California’s Cooling Housing Market: Symptom of National Affordability Issue

The latest UCLA Anderson Forecast of California’s economic and housing market reports that housing will continue to cool into the year 2020 despite current job growth and strong economy. The economists attribute the weakening to falling home prices in major markets and decreased demand.

Economists anticipate the demand for housing will decrease in California’s major markets even though recent trends indicate the state’s overall economic strength, including improvements in the job market.

According to a report by CNBC, California’s average unemployment rate is expected to rise to an average of 4.5 percent this year and then decrease to 4.3 percent in 2020 and 2021. Also, the state has added the highest number of construction jobs, amounting to 28,500, in the past year.
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How Agents Can Better Serve Single-Women Homebuyers

Married couples might comprise the greatest share of homebuyers, but single women follow close behind, especially retired women over the age of 55, according to the Wall Street Journal. Gone are the days when women had to wait until marriage to buy a home; now, women are feeling more confident in creating their own sanctuary and means of wealth-building through homeownership.

If agents hope to maintain their success in the industry, they must prepare for a growing market of single-women homebuyers—a trend that will only increase as more women earn degrees, attain higher-paying jobs and seek properties to buy. Whether your client is a six-figure earning professional, a single mother or a divorcee looking to start a new chapter in her life, or all of the above, here are some important factors to consider when helping your clients, courtesy of the 2018 NAWRB Women in the Housing Ecosystem Report.

Couples, married or unmarried, normally have more buying power than single homebuyers because they have two sources to pull from that could go toward mortgage payments. According to 2016 NAR data, married couples have the highest income of around $99,200, compared to single buyers; however, dependence on a primary income is not deterring single women from buying homes.

Home-Buying Process for Single Women

  • Single women are independent; thus, all home-buying decisions—including where to live, how much of a mortgage payment they can afford, how to decorate their house, etc.—will be made by them.
  • Single women are interested in buying a home as a means of wealth-building. They’re taking the necessary steps to ensure their financial security in the future, whether or not they have a partner.
  • As a single woman, size may not be as important as location and affordability. Some women are interested in owning a home to get a pet, so a sizable backyard is a must.
  • Stringent lending standards make it more difficult for singles applying for loans with one income.

Home-Buying Process for Single Mothers

  • With a limited income, saving money will be difficult because of child-related expenses. Single mothers are also looking for a property they can afford in the long term.
  • Single mothers will want a safe, supportive community with a low crime rate and reputable education system. Having nearby infrastructure and basic amenities like shopping centers, hospitals and parks will be preferred.
  • Working mothers, like other single women, have limited time on their hands; however, single mothers are crunched even more for time, as being a mother is another job in and of itself.
  • Smart home technology, such as security alarms, intercom systems, carbon monoxide detectors and nightlights, could be especially important and appealing to single mothers.

A home is a woman’s sanctuary, a place to call her own, and an invaluable asset that cements one’s professional progress and economic foundation. It would be beneficial for agents to keep this in mind as they assist the needs of women buyers. Your clients will return the favor by referring your services to like-minded friends interested in taking the leap into independent living and property investment. 

Affordable Housing and HELOC Deductibility Under New Tax Laws

The new tax bill passed by Congress in December 2017, celebrated as the Trump Administration’s first major legislative victory, will have inadvertent consequences for potential homebuyers looking to buy homes in high-end markets, and for those with a home equity line of credit (HELOC). A decrease in home prices and caps on tax deductions, among other effects, will lower affordability in some high-tax states.

The GOP tax bill, which includes a $1.5 trillion tax cut, lowers tax rates for individuals and corporations, and introduces limitations on mortgage and tax deductions.
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Women Leading the Way with Confidence

There are plenty woman-driven moments worth celebrating this year. From opportunities to highlight initiatives to advance in Olympic sports, corporate boardroom, red carpet Oscars, and Congress, women are leaving a stalwart trace of power, closing the year 2018 strong.

In Congress, women comprise an impressive record-setting number of 108 held seats in, about 20.2 percent of the 535 members.

With 49.6 percent of total world’s population of women, we continue to be the guiding force committed to shining a light on empowering female role models in an effort to inspire more women leaders.
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One World Trade Center: A Symbol of Hope and a Hallmark of Building Safety

Seventeen years later, the aftermath of 9/11 continues to haunt us. All of us who were alive and old enough to remember will never forget where we were and the effect it has had on our lives.  The Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, a division of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, under the Dept. of Labor accounted for 2,886 9/11 related injuries in 2001, a list including people of all ages, ethnicities gender, and types of work—in essence, a snapshot of America.  For those who responded to the attacks, the toll it continues to take is unforgiving.

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LA Family Housing is One of Dateline’s “Angels of Skid Row”

Of the half a million people across America homeless at any given time, a quarter reside in California, with 55,000 in Los Angeles alone. Los Angeles’ Skid Row, 52 square blocks of blight, has the highest concentration of homeless in America.

Skid Row came about under unofficial policy of containment, but now thousands of homeless are spilling out into other areas in LA creating an even greater crisis.

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Who is Freddie Mac Today?

Often in the industry, when we think of the forty-eight-year-old Government Sponsored Entity The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, otherwise known as Freddie Mac, we think: “I’d love to be an REO broker with them” or “I’d love to be in a vendor relationship with them.” However, as we discovered in our “Who is Freddie Mac Today?” presentation, the GSE is way more than meets the eye, staying on the young side of forty-eight with an eye toward innovation and staying current.   Continue reading

SHETalk: Rebecca Steele on Becoming a Disruptor

 

  “My Story Is Different Than Most”

“It’s just been an incredible conference. The women who have been here and all of you who I’ve met with have been the highlight of my year so far, really,” said Rebecca Steele taking over the stage for her SHETalk on day two of our conference.

Her story, she revealed, is different than most. “I have been through crisis,” she said, “But I will tell you that I’ve been very, very fortunate to have some of the opportunities that I’ve had.”

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SHETalk: Tami Bonnell of EXIT Realty

To say that we had compelling, witty, and even funny speakers at this year’s conference would be an understatement. So, we knew when CEO of EXIT Realty Corp. Tami Bonnell signed on to deliver a SHETalk at our 2018 Conference in Chicago, we knew we were in for a treat.

Tami has more experience than most in real estate, selling her first house at thirteen and obtaining her real estate license the day she turned eighteen. Even with that experience, she has had to work hard to reach the level of influence she has today. In her SHETalk, she shared a few ways she keeps ahead of her goals.

     “It’s Your Mindset and What You Do with Your Time that Really Matters”

“You know, I want to put you in a different head space today,” Tami said as she introduced the system helping to grow her business every month. She emphasized the principles she was about to introduce can apply to any business—not only real estate.

First, she asked everyone in the audience to participate in an exercise where we all stood up, stretching our arms out as far as possible. Then, she asked us to close our eyes and imagine our arms going about a foot farther. When our eyes opened, our arms were much further than we imagined.

“Everything that we do is because of how we think,” she began. “It has nothing to do with the circumstances you’re in; it has everything to do with the choices we make.It’s your mindset and what you do with your time that really matters,” she said, adding “Choosing to do something with deliberate intent is how you get from Point A to Point B.”

Most of us of us have run out the door with a list of more things than we have time for, she told us. We say “we must” and “we have to” when really, we should want and expect it. The problem with the “musts” and the “have tos” is that our subconscious mind doesn’t accept the negative the same way it does the positive. If we say we want and expect, it will help us to follow through. 

Finding Your Path

Sometimes, in order to get done what we want and expect to get done, we have to find a more balanced way of doing things. When she started at EXIT twenty years ago, it was a Canadian company with no office in the U.S. She bought the rights to the entire New England states, building the US brand from a dead stop. From scratch, she cultivated 35,000 agents and traveled frequently to build momentum, driven forward by thinking of everyone she was responsible for on a daily basis. Her hard work paid off as she became US Vice President within her first year, President the second year and CEO of the company in 2012.

She came home late one night a couple of years into traveling to build EXIT. As she pulled up, she noticed for the first time beautiful Paul Revere lanterns in her circular driveway and in the backyard. She walked in and said to her husband “Thank you so much honey, I wanted those forever I love those lanterns, they’re beautiful.” He replied “Your welcome, I put them in six months ago.” That moment was a wake-up call for Tami. “I really started working on ‘I’ve got to do this smarter, I’ve got to do this better,’” she said.

    Working with Your Dirty Dozen and the 30,000, 2,000 Foot and Street Level Views

The better way is a plan that builds in time to work on the long view of whatever you are trying to accomplish, personal and professional. Committing is often the hardest part, says Tami as most people live on the sidelines in a safe area. But with this plan, you can build in time to take in the long view.

One hour a month should be set aside to look at the 30,000-foot view. This is a time to think about where the trends are in your industry. What are the resources that you should be going to every single month? If you spend time looking at things from the 30,000 foot view, you’ll know what’s selling and what’s not, you’ll be ahead of the curve on trends and will better be able to find your niche and can take advantage of every opportunity.

Who Are Your “Dirty Dozen”?

According to Tami, your “Dirty Dozen” are twelve people in or related to your field with whom you form a connection—such as a leader you’d like to follow and with whom you can share information every four-to-six weeks.The second hour of the month should be spent looking at your goals from a 2,000-foot view, say at the statewide level and touching base with six of your Dirty Dozen. For someone in real estate, this could be one person from the government on a state level and one from the local level, for example.

In order to develop these connections, you should look to help them more than they help you—add value to their lives, do your homework and find out about them. The relationship doesn’t have to be a “tit for tat” transactional relationship, it can be more personal Tami points out. “People want to matter,” she says adding that if you find common ground and build a connection, it will pay off.

For the third hour, you want to look at you, Tami says. Ask yourself some effective questions like “What am I really good at?” and “What do I need to do to get where I want?”

For the final piece of the puzzle, she introduced a four-hour action plan where halfway through the month, you plan out six weeks ahead of time and make sure to book off four hours to work on yourself and your plan. Look out over those six weeks with where you want to be in mind. And do it for your whole life both personal and professional. “I have birthday cards in my glove compartment in case I just forgot,” Tami says, illustrating her point.

You can even incorporate a small part of this planning ahead philosophy on a daily basis. Tami said she takes 120 seconds every morning to say how her day will go and think about how she wants the people she encounters to feel. At the end of every day, she takes 120 seconds to think about what worked for that day and what she is grateful for, and she writes down any concerns or problems.

“All of us are a work in progress,” said Tami as she closed out her SHETalk. “Every segment starts to connect and then you excel.”

We can’t wait to get started.

Bodies in Motion at One of L.A.’s Most Famous Homes

The Sheats-Goldstein Residence is a geometrical gem of a home designed by architect John Lautner in the early 1960s. The famous Los Angeles residence seems at once a part of nature (it literally juts out from the hillside) and the future (its sharp glass-framed angles and custom furniture would be at home in a sleek spacecraft.) It is known as one of the premier examples of Lautner’s work.

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