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Posted by on February 16, 2010

Glitter Graphics

Let’s all Congratulate the 100th Petaluma Listing to hit the market in 2010!

Listing #21000873

Listing #21000873
$3,900,000 (LP)Price/SqFt 562.85
3200  Sonoma Mountain Rd,  Petaluma, CA  94954 *     Active  (02/12/10)  DOM/CDOM: 4/4
Beds: 4* Baths: 3 (3 0) (FH)* Sq Ft: 6929* Lot Sz: 128.000ac*
Area: B0900 Yr: 1983*

Click Here or cut and paste link for Property Details and Pics


Posted in Milestones | Leave a Comment »


Posted by on December 19, 2009



Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will suspend foreclosure evictions from December 19, 2009 through January 3, 2010. To help struggling families over the holidays, both owner-occupants and tenants living in properties foreclosed upon by Fannie Mae will not be evicted. Freddie Mac’s suspension of evictions will be limited to properties up to four units.

In a similar move, Citigroup Inc. will suspend foreclosure sales and evictions for 30 days through January 17, 2010 for loans it owns. Citigroup’s foreclosure moratorium, however, does not extend to loans it services on behalf of other investors. Given these developments, other lenders may follow suit, so check with the lender if appropriate.

C.A.R. provides REALTORS® with many legal articles covering a wide range of topics of interest. Some of the new or newly revised legal articles available at


This message was sent by SellThatHouse,net

 CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, a trade association representing more than 175,000 REALTORS® statewide.


Posted in HomeSellers | Leave a Comment »

How much will a speeding ticket cost in California?

Posted by on August 4, 2009


Not proud [forgive me Lord!]

Now that I have first hand knowledge I can confirm the 1-15 m.p.h. over the limit [70mph in a 55] scored me a $202 ticket.  Beauty and I’ll take it since 1]  it was in a construction zone, 2] I was probably going closer to 75, and 3] let’s face it, how often SHOULD we all get tickets and are never caught?

That’s what I thought too…

Best Answer – Chosen by Voters

The statewide schedule calls for a fine of $266 for 16-25MPH over the CVC § 22349(a) speed limit. Monterey County will be within a few dollars of this amount. If you are eligible, traffic school will cost a bit more, but keep it off your record. That is too bad you were going 81MPH since 1-15MPH over the speed limit is a $146 fine.

How much will a speeding ticket cost in California?

I was pulled over and clocked going 81 in a 65 zone in Monterey County (I live in Sonoma County though if that makes a difference). About how much should I expect my ticket to cost me? (I’m not planning on contesting it). Also, I was driving another persons car at the time I got pulled over (I used my insurance and license and showed the cars registration, obviously), will my citation notice thing come to my home address or to the person the car is registered to?


  • 9 months ago

Additional Details

lol, it does sound like I’m trying to buy a speeding ticket (which no one wants to do). Let me rephrase my question here since I can;t change it now. How much will I have to pay after getting a speeding ticket in California?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

House hunting? It’s not a buyer’s market everywhere

Posted by on August 4, 2009

Los Angeles Times

House hunting?  It’s not a buyer’s market everywhere

Some potential home buyers, especially first-time buyers, may be misinformed about today’s market, believing that all sellers are desperate and will accept any offer.  However, in many desirable, middle-class neighborhoods, bidding wars are prominent and buyers often have to make offers slightly above the asking price.


  • Although California’s median home price – the price point where half of the homes sold for higher and half for lower —  was 39 percent lower in March than a year ago, many of the sales taking place are in areas, such as the Central Valley and the Inland Empire (Riverside and San Bernardino counties), which have higher foreclosure rates.  These regions offer home buyers better opportunities to purchase homes at extremely low prices.
  • The housing market is often characterized as having three pricing segments: under $500,000, $500,000 to $1 million, and more than $1 million.  Homes in the under-$500,000 segment have accounted for the majority of the state’s price declines thus far.
  • As real estate is local, a home in one neighborhood with the same square footage and amenities may not sell for the same price as a comparable home in a neighborhood one mile away.  By working with a REALTOR® familiar with a specific area, home buyers should be able to submit reasonable offers that are more likely to receive seller approval.

To read the full story, go to,0,7623052.story

Posted in HomeBuyers | Leave a Comment »

Low-priced foreclosures incite bidding wars

Posted by on August 4, 2009

July 30, 2009

Low-priced foreclosures incite bidding wars

First-time buyers in some areas, especially those with large numbers of foreclosures, are finding that bank-owned properties are sparking bidding wars that drive up sale prices and entice investors – who often pay cash and buy several properties at once.


·       Buyers are advised to work with REALTORS® to help increase the chances that their offers are accepted on homes, particularly those that are attractive to investors.  With guidance from a REALTOR®, buyers can present offers that are more likely to be accepted by a bank.   REALTORS® also often have knowledge of properties that are new on the market, and may have not yet caught the eyes of investors.

·      Recently enacted federal legislation designed to help people remain in their homes has slowed the flow of foreclosures into the market, lowering the inventory and increasing the demand for remaining homes.  In June, C.A.R.’s Unsold Inventory Index (UII) stood at 4.1 months, compared with 7.6 months for the same time period a year ago.  The UII indicates the number of months needed to deplete the supply of homes on the market at the current sales rate. Homes priced $500,000 or below had an unsold inventory of approximately three months in June.  In June 2008, the unsold inventory in this price range was nearly 10 months.

To read the full story, go to

Posted in HomeBuyers | Leave a Comment »

Apartment seller hit with big loan fee

Posted by on July 29, 2009

July 9th, 2009 04:35pm

Apartment seller hit with big loan fee

By Annette Cooper

It’s common knowledge that the financial markets and the entire banking industry have been in a state of upheaval and turbulence. Regulatory forces are “circling this wagon” with ardent zeal to try to restore some kind of order to this lending environment chaos.

One area that appears to have slipped through the cracks is the world of pre-payment penalties for commercial loans. I ran into a situation recently that I think bears thorough examination and scrutiny.

Currently, the law specifies that a pre-payment penalty for a commercial loan may be considered “onerous” if it “shocks the conscience of the community.”

I wonder what that means. You be the judge of a current situation.

I have a client who had a $450,000 note against a small apartment complex that had a valuation of approximately $1.1 million. The note had originated approximately one and a half years ago, and the client needed to sell the complex for health reasons.

When the escrow was about to close, she was informed by the lender that her pre-payment penalty was more than $220,000, almost a 50 percent penalty. My client had no idea that kind of onerous penalty was a condition of the loan.

When she asked the original loan broker about this penalty, he insisted it was a mistake.  As it turns out it wasn’t a mistake but the fallout of a deceptive murky “lock-out” clause that allowed the lender to re-coup all the interest in that loan had it come to full maturity.

My client was under the impression that the pre-payment penalty was approximately 5 percent of the balance of the loan at the time of the pay-off and did not understand the terms and conditions contained in a “lock-out” clause. Obviously neither did the loan broker.

There appear to be plenty of rules and regulations that govern single-family home lending, but little oversight for loans that impact four units and more and the commercial lending industry.

It is incumbent upon all investors/owners to make sure they understand all the clauses contained in a new loan and not rely on the word of the loan officer.

In the case I’ve outlined here, there was a discrepancy/omission in the actual document between the loan summary abstract and the interest re-cap/lock-out clause. I would urge anyone in the market for new financing to be extremely prudent in making sure they understand the terms and conditions of a loan and to take extreme precautions to digest all the implications of paying off the note early.

In addition, I believe there should be the same or similar protections for commercial borrowers as there are for residential borrowers, and murky, confusing lending documents should at least be consistent and clear so the average owner/borrower has a chance to understand the depth of the obligations they are assuming.

Does a pre-payment penalty of $220,000 on a $450,000 note shock the conscience of our community? Let me know your thoughts. It’s hard to stand by and watch someone so thoroughly taken advantage of.

Annette Cooper is a senior real estate adviser for Santa Rosa-based Keegan & Coppin,, 707-528-1400.

Tags | Category Commentary, Commercial Real Estate, Construction, Guest Columnists, Residential Real Estate



No Comments

Unbelievable! Shocks my conscience, and everything else I own. I feel pre-payment clauses will work there way back in to residential lending eventually as lenders will be looking at any way possible to recoup the losses they brought upon themselves during the run up, post Glass-Steagall repeal. Good luck to us all…

David Thomas, Realtor® – Quality Service Certified Top 300 “Best of the Best” agent since 2006
Century 21 Bundesen
Ca. Dept of Real Estate: #01290314

by David Thomas

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

A Seller Decides To Keep A Buyer’s Life Savings

Posted by on June 22, 2009

A Seller Decides To Keep A Buyer’s Life Savings

Wednesday June 17, 2009
A Seller Decides To Keep A Buyer’s Life Savings is a sad blog post to say the least. There’s a video of the news story there as well. It’s set in the New York City area, and no mention is made of Realtors in the story, only attorneys.When a lender learns a coop building is on leased land, the loan is denied to the buyers. The seller keeps $26k+ in deposit as down payment, relying on the clause that allows them to do so because the buyers had a “commitment letter” from the lender. Read the post and watch the video for the whole story.

In my area, there is a condo project right in the heart of the tourist and old town district. Every time a unit is listed, I get inquiries from my web site because the units are priced low for that area. It’s because they’re on a land lease, and at this time, the lease runs out in 11 or so years. Every inquiry gets an email from me right away disclosing this fact. I have yet for a buyer to pursue one of these units after this email.

It’s too bad that this buyer couple didn’t have someone looking out for their interests. New York real estate transactions usually are handled by attorneys I’m told. It appears this couple weren’t using one early in the process. Whether it would have made a difference is open to question.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

25% of Sellers Reduce Asking Price

Posted by on June 20, 2009

Daily Real Estate News | June 8, 2009

Sellers have dropped their asking prices on 25 percent of homes listed for sale on, according to a report the online real estate company released last week.

The average price-reduced home has seen a listing price cut of 10.6 percent.

Not only are cities with lots of foreclosures hard hit, but traditionally strong markets also are among those with large-percentage price reductions.

Among the 50 largest U.S. cities, the 12 locales with the largest percentage of price reductions are:

1. Jacksonville, Fla. – 36 percent
2. Tucson – 32 percent
3. Boston – 32 percent
4. Los Angeles – 32 percent
5. Columbus, Ohio – 31 percent
6. Dallas – 31 percent
7. Honolulu – 31 percent
8. Minneapolis – 31 percent
9. Austin – 30 percent
10. Washington, D.C. – 30 percent
11. Baltimore – 30 percent
12. Las Vegas – 30 percent

Source: (06/05/2009)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Don’t get property tax scammed! I can do this for free, just give me a call…

Posted by on January 27, 2009


Watch out for property tax ‘scam’

[see example of mailer below]

Kevin McCallum


Published: Monday, February 9, 2009 at 7:14 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, February 9, 2009 at 7:27 p.m.

Joanna Flynn-Hill received an official looking letter in the mail last week promising to lower her tax bill by a whopping $2,136.

All she needed to do was send a check for $179 to Property Tax Reassessment, and the assessed value of her Montgomery Village home could be lowered by as much as $171,000, the letter claimed.

But then the 56-year-old Midway Drive resident took a closer look, and came to a troubling conclusion.

“This is dangerous. It’s a scam,” Flynn-Hill said.

County officials agree, and are warning residents not to fall for it.

The Sonoma County Assessor’s Office put out a “scam alert” Monday telling residents they don’t have to pay $179 to get their properties reassessed, as the letter offers. The county provides the exact same service for free.

“They don’t need this review and they don’t need to pay these fees,” said Bill Rousseau, the county’s deputy chief assessor.

Mendocino County Assessor/County Clerk/Recorder Susan Ranochak put out at similar warning Friday.

Both agencies are responding to a wave of letters sent to North Coast residents in recent days from a company calling itself “Property Tax Reassessment,” based in Los Angeles.

In small print, the company says it is a private company offering a service, not a government agency. But everything else about the letter gives the impression of being an official government document, Rousseau said.

The letter uses language like “Response Due by 2/26/09,” and threatens a “$30 late fee” for those who miss that deadline. It also contains a green return envelope similar to the one used by the tax collector to send out annual bills, Rousseau said.

The net result is a mailing that looks a lot like something that people need to return in order to get their property reassessed, which is not true, he said.

“We’re getting calls from a lot of seniors that are concerned, so obviously it’s confusing,” Rousseau said.

The assessor’s office has asked the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office to determine if the mailer violates laws designed to protect consumers from private companies masquerading as public agencies, Rousseau said.

Deputy District Attorney Matt Cheever said he’s looking into the matter.

Even before the letters arrived in residents’ mailboxes last week, the county was already planning to lower the assessed value of 25,000 properties without prompting from residents, Rousseau said. The assessor’s office did about that many last year, as well, in response to declining home values.

Michael Clos, who identified himself as a supervisor at Property Tax Reassessment, didn’t have any information about who owned the firm, how long it had been in business, or the scope of its operations.

But he said the company is not a scam.

“A scam is when people rip someone off. We don’t do that. We do work on the case,” he said.

Oakmont resident John Greig, 66, said he doubts they perform any work of value. Greig requested a property reassessment last year and the assessor actually reduced his property value more than he requested.

He received a copy of the letter recently and instantly knew the company was trying to cash in on people’s ignorance of the fact the process is free and simple.

“I don’t think they are performing a service at all,” he said.

Rousseau questions the quality of the work someone in Los Angeles working off a database can do. He said firms like this cropped up in the 1990s, and their “comparable sales” submitted with the applications were invariably off-base.

They also never followed through on their promises to help people with their appeals, he said.

Property owners can request a reduction by filling out a “Decline in Market Value form,” which is available on the county’s Web site, and they don’t have to pay a dime.

“We’re just try trying to save them money,” he said. 




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Posted in HomeOwners | 1 Comment »