Archive for May, 2011

San Diego June Calendar

Monday, May 30th, 2011
June 3 thru 5, Wings over Gillespie
The air show will feature many famous legendary aircraft such as the B-17 Flying Fortress and B-25 Mitchell bombers, Northrop N9M Flying Wing, and many more “Flying Museums.” Also on hand will be USN/USMC helicopters and other static displays, special military and law enforcement vehicles and equipment, a NASA display, and much more.
Time: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Location: Gillespie Field (Near I-8 and Rte 67), 1960 Joe Crosson Road, El Cajon
For more information visit www.wingsovergillespie.com

June 3 thru 5, 28th Annual Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival
This event includes a food court, wine tasting in the wine gardens, musical entertainment,
kids fair, arts & crafts and commercial booths.
Time: Fri., 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, Sat., 6:00 am – 10:00 pm, Sun., 6:00 am to 6:00 pm
Location: Lake Skinner – Temecula Valley, 37701 Warren Rd., Winchester
For more information call 951-676-6713, or visit www.tvbwf.com

June 3 thru 5, St. Spyridon Church Greek Festival
This Annual Greek festival offers tours of the St. Spyridon Church, Greek food, and imported beer. Join in and dance Greek-style while lively Greek music plays. Games for kids & prize drawings.
Time: Fri., 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, Sat., 11:00 am – 10:00 pm, Sun., 11:00 am – 9:00 pm
Location: St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church, 3655 Park Blvd., San Diego
For more information call 619-297-4165, or visit www.sdgreekfestival.com

June 4, 8th Annual Art Around Adams
This art and music fest will raise funds and bring awareness for the Adams Recreation Center that provides services for the community. Relax, shop, and be entertained by live music, outrageous street performers, and an array of unique art.
Time: 3:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Location: Normal Heights & Kensington
For more information visit www.artaroundadams.org

June 4, 4th Annual Carlsbad Beach Fest 2011
Come participate in the Low Tide Beach Run Blast, the Low Tide Beach Walk, and/or the Kids One Mile Fun Run. Check out the gigantic sand sculpting by U.S. Open Champions, Archisand. There will be multiple stages with bands & other live entertainment, sports competitions and clinics in paddle board, surfing, kayaking, and more! Don’t miss the artist’s exhibits, kids sand sculpting, face painting, kite flying, celebrity appearances, food & beverage vendors, and so much more.
Time: 8:00 am – 3:00 pm
Location: Carlsbad State Beaches, From Frazee Beach to Tamarack Beach
For more information visit www.carlsbadbeachfest.com

June 4 & 5, Annual Fiesta del Sol – Solana Beach
Celebrate the start of summer at this free two-day party featuring live music, an international food court, beer & wine garden, children’s activities, arts & crafts, and a ‚ÄúGreen Alley‚Äù featuring environmentally-friendly products and services.
Time: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Location: Fletcher Cove – Solana Beach
For more information call 858-755-4775, or visit www.solanabeachchamber.com

June 5, San Diego Rock n’ Roll Marathon
One of the nation’s premier marathons! Local bands on 26 stages and cheerleading groups will entertain the athletes as they travel along a scenic course through the city of San Diego. There will be a Finish Line Festival with music, food & beverages. This event is in conjunction with the ‚ÄúRock n’ Roll Half Marathon‚Äù. See website for details & fees.
Time: 6:10 am – 4:00 pm
Route: Visit website for route details.
For more information call 858-450-6510, or visit www.san-diego.competitor.com

June 10 thru July 4, San Diego County Fair
San Diego’s annual county fair boasts flower and garden shows, exhibits, art, gems & minerals, carnival rides, food booths, midway, concerts, and so much more! This year’s theme will be ‚ÄúRace to the Fair.‚Äù
Time: Refer to website
Location: Del Mar Fairgrounds, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd.
For more information call 858-793-5555, or visit www.delmarfairgrounds.com

June 11, Rock, Blues & BBQ Festival
The 3rd Classic Rock n’ Blues Festival is presented by the City of San Marcos. Spend a day relaxing in the park listening to the unique sounds of several great bands. Food will be sold at an onsite barbecue with partial proceeds donated to Angel’s Depot. There will be a beer garden for those 21 and over. Bring beach chairs or blankets for lawn seating.
Time: 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Location: San Marcos – Walnut Grove Park, 1950 Sycamore Dr.
For more information call the Race Office 760-744-9000, or visit www.san-marcos.net

June 11, 3rd Annual Fiesta Metric Century Bicycle Ride
Participate in a recreational group ride for cyclists that begin in downtown San Diego and travels to Otay Lake. Upon returning, the cyclists can enjoy an expo with musical entertainment, shop for bike related merchandise, and have a delicious Mexican buffet. Refer to website for fees.
Time: 6:30 am – 2:00 pm
Route: County Administration Building Parking lot at 1600 Pacific Hwy > Ash St > Harbor Dr > National City >
Chula Vista > Otay Lakes > then back to the Admin Building.
For more information visit www.shadowtour.com

June 17 & 18, Powwow By The Sea
A traditional powwow at the beach! The 8th annual family oriented Powwow By The Sea will host
a Gourd Dance, an Iron Dancer contest, Hand Drum contest, Tiny Tot contest, and Grassdancer contest.
Time: Fri., 11:00 am ‚ Dusk / Sat., 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
Location: Portwood Pier Plaza, 874 Seacoast Dr., Imperial Beach
For more information visit www.oneworldbridge.org

June 18, Set Free North Park Outreach
Community outreach event presents a car and motorcycle show where lowriders, bombers, and choppers will be displayed. The event takes place in a family-friendly atmosphere where you can enjoy raffle drawings, activities, and inspiring music. Free event.
Time: 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Location: North Park Recreation Center, 4044 Idaho St.
For more information call 619-647-4344

June 18, Pet Fest & Doggie Dash
Third Avenue Village is going to the dogs! The 1-mile doggie dash helps raise money for local animal organizations, Chula Vista Animal Care Facility, and the Chula Vista Nature Center. There will also be pet-related vendors, demonstrations from the Chula Vista K-9 unit, puppy training specialists entertain and educate, pet contests, pet adoptions, spay and neutering services.
Time: Refer to website
Location: Memorial Park Bowl, Chula Vista Third Avenue Village
For more information visit www.thirdavenuevillage.com

June 18 & 19, Julian Gold Rush Days
Julian’s Gold Rush Days is a period of remembrance of the gold rush of 1869 that brought the town of Julian to existence. Three days of events including gold panning, living history demonstrations, gold mine tours, book signings, face painting, old fashioned games, historic skits, and more!
Time: Refer to website
Location: Julian, CA
For more information visit www.juliangoldrushdays.com

June 18 & 19, Family Campout – Poway
Perfect for the first-time camper! Activities include a fun interpretive program, free pedal boating and night hikes. Families will need to bring their own camping supplies and food to barbecue. There will be grills available, but you are encouraged to bring your own. Campsite setup: 7:00 am. Costs: $52 Residents / $62 Non-Residents, up to 5 persons per family. $10 for each additional family member. No alcohol permitted.
Time: 5:00 pm – 9:00 am (overnight)
Location: Lake Poway, 14644 Lake Poway Rd.
For more information call 858-668-4772, or visit www.poway.org

June 25, 32nd Annual Ocean Beach Street Fair & Chili Cook-off
Ocean Beach’s very own beach festival and amateur chili cook-off contest.
Highlights include live entertainment, an artist alley, vendor booths, beachside beer garden,
Kiddie area and more. Free event.
Time: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Location: Ocean Beach, Newport Avenue (4800-5000 Block & surrounding areas)
For more information call 619-224-4906, or visit www.oceanbeachsandiego.com/ob-street-fair

June 24 thru 26, Temecula Street Painting Festival
Watch artists create colorful “street murals” on the asphalt of 6th Street in Old Town Temecula.
Plein Air artists will be painting in locations throughout Old Town on Friday and Saturday.
Street painting and live music on Saturday & Sunday. A free event.
Time: Sat., 10:00 am – 6:00 pm / Sun., 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Location: Old Town Temecula
For more information call 951-506-5100, or visit www.cityoftemecula.org
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Real Estate News in a Flash

Saturday, May 28th, 2011

More Homeowners Refinancing into Shorter-Term Mortgages. A new study recently revealed that many homeowners are refinancing into shorter term loans. The advantage is that the mortgage will be paid off in a short time, which is appealing to those who face retirement in the next 10-15 years. Some rates are as low as 2.99 or 3%, with 7-10 year terms. The trick of course is that you must have equity in your home to be able to qualify for a refi, and then must be able to afford the higher payments. This trend shows that home ownership is still very much desired, which is a good sign.

Home Insurance Premiums are on the Rise. While home prices are falling across the U.S. those who plan to buy need to be aware that home insurance is on the rise. Some of the largest insurance companies have indicated they have or will be raising rates. This is partly due to the slew of natural disasters our country has experienced recently, such as the hurricanes and tornadoes in the mid-western states, floods in the south, and earthquakes/tsunami in Japan and elsewhere. Different areas will experience different increases, depending on risk factors.

Great Opportunities Abound for Buyers/Investors. Housing prices have dropped slightly and will likely continue to do so, due in part to the large distressed property inventory that will continue to grow for at least a year or two. Mortgage rates are still low and buyers can get a LOT more for their money right now, so it is a great time to take advantage before mortgage rates do rise.

Mortgage Delinquencies Increasing/Foreclosures Down. Although the number of new foreclosures went down in the last quarter, the number of homeowners who are delinquent in paying their mortgages increased slightly. This is an indicator that there will be a new wave of foreclosures and short sales to come, and that prices will continue to decrease until that inventory is cleared out. Great news for buyers, not such great news for sellers (unless they have equity in their homes). Foreclosures comprised 45% of home sales in California in the first quarter.

California is Expanding Foreclosure Investigations. The state of California has been expanding probes into loan servicers and applying pressure. The Attorney General is looking into robo-signing claims in an attempt to enforce restitution and prevent bad lending practices from happening in the future. A mortgage fraud task force has been comprised of 25 individuals will be targeting 3 specific areas: corporate fraud, fraudulent lending practices, and scams aimed at troubled homeowners facing foreclosures. Other states, such as Illinois and New York, are also expanding investigatory procedures.

 

 

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Change for the Better

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Change. It is a powerful word that conjures up a plethora of emotions, from excitement to fear. The very idea of change can make you panic or it can energize you, but you shouldn’t let your response to change prevent you from making it, as you could end up missing out on some fantastic opportunities. The fact is that the world is moving so fast, and change is always inevitable – but happiness should be your main goal.

Obstacles. It is human nature to accept patterns and situations in life, and oftentimes that means putting up with things we don’t love (or even like), for fear of the unknown. Countless people go to jobs every day that they don’t enjoy. They may dream of opening a bed and breakfast, selling homemade blankets or granola bars, starting an organization to help latch-key kids have something to do after school. The reason they don’t act on their passion is because they are afraid of the unknown: what if I don’t make money for a long time? How will I finance my dream? Where do I start? How do I get my product approved by the FDA?

Baby steps. The answer to all the fear is to make a plan and then DO IT! The founders of some of the biggest companies started from their homes and garages and kitchens. They didn’t know they would end up building multi-million dollar companies, but set out doing what they were passionate about and stuck with that. Because they loved their work, good fortune came from it. I am not saying you should quit your job today and go home and start baking your famous brownies, but you need to start with generating a business plan.

Business plan. If you don’t know how to create a business plan there are websites you can visit and books you can buy to help you do so. Talk to other people in similar businesses and see what types of equipment they use, who they go to for materials. Get out there and do some research. Then, when you have compiled that and have a list of sources, create a plan and figure out what you need to start up. Do you need a patent? Trademark? What is the minimum amount of money you will need to start up? Do you have enough savings, or need a loan, or an investor? Do you need to go back to school? Speak with your accountant and figure out how you want to form your business (Corporation, LLC, partnership, etc. Each has different benefits). You can have a legal site like LegalZoom.com draft up your documents, and you can register your ficticious business name with your county.

Start now. Make time to take the steps you need to start working on your passion. It may take months, or even years, to get off the ground and get to the point where you can leave your job and start to build your passion, but you will feel good knowing that you are working toward that goal.

The most important advice to remember is to not be afraid of change…instead, embrace it!

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Advice on Helping Distressed Sellers

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

The distressed property market is not going away any time soon, so it is important to understand the differences in assisting clients with distressed sales, as compared to traditional sales. To truly help these clients an agent must focus on certain skills in order to walk the client through the sale and help them to feel better about the situation. It can be difficult, but will allow you to become a trusted adviser and ease the stress involved. To learn more about how to do this please read my latest blog at Real Estate and Women: http://tinyurl.com/3q6mj46

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Can Social Media Ease Your Workload?

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

I read some great blogs this morning, and they inspired me to talk about one of my favorite things: keeping it real. With the advent of social media many people think that there is a “next great thing” that will make their business easier. Right now that thing is social media.

Social media is great – it’s fun, it’s available 24/7, it allows us to connect with industry experts and colleagues, and maybe even find new clients or customers. But it is a mere tool we have in our arsenals, not a “quick fix” that will allow us to take a day off or relax our tried an true methods of doing business. The fact is that RELATIONSHIPS cannot be trumped. We simply need to understand that our relationships with our clients, customers, colleagues and friends are the most important tool we have in our business, and in our lives. Social media cannot replace that, but it should still be a part of what you do each day.

I have blogged many times about the importance of phone calls, meetings, visits to clients. In fact, this is the aspect of my work I truly enjoy the most. Sitting down with a client or colleague for lunch or coffee is actually fun. I get to learn more about him or her, and if talk turns to business hopefully I can educate, share knowledge and answer questions. There is no substitute for one-on-one connections, in my opinion.

Many business people complain that with the advent of social media there is simply too much to do, too much to keep up with, and unfortunately I hear all the time that relationships are left out in the cold. One Realtor friend of mine recently told me that she just doesn’t have the time to connect with past clients. This should be her number one priority!

Here are a few ways to make it easier to keep in touch with people every day:

1. Schedule a time of day to connect. By this I don’t mean sit in front of your computer or phone and email someone. Spend an hour a day: call a past client, meet one for a cup of coffee, stop by their home. It doesn’t take much! If you can’t schedule a meeting every day then make a phone call and plan one. Try to plan at least one meeting a week, but still spend an hour each day calling or doing the next activity…

2. Handwritten notes. Sending an email doesn’t show much effort, but if you write a note to a client/customer it shows you care. Many people don’t understand the value of this, but trust me, people appreciate this. Try to write several notes a day. You can do so on birthdays, anniversaries, house anniversaries, holidays and just about any time. But don’t let this be a substitute to a visit or call – you need to do both.

3. Party. What better way to thank your clients than to throw a party for them? It doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive. You can do a dessert party, or a cocktail hour. You can have it at the beach or a park. The message is more important than the price tag. This obviously is not something you do all the time, but you can plan it and send out notices about it in advance to get people excited.

4. Educate continuously. This is something that you have to strive to do, every day. You are your local expert, so you need to show that to not only your clients, but the locals! If you don’t have a blog, start one. You don’t have to be a writer. You can do a video blog, interview people in your area or do a photo blog. Post calendars on your local blog to keep people informed of local events. If a client asks you a question, turn the answer into a blog. You can also create a monthly or quarterly newsletter for your past and current clients, even highlighting a different person in each one (get their permission first, of course) – this is a great way to keep people informed about the local market and get them excited to read your content. There are many sites you can go to to do so, but it is very easy to create yourself. Once you have a template made you simply have to fill it in with new stories, which of course are easy to find online and by creating your own content.

5. Social media. Yes, you should engage in social media as well as the old basic methods, but you need to do so in conjunction with them, not as a replacement. Try to limit your time spent on social media so that it doesn’t consume you. Use it to post your blogs, connect with industry experts and share area knowledge. It is a great learning tool not only for those with whom you share, but for yourself as well. I definitely do NOT advocate overlooking social media, as it is very powerful if you use it correctly.

It is much easier to keep up with your clients if you make a schedule and stick to it – but you have to keep up with it. It took me 2-3 years of blogging to really see effects, but amazing things have happened and opened up to me because I am vigilant. People start to notice that you are an expert in your field. Besides, it’s great to share with others and helps keep you on your toes too, so make it fun! Remember that nothing can replace relationship building, no matter how shiny it is or how wonderful it may seem. So, the answer is no – social media cannot ease your workload. But if used in conjunction with the above tools it can definitely make your work more fulfilling and likely more profitable.

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Do We Need to Change the Real Estate Commission Structure?

Saturday, May 21st, 2011

Many people think so. There have been many debates, especially lately, about the nature of real estate commissions and whether the structure should be changed. I think we need to take a serious look at not only commission structure, but real estate services in general, to figure out a win-win situation for buyers, sellers and agents.

The argument: Many sellers think that real estate agents are paid too much. Although the days of the 6% commission are not over, many sellers opt to work with brokerages that charge a lot less. Sellers don’t understand why brokerages charge so much to place their home on the MLS, market it and help with disclosures and paperwork. They feel they can self-market on the internet, create their own flyers, and rely on the escrow company to help them once an offer is presented.

The problem: Many sellers do not understand that the agent does a lot more than place a home on the MLS, hold open houses and deliver disclosure packets. There are a few things to keep in mind when selling your home. One is that the expertise of an area agent makes a big difference in whether you will get any buyers to come view your home. Your home needs to be priced right, according to comparable sold properties and the current market, and the first TWO WEEKS is critical in this regard.

Next, all the paperwork that comes with selling a home must be in order, especially the seller disclosures. I have caught things several times that, if I had not pointed them out to my sellers, could have turned into legal nightmares down the road. It is important that you have an agent (or attorney) look over these to make sure you have filled them out correctly.

Last, and most importantly, the legal ramifications. Like many agents, I could actually write a book about things other agents have done that could have caused major legal problems down the road for the seller. It is most important to have an experienced agent and her broker, or an attorney, look over any offers presented before acceptance. There could be language in the offer or even left out that could create problems for you later. This is why agents and brokerages pay for errors and omissions insurance. If there IS a problem down the road it offers peace of mind to know that they will stand behind you in most situations. Think of it as paying for protection.

Solutions:

Flat fee commissions. This is not new – the discount brokerage model has been around for some time. Companies will charge flat fees for listings. The rest of the work – flyers, open houses, dealing with offers, negotiating and opening escrow – can be left to the seller. Or, if preferred, the seller can opt to pay for other services. However, the discount model has received a lot of badmouthing in the industry. This is because there is little agent involvement, and agents work hard. I say you get what you pay for. You can receive “Nordstrom” service, and have an experienced agent take care of everything for you so that you don’t have to, but that costs money (just like you would pay an attorney if you were sued or charged with a crime – I would NOT recommend representing yourself in such a situation). You can also get “Walmart” service, where you do the work yourself. I’m not going to compose a diatribe on how hard we agents work – often for nothing at all – so suffice it to say that when we do a good job we deserve our pay. The choice is up to the homeowner and whether he wants to deal with the sale of his home himself, or have help.

Although I understand the desire to save money, I do not believe the traditional flat fee model is completely beneficial to sellers the way it currently stands. There are too many potential problems that many sellers do not foresee.

Real estate and legal services combined: this is the model I have been studying for some time now. A real estate agent who is an attorney has a unique ability to offer services to clients that are like flat-fees services, but with a twist: the client can get legal advice and know that all the paperwork is handled correctly. This offers peace of mind that you cannot get with traditional flat-fee brokerages. The seller would have the benefit of brokerage marketing and handling of the negotiations and paperwork, for one set fee, and can also opt to pay for other legal services at a standard hourly rate. I think it is the future of real estate. There are only a few companies doing this nationwide, and I am looking into it as well.

The hard part is educating the public that there are other ways to approach the sale of a property. But I think this will catch on. It will not work with short sales, as the lenders agree to pay regular commissions, but this does not affect the seller (unless the lender feels the price is not enough, in which case they cut the commissions anyway. This still does not affect the sellers, just the agent’s bottom line). But I think when this model catches on the lenders will eventually agree to the flat commissions.

I would love to hear from you – the sellers and buyers and agents and others out there. Do you think this is a good idea? It can save sellers a lot of money and offer a new option to many. Sellers would still get the benefit of working with an agent/broker, without having to basically sell their homes themselves. Traditional brokerages will not like this model, of course, but it is really something to consider.

 

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Open Letter to Lenders

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Dear Lenders,

It’s not rocket science, yet I don’t understand why you don’t take a step that could virtually make a big improvement in the housing situation. This in turn will stimulate the economy and we can be on the road to normalization. It’s very simple: short sales.

Short sales, despite the negativity surrounding them, actually are the key to getting the housing market back on track. I’ll tell you why:

1. Short sales will clear out the distressed inventory. This is the first step toward a “normal” market. Until we get the distressed inventory off the books the market will suffer and there will be a stigma surrounding home ownership. You have no desire to own all these homes, not to mention you have to go in there and fix many of them up, which costs money. Many don’t sell quickly, which costs you more money.

2. Short sales will prevent more foreclosures. Foreclosures cost you a lot of money, bring down neighborhood values and appearances, require you to pay staff in your loss mitigation departments, and just do not have any positive attributes for our economy, housing, homeowners or for you. They are sucking up your money and wasting your time.

3. Short sales will allow you to focus once again on lending. Closing up huge loss mitigation departments and slapping down great deals of money in legal fees will free you to do what you are supposed to do: lend money. This will stimulate purchasing power.

4. Short sales will lead to a normal market that will allow for housing recovery.

To put it succinctly, you need to start approving short sales faster. There is no benefit in waiting to approve a sale. Oftentimes the buyer walks away and the house sits on the market for an extended period of time. If the process is streamlined housing will recover sooner, and this will effect economic recovery as a whole. There are buyers out there who want to buy! There are homes out there that will fit their desires. There are homeowners who want to move on and not be tied to a home they can no longer afford. There are Realtors out there who want to sell these homes. Neighbors want to see their home values improve again.

Please consider this plea. We can make the housing market heal, we can heal the economy. But in order to do so we all need to be on the same page. PLEASE join us.

 

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Carlsbad Residents: Help Oppose New Power Plant

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

The City of Carlsbad wants residents to attend the hearing on the future of the power plant. It will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn this Thursday, May 19, at 6450 Carlsbad Blvd. Public comments begin at 5:30 p.m.

The city opposes building a second power plant along the coast, but the California Energy Commission has approved doing so. If given final approval they will be built along the lagoon, across from the beach, and adjacent to the railroad tracks and interstate 5. This has been an issue of contention for a long time, and there are other locations in the state that would be safer and better suited to power plant construction.

If you are unable to attend the hearing the city encourages you to write a letter expressing your viewpoints. Please send to: Energy Commission Docket Unit, 1516 Ninth Street, MS-4, Sacramento, CA 95814. Identify all comments with “Docket No. 07-AFC-6.”

You may also comment via email to docket@energy.state.ca.us Also include “Docket No. 07-AFC-6.”

For further information please visit the city’s website at http://www.carlsbadca.gov. You can watch the video on the power plant here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzYjrS0ixlo&feature=youtu.be

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Are Mortgage “Walkaways” Coming Back in Style?

Monday, May 16th, 2011

I read an alarming statistic today that “walking away” from one’s mortgage, an option to foreclosure that was popular in 2008, is now no longer viewed as morally reprehensible. In fact, a Fannie Mae survey of underwater homeowners (those with negative equity) found that 27% of them consider walking away – which today is called a strategic default – as a viable option to foreclosure.

Back in 2008 when I wrote my book, “Mortgage Walkaway Options,” the key focus was on options to foreclosure, with walking away as a last resort. My co-author and I urged homeowners to get educated and learn about other possible options before they walked away. At that time companies promising a bright future to homeowners who paid a fee to walk away were gaining deep pockets. They did not tell troubled borrowers that walking away was actually an intentional foreclosure, and many unknowing borrowers ended up with a foreclosure on their credit record when they may have been able to salvage it.

Most homeowners used to feel walking away was morally reprehensible, irresponsible. But even though strategic defaults have gone down the new study shows that this may no longer be the case. It is worrisome for several reasons, but what effect might it have on the housing market and on your property values?

The housing market will not come into a complete recovery until we clear out all the distressed property. If homeowners start walking away in large numbers this will take even longer. Obviously this will effect property values for a longer period of time.

More importantly, we need to find alternative ways to help struggling homeowners. People should not feel it is ok to turn their backs on an obligation to which they have committed. States are doing their part to help, organizations are fighting to get government help. We all need to seek the assistance available and try to find other ways to stay in our homes before resorting to walking away.

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To Whom are You Accountable?

Friday, May 13th, 2011

To whom are you accountable? What popped into your head first – boss? Spouse? Friend? Yourself?

I am amazed every day by people, and usually in a positive way. I believe that the majority of people are good, have big hearts and care about others, seek to do justice and hold themselves accountable. But of course there are some who do not. They may by nature be unwilling to hold themselves responsible, not care about how their actions affect others, or may do so because of stress (economic, relationship, illness, etc). I do not hold a PhD but I am analytical by nature and consider myself a pretty good judge of character. I created the following categories of accountability…see what you think.

The moral person holds herself accountable to herself, first and foremost. She knows if she does something that is not right she will not only affect others, but feel badly. She will want to take action and admit her faults. She also holds herself accountable to others. For many this is just part of who they are. It is part psychological and may be inbred, but also has a lot to do with how you were raised, where you live and with whom you associate yourself.

The pleaser holds himself accountable to others, like his boss or teammate, someone he looks up to or with whom he is in a relationship. He is eager to please and if he is surrounded by moral people he will likely become a moral person. His confidence will rise when he does something right, and if the people around him teach him to hold himself accountable he will be successful and confident.

The know-it-all is the person who actually thinks he is in the right, even when he is not. He may or may not hold himself accountable to anyone in particular. He is the one who, when called out for being unprofessional or making a poor choice, does not admit he is wrong or even apologize. I think deep down he knows he is not in the right, but he may see himself as superior or may just not want to admit to others that he was wrong. This person may have been surrounded by hard to please parents or peers at times of crucial development. He also may just have low self-confidence. These types may hold themselves accountable to others they admire, but they may do so temporarily, depending on what the big plan is. These people CAN be healed with a little confidence and some good guidance.

The immoral person really only cares about herself and does not hold herself accountable to others, maybe not even herself. She does not consider the feelings of others, or maybe does but does not really bother with them. She is out for herself – maybe to make a quick buck, get to the top, make more money. She may have been raised that way, or she may have hardened herself due to circumstances she has faced in life. She may even not consider her actions to be immoral or even wrong, and may just need to associate herself with the right people to change her viewpoint.

I created the above list because I see these types of people all the time. I saw them when I practiced law, when I was not working and raising my children, and throughout my real estate career. There may be a few other categories you may think of, and some people may fall into several at different times.

I think the lesson here is that we all should ask ourselves to whom we are accountable. We need to be accountable BOTH to ourselves and to our clients, peers, family, friends. If you make a mistake, do not be afraid to admit it. Do the right thing and you will not only be more successful, but happier.

 

 

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