The North San Diego County Association of REALTORS® (NSDCAR) has announced its endorsement of two candidates for countywide elected offices for the June 5 election. Those candidates include Bonnie Dumanis for County Supervisor District #4 and Ernie Dronenburg for San Diego County assessor-recorder-clerk.
NSDCAR’s Local Government Relations (LGR) Committee recommended the two endorsements to the board of directors, which then ratified the recommendation. The LGR Committee is involved in political advocacy and public policy and its impact on NSDCAR members and the real estate industry. In addition, LGR members are involved in addressing a variety of complex and multi-dimensional issues that relate to the protection of private property rights, as well as candidate endorsements.
Dumanis, a former judge and prosecutor, is one of five candidates vying to succeed six-term Supervisor Ron Roberts. Dumanis previously served four terms as San Diego County District Attorney. In 1994, she was elected Judge on the San Diego Municipal Court. In 1998, she was elected Judge on the Superior Court where she pioneered the “Domestic Violence Court” to reduce recurrences of abuse. She also created one of the first Drug Courts in San Diego County, which was recognized as a national model.
In 2003, Dumanis challenged the sitting DA, winning a race no one thought she could, while making history as the first openly gay prosecutor in the country, and the first female DA in San Diego history. As District Attorney for nearly 15 years, Dumanis built a partnership with other law enforcement agencies and community groups to help make San Diego one of the safest big cities in America. When she left office in 2017, crime was at a 47-year low.
In response to the question, “What is the single most important issue that led you to run for county supervisor,” Dumanis answered: “For the last 35 years, as a judge and the district attorney of San Diego County, I have seen the tragedy that has been created by the undertreatment of our mentally ill in the county. They are the homeless, jobless, victims and the offenders ending up in our criminal justice system. This is a problem that needs to be solved as a society, not by the criminal justice system. As county supervisor I can use the experience and evidence-based practices to prevent these tragic outcomes from occurring. There is no reason our jails should be our biggest mental health provider.”
Among Dumanis’ other endorsements: Deputy Sheriffs Association of San Diego County, District Attorney Investigators' Association, Latino American Political Association, Lincoln Club of San Diego, Oceanside Police Officers Association, San Diego Asian Americans for Equality. San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, Southern California Alliance of Law Enforcement, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer.
Dumanis’ campaign website is www.bonnieforsupervisor.com.
The 100-square-mile District #4 is perhaps the most diverse district in San Diego County with a population of approximately 630,000. It includes most of the city of San Diego, and spans La Jolla to Kearny Mesa, Encanto, Downtown and Ocean Beach.
Meanwhile, Dronenburg is seeking reelection for a third term to the nonpartisan office. He was first elected to the office in 2010 and re-elected in June 2014, when he received 59 percent of the vote, resulting in no runoff election that year. His June 2014 reelection was won by a 28-point spread.
Dronenburg has 20-year track record of advocating for taxpayers. Histrack record includes lowering property values, which provided tax relief to hundreds of thousands homeowners so they could remain in their homes. Soon after taking office in 2010, Dronenburg reduced property taxes on more than 310,000 properties in San Diego County. At the time, the housing market was still reeling from impact of the economic recession and many homeowners had lost value in their homes.
Under Dronenburg’s leadership, the county office has implemented innovative technology so that taxpayers can conveniently do business with his office online rather than driving to his office to stand inline. Dronenburg was California’s first and only Assessor Office to implement online forms with secure electronic signatures. Dornenburg also led a document digitalization process saving the office from printing more than 650,000 pieces of paper annually and allowing more taxpayers to be served at regional offices. He also has established advisory to better serve the senior citizen and disabled veteran communities. San Diego County’s assessor-recorder-clerk’s office serves more disabled veterans than any of California’s 58 counties.
Also, under Dronenburg, the office has improved customer service, receiving a 98.3 percent positive customer survey rating and a 4.5 stars out of 5 stars rating on YELP.
Prior to serving as the county’s assessor-recorder-clerk, Dronenburg spent 20 years with the California State Board of Equalization (BOE), including five years as chairman. At the BOE, he advocated for taxpayers and authored the California Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights and implemented the original Prop. 13 regulations that limit property taxes to 1 percent of a property’s assessed value. Dronenburg remains a staunch advocate leading statewide protection of the famous Prop. 13 law, which he says keeps homeownership affordable and lowers both residential rents and the ability for small business owners to operate.
Dronenburg grew up in San Diego and graduated from Crawford High School and received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from San Diego State University. He served in the U.S. Coast Guard, and has served on the boards of several community groups, including the Salvation Army and National Multiple Sclerosis Society
The office of the County assessor-recorder-clerk typically draws little public attention, however nearly every county resident who owns property or rents is affected by what happens there. As county assessor, Dronenburg oversees assessing the value of real estate and personal property, which in San Diego includes planes and boats. Property taxes constitute the largest share of revenue for the county. His work also involves registering business names and issuing marriage licenses, birth and death certificates. The office has a $71 million budget with 405 employees and five offices in San Diego County. Dronenburg’s office has returned an average of $3.2 million of his annual budget to the County general fund. His office is forecasting to return over $5 million in 2018.
As a California Certified Property Tax Appraiser for over 10 years, Dronenburg is the only candidate in the race who meets the legal requirement to hold the office of assessor-recorder-county clerk.
“I feel that qualifications and experience matters and I’m the only candidate with the knowledge to understand the technical nature of property taxes to protect homeowners and the certification necessary to legally hold the office,” said Dronenburg, a Fallbrook resident who lives on a flower farm. “I’ve been successful with implementing technology innovation and brining the private sector revolution to the public office.”
“Our staffs have worked together for years to the benefit of taxpayers and we want that working relationship to continue,” said Dan McAllister, San Diego County Treasurer-Tax Collector, who has endorsed Dronenburg.
Greg Smith, former assessor-recorder-county Clerk, also has endorsed Dronenburg. “Ernie is far and away the superior choice for the office,” said Smith. “He embodies fiscal responsibility and is a true taxpayer advocate.”
Among Dronenburg’s other endorsements: San Diego County Deputy Sheriff’s Association, San Diego Police Officers Association, National Electrical Contractors Association, the Latino American Political Association and the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, considered California’s leading bi-partisan taxpayer organization. In addition, Dronenburg has received the endorsement of members of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, the County Treasurer-Tax Collector and several city mayors (Carlsbad, Coronado, El Cajon, Escondido, National City, Poway, San Diego, San Marcos, Santee) as well as members of city councils, school boards, water boards and healthcare district boards countywide.
Dronenburg’s campaign website is www.voteforernie.com.
Below please find links to the proposed amendments to the Bylaws of the North San Diego County Association of REALTORS® as recommended by the Board of Directors to be placed before the membership for a vote to take place at the same time and on the same ballot as the Annual Election in June 2018. Click the link below to review. Notice of Proposed Bylaw Amendments - 2018
NSDCAR REALTOR® member Jackie Camacho, a San Marcos resident, grew up in North County and graduated from Mission Hills High School (class of 2007). She purchased her first property at age 22 in 2012. Then, in August 2014, she earned her real estate sales license. She has been with Realty One Group since March 2017. Along with teammate Lazaro “Laz” Castillo, more than 80 percent of her real estate clients are millennials. Jackie recently shared her thoughts about serving millennial clients in her real estate practice.
-- Don’t ignore us:
Today’s millennials represent the largest group of potential homebuyers, and older agents should not discredit the younger generation. Just because they show-up in jeans and flip-flops doesn’t mean millennials are not serious and qualified. Don’t ignore them. Do not be skeptical of them. Zillow said that millennials make up the largest segment for first-time buyers, and half of them are under age 36. Zillow also said that 66 percent of millennial homeowners are white, 17 percent are Hispanic or Latino, 10 percent are African American, 7 percent are Asian or Pacific Islander.
-- Millennials are savvy clients:
Before talking to a potential millennial client, you can assume that they have already done lots of research on their own. There are so many online resources available that in most cases they already know about their favorite neighborhoods, what houses are selling for in those areas, what parks and stores are around. They already know that homeownership is a powerful way to build wealth and they are overpaying such high rent rates. And, they tend to be money savvy, when they have a goal they save for it.
-- What millennials need from real estate professionals:
You can assume that millennials are desirous to own a home, they just may need more guidance and direction. They desire to own a home because they know that a home can provide emotional stability, safety, financial independence and it’s a time-proven path for wealth accumulation. Millennials have not turned their backs on homeownership. But, their vision may be clouded by misinformation. They may need education about the home buying process. They want to dialogue and know how to make homeownership possible. What kind of financing is available, down payment assistance, and your expert opinion on where their budget places them. So, I would encourage my fellow NSDCAR members to take every opportunity to explain the benefits of homeownership, including stability, price appreciation, a secure path to wealth and asset accumulation, to name a few.
-- How to communicate with millennials:
80 percent of our clients are millennials, and our initial point of contact 80 percent of the time is either through a text or a social media platform, such as Facebook, Messenger, Instagram or Snapchat. The first contact with a millennial buyer will probably not be by phone call because millennials have so many options for communicating. They may not have the time for lengthy phone conversations. A text would be better and a speedy reply is expected.
-- What’s important to millennial buyers:
Most millennial buyers already have a good idea of what they’re looking for. Because some are delaying starting a family, we have had buyers who placed a higher priority on whether the backyard is big enough for their dog. Others want their home to be energy efficient. Others are concerned about proximity to coffee shops, grocery stores and retailers.
-- What’s preventing millennials from homeownership:
In addition to low inventory and affordability concerns, a recent Experian study revealed several reasons why potential millennial buyers are delaying or avoiding homeownership. Some of them want more flexibility to relocate than owning a house might allow. Others have little desire to carry as much debt as is required to purchase a home. Still, others worry about their ability to afford a home with sizable student debt. According to Pew Research, a growing number of millennial women are prioritizing their education and careers over marriage and buying a home.
-- Why I like to work with millennial clients:
Other than the fact that I am one, I get a great sense of satisfaction and fulfillment when I help others with their goal of sharing in the American dream of homeownership. I’m excited about my job and look forward to it every day
NSDCAR REALTOR® member Michelle Harvey is the broker and owner of Harvey Homes and Property Management, founded in 2005. She has been recognized twice by the San Diego Business Journal newspaper as a “Women Who Mean Business” finalist. The native of Vista has worked in real estate since 1999, and has been a member of NSDCAR ever since. She is the author of “Home Buying Basics: Insider Tips to Purchasing a Home” (2010). Michelle and husband Jason are raising Mason, age 9. Michelle first met Jason at a math class at Palomar Community College. “He drove a 1965 Mustang, which I liked more than my 1966 Mustang,” Michelle said. She recently shared her thoughts about the real estate profession.
Gutsiest thing I ever said to anybody in real estate:
After working for over a year as a real estate assistant, I wanted to become a sales agent. During my interview with the office broker, she asked me, “Where do you see yourself in 10 years?” Without hesitation, I replied, “Doing your job, sitting in your chair.” Initially, the broker seemed startled, but then she invited me to join their office as a REALTOR®. Actually, I didn’t wait 10 years, but it was five years later before opening my own brokerage.
Toughest decision I had to make in real estate:
For more than 10 years, I worked both in sales and property management, managing individual homes. My management portfolio was not huge, but it was profitable. But then, about a year ago, I decided to drop property management. It wasn’t easy, but I had to be honest and admit that I could not be as effective as I wanted to be because my level of control was minimal. For example, owners would refuse to spend their money on repairs that were requested by the tenants, so then you had both sides angry at you. I am not a product of my circumstances, rather I’m a product of my decisions. To achieve your dreams in life, you need to decide on what really matters and what will last in your life and focus on that. If you’re not dreaming, you’re dying. Nobody is born great, there are only ordinary people committed to great dreams.
One of the most painful aspects of working in real estate:
It really hurts to lose a deal, especially when you’ve worked hard and tried nearly every strategy to make it work. However, I believe it hurts even more to see a client you’ve invested time and effort with decide to change their minds and leave to work with another agent. Ouch.
How to deal with failure in real estate:
Failure is not failing to reach your goal; instead, failure is not having a target. Failure is not falling down, but it’s refusing to get back up. You’re never a failure until you quit. Failure is not trying; instead, failure is failing to try. I believe that every situation in life, good or bad, has a lesson that can be learned and you can always benefit by learning from your failures, and then you need to move on. Never forget this truth: Failure probably won’t kill you. It’s not the end of the world, although sometimes it feels like it. However, sometimes, we vastly exaggerate the effects of failure. We overreact with the prospects of failing. For example, on the first day of kindergarten, imagine if I got in the wrong line or in the wrong classroom, and then I went home my mom and dad and said, “I’m a failure at education, this school thing just doesn’t work.” Of course, that example sounds crazy. Instead, you keep going. If at first you don’t succeed, it’s no big deal. You’re never a failure until you give up. Accept yourself, flaws and all. Make failure a learning experience, a teachable moment. It’s failure that gives you the proper perspective on success.
Keys to time management in real estate:
It’s not always easy, but I home-school our son, which makes time management even more important. It’s imperative to follow a schedule, which includes school work in the morning and real estate work in the afternoons and evenings. Both my son and I have our own computers. At this age, I can give Mason a task, which he can complete on his computer, while I’m checking e-mail on my computer. We are called to be stewards of our time. We tend to live our lives by either priorities or pressures.
Keys to stress management in real estate:
I believe balance is the key to stress management. It’s easy to get busy and get overwhelmed. Work must be balanced with fun in life. Take time for inward rejuvenation and recharging. In the Air Force, they’ve mastered the art of mid-flight refueling, which is an important illustration on how to last in this profession. I’m not always successful, but I try to focus on one thing at a time (you can’t chase two rabbits at the same time). Preparation prevents pressure but procrastination produces it.
How to think the right way in real estate:
I set aside time on a regular basis for investing into the real estate business. Real estate operates on a cycle and it is important to be prepared for market changes. I need to stay current with the latest changes, stay connected with the Association and also spend time looking for new opportunities, even while I’m selling in the meantime. The battle to change unhealthy habits in your life is always a mental battle. But it starts in the mind, and it’s won or lost there. Change in your life requires new thinking. So, tell yourself the truth in order to stop defeating yourself and stop deceiving yourself. We are not a victim of our thoughts, we have a vote, we have a choice. We can exercise thought prevention.
Keys to success in real estate:
I try to keep an open mind and truly listen in order to make informed decisions. I also try to pay attention to the little things. Integrity shows up in the stuff that nobody sees, behind the scenes, and in the small, unseen, unspectacular choices of life where you do the right thing even though nobody’s ever going to see it. Also, I believe in giving back, not because it is a write off, but because it is important for us to share with others. Even if you don’t have a lot, give whatever you can. Anybody can be generous when they have a surplus. But, generous people give even when they don’t have a lot to give.
Keys to success in working with other real estate agents:
I try to never be rude or talk down to other agents. Treat each other with respect and as team members working towards the same goal. There is no need to establish dominance or show up another agent.
Why some real estate agents are not successful:
I’ve noticed some agents have a `know-it-all’ attitude. They’ve quit making the effort to learn new things. They don’t attend classes offered by the Association, which is unfortunate. It’s important to me to always keep learning. You don’t make decisions out of ignorance. It’s also important to continue to invest into yourself as an agent and as a business for the benefit of your clients.
A recent deal that was raised from the dead:
I was representing the seller and the buyer had a very long and expensive list of repairs after an extensive physical inspection. My seller wanted us to walk away from the deal, but I convinced her not to walk away and not to take the request for repairs personally. I also took the time to really get inside her head and also inside the buyer's head to think on how to satisfy both parties. It took about a week of negotiations to come to a mutual agreement, but the deal was saved and closed on time. My seller was very happy and so was the buyer. Sometimes, things seem impossible but by working as a team with the other agents and not as adversaries, then you can work through just about any difficult escrow problem.
How to win new clients:
Be yourself. Don’t pretend to be something you’re not. People can see genuineness in a person.
"Preparation prevents pressure but procrastination produces it."
Collab Center: *Preference Wizard Web Page Setup Previously, some end users with iPads could not configure their Collaboration Center site as the Preferences Wizard is turned off when viewing Paragon on an iPad. To mitigate this concern, the Collab Center Site Information content has been added to the Collab Center section of User Preferences. This allows end users to configure their Collaboration Center Site regardless of the device being used. *Map Layers Added The Collaboration Center and CollabLink applications have been enhanced to include Map Layers. These are the same map layers found in Paragon which include Parcels, County, Flood, Traffic, Area, etc. *Access Listing Details Directly from the Listing Update Notification A direct link has been added that will take the user to the Collaboration Center’s Listing Detail view from the listing summary of properties included in the client Listing Update email notifications. Closing the Listing Detail view will return the user to the Collaboration Center home page. Property History Reports Shows Reference Data When users add the listing agent and office fields to the Property History they did not have an efficient way to review additional information about the agent or office without changing to another report view. In order to promote consistency amongst report views and add quick access to pertinent information, the listing agent and office fields in the Property History report have been hyperlinked so that when a user clicks the hyperlinked listing agent or office names, the standard agent or office detail screen will display. Reorder Your Results on Google Map Report Available by popular demand, the ability to reorder listings on the Google Map Report view is included in this release. Users can now drag and drop the results in any order that they would like on the report. This will cause the report to refresh so that the numbering associated with the listing in the results and on the map will match. This enhancement alleviates the need to toggle between the Google Map report and the spreadsheet view to reorder the results because previously reordering could only be done in spreadsheet result views. Email and Print Update for Estimated Pages Per customer suggestion we’ve modified the Estimated Pages column heading to be more descriptive changing it from ‘Pages’ to ‘Est. Pages’. Rounding Listing Prices Over $1,000,000 Although infrequent, when a listing price is over $1,000,000, the listing marker on Map Searches in Paragon would usually round the price too high or too low. This has been corrected so that the rounding displays one decimal place. Precursor Performance Changes for Automatically Displaying Results on Map Search In preparation for automatically displaying results when accessing the map search (i.e., Map Boundary) in the next Paragon release, a few performance improvements have been made, thus making results return faster: · Results reflect lowest to highest system price, previously it displayed highest to lowest price. · Listing data doesn’t load until the user clicks on a cluster or listing price marker. · The number of columns returned in the results has been limited to a small few key fields. Another major improvement is that listing map results will now return 2,500 listings instead of 500. Because of the performance improvements listed above, the results return faster. Listing Activity Data Retained for 120 Days The Listing Activity displayed on the Listing Activity Report in Paragon Listing Maintenance and in the Sell Side of Collaboration Center has been refactored to retain this pertinent information for the previous 120 Days. This change promotes data accuracy and optimizes system performance. Minimum Photo Size for Listings To ensure better quality photos are added to listings, a minimum photo requirement has been implemented to prevent uploading photos that are too small alleviating accidental upload of thumbnail sized photos instead of the full photo of the listing. If a photo is too small, the user will receive an error while attempting to upload it. Minimum 640x480
Momentum for the California housing market is continuing, according to a recent housing market report from the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.). The statewide trade group said seasonally adjusted, existing home sales rose both month-to-month and year-over-year in March, plus the statewide median price accelerated to an eight-month high.
Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 423,990 units in March, said C.A.R. March’s sales figure was up 0.3 percent from the 422,910 level in February 2018 and up 1.6 percent compared with home sales in March 2017 to a revised 417,380. The year-to-year increase was slightly stronger than the six-month average sales growth of -0.1 percent recorded between September 2017 and February 2018.
Home prices maintained strong growth across California, with the statewide median price jumping 8.1 percent to reach $564,830 in March, up from a revised $522,440 in February and rising 8.9 percent from a revised $518,600 in March 2017. The March 2018 California median home price was the highest since August 2017, and the year-over-year gain was the largest since January 2016. In San Diego, by C.A.R.’s accounts, the median selling price of an existing single-family home was $625,400 in March 2018, up from $571,000 in March 2017 and $605,000 in February 2018.
The marked price increase, said C.A.R., was partly due to a shift in sales to high cost regions and robust price growth within the high cost areas, such as San Francisco, Marin San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties. The year-over-year price gain has been growing at or above 7 percent for nine of the past 10 months.
The median number of days for single-family home remaining unsold on the market in California remained low at 16 days in March, compared with 23 days in March 2017 and 22 days in February 2018. In San Diego County, according to C.A.R., homes sold much faster: 12 days in March 2018, 13 days in March 2017 and 13 days in February 2018.
Mortgage rates, meanwhile, have been on the rise since breaking the 4.0 percent barrier in February. Rising mortgage rates makes the cost to borrow money to buy a home more expensive. The 30-year, fixed-mortgage interest rates averaged 4.44 percent in March, up from 4.20 percent in March 2017, according to Freddie Mac. The five-year, adjustable mortgage interest rate also edged higher in March to an average of 3.65 percent from 3.21 percent last March.
C.A.R. President Steve said, “Sales in the Southern California region have cooled for the past five months, even in the more affordable Riverside and San Bernardino areas.”
C.A.R. Leslie Appleton-Young, senior VP and chief economist, said. “While the decline in the number of active listings has slowed dramatically since the beginning of the year, inventory still remains tight, which is driving home prices higher. Housing demand remains strong and competition is fierce, especially in San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara, where home prices are being pushed to record levels, and buyers are paying as much as 17 percent over asking price in some markets.”
C.A.R.’s data is based on information collected from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and multiple listing services statewide.
In other real estate industry news, recent news reports have featured a number of interesting statistics.
-- Home prices in San Diego rose 1.1 percent in February and were 7.6 percent higher than a year ago, according to the widely followed the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index (the report specified no dollar figure.). Across the country, prices were 0.4 percent higher in February and up 6.3 percent for the year. The index’s 20-city composite posted a 6.8 percent year-over-year gain in February while the 10-city composite rose 6.5 percent. Seattle had the biggest increase in a year at 12.7 percent.
Other California cities covered by the 20-city index outpaced San Diego. San Francisco was up 10.1 percent in a year and Los Angeles up 8.3 percent. All cities covered in the index experienced gains, which experts attribute to a strong economy and limited home supply. “With expectations for continued economic growth and further employment gains, the current run of rising prices is likely to continue,” said David M. Blitzer, managing director at S&P Dow Jones Indices.
-- The San Diego County median home price soared to its highest point ever, $550,000 in March, said real estate tracker CoreLogic. Home prices increased 6.8 percent in a year, which experts attribute to a lack of homes for sale and a strong economy. The previous home peak was $545,000 in June. The San Diego region is still a cheaper option compared to Los Angeles and Orange counties, which also hit new price peaks in March.
-- Zillow’s senior economist Aaron Terrazas said a promising sign for the real estate market’s long-term health is a recent increase in home construction in many areas. “New home inventory has now been above the 300,000 threshold for two straight months, the first time in almost a decade,” he said. “In a market starving for inventory of all kinds, builders are finally putting the old adage of ‘if you build it, they will come’ to the test.”
-- Consumer confidence is near an 18-year high. Americans are satisfied about the U.S. economy, job prospects and their own finances under the Trump administration. The Conference Board said consumer confidence climbed to 128.7 in April from 127 in March, suggesting the U.S. economy remains on sound footing despite worries about trade tensions. Americans are more optimistic about their own finances and they think jobs are easy to find, the survey showed. Millions of Americans have found jobs, the unemployment rate is at a 17-year low and businesses are investing more. “Overall, confidence levels remain strong and suggest that the economy will continue expanding at a solid pace in the months ahead,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators.