanying Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) evaluating the impacts of the implementation of the regulations on the people and environment of California. C.A.R. is concerned that, if enacted, these regulations will make it too burdensome to own a property with a septic system. There is even a new point-of-sale requirement to transfer technical documents.

These proposed regulations and draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) have been released to the public for review and can be found at: http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/water_issues/programs/septic_tanks/

 

10% Participation Won’t Cut It In 2009!

You’ve all heard my rants before about how the real estate association, YOUR association, is only powerful for one reason – YOU. We are powerful as a grassroots organization and we have a great process in place that allows us to reach out and tap our representatives whenever our voice needs to be heard.

Unfortunately too many of you don’t use these tools. Not only do you not support your Realtor Action Fund through a measly $49 annual investment, you can’t even bring yourselves to exercise your right to free speech – FREE. It’s really pretty sorry and a sad commentary on the state of real estate professionalism today. Really. I’m re-posting this well written message from the NAR website because this guy summed it up perfectly as did the comment posted in response. Too many if us have simply become ‘list & sell’ Realtors who neither know nor care about the proud traditions of our industry or the amount of effort that goes into keeping our industry viable.

The connection between activism and results just doesn’t seem to be getting through to most of you. Maybe when your livelihood is taken away, maybe when every bank and insurance company can sell real estate, maybe when your reduced commissions are mandated by law and you are taxed at the time of every transaction you will wake up. Unfortunately by then it will be too late.

And what’s even worse is that those of you reading this aren’t even the people I’m aiming for. If you read this you probably get it and are one of the ones making a difference – unlike 90% of your counterparts who bring nothing to the party but just show up to eat and drink for free. Please feel free to pass this along to them – print it out and lay it on their desk, anonymouslyif you want. Imagine what we could accomplish if even 50% of our members took a professional interest in our industry and actually participated in the process.

Remember – as Pericles said in 500 BC – ‘Just because you don’t take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.’  Smart guy that Pericles.  

 

Voices of Real Estate

National Association of REALTORS® 2009 Leadership Team, on what NAR is doing for you.

« 330,000 Letters to Congress, Posted by Charles | Main | One Plus One Doesn’t Equal Three, Posted by Gary »

Ten Percent Participation Won’t Cut It in 2009, Posted by Steve

Back in college, the first thing I learned in Econ 101 is that economies are built on confidence. Like many, I am hopeful that those who lead us on the federal level will really come through in the days ahead. They can both stimulate our economy as well as help us all feel better about the economy. Unfortunately, what I have come to realize in the past year is that those who govern us do not always understand the industries they seek to help, the markets they hope to improve, or the businesses they are trying to assist. Our representatives, from the president to the Congress, need to hear from us if they are going to govern effectively and improve our economy and our country.

Yet, in the midst of our biggest economic challenge in the past 80 years less than 10% of our Realtor® members in 2008 have contacted their representatives to inform, discuss, and promote legislation that would stimulate and change the market for the benefit of everyone.

Is this lack of participation the fault of NAR?

Perhaps. Just as NAR emphasizes adherence to the Code of Ethics, maybe we should be equally emphasizing continual involvement in our political process. Clearly, our high school civics classes did not instill the importance of participating in the governmental process, or more of us would be…

None of us can walk away from our responsibility as citizens. I have learned over the past year that even though I am one voice, I can make a difference. I have seen the “light bulb” go on when my Congressman finally got why a $7,500 tax credit-which really isn’t a credit but rather a zero-interest loan-is not a sufficient stimulus for someone to buy a home in today’s market. I can only imagine the light bulbs that might go on if all one million Realtors® communicated with Washington!

Real estate influences nearly 20 percent of our GNP. No industry is better prepared to present to government officials effective programs that will stimulate this sector of our national economy than us.

Come on, Realtors®! Let us help lead the way out of this economic mess and into a future that gives every American hope. Commit to getting involved. We’ll be sending out a new Call For Action next week. Either check the Realtor® Action Center or be ready to respond when it arrives in your email inbox.

It is, after all, a part of your business, not to mention part of being a good citizen. – Steve Brown, 2009 VP & Liaison to Committees

Posted on January 9, 2009 02:31 PM | Permanent Link

Comments

Steve,

Boy, do I feel your frustration! Somehow the connection between activism and results doesn’t seem to be getting through. Moreover, the mentality remains…”list & sell”. As I’ve said in mosty of my Smart Growth presentations, “Most Realtors are very good at listing and selling homes…..but they haven’t a clue as to how that house got there in the first place!” Once that nexus is made, it’s amazing how participation increases. Unfortunately, too many of our members see what they do as a vocation, not a profession.

It’s also amazing how powerful participation can be. In a conversation with Barney at the MYM maybe three or four years ago, he said, “When I hear from 4 or 5 people on an issue it gets my attention. When I hear from a dozen, it’s a movement!” Somehow we need to get a cadre of people out there – RPIC – at the local association level to carry that message first to the DRs, then the membership at large.

Have a happy, healthy & prosperous New Year.

Posted by: David Wluka | January 12, 2009 11:05 AM

The opinions in this commentary are strictly Gene Wunderlich’s personal opinions. While any reasonable and/or rational indivdual should agree wholeheartedly, the opinons reflected herein may not necessarily be those of SRCAR, ActiveRain, The Valley Business Journal or any local or state government or other mental institution. 

 

Q & A: IRS Trying to Expedite Help to Homeowners

Got a homeowner who would like to sell or refi but they have a little issue with the IRS in the form of a tax lien? Well there might be some good news in this latest announcement from the IRS. Not only might they be willing to subordinate their lien for purposes of a refi, but they might even be willing to discharge a lien for purposes of a sale. And if that’s not enough, they’re trying to reduce the current 30+ day processing time for help homeowners.

IRS TO EXPEDITE TAX LIEN RELIEF FOR HOMEOWNERS

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently announced it will expedite its process of providing relief from federal tax liens for distressed homeowners. With over one million current federal tax liens against real and personal property, the IRS announcement should help REALTORS® and their clients resolve federal tax lien issues in their sale and loan transactions.

As background, a homeowner seeking to sell or refinance a property must generally pay off an existing federal tax lien. However, during the current economic downturn, many homeowners don’t have the cash or equity to do so. Hence, for a refinance, the homeowner may request that the IRS makes its tax lien subordinate or secondary to the lien of the refinancing lender. For a sale, the homeowner may, under certain circumstances, request that the IRS discharge its claim. The IRS’s processing time for subordination or discharge requests has been about 30 days. The IRS is currently working to expedite that time frame to help distressed homeowners. For IRS instructions on requesting relief from federal tax liens, go to the IRS Publication 783 for discharges and Publication 784 for subordinations at www.irs.gov.

C.A.R. provides REALTORS® with many legal articles covering a wide range of topics of interest. Some of the new or newly revised legal articles available at http://qa.car.org are as follows:

Legal Q & A: New Rules & Regs for 2009

During the last legislative cycle, a number of bills were passed that have some direct or indirect impact on real estate and the way we conduct our business. There are new disclosure requirements, including displaying your DRE license #; a number of housing relief, refinance and IRS regulations were implemented; changes were made to the way FIRPTA information is disclosed; and of course we can no longer chatter along with our cell phones up to our ears nor can we text while driving. Here’s just a few:

 

2009 New Federal and State Statutes and 2008 Voter-Passed Initiatives
including statutes passed the end of 2008

 

  • SB 1461  DRE License Number on Ads (eff. 7/1/09)  
  • AB 2881  Proximity to Farm or Ranch (eff. 1/1/09) 
  • SB 1595  Owner/Tenant Responsibilities in State Responsibility Area;¦lt;br /> Changes Criteria of High Fire Hazard Severity Zone (eff. 1/1/09) 
  • Proposition 99  Restriction on Eminent Domain in reaction to Kelo v. City of New London (passed 6/3/08) 
  • SB 1137  Notices to Tenants & Owner-Occupants; REO Lender/Trustee’s Sale Purchaser Obligations (eff. 7/8/08 and 9/9/08) 
  • SB 1511  HOAs Request/Notification of NOD  (eff. 1/1/09)
  • H.R. 3221  Housing and Economic Recovery Act/ HOPE for Homeowners Program (eff. 7/30/08)  
  • H.R. 1424 Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (eff. 10/3/08) 
  • SB 1065  Cities/Counties May Use Revenue Bonds to Make/Purchase Home Mortgages (eff. 1/1/09 thru 1/1/12) 
  • AB 2052  Victim of Domestic Violence & Termination of Tenancy (eff. 9/27/08 thru 1/1/12) 
  • AB 2949  Landlords/REO Lenders and Abandoned Animals  (eff. 1/1/09)
  • SB 28  No Text Messaging When Driving (eff. 1/1/09)  
  • H.R. 3221  “FIRPTA Fix” (eff. 7/30/08) 
  • SB 1055  Conforms California income tax law with federal law as to mortgage debt forgiveness (eff. 9/25/08)

 

For a complete rundown of ALL the new rules and regs please visit: http://www.car.org/legal/2009-new-laws/

 

Copyright© 2008 CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.). Permission is granted to C.A.R. members only to reprint and use this material for non-commercial purposes provided credit is given to the C.A.R. Legal Department. Other reproduction or use is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of the C.A.R. Legal Department. All rights reserved.

Legal Q & A: Abandoned Personal Property

As our market continues to be dominated by REO properties, and will likely be for some time to come, frequent questions arise as to the appropriate way to dispose of Personal Property found on an abandoned property either by a landlord or by an REO agent . This issue is the subject of a legal Q & A on the CAR.org website along with many other legal issues.

 

Abandoned Personal Property After Termination of a Tenancy

 


Table of Contents

 

 I.

Introduction

 II.

Residential Tenancies 

 

    

A.  Landlord Request’s that Tenant Retrieve Property (Questions 1 – 18) 

 

     

B.  Tenant’s Request for Return of Property (Questions 19 – 23)

 

     

C.  Lost Property (Questions 24 – 25)

 

 III.

Commercial Tenancies (Questions 26 – 37)

 

 IV.

Abandoned Vehicles (Questions 38 – 41)

 

 V.

Additional Information (Question 42) 

 

I.  Introduction

After the termination of a tenancy, a landlord may find items of personal property left on the premises by either a former tenant or other persons. This legal article discusses California law regarding the disposition of abandoned property after the end of a tenancy.

II.  Residential Tenancies

The rules that apply for personal property left behind in a residential tenancy do not apply to manufactured homes or mobilehomes (Cal. Civ. Code § 1981).

For a complete summary of Q & A’s on this topic – please visit:

http://www.car.org/legal/2008articles/abandoned-personal-property/

 

Copyright© 2008 CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.). Permission is granted to C.A.R. members only to reprint and use this material for non-commercial purposes provided credit is given to the C.A.R. Legal Department. Other reproduction or use is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of the C.A.R. Legal Department. All rights reserved.

Fannie Mae Extends Foreclosure Sale & Eviction Suspension At Least Through Month-End

Fannie Mae Extends Foreclosure Sale and Eviction Suspension

 

WASHINGTON, DC — Fannie Mae (FNM/NYSE) today announced that it would extend the suspension of foreclosure sales and evictions from single-family properties through January 31, 2009.

This action will enable the company to work with mortgage servicers to further implement the Streamlined Modification Program (SMP) announced on November 11, 2008 and initiated on December 15, 2008. The extension will also provide additional time for the company to operationalize its new National REO Rental Policy, which will allow renters in company-owned foreclosed properties to stay in their homes. Details of the new policy are expected to be announced shortly.

The temporary suspension of foreclosures will allow affected borrowers facing foreclosure to retain their homes while Fannie Mae works with mortgage servicers to implement the SMP. Foreclosure attorneys and loan servicers have been instructed to use the additional time to reach out to borrowers and continue to pursue workout options. The initiative applies to loans owned or securitized by Fannie Mae.

The SMP is aimed at the borrower who has missed three payments or more, owns and occupies the primary residence, and has not filed for bankruptcy. The program creates a fast-track method for getting troubled borrowers into an affordable monthly payment through a mix of reducing the mortgage interest rate, extending the life of the loan or even deferring payments on part of the principal. Servicers have flexibility in the approach, but the objective is to create a more affordable payment for borrowers at risk of foreclosure.

Fannie Mae’s loan servicers are prepared to work with borrowers during this suspension period, even if previous workout efforts have been unsuccessful. As part of the company’s “Second Look” initiative, Fannie Mae personnel have been reviewing seriously delinquent loans to determine if the borrower has been contacted and all workout options have been exhausted.

The streamlined modification program and temporary suspension of foreclosures are two of a series of steps Fannie Mae has taken to expand its foreclosure prevention efforts, which are designed to give loan servicers and foreclosure attorneys tools to find the best solution for a borrower in financial trouble. Fannie Mae and its many partners in the housing industry urge borrowers in financial difficulty to reach out to their loan servicers, regardless of whether they are facing imminent foreclosure. Solutions may be available that could make an existing mortgage more affordable.

Fannie Mae Announces National REO Rental Policy

fanniemaelogo1

Renters in Fannie Mae-Owned Foreclosed Properties
Eligible to Stay in Their Homes

WASHINGTON, DC — Fannie Mae (FNM/NYSE) today announced the establishment of a new National Real Estate Owned (REO) Rental Policy that will allow qualified renters in Fannie Mae-owned foreclosed properties to stay in their homes. The company currently has an eviction suspension in place through the end of January which will allow for the new policy to be fully operationalized prior to the suspension concluding.

“Renters in foreclosed properties have often been a casualty of the foreclosure crisis the country is facing,” said Michael Williams, chief operating officer of Fannie Mae. “This policy will allow qualified renters to remain in Fannie Mae-owned properties should they choose to do so, mitigate the disruption of personal lives that foreclosures can cause, and help bring a measure of stability to communities impacted by high foreclosure rates.”

The new policy applies to renters occupying foreclosed properties at the time Fannie Mae acquires the property. Renters occupying any type of single-family property will be eligible including residents of two- to four-unit properties, condos, co-ops, single-family detached homes and manufactured housing. Eligible renters will be offered a new month-to-month lease with Fannie Mae or financial assistance for their transition to new housing should they choose to vacate the property. The properties must meet state laws and local code requirements for a rental property.

While the company markets the properties for sale, Fannie Mae will manage the properties through a real estate broker or a property management company. The company will not require security deposits to be posted in connection with this program.

Renters in the foreclosed properties will be asked to pay market rate rent under the new leases. Rates may be determined by reviewing local comparable rents, conducting a neighborhood survey, or through other relevant indicators. Rates will also be subject to any legal rent control restrictions. The company will review each instance where the market rate may require a tenant to pay additional rent and will work to reach an equitable resolution.

On behalf of the company, property managers are contacting renters in Fannie Mae-owned foreclosed properties to notify them of their options.

For more information, please review the policy FAQs at fanniemae.com.

Menifee Five Year Housing Summary: # Sales / Median $

Five year summary of Menifee home sales, median price and averag price/SqFt.

A copy of this report was recently provided to our local officials for the City of Menifee. We hope this information may prove helpful in determining city budget forecasts for the coming year as they evaluate the impact the downturn in our housing market has had on their revenue stream.

Of course property tax revenue is just one source of income for the city but a major one. As the state continues to wrestle with a budget that may or may not include some trade-off between property taxes and vehicle license fees, a city like Menifee, California‘s newest city, needs to know where current property values are.

As you look at the attached charts, you will notice that the number of sales has decreased steadily through 2007 even while median values continued to increase through 2006. Total home sales value peaked in 2005 at more than $278 million dollars with 763 homes sold, a number that fell to just $134 million in 2007 with just 498 homes changing hands.

Spurred by declining values, a surplus of inventory to choose from and attractive interest rates, sales rebounded in 2008 to post a higher sales volume than ANY year during the previous five years. Even considering the impact of 35% decrease in median price since the 2006 peak, the city will still end this year with total sales revenue very near to, if not exceeding, it’s 2005 volume of $278 million. That this volume of sales continue is vitally important to this new city as is addresses the impact of Prop. 8 on future property tax revenues.

By tracking these numbers an investor or prospective homebuyer can determine where they think the market is. As I pointed our last August, one month of sales increase doesn’t mark a trend. But as sales volumes continue to grow that will lead to the continued absorption of our excess inventory, the return to a more stable market and the end of the rampant price declines – 30% in just the past year. I am expecting to start seeing that stability develop by late 2nd to early 3rd quarter this year in our local market, possibly sooner depending on mortgage interest rates and federal stimulus incentives.

Please feel free to add your own comments and outlook to this post.


Remember…

If you’re not at the table, you’ll probably be on the menu

‘ Five Year Housing Chart for Menifee California’

The opinions ikn this commentary are strictly Gene Wunderlich’s personal opinions and while any reasonable and/or rational person should agree, these views may not reflect those of SRCAR, ActiveRain or any local or state government or other mental institution..