Musings of a Career Consultant

SoCal Texan in Bmore Leading Rock Stars

What are you taking with you? March 13, 2011

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I’m very blessed to have amazing people around me and with all the hard work I put into my clients finding the perfect home, my investors finding a great deal, my local, state and national associations getting my undivided attention to detail on certain projects; I don’t find the time I’d like for the ones I love most.

Most know that all of my family is in Texas. That makes time with them precious. It also makes the friends and colleagues here in California, that much more imperative to me. I value having good people around me and I can easily drown myself in work and forget to connect with the people I care most about, mostly because it’s easy for me to get to the office early and stay late when I don’t have someone at home complaining about how much time I invest in my Real Estate world.

On this Sunday afternoon, I hope that you’re surrounded by love. I’m surrounded with work but I just spent the last 6 days with amazing friends, colleagues and mentors. I was very blessed to go to the RE/MAX Convention where over 4,500 people from over 50 Countries gathered to share ideas and network. It was great to meet new people and reconnect with my RE/MAX Masters family. Then I spent some time with some of my CVAR & TIGAR family. I really do work with some of the best people in the industry!

If you don’t feel blessed on this gorgeous afternoon, go find something to make you smile… a child’s laughter, your mother’s cooking, a wise word, a warm breeze. Make sure that you remember that you can only take memories with you… everything else is getting left here. What are you leaving behind (generosity, kindness, knowledge) and what are you taking with you?

And, a BIG Congratulations to my friend, fellow CAR Director and YPN, Sofia Aquayo! She just got engaged and is happier than I’ve ever seen her! Best of luck to you and George!

 

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!

 

Back from the Capitol June 16, 2010

The 5th Annual HAF Golf Tournament was Tuesday and even though I missed it, I’m still a Housing Affordability Fund contributor. I heard that everyone had a good time and we raised a good amount of money!

Legislative Day was on Wednesday and at Region 16’s Legislative Luncheon we got a surprise visit from the Governor himself! Very exciting to see that entourage pull up! Then at the Capital Reception everyone had the opportunity to network with our Assemblymembers and Senators as well as REALTORS involved in RAF (with at least $197 contribution). What a great night!

Also, the YPN had a mixer at the Mix (seriously, not joking) and it was such a fun event. We had speakers from RAF and Tim Smith from Inman News. It was so nice to relax and mingle after a long day!

We (the Board of Directors) voted to approve the merging  of calREDD® with the Multi-Regional Multiple Listing Service Inc. (MRMLS). Since I’m already a MRMLS user, I love the idea, and since it was voted and approved, the majority of our Directors agree!

Also, we adopted a special purpose political assessment of $49 per member for 2011. This special assessment is for the California Real Estate Political Action Committee or, if the C.A.R. member chooses, to direct the funds to the C.A.R. general fund for non-candidate political purposes. Since I’m a $197 RAF contributor, this isn’t a huge change but for those REALTORS that haven’t been contributing, they now will. It’s exciting because this money will help us lobby for consumer rights (which is especially nice when we’re up against some strong opposition).

Also, we elected our 2011 President-Elect, LeFrancis Arnold. He’s ready to start work next year but I’m excited to see what he’ll do as President in 2012!

As always, feel free to contact me if you have any questions about anything.

 

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!

 

3 Closings in One Week! January 29, 2010

I’ve been very blessed with getting 2 Buyers into their 1st homes and helping an investor on a flip property! I love when all the work comes together!

I’m busy wrapping up lots of work before I head to Indian Wells next week. And, man, is there a ton!

They’ve started highlighting some of the subjects we’ll be talking about and they’re all very worth conversations. First off, California is trying to make their own tax credit so when the Federal Government’s Tax Credit Expires, we’d want one in place that’s similar.

Also, we’ll be looking at getting a statewide standard for property maintenance. Some cities are really good about taking care of their code violations and some aren’t. We’d like to see something that isn’t so spotty.

We’re also going to be voting on something for the HOAs. Right now when and HOA wants to change the rules, it just has to be a majority vote.  We would like to see a 2/3 vote. This protects the HOA that someone purchases in from major changes without major agreement.

We’re also expecting some new news from Fannie and Freddie regarding the process and what we can expect for the future.

And, one that’s close to my heart, the editing of the Purchase Contract. With as many Short Sales and REOs that our Buyers are writing offers on, we need to make sure that we’re protecting them in every way we can. Also, one of the changes would address the issue of technology that is hanging on the wall. Per the Contract now, anything attached to the home is included in the sale unless expressly written otherwise. How many times do you think that someone doesn’t even think about writing that their TV is coming with them? All the time!

I’ll update ya’ll when I get back from the CAR Meetings in Indian Wells with lots of information!

And, stay tuned for YPN events that are coming up… they’re going to be great!