Power-up Your Policymaking

How to turn your passion into action from boosting your local engagement or running for office

“This woman’s place is in the House-the House of Representatives”-Bella Abzug

It’s no new news that although we comprise a little over half the human population, women are severely underrepresented in both politics and business. Although great strides have been made and new fissures and cracks appear every day in that storied glass ceiling, for the busy everyday woman, moving from awareness to engagement can seem daunting. Continue reading

Rising Lumber Prices, Falling Homebuilder Sentiment in June

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)’s newly released NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) for June 2018 shows a 2-point drop to 68 in homebuilder sentiment due to rising lumber prices—one of the factors affecting affordability of single-family housing construction.

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Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU)s Could Help Women Meet Housing Goals

California has the highest poverty rate in the nation and we have an extreme shortage of affordable hosing. Single mothers are at a disadvantage of chosing to work an additional job to be able to afford housing for her family and still provide adequate supervision.

ADUs are small dwelling units on an existing residential property. Recent state policies, passed in 2016, have made it easier for homeowners in L.A. County to construct these additional dwelling units whether they are detached from the home or attached with a separate entrance, or even a garage conversion.

The advantages to having an ADU on your property are numerous: whether for extra rental income, a home office, or as a guest house. If done properly (up to code, enhancing rather than detracting from the aesthetic of your property), ADUs can add value to not only your residence but your life: turning unused space into a value generator.

However, the impact of building an ADU can have for an existing woman homeowner or single mother renter could be even more profound.

For a Home-Based Business

As highlighted in our 2018 Women in the Housing Ecosystem Report, Volume I that focuses on The State of Women’s Homeownership, aside from viewing a home as a secure sanctuary, women seek homeownership as a stable location to build a home-based business. An ADU provides extra space to grow that business, a safe-space to meet clients without having them directly enter into your living space and a location close enough to be super-convenient but separate enough to provide a distraction-free workspace.

An Additional Revenue Stream

There are more working mothers heading up families with children, or single-working mothers as well as women taking care of aging parents. An ADU can provide an additional revenue stream, allowing a woman to better care for children and aging adults without relying on a second income. On a side note, the homeowner could play it forward to help provide a more homebased living arrangement to single mothers. Who knows, maybe their kids would be a perfect playdate or their mother create some mommy time! There is social impact that also offsets financial impact.

Converting a Property to Rent-Controlled Status  

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors just approved their own new rules and several cities are in the process or already have their own specifc rules for dwellings. Adding an ADU might trigger rent stabilization because it is no longer considered a single-family residence, even if you are living in the same residence.

Before building an ADU, make sure to check any guidelines or restrictions put out by your city and county. Know your options, do your homework and this includes not only detached and attached additions, but pre-fab units as well.

Teresa Palacios Smith Joins NAWRB Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Council

Women in the Housing and Real Estate Ecosystem (NAWRB) announces the addition of Teresa Palacios Smith, Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion, HSF Affiliates LLC, to its Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Council (NDILC). The Council, founded in 2015, helps raise the number of C-suite women, increase women’s employment at all levels and advance women’s economic growth across the housing and real estate ecosystem.

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FHFA House Price Index Increases 0.6 Percent in February

In a recent news release, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) revealed that United States house prices in February rose 0.6 percent from the previous month, according to its seasonally adjusted monthly House Price Index (HPI). The previous house price increase in January, at 0.8 percent, has been adjusted to reflect this new finding.

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NAWRB Announces New Name: Women in the Housing and Real Estate Ecosystem

The National Association of Women in Real Estate Businesses (NAWRB) is proud to announce its new name, Women in the Housing and Real Estate Ecosystem (NAWRB), which accurately captures NAWRB’s expansive bandwidth as a leading voice for women in the housing and real estate ecosystem, and champion for gender diversity and women’s economic growth.

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Existing Home Sales Increase 5.6 Percent in November

According to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), the sale of existing homes increased for the third straight month in November, reaching the strongest pace in over a decade. The West was the only major region to not experience a surge in buying activity last month. Total existing home sales—completed transactions of single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops—increased 5.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.81 million in November.

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Catching the Next Wave of Mortgage Borrowers

Sometimes, a transition calls for a radical change, though some people try to avoid such shifts because they can be jarring. The sudden loss of refinance business has been that way for many lenders, and it will get worse in the future. How lenders respond to this transition into a purchase money market will set the winners apart from the rest.

The approaches loan originators will take to solve this problem will vary. Many will double their efforts to attract new refinance business, as writing that business has become their core competency. Others will seek out more purchase money business, pulling out old playbooks and relearning the rules of building strong business referral networks. A few will look for the radical change and catch the next wave of mortgage borrowers.

Speaking of catching waves, when learning to surf, even when you fail, you still learn something about yourself and become better for it. Mortgage lenders, on the other hand, cannot afford to fail. They must find the next wave of mortgage borrowers or face the threat of losing their businesses, which is all the more reason for them to consider the radical change.

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Jumpstarting Your Career & Business in the Housing Ecosystem

As a professional in the housing ecosystem, it is crucial to think outside the box and utilize the resources at your disposal to grow and advance your business and career. Analyzing your market, familiarizing yourself with the competition and crafting a superior business plan are great first steps, but pioneering decisions are what will make or break you in the market.

Adapting to the changing times, leveraging your differences, preparing for the future of the market and surrounding yourself with people invested in your success will help you seize opportunities for advancement.

Balancing New School and Old School
If you consider your favorite products, are they the “best” or the most inexpensive choices on the market? Or, have you developed a relationship with a particular brand that you buy because it has done right by you? Similar to your preferred items, your business can become the go-to for customers.
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