Category Archives: Homeowners

Deciding NOW is the time to leave California? Southern States are VERY affordable!

Special guest on tomorrow’s show will be Russel Lee. Russ lost his home in Fountaingrove during the firestorms of October. He decided to make the move back to Tennessee. We’ll be discussing what you can expect when you visit Tennessee and home prices. WARNING! Tennessee home prices can cause major anxiety among California homeowners!

For instance.

Russel  Lee

Will MORE Real Estate Inventory equate to MORE Sales? History does not lie!

We seem to be suffering under the MORE INVENTORY WILL EQUAL MORE SALES notion. Granted, more inventory would allow more choice, lower our appreciation rate as we’d have more to choose from with fewer overbidding, but note the sales are NOT that dramatically different when there is more inventory. Looking back 10 years you can see in the light green the huge amount of inventory vs. today’s anemic numbers. However, the sales do not look all that much different.

 

Looking back 10 years inventory and sales-They don't go hand in hand!
Inventory VS Sales–More Inventory = More Sales? Note the amount of Sales do not increase dramatically with MORE inventory.

1 in 4 can afford Median Priced home in Sonoma County, California! Bring CASH!

3rd quarter “affordability” numbers for Sonoma County and the NorthBay. We are now at 25% or 1 in 4 folks can afford to buy the median home priced at $630,000. You payment will be $3,180 per month with total income needed of $127,100. And this was BEFORE the “Fire Storms”. Now throw in scarcity and things are just very, very tight! Housing Crisis

Nov 12th Guest: Richard “Dick” Dowd–Long time Engineer and Development Expert

Northern California Engineering Contractors Association Hall of Fame – Inducted 2014

North Coast Builders Exchange Hall of Fame – Inducted 2002

 City of Santa Rosa Board of Public Utilities, Santa Rosa, CA  1994 to Present

Board Member (Chairman – 1996 to 2013)

Sonoma Clean Power Authority  2013 to Present

“Our region has lost up to 7,000 living units, and we had a housing shortage before the fire.  Also, we already had a homeless issue because of the high cost of housing in the region, and we will need temporary housing for them as well as the workforce from outside the area that will most certainly be needed to supplement the locally available construction workforce. In addition, we will need to provide housing (temporary and/or semi-permanent) for those displaced from their homes while they are rebuilding.

We also all need to recognize that this devastating fire(s) is having a damaging impact on the economy of our region.  Jobs have been lost, businesses have shut down, etc., and property taxes will take a severe hit which will damage the ability of the county and our cities to function in a normal fashion.  I have heard that there will be a 20% reduction in the GDP of our county in the short to intermediate term.

I am the Chairman of a group, currently entitled “Rebuild Sonoma Task Force”, which might change soon so that we can assist rebuilding in the other 3 counties also.  The group is made up of builders, contractors, architects, engineers, business groups, financial institutions, and insurance brokers.

All of these groups have experience, and thus valuable input, to getting our region “back up and running” as efficiently and economically as possible.

This is not going to be an easy task by any stretch of imagination, but our group wants to encourage everyone to be patient and do this recovery correctly, more so than just quickly.”

 

 

Longtime community mover and shaker Dick Dowd joins me this Sunday. Engineering expertise and development experience.

Picking the Perfect Retirement Community:  Prioritize Your Interests and Push to Find the Right Fit

 

 

Seniors have many factors to consider when it comes to downsizing and choosing a retirement community. They may need to think about their budget, medical needs, and proximity to relatives, but the lifestyle available in a community is essential to consider, too. Every community has its own personality, and it is vital to find one that truly feels like home. Here are a few key considerations to keep in mind.

Search for a community that feels like a comfortable fit

Look beyond the marketing brochures and first impressions when evaluating retirement communities — you must dig deeper to establish what the right fit for your needs is. For example, are you looking to continue specific hobbies you enjoy or broaden your social circle? Are you looking to maintain a lot of control as a resident or do you want more structure and less to be responsible for?

Make It Better notes that many retirement communities feel like a combination of a cruise ship and a college campus, providing numerous opportunities to stay socially engaged with others. A calendar full of daily activities to try out is common, but this can be a turnoff if you are looking for a peaceful, quiet new home or are less apt to take advantage of social activities.

Bankrate notes the increasing popularity of affinity retirement communities, or those that create niche communities based on a common hobby or characteristic. They may revolve around a specific professional background, serving the LGBT community, or interests like RV vacationing, nature, or specific colleges. When available, choosing an affinity community can help a senior feel at home quickly since they are easily able to connect to others with similar interests.

Consider factors like religion, median age, and services provided

Additional characteristics to consider include whether a place focuses on a specific religion. Many assisted living or nursing home facilities are religion-based, but each will vary in how dominant that faith is in the day-to-day activities. In addition, Huffington Post suggests that you check into the median age of the residents and try to get a sense of whether it is mostly singles or couples living in the community so you can determine whether you’ll feel like you fit into the group.

It’s important to consider the kinds of services and amenities each retirement community offers; not only will it help you better prepare for the move, you’ll have more tangible pros and cons to weigh between communities. Many will have hairdressers, barbers, housekeeping or laundry services, shuttle buses to take residents off-site, and on-site access to some level of medical care. Dining is typically included as well, but you should inquire about options, pricing, and meal plans.

Social opportunities can vary greatly from neighborhood to neighborhood

Opportunities for swimming, golf, and tennis are common within retirement communities. However, you may also find access to adult education classes, on-site entertainment, fitness classes, music, and more unique sports like “pickle ball” offered too. If you have issues with mobility or some special needs, you will want to look carefully to ensure the community is diligent about being compliant with the American Disabilities Act.

Potential retirement community residents have plenty of choices to sort through when deciding where to spend their golden years. Whether your loved one wants to continue a specific hobby, desires a community that revolves around a specific religion, or wants a place geared toward a niche interest, there are options available. Work with your older loved one to determine his or her priorities so you can find the retirement community that will quickly feel like home as they enjoy their golden years.

[Photo via Pexels] Courtesy of Author: Michael Longsdon (ElderFreedom.net)

Podcast of Sunday, Oct 29th Show with Property Tax Assessor Bill Rousseau

Had a great discussion yesterday with County of Sonoma Clerk, Recorder, Tax Assessor and Elections Chief, Bill  Rousseau.  Click to hear the podcast! We had a far ranging discussion on keeping your property 13 status when rebuilding your destroyed home and repairing damage. Also, discussed:  Propositions 60/90 and how you can move your low Proposition 13 tax base with you if moving.  One of the emergency ordinances is found under Revenue and Taxation code 69.3. This allows larger parameters in a homes value if taking your old prop 13 tax base with you–up to 120% of the old value. Also, the number of counties allowing transfer of the old prop 13 base have been changed. Below are those counties:

Contra Costa,  Modoc,  San Francisco, Solano, Sutter, Los Angles, Orange, Santa Clara, Sonoma, Ventura.

Questions? You are encouraged to call: 916-272-3350 or your local County Assessor’s office.

This Sunday, Fire Damage Re-assessment! Sonoma County clerk-recorder-assessor Bill Rousseau Special Guest

Bill will answer ALL of your questions regarding Sonoma County Property Tax issues.

Sonoma County clerk-recorder-assessor Bill Rousseau will join me to discuss emergency reassessments of your fire damaged property. Other “emergency” issues will also be discussed. Have a home partially damaged? What if you are one of a few homes left standing? Lower your assessment? How about your old proposition 13 tax base after rebuilding? This and more will be discussed.

We’re talking “Crowdfunding” for a home’s down-payment today!

We’ve discussed “Crowdfunding” previously for raising money for home improvement, down-payment for a loan but the funds all needed to be “seasoned” and would have to be usually 6 months old before being counted as legitimate funds by the big government lenders–Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Now CMG has partnered with the two big GSE’s in making the crowdfunding money available immediately for a down-payment.  We’ll discuss what changed and how you can use this way to raise money to buy a house.

Why go on a “destination” wedding which may cost $50,000 when you REALLY want to buy a home?!

 

Shark Alert!! This Sunday–Don’t wire your house downpayment to a crook!

Mark Bisordi, Gen Manager North Coast Title Co.Join us this  Sunday, July 16th as Mark Bisordi, General Manager for North Coast Title Company, talks to us about the scammers out there who intercept or have you falsely wire your down payment NOT to the title company and your escrow account but to a crooks account. One couple in Tahoe recently sent $1.5 million to a scammer and lost the entire amount! NO INSURANCE for this folks! What are the steps to protect yourself? Here are some quick tips!

Don't wire your down payment to a fraudster!
Don’t wire your down payment to a fraudster!
  • Call, don’t email! Confirm all wiring instructions by phone before transferring funds. Us the phone number from the title company’s website or a business card. You also have an “opening order” statement. This tell you your escrow number, escrow officer and her/his number
  • Be Suspicious! It’s NOT common for title companies to change wiring instructions and payment info–be aware and confirm!
  • Confirm it all: Ask your bank to confirm not just the account number but also the name on the account before sending a wire.
  • Verify immediately- You should call the title company or real estate agent to validate that the funds were received. Detecting that you send the money to the wrong account within 24 hours gives you the best chance of recovering your money.
  • Forward, don’t reply–When responding to an email, hit the forward instead of reply and then starting typing in the person’s email address. Criminals use email address that are VERY similar to the real one fora company. By typing in email addresses you will make it easier to discover if a fraudster is after you!

Chief Deputy Assessor Greg Walsh Joins us on the “hour” this Sunday.

Do you know you can take your old tax bill, the cheap Proposition 13 roll-back basis, WITH you when you sell your home? How about transferring to another County and keeping your old property tax basis? Did you have your taxes “rolled-back” due to the real estate crash of 2007 only to see them bounce back big time? These and other perplexing questions answered as Greg Walsh, Chief Deputy Assesor joins us on the show this Sunday!

Propositions 60, 90 and 110 are voter-approved amendments (Revenue and Taxation Code, Paragraph 69.5) which allow qualifying Sonoma County homeowners to transfer the taxable value of a previous residence to a new residence. For many people, this can result in substantial tax savings.

  • You (or your spouse who resides with you) must either be at least 55 years of age (Prop 60) or severely and permanently disabled (Prop 110) as of the date you sell the home you are replacing.

We sometimes refer to the process of reviewing property as “the Prop 8 review process” because of its association with temporary declines in taxable value allowed by the passage of Proposition 8 in 1978.