Saturday, August 28, 2010

Millbrae Art and Wine is next weekend!

The 40th annual Millbrae Art & Wine Festival will be held on Saturday and Sunday, September 4th and 5th, 2010 in downtown Millbrae. This is a special anniversary for the festival which will mean an even bigger and better event for the tens of thousands of people who attend.

The Millbrae Art & Wine Festival is one of the oldest and best events in the Bay Area. More than 200 artists and craft vendors from all over the western United States exhibit at the festival. With nearly continuous entertainment on the festival's stages, Millbrae's downtown is transformed into a wonderful mix of art, food, music and rides.

For details about the 2009 event including information about the artists, musicians, food vendors and attractions please visit the Miramar Events web site by clicking here.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Attempts to Place Rent Board and Affordable Housing Measures on November Ballot Fail

From the SF Realtor Advantage Online for August 3, 2010:

Two proposed measures that seemed destined to appear on the San Francisco municipal ballot in November, both of which were opposed by the San Francisco Association of REALTORS®, failed to receive the support necessary to make it.

The first was a Charter amendment proposed by Supervisor David Campos (formerly a deputy city attorney for the City and County of San Francisco, later, general counsel to the San Francisco Unified School District, and currently, a supervisor representing District 9) to change the composition of the city’s Rent Board to weight it in favor of tenants.

Currently, the mayor appoints the members of the Rent Board to serve four-year terms. The board consists of two tenants, two landlords and a neutral member who is neither a tenant nor a landlord and who owns no rental property. The members serve at the pleasure of the mayor.

Under Campos’ proposed Charter amendment, the Rent Board would consist of three tenants, two landlords and two neutral members. The Board of Supervisors would be authorized to appoint three members (one tenant, one landlord and one neutral), the mayor to appoint three members (one tenant, one landlord and one neutral) and the Board of Supervisors’ president and the mayor to jointly appoint one tenant member. The Rent Board would be added to the list of commissions whose members are subject to removal only for official misconduct.

The second was a Charter amendment proposed by Supervisor Chris Daly (representing District 6) to require the diversion of city funds to affordable housing projects in San Francisco.

Daly’s proposed Charter amendment, if approved by the voters, would have mandated that the city EVERY YEAR for 15 years spend 33 percent of every budget surplus on housing projects—NOT housing projects for typical San Francisco working class families but projects for a very narrow spectrum of the population.

The amendment’s mandate would take precedence over all other needs—regardless of how critically important those other needs might have been to those who live and work in San Francisco.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

What will the new consumer protection bureau do?

From the Los Angeles Times:

What the new consumer protection bureau will do for home buyers
Part of the financial reform bill signed into law by President Obama includes the creation of a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which will write new rules and monitor problems and abuses in areas such as residential real estate settlements, credit scores, “truth in lending,” and equal credit opportunity.

Before the Bureau can begin implementing new laws to assist consumers, the president must nominate a director for the Bureau and the Senate must confirm the nominee. While this may take time, mortgage industry leaders say some of the core changes promised by the legislation either already are in effect or should be soon.

Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner has until Sept. 19 to designate a transfer date when key legal and regulator authorities shift from agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission and the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), to the new consumer bureau. Once that takes place, the Bureau will begin implementing the new laws.

One of the earliest and most widely anticipated changes expected to take effect impact home appraisals. By law, the agency must create new interim rules on appraisal accuracy and independence to replace the Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC) rules imposed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2009. Many in the real estate industry, as well as home buyers and sellers, report HVCC standards led to low home valuations that, in some instances, derailed home sales transactions.

A national hotline system also will be developed that will allow aggrieved mortgage borrowers and others to issue complaints and alert the Bureau to unfair and deceptive practices.
Rules requiring mortgage loan officers to verify mortgage applicants possess the ability to repay the loans they’re seeking also is high on the list.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Nearly one quarter of homes reduced asking price in July

A recent report found 24 percent of homes listed for sale nationwide experienced at least one price reduction as of July 1, representing a 9-percent increase compared with the previous month, according to The average discount for price-reduced homes remained unchanged at 10 percent of the listing price.

Cities in the Western U.S. experienced some of the largest surges in price reduction compared with the previous month. Oakland increased 38 percent month-over-month and San Diego experienced price reductions of 25 percent. Honolulu experienced a 21 percent increase in reductions from the previous month and Las Vegas increased by 20 percent.