Archive for July, 2011

Billion is the New Million

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

I was thinking about football the other day and wondering if there would be a playing season this year; will the NFL reach an agreement with the players? Looks like they did, as there was a lot of money at stake, Millions and beyond. The NFL will fund $1 Billion (yes, Billion) to future medical care of the players; medical issues that were unknown when the NFL first started. A Billion is a lot of money.

We now have Billionaires, replacing Millionaires. People are purchasing properties, worth a Million or more and tearing them down, to put up a new structure, worth a pile of money. So, to have our National debt in the Trillions (and growing) is a big deal? I can remember when a Million Dollars was a lot of money, in fact, it still is. However, we now talk in Billions and Trillions.

Compromise is the word of the week, or perhaps the month. It appears our two political parties are unable to do this one little thing – compromise. They each have their own agenda, that probably includes fundraising to stay in office as long as they can. It would be too much to hope for to have politicians think of the “people” and to work out a compromised agenda that will work. Officeholders should take just one pledge—weigh all sides of an issue before making up their minds. Let’s hope this “debt plan” gets resolved soon.

Infineon Raceway heats up this weekend with the NHRA Nationals, Friday through Sunday, 7/29 thru 7/31, call 800-870-7223. Also, check out the Sonoma County Fair in Santa Rosa that starts today, July 27th, through August 14th.

CMA President

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

I was just installed as President of the California Mortgage Association (CMA) for the coming year (2011-2012).  It is the largest independent professional organization providing education, legislative advocacy and networking opportunities to mortgage brokers and lenders engaged in making real estate loans with private money or other “non-institutional” funds.  CMA’s mission is the ongoing education of California licensed private money lenders, as well as the preservation of our industry through legislative review & advocacy. 

CMA represents individuals, sole proprietorships, corporations and partnerships involved with the origination, selling or servicing of trust deed loans.  Our members include those regulated by the Dept. of Real Estate (DRE) and the Dept. of Corporations (DOC).  We also represent affiliate members who provide services to our regular members, including title, escrow & software companies, among others.

Education in our business is very important.  CMA provides some of the most comprehensive educational seminars available in the private mortgage lending field.  It is crucial to keep up with the continual changes in our industry. 

On a lighter note, it is going to be HOT this weekend, so check out the Healdsburg Water Carnival (FREE) on Sat. 7/23, call 707-431-3301 or also on Sat. 7/23 is the Hot Graton Nights Car Show & BBQ (in Sebastopol), call 707-823-3040.  Also, the Sonoma County Fair (in Santa Rosa) starts on Wed., July 27th, through Aug. 14th.     


Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

If you are planning to purchase any big-ticket items, wait until this Friday, 7/16, when state sales taxes will fall by 1% and vehicle license fees will drop statewide.  However, the other side of that coin is less revenue to the local economy and a larger deficit to have to deal with.  The sales tax change will impact the state about $4.5 Billion/year.  Since there was no extension of the taxes, there will be some serious cuts in education and other programs.  The next few months will be interesting, especially for the local schools. 

On the “good news” side for our County, there is a recent publication by the Sonoma County Economic Development Board on Sonoma County Restaurant Week,  which is held in February for 7 days.  This is the second time the event has been done.  Restaurants in Sonoma County offer special 3-course meals at $19, $29 or $39.  Tourists represented 15% of the diners, bringing new money into Sonoma County.  This is a great way for people to try new restaurants they would like to go to but haven’t.  So, put it on your calendar for next year and I’ll try to remind you.

I am headed to San Diego for a mortgage conference for the California Mortgage Association, that focuses on private money lending in the state of California.  I’ll report in next week on topics that were covered. 

Some fun events this weekend: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn at the 6thStreet Playhouse, 7/15 thru 7/17, call 707-523-4185; Sun. 7/17 at the Wells Fargo Center, the US Coast Guard Band, free, call 707-546-3600.

Local Economy Growing

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

I am hoping that everyone had a safe Fourth of July!  There is a safety issue you should know about.  Were you aware of a new California law that went into effect on July 1, 2011, requiring carbon monoxide detectors in single-family dwellings?  This law applies to every dwelling unit that has a coal, kerosene, oil, wood, fuel gases and other petroleum/hydrocarbon products that emit carbon monoxide as a byproduct of combustion.  So, if this applies to you, be safe & take care of this little task.

An article in last week’s local paper, Press Democrat, stated that the Sonoma County economy is finally beginning to grow.  Our local housing market hasn’t hit bottom but it is close.  Prices will struggle through the second half of this year but we should be toward the end of the downturn.  Sonoma County is outpacing the rest of California and the nation in job creation and income growth, according to the Moody’s Report.  The County’s technology, wine & tourism industries give it exposure to growing international markets and they are primed for expansion.  Our County’s job growth is slow but steady.  Openings are scattered across a range of industries.  There are jobs to be had and we are seeing steady job postings.  I realize the movement is very slow but at least it is going in the right direction, which is very good.

Now that we are experiencing great weather, there are some great events going on in Sonoma County.  On Sat. 7/9, Annual Old Grove Festival/Gourmet Hike through Armstrong Redwoods State Park, 707-869-9403; Sun. 7/10 the Petaluma Art/Garden Festival, 707-762-9348 (free event).