The Forgotton Entrance – Is your Front Door Welcoming?

Sunday, May 26, 2013 – Sonoma County, Ca.

Creating a welcoming front entrance can add to your home’s curb appeal, desirability and value.  Your front door is the first impression your visitors (and potential buyers) get of your home. Make sure it’s a good one.

Your front entrance should be;

Welcoming; Your guest begin developing an opinion of your home as soon as they pull up to the curb.

Obvious ; Don’t make guests wonder which entrance they should approach

Light; Not just the front door, but also the path leading them there.

Safe; High fences and tall bushes can become a hiding place behind which to lurk. Make sure your guests feel safe at your front door.

Start at the curb. look at your entrance.  Walk the path your guests will use several times and think about the experience.  Is it Welcoming, Obvious, light and Safe? If not, make some changes.


This Week’s Show; Wildfires are Coming…Is Your Home Ready?

5/26/2013 Sonoma County, Ca. on The Real Estate Hour, 1350 am KSRO

Fire Prevention Battalion Chief, Ben Nicholls, joins us on the radio to discuss the steps homeowners in High Fire Areas (State Responsibility Areas, SRAs) should be taking to protect their homes from Wild Fire.

Did you know that, if you live in an SRA, you are required to clear a “Defensible Space around your home? Chief Nicholls will tell us what that means. Here’s a link to help you determine if you are in an SRA,

Also, great tips for everyone on fire safety in your home.

Join us at 9:15 for this informative and very important topic.

For more information visit;





Buyer Letters to Sellers are making a comeback…a GREAT idea? Yes!! But…….

At a recent Broker Panel presented by the North Bay Association of Realtors, this was brought up, and an interesting point was made

…a discussion ensued.

On this weeks show, we’ll touch on the “return of the Buyer letter”.

We think its a GREAT idea, and often can be the deciding factor for a seller considering multiple offers.

But…..what about equal housing laws? Hmmm. That is a valid point.

Listen in on Sunday May 26 9-10AM PDT, or 1350AM KSRO

Sonoma County Real Estate–“Tales from the Trenches” tomorrow, May 19th, 2013. The insider’s scoop on Northern Calif Real Estate


Allison in her “work” mode for our weekly radio show on KSRO, 1350AM or at

“Tales from the Trenches” is the theme for tomorrow’s show on “The Real Estate Hour” heard every Sunday, 9 to 10am, The market is surging and those underwater may actually be drying out! Plus what are YOUR options when negotiating a credit from the Seller in today’s hyper-competitive market? All this and more when Allison Norman and I take to the airwaves. PLUS your calls at: 707-636-1350.

Mike and Alli, hosts of the “Real Estate Hour”, appear at “Showcase Sonoma County”, Thursday May 9th.

Allison and I had great fun meeting listeners to the radio show this past Thursday at the Showcase Sonoma County sponsored by the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce. One person walked by the booth and heard me talking and blurted out, “I know that voice!” She then looked up and saw our banner (photo below) and said, “I listen to you every Sunday and have for years!”. She then pointed at Allison and said, “So you MUST be Allison?” God, I hope so!!  We pop-up all around the county having made an appearance last week at the Senior Expo and soon at the Santa Rosa Connections networking event out at Ledson Winery end of this month.


Showcase Sonoma County • Thursday, May 9, 4:00-7:00pm
Sonoma County’s Largest Business Expo • Wells Fargo Center for the Arts • More Information
After the Showcase, Celebration Mixer • 6:00-8:30pm

There goes the neighborhood! Median Price Sonoma Cty breaks $400,000 barrier–Now at 2003 Pricing!

So when the market TOOK OFF one of the thresholds it first encountered was the fabled $400,000 median price barrier–that was BACK in 2003. So TEN years later here we are again at another threshold? Or peak? Our median kept thundering along hitting a record $630,000 at the height of the bubble market in 2007. A whole bunch of foreclosures, loan Mods and Short-Sales later we are crossing the Rubicon once again. What can hold us back?

  • The fed bumping interest rates into the 5% range?
  •  Lender tightening? Pricing frightening away investors?
  •  Europe exploding or more like collapsing under their economic woes?

What is the problem about exceeding the $400,000 Median? For many underwater households an increasing median price and price appreciation equate to a skin-diver snorkeling vs. a deep sea underwater vessel! Like when you look up while underwater and the closer to the surface you can start making out clearer object?  Those underwater are saying, “Go baby! Go!”  However, our crop of first time home buyers may be getting desperate as the median continues to climb. The higher it goes the less home one qualifies. FHA, VA buyers, low down folks, already snubbed for cash buyers, are seeing the dream slip through their fingers AGAIN!

At the height of the last big bubble market, 2007, our “Affordability Factor”, based on the median income of Sonoma County, was 6.5%. This meant  ONLY 6.5% of families earning the income could buy a home. Our “Affordability Factor” was that of Santa Barbara with a median home price of $1,100,000. But the scariest portion of the last bubble market was the DUMB money out there. Fog a mirror—YOU’RE QUALIFIED. That is gone from the system. My friends keep telling me look out, $630,000 here we come. But I think the last 3 years of our market was all fueled by EZ lending practices and EVERYONE up the real estate food chair looking the other way. It went all the way to Moody’s who rated loan packages as A paper when the package was mixed with junk from all over the state of California and beyond. The economic boys and girls started scratching their heads when default rates, historically in the single digit range, jumped to double digits just MONTHS after origination.

  But “Frank-Dodd Legislation” should make this an impossibility. Low inventory will drive the market to a point. WE shall see. Stay tuned!Below–Median Sales Price up 26% over last year and now sitting at $402,000 of TOTAL market (Condos, SFD’s and Country Property).







Victim of Foreclosure? Mortgages serviced by Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley ANOTHER settlement is coming! 96,000 of YOU!


Fed: 96K Foreclosure Review Checks to Be Sent to Underpaid Borrowers

About 96,000 borrowers who received a check under the foreclosure review settlement should expect a second payment since their checks were for a lesser amount than what they should have received, the Federal Reserve announced in a statement.

The second round of payments to make up for the difference is only for eligible borrowers who had their mortgage serviced by former subsidiaries of Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.Rust Consulting, the paying agent, stated the supplemental checks are scheduled to be sent around May 17 and will include a letter explaining the reason for the additional check.

In a release, Rust Consulting said “a clerical error” led to the lesser amount. The original payments were sent May 3 to over 217,000 recipients.

The Fed became aware of the issue Tuesday and directed Rust Consulting to send out supplemental payments as soon as possible, according to a statement.

The error is not the first issue check recipients have encountered. In April, regulators revealed early recipients had issues with cashing their checks due to insufficient funds.

More information on the foreclosure settlement can be found by visiting the Fed’s website.

Borrowers with questions regarding their payment can contact Rust Consulting 1-888-952-9105.

The settlement was first reached in January 2013 between federal regulators and 13 mortgage servicers. The agreement replaces the Independent Foreclosure Review first required as part of consent orders issued by regulators.




Contact: Mike Kelly                                                                                    FOR IMMEDIATE  RELEASE

Tel. 707-322-8503




Converges on Sacramento with 2500 other Realtors  speaking to Legislator’s  on private property rights on May 1st, 2013



  Allison Norman, Realtor and one of the North Bay Association of Realtor’s up and coming leaders, attended the annual Legislative Day in order to press the issues of private property rights of real estate homeowner’s.  Norman, Realtor at Keller Williams Realty, was chosen for her civic involvement and commitment to the Realtor code of ethics and her many homeowner clients.  This annual event put on by the California Association of Realtors (CAR) featured a greeting by Governor Jerry Brown. Governor Brown stated when he was first Governor in 1975 he was committed to getting out the “old boy” network. Now he states, “There’s no substitute for Experience”.  The Governor stated he is on track to lower the debt of the state and renovate an aging school system.

  Norman Noted that many Bill’s introduced yearly by legislators with “point-of-sale” requirements force homeowner’s to add additional fees to the cost of Selling or buying a home. Such “point-of-sale” requirements can add $100’s of dollars to Seller’s already reeling from 6 years of decreasing home prices and shrinking home equity. The CAR has successfully fought these bills over the years saving the consumer $1,000’s of dollars in each transaction.

  One of the main issues currently in Sacramento of major concern to Norman is the “Debt Relief” extension NOT yet ratified by the legislators. On the national level the “Debt-Relief” extension was extended by Congress to the end of 2013. However California has YET to extend this valuable aid for “underwater” homeowners facing serious tax consequences when selling their home for LESS than what is owed. The difference between the sales price and loan amount, usually a negative number, is considered “Debt Relief” and is treated as ordinary income. Norman noted that a homeowner selling a home for $300,000 with a $400,000 loan would have “debt-relief” of $100,000. In California this would be subject to income tax as ordinary INCOME for the year 2013.

  Norman will be attending CAR meetings through the week. She is available for comments on her experiences at the meetings. Allison Norman, a Realtor exclusively in Sonoma County for 8 years, works with relocating home buyers and International clients.


If you would like more information on this topic or to schedule an interview with Allison Norman, please call her direct at 707-799-3617 or

On this week’s show; The Pressing Issue of Pocket Listings

Don’t risk losing thousands of dollars by not having your home in the MLS. Learn about the legal and ethical implications of pocket listings and, more importantly, how prices are affected when sellers choose to go off-market.

In Sonoma County, California, and across the state of California, Pocket, or off-market listings, are a significant concern right now for REALTORS® and their clients.

This California Association of Realtors Webinar addresses the “Pocket listing” issue.