Tuesday, August 18, 2009


I've been working in a Short Sale. This is a LOT of WORK for a realtor. First you have to get permission from the Seller of the home to allow the bank to talk to you, the realtor. I faxed over a letter, signed by my seller, and a week later the bank (whose name I probably shouldn't mention but it's two words and the first starts with "W" and the second starts with "F") still couldn't find the fax. So, we did a three-way conference call with the bank, me, and my Seller. Then they allowed me to start sending things over. After all was gathered, I faxed over 87 (YES, Eighty-seven) pages to the bank ! Things like the Listing Agreement, the MLS listing sheets, the Seller's hardship letter, two months' bank statements, tax returns, pay stubs, and the Residential Purchase Agreement, plus some other documents, and it was an all-day thing. The Seller's name and loan number had to be on top of Each and Every Page. Then I wait another day, call them back, and make sure they got everything. Wow. I was exhausted when I finally got done, about 5 P.M. this afternoon. Fingers crossed that this home will sell quickly (i.e., that the bank will process the papers and accept the offer !)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Realtor/ Realator ? Which is correct?

I often hear people use the words real-a-tor and real-a-ty. Actually, the word realtor has only two syllables, and is pronounced real - tor; the word realty also has two syllables and is pronounced real - tee. The "real" part of these words refers to Real Property , which means property that is immovable (land and the things that are attached to it). On the other hand, Personal Property is movable. So, if you take apart the word REALTOR, the "tor" part means "person who teaches". Thus a REALTOR is a person who teaches you about Real Property, otherwise known as Real Estate. In the word REALTY, the "ty" suffix means "state of" or "quality of", so it means the state or quality of Real Property. Want to impress your friends? You can educate them about these two simple syllables and what they mean. If you hear someone say they are looking for a good Sacramento Realator, or a good Roseville Realator, you can gently show them that they are actually looking for a Sacramento "Realtor" or a Roseville "Realtor" !

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Realtors Help People

This week I was able to see how Realtors are in a great position to really help people. A friend of 22 years has been having health issues and can't live in his home, safely, any more. His children are moving away in the fall, for college and for professional reasons, so he needs to be near other people. His children found a wonderful facility in the downtown area, Pioneer House, which is very close to Crocker Art Gallery. He'll be around other people all the time, and not isolated the way he was in Elk Grove. He'll have a meal every day at dinner time at Pioneer House, and it's comforting to his children, and to his friends, that he will be looked after.
As a realtor, I was able to arrange a handyman to make some necessary repairs in his home, movers to relocate him from Elk Grove to downtown Sacramento, and people to clean up his home, and shampoo his carpets, to make the place shine. Then I will be putting it up for sale.
I know my team members at Connect Realty will give me lots of ideas on how to market this property and get the word out about it. It's a perfect spot for a first-time buyer or investor, and in a VERY nice neighborhood in Elk Grove. This is exciting !

Monday, July 6, 2009

Changed Brokers

I changed Brokers last week. I now am affiliated with Connect Realty, and I'm excited about that. I'll be meeting new people and will hear all about real estate from other peoples' perspectives, which is always helpful (and sometimes it's NOT -- you have to take what you like and leave the rest).
So, I purchased a good laser printer/scanner/fax/copier at Office Max, and am setting shop now -- it's quite a job but shouldn't take too much more time.
I have a good friend who can't live alone or drive any more, so his grown-up children, 19 and 23, are moving him into a new facility downtown where he will be closer to public transportation and where he's not so far away from shopping, etc. He's been in Elk Grove, far from so many amenities. I'm going to help him sell his home, which unfortunately may have to be a Short Sale but it's best for him. He's a nice person and we all want him to be safe !
This is my first blog for a while, I've been so busy. Fourth of July was a great day and I got to photograph the fireworks at Sunrise Mall, and they were great. The City of Citrus Heights has done a great job of putting on such a big fireworks show. What a fun evening !

Saturday, June 20, 2009

McKinley Park Gardens

This morning I got up EARLY 7 am (this is Saturday) and drove to McKinley Park to meet fellow photographers from my camera club. Our job was to practice "macro photography" techniques -- that means you use your longest lens and get very close to a flower and try to take a very artsy, soft-focus photgraph of a flower, or even just PART of a flower. We went early because when the traffic on H Street picks up, it creates wind and makes the picture-taking difficult. Well, today, the traffic made no difference -- it was windy anyway ! So it was a bit of a challenge. But it was fun to be there among other photographers - we had about five or six. One of them, the President of our Sierra Camera Club, used to be my professor at CSUS when I was in Grad school -- in 1980. He has since retired and I'm so impressed with his photography skills -- he's a master at creating beautiful macro shots, especially of poppies. Another group that was there consisted of artists -- painters, sketchers, etc., and of course there were many people running and walking around the park. Quite a lively place at 7:30 in the morning !! Don't people like to sleep in ?? Actually, I envy them. I wish I were a morning person, but I much prefer to stay up late and sleep in. But not today !

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Federal Pool Safety Law

A new federal law was passed, the Pool and Spa Safety Act, requiring all public pools and spas to have a cover on the pool drain. In the past 20 years, dozens of children have become sucked into or trapped underwater in drains and died or been severely injured. Violation of this crime carries a hefty fine -- up to $1.8 million per infraction plus criminal penalties, so it certainly makes sense for pool owners to be in compliance. The public pools include those in hotels, apartment complexes, home-owner associations, and other common areas.

Here are some specifics about the law. All public pools must include approved safety drain covers, while single drain public pools must ALSO install approved anti-entrapment devices, such as Safety Vacuum Release System (SVRS), an automatic pump shot-off system, a gravity drainage system, or a suction-limiting vent system.

Privately owned pools and spas in the backyard of private homes are NOT covered by the law and are not required to install any drain covers. Pool maintenance companies have reportedly quoted thousands of dollars to owners to install the required covers, but officials said no such costs are warranted in order to comply with the law.

Organizations such as CPSC (Consumer Public Safety Commission) and Safe Kids strongly recommend all pools and spas, even private residential pools and spas, install both approved drain covers and an additional layer of protection.

If you are taking your children to a public place to swim, and swimming weather is here, PLEASE take the time to double-check your community pool and ask the owner if the safety devices have been installed. Make the summer of 2009 a safe and fun time when it comes to children's pool safety.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Mello Roos

I have noticed as a Roseville Realtor (or Roseville Realator, as some mistakenly call it -- see my website), that many of the Roseville homes have a Mello Roos tax which is a monthly expense attached to the home. What is a Mello Roos tax? It is a special tax which was assessed to homeowners in a particular community, in order to repay bonds which were used to fund the infrastructure of that community. This infrastructure includes roads, schools, police and fire protection services, ambulance, utility connection, sewer lines, and streetlights. It is generally found that communities with a Mello Roos tax have lower crime rates and better schools. A disadvantage to a new buyer, especially a first-time buyer, is that the Mello Roos (which can range anywhere from $25 to $300 or more per month) must be considered when looking at how much the property will cost the buyer per month -- can they afford the mortgage payment AND can they also afford the Mello Roos tax?

Mello Roos was voted on and passed in 1982, four years after Proposition 13 was passed to limit property taxation. It is usually attached to communities of homes which were built in 1994 or later. Some Mello Roos taxes can be paid in a lump sum if the buyer can pay them; others can last 30 years or more and cannot be paid in a lump sum. Any Roseville Realtor ( or Sacramento Realtor) should let the buyer know if there is a Mello Roos tax attached to the home, and how much it is. This information should also be supplied by the Listing agent of the home. And, any new homebuyer should decide if the home and surrounding area warrant the additional expense of the Mello Roos tax. They should drive around the area, see what is available, check out the schools and parks and other amenities, and make an educated decision.