Musings of a Career Consultant

SoCal Texan in Bmore Leading Rock Stars

We Believe… August 16, 2012

At the core of Keller Williams Realty is a conviction that who you are in business with matters. We believe that the company we keep can contribute to our lives in untold ways.

Today I found out we were awarded the 2012 J.D. Power and Associates‘ Awards in Home Seller and Home Buyer Ratings. Our rankings are pretty amazing and worth bragging about.

I love who I’m in Business with, do you?!


Wait. Every Californian needs a Carbon Monoxide Detector? June 27, 2011

That’s right. Every home. This is not a dreaded POS (point of sale) law. (Ask me another time why I dislike POS so greatly.) This is for any and every CA house (yep, that means rentals, too). A little Q&A:

When does it need to be in? July 1st on single family homes up to 4 units and January 1, 2013 for everyone else.

How many need to be in? And where? This is the best question. Best answer? Call your city. Why? Because if city law is more stringent than state law then the city law overrides the state law. Most early guesses from months ago said you’d only need one. Now, we’re thinking you should treat them like smoke detectors (one per bedroom). Some interpretations say you can have a combined one in each room and some say outside of each room. Why do I “think” rather than “know”? Because the lovely law isn’t specific enough. So, best advice is to call your city and ask them. If they don’t know, treat them like smoke detectors or get the combined one and install that where all your smoke detectors once were.

Seriously, who’s going to know? Good question. I don’t know but if they find you don’t have one, you’ll be given a written 30-day notice to comply and then will be fined up to $200 per infraction.

Can I, as a Buyer, back out if they don’t have them? Not quite. But you can sue for $100 (yep, that’s all) and court costs. Easier choice? You should probably just shell out for them and call it a day. Want to be real sneaky and get them to pay for it? I might have an idea but it’s only given on a need-to-know basis.

Will my Landlord have to install these? What if they stop working? They have to put them in but guess who has to keep them up? Yep, you. If you don’t notify your Landlord that they go out, you can’t come after them for not working. Makes you want to put “Check detectors” as a monthly reminder, huh?

This is not sufficient. I have more questions. Where do I get it? Just let me know. This is not all the information I have about this. And, I’d be happy to help you navigate with your specific city.

Should you have any questions about anything you’ve read here or if you’re interested in any city in Southern California (particularly the San Gabriel Valley or Inland Empire), please feel free to call your favorite REALTOR Smile

And, I can always send you a FREE Market Analysis on your home, just ask.


How’s the Market? April 27, 2011

In Glendora, La Verne, San Dimas and Covina?

We have 45 new homes on the market which scared 47 to reduce their price. 52 went into Escrow with 39 Closing Escrow. What do these numbers mean? That we’re basically servicing the listings we have with the Buyers on the market. But basically we’re not Closing as many as we could to level it out.

If you’re a Buyer, get more aggressive with your Offers. Don’t know how to do that? Give me a call.

If you’re a Seller, get more aggressive with your Marketing (or be one of the 47 that reduced their price). Not sure what you could do? Let’s chat.

Should you have any questions about anything you’ve read here, would like more details about a certain area of these cities or if you’re interested in another city in the San Gabriel Valley or Inland Empire, please feel free to call your favorite REALTOR :)

And, I can always send you a FREE Market Analysis on your home, just ask.


Oh, what a year it’ll be… February 7, 2011

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It’s hard to believe we’re already a week into the 2nd month of this year! I feel older and older every time I say this but it feels like only yesterday… that we were scared of Y2K, that my niece was born, that my best friend got engaged! And, yet, it’s been 11 years since Y2K was supposed to eat us alive, my sweet little niece will be 4 in May and my best friend is getting married in June (and my sister’s right behind her in September)! My favorite thing about this year is all of the positive energy I’m getting everywhere I go. Upbeat REALTORS, happy Buyers, gracious Sellers, it’s awesome!


CAR is trying to help where it can. We’ve got some great legislation (SB 931) that just came through that totally protects you from a deficiency judgment on your 1st… your 2nd is a different story. It may or may not be protected. As always, make sure you, your REALTOR and your tax (wo)man are working together to make sure you’re covered!


And, if you’re a REALTOR, and not disclosing EVERYTHING on the HUD, you are opening yourself up to trouble. Just remember this, Not on HUD = FELONY! You read that right! If you do anything that isn’t on the HUD (i.e. the Bank is not aware of), it is a Felony! It’s totally not worth it! Just ask! Most Short Selling Banks are getting really awesome! Just ask and you may receive! Smile


Lead Based Paint is always fun and interesting… fun fact, only 24% of homes built 1940-78 have Lead Based Paint but a whopping 88% of the homes built prior to then do! Make sure that if you’re doing anything paint related on a home built prior to 1978 that you’re enlisting EPA certified help! That includes you, Landlords! If you’re not certified and your Tenants find out, you could be in a heap of trouble! Who’s exempt? Studios and Senior Housing… Unique pair to be excluded, eh?


There’s a new paragraph in the Listing Agreement regarding Internet Display of a Seller’s home. They can opt out of having it on the internet but that means that no Buyer looking anywhere (not even your website, Listing Agent!) can see it. In a day and age, when most Buyers start their search online, isn’t this more of a hindrance than anything? Also, you can opt out of people being able to comment or talk about your home online. I always give my Sellers that option (See CAR form SEL).


With the facelift on certain CAR forms, of course our all-inclusive CAR form SBSA had to be updated. You’ll know if you’ve signed this one… it’s a whopping 10 pages long! My Buyers and Sellers are always most wary of this one but it really is just an advisory… no need to be scared, guys! My favorite part? They are no longer just advising you about potential golf balls but all golfing related noise… how rowdy are you golfers getting?!


A form did go away! Yay! They had CAR form WHSD incorporated with the TDS! Also, note on the TDS that it now asks about Carbon Monoxide detectors. The law regarding them (to be enforced starting July 1st) is still a little vague but CAR’s hoping that when the Board of Directors pop up to Sacramento in May that we’ll have a more clear idea of what they’re requiring. Right now, we’re just suggesting 1 per home but it might be different once we get them to clear it up a bit.


What else is a Felony you may ask? Not using CAR form NODPA when you’re supposed to. If you don’t know when to use it, you need to learn!


If you commit a “Fraudulent Felony” as a Loan Broker, you will be banned for life from the CA DRE. In the immortal words of Squints from The Sandlot “For-E-Ver”! Gosh darned, I love that movie!


And, last but not least, in order for Adverse Possession to work, you have to pay the taxes on the property for 5 five years, then you can claim the property as your own.


There will be a lot coming up over the next few months, so sit tight and enjoy our absolutely, amazingly, gorgeous SoCal weather… I think I’m in love! Bring on more of it!


April 30th & May 1st April 30, 2010

These are very big days any home Buyer. April 30th marks the last day a Buyer can be in a fully executed Contract and qualify for the Federal Tax Credit. And, May 1st marks the beginning of the California Tax Credit. Some, but not many, will actually get both credits for up to $18,000 in credits! This is huge and has brought an onslaught of Buyers to the table. Those that were on the fence, jumped off. But what does the end of these credits mean?

Well, interest rates and home prices will remain low. In fact, some Buyers might walk away for a while and save up some more (money) before writing (offers) again so we might see a dip in the market over the summer (which is highly unusual). We won’t really know what these credits coming and going will mean until they’ve already come and gone.

My advice, as always, is to buy only when you’re willing and able. If you try to push yourself into homeownership, you could find yourself in over your head. It’s a huge responsibility and if you’re not mentally and financially prepared, it can quickly be more than you’re prepared to handle. Best rule of thumb for my renters is to figure out what your mortgage would be and start saving the difference between your rent and the mortgage amount. Not only will this prepare you for the mortgage payment each month but you’ll begin building your down payment amount!


FHA Changes Coming Soon February 1, 2010

Per CAR Policy changes include:

  • Raising the up-front mortgage insurance premium: The premium will rise to 2.25% from its current 1.75%.  HUD is expected to release a Mortgagee Letter making the premium increase effective in the spring.
  • Raising the minimum credit score requirements: New borrowers will be required to have a minimum FICO score of 580 to qualify for the FHA’s 3.5% down payment program.  New borrowers with less than a 580 FICO score will be required to put down at least 10%.  FHA expects this to take effect in early summer after it goes through the normal regulatory process.
  • Reduce allowable seller concessions:  The agency is lowering the maximum permissible level to 3% from its current 6% limit.  FHA expects this to take effect in early summer after it goes through the normal regulatory process.

Click here for more info.

Also, my investors can celebrate because the 90-day flipping rule has been lifted temporarily. That’s exciting for the FHA Buyers, too!

I’ll update ya’ll about YPN information and laws when I get back from the CAR Business Meetings!