Jan 28: California initiative of interest to real estate agents; nifty tool to show a property

Rob Chrisman

Rob Chrisman began his career in mortgage banking – primarily capital markets – 31 years ago in 1985 with First California Mortgage, assisting in Secondary Marketing until 1988, when he joined Tuttle & Co., a leading mortgage pipeline risk management firm. He was an account manager and partner at Tuttle & Co. until 1996, when he moved to Scotland with his family for 9 months. See more

A nifty tool for real estate agents? (And no, this is not a paid ad.) Check out Cycloramic. It allows you to take 360 degree videos with your iphone – and if you’re dealing with buyers in a distant location it may make good sense.


One Loan Officer in the West weighs in on the current environment for lenders:


“This year will be a banner year in closings for the larger producers of LOs and affordable housing will be front and center in the OR and WA State Legislature. I am already seeing it in Olympia and hearing of it in Salem as I am active in Government Affairs for the realtors in Clark County in WA and builders in OR. We were just up in Olympia for the Realtor Hill Day and it was pervasive everywhere that housing costs are out of control for the $400K and under homes. The supply is so low and rents are sky high that many folks can’t even get a home to rent or buy.  I bet this is happening in many areas of the country as well. It all has to do with land supply and if this eased up it would be better for all.


“Turn times are finally under control with the CD. It did take a couple of months (tons of OT from many companies across the area) and it also took escrow that long as well to get their side figured out. The funnier part is that is slowed down closings and thus caused the closings report to slide. What a hoot!  None of the analysts from NAR associated the decline in closings with TRID which I do find laughable. Call it what it is folks!


“This year we will see the increased costs from TRID covered in the rates and also lenders will be increasing their processing fees or admin (whatever the lender wants to call it) as well.  Also, by early spring most companies will start this process of slowing raising their rates to cover as it will not come all at once in my humble opinion. I think it has already started in a very slow way after this last dip from the oil issue on the market.  When the rates came back they came back almost too fast and so I do believe it is already starting for some lenders that are taking advantage of the situation in the markets. But for those of us that had rates in the teens 30+ years ago – I am still super happy with the rates below 7.00%.  Although, when they do start to tick up it will be a shocker for many folks and will also change the housing market and create much more Non-QM lending. That is also coming back out of the woodwork. No more subprime, we are politically correct with Non-QM now (LOL).”


Here’s a California initiative that is attracting attention.


A proposed California initiative would hike property taxes on expensive homes to raise billions for public assistance programs. Under the Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Act, landowners would see property taxes bumped up on a sliding scale: 0.3 percent for properties worth between $3 million and $5 million, and 0.6 percent for homes worth between $5 million and $10 million. Rentals would be exempt.


Though it hasn’t yet qualified for the November ballot, the measure appears to be gaining momentum. Supporters have already deposited more than $1 million into a campaign finance account, according to the Secretary of State.


The measure would raise up to $7 billion in total government revenue starting in 2017-18. Revenue would be deposited into a special fund for an array of public assistance programs, such as a significant expansion of government-subsidized child care, an earned income tax credit, and grants for job training programs.


The net impact on the economy is unclear. Property taxes for large businesses would be affected immediately, but program funding aimed at improving the quality of the state’s workforce and moving families off welfare would feel an immediate effect as well. As with most policy change however, it will likely take years before an accurate analysis is discovered.


Supporters must gather 585,407 voter signatures by March 21 to qualify for the Nov. ballot.


Refinancing as a lead?


As a Real Estate Agent, how do you find your leads? One interesting idea that you may or may not have considered is current homeowners that have perhaps discovered their home it is too small, doesn’t have enough bathrooms, another bedroom is needed, etc. and are contemplating a home remodel. Does the costs and benefits of building what they want save more money than buying a different home, potentially in the same neighborhood?


There are some factors worth consideration. Cash-out or a new equity line will probably not cost less than purchase money financing for a new home. Also, an equity line is usually an adjustable rate so the payment will more than likely increase.


Is there enough equity in the current home to borrow enough to cover the construction costs including extra funds for cost overruns? If not, will the extra money needed deplete or significantly reduce reserves or retirement accounts?


How does the math work out between financing and paying cash for your remodel versus selling the current home and buying a new one? In some scenarios, a new home can be purchased for less than the cost of remodeling.


I would wager a guess that there are a lot of homeowners out there who have not done the math to even ponder this possibility. So if you know someone or know someone who knows someone thinking about remodeling, a little Q&A could result in both a buyer and a seller.



A man took his Rottweiler to the vet and said to him, “My dog is cross-eyed. Is there anything you can do for it?”

“Well,” said the vet, “let’s have a look at him.”

So he picks the dog up by the ears and has a good look at its eyes.

“Well,” says the vet, “I’m going to have to put him down.”

“Just because he’s cross-eyed?” says the man.

“No, because he’s heavy,” says the vet.





(Copyright 2016 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman. To subscribe please visit www.knowledgeforrealestateagents.com.)