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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Southwest California Legislative Council Announces Position on Bills

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The Southwest California Legislative Council, with whom SRCAR is an advocacy partner, today adopted the following positions on current/pending legislation:

Support – ACA 30 (Jeffries) To abolish the office of Lieutenant Governor.
Self explanatory – this largely ceremonial position requires salary & staff expenses and the duties could be consolidated with the Secretary of State.

Support – AB 1671 (Jeffries) To prevent the Governor from appointing vacancies on the County Board of Supervisors.
A recent example in Riverside County left us without the ability to pass certain bills at the county level while Sacramento played politics with us. Our local positions should not be state appointed.

Support – AB 1672 (Jeffries) To make the California Air Resources Board an elected rather than appointed body.
The CARB is one of the most egregious examples of the lack of accountability on state boards & commissions with the Chair stating publicly that if she had to worry about being elected she would worry about all the jobs cost by their recommendation – but she’s not so she doesn’t.

Oppose – AB 1594 (Huber) To prohibit construction of the peripheral canal.
An attempt to circumvent the wording and intent of the state water coalition recommendation and the Nov, ballot initiative.

Oppose – AB 518 (Lowenthal) Provides incentives for cities and counties to reduce or eliminate free or subsidized parking.
Would prove particularly costly to outlying areas like Southwest County where 60% of our residents commute and are forced to park either at work or when they go shopping.  Unintended consequence is a reduction in people going to the malls reducing revenue to shopowners and downstream job market.


Oppose – SB 657 (Steinberg) Require retail sellers and manufacturers to implement policies to eradicate slavery and human trafficking from their supply chain.
Legislation already exists prohibiting slavery and human trafficking. To expect your local grocery store or hardware store to be able to track it’s products back to their origin and potentially take action against some foreign source is ludicrous. Besides, doesn’t Darrell Steinberg have anything better to worry about – like our state budget?


Oppose – SB 810 (Leno) Single payer health care system
We are in agreement that the state should be the appropriate body to determine this issue – rather than the federal government, but this bill is not the answer and would only increase the debt load of the state.

Founded in 2004, the Southwest California Legislative Council is a regional advocacy coalition of the Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce, Murrieta Chamber of Commerce, Lake Elsinore Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Wildomar Chamber of Commerce. Its mission is to provide a basis for the four chambers of commerce to act on local, state and federal legislative issues to secure a favorable and profitable business climate for our region.

These Women Mean Business

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In case you’ve been in a post-holiday siesta or simply water-logged, you’re already aware that four of our six cities in Southwest California have women Mayors this year, joining six other cities throughout the Inland Empire. Media outlets have had a field day dubbing our area ‘Estrogen Alley’ and talking about ‘Women Taking Charge’. But the fact is that in most cases our Mayors are not elected to that post, they’re simply chosen by their fellow council members, typically in a set rotation schedule. As Lake Elsinore Mayor Melissa Melendez characterized the situation, “… it’s not some staged take-over, it’s just a unique set of circumstances. It’s more indicative of the fact that women in general are getting more involved in the political process, being elected to city councils in
greater numbers and being elevated to this position with more frequency than we’ve seen in the past.”

Indeed while some, including Murrieta Mayor Kelly Bennett and Wildomar’s Bridgette Moore are serving their first term on the council, Temecula had Mayor Pat Birdsall as far back as 1992 (& 1997) and Mary Ann Edwards in 2009. Canyon Lake’s Nancy Horton follows Mary Craton into the seat and Corona Mayor Karen Spiegel served that city previously in 2006.

The Valley Business Journal recently spoke with some of these ladies about the job and what they plan to bring to the business community and economic development during their tenure. The overwhelming response was that Southwest California cities are ‘Open For Business’.

mooreMayor of one of Southwest California’s newest cities, Wildomar, Bridgette Moore said their new City Manager Frank Oviedo has been tasked with economic development and growth as a priority. According to Moore, Wildomar has more undeveloped land that many of their neighboring cities along with a real need for business growth in the area. “We recently surveyed our citizens and found that bringing restaurants to the city was first on a lot of lists. We are also encouraging other retail partners, technology firms and medical manufacturers to locate here not just for the tax revenue but to serve the needs of our residents.” …and a hotel.
Moore’s Arizona family had to stay in another city when they came over to attend her inaugural meeting. “Yes, a hotel would be very welcomed here.”

“We’ve also reduced some of our developer fees in line with WRCOG recommendation and we’re streamlining our application and permitting process so there’s no surprises and no delays. You’ll find a real ‘make it happen’ attitude in Wildomar. If it’s a good business, it’s good for Wildomar.”

melendezLake Elsinore Mayor Melissa Melendez emphasizes the unique attraction of the lake to their community. They currently have a very aggressive specific plan to develop the area around Diamond Stadium and another marina and resort plan for further up the lake. “Unfortunately those plans are on hold right now due to the economy but they’re still solidly in place.”

“We need jobs for our residents right now – that’s our priority. We love the CostCo’s and Target’s, our auto dealers have been terrific but we need an Abbott, somebody with hundreds of jobs to keep our people off the freeways to Orange County every day.” To accomplish that, the city has worked with a corporate recruiter to introduce Lake Elsinore to prospective businesses. The Mayor is also instituting monthly ‘Coffee with the Mayor’ meetings. One series will be in conjunction with the Chamber of Commerce focusing on existing businesses – what they need to succeed and grow and how the city can help. Another series will join city staff and planners with developers and prospective business targets to talk about planning issue, fee structures and what the city can do to make Lake Elsinore a more attractive destination.

“I know we compete, to a degree, with the established master plan communities like Temecula, Murrieta and Corona,” says Melendez, “but we can all work together. We share more than boundaries, we share goals and we share our successes throughout the region. Lake Elsinore is a very different city than it was just 10 or 15 years ago. I would encourage businesses to take a second look at us through new eyes.”

bennettIn nearly 20 years as a city, Kelly Bennett is the first women to be elected to the Murrieta city council, thus its first Mayor as well, although she hesitates to put much significance to that. “It simply allows me the opportunity to represent my city in what for me, is extraordinarily important – the attraction and support of viable businesses in the city.”

“I have the opportunity to work very closely with several great groups that help us get the word out. City Staff, including Economic Development Director, Bruce Coleman, the Chamber of Commerce, the EDC and WRCOG. We also attend conferences like the ICSC (International Council of Shopping Centers) and the World Trade Center, San Diego, a group that positions San Diego and regional businesses for international recognition and global market success.’ Bennett noted that Murrieta is focused on three objectives: manufacturing, including nourishing ‘green’ companies; expanding education opportunities, including establishing a local 4 year under-graduate curriculum; and health care. The new physician-owned-Loma Linda healthcare campus, under construction in North Murrieta, is an endangered species under the current federal healthcare proposal. Yet we desperately need medical services and the professional and ancillary jobs it will create. The City is also aggressive in creating outreach programs for businesses. Their Broker Work Group regularly attracts 100 or more local commercial and residential Brokers, developers and planners to its meetings. The City recently introduced the Business Roundtable, and Visionary Workshops to solicit comments on the new general plan review.

“One thing I’m particularly excited about is the potential under AB 811, the Energy Efficiency for Cities and Counties Act. We are developing a program to attract green tech  manufacturers providing energy efficient/cost effective products for our homeowners. You’ll be hearing a lot more about that this year.”

While the Mayors readily acknowledge they don’t have any ‘special powers’, they do get to conduct council meetings, sign mountains of paperwork, spend a lot more time on the job, and generally be the public face of city government at numerous events throughout the region and state. One Mayor I spoke to was picking up children from school while another was grabbing late evening dinner at a local (healthful) drive-thru. As with any Mayor, male or female, there’s a delicate balance.

Our Mayors are also united in hoping the state recovers soon, without ‘borrowing’ any more City cash. They are all facing constrained budgets while maintaining services. They are similarly committed to bringing jobs to the region, to retain and grow our existing business base and to keep more of our citizens off the freeway. And they all have a huge ‘Open House’ sign in front of their cities.

Southwest California appears to be off to a good beginning as we enter this second decade of a new century, and in capable hands.

How Much Is The New State Budget Taking From YOUR City?

Nice article in the on-line Sacramento Bee. Plug in your county and city and/or agency and see how much the recently passed state budget will be costing them. Of course it’s not a tax – they are just ‘borrowing’ an extra $15.00 per resident. I’m looking forward to the day they pay that back. They’ve been borrowing from cities and other agencies for years. Anybody who runs their business in a style that actually makes money is likely to see that money stolen – um, borrowed by the state.

On the plus side they remind us that –  Some of these lost funds will be offset by A) federal stimulus money and B) the ability of local governments to borrow lost property tax revenue against the state’s promised repayment. So the state taketh and forceth us to rely on yet more Obama bail-outs for subsistence. Like the federal gov’t is flush with cash. Oh, I forgot, they own the mints – they can just make more and it’s, like, FREE that way, isn’t it?

Database: See how much your local government will lose under state budget

Government entity County Type of government Estimated amount state will borrow or take this fiscal yearDescending Amount borrowed per resident
Wildomar Riverside City Government $0 $0
Murrieta Riverside City Government $1,483,325 $15
Murrieta Redevelopment Agency Riverside Redevelopment Agency $2,548,524
Lake Elsinore Riverside City Government $684,923 $14
Lake Elsinore Redevelopment Agency Riverside Redevelopment Agency $6,970,262
Temecula Riverside City Government $1,543,055 $15
Menifee Riverside City Government $14,236 $0

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

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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.

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.

Take Action for California Infrastructure

You may be aware that the Southwest Riverside County Association of Realtors was one of the founding sponsors of a group called the Southwest California Legislative Council. This group is a coalition of local Chambers of Commerce and our purpose it to advocate on behalf of business interests in Southwest California.

Like SRCAR, CAR & NAR advocate on behalf of Realtors and private property rights, SCLC advocates on behalf of LOCAL business owners – And every Realtor is a business owner. As independent contractors, we are all CEO’s of our own business.

One of the features SCLC incorporated into our model early on was the ‘Action Alert’. Modeled after the CAR & NAR Red Alerts, this tool helps us reach out and touch our legislators on issues that are of importance to us and lets them know their constituency back home is watching them. I’ll let you know more about that process and the successes we’ve had in a future post but for today I encourage you all to click the link at the bottom of this page to send a letter to Senator Barbara Boxer to support investment in our state’s infrastructure.

While many of you may not be supportive of the larded up version of the ‘stimulus plan’ currently working it’s way through the Senate (I know I’m not), some form of that bill is going to pass. We need to do whatever we can to see that what emerges is actually short-term economic stimulus and not just more of the same-old – same-old pork.

Thank you for your support.

February 3, 2009
TAKE ACTION: Help Secure Needed Transportation Funding For Southwest California


The time has never been greater for putting California back on the road towards economic prosperity by investing in our state’s transportation infrastructure. Thousands are out of work and the unemployment rate continues to rise, especially in Southwest California. Investing in the state’s transportation infrastructure will put people back to work and update our outdated roadways and highways.

California faces one of the largest budget deficits in history coupled with a rapidly increasing unemployment rate. We have an opportunity to create jobs right here in our community.

We need your help in sending a letter to United States Senator Barbara Boxer urging her to support increasing the investment of federal transportation infrastructure funding from $27 billion to $50 billion.

The current versions of the federal proposals do not invest enough in transportation infrastructure to have a meaningful impact on our state and local economy.

Submit your letter of support NOW! Log on to: www.SouthwestCA.biz

Founded in 2004, the Southwest California Legislative Council is the regional business advocacy coalition of the

Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce, Murrieta Chamber of Commerce, and Lake Elsinore Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Unsubscribe? Reply to this email.



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.