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August 30, 2011

The Use of Hypothetical Questions as Weapons at Trial

The Use of Hypothetical Questions as Weapons at Trial

New York Personal Injury Trials, The Use of Hypothetical Questions as Weapons at Trial

New York Law Journal, Tuesday, October 31, 2006 Ben B. Rubinowitz and Evan Torgan

Hypothetical questions are a vital tool for a trial lawyer. Without them, we would have more difficulty proving cases, more difficulty disproving opposing theories, and more difficulty convincing juries of the righteousness of our cause.

This is true in spite of the adoption of CPLR 4515, which removed the requirement of posing hypothetical questions to obtain expert opinion at trial. The Legislature evidently felt that the use of hypothetical questions was unduly time-consuming, one-sided, and added very little to trial practice. Famous legals scholars even said that such questions were 'misused by the clumsy and abused by the clever.' [FN1] Even the Federal Rules of Evidence did away with the requirement for hypothetical questions.

Streamlined Hypothetical Questions

Nothing in the law, however, prohibits the use of streamlined hypothetical questions and the tactical advantage in using this questioning technique is one that should not be overlooked.

The premise behind all trial lawyers' strategic decisions at trial serve one uniform purpose: to convince the trier of fact that his position is correct. This is not an easy goal to achieve, particularly in personal injury cases where expert opinion is a mandatory part of the proof: to show that an injury is permanent and painful; that a doctor departed from accepted standards of medical practice; that the negligence in question caused a specific injury; that an injured victim can no longer work; or that scientific or technical expertise, such as that possessed by an accident reconstructionist, reveals which party was at fault. In truth, all of these opinions can be made clear by the effective use of hypothetical questions.

Consider a typical case involving an automobile accident where a 19-year-old plaintiff sustained a herniated lumbar disc in a rear-end accident. The trial lawyer could simply go through a direct examination of the treating physician, having her define medical terms, discussing the history given to her by the patient, and her findings. He can then ask the doctor her opinions as to injury, causation and future prognosis without using a hypothetical question. It is far more persuasive and far more dramatic, however, to ask a hypothetical question that incorporates the relevant facts that you have already proved through other witnesses and the expert physician herself. Such an approach strengthens the effect of the expert's testimony by focusing the jury on the facts upon which it is based:

Q: Doctor Patel, I would like to assume the following as true. That on June 29, 2004, my client, your patient, Tom McMurray, was sitting in his automobile stopped in traffic, looking straight ahead. That he was struck from behind by a garbage truck which the defendant testified weighed over three tons. That although Tom was belted in, his head, neck and back were thrown first backward and then forward. At that very time he felt a pain in his low back. He was taken to the emergency room, where X-rays were negative for fracture and came under your care the following day. By that time he had pain radiating from his back into his right leg and big toe. As a result you did a physical examination which revealed muscle spasm in his lumbar spine, an absent Achilles reflex and positive straight leg raising on his right side, the significance of which you've already informed this jury. As a result of those findings you made a presumptive diagnosis of a herniated lumbar disc which was confirmed on MRI the following day. That MRI that you showed this jury revealed a right-sided herniated disc at the level of L5-S1. That Tom has been under your care since that time up to the present time, and that you have prescribed anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy. My question is as follows:

Q: Do you have an opinion, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, as to whether or not the accident in question was a substantial factor in bringing about the herniated disc? What is the basis for your opinion?

Q: Do you have an opinion, also to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, as to whether or not the injury is permanent? Why do you say that?

Q: Do you have an opinion, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty as to whether or not that herniated disc is a competent producing cause of pain from the time of the accident until today?

Q: Do you have an opinion to a reasonable degree of medical certainty as to whether or not the herniated disc will be a competent producing cause of pain in the future?

Q: For how long, in your medical opinion, will he have such pain in terms of years?

Q: What is the basis of your opinion?

Q: Do you have an opinion as to what, if any, medical treatment Tom will need?

Proving Causation

The hypothetical question is particularly important in the cases involving difficulty in proving causation. Take, for example, the same automobile accident, but this time with a 55-year-old plaintiff with a prior arthritic condition in the lower back. The use of a hypothetical question can crystalize your proof:

Q: Doctor, I would like you to assume the following. That at the emergency room right after the accident, Tom's X-rays showed an osteoarthritic condition. That although the X-rays showed bony spurs, Tom had never been treated for a back problem, and in fact, never felt pain in his lower back before this accident. That the MRIs you sent him for showed both a herniated disc impinging on the exiting S1 nerve root on the right as well as dessication or drying out of the disc at L5-S1 and narrowing of that disc space as well. Yet, as you told this jury not five minutes ago, the narrowing and dessication was a typical finding for a 55-year-old man, and that you could tell the herniation was an acute injury based upon the high signal or brightness of the herniated portion of the disc on MRI.

Q: Doctor, do you have an opinion, based on a reasonable degree of medical certainty, as to whether the disc herniation was caused by the accident?

Q: Do you have an opinion, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, as to whether it was the pre-existing osteoarthritis or the accident that caused the herniated disc?

Q: Do you have an opinion as to whether it is the arthritis or the disc herniation which is the competent producing cause of Tom's pain?

Do not be concerned with streamlining your direct of the expert witness. The better method is to take a methodical approach to this problem, set forth objection-proof hypothetical questions, and enhance the opinion of your expert by using factual data already brought out on your direct case.

Vocational Experts

Vocational experts are very important in bridging the gap between your expert physician and economist when it comes to proving lost earnings. This is particularly true where your physician gives an opinion that your client can no longer work as a construction worker, but the defense experts say that he could do other more sedentary work. Pointed mini-hypotheticals based on facts in evidence can be very persuasive in this area as well.

Q: Dr. Stine, I want you to assume that Tom McMurray has been a laborer all his life. He has never been employed in any other capacity. That his highest level of education is 11th grade, and he has been unable to pass high school equivalency exams. Do you have an opinion, to a reasonable degree of vocational rehabilitative certainty, as to whether or not Tom McMurray is employable in any capacity now that he can no longer perform manual labor?

A: Yes I have an opinion. At Tom's age he is not easily employable to begin with. Moreover, the fact that he does not have a high school degree dramatically limits the pool of jobs to which he would have access. And the intelligence exams I have given him demonstrate his inability to be retrained for other work. My opinion is Tom is functionally unemployable now based on his injuries and intellect.

Q: The defense opened to this jury saying: That although Tom can no longer perform manual labor he could perform sedentary work like security or filing. I want you to further assume, however, that his treating physician testified that he has a herniated disc at L5-S1 that causes severe pain radiating down his leg into his foot and that, as a result, he can not sit for extended periods of time, nor stand for extended periods of time. Dr. Patel further testified that the injury was permanent. Do you have an opinion, to a reasonable degree of certainty, as to whether or not Tom will be able to work in a sedentary position as either a file clerk or a security guard?

A: My opinion is he could not do either. Sitting for extended periods of time is one of the hallmarks of performing sedentary work. Tom certainly cannot do that based on his medical condition. Also his physical limitations, due to the injuries suffered in this accident, would prevent Tom from becoming a security guard.

Liability

The use of hypothetical questions is equally as important in establishing liability. In any malpractice action, expert testimony is required to prove medical negligence. Here, hypothetical questions are the best way to prove liability. Imagine a scenario where the plaintiff's lawyer attempts to establish negligence in the absence of a hypothetical question:

Q: Dr. Caruso, did you review the records in this case?

Q: What did they reveal?

Q: Based on those records, do you have an opinion as to whether the defendant departed from accepted standards of medical practice as of June 29, 2003?

As you can see, this type of questioning is not particularly persuasive. Just as importantly, such bare-boned minimal questioning would most likely draw an objection from counsel based upon a lack of foundation. The better way is to question the doctor with a series of hypothetical questions which incorporates prior testimony of the defendant doctors and the records themselves:

Q: Doctor, I would like to assume the following facts as true. I would like you to assume that Tom McMurray was involved in an automobile accident where he was actually struck from behind by a truck. He felt immediate neck pain and was taken by ambulance to an emergency room. At that time they took X-rays of his Tom's cervical spine which were negative for fracture. While in the hospital he felt pain radiating into both arms. After a time he felt weakness and numbness in both legs. Do you have an opinion as to the significance of the pain in both arms and the numbness and weakness in both legs?

A: That is a clear sign of spinal cord compression.

Q: I would like you to further assume that the emergency room physician sent Tom downstairs for an MRI which revealed a large herniated disc at C4-C5 compressing the spinal cord. As a result, a neurosurgical consult was called with a Dr. Mechanowitz who observed diminished sensation to pin-prick in both arms as well as decreased biceps reflex, patellar reflex and Achilles reflex. Dr. Mechanowitz sent Tom home with instructions to come in to his office the following day. Tom's wife asked that Tom be kept in the hospital because she was afraid that her husband's health was rapidly deteriorating. Dr. Mechanowitz refused to admit Tom, so Mrs. McMurray asked that the ER physician intervene. Dr. Hannah, the ER physician refused, saying that was improper protocol. Do you have an opinion, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty as to what Dr. Hannah should have done at that time?

A: Dr. Hannah should have intervened and called the head of the service to see to it that Mr. McMurray was observed closely and not released.

Q: Do you have an opinion to a reasonable degree of medical certainty as to whether Dr. Hannah's refusal to intervene was a departure from good and accepted standards of medical practice?

A: It was a departure.

Departures and Causation

Do not forget, in a medical malpractice case, to immediately connect the departures with causation of injury.

Q: Do you have an opinion Doctor, as to whether that departure was a substantial factor in bringing about the injuries of Tom McMurry, including his paralysis?

A: It was a substantial factor, yes.

Q: I want you to further assume that, that night, Tom's pain increased and he could no longer hold his urine. He called Dr. Mechanowitz who told him to take two aspirin and call him in the morning. The next morning, Tom woke up paralyzed from the neck down. My question is Doctor, do you have an opinion, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, as to whether or not Dr. Mechanowitz' failure to admit, follow and operate on Tom, was a departure from good and accepted standards of medical practice as of June 29, 2003?

Q: Do you have an opinion, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty as to whether Dr. Mechanowitz's failure to admit, follow and operate on the patient was a substantial factor in bringing about Tom's injury?

Hypothetical questions are also helpful when questioning safety engineers. In many automobile accident cases the defense asserts a seatbelt defense. Take for example a case involving a fractured pelvis where the driver was injured in an intersection collision with the impact on his driver side door, and the plaintiff admits he did not have his seatbelt connected.

Q: Mr. Ross, I am going to ask you to assume that the following facts are true: That Tom McMurray was taking his child, who was in a carseat behind him, to the hospital. Tom had not fastened his seatbelt, and one block from his house the defendant ran a stop sign striking Tom on the driver side door. The impact caused the door to come in to Tom's body and Tom to be thrown into the door. He was taken to the hospital where X-rays revealed a fracture of the pelvic ring. Dr. Gold testified that the pelvic fracture was caused by the intrusion of the adverse vehicle into Tom's body through his car door. Dr. Gold testified that the fracture was from a 'classic' side impact. My question is, do you have an opinion, to a reasonable degree of engineering certainty as to whether a seatbelt would have prevented Tom's pelvic fracture?

A: My opinion is a seatbelt would not have prevented that injury. The defendants' vehicle struck the precise spot where the plaintiff was sitting, literally intruding into his space. A seatbelt could not have prevented that at all. Seatbelts are useful to prevent ejection or going through the windshield. They do not prevent pelvic fractures on side impact situations.

It is essential not to exaggerate or modify prior testimony in any way so as not to undermine your credibility while phrasing the hypothetical. Only those facts in evidence (or those taken subject to connection of proof to be adduced at a later point in time), may be included in the question. The manner, method and speed of delivery should be calculated to be of interest to the jurors and hold their attention throughout. Changes in the tone of your voice and position should be made to enhance your presentation.

Opposing Expert

The use of a hypothetical question on cross-examination of an opposing expert is a vital technique to undermine and limit his opinions.

This will be the subject of an upcoming article. As demonstrated above, the hypothetical on direct provides context, support and resonance to your expert's opinion. Its value should not be overlooked when seeking to achieve a successful result.

Ben B. Rubinowitz, a partner at Gair, Gair, Conason, Steigman & Mackauf, is an adjunct professor at Hofstra University School of Law and Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. Evan Torgan, a member of Torgan & Cooper, is an adjunct professor at Cardozo School of Law. Richard Steigman, a partner at Gair Gair Conason, assisted in the preparation of this article.

9/21/2006 NYLJ 3, (col. 1)

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Uniform Appraisal Dataset (UAD)

Uniform Appraisal Dataset (UAD)

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Reminder: September 1 UAD Effective Date is Quickly Approaching

To help you incorporate UAD requirements into your business processes, we encourage you to take advantage of these UAD resources:

 

 


To improve the quality and consistency of appraisal data on loans delivered to the GSEs, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, at the direction of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), have developed the Uniform Appraisal Dataset (UAD), which defines all fields required for an appraisal submission for specific appraisal forms and standardizes definitions and responses for a key subset of fields.

 

 

For appraisals with an effective date (date of inspection) on or after September 1, 2011, the appraisal report must be completed in compliance with the UAD for conventional mortgage loans sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

 

 

The UAD is a component of the Uniform Mortgage Data ProgramSM, jointly established by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac under the direction of our regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, to provide common requirements for appraisal and loan delivery data.

 

 

 

UAD Business Resources for Lender Underwriting and Property Valuation Staff

The UAD Field-Specific Standardization Requirements are designed to assist those in any organization who are responsible for creating and reviewing appraisal reports during the property inspection, underwriting, property valuation, or quality control processes to assess the impact of the UAD requirements on those processes.

 

 

 

UAD Technical Resources for Lender/Vendor Technology Development Teams

The UAD Technical Specification and supporting documents will help map the current appraisal forms to the new appraisal dataset. This information will be most relevant to appraisal software/forms vendors, lenders who use appraisal data in their business processes, and other organizations such as appraisal management companies (AMCs) that will work with electronic appraisal form data.

 

 

 

The UAD Technical Specifications Pending Changes Log contains critical updates to data in the UAD Technical Specification and Appendices that have not yet been incorporated in the posted versions above.

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John S Brenan, Appraisal FOundation

From: Curits Harris [mailto:harris_curtis@sbcglobal.net]
Sent: Tuesday, August 30, 2011 1:27 PM
To: 'wsj.ltrs@wsj.com'
Subject: Editor: Appraisal Foundation Letter of August 17, 2011

 

Editor,

RE: John S. Brenan https://appraisalfoundation.sharefile.com/d/sd41485a674242298
Director of Appraisal Issues

 

Your article was on the mark!  These folks at the Appraisal Foundation/Appraisal Institute are totally lost.   Please see the following statement by Sara  http://financialservices.house.gov/UploadedFiles/071311stephens.pdf  President of the Appraisal Institute.  She is arguing against a PROPOSED federal law that would outlaw the use of Non-armslength sales transactions, when appraising market value.   Also, it was reported that Four States have already banned this process.   I have been in the Real Estate Business since 1984 and never used a non-armslength sale as comparable to a Market Transaction, all one has to do is read the Definition of Market Value. 

 

1 Interagency Appraisal and Evaluation Guidelines, December 10, 2010

The most probable price which a property should bring in a competitive and open market under all conditions requisite to a fair sale, the buyer and seller, each acting prudently, knowledgeably and assuming the price is not affected by undue stimulus. Implicit in this definition is the consummation of a sale as of a specified date and the passing of title from seller to buyer under conditions whereby:

(1) buyer and seller are typically motivated;

(2) both parties are well informed or well advised, and each acting in what he or she considers his or her own best interest;

(3) a reasonable time is allowed for exposure in the open market;

(4) payment is made in terms of cash in U.S. dollars or in terms of financial arrangements comparable thereto; and

(5) the price represents the normal consideration for the property sold unaffected by special or creative financing or sales concessions granted by anyone associated with the sale.

 

REO's, Probate Sales, Gifts, and other Distressed Property Sales do not come close to meeting this definition.  Maybe one could, although I would not, argue that no (4) payment in cash, is acceptable.   Besides where are his citations?  I have never read in any publication that this was an acceptable practice.  In other words, they are making this stuff as they go along.

 

He, Brenan, speaks of a bifurcated market, duh!, what he calls bifurcated is actually two markets, one fair and the other distressed.  Just as you would never use a Fair Sale to value a distressed property (i.e. for salvage value) you should never use a distressed sale for a fair market sale. 

 

One last comment,  Of course distressed sales affect the fair sale market but to use distressed sales as comparable further extirpates the problem, forcing a downward arithmetic move to a geometric one.  PLEASE KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK, THE REAL ESTATE MARKET HAS BEEN SEVERELY NEGATIVELY IMPACTED BY THE APPRAISAL FOUNDATION/APPRAISAL INSTITUTE.

 

P.S

If you wish to discuss this issue any further my contact information is below.

 

Thanks!
Curtis D. Harris, BS, CGREA, REB
Bachelor of Science in Real Estate, CSULA
State Certified General Appraiser
Real Estate Broker
ASTM E-2018 Commercial Real Estate Inspector
HUD 203k Consultant
HUD/FHA Real Estate Appraiser/Reviewer
FannieMae REO Consultant

CTAC LEED Certification


The Harris Company, Forensic Appraisers and Real Estate Consultants
*PIRS/Harris Company and the Science of Real Estate-Partners*

1910 East Mariposa Avenue, Suite 115
El Segundo, CA. 90245
310-337-1973 Office
310-251-3959 Cell

WebSite: http://www.harriscompanyrec.com

Resume: http://www.harriscompanyrec.com/CURRICULUMVITAENAME2011a.pdf

Commercial Appraiser Blog: http://harriscompanyrec.com/blog/

A WORD OF CAUTION: When selecting an Appraiser, Consultant, or Expert please pay close attention to his Resume/CV

IT'S THE LAW-Designation Discrimination is Illegal [FIRREA, Sec. 564.6]: Professional Association Membership http://www.orea.ca.gov/html/fed_regs.shtml#Statement7 Membership in an appraisal organization: A State Certified General Appraiser may not be excluded from consideration for an assignment for a federally related transaction by virtue of membership or lack of membership in any particular appraisal organization, including the appraisal institute.

CONFIDENTIALITY/PRIVILEGE NOTICE: This transmission and any attachments are intended solely for the addressee. The information contained in this transmission is confidential in nature and protected from further use or disclosure under U.S. Pub. L. 106-102, 113 U.S. Stat. 1338 (1999), and may be subject to consultant/appraiser-client or other legal privilege. Your use or disclosure of this information for any purpose other than that intended by its transmittal is strictly prohibited and may subject you to fines and/or penalties under federal and state law. If you are not the intended recipient of this transmission, please destroy all copies received and confirm destruction to the sender via return transmittal

 

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August 29, 2011

HOW THE APPRAISAL BUSINESS WORKS, CHRIS WILLIAMS, gEORGE hARRISON

Now this person George harrison attacks me re"

How the Appraisal Institute - mai - Destroyed the Real Estate Industry

Curtis D. Harris, BS, CGREA, REB • "How the Appraisal Institute-MAI Destroyed the Real Estate Industry."

All,
We are currently working on a book titled "How the Appraisal Institute-MAI Destroyed the Real Estate Industry." The book will discuss both Debacles I, which occurred in the 90's and affected mainly Commercial Properties that were only appraised by MAI-Appraisal Institute Members. And, Debacle II which occurred shortly after the MAI-SRA-Appraisal Institute entry into the Residential Appraiser Market. We are investigating their involvement with Tax Frauds in the Land Trust Tax Credit Program. Fraud and the overvaluation of real estate to close Real Estate Transactions and Mortgages. The fact that they were suspended and kicked out of the Appraisal Foundation, for their involvement in activities contrary to the Foundations Doctrine. Their, MAI-Appraisal Institute, present promulgation that appraisers should use non-arm's length sales transactions as comparables, contrary to logic, public policy, and law. The Fraud around their advertising that they are the best in the field, a real estate field, when very few of them have degrees in Real Estate. Their affiliation with Financial Institutions. Not to mention their latest report to congress which is full of lies and misrepresentations
http://financialservices.house.gov/UploadedFiles/071311stephens.pdf

The survival of the real estate industry depends on your assistance, the MAI-Appraisal Institute must go. If you can provide appraisals, information, or other documentation in support of, or rejecting, our premise please, please, contact me at the following email address. harris_curtis@sbcglobal.net

WE LOOK FORWARD TO YOUR COMMENTS AND A WRITTEN RESPONSE FROM sARA.

 

George HarrisonI think that Curtis is misguided, but if he should go through with the book he should take Paul's advice. Some of what is said is inaccurate. The SRAs were always residential appraisers, and while you can blame some AI members for the '80s debacle, this last round was mostly licensed/certified unaffiliated appraisers. I really hate to see such animus toward the AI at a time when it has spent so much of its resources reprsenting appraisers at state and national level. No, I'm not a member, and I have a lot of genuine complaints, but today I find myself (and every informed appraiser) to be aligned with, and supportive of, the AI.

1 hour ago

 I RESPOND:

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August 27, 2011

How the Appraisal Institute Destroyed the Real Estate Industry

How the Appraisal Institute Destroyed the Real Estate Industry

Curtis D. Harris, BS, CGREA, REB • "How the Appraisal Institute-MAI Destroyed the Real Estate Industry."

All,
We are currently working on a book titled "How the Appraisal Institute-MAI Destroyed the Real Estate Industry." The book will discuss both Debacles I, which occurred in the 90's and affected mainly Commercial Properties that were only appraised by MAI-Appraisal Institute Members. And, Debacle II which occurred shortly after the MAI-SRA-Appraisal Institute entry into the Residential Appraiser Market. We are investigating their involvement with Tax Frauds in the Land Trust Tax Credit Program. Fraud and the overvaluation of real estate to close Real Estate Transactions and Mortgages. The fact that they were suspended and kicked out of the Appraisal Foundation, for their involvement in activities contrary to the Foundations Doctrine. Their, MAI-Appraisal Institute, present promulgation that appraisers should use non-arm's length sales transactions as comparables, contrary to logic, public policy, and law. The Fraud around their advertising that they are the best in the field, a real estate field, when very few of them have degrees in Real Estate. Their affiliation with Financial Institutions. Not to mention their latest report to congress which is full of lies and misrepresentations http://financialservices.house.gov/UploadedFiles/071311stephens.pdf

The survival of the real estate industry depends on your assistance, the MAI-Appraisal Institute must go. If you can provide appraisals, information, or other documentation in support of, or rejecting, our premise please, please, contact me at the following email address. harris_curtis@sbcglobal.net

WE LOOK FORWARD TO YOUR COMMENTS AND A WRITTEN RESPONSE FROM sARA.

John O'Dwyer, MAI, MRICSThis comment is most likely not going yo last long as a post, but his dude Harris is a loose canon. His mind is a jumble and his opinions are most definitely extreme. As far as I know, but I can not be 100% certain, he has been ousted from other discussion groups. My advice is just don't play along!

 

Curtis D. Harris, BS, CGREA, REBHi John, didn't realize you were still in business. For all of you who do not know john, he is one of those frauds, mai, from the appraisal institute, posing as a real estate appraiser, He spends his free time following me all over the web.

This comes from his website, "JSO Valuation Group, Ltd. was founded in 1989 by John O’Dwyer, President. John has nearly 25-years of professional real estate experience (where is your resume john, still afraid to produce it. you work for a valuation group for 25 years? now where is your Real Estate Experience) He is a graduate from the University of Dublin, ( Yes folks that is Dublin Ireland, that tiny little brokeass-bankrupt island over there across the pond.) Trinity College 1984, majoring in real estate finance, town planning and economics ( We searched their website and could not find an offering for a real estate degree.) His experience began working as a senior appraiser in New York (1984-1987) and then as a senior loan appraiser in Chicago (1987-1989) (Now come on you disgusting fraud you graduated one day and the next you were a senior appraiser in New York, it must have been for a MAI Firm.) In 1989, John started his own appraisal company, JSO Valuation Group, Ltd. (Pretty good with at most 5 years of appraisal practice.)"

To cut to the chase john o’dwyer is a perfect example of what the appraisal institute - mai represents. A cluster of incopentent frauds. Rest assured he will be in the first chapter if not on the first page.

LIT john

 

John O'Dwyer, MAI, MRICSRest my case..... there is nothing more to say!

 

 

Thanks!
Curtis D. Harris, BS, CGREA, REB
Bachelor of Science in Real Estate, CSULA
State Certified General Appraiser
Real Estate Broker
ASTM E-2018 Commercial Real Estate Inspector
HUD 203k Consultant
HUD/FHA Real Estate Appraiser/Reviewer
FannieMae REO Consultant

CTAC LEED Certification


The Harris Company, Forensic Appraisers and Real Estate Consultants
*PIRS/Harris Company and the Science of Real Estate-Partners*

1910 East Mariposa Avenue, Suite 115
El Segundo, CA. 90245
310-337-1973 Office
310-251-3959 Cell

WebSite: http://www.harriscompanyrec.com

Resume: http://www.harriscompanyrec.com/CURRICULUMVITAENAME2011a.pdf

Commercial Appraiser Blog: http://harriscompanyrec.com/blog/

A WORD OF CAUTION: When selecting an Appraiser, Consultant, or Expert please pay close attention to his Resume/CV

IT'S THE LAW-Designation Discrimination is Illegal [FIRREA, Sec. 564.6]: Professional Association Membership http://www.orea.ca.gov/html/fed_regs.shtml#Statement7 Membership in an appraisal organization: A State Certified General Appraiser may not be excluded from consideration for an assignment for a federally related transaction by virtue of membership or lack of membership in any particular appraisal organization, including the appraisal institute.

CONFIDENTIALITY/PRIVILEGE NOTICE: This transmission and any attachments are intended solely for the addressee. The information contained in this transmission is confidential in nature and protected from further use or disclosure under U.S. Pub. L. 106-102, 113 U.S. Stat. 1338 (1999), and may be subject to consultant/appraiser-client or other legal privilege. Your use or disclosure of this information for any purpose other than that intended by its transmittal is strictly prohibited and may subject you to fines and/or penalties under federal and state law. If you are not the intended recipient of this transmission, please destroy all copies received and confirm destruction to the sender via return transmittal

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August 26, 2011

FHA Condominium Training: Using the Condominium Project Approval and Processing Guide:

All-

 

FHA Condominium Training: Using the Condominium Project Approval and Processing Guide:

 

FHA is pleased to announce training on the new condominium guidance issued in Mortgagee Letter 2011-22.  This two-day training event, “Using the Condominium Project Approval and Processing Guide,” will be conducted in all four Homeownership Center (HOC) jurisdictions.  The training event is open to all industry professionals and other interested parties. The training dates for each of the four Homeownership Centers are listed below, as well as, the registration links for the 4 respective HOCs.  Due to the time constraint, the venue locations for Atlanta and Philadelphia are not available yet.   Future email update with the venue locations for these 2 HOCs will be sent out to the registrants of these locations.  Although the actual training venue locations have not been identified, it is important that you register as soon as possible. Registration is based on a first-come, first-served basis.  Please register for only those sessions that you plan to attend by clicking on the corresponding link.  Reminder: Recording or videotaping of these events is NOT authorized.

 

Condo Training Locations and Dates:

 

September 08-09, 2011 - Denver Homeownership Center. Register at: http://www.hud.gov/emarc/index.cfm?fuseaction=emar.registerEvent&eventId=1022&update=N

 

September 12-13, 2011 - Santa Ana Homeownership Center. Register at: http://www.hud.gov/emarc/index.cfm?fuseaction=emar.registerEvent&eventId=1021&update=N

 

September 22-23, 2011 - Atlanta Homeownership Center. Register at: http://www.hud.gov/emarc/index.cfm?fuseaction=emar.registerEvent&eventId=1026&update=N                       

 

September 27-28, 2011 - Philadelphia Homeownership Center. Register at: http://www.hud.gov/emarc/index.cfm?fuseaction=emar.registerEvent&eventId=1024&update=N

To read Mortgagee Letter 2011-22 and any attachments in their entirety, please visit: http://www.hud.gov/offices/adm/hudclips/letters/mortgagee/ view the 2011 letters and click on the letter of your choice. Mortgagee Letters from previous years can be found on the same page.

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August 25, 2011

Ann O'Rourke, AI, Appraisal Institute, MAI, Promoutes Colusion between Appraisers and Agents

Ann O'Rourke, AI, Appraisal Institute, MAI, Promoutes Colusion between Appraisers and Agents 

10 Strategies For Improving Your Chances of Getting a Fair Appraisal

Here's a quote:

"2. Supply all potentially relevant data. "Basically, you can provide almost anything that you can think of that is going to support the value of the house," Mitchell said. This can include information on the market and absorptions as well as property specifications, home plans, and product details for the home or project in question.  You may also want to give the appraiser copies of recent HUD-1 statements if they aren't in the land records yet or examples of recently executed contracts. Allen W. Gardiner, who provided the appraiser perspective on the NAHB/Builder Partnerships webinar, agreed. "One of the biggest mistakes I find is that builders hide data," said Gardiner, who is vice president of residential at Jackson Claborn, a Plano, Texas-based real estate consulting and appraisal firm. "I would encourage you to provide all relevant data. If it was a low sale, let [the appraiser] know and explain how it is different from the others."

My comment: this article was written for home builders but I have been telling sales people about some of this for many years. It is particularly useful today when many appraisals are done through AMCs with low fees, fast turnaround, and out of the area appraisers. When an agent tells me that she "Doesn't want to do the appraisers job", I say "the appraiser gets $350 and you get how much if your deal closes"? (Ann O'Rourke)


click here to read
http://www.builderonline.com/business/10-strategies-for-improving-your-chances-of-getting-a-fair-appraisal.aspx

------------------------------------------------

How to Prevent a Low Appraisal - 9 tips

Here's a quote:

"5. Notes. Go through each individual comparable listing and write notes that compare it to the subject property. For instance, on my most recent appraisal, the specific property had a significant amount of upgraded features. So on each comparable I went through and wrote things like, "Paints need updating, subj. prop. is move in ready," "subj. prop. has upgraded kitchen or bathroom, this does not," or things like "subj. prop. has new, laminate flooring throughout the house, this comp has carpet throughout." Dates of installs, quality of material, etc. Write whatever you can."

"7. Give the appraiser what they ask for: If the appraiser asks for the RPA (Residential Purchase Agreement), send it to them. Don't forget. If they ask for the permits, get the permits and give the permits to the appraiser. I was recently asked for an RPA at an appraisal. Since I use DropBox on my iPhone and iPad, I immediately emailed the documents to the appraiser and he had them before the appraisal was over."

My comments: I always do this when meeting an agent for a relocation appraisal. Then I confirm with the listing agent on the sale. I like to call the listing agent to find out the "story" behind the sale. Whenever I give a presentation to real estate agents I always include tips on how to work with the appraiser. (Ann O'Rourke)

click here to read more
http://kevinpaffrath.com/how-to-prevent-a-low-appraisal


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August 23, 2011

rE How the Appraisal Institute - mai Destroid the Real Estate Industry

From: Michael J. Martin [mailto:mjmartin@martinpropertyresearch.com]
Sent: Tuesday, August 23, 2011 7:16 PM
To: harris_curtis@sbcglobal.net
Subject: re: after the horse is out

rE How the Appraisal Institute - mai Destroid the Real Estate Industry

of the barn............

 

after the horse is out of the barn, dumb ranchers shut the doors.............
    

  

Michael J. Martin, CFA, MAI

President
Martin Property Research, Inc.

1540 South Holly Street, Suite 4
Denver, CO 80222

Phone (303) 768-8366

Fax (303) 484-2421


 

  

Thanks!
Curtis D. Harris, BS, CGREA, REB
Bachelor of Science in Real Estate, CSULA
State Certified General Appraiser
Real Estate Broker
ASTM E-2018 Commercial Real Estate Inspector
HUD 203k Consultant
HUD/FHA Real Estate Appraiser/Reviewer
FannieMae REO Consultant

CTAC LEED Certification


The Harris Company, Forensic Appraisers and Real Estate Consultants
*PIRS/Harris Company and the Science of Real Estate-Partners*

1910 East Mariposa Avenue, Suite 115
El Segundo, CA. 90245
310-337-1973 Office
310-251-3959 Cell

WebSite: http://www.harriscompanyrec.com

Resume: http://www.harriscompanyrec.com/CURRICULUMVITAENAME2011a.pdf

Commercial Appraiser Blog: http://harriscompanyrec.com/blog/

A WORD OF CAUTION: When selecting an Appraiser, Consultant, or Expert please pay close attention to his Resume/CV

IT'S THE LAW-Designation Discrimination is Illegal [FIRREA, Sec. 564.6]: Professional Association Membership http://www.orea.ca.gov/html/fed_regs.shtml#Statement7 Membership in an appraisal organization: A State Certified General Appraiser may not be excluded from consideration for an assignment for a federally related transaction by virtue of membership or lack of membership in any particular appraisal organization, including the appraisal institute.

CONFIDENTIALITY/PRIVILEGE NOTICE: This transmission and any attachments are intended solely for the addressee. The information contained in this transmission is confidential in nature and protected from further use or disclosure under U.S. Pub. L. 106-102, 113 U.S. Stat. 1338 (1999), and may be subject to consultant/appraiser-client or other legal privilege. Your use or disclosure of this information for any purpose other than that intended by its transmittal is strictly prohibited and may subject you to fines and/or penalties under federal and state law. If you are not the intended recipient of this transmission, please destroy all copies received and confirm destruction to the sender via return transmittal

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I got my start, I remember that MAI was described to me as meaning "Made As Instructed" and

John FergusonThere are good and bad apples in any profession but being an appraiser I have seen a lot of bad appraisers both MAI and SRA. In the 80's, when I got my start, I remember that MAI was described to me as meaning "Made As Instructed" and most of the appraisers getting their ass chewed were the MAI appraisers. In California in the 90's we had our own crisis with Mello Roos Bonds and guess who did the bogus appraisals on those...yup MAI appraisers exclusivly. In the current crisis I know of some SRA appraisers that should be in prison for their part in approving fraudulent appraisals and getting in bed with the banks sales departments. On the AI itself I would like to know how it has helped us as a group, only a small percentage of appraisers belong to that organization. I think at one time they might have had some clout but how effective can an organization really be when they are almost broke? I agree with Bill on the book by Bethany Mclean and Joe it is awesome;-)                  http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=24243343&authType=name&authToken=504a&trk=anet_mfeed_profile
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DIANE DiBERNARDO, Managing Director

DIANE DiBERNARDO, Managing Director

Diane DiBernardo brings an impressive spectrum of experience to the Argianas team with almost 20 years as a commercial real estate appraiser. Joining the Argianas team in 2010, Diane is responsible for training, reviewing and coordinating appraisal assignments for certain clients. She is an expert in ARGUS discounted cash flow software.

Diane's extensive experience includes the valuation of fee simple, leased fee and leasehold interests for a wide range of purposes including bank financing, internal asset management, estate planning, and litigation support. Her assignments have included all property types throughout the Midwest including existing and proposed single and multi-tenant office, retail, industrial and residential developments. Diane's familiarity with real estate income analysis is apparent in her appraisal work involving downtown office buildings, community retail centers, and entire residential subdivisions. Special purpose valuation and/or consulting assignments have included easements, billboard signage, self-storage facilities, barge terminals, hotels, golf courses, automotive service stations, and car washes. She is also familiar with the analysis of affordable and low-income housing with special financing and/or income tax credits.

On the road to obtaining the MAI designation, Diane has completed all three levels of appraisal experience which has been formally reviewed and accepted by the Appraisal Institute. She has successfully completed all the necessary coursework and the 16-hour comprehensive exam. With only the demonstration appraisal report remaining, Diane is expected to receive the coveted MAI designation in 2012.

Education
Diane earned her Bachelor Degree in Management from Northeastern Illinois University. She continues her education through various classes and seminars offered by the Appraisal Institute.

Professional Affiliations
Diane is an Associate Member of the Appraisal Institute and a Certified General Real Estate Appraiser in the State of Illinois.

 

NOW THIS IS HOW UNEDUCATED THESE FOLKS ARE: Diane DiBernardo • "Why would you post this nonsense on the Appraisal Institute's group page? I don't have time to repute every point, but how long do you think a degree in Real Estate has been available? You're showing your age, kid."  SHE ACTS LIKE A DEGREE IN REAL ESTATE IS SOMETHING NEW, I GOT MY DEGREE IN 1979 FROM CSULA, AND STARTED THE PROGRAM IN 1975.  SHE GOT A DEGREE IN MANAGEMENT AND PROFESS TO BE AN APPRAISER. 

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August 21, 2011

Sara W. Stephens mai, Appraisal Institute

Sara W. Stephens mai

SaraStephens_150x150.jpg

2011/2012 President, Appraisal Institute

"Stephens graduated magna cum laude from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with a degree in mathematics and English. She has a master’s degree from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, where she also completed some post-graduate work. She taught calculus, advanced trigonometry and algebra in the Little Rock Public School District and at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

She is the owner and principal of Richard A. Stephens and Associates, the oldest appraisal firm in Little Rock. Along with her business partner and husband, Richard A. Stephens, MAI, SRA,(NEPITISUM) she maintains a practice offering a broad scope of services, specializing in eminent domain, litigation support and real estate tax appeal.

Stephens is one of eight members of the American Society of Real Estate Counselors in Arkansas, and the only woman invited to membership in Arkansas."

lET'S TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT HER BACKGROUND, PLEASE.  SHE REPRESENTS "25,000" REAL ESTATE APPRAISERS WITH THIS BACKGROUND you gotta be kidding me.  SHE LIKE ALL THE REST ARE A BUNCH OF FRAUDS AND CROOKS!  BEWARE of the MAI-APPRAISAL INSTITUTE.

 

Sara W. Stephens mai, Appraisal Institute

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LinkedIn Commercial Appraiser Group

Curtis D. Harris, BS, CGREA, REB

Curtis D. Harris, BS, CGREA, REBYOU

Commercial Appraiser at The Harris Company, REA/C, 310.337.1973, harris_curtis@sbcglobal.net, Greater Los Angeles Area

198 followers | See activity »

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    John C. Carlson2nd

    Chief Appraiser, John C. Carlson Real Estate Appraisals, Greater Los Angeles Area

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    Eileen Kuramoto2nd

    Director of Human Resources at Lighthouse Real Estate Solutions, Orange County, California Area

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    Commercial Appraiser at Real Estate Advisory, LLC., Greater Los Angeles Area

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    head of the appraisal group at Gremic, Georgia

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    owner at rdappraisal, Greater New York City Area

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    Chester F. C.

    at CFC Real Estate Appraisal and Consulting, Greater Philadelphia Area

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    NYS General Real Estate Appraiser at Griffin Appraisal Services, Rochester, New York Area

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    Gertified General Appraiser - NC & SC at M. Curtis West - Certified General Appraiser, Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina Area

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    Commercial Appraiser, Cleveland/Akron, Ohio Area

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    Certified General Appraiser at Anderson Moessner Appraisals, LLC, Eau Claire, Wisconsin Area

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    Owner of Rice Appraisal Group & Realtor at JYB Realty, LLC, Greater Atlanta Area

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    Principal at Columbia West Valuation: Commercial Appraisal & Consulting, Portland, Oregon Area

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    Staff Appraiser at United Appraisal Group, Providence, Rhode Island Area

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    Commercial Property Advisor, Greater Chicago Area

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    August 20, 2011

    Is it any wonder? Look at her resume. Sara W. Stephens, MAI-Appraisal Institute

    Is it any wonder?  Look at her resume. MAI-Appraisal Institute

     


    Member_Image
      
    Sara W. Stephens, MAI
    Richard A. Stephens & Assoc., Inc.
    President
    Regions Center
    400 West Capitol, Suite 1222
    Little Rock, AR 72201
    (501) 372-7513
    Fax: (501) 372-7535
    Cell: (501) 944-6744
    swstephens@prodigy.net
    Standards & Ethics Education Completed
    Accepts Fee Assignments (more info)




    Primary Market Area
    State of Arkansas with ephasis on the Little Rock/North Little Rock MSA, particularly Pulaski, Perry, Lonoke, White, Faulkner and Jefferson Counties

    Secondary Market Area
    Northeast, Northwest, Southeast and Southwest Arkansas
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    I have been asked, by Realtors and Realist, in the past what can we do? SUPPORT PASSAGE OF THIS BILL AND GET RID OF THE APPRAISAL INSTITUTE-MAI.

    I have been asked, by Realtors and Realist, in the past what can we do?  SUPPORT PASSAGE OF THIS BILL AND GET RID OF THE APPRAISAL INSTITUTE-MAI.

     

    (2) REALISTIC MARKET BASED APPRAISALS-

     

          (A) VALUATION STANDARD- The appropriate Federal banking agency shall require that entities used by financial institutions to assess the value of collateral, with respect to a real estate loan, associated with any viable project in such institution's lending portfolio utilize an as completed valuation to make such an assessment.

     

          (B) ARMS LENGTH TRANSACTIONS- The appropriate Federal banking agency shall require that entities used by financial institutions to assess or review underwriting standards and collateral values for real estate loans made by such institutions after the date of the enactment of this Act use comparable sales involving arms length transactions to make such an assessment or review.
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    Wanna know Why you cannot get a SALE TO CLOSE? From the Mouth of the Appraisal Institute-President

    Wanna know Why you cannot get a SALE TO CLOSE?  From the Mouth of the Appraisal Institute-President

    Wanna know Why you cannot get a SALE TO CLOSE? From the Mouth of the Appraisal Institute-President

    http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c112:H.R.1755.IH:

    C. Appraisers should be allowed to analyze all sales in a market, and their judgment and expertise

    should be respected

    In 2011, four bills were introduced in state legislatures (Illinois, Maryland, Missouri, and Nevada), and one bill was

    introduced in Congress and referred to this Committee, to inappropriately legislate the appraisal process. Each

    proposal would prohibit the use of distressed sales, such as foreclosure sales or short sales, as comparables in

    an appraisal of a parcel of real property. While we sympathize with the plight of those in today’s real estate

    market, we strongly oppose such bills, for they will only contribute to an asset bubble and place lenders at great

    risk.

    It seems reasonable to assume that distressed sales should not form the basis for market value opinions. But, in

    some markets, they are such heavy weights on value that they must be considered along with appropriate

    adjustments. Distressed sales such as foreclosure sales and short sales are common in a declining market.

    Depending on the severity of the local market downturn, some, many, or even all sales that occur do so under

    distressed conditions. Appraisers cannot categorically discount foreclosures and short sales as potential

    comparable data in the sales comparison approach. However, due to differences between their conditions of sale

    and the conditions outlined in the market value definition they might not be usable as market information.

    Foreclosures and short sales usually do not meet the conditions outlined in the definition of market value. A short

    sale or a sale of a property that occurred prior to a foreclosure might have involved atypical seller motivations

    (e.g., a highly motivated seller). A sale of a bank-owned property might have involved typical motivations, so the

    fact that it was a foreclosed property would not render it ineligible as meaningful comparable data that should be

    considered in developing a credible appraisal. However, if the foreclosed property was sold without a typical

    marketing program, or if it had become stigmatized as a foreclosure, it might need to be adjusted if used as

    comparable evidence of value. Further, some foreclosed properties are in inferior condition, so adjustments for

    physical condition may be needed.

    As is always the case in selecting sales to use as comparable market information, appraisers must investigate the

    circumstances of each transaction, including whether atypical motivations or sales concessions were involved,

    the property was exposed on the market for a typical amount of time, the marketing program was typical, or

    whether the property condition was compromised. Adjustments might need to be made for these circumstances.

    When it is necessary to use a distressed sale as evidence of value, the appraiser must carefully analyze the

    Testimony of Appraisal Institute President-Elect Sara Stephens, MAI, CRE

    July 13, 2011

    current local market to determine if an adjustment for conditions of sale is needed. If no adjustment is warranted,

    the lack of adjustment should be explained.

    Physical condition and conditions of sale are two distinctly different factors that must be considered separately.

    They may be related to some degree in a distressed market, but not necessarily. An appraiser must not assume,

    for example, that a property was in inferior condition simply because it was a foreclosure. The level of

    investigation needed to meet the requirement for sufficient diligence is generally more than is needed in nondistressed

    market situations. Further, supporting such adjustments can be particularly challenging when there are

    few current transactions to analyze. Competency in performing such investigation and analysis is essential, which

    is why we believe the best and most productive way to alleviate concerns about appraisals in complex markets is

    to ensure that highly qualified appraisers– particularly those with advanced training, peer review, and competency

    exams – are used by lenders and their agents.

    Further, under federal and state law, appraisers are required to follow the Uniform Standards of Professional

    Appraisal Practice (USPAP). USPAP Standards Rule 1-4(a) requires that appraisers "must analyze such

    comparable sales data as are available." This means all sales, including foreclosures and short sales. In some

    markets, there are so many distressed sales that they are the market and must be considered. When there is a

    glut of distress sales in the marketplace, and those properties are truly comparable to the subject, it would be

    misleading not to use them as part (or in some cases all) of the basis for a value conclusion.

    USPAP further states that, "When compliance with USPAP is required by Federal law or regulation, no part of

    USPAP can be voided by a law or regulation of a state or local jurisdiction."

    As such, we urge that this Committee refrain from legislating the appraisal process and refrain from advancing the

    appraisal provisions of H.R. 1755, as introduced.

    Thanks!
    Curtis D. Harris, BS, CGREA, REB
    Bachelor of Science in Real Estate, CSULA
    State Certified General Appraiser
    Real Estate Broker
    ASTM E-2018 Commercial Real Estate Inspector
    HUD 203k Consultant
    HUD/FHA Real Estate Appraiser/Reviewer
    FannieMae REO Consultant

    CTAC LEED Certification

    The Harris Company, Forensic Appraisers and Real Estate Consultants
    *PIRS/Harris Company and the Science of Real Estate-Partners*

    1910 East Mariposa Avenue, Suite 115
    El Segundo, CA. 90245
    310-337-1973 Office
    310-251-3959 Cell

    WebSite: http://www.harriscompanyrec.com

    Resume:

    http://www.harriscompanyrec.com/CURRICULUMVITAENAME2011a.pdf

    Commercial Appraiser Blog:http://harriscompanyrec.com/blog/

    A WORD OF CAUTION: When selecting an Appraiser, Consultant, or Expert please pay close attention to his Resume/CV

    IT'S THE LAW-Designation Discrimination is Illegal [FIRREA, Sec. 564.6]: Professional Association Membership http://www.orea.ca.gov/html/fed_regs.shtml#Statement7 Membership in an appraisal organization: A State Certified General Appraiser may not be excluded from consideration for an assignment for a federally related transaction by virtue of membership or lack of membership in any particular appraisal organization, including the appraisal institute.

     

    CONFIDENTIALITY/PRIVILEGE NOTICE: This transmission and any attachments are intended solely for the addressee. The information contained in this transmission is confidential in nature and protected from further use or disclosure under U.S. Pub. L. 106-102, 113 U.S. Stat. 1338 (1999), and may be subject to consultant/appraiser-client or other legal privilege. Your use or disclosure of this information for any purpose other than that intended by its transmittal is strictly prohibited and may subject you to fines and/or penalties under federal and state law. If you are not the intended recipient of this transmission, please destroy all copies received and confirm destruction to the sender via return transmittal

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    "How the Appraisal Institute-MAI Destroyed the Real Estate Industry."

    All,

    We are currently working on a book titled "How the Appraisal Institute-MAI Destroyed the Real Estate Industry."  The book will discuss both Debacles I, which occurred in the 90's and affected mainly Commercial Properties that were only appraised by MAI-Appraisal Institute Members.  And, Debacle II which occurred shortly after the MAI-SRA-Appraisal Institute entry into the Residential Appraiser Market.  We are investigating their involvement with Tax Frauds in the Land Trust Tax Credit Program.   Fraud and the overvaluation of real estate to close Real Estate Transactions and Mortgages.  The fact that they were suspended and kicked out of the Appraisal Foundation, for their involvement in activities contrary to the Foundations Doctrine.  Their, MAI-Appraisal Institute, present promulgation that appraisers should use non-arm's length sales transactions as comparables, contrary to logic, public policy, and law.    The Fraud around their advertising that they are the best in the field, a real estate field, when very few of them have degrees in Real Estate.   Their affiliation with Financial Institutions.   Not to mention their latest report to congress which is full of lies and misrepresentations http://financialservices.house.gov/UploadedFiles/071311stephens.pdf

     

    The survival of the real estate industry depends on your assistance, the MAI-Appraisal Institute must go.  If you can provide appraisals, information, or other documentation in support of, or rejecting, our premise please, please, contact me at the following email address. harris_curtis@sbcglobal.net  

      

    Thanks!
    Curtis D. Harris, BS, CGREA, REB
    Bachelor of Science in Real Estate, CSULA
    State Certified General Appraiser
    Real Estate Broker
    ASTM E-2018 Commercial Real Estate Inspector
    HUD 203k Consultant
    HUD/FHA Real Estate Appraiser/Reviewer
    FannieMae REO Consultant

    CTAC LEED Certification

    The Harris Company, Forensic Appraisers and Real Estate Consultants
    *PIRS/Harris Company and the Science of Real Estate-Partners*

    1910 East Mariposa Avenue, Suite 115
    El Segundo, CA. 90245
    310-337-1973 Office
    310-251-3959 Cell

    WebSite: http://www.harriscompanyrec.com

    Resume: http://www.harriscompanyrec.com/CURRICULUMVITAENAME2011a.pdf

    Commercial Appraiser Blog: http://harriscompanyrec.com/blog/

    A WORD OF CAUTION: When selecting an Appraiser, Consultant, or Expert please pay close attention to his Resume/CV

    IT'S THE LAW-Designation Discrimination is Illegal [FIRREA, Sec. 564.6]: Professional Association Membership http://www.orea.ca.gov/html/fed_regs.shtml#Statement7 Membership in an appraisal organization: A State Certified General Appraiser may not be excluded from consideration for an assignment for a federally related transaction by virtue of membership or lack of membership in any particular appraisal organization, including the appraisal institute.

    CONFIDENTIALITY/PRIVILEGE NOTICE: This transmission and any attachments are intended solely for the addressee. The information contained in this transmission is confidential in nature and protected from further use or disclosure under U.S. Pub. L. 106-102, 113 U.S. Stat. 1338 (1999), and may be subject to consultant/appraiser-client or other legal privilege. Your use or disclosure of this information for any purpose other than that intended by its transmittal is strictly prohibited and may subject you to fines and/or penalties under federal and state law. If you are not the intended recipient of this transmission, please destroy all copies received and confirm destruction to the sender via return transmittal

     

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    August 19, 2011

    To all my friends in India

    Please join me on Twitter http://twitter.com/#!/AppraiserCommer

    Thanks

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    TODAY'S NEWS

    August 19, 2011

    TODAY'S NEWS

    AFFORDABLE HOUSING

    THE OAKLAND TRIBUNE: Dublin breaks ground on long-awaited public-private housing development

    By Robert Jordan // The city of Dublin and a pair of homebuilders broke ground Thursday on a long-awaited development that has one of the highest mixes of affordable and for-sale units in the Bay Area. Eden Housing and KB Home unveiled their public-private housing development, Emerald Vista, that includes 180 apartment units and 198 homes for sale. "You don't usually see a project that is half affordable and half for sale," said Christine Gouig, executive director of the Alameda County's Housing Authority. "Often you will see a percentage, like 20 percent. But with this project, the affordable is right in the middle of the project and not shunted in the corner.

     

    HOUSING DEVELOPMENT

    IMPERIAL VALLEY PRESS: De Anza to add second structure within a year

    By Chelcey Adami // Developers anticipate a senior housing building, known as De Anza II Senior Apartments, to be finished about one year from now. City Manager Oscar Rodriquez said the project will be able to fill a need for the city. “This is a project that we’ve been working on for a while and, as you know, under our housing element we’re short as far as providing affordable housing,” he said. “This particular project would address that issue on the affordable side and on the senior side.”  Project funding will also come from a permanent HOME loan by the California Department of Housing and Community Development, partner equity by the Richman Group, and an application will be submitted for funding from the Affordable Housing Program.

     

    Deer Hill Road rezoning moving ahead

    By Jonathan Morales // A large property overlooking Highway 24 could become home to the largest housing project in city history. Or it could remain a sparsely populated hillside. Lafayette is moving ahead with plans for the latter, over the objections of the housing project developers. Planning staff will bring to the City Council in September a project to change zoning on six parcels on the east end of Deer Hill Road so fewer houses could be built there.

    http://www.contracostatimes.com/growth/ci_18710230



    LAND USE / PLANNING / REGULATION

    THE REPORTER: Rio Vista defends its grant activity

    By Melissa Murphy // The city of Rio Vista's reputation is at stake after the California state controller's office included it on a noncompliance list for not filing an audit on a federal grant this year. Thursday evening, the City Council held a public hearing to discuss Community Development Block Grant activities from July 1, 2010, to June 30 of this year. The council voted 4 to 1 to approve a report that was sent to the California Department of Housing and Community Development.

     

    GUSTINE PRESS STANDARD: Gustine housing element certified

    State officials have signed off on Gustine’s recently-adopted housing element, which identifies needs in the community and establishes policies which allow for development which meets those needs. Equally – if not more – important, a certified housing element may open windows of opportunity for local government to apply for a wide range of grant funding for housing-related programs and economic development. Assistant City Manager Sean Scully said he has found no evidence that Gustine has ever had a certified housing element in the past – which has been a barrier to the city’s pursuit of various grant funds.

     

    HOUSING MARKETS / REAL ESTATE

    CENTRAL VALLEY BUSINESS TIMES: California housing affordability dips

    Housing affordability in California decreased in the second quarter of 2011 as 16 of the state’s 28 metropolitan areas included in the report showed declines, the California Building Industry Association says Thursday. But the Central Valley continued to be more affordable than other parts of the state and even the nation as a whole.

     

    MORTGAGE & FORECLOSURE ISSUES

    BEYOND CHRON: Underwater mortgage and one million jobs

    By David Lagstein // One in five Americans owe more on their mortgage than their home is actually worth. Collectively, underwater homeowners will have to pay down $709 billion in principal before they can start building equity in their homes. Every effort to reboot the housing market to date has failed because it has not done the most essential thing: reduce the massive debt load carried by underwater homeowners.

     

    MODESTO BEE: 30-year mortgage rate at lowest on record

    The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage has fallen to its lowest level on records dating to 1971. The rate on the most popular mortgage dipped to 4.15 percent from 4.32 percent a week ago, Freddie Mac said Thursday. Its previous low of 4.17 percent was reached in November. The last time long-term rates were lower was in the 1950s, when 30-year loans weren't widely available. Most long-term home loans lasted 20 or 25 years.



    LOS ANGELES TIMES: Los Angeles' foreclosure rehab program homes in on South L.A.

    By David Zahniser // Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa strode through the two-bedroom house on 66th Street on Thursday as though he were a prospective buyer, checking out the bamboo floors and getting the lowdown on the tankless water heater. In this case, it is the city's Housing Department that is selling the 820-square-foot home in South Los Angeles, one of hundreds of foreclosed properties being purchased, fixed up and resold by the agency using $143 million in federal stimulus grants.

     

    California proposal: No more foreclosures

    A proposal in California would make it illegal for banks to foreclose on homes, with home ownership considered a state right, a draft of the provision says. The proposal requires more than 800,000 signatures and a 131-day grace period to be put on the next statewide ballot, which makes it possible voters would have a crack at the initiative in 2012, Business Law Daily reported Wednesday.

     

    HOMELESSNESS

    LONG BEACH GAZETTE: Homelessness prevention program winding down

    By Jonathan Van Dyke // Only one year remains on a program targeting homelessness prevention that has helped countless families, officials said.     The Long Beach Homelessness Prevention Program (which also can serve Signal Hill residents) has been in effect since 2009, but the allocated money must be used by the end of next summer, said Susan Price, homeless services officer for the city’s Department of Health and Human Services. “We have been focusing, basically, on two major components: Homeless prevention and rapid re-housing,” she said. “(This funding) has allowed us to create a whole component of homeless prevention that we didn’t have prior to that.”

     

    TRANSPORTATION

    Jerry Brown backs going forward with high-speed rail project
    Gov. Jerry Brown said Wednesday that California should press forward with its troubled high-speed rail project, despite growing criticism about the project's management and cost. While the nation is in a "period of massive retrenchment," Brown told the Fresno Bee's editorial board, "I would like to be part of the group that gets America to think big again."

     

    REDEVELOPMENT / INFILL / REVITALIZATION

    TIMES STANDARD: Fortuna redevelopment agency to continue; council to research further options before January payments are due
    By Jessica Cejnar // The Fortuna City Council agreed to pay the state about $393,000 to keep its redevelopment agency active beyond Oct. 1. The council made its decision after the California Supreme Court issued a stay of two Assembly bills that would eliminate redevelopment agencies statewide unless those agencies made payments to the state.  In other matters, the council approved of an application to the California State Department of Housing and Community Development for a CalHome grant of $600,000 for its low- to moderate-income housing loan program.

     

    SONOMA NEWS: Redevelopment on hold again

    By Bill Hoban // When the state Supreme Court earlier this week stayed the part of Gov. Jerry Brown's budget abolishing redevelopment areas, it only muddied an already murky situation. The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors were due to pass an opt-in ordinance at Tuesday's meeting as part of its consent calendar, but because of the Supreme Court decision, the item was scratched from the agenda. "This just kind of put us back in limbo," said John Haig, the county's redevelopment manager. "We can't start any new projects and we're really not sure where this will shake out."

     

    NATIONAL HOUSING NEWS

    Banks Block Obama’s Mortgage Stimulus Plan

    A U.S. program to help as many as 5 million homeowners refinance their mortgages is being hindered by reluctant lenders, suffering a similar fate to the government’s main foreclosure-prevention effort. The Obama administration introduced the plan in April 2009 in a bid to prevent defaults among borrowers who were current on their payments but had little or no equity after the average home price had tumbled 33 percent since the July 2006 peak. The Home Affordable Refinance Program, known as HARP, was designed to allow these homeowners, who usually can’t qualify for new loans, to benefit from the lower rates engineered by the Federal Reserve to help stimulate the economy.

     

    ENVIRONMENT / CLIMATE CHANGE

    UCLA NEWSROOM: Smoke-free policies could save landlords up to $18 million a year in cleaning costs

    When apartment tenants light up a cigarette, it's not just their smoking-averse neighbors who suffer. Landlords are also sucking it up — in increased cleaning costs. But by implementing complete smoke-free rules throughout their properties, owners of California multi-unit rental buildings could save up to $18 million a year statewide on the cost of cleaning apartments vacated by tenants who smoke, according to a new UCLA study. These policies can also protect their other tenants from the secondhand smoke that seeps between units.

     

    EDHAT SANTA BARBARA: Solar panels for low income housing

    Today Congresswoman Capps, the Housing Authority of the County of Santa Barbara (HACSB), solar energy companies and others announced the installation of new solar panels on the low-income housing units throughout the County. The Housing Authority has installed more than 7,200 solar panels on 863 low-income housing units at 21 sites throughout Santa Barbara County. The project represents the largest installation of solar panels by any public housing authority in the United States, of which there are approximately 3,200, and will generate 1.7 megawatts of solar energy. About fifty percent of the funding to complete the project was generated from federal sources.

     

    PRESS DEMOCRAT: Sonoma County takes aim at smokers

    By Martin Espinoza // Sonoma County is considering banning smoking in apartments and condominiums, on county-owned property, in parks, campgrounds and beaches and at many other outdoor public and private areas where people gather.

     

     

    GOVERNMENT SITES:

    California Dept. of Finance – Governor’s Budget

    http://www.dof.ca.gov/Budget/Historical_Documents.asp

     

    California Dept. of Housing & Community Development - Press Releases

    http://www.hcd.ca.gov/news/release/

     

    California Dept. of Housing & Community Development – Housing Policy Development Bibliographies

    http://www.hcd.ca.gov/hpd/biblio.html

     

    California Dept. of Housing & Community Development – HCD Web News

    http://www.hcd.ca.gov/hpd/news/index.html

     

    California Housing Financing Agency

    http://www.calhfa.ca.gov/

     

    California Tax Credit Allocation Committee

    http://www.treasurer.ca.gov/ctcac/

     

    California Debt Limit Allocation Committee

    http://www.treasurer.ca.gov/cdlac/

     

    HUD Newsroom

    http://www.hud.gov/news/

     

    Fannie Mae Foundation- KnowledgePlex

    http://www.knowledgeplex.org/

     

    Federal Register, Table of Contents

    http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/fedreg/frcont10.html

     

    U.S. Census Bureau

    http://www.census.gov/main/

     

    California Supreme Court Decisions / California Courts of Appeal Decisions (last 100 days are posted in full text)

    http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions/

     

    COVERAGE INFORMATION:

    California Department of Housing & Community Development WEB NEWS service coverage:

     

    Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays each week includes electronic format articles retrieved from newspapers or news services that report housing and community development news in California and some national services. Coverage is for California newspapers that are available electronically via the Internet – and any significant related breaking news.

     

    (C) Copyright 2011, California Department of Housing & Community Development, Division of Housing Policy Development

    Links to web sites do not constitute an endorsement from The California Department of Housing and Community Development. These links are provided as an information service only. It is the responsibility of the user to evaluate the content and usefulness of information obtained from these sites.  HCD does not provide full text articles – user must access expired articles via newspaper archives online or local public library.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This email was sent to harris_curtis@sbcglobal.net by the California Department of Housing and Community Development
    1800 Third Street | Sacramento | California | 95811
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    The 50% Advanced Energy Design Guide (AEDG) series

    geovisit();<img src="http://visit.webhosting.yahoo.com/visit.gif?us1305930940" alt="setstats" border="0" width="1" height="1">e Advanced Energy Design Guide for Small to Medium Office Buildings: Solutions to Achieve 50% Energy Savings in Office Buildings

    Course Description:

    The 50% Advanced Energy Design Guide (AEDG) series follows six volumes of award winning 30% guides. The AEDGs are the result of a partnership between DOE, ASHRAE, AIA, IESNA and USGBC, and the next group of publications will provide guidance on achieving 50% savings over ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2004. The first guide in the new series, 50% AEDG for Small to Medium Office Buildings, is currently available for free download. This no-cost webinar provides an overview of the 50% series and outlines recommendations for energy savings in both small and medium office buildings.

    1. Overview of the AEDG Series
      Jeremy Williams, U.S. Department of Energy
      Jeremy will provide the overview of the AEDG series, including both the 30% AEDG and 50% AEDG series.
    2. What's New in the 50% AEDG Office Guide
      Bing Liu, Sr. Research Engineer, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
      Bing will give an overview of this newly-published book, AEDG-SMO. The topic will include the goal of this guide, scope, methodologies and how to use this guide. It will also focus on the integrated design process and provide the extensive energy saving analysis results from implementing the energy efficiency recommendations from this Guide.
    3. Building Envelope Strategies for the 50% AEDG-SMO
      Merle F. McBride, Sr. Research Associate, Owens Corning Center of Science and Technology
      Upgrading the thermal efficiency of the envelope through reduced thermal transmittance and solar loads is the first and most obvious goal, but this needs to be complemented with fundamental changes in the building basic structure and form. New features include orientation sensitive window-to-wall ratios, limited use of flat roof skylights, incorporation of daylighting and view glazing, vestibules and mitigation of thermal bridges at roof/wall intersections, foundations and windows. Rounding out the envelope measures includes continuous air barriers, exterior shading of south facing windows and the use of thermal mass to reduce loads.
    4. Lighting and Daylighting Issues for the 50% AEDG-SMO
      Michael D. Lane, Sr. Energy Management Engineer, Puget Sound Energy
      The lighting section of the AEDG pushes three main areas of energy savings to help meet the 50% goal; daylighting, lower lighting power densities, and controls (daylighting and occupancy). Locating open office areas on the North and South sides of the building and using daylight as the primary light source. Lower lighting power densities are possible by using high-performance lensed fluorescent fixtures as the general light source and using spill light from the general lighting to light the corridors when possible. Occupancy sensors are used as the primary control mechanism throughout the spaces to ensure that lights are turned off when the spaces are unoccupied.
    5. Mechanical Systems and Systems Integration Issues for the 50% AEDG-SMO
      Daniel Nall, Vice President, WSP Flack + Kurtz
      Optimization of mechanical systems was critical to achieving the 50% energy savings goal required by the guide. Successful strategies were fully evaluated using comprehensive building energy simulation and were vetted for functionality and operability by the project committee. Systems were evaluated for both electrical and fossil fuel heating source. Successful strategies maximized part load energy savings, eliminated simultaneous heating and cooling, recovered energy from exhaust air and decoupled outside air delivery from sensible temperature control.

    Registration:

    Immediately upon registering, you will receive a confirmation email from ConferencePlus from this email address [conferencecenter@meetme.net]. Two days prior to the event and again one hour prior to the event, you will receive a reminder email from ConferencePlus from this email address [ConferencePlus@prm0.net]. We recommend that you set your spam filter to allow email from these addresses.

    Webinar Materials:

    A webinar handout will be available here the day before the event.

    Webinar Date:

    September 15, 2011

    Time:

    9:00 - 10:30 a.m. PT, 12:000-01:30 p.m. ET
    The webinar will include questions and answers by the speakers as time allows.

    Presented by:

    Jeremy Williams, U.S. Department of Energy; Bing Liu, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; Merle McBride, Owens Corning Center of Science and Technology; Michael Lane, Puget Sound Energy; and Daniel Nall, WSP Flack + Kurtz

    Register Now to reserve your spot!

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    Alaska Supreme Court Holds Property Owner Not Aggrieved for Standing Purposes

    Alaska Supreme Court Holds Property Owner Not Aggrieved for Standing Purposes

    Griswold, a resident and property owner in the City of Homer (“the City”), appealed a decision of the City’s Advisory Planning Commission (“the Commission”) which granted a conditional use permit to the Kachemak Shellfish Mariculture Association (KSMA) to construct a building on a property adjacent to a public beach (“the property”). The Superior Court, acting in an intermediate appellate court capacity, affirmed the Commission’s decision dismissing Griswold’s appeal for lack of standing and held that he was not a “person aggrieved” under the Homer City Code (“HCC”).

    Griswold protested the conditional use permit because he believed it would cause congestion and visual blight on the public beach nearby the property, thus adversely affecting his future enjoyment of the beach as well as the beach’s accessibility, as the rights-of-way would be overtaken by KSMA parking spaces. The city clerk denied the appeal because Griswold did not mention or prove that he owned real property in the vicinity of the property. The Superior Court issued its “final decision” in May 2009, and in December of that year, Griswold appealed. The court found that Griswold’s appeal was untimely, as the City’s Appellate Rule 204(a)(1) required filing of appeal within 30 days of a final decision when a superior court was acting as an intermediate appellate court (in contrast to a different procedural framework when acting in a trial court capacity). Griswold’s appeal was therefore untimely, but in this proceeding, the Supreme Court of Alaska cited precedent allowing an exception for such an error when the record indicated a pro se litigant’s good-faith effort to appeal on time. The Court went on to discuss the ambiguity of Appellate Rule 204(a)(1), emphasizing that it had not yet delineated events that trigger the beginning of the time to appeal where the superior court is acting as an intermediate appellate court. Because the vague requirements would confuse even a law-trained individual, and the record indicated Griswold’s good faith, this court permitted the appeal.

    Regardless, the court rejected Griswold’s argument that certain HCC provisions conflicted with state statutes by promulgating a more stringent definition of “person aggrieved” for standing purposes. It found that defining “aggrieved” as “adversely affected” was consistent with the general definition for review in zoning cases and represented the majority opinion. It subsequently rejected Griswold’s argument that the City Code provisions unlawfully eliminated taxpayer-citizen standing, noting that the Alaska government eliminated this type of standing in land use cases pursuant to its legislative authority with Alaska Statute 29.40.050-.060.

    Griswold then alleged a procedural due process deprivation, claiming loss of a property interest deserving of constitutional protection. In absence of Griswold sufficiently identifying a cognizable property interest, the Court disposed of the due process claim. Similarly, Griswold alleged that the HCC discriminated against him in violation of his equal protection rights. For standing purposes, the HCC’s classification scheme grants standing to “aggrieved persons,” that is, landowners who sufficiently show that an action or determination adversely affected (or will adversely affect) a their use and enjoyment of their property. Because it does not classify based on a suspect/quasi-suspect factor nor does it infringe on a fundamental right, the law is valid unless it clearly has no legitimate basis. Alaska’s rationale for defining “aggrieved” in this manner, which the Court found to be legitimate, revolved around concerns of excessive litigation and undue delay in final dispositions. Therefore, disposal of Griswold’s equal protection argument was appropriate.

    Based on the foregoing, the Alaska Supreme Court affirmed the Superior Court’s decision to uphold the city clerk’s denial of Griswold’s appeal, firmly supporting the city clerk’s interpretation of the applicable state and local laws, and, significantly, the city clerk’s authority to reject Griswold’s appeal.

    Griswold v. City of Homer, 2011 WL 2274553 (Alaska, 6/10/2011).

    The opinion can be accessed at: http://www.courts.alaska.gov/ops/sp-6565.pdf

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    August 18, 2011

    Lead-Based Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule Workshop to be held in Birmingham, Alabama

     

    Contact Information: Dawn Harris-Young, (404) 562-8421, harris-young.dawn@epa.gov

     

    (ATLANTA – August 18, 2011) - Representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in conjunction with the Jefferson County Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program, and the Alabama Department of Health Lead Poisoning Prevention Office will conduct a Compliance Assistance Workshop on the Renovation, Repair & Painting Rule (RRP) in Birmingham, Alabama on August 24, 2011.  The workshop will include discussions on the Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Rule, as well as RRP, its training components, and the importance of lead safe work practices.

     

    WHO:               EPA, Jefferson County Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program, and the Alabama Department of Health Lead Poisoning Prevention Office

     

    WHAT:             Compliance Assistance Workshop on the Lead-Based Renovation, Repair & Painting Rule


    WHEN:             August 24, 2011 from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.

    WHERE:          
    Botanical Gardens                           

                            2612 Lane Park Road

                            Birmingham, AL  35223

                             

    Because lead-based paint in homes and child occupied facilities built prior to 1978 is the primary cause of childhood lead poisoning, the lead safe RRP rule places new requirements on property management companies, landlords, contractors, renovators and painters for lead safe work practices to reduce the lead exposure of children.

     

    Landlords, Property Managers, and their employees are responsible for ensuring compliance with the rule and play an important role in protecting public health by helping prevent lead exposure from their units.   All contractors had to be trained and certified by April 2010.  Finding an accredited course is easy; please go to EPA’s website, which lists several accredited trainers at: http://epa.gov/lead/pubs/trainingproviders.htm. 

     

    If you have questions about the RRP rule or the certification process, you can visit EPA’s web site at www.epa.gov/lead or call the National Lead Information Center (NLIC) at 1-800-424-LEAD [5323].     

     

    To register for the workshop, please contact the Lonnie Pressley at (205)930-1248 or Lonnie.Pressley@jcdh.org

    Note: If a link above doesn't work, please copy and paste the URL into a browser.

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    August 17, 2011

    Effects of Airport Noise on Housing Value

    AVIATION NOISE LAW
    Airport Noise and Residential Property Value




    Effects of Airport Noise on Housing Value

    In 1994 the consulting firm of Booz-Allen & Hamilton, Inc. prepared a report titled The Effect of Airport Noise on Housing Values: A Summary Report for the Federal Aviation Administration. The report describes a methodology for evaluating the impact of noise on housing values. The methodology essentially compares market prices in similar neighborhoods that differ only in the level of airport-related noise. In pilot studies using this method, Booz-Allen found that the effect of noise on prices was highest in moderately priced and expensive neighborhoods. In two paired moderately priced neighborhoods north of Los Angeles International Airport, the study found "an average 18.6 percent higher property value in the quiet neighborhood, or 1.33 percent per dB of additional quiet." (See Bibliography: Impacts of Noise on Property Value.)

    A 1996 study funded by the Legislature of the State of Washington used a somewhat similar methodology and found that the proposed expansion of Seattle-Tacoma Airport would cost five nearby cities $500 million in property values and $22 million in real-estate tax revenue. The study of single-family homes -- all in "very good" condition, with three or more bedrooms and two or more baths, and excluding the most expensive and inexpensive units to provide more representative comparisons -- found that "a housing unit in the immediate vicinity of the airport would sell for 10.1 percent more -- if it were located elsewhere."

    The Washington study also concluded: "all other things remaining equal, the value of a house and lot increases by about 3.4% for every quarter of a mile the house is farther away from being directly underneath the flight track of departing/approaching jet aircraft." (Details can be found in Sections 9.01 - 9.07 of the study.)

    In 1997 Randall Bell, MAI, Certified General Real Estate Appraiser, licensed real estate broker, and instructor for the Appraisal Institute, provided the results of his own professional analysis to the Orange County Board of Supervisors. Comparing sales of 190 comparable properties over six months in communities near Los Angeles International Airport, John Wayne Airport, and Ontario Airport, Bell found a diminution in value due to airport proximity averaging 27.4 percent. (See the full report.) Bell has also developed a list of over 200 conditions that impact real estate values -- airport proximity is categorized as a "detrimental condition."


    Disclosure of Airport Noise to Buyers

    California law requires sellers to reveal noise and other nuisance factors in a Real Estate Transfer Disclosure Statement prior to sale, permitting prospective buyers to look elsewhere or to lower their offers.

    As of January 1, 2004, residential property owners in California are required, under certain circumstances, to disclose to prospective buyers that the property is in the "vicinity" of an airport (Assembly Bill 2776, 2002). (See AB 2776.)


    Avigation Easements

    Airports can acquire avigation easements in the airspace over neighboring properties in order to (1) prevent construction of buildings and towers, planting of trees, installation of lighting, or any other development that might interfere with aircraft takeoff and landing, or (2) protect against liability for any nuisance caused by airplanes using the airport, i.e., the impact of noise, fumes, and vibration on the "use and enjoyment" of properties under the flight paths to and from the airport. The former is a type of "hazard easement" while the latter is a type of "nuisance easement" but in practice both are called avigation easements. The two types are not typically combined in one legal document, although they may be.

    Airports rarely take the trouble to acquire nuisance avigation easements by initiating condemnation proceedings. The nuisance easements are sometimes imposed on new developments near an airport, but only if the airport owner (a city or county) also has jurisdiction over the land surrounding the airport. An airport may also require a nuisance avigation easement as a condition for installing insulation against noise in homes and schools. When sued for nuisance by neighboring landowners, airports assert that they have a prescriptive avigation easement over the plaintiff's land and therefore are not liable for any nuisance due to aircraft noise, fumes, or vibration. In theory a prescriptive avigation easement is acquired by simply flying over the property for a number of years (the number set by state law to perfect a claim for adverse possession). However, only California courts have come close to recognizing avigation easements acquired by prescription (see link below to discussion of prescriptive avigation easements).

    If the provisions of the easement are written broadly, the easement could preclude the property owner from successfully suing the airport for maintaining a nuisance (such as noise, air pollution, or airport lighting). For example, the easement might contain language that grants the airport the right to create noise, dust, vibration, fumes, etc. from aircraft presently using the airport as well as any future aircraft at the airport. If at the time the easement was granted the airport was used only by small, propeller-driven planes, but now a variety of helicopters fly in and out of the airport, the property owner would have difficulty arguing that the airport had exceeded its rights under the easement.

    Avigation easements are recorded in the county recorder's office and show up in a title search. Like most easements, they are binding on any future owners of the property. See the following:

    http://airportnoiselaw.org/propval.html

    [Revised Nov. 13, 2004]
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    AARP Foundation Suing Fannie Mae and Wells Fargo

    AARP Foundation Suing Fannie Mae and Wells Fargo

    Wednesday, August 17, 2011

    AARP Foundation is suing Wells Fargo and Fannie Mae in the San Francisco Federal Court over the rights of a survivor to redeem the property after a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage borrower dies. This case involves the nonrecourse provision of the HECM and the withdrawn HUD Mortgagee Letter 2008-38, which called for heirs having to repay the loan in full if they wanted to keep the property. The Department of Housing and Urban Development removed the letter in April.

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    August 16, 2011

    View the newly posted Strategy of the Month at http://www.huduser.org/portal/rbc/strategy/vol10_issue4.html
    This month, we highlight a recent study — funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — that examines how housing type and location influence household energy consumption. Some of the key findings include:

    • Housing location and type have a major impact on household energy consumption;
    • Households residing in multifamily homes located near public transit consume substantially less energy than households in low-density, auto-dependant developments; and
    • While energy-efficient features in homes and cars are effective in reducing energy use, they are not as significant as housing location and type.

    Learn more about this important new study and its findings here.


    If you have green and/or affordable housing strategies or resources you'd like to share, please email us at rbcsubmit@huduser.org, call us at 1-800-245-2691 (option 4), or visit our website at www.regbarriers.org.

    Feel free to forward this message to friends and colleagues with an interest in sustainable communities.
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    We are beginning to tally results of the 2010-11 Cost vs. Value Survey

    Dear NAR Member,

    We are beginning to tally results of the 2010-11 Cost vs. Value Survey and we notice that you started to fill out the questionnaire but never finished. It would greatly increase the value of the Report to you and all NAR members if you took a few minutes now to complete those last few questions.

    Remember also that REALTORS® who complete the questionnaire, and who fulfill eligibility requirements, will be entered in a drawing for one of three grand prizes of $500.  (Read the Official Rules.)


    To complete the survey you started, go to the location below and re-enter your email address.

    http://www.specpan.com/costvalue

    (If you prefer, you may copy and paste the URL into your browser window.)

    Thank you.

    Sincerely,

    Stacey A. Moncrieff
    Editor in Chief
    REALTOR® Magazine
    NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

    If you have questions, e-mail cost-value@hanley-wood.com.


     

    Please do not reply to this email. This mailbox is for distribution only. To ensure you receive our emails, please add NAR@newsletters.realtor.org to your address book now.

    Questions or comments? Please send an email to cost-value@hanley-wood.com.

    National Association of REALTORS®
    MBDBSG
    430 N. Michigan Ave.
    Chicago, IL 60611


    As a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, you are entitled to receive the most updated information on the programs, products and services offered by the association. However, if you would like to be removed from the NAR email distribution list, please click here.

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    LEED Rating System Development

    LEED Rating System Development http://www.usgbc.org/DisplayPage.aspx?CMSPageID=2360

    On Monday, August 1, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) opened the second public comment period for the proposed update to its LEED green building rating system, coined LEED 2012. The comment period, which will close on September 14, 2011, is the next step in the continuous improvement process and on-going development of the LEED program.

    The drafts currently available for public comment feature updated language and scorecards, and include responses to comments with points associated with all credits. Members of the public can comment on any changes made since the first comment period, which ran from Nov. 8, 2010 until Jan. 19, 2011. USGBC will hold free member webcasts in the coming weeks detailing the changes between the first and second public comment drafts. More information is available under the “Resources” Section of this page.

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    One well-known Internet search engine has a new product—affordable housing.

    One well-known Internet search engine has a new product—affordable housing.

    Consider the Melbourne Apartments in Des Moines, Iowa, where only a family making less than $47,500 can rent a three-bedroom apartment.

    Google helped finance the low-income housing project.

    The Internet giant is among a number of new investors in low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs)—a group that includes Verizon as well as insurance giants Liberty Mutual and Allstate—that have breathed new life into the sector.

    http://urbanland.uli.org/Articles/2011/August/SheridanGoogle

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    Minimum green building standards promulgated by the International Code Council (ICC) and American

    By Douglas J. Feichtner , Andrew R. Kwiatkowski
    August 16, 2011

    Minimum green building standards promulgated by the International Code Council (ICC) and American

    Society of Heating, Refrigeration, Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) may dramatically impact the U.S.
    construction and real estate markets. The primary goal of these standards is to articulate minimum code
    requirements for sustainable building practices. However, with the introduction of new rules always
    comes risk. More specifically, when these minimum criteria for green building practices are incorporated
    into building codes, architects, engineers, and builders will face increased litigation risk for green building.

    In January 2010, ASHRAE released the first comprehensive green building standard written in mandatory
    code language - ASHRAE 189.1, Standard for the Design of Hi-Performance Green Buildings Except
    Low-Rise Residential Buildings
    . ASHRAE developed this standard with the assistance and partnership of U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The ICC is developing its own green building code titled the    International Green Construction Code (IgCC) - to be finalized in March 2012 in collaboration with ASTM
    International and the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Neither standard is a green building rating
    system, but rather a green building code to be adopted on a mandatory basis by jurisdictions across the
    country and around the globe. IgCC will include ASHRAE 189.1 as a jurisdictional compliance option,
    meaning 189.1 can be used in any jurisdiction that also adopts the IgCC. Unlike the plethora of green
    building certification systems flooding the market these days, 189.1 and IgCC will be the green building
    codes. What does this mean for architects, engineers, and builders? It means that these and other building

    stakeholders should be mindful of jurisdictions that adopt and incorporate the requirements of 189.1 or IgCC into their building codes. Again - these are not voluntary provisions. In such a jurisdiction,
    architects, for example, will be required to design a building that satisfies the mandates of these green building codes. If the building design violates a code provision, which results in damages, the architects could be held negligent per se.

    Have any jurisdictions adopted 189.1 or IgCC? Not yet. The ICC’s IgCC will not even be finalized until next year. But these authors believe that green building codes will proliferate in the next five years. The ICC is a big-time player in the building code business. It develops the codes used to construct residential and commercial buildings such as homes, schools, and hospitals. So the ICC’s active involvement in advancing sustainable building practices is significant because, historically, local building regulations have been based on model building codes. Meeting green requirements will likely become as critical to code compliance as satisfying electrical and fire safety requirements.

    Unfortunately, the adoption of green building codes may increase the litigation risks for architects,

    engineers, and builders involving three critical areas: (1) building code non-compliance; (2) deficient employee training/defective design or installation in relation to new green building materials; and (3) inadequate contract language.

    It sounds obvious, but at a minimum, building designers and contractors must construct buildings

    according to code. That means they need to (1) understand the green code requirements of their

    jurisdiction, and (2) effectively inform and train their employees and subcontractors on green techniques
    and methods in order to satisfy green building code requirements. The education and training component

     

    www.dinslaw.com

     

     

     

     

     

     

    cannot be overstated. While subcontractors may be familiar with green code categories like site selection and energy efficiency (based on experiences with LEED certification), the stakes are a bit higher with an occupancy permit on the line and perhaps the risk of liquidated damages for delays.

    An integral piece of the education and training component involves the use of "new" green building

    materials. Shortly after LEED’s introduction in 2000, a wave of innovative green products entered the
    market with the promise of helping builders achieve certification. As LEED’s popularity grew, so did the
    number of available green building materials (i.e., green roof, air barrier system installation, low
    consumption urinals). While such devices are exciting and new, they may not be as reliable (or at least as tested) as the more "traditional" building materials. It is critical for engineers and contractors to select and use these new green devices with care. Research your products, as well as the manufacturers who
    supply them. If feasible, encourage your green suppliers to install the materials themselves (that would
    probably be their preference). And if you the contractor (or more likely subcontractor) are going to
    oversee or actively participate in the installation, proceed with caution. An improperly insulated green roof can be a very messy and expensive problem.

    It is essential for each building stakeholder to specify their obligations within the four corners of the green building contract and, to the extent possible, allocate their risk accordingly. "Form" green building
    contracts, even those from the AIA, may not accomplish these objectives. Don’t be foolish. Retain a
    lawyer to review the contract. Negotiate terms and specify which party is responsible for what action
    step(s) in terms of the overall building project. If a green building is ultimately not code-compliant or
    underperforms in terms of energy efficiency, a clear contract can resolve (or at least help clarify)
    complicated questions about potential liability.

    Voluntary green building certifications like LEED, green building tax incentives, and innovative green

    building materials exploded in popularity within the last decade. Building sustainability was exciting, new, and the possibilities were limitless. Like being in love for the first time, building stakeholders were smitten. But now the green building industry is looking for a bigger "commitment" from its stakeholders. Mandatory green building codes, reduced state and federal dollars, and more rigorous energy performance metrics merit careful attention from architects, contractors, and builders. Green building goals are transforming into green building requirements, which means greater green building risks. In sum, proper preparation and timely attorney consultation can reduce liability exposure.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    www.dinslaw.com

     

     

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    August 15, 2011

    Dbriefs for Industries

    Dbriefs for Industries
    A webcast series for executives

    Anticipating tomorrow's complex issues and new strategies is a challenge. Be ready with Dbriefs – live webcasts that give you valuable insights on important developments affecting your business.

    Dbriefs offers live webcasts featuring practical knowledge from Deloitte specialists. Plus, earn CPE credit – from the convenience of your desk.

    To join Dbriefs: Sign up here or attend one of these upcoming webcasts.

    Oil & Gas

    Wednesday, August 17, 2:00 PM EDT

    > Register

    Oil & Gas Mergers and Acquisitions: Rebounding with Cash in Hand

    A recovering worldwide economy, stronger commodity prices, and credit markets are supporting oil and gas M&A activity. What are considerations for your next transaction? We'll discuss:

    • Oil and gas M&A trends for 2011, including effects of changing gas flows and basis differentials on value, new drilling regulations, and shale gas development.
    • Current value drivers in M&A, including synergies in oil field services transactions and effective tax structuring for global transactions.
    • Key issues faced by acquirers in evaluating targets, integrating acquisitions, and measuring accretion, including financial, tax, and organizational matters.

    Learn about underlying fundamentals and exciting trends shaping M&A transaction activity in the future.

    Retail & Distribution

    Thursday, August 18, 11:00 AM EDT

    > Register

    Fighting Inflation: Leveraging Advanced Analytics to Help Drive Business Performance

    Significant increases in the price of crude oil, food, cotton, and other commodities are squeezing margins and eroding earnings for many retailers. With a sluggish economy and skittish consumers, what can retailers do when they can't uniformly pass along price increases? We'll discuss:

    • The likely impact of rising global commodity prices on the retail industry.
    • Mitigation strategies to combat inflation and reduced consumer spending.
    • Leveraging advanced analytics to help drive precision in assortment planning, inventory management, and pricing.

    To help stave off diminishing product margins, learn what companies can do when they've already pulled traditional cost reduction levers during the recent economic downturn.

    Technology, Media & Telecom

    Wednesday, August 24, 1:00 PM EDT

    > Register

    Addicted to Connectivity: Trends and Opportunities in Mobile Communications

    With mobile communications proliferating, consumers have an increasingly powerful voice in the telecom sector's direction. What recent developments could influence product and service decisions across the Technology, Media, and Telecommunications (TMT) sectors? We'll discuss:

    • A snapshot of U.S. and global mobile communications usage – how usage is becoming more specific, sophisticated, and complex.
    • Key consumer trends – from who has multiple mobile-enabled devices to who has the most popular mobile Internet applications.
    • Potential new revenue streams, such as next-generation mobile broadband services, mobile advertising, and embedded mobile.

    Hear results of Deloitte's 2011 survey of global mobile consumers, and explore ways that TMT companies can capitalize on recent developments.

    Real Estate

    Thursday, September 01, 2:00 PM EDT

    > Register

    Real Estate Funds: Unlocking Value in a Very Different Environment

    The challenging economy and tumultuous real estate markets present both challenges and opportunities to real estate funds. What leading practices can help fund managers as they build funds? We'll discuss:

    • Qualifying investment opportunities.
    • Strategies for structuring funds and investments.
    • Operational excellence and investor reporting, including understanding legislative developments and providing investors with timely financial, tax, and performance reports.
    • Exit strategies, including liquidation, capital recycling, IPOs, REITs, and recapitalization.

    Understand the dynamics of a fast-changing market for real estate funds and gain new insights on creating, managing, and exiting funds in this environment.

    Manufacturing

    Thursday, September 08, 1:00 PM EDT

    > Register

    Public Pulse on American Manufacturing

    New data shows that Americans view manufacturing as the most important industry for a strong national economy. However, the same group wouldn't encourage their children to pursue a manufacturing career. What does the disconnect reveal? We'll discuss:

    • Perception gap between the public's highly positive views of manufacturing and their negative views of pursuing a career in manufacturing.
    • Latest trends in manufacturing and technology, including green manufacturing.
    • Importance of education in producing new talent to support future manufacturing.

    Hear results of research by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute to learn the public's view on manufacturing's image, talent, and future.

    Power & Utilities

    Thursday, September 15, 2:00 PM EDT

    > Register

    Power & Utilities Mergers and Acquisitions: Riding the Next Wave

    Slow top-line growth, combined with large generation, transmission, and distribution investment requirements, appear to have unleashed the next wave of utility industry consolidation, aimed at gaining scale and realizing efficiencies. How are companies capitalizing on it? We'll discuss:

    • Key M&A trends and drivers, including involvement of private equity, sovereign wealth, and infrastructure funds, and renewable energy transactions.
    • Understanding the changing regulatory landscape.
    • A disciplined approach for identifying, quantifying, and achieving results.
    • Merger integration strategies, including human resource transition and change management, technology platform integration, and establishing Day 1 momentum.

    Learn about M&A challenges the sector faces today and approaches for maximizing value in M&A transactions.

    Health Care Plans, Providers & Life Sciences

    Tuesday, September 20, 2:00 PM EDT

    > Register

    Information-Driven Health Care: Creating New Linkages Across the Industry

    The use of information across the health care value chain is becoming increasingly vital. How could the need for fact-based insights bring together sources and users of data across the health care ecosystem? We'll discuss:

    • Health care analytics, including data sourced from consumers and providers.
    • Accessing information, business analytics, strategy, and governance in health care, including business intelligence and financial decision support.
    • Use of information across the health care value chain, including life sciences companies, health care providers, health plans, and government.

    Learn how clinical research and the provision of clinical care are likely to evolve as more relevant information becomes available.

    Federal & State Government

    Tuesday, September 27, 2:00 PM EDT

    > Register

    In the Palm of Your Hand: The Future of Mobile Technology in Government

    Mobile technologies allow the public sector to enhance its operations through a stronger social infrastructure. In what innovative ways are agencies adopting this technology? We'll discuss:

    • Opportunities for government agencies to enhance citizen service and streamline operations, including iPad and mobile-to-mobile applications.
    • Types of social media tools, including Facebook, Twitter and GovLoop and new technologies changing the way that the government interacts with its citizens.
    • Developing policies to protect and improve use of mobile technology.

    Learn how mobile technology is transforming government and how these developments can positively influence the overall mission by bringing government and citizens closer together.

     

    Be Ready

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    program guide
           (PDF)

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    Deloitte LLP

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    New York, NY 10019-6754
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    About Deloitte
    Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee, and its network of member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity. Please seewww.deloitte.com/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited and its member firms. Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.

    Copyright © 2011 Deloitte Development LLC. All rights reserved.
    Member of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited

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    August 15, 2011

    August 15, 2011

    TODAY'S NEWS

    HOUSING DEVELOPMENT

    CU INSIGHT.COM: Six New Homes for Local Families

    [Press Release: 8/12/11] // SAN JOSE, CA – August 12, 2011– Silicon Valley Habitat for Humanity held a dedication in Morgan Hill, California, recently to welcome six families into their new homes. Meriwest Credit Union sponsored the Federal Home Loan Bank financing of the Habitat project through the FHLB’s Affordable Housing Program. The six homes were built by the Habitat families and community volunteers. Habitat’s families are required by the housing organization to invest 500 hours of “sweat equity” into building their homes. Financing of the project came from Silicon Valley Habitat for Humanity, the State of California, County of Santa Clara …

     

    LAND USE / PLANNING / REGULATION

    SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE: Castro Valley Boulevard redevelops, but to what?

    By Debra J. Saunders // … There are no high-end retail outlets or chi-chi restaurants. You don't see pairings of pedestrians enjoying a stroll down the boulevard. "It's not Walnut Creek," Smart N Cleaners owner Namjoo Kim observes. Thanks to the redevelopment machine - which Gov. Jerry Brown has tried to defund - $9 million of Alameda County redevelopment money is being used to turn a small segment of Castro Valley Boulevard into "a beautiful and inviting pedestrian environment" to encourage "shopping, dining and entertainment" on widened sidewalks with benches, trees and gateway markers.

     

    HOUSING MARKETS / REAL ESTATE

    DATAQUICK NEWS: Southland Housing Market's Vital Signs Remain Weak

    La Jolla, CA // Southern California home sales fell last month to the lowest level for a July in four years, though the decline from a year earlier was the smallest in 13 months. The drop in sales from June was more pronounced, especially for $500,000-plus homes, as the job market sputtered, economic uncertainty intensified and some potential homebuyers got cold feet, a real estate information service reported. A total of 18,090 new and resale houses and condos sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties in July.

     

    CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS: July sales and price report

    [Press Release] // LOS ANGELES (Aug. 15) – California home sales fell in July but were up from the previous year, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) reported today.  Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California dropped 4.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted 458,440 units in July, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs statewide.  July home sales were up 4.5 percent from the 438,850 units sold in July 2010.  The statewide sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2011 if sales maintained the July pace throughout the year.

     

    THE DAILY BREEZE: New home loan limits may hurt South Bay

    By Muhammed El-Hasan [8/14/11] // Two months ago, Torrance loan officer Ross Thayer gave his client a stark ultimatum: speed up your home project or risk not qualifying for the loan you want. Thayer's client planned to move into a newly constructed home and required a mortgage around the limit of what the federal government will insure. But the project needed to be completed a few weeks early to benefit from a government-backed loan with a lower rate. "I said, `You're going to lose your deal,"' Thayer recalled. …

     

    VICTORVILLE DAILY PRESS: Housing market remains flat

    By Tamoya Shimura [8/13/11] // While real estate brokers worry about long-term effects of the unstable stock market, the High Desert housing market remained flat in July. Local home sales last month dropped 1.5 percent from June, but were up 6.9 percent from a year ago, according to data compiled by Larry Trombley of Century 21 Rose Realty in Hesperia. Home prices in the desert decreased 1.4 percent from June and 8.6 percent from July 2010. The average home price in the High Desert is roughly a third what it was five years ago …

     

    MORTGAGE & FORECLOSURE ISSUES

    LOS ANGELES TIMES: Homeowner mortgage write-off may be in jeopardy

    By Kenneth R. Harney // Reporting From Washington— If you take mortgage interest tax deductions, the next 100 days could have significant financial implications for you because of Congress' new federal debt ceiling plan. Although the compromise legislation itself involved no new taxes, it created an unusual mechanism — an evenly split, 12-member bipartisan super-committee that could call for major cutbacks on real estate write-offs by Thanksgiving. …

     

    CENTRAL VALLEY BUSINESS TIMES: Mortgage fraud runs unchecked in banks, claim attorneys

    Mortgage fraud continues virtually unabated in many banks in the nation, despite some prosecutions, say attorneys Mitchell Stein and Michael Riley of the firm Mitchell J. Stein & Associates LLP of Agoura Hills. "Incredibly, the fraud now involves brand new loans or loan transfers, where the banks are continuing to subject the American public to the same practices that started the meltdown in 2008,” says Mr. Stein. …

     

    LOS ANGELES TIMES: Foreclosure reforms may be coming to a head

    By Michael Hiltzik [8/14/11] // We are now in the fifth year of a housing crisis in which more than 3 million Americans have lost their homes to foreclosure, with millions more still at risk. Every initiative — government or private — to stem the tide of misery has fallen leagues short in the face of continued economic gloom and the intransigence of lenders. So it's an odd moment to be identifying glimmers of optimism that solutions to the crisis might finally be emerging. Yet that may be the case.

     

    FAIR HOUSING

    SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE: Oceanside council forced to rethink ending rent control

    By Nathan Scharn [8/12/11] // OCEANSIDE — Months after voting to phase out a decades-old policy regulating rent in mobile home parks, the Oceanside City Council has been forced through a referendum to take up the issue again. Residents of mobile home parks and other political action groups gathered far more than the necessary 7,670 signatures of registered voters to make the City Council repeal its 3-2 decision to end rent control when mobile homes change hands, or to put the issue to a public vote.

     

    SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT / SMART GROWTH

    THE ATLANTIC: 3 Key Environmental Issues Worth Paying Attention To

    By Kaid Benfield // NRDC's work for sustainable communities at the neighborhood scale and on regional planning is designed to address multiple environmental issues simultaneously. But, at the same time, moving toward sustainability requires work on selected individual issues in a focused way, bringing significant resources to bear on a limited number of key challenges faced by American cities. … But today, at last, the city of Los Angeles has a new commitment to substantial expansion of both rail and bus transit. We believe there is renewed opportunity to make the region's patterns of getting around more sustainable, while also revitalizing key neighborhoods around transit.

     

    REDEVELOPMENT / INFILL / REVITALIZATION

    EL CERRITO PATCH: Pay $1.84 Million, Keep Redevelopment Agency, Staff Advises Council

    By Dale F. Mead // El Cerrito should opt in to the pending state Voluntary Redevelopment Program — allowing the city in essence to keep its Redevelopment Agency — at a cost $1.84 million this year and nearly half a million dollars annually in subsequent years, city staff recommends. …Planned projects at stake in the decision include a new senior center, library and police station, along with transit-oriented development on several city-owned parcels along San Pablo Avenue — not to mention the threat of being forced to sell the Cerrito Theater building.

     

    UNION CITY PATCH: A Moment of Relief -- and Suspense -- for Redevelopment

    By Zoneil Maharaj // Union City’s Community Redevelopment Manager Mark Evanoff let out a small sigh of relief yesterday. It was a rare occurrence during these several turbulent months that his agency, and the fate of Union City’s future, lay in limbo. On Thursday, the California Supreme Court issued a temporary stay to allow redevelopment agencies to continue operations until it decides whether two bills approved by state legislators in June are constitutional. A final decision on the matter will be made by Jan. 15, 2012. …

     

    NATIONAL HOUSING NEWS

    SACRAMENTO BEE: Fannie Mae's Quarterly National Housing Survey Finds Job Loss a Concern for 26 Percent of American Workers

    PRNewswire // Fannie Mae's latest quarterly National Housing Survey (NHS) finds consumer pessimism growing with concerns about job loss, as 64 percent of Americans surveyed during the second quarter saying the economy is on the wrong track, the most for any quarter since the inception of the survey in the first quarter of 2010.  That pessimism continued to mount in July, with Fannie Mae's monthly survey finding that 70 percent now believe the economy is on the wrong track, and just 23 percent say the economy is heading in the right direction. "Consumers are more cautious due to concerns over employment and household finances," said Doug Duncan, vice president and chief economist of Fannie Mae.

     

    STOCKTON RECORD: Housing market hits Latinos hard

    By Jennie Rodriguez-Moore [8/14/11] // STOCKTON - One of the markers of having reached the American dream is home ownership. But for millions of Latinos that sought-after high point has twisted into a nightmare as the national economy has dipped in recent years. They have been hard hit by the fall of the housing market. A new report by the Pew Research Center - titled "Twenty to One: Wealth Gaps Rise to Record Highs between Whites, Blacks and Hispanics" - shows that household wealth for Latinos has taken a larger drop than any other racial or ethnic group.

    PEW RESEARCH CENTER: New Report / Twenty-to-One

    Wealth Gaps Rise to Record Highs Between Whites, Blacks & Hispanics [July 26, 2011]

     

    ENVIRONMENT / GREEN BUILDING

    THE EXAMINER: Solar gains in industrial markets

    By Amy Nilson // …According to California’s Public Utilities Commission, Single-family Affordable Solar Homes (SASH) Program, “the SASH incentive provides low-income families with free or low-cost PV-solar systems that significantly reduce household energy expenses and allow families to direct those savings toward other basic needs.” With home owners experiencing foreclosure and lower property values the CPUC has continued to service lower income individuals in supplying over 466 PV-systems.  At the end of March this year the SASH program has completed more than 195 projects.

     

    GOVERNMENT SITES:

    California Dept. of Finance – Governor’s Budget

    http://www.dof.ca.gov/Budget/Historical_Documents.asp

     

    California Dept. of Housing & Community Development - Press Releases

    http://www.hcd.ca.gov/news/release/

     

    California Dept. of Housing & Community Development – Housing Policy Development Bibliographies

    http://www.hcd.ca.gov/hpd/biblio.html

     

    California Dept. of Housing & Community Development – HCD Web News

    http://www.hcd.ca.gov/hpd/news/index.html

     

    California Housing Financing Agency

    http://www.calhfa.ca.gov/

     

    California Tax Credit Allocation Committee

    http://www.treasurer.ca.gov/ctcac/

     

    California Debt Limit Allocation Committee

    http://www.treasurer.ca.gov/cdlac/

     

    HUD Newsroom

    http://www.hud.gov/news/

     

    Fannie Mae Foundation- KnowledgePlex

    http://www.knowledgeplex.org/

     

    Federal Register, Table of Contents

    http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/fedreg/frcont11.html

     

    U.S. Census Bureau

    http://www.census.gov/main/

     

    California Supreme Court Decisions / California Courts of Appeal Decisions (last 120 days are posted in full text)

    http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions/

     

    COVERAGE INFORMATION:

    California Department of Housing & Community Development WEB NEWS service coverage:

     

    Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays each week includes electronic format articles retrieved from newspapers or news services that report housing and community development news in California and some national services. Coverage is for California newspapers that are available electronically via the Internet – and any significant related breaking news.

     

    (C) Copyright 2011, California Department of Housing & Community Development, Division of Housing Policy Development

    Links to web sites do not constitute an endorsement from The California Department of Housing and Community Development. These links are provided as an information service only. It is the responsibility of the user to evaluate the content and usefulness of information obtained from these sites.  HCD does not provide full text articles – user must access expired articles via newspaper archives online or local public library.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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    Tools to Assist Your UAD Implementation

    niform Appraisal Dataset (UAD)
    Print Page
    function submitForm(){ document.frmAddBookmark.submit(); } #mylinkssboff { z-index: 1; margin: -70px 0px 0px 520px; height: 70px; width: 118px; } #mylinkssbon { z-index: 1; margin: -60px 0px 0px 460px; width: 118px; }

     

    Tools to Assist Your UAD Implementation

    To help you incorporate UAD requirements into your business processes, we encourage you to take advantage of these UAD resources:

     

     


    To improve the quality and consistency of appraisal data on loans delivered to the GSEs, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, at the direction of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), have developed the Uniform Appraisal Dataset (UAD), which defines all fields required for an appraisal submission for specific appraisal forms and standardizes definitions and responses for a key subset of fields.

     

     

    For appraisals with an effective date (date of inspection) on or after September 1, 2011, the appraisal report must be completed in compliance with the UAD for conventional mortgage loans sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

     

     

    The UAD is a component of the Uniform Mortgage Data ProgramSM, jointly established by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac under the direction of our regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, to provide common requirements for appraisal and loan delivery data.

     

     

     

    UAD Business Resources for Lender Underwriting and Property Valuation Staff

    The UAD Field-Specific Standardization Requirements are designed to assist those in any organization who are responsible for creating and reviewing appraisal reports during the property inspection, underwriting, property valuation, or quality control processes to assess the impact of the UAD requirements on those processes.

     

     

     

    UAD Technical Resources for Lender/Vendor Technology Development Teams

    The UAD Technical Specification and supporting documents will help map the current appraisal forms to the new appraisal dataset. This information will be most relevant to appraisal software/forms vendors, lenders who use appraisal data in their business processes, and other organizations such as appraisal management companies (AMCs) that will work with electronic appraisal form data.

     

     

     

    The UAD Technical Specifications Pending Changes Log contains critical updates to data in the UAD Technical Specification and Appendices that have not yet been incorporated in the posted versions above.

     

     

     

    var strIP="1" if ( strIP == 1 ) { Poll(); } © 2001-2011 Fannie Mae. All Rights Reserved.
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    The California State Supreme Court issued a stay on an important piece of legislature that could eliminate redevelopment agencies statewide

    The California State Supreme Court issued a stay on an important piece of legislature that could eliminate redevelopment agencies statewide. Filed by the League of California Cities and the California Redevelopment Association, the suit would stop Assembly bills 26 and 27 from taking effect.

    Sometimes called the "extortion bill," AB 27 requires cities that wish to keep their redevelopment agencies to "voluntarily opt into mandatory payments to preserve agency status." Under the bill, Danville would have to pay the state $837,877 for first year (2011-12) and approximately 23.5 percent of that amount each year thereafter, or a little over $200,000 beginning in 2013.

    "We're very disappointed to lose the redevelopment agency option and there's no question with the strings they have put on it…. you're between a rock and hard place," said Mayor Karen Stepper.

    This latest development in Sacramento provides a glimmer of hope for town officials, who will file an appeal to change the amount of money they would have to pay the state each year. Town Manager Joe Calabrigo said the basis of the appeal is the misdesignation of funds paid to the town by its redevelopment agency in 2008.

    http://www.danvilleexpress.com/news/show_story.php?id=6159&e=y

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    HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research is hosting an Advancing Sustainability Performance:

    HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research is hosting an Advancing Sustainability Performance: A Research and Practice Forum on September 28, 2011. This event will explore the latest developments in the field of sustainability performance. Hear commentary from practitioners and policymakers from local and the federal government, nonprofit and private sectors, and the research community. The winning proposals for HUD’s recent Sustainable Communities Research Grant competition will be presented, and two panels will discuss the opportunities and challenges for retrofitting multifamily housing and the current state and future directions of sustainability performance metrics.

    The forum will immediately follow Solutions for Sustainable Communities: 2011 Learning Conference on State and Local Housing Policy, an event hosted by the National Housing Conference and Center for Housing Policy September 26–28. Solutions for Sustainable Communities will arm practitioners and policymakers with the best available information on how states and localities are working collaboratively and creatively to develop more sustainable and inclusive communities while reducing overall government costs. Learn more about this conference here.

    Conference Location & Time

    September 28, 2011 12:00 pm to 4:30 pm
    Constitution CDE Room
    Grand Hyatt — Washington, DC
    Map It!

    Space for the conference is limited, so please register as soon as possible.
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    August 13, 2011

    Tim Bradley, mai, member of the appraisal institute, Jackson Hole Commercial Real Estate , Lier and Crook

    Tim Bradley, mai, member of the appraisal institute, Jackson Hole Commercial Real Estate Lier and Crook

    "In a sign of the times, the building was recently posted for foreclosure. The owners listed the building for $6,975,000 early this year, and the price has now dropped to $5,400,000." http://activerain.com/blogsview/1360304/jackson-hole-15-e-deloney-jackson-drug-building

     

    "Thanks all for stopping by! Here's an update...the building ultimately sold for $4,500,000!

    Lynn: I know. I used to live just a few blocks from the old theater on Greenville Avenue. Loved that neighborhood."

     

     

     

     

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    Some Articls From our First Publication

    MAI, Appraisal Institute, The Fox Guarding the Chicken Coop

    Our Mission
    The Appraisal Foundation Sponsors
    Printable VersionMuch of the work of The Appraisal Foundation is supported through the professional input and financial assistance of Sponsoring Organizations. Currently, there are two types of Sponsors. Appraisal Sponsors are non-profit organizations serving appraisers and Affiliate Sponsors are non-profit organizations serving those with an interest in appraisal, primarily the users of appraisal services. Each Sponsor appoints one member to the Board of Trustees.

    The Appraisal Foundation offers its sincere gratitude to these organizations for their professional and financial support.


    Appraisal Institute
    550 West Van Buren Street, Suite 1000
    Chicago, Illinois 60607
    Telephone: 312/335-4100
    Facsimile: 312/335-4400

    SINCE THEN THE APPRAISAL INSTITUTE HAS BEEN KICKED OUT OF THE APPRAISAL FOUNDATION.  THANKS!

     

     

    Robert J. Fletcher, MAI Appraisal Institute, Crook?

    YMCA entangled in unorthodox land deal with Robert J. Fletcher, MAI, Appraisal Institute.
    By MICHAEL BRAGA and BOB MAHLBURG
    STAFF WRITERS
    michael.braga@heraldtribune.com
    bob.mahlburg@heraldtribune.com

    SARASOTA -- A complex real estate deal between the Sarasota Family YMCA and one of its fundraising foundation board members made the charity at least $250,000.

    But the deal also turned out good for the board member, Sarasota attorney David Band.

    Together with four partners, Band sold half of a run-down office building on land tainted by groundwater pollution to the YMCA for $830,000 and donated the other half to the nonprofit as an $830,000 gift that could save Band and his partners at least $200,000 on their tax bills.

    The same day, the YMCA made a quick profit by selling the entire building for $1.3 million, receiving $300,000 in cash, while providing the buyers with a $1 million interest-only loan.

    "The whole thing stinks," said Aaron Dorfman, executive director of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, a Washington-based nonprofit watchdog group. Nonprofits typically are cautious with money and rarely venture into real estate investments, much less financing land deals or buying and selling a building the same day, he said.

    To finance its $830,000 purchase of half the building, the YMCA borrowed $690,000 from Band and his partners. The loan is to be fully repaid by September 2008 at an interest rate of 6.5 percent the first year, 7 percent the second year and 7.5 percent the third.

    On that same day, the YMCA sold the full property -- the part it purchased and the part that was donated -- to Fletcher (MAI) and Sweet, a Sarasota architect, for $1.3 million. The YMCA got $300,000 in cash and lent Fletcher (MAI) and Sweet $1 million with the same interest rate formula as the loan from Band and his partners.

    The YMCA's loan to Fletcher (MAI) and Sweet was critical to the deal, because environmental problems would have made it difficult for the partners to get financing.

    Fletcher (MAI) said that he and Sweet are novice real estate investors and do not have established banking relationships.


    Robert J. Fletcher, MAI
    President
    Fletcher Appraisal Services
    1953 Eighth Street
    Sarasota, FL 34236
    (941) 954-7553
    Fax: (941) 952-9440
    Home: (941) 954-4231
    Bfletch651@hotmail.com
    Accepts Fee Assignments (more info)

    "David Band has a lot of real estate holdings and this property was kind of a turd," said Fletcher (MAI), an appraiser with Bass & Associates (MAI) in Sarasota. "It was old. You could tell the former owners (Band and his partners) skimped on maintenance. There was a lot of vacancy. Some of the tenants weren't that good and there was a lot of garbage on site."

    Richard W. Bass, MAI
    President
    Bass & Associates, Inc.
    1953 8th St.
    Sarasota, FL 34236
    (941) 954-7553
    Fax: (941) 952-9440
    rikbass@comcast.net
    Accepts Fee Assignments (more info)

    For the Full Story
    http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20070812/NEWS/708120621/1417/RSS02

    Are predetermined Appraisal ADJUSTMENTS Legal/Ethical?

    Are predetermined Appraisal ADJUSTMENTS Legal/Ethical? Please see attached
    Predetermined adjustments provided by
    Curtis - Rosenthal, Inc. (MAI Appraiser Los
    Angeles) LLC. an MAI Firm. You be the judge and get back with us or call them for this
    years update. If your property was acquired by the Los Angeles World Airport (LAWA) you
    had better read this!
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    Integrated 'Whole Building' Design Techniques and Technologies

    The Gateway to Up-To-Date Information on Integrated 'Whole Building' Design Techniques and Technologies

    Graphic illustrating the WBDG high performance building diagram with the text high performance building in the middle with eight arrows radiating to an outer circle, each arm representing a section of the WBDG - design guidance, project management, operations and maintenance, applied research, references, tools, education and detailed resources

    With over 500,000 users downloading 4 million documents per month

    The goal of 'Whole Building' Design is to create a successful high-performance building by applying an integrated design and team approach to the project during the planning and programming phases.

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    Building Envelope Design Guide

    Building Envelope Design Guide http://www.wbdg.org/design/envelope.php

    Building Envelope Design Guide logo

    The National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) under guidance from the Federal Envelope Advisory Committee has developed this comprehensive guide for exterior envelope design and construction for institutional / office buildings. The Envelope Design Guide (EDG) is continually being improved and updated through the Building Enclosure Councils (BECs). Any edits, revisions, updates or interest in adding new information should be directed to the BEDG Review Committee through the 'Comment' link on this page.

    Introduction

    Below Grade Systems

    Wall Systems

    Fenestration Systems

    Roofing Systems

    Atria Systems

    Related Resource Pages

    The materials, components, and systems conveyed in these concept diagrams are intended to convey general design principles only. Any resemblance between these details and proprietary or otherwise commercially available materials, components and systems is purely coincidental and should in no way be considered an endorsement by NIBS and/or the individual authors who contributed to the content of this website.

    [ Yahoo! ] options

    Unified Facilities Guide Specifications (UFGS)

    Unified Facilities Guide Specifications (UFGS) http://www.wbdg.org/ccb/browse_org.php?o=70

    UFGS Master Updated May 12 2011; Posted May 31, 2011

    As of June 2008, updated UFGS will be posted quarterly in February, May, August and November.

    Unified Facilities Guide Specifications (UFGS) are a joint effort of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC), the Air Force Civil Engineer Support Agency (HQ AFCESA), the Air Force Center for Engineering and the Environment (HQ AFCEE) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). UFGS are for use in specifying construction for the military services.

    UFGS are published only in electronic format and are intended to be used with SpecsIntact software. SpecsIntact versions 4.2.0.782 and above fully support UFGS in both MasterFormat 1995™ and MasterFormat 2010™, so you may use it simultaneously for older MasterFormat 1995 projects as well as new ones using MasterFormat 2010. Earlier SpecsIntact versions are not compatible with any UFGS Master from April 2006 and beyond.

    For Specsintact Technical Support, please contact them directly:
    Phone: 321-867-8800, E-mail, or visit their Website

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    Somin Speaks on Civil Rights Implications of Eminent Domain

    Current News

    Somin Speaks on Civil Rights Implications of Eminent Domain

    Professor Ilya Somin was among the scholars and civil rights activists who spoke at a U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR) public briefing today on the civil rights implications of eminent domain. The briefing took place at Commission headquarters in Washington, D.C.

    Speakers discussed the history of eminent domain abuse, its impact on poor and minority communities, and efforts by federal or state legislatures to curb abuses.

    In addition to Somin, speakers included Davit T. Beito, Chair of the Alabama State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights; J. Peter Byrne, Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center; and Hilary O. Shelton, Senior Vice-President for Advocacy, NAACP.

    The hearing can be viewed on C-SPAN.

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    August 12, 2011

    TODAY'S NEWS

    August 12, 2011

    TODAY'S NEWS

    HOUSING DEVELOPMENT

    SACRAMENTO BEE: After bust, Sacramento loses $2 billion in construction wages

    By Phillip Reese // At the height of the housing boom in 2006, Sacramento's construction workers earned $6.3 billion. By 2010 that figure had fallen by $2.3 billion, according to new figures from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. To put that loss in perspective, $2.3 billion is enough to pay the wages of every worker living in the city of Folsom, census data show. The wage losses are the result of local housing construction hitting a historical low. Along with the region's state and local government earnings - down $531 million during the last two years - and manufacturing earnings - down $1 billion during the last five years - the lost wages largely explain why the region's economy is stuck.

     

    LAND USE / PLANNING / REGULATION

    NAPA VALLEY REGISTER: Apartment project a big step in right direction

    [Editorial – 8/7/11] // The 2010 census showed us that Napa’s population is more diverse than at any other point in its history. The same cannot be said, however, for its housing stock. According to the most recent census data, single-unit housing and mobile homes made up 81 percent of the county’s housing units. Structures with 10 or more housing units --apartments and condominiums -- represent just 7.5 percent of the county’s housing. The city of Napa is working to change that. With last week’s approval of the 134-unit Alexander Crossing apartment project, the city took another important step toward fulfilling the promises in its 2009 Housing Element

     

    HOUSING MARKETS / REAL ESTATE

    LOS ANGELES TIMES: Housing affordability up in California with home price decline

    By Alejandro Lazo // Housing affordability increased in California in the second quarter as prices dropped from the same period a year earlier, a real estate group said Thursday. Fifty-one percent of California households could afford a single-family home priced at the median, according to the California Assn. of Realtors. That was an increase from 46% during the same period last year, when buyer tax credits fueled the market and pushed up prices. Affordability decreased from the prior quarter, but that was due to seasonal variations that pushed up prices.

     

    CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS: Q2 Housing Affordability Index

    [Press Release – 8/11/11] // Los Angeles – Housing affordability fell throughout most areas of the state in the second quarter of 2011, primarily due to a seasonal increase in home prices, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) reported today.  … Regionally, housing affordability fell in the higher-priced areas of the state, such as the San Francisco Bay Area and Central Coast, but edged up in lower-priced areas, such as the Central Valley.  At 77 percent, San Bernardino County was the most affordable, while San Mateo County was the least affordable, with only 21 percent of households able to afford the county’s median-priced home.

     

    MORTGAGE & FORECLOSURE ISSUES

    SACRAMENTO BUSINESS JOURNAL: Foreclosure filings in region drop 10%

    By Michael Shaw // Foreclosure filings in July for the four-county Sacramento region fell on a year-over-year basis by about 10 percent, online tracker RealtyTrac said in a report released Thursday. The total number of filings -- which include notices of default, notices that a trustee sale will take place and foreclosure actions by lenders -- was 4,823 for the month, or one in every 178 households. That’s down as the foreclosure process has become more cumbersome for lenders, according to the company.

     

    Foreclosure filings drop, as activity on the courthouse steps slows
    Foreclosure activity in California slowed again in July, except for a slight increase in “Sold to Third Party” auction sales on the courthouse steps, according to a new report Thursday from ForeclosureRadar, a Discovery Bay-based company that tracks foreclosure activity in California and other Western states daily.

     

    ECONOMY / EMPLOYMENT

    Stock fears could affect home sales

    With the stock market down 11.6% since the turbulence began — and down more than 16% since the market peak — how will all this volatility affect home sales and prices? Some local agents say it could be good, as investors take refuge in local real estate in search for safety.

     

    REDEVELOPMENT / INFILL / REVITALIZATION

    SANTA CRUZ SENTINEL: Capitola eyes continuing RDA

    By Tovin Lapan // CAPITOLA -- With hopes of maintaining affordable housing programs and finishing projects that have already started, the City Council tonight will consider making payments to the state to keep its Redevelopment Agency alive. The state Legislature voted in June to end redevelopment in order to help close a multibillion-dollar budget deficit. A companion bill allows agencies to make a large up-front payment, along with annual fees, to continue operating. "It is the city staff's perspective that we should keep the agency alive," Community Development Director Derek Johnson said.

     

    SACRAMENTO BEE: California Supreme Court agrees to review redevelopment overhaul

    The California Supreme Court agreed Thursday to review the state's overhaul of redevelopment agencies and blocked their elimination for the time being, leaving a $1.7 billion budget solution in limbo. Cities and redevelopment agencies sued last month to stop a two-bill package that would have eliminated the agencies unless they agreed to pay more to schools and relieve state costs. Gov. Jerry Brown wanted to eliminate redevelopment agencies altogether in his January proposal, but he and lawmakers ultimately agreed on a deal that gives agencies an option to pay and survive.

     

    SACRAMENTO BEE: Sacramento county, city put $22 million toward redevelopment agency

    By Brad Branan // The county and city of Sacramento have contributed about $22 million to keep their redevelopment agency running another year. To help balance the budget, state lawmakers passed bills in June that dissolved redevelopment agencies across California, but allowed local governments to create voluntary redevelopment agencies. The county Board of Supervisors voted Wednesday to provide $3.5 million for the current fiscal year to the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency.

     

    NATIONAL HOUSING NEWS

    U.S. looks outside the box to stem housing glut

    Federal officials are seeking creative ideas to rent some of the foreclosed homes owned by Fannie Mae and other government entities. With the real estate market continuing to drag down the economy, federal officials are seeking ideas from investors and others about ways to rent some of the nearly 250,000 foreclosed homes owned by government-controlled entities such as Fannie Mae.

     

     

    GOVERNMENT SITES:

    California Dept. of Finance – Governor’s Budget

    http://www.dof.ca.gov/Budget/Historical_Documents.asp

     

    California Dept. of Housing & Community Development - Press Releases

    http://www.hcd.ca.gov/news/release/

     

    California Dept. of Housing & Community Development – Housing Policy Development Bibliographies

    http://www.hcd.ca.gov/hpd/biblio.html

     

    California Dept. of Housing & Community Development – HCD Web News

    http://www.hcd.ca.gov/hpd/news/index.html

     

    California Housing Financing Agency

    http://www.calhfa.ca.gov/

     

    California Tax Credit Allocation Committee

    http://www.treasurer.ca.gov/ctcac/

     

    California Debt Limit Allocation Committee

    http://www.treasurer.ca.gov/cdlac/

     

    HUD Newsroom

    http://www.hud.gov/news/

     

    Fannie Mae Foundation- KnowledgePlex

    http://www.knowledgeplex.org/

     

    Federal Register, Table of Contents

    http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/fedreg/frcont10.html

     

    U.S. Census Bureau

    http://www.census.gov/main/

     

    California Supreme Court Decisions / California Courts of Appeal Decisions (last 100 days are posted in full text)

    http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions/

     

    COVERAGE INFORMATION:

    California Department of Housing & Community Development WEB NEWS service coverage:

     

    Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays each week includes electronic format articles retrieved from newspapers or news services that report housing and community development news in California and some national services. Coverage is for California newspapers that are available electronically via the Internet – and any significant related breaking news.

     

    (C) Copyright 2011, California Department of Housing & Community Development, Division of Housing Policy Development

    Links to web sites do not constitute an endorsement from The California Department of Housing and Community Development. These links are provided as an information service only. It is the responsibility of the user to evaluate the content and usefulness of information obtained from these sites.  HCD does not provide full text articles – user must access expired articles via newspaper archives online or local public library.

     

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    EPA first developed a green buildings vision

    EPA first developed a green buildings vision and policy statement in 1995, and since then the Agency has endeavored to continue leading by example. The following federal statutes require EPA to build, renovate, operate, maintain, and use green buildings:

    Executive Order (EO) 13514

    EO 13514, "Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance," requires that starting in fiscal year (FY) 2020 federal buildings be designed to achieve "zero net energy"1 by FY 2030. It reiterates EO 13423's requirement that new construction and major renovations meet the Guiding Principles, and that 15 percent of an agency’s existing buildings and leases meet the Guiding Principles by FY 2015. EO 13514 requires agencies to reduce energy, water, and material use through cost-effective strategies andoperations and maintenance (O&M) procedures, and to make annual progress toward 100 percent conformance with the Guiding Principles for their building inventories.

    Guiding Principles for Federal Leadership in High Performance and Sustainable Buildings (Guiding Principles)

    EPA signed the Federal Leadership in High Performance and Sustainable Buildings Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), along with 21 other agencies, which voluntarily committed the Agency to follow the Guiding Principles. The Guiding Principles, last revised in December 2008, focus on the following five topic areas for both new construction and major renovations:

    1. Employ integrated design principles (new construction)/Employ integrated assessment, operation, and management principles (existing buildings)
    2. Optimize energy performance
    3. Protect and conserve water
    4. Enhance indoor environmental quality
    5. Reduce environmental impact of materials

    Download the Guiding Principles from FedCenter.gov Exit EPA Disclaimer.

    EO 13423

    EO 13423, "Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management," was the first executive order to require federal agencies to implement the Guiding Principles in all new construction and major renovation projects and in at least 15 percent of their existing building inventory (by number of buildings) by the end of FY 2015. In addition, it requires agencies to reduce energy intensity by 3 percent per year, or 30 percent by FY 2015 (compared to an FY 2003 baseline).

    Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA)

    EISA reinforces the energy reduction goals for federal agencies put forth in EO 13423 and introduces a set of more aggressive sustainability requirements. EISA Section 432 requires agencies to complete comprehensive energy and water evaluations at 25 percent of the agency's "covered facilities"—major agency facilities that comprise at least 75 percent of the agency's facility energy use—annually. EISA encourages agencies to implement and verify energy and water efficiency measures identified by these evaluations, and requires thatevery four years agencies reteurn to conduct recommissioning and look for new energy-saving opportunities.

    EISA also requires new or renovated agency building designs to reduce fossil fuel-generated energy consumption compared to an FY 2003 baseline. The required reduction increases such that designs for new buildings or major renovations begun in FY 2030 must reduce fossil fuel-generated energy consumption by 100 percent, equivalent to using zero net energy,1 compared to an FY 2003 baseline. Starting in 2010, federal agencies are also required to lease space that has earned the ENERGY STAR® label in the most recent year.

    Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 2005)

    EPAct 2005 requires federal buildings to be designed to achieve energy consumption levels that are at least 30 percent below the American Society of Heating, Air Conditioning, and Engineering (ASHRAE) 90.1-2004 standard, and to apply sustainable design principles to the siting, design, and construction of all new and replacement buildings.

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    EPA and National Park Service to Host Community Dialogue about Environmental Justice at Clark Atlanta University

    EPA and National Park Service to Host Community Dialogue about Environmental Justice at Clark Atlanta University

     

    Contact Information: EPA, Davina Marraccini, (404) 562-8293, marraccini.davina@epa.gov

    NPS, Marianne Mills, (404) 507-5613, marianne_mills@nps.gov

     

    (Atlanta, Ga. – Aug. 12, 2011) – On Wednesday, Aug. 17, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 4, in conjunction with the U.S. National Park Service (NPS), will host a meeting at Clark Atlanta University for students and community members to discuss environmental justice (EJ) concerns with representatives of numerous federal agencies. The meeting follows-up on the commitment the federal government made last year when EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson reconvened the EJ Interagency Working Group for the first time in more than a decade to combat pollution in overburdened communities.

     

    The meeting will provide an opportunity for students, academia, grassroots community organizations, business/industry representatives and other interested parties to discuss best practices and model programs for the federal government to meet its responsibilities and work effectively with communities facing environmental and health hazards. The meeting will have a youth focus and will be conducted in a “World Café” style, where small group conversations are designed to actively engage participants, foster collaborative dialogue and create constructive possibilities for action.  

     

    WHO:              Representatives from EPA, NPS, and the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Energy, Transportation and Labor

     

    WHAT:            Federal Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice Stakeholder Meeting; Student and Community Dialogue

     

    WHEN:            Wednesday, August 17, 2011, 3 – 6:30 p.m. (doors open at 2:30 p.m.)

     

    WHERE:         Clark-Atlanta University, Thomas W. Cole Research & Science Bldg

    223 James P. Brawley Dr. SW, 2nd Floor - Exhibition Hall

    Atlanta, GA

     

    Parking at both the Morehouse (Lee St.) and Clark Atlanta (Fair St.) lots is $3.

     

    RSVP:             Space is limited. Please confirm your participation by e-mailing smith.karen@epa.gov

     

    The role of the EJ Interagency Working Group is to guide, support and enhance federal EJ and community-based activities. By coordinating the expertise and resources of federal government agencies, the working group will identify projects where federal collaboration can support the development of healthy and sustainable communities. The working group will also seek opportunities to provide green job training and promote a clean energy economy. EPA serves as the lead for EJ issues in the federal government.

     

    More information on the EJ Interagency Working Group: http://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/interagency/index.html

     

     

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    A new bid request was posted by Southern California Association of Governments

    Dear The Harris Company, Real Estate Appraise:

    A new bid request was posted by Southern California Association of Governments which meets your selected criteria.

    Project Title: Various Professional Services for OLDA
    Release Date: August 12, 2011 8:00 AM (Pacific)
    Bid Due Date: August 26, 2011 5:00 PM (Pacific)

    Please visit Various Professional Services for OLDA for further details!

    Notified Categories:
    60012 - Architects, Engineer
    918123 - Geographic Information System
    91826 - Communications: Public Relations Consulting
    91843 - Environmental Consulting
    91846 - Feasibility Studies
    91849 - Finance/Economic Consulting
    91876 - Marketing Consulting
    91892 - Urban Planning Consulting
    918921 - Growth Visioning Planning
    91896 - Transportation Planning Consulting

    Thank you,
    Southern California Association of Governments


    Find out how you can receive more bidding opportunities today!
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    Notice of Letters to Assessors

     

     

    You have subscribed to the State Board of Equalization Notice of Letters

    to Assessors (LTAs).

     

     

    LTA No. 2011/030 - Solar Energy Property Tax Incentive -- Recent

    Legislation, dated August 12, 2011, has been posted to our website.

     

     

    It can be viewed at:

    http://www.boe.ca.gov/proptaxes/pdf/lta11030.pdf

     

          

    All other LTA's issued for the current year can be accessed through

    http://www.boe.ca.gov/proptaxes/2011.htm

     

                           

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    SEATS ARE STILL AVAILABLE... Register TODAY!

     

    Dear Valued Customer,

    A limited number of seats are still available for SCE's Energy Education Centers On-Location August and September Seminars.

    Reservations are required to attend please register for each event individually.

    Seminars are taking place at various locations throughout SCE's Service Territory please note locations are listed for each event.


    AUGUST EVENT DETAILS

    Event Name: Technology Update
    Event Date: Wednesday, August 17, 2011
    Event Number: 28995
    Event Registration: 8:00 a.m.
    Event Time: 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
    Event Location: The Frontier Project, Rancho Cucamonga


    Event Name: Green Building Hype or Help
    Event Date: Thursday, August 25, 2011
    Event Number: 28999
    Event Registration: 8:00 a.m.
    Event Time: 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
    Event Location: Electrical Training Institute, City of Commerce


    SEPTEMBER EVENT DETAILS

    Event Name: Compressed Air System Efficiency
    Event Date: Wednesday, September 21, 2011
    Event Number: 29007
    Event Registration: 8:00 a.m.
    Event Time: 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
    Event Location: The Frontier Project, Rancho Cucamonga


    Event Name:Getting Efficiency Projects Approved
    Event Date: Wednesday, September 28, 2011
    Event Number: 29010
    Event Registration: 8:00 a.m.
    Event Time: 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
    Event Location: UCR Graduate Center, Palm Desert


    Event Name:Adjustable Speed Drives
    Event Date: Thursday, September 29, 2011
    Event Number: 29011
    Event Registration: 8:00 a.m.
    Event Time: 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
    Event Location: Irvine City Hall, Irvine

    Reservations can be made by calling (626) 812-7537 or (800) 336- 2822- ext 42537 or by registering online at www.sce.com/workshops

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    August 11, 2011

    Capitol Hill Visit Update: Energy Efficient Buildings

    Posted August 11th 2011

    Background

    In 2010, the buildings Americans live and work in used around 40 percent of the energy in the U.S. economy at a cost of over $400 billion, according to the U.S Department of Energy.

    In February 2011, President Obama announced the Better Buildings Initiative to make commercial buildings 20 percent more efficient by 2020. While the Better Buildings Initiative offers a moving target, funding sources for building owners must supplement the initiative’s goals.

    2011 Capitol Hill Visit

    During the Capitol Hill Visit Day, CCIM Institute members asked their U.S. representatives and senators to enact tax incentive programs to encourage energy efficiency and “green” building. The Institute supports energy efficient building programs that are voluntarily based. We are opposed to government mandates of building standards and the unreasonable costs associated with mandates.

    Update

    Since our visit to Capitol Hill, the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (S. 1000) was introduced in the Senate. The bill would provide rule making authority to the U.S. Department of Energy if energy efficiency and building codes (ASHRAE 90.1) fail to meet efficiency targets.

    A hearing was held in early June by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Following the hearing, the bill overwhelmingly passed the senate committee in mid-July. It appears to have significant bipartisan support spearheaded by Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Rob Portman (R-OH).

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    August 11, 2011

     

     

    Dear Interested Party,

     

    It is a pleasure to invite you to a high-speed rail industry forum set for September 8, 2011, at the Save Mart Center on the California State University, Fresno campus: 2650 E Shaw Ave Fresno, CA 93710. For more information as it becomes available, an agenda and to pre-register, please visit this website: www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/forum.aspx.

     

    In collaboration with the Economic Development Corporation serving Fresno County and CSU Fresno, the California High-Speed Rail Authority is hosting this forum to give the private sector an opportunity to hear more about the project – the first of its kind in the nation – and the bidding process. Construction is on track to begin next year in the Central Valley.

     

    We are also providing the opportunity for firms that may be interested in submitting a proposal as a prime contractor for any of the contracts to meet with small businesses that may be interested in subcontracting with them. Firms interested in submitting a proposal as prime contractors will be able to provide a booth or kiosk in the exhibition area to meet with potential subcontractors after presentations by the California High-Speed Rail Authority and Parsons Brinckerhoff.

     

    If your firm has an interest in submitting as a prime contractor on any of the Authority’s projects and wishes to have an exhibition table or kiosk at the industry forum to meet potential subcontractors for the project, please respond to this e-mail indicating your interest no later than September 1, 2011, using “Prime Contractor Exhibit” in the subject line. We are already working with more than a dozen prospective prime contractors who have already submitted interest to host a table. Prospective primes should include complete contact information for their firm, including identification of an individual designated as the firm’s point of contact. Claudio Dallavalle of our Procurement Team will contact those individuals to finalize the necessary arrangements for your exhibition.

     

    For general inquiries about this event, please reply to this email address with “Central Valley Industry Forum” in the subject line.

     

    Thank you again, and we look forward to a very beneficial event on September 8 in Fresno.

     

    Sincerely,

     

    Roelof van Ark

    Chief Executive Officer

    California High-Speed Rail Authority

     
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    August 10, 2011

    Deutsche Bank and UBS AG are testing the waters by selling a $1.4-billion pool of public and private commercial mortgage-backed securities,

    NEW YORK CITY-Deutsche Bank and UBS AG are testing the waters by selling a $1.4-billion pool of public and private commercial mortgage-backed securities, SEC filings show on Wednesday afternoon. The move is a sign that investors are beginning to experiment with the CMBS once again after Goldman Sachs and Citigroup Inc. yanked $1.5 billion in CMBS off the market after ratings agency Standard & Poor’s declined to rate it just two weeks ago.

    http://www.globest.com/news/1974_1974/newyork/312973-1.html?ET=globest:e26869:371504a:&st=email

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    commercial appraiser

    FREE VIDEO RELEASED: 2012-13 USPAP Changes


     

    The Appraisal Foundation is pleased to announce the release of a free video on its web site entitled, A Preview of Changes to the 2012-13 Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP).


     

    The video, shot on location at the Foundation’s headquarters, is a 23 minute interview with the 2011 Chair and Vice Chair of the Appraisal Standards Board (ASB), J. Carl Schultz, Jr. and Barry Shea, respectively. A PowerPoint presentation is available for simultaneous viewing as well.


     

    Please visit the following link to access video on the Foundation’s eLibrary:


     

    CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE VIDEO ON 2012-13 USPAP CHANGES *


     

    USPAP changes discussed in the video include: 


     

    • Revisions to DEFINITIONS of “Client,” “Extraordinary Assumptions,” and “Hypothetical Condition,” as well as a new definition of “Exposure Time”;
    • Creation of a new RECORD KEEPING RULE and related edits to the Conduct Section of the ETHICS RULE;
    • Revisions to Advisory Opinion 21, USPAP Compliance; and,
    • Revisions to STANDARDS 7 & 8: PERSONAL PROPERTY APPRAISAL, DEVELOPMENT & REPORTING.


    Other media included in the eLibrary include a Mock Administrative Hearing and an audio webinar on Fair Value Measures.


     

    The Appraisal Foundation has plans to expand its eLibrary later this year with a videotaped session on Green Buildings and their Valuation, coming in mid-Fall 2011. 


     

    Questions?  Please contact Paula Douglas Seidel, Executive Administrator, paula@appraisalfoundation.org.


    *If the above link does not work, please copy and paste the entire link below into your internet browser: 


     

    http://www.globalpres.com/mediasite/Viewer/?peid=ae8192ef41804f23a498bf7b30458189

    Alternatively, you may visit the eLibrary on the Foundation’s web site at www.appraisalfoundation.org.


     


    About The Appraisal Foundation
    The Appraisal Foundation, a Congressionally authorized non-profit organization established in 1987, is dedicated to the advancement of professional valuation.  The Foundation accomplishes its mission through the work of its three independent Boards:  the Appraisal Practices Board (APB), the Appraiser Qualifications Board (AQB) and the Appraisal Standards Board (ASB).  More information on The Appraisal Foundation is available at www.appraisalfoundation.org.


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    Should California End Redevelopment Agencies

    Should California End Redevelopment Agencies

    February 8, 2011

    The 2011–12 Budget:

    Should California End Redevelopment Agencies?

    (Note: In a letter dated February 16th, 2011 we responded to questions regarding our analysis of the California Redevelopment Association’s study of the economic effects of redevelopment included in this report.)

    Introduction

    Californians pay over $45 billion in property taxes annually. County auditors distribute these revenues to local agencies—schools, community colleges, the counties, cities, and special districts—pursuant to state law. Property tax revenues typically represent the largest source of local general purpose revenues for these local agencies.

    More than 60 years ago, the Legislature established a process whereby a city or county can declare an area to be blighted and in need of redevelopment. After this declaration, most property tax revenue growth from the “project area” is distributed to the city or county’s redevelopment agency, instead of the other local agencies serving the project area.

    During the early years of California’s redevelopment law, few communities established project areas and project areas typically were small—usually 10 to 100 acres. Over the last 35 years, however, most cities and many counties have created project areas and the size of project areas has grown—several cover more than 20,000 acres each. Partly as a result of this expansion in number and size of project areas, redevelopment’s share of total statewide property taxes has grown six fold (from 2 percent to 12 percent of total statewide property taxes). In some counties, local agencies have created so many project areas that more than 25 percent of all property tax revenue collected in the county are allocated to a redevelopment agency, not the schools, community colleges, or other local governments.

    California’s expansive use of redevelopment has engendered significant controversy. Advocates of the program contend that it is a much needed tool to promote local economic development in blighted urban areas. Program critics counter that redevelopment diverts property tax revenues from core government services and increases state education costs, and that the scale and location of many project areas bear little relationship to the program’s intended mission.

    The Governor’s 2011–12 budget includes a plan for dissolving redevelopment agencies and distributing their funds (above the amounts necessary to pay outstanding debt) to other local agencies. To assist the Legislature in reviewing this proposal, this report explains how redevelopment redistributes and uses property tax revenues. The report then evaluates redevelopment, summarizes and assesses the Governor’s proposal, and offers suggestions for legislative consideration.

    How Redevelopment Redistributes and Uses Property Taxes

    Property Tax Allocation in Areas Not Under Redevelopment

    After property owners pay property taxes, county auditors distribute them to schools and other local agencies in the county. While the laws controlling allocation of the base 1 percent property tax rate are complex, they can be summarized in three steps.

    Property Tax Allocation in Areas Under Redevelopment

    If a community establishes a redevelopment project area, the amount of property tax revenues flowing to local agencies serving the area is frozen. K–14 districts, the counties, cities, and special districts continue to receive all of the property tax revenues they had received up to that point. This amount is known as the frozen base.

    As shown in Figure 1, all of the growth in property taxes in the project area—over the frozen base—is allocated to the redevelopment agency as tax–increment revenue. In other words, local agencies receive the same amount of property tax revenues they received in the past, but none of the growth.

    MW_Redev_04.ai

    This redirection of property tax revenues lasts for the life of the redevelopment project—typically 50 years, although some older projects have longer lifetimes. (A nearby box provides some information about how this element of California’s redevelopment law compares with other states with similar programs.)

    Viewed from the county auditor’s perspective, Steps 1 and 3 of the property tax allocation system (described previously) stay the same. Step 2, however, is revised so that the auditor distributes all revenue growth in the project area to the redevelopment agency—and not to other agencies.

    Comparison with Other States

    California’s redevelopment law provides for a 50–year diversion of all property tax revenue growth in redevelopment areas. This feature of California law is somewhat unusual in comparison with other states with redevelopment programs (often called “tax increment financing” elsewhere in the country). Many other states, for example, authorize some local agencies to “opt out” of the redevelopment program (that is, to not have their property tax revenue growth included in the diversion) or statutorily exclude school property taxes from the program. Still other states limit to shorter periods how long redevelopment agencies may redirect property taxes. California redevelopment law partially mitigates the fiscal effect of its program design by requiring redevelopment agencies to “pass through” a portion of the revenues diverted from other local agencies.

    How Redevelopment Uses Property Tax Revenues

    State law allows redevelopment agencies to use property tax increment revenues to finance a broad array of projects. Redevelopment agencies typically use these revenues—often in conjunction with private developer funds or other governmental resources—to finance capital improvements, land and real estate acquisitions, affordable housing, and planning and marketing programs.

    As shown in Figure 2, however, not all of the property tax increment revenue is available for broad redevelopment purposes. State law requires redevelopment agencies to spend 20 percent of tax–increment funds for low– and moderate–income housing. Additionally, in order to partially offset the loss of growth in property tax revenues for other local agencies, state law requires redevelopment agencies to “pass through” to other agencies a portion of their tax–increment revenues.

    MW_Redev_03.ai

    Statewide, redevelopment agencies pass through an average of about 22 percent of their property tax increment revenues. This pass–through percentage varies across project areas, based on the date the redevelopment project area was formed and other factors. (Redevelopment law was amended in 1993 to establish a statewide formula for sharing property tax increment revenue derived from newly created redevelopment project areas. This formula increases the pass–through share over time. In redevelopment areas established prior to 1993, redevelopment agencies and affected local agencies typically negotiated the amount of revenues contained in a pass–through agreement.)

    Property Taxes After Redevelopment Projects End

    After a redevelopment project ends, the county auditor distributes all of the revenues that formerly were considered “tax increment revenues” to local agencies in the area. Each agency serving the area receives a portion of the revenues as determined by its AB 8 share. From a county auditor’s standpoint, these revenues do not trigger additional allocations pursuant to Step 3 (the triple flip and VLF swap adjustments) because the end of a redevelopment project does not affect a local agency’s sales tax revenue losses or calculation of the VLF swap amount. As shown in Figure 3, we estimate that schools and community colleges would receive over half of the revenues made available after a redevelopment project ends. While very few redevelopment projects have ever ended to date, a significant number are expected to end within next 15 years.

    MW_Redevelopment Pie.ai

    Evaluating Redevelopment

    The Governor’s proposal to end redevelopment raises fundamental questions regarding the extent to which this program benefits the state. To help the Legislature evaluate redevelopment programs, we reviewed available academic studies on their effectiveness. In addition, because published academic articles on California redevelopment programs are rare, we reviewed studies on other states’ tax–increment financing districts—the common term for redevelopment finance nationwide. Finally, we reviewed state agency and other reports on redevelopment performance producing affordable housing and compared the key elements of accountability for redevelopment and other programs. Figure 4 summarizes our findings, which we discuss in more detail below.


    Figure 4

    Redevelopment: Findings From Research and Studies

    Positive

    Flexible tool that can improve targeted areas.

    Helps build affordable housing.

    Negative

    No evidence that redevelopment increases overall regional or statewide economic development.

    Diverts revenues from other local governments and increases state education costs.

    Has limited transparency and accountability.


    Flexible Tool to Improve Targeted Areas

    Under the powers granted to them in redevelopment law, cities can target areas within their jurisdiction for economic development. (Although counties also form redevelopment agencies, we focus on cities in this report because they account for more than 90 percent of active redevelopment areas.) While cities have other tools to encourage economic development, establishing a redevelopment area is one of the easiest ways to raise significant sums. Most other local options for generating revenue for economic development—such as issuing general obligation bonds or establishing a business improvement district—require approval by voters and businesses and/or residents to pay increased sums. Redevelopment requires neither.

    The use of redevelopment has improved many areas of the state through the revitalization of downtown and historic districts, improvements in public infrastructure, and increased commercial investment. Many of these investments have improved the quality of life for residents in specific areas. In terms of quantifiable measures, most of the academic literature indicates that property values within project areas increase more than comparable areas within a region. This is not surprising as we would expect areas receiving public subsidies to outperform those that do not.

    Funds Affordable Housing

    As mentioned above, state law requires redevelopment agencies to deposit 20 percent of their tax increment revenues into low– and moderate–income housing funds and spend these funds on affordable housing. Redevelopment agencies are authorized to spend housing funds to acquire property, rehabilitate or construct buildings, provide subsidies for low– and moderate–income households, or preserve public subsidized housing units at risk of conversion to market rates. While other federal, state, and local programs also provide funds for affordable housing efforts, redevelopment represents one of the largest funding sources.

    In terms of housing production efficiency and effectiveness, we are not aware of any studies that compare redevelopment agencies’ results in producing affordable housing with other financing approaches. We note, however, that state audits and oversight reports frequently conclude that a significant number of redevelopment agencies take actions that have the effect of reducing their housing program productivity, including:

    No Reliable Evidence That Redevelopment Increases Regional or Statewide Economic Development

    While redevelopment leads to economic development within project areas, there is no reliable evidence that it attracts businesses to the state or increases overall regional economic development. Instead, the limited academic literature on this topic finds that—viewed from the perspective of an entire city or region—the effect of this program on property values is minimal. That is, redevelopment may cause some geographic shifts in economic development, but does not increase the overall amount of economic activity in a region. Studies in Illinois and Texas, for example, found that their redevelopment programs did little more than displace commercial activity that would have occurred elsewhere in the region.

    In addition to examining the effect of redevelopment on property values in a region, some research has focused on the effect of this program on jobs. The independent research we reviewed found little evidence that redevelopment increases jobs. That is—similar to the analyses of property values—the research typically finds that any employment gains in the project areas are offset by losses in other parts of the region. We note that one study, commissioned by the California Redevelopment Association, vastly overstates the employment effects of redevelopment areas (please see nearby box).

    CRA Report Inaccurately Calculates Employment Effects of Redevelopment

    The California Redevelopment Association (CRA) recently circulated a document asserting that eliminating redevelopment agencies would result in the loss of 304,000 jobs in California. We find the methodology and conclusion of CRA’s report to be seriously flawed. In our view, it vastly overstates the economic effects of eliminating redevelopment and ignores the positive economic effects of shifting property taxes to schools and other local agencies.

    The CRA’s job loss estimate is based on a consultant’s report using data from 2006–07. To estimate the number of jobs resulting from redevelopment agencies, the report calculated the total expenditures on construction projects completed within a sample of redevelopment areas for 2006–07, as well as for any projects completed outside the area with agency participation. Based upon that sample, the report then estimated the total construction expenditures for redevelopment agencies statewide in 2006–07 and used a computer model to calculate through various multipliers the total effect of those expenditures on the state’s economy and employment. The report concluded that redevelopment was responsible for the creation of about 304,000 full and part–time jobs in 2006–07. Therefore, the CRA asserts that the elimination of redevelopment would result in the loss of 304,000 jobs.

    To our knowledge, the consultant’s study has never been subjected to any independent or academic scrutiny. Our review indicates that the report has three significant flaws that cause it to vastly overstate the net economic and employment effects of redevelopment agencies.

    Assumes Redevelopment Agencies Participate in All Project Area Construction. The study’s calculation of construction expenditures includes all construction completed in a redevelopment project area in 2006–07, even if the redevelopment agency was not a participant. We find implausible the report’s implicit assumption that no construction with solely private financing would have occurred within a redevelopment area in the absence of the redevelopment agency. This is particularly true, given the large geographic scale of California redevelopment project areas. In our view, it is likely that much of the new business or residential construction (and the associated jobs) would have occurred independently of the redevelopment agency.

    Assumes Private and Public Entities Participating in Redevelopment Agency Projects Would Not Invest in Other Projects. Most redevelopment agency projects include significant financing from private investors or other public agencies. By asserting that all of the jobs associated with redevelopment construction would be lost if redevelopment agencies were eliminated, the CRA implicitly assumes that these private and public partners would not invest in other economic activities in the state. The report provided no explanation for this assumption that the existing private capital and public agency grants would remain unused without redevelopment agency participation. In most cases, we would expect developers, investors, and public agencies to find alternative projects to pursue—either within the redevelopment area or elsewhere in the state.

    Assumes Other Local Agencies’ Use of Property Tax Revenues Would Not Yield Economic Benefits. Under the Governor’s proposal, the property tax revenues that currently support redevelopment would flow over time to schools and other local agencies in the county. By asserting that all of the jobs associated with redevelopment construction would be lost if redevelopment agencies were eliminated, the CRA implicitly assumes that these other local agencies’ use of property tax revenues would not result in any economic activity. The report provided no explanation for this assumption. In our view, spending by school districts, counties, and other local agencies also would yield significant economic and employment benefits.

    Diverts Revenues From Other Local Governments and State

    Redevelopment agencies receive over $5 billion of tax increment revenues annually. Lacking any reliable evidence that the agencies’ activities increase statewide tax revenues, we assume that a substantial portion of these revenues would have been generated anyway elsewhere in the region or state. For example, a redevelopment agency might attract to a project area businesses that previously were located in other California cities, or that were planning to expand elsewhere in the region. In either of these cases, property taxes paid in the project area would increase, but there would be no change in statewide property tax revenues.

    To the extent that a redevelopment agency receives property tax revenues without generating an overall increase in taxes paid in the state, the agency reduces revenues that otherwise would be available for local agencies to spend on non–redevelopment programs, including law enforcement, fire protection, road maintenance, libraries, and parks.

    The fiscal effect of redevelopment on K–12 schools and community colleges, in contrast, is somewhat different. This is because, under California school finance laws, the state is responsible for ensuring that each district receives sufficient total revenues (from state and local sources) to meet a statutorily defined funding level. Thus, property tax revenues redirected to redevelopment agencies usually are replaced by increased state aid. In this way, K–14 districts are largely unaffected by redevelopment, but state education costs increase.

    Fiscal Effect on Local Agencies and the State. Based on the available evidence, we estimate that the amount of property tax revenues diverted from non–school local agencies (principally, counties and special districts) is about $1.5 billion annually net of pass–through payments. We further estimate that the increased cost to the state associated with the diversion of K–14 district property taxes is over $2 billion annually net of pass–through payments. In addition to these amounts, we note that some K–14 districts with unusually high property tax revenues per pupil (“basic aid” districts) also sustain property tax revenue losses associated with redevelopment, but we are not able to estimate the magnitude.

    Limited Transparency and Accountability

    Redevelopment agencies lack some of the key accountability and transparency elements common to other local agencies. Specifically, unlike other local agencies, redevelopment agencies can incur debt without voter approval. Redevelopment agencies can also redirect property tax revenues from schools and other local agencies without voter approval or the consent of the local agencies.

    In addition, although redevelopment programs are authorized in state law and increase state costs, redevelopment programs lack the key accountability elements that are common to state–supported local assistance programs. Specifically, no state agency reviews redevelopment economic development activities or ensures that project areas focus on the program’s mission. We also note that use of redevelopment is not limited to communities with low property wealth—some of California’s most affluent cities have declared large sections of their jurisdictions “blighted.”

    Governor’s Proposal

    The administration proposes to dissolve the state’s redevelopment agencies. Tax increment revenues that currently go to redevelopment agencies would be redirected to retire redevelopment debts and contractual obligations and to fund other local government services. In place of redevelopment, the administration indicates that it will propose a constitutional amendment to allow local voters to approve tax increases and general obligation bonds for economic development purposes by a 55 percent majority. While many of the details of the Governor’s proposal still are under development, we outline its key elements below.

    Successor Agency Assumes Debt Obligations

    Redevelopment agencies currently have the authority to issue debt, own and lease property, and enter into other long–term contractual obligations. While enactment of the Governor’s proposal as urgency legislation would prohibit redevelopment agencies from entering into additional obligations, existing debts would need to be paid. The Governor proposes to transfer the responsibility for managing these obligations to a local successor agency—most likely the city or county that authorized the redevelopment area, guided by an oversight board. The successor agency would receive the redevelopment agency’s existing balances and future shares of tax increment revenue to pay the agency’s debts. Any funds above the amounts needed to pay these debts would be used for other purposes as described below. The one exception is that the successor agencies would shift any unspent redevelopment housing funds to local housing authorities to use for low– and moderate–income housing.

    Use of Redevelopment Funds in 2011–12

    The Governor’s budget assumes that tax increment revenues from dissolved redevelopment areas would be approximately $5.2 billion in 2011–12. (The most recent report from the State Controller’s Office identifies $5.7 billion of redevelopment tax increment revenues in 2008–09. The Governor’s lower tax increment estimate reflects its assumptions regarding the decline of property values statewide.) Of this amount, an estimated $2.2 billion would be used to pay redevelopment debts and obligations during the first year. As outlined in Figure 5, the remainder of the tax increment revenues ($3 billion) would provide funding to local governments and offset state General Fund costs. The Governor’s proposal would continue to provide redevelopment’s existing pass–through payments to local agencies. It would also offset $1.7 billion in state Medi–Cal and trial court costs and distribute $200 million to cities, counties, and special districts in proportion to these agencies’ AB 8 shares of the property tax.

    MW_Redev_02.ai

    Use of Redevelopment Funds in Subsequent Years

    Beginning in 2012–13, any property tax revenues remaining after the successor agencies pay redevelopment debt would be distributed to other local governments in the county. Instead of offsetting state costs or continuing pass–through payments as in 2011–12, distributions of these revenues to local governments generally would follow provisions in existing law. One exception is that property taxes that otherwise would be distributed to enterprise special districts (primarily fee–financed water and waste disposal districts) would be allocated instead to counties. As shown in Figure 6, we estimate more than half of the remaining revenue would be distributed to schools. (The exact allocation of property tax revenues, however, varies significantly across the state.) As redevelopment debts are repaid over time, the amount of revenue available to local governments would steadily increase.

    MW_Redev_01.ai

    Economic Development Could Continue at Local Level

    While the Governor’s plan would phase out the existing redevelopment system, it also proposes a constitutional amendment to allow local voters to approve tax increases and general obligation bonds for economic development purposes by a 55 percent majority. At this time, details on this portion of the proposal are not available. As we understand it, cities and counties would retain the powers granted to them under redevelopment law except for the use of property tax increment revenue. In the place of tax increment revenue, the proposal would lower the voter threshold for other financing mechanisms that local governments could use to pursue economic development activities that are currently carried out by redevelopment agencies.

    LAO Assessment

    In our view, the Governor’s proposal merits consideration. The proposal places the responsibility to pay for local economic development activities with the level of government benefiting from these policies. The proposal also heightens local accountability for its economic development policies and provides local governments increased general purpose revenues. Finally, the proposal would make a significant contribution towards helping the state address its serious fiscal difficulties in 2011–12. We discuss these advantages, as well as some additional considerations related to the proposal, below.

    Links Program Control, Benefit, and Costs

    Redevelopment agencies determine the types of projects they undertake. Decisions regarding spending tax increment revenues—to remedy local infrastructure problems, provide amenities for an auto mall, or subsidize business relocation—are made at the local level. In addition, the research on tax increment financing indicates that it provides localized economic benefits, but does not necessarily increase statewide economic development.

    Given these factors—local control over the use of tax increment funds and local benefits—we see little reason for the state to continue its financial support for this program. The Governor’s proposal adheres to a key policy principle that, whenever possible, beneficiaries should pay for services that do not have larger societal benefits.

    Improves Government Accountability and Transparency

    Local residents and elected officials can best assess the advantages and disadvantages of raising new funds for economic development activities versus shifting funds from other government programs. Under the current system, however, local residents and most elected local officials do not have a role in making these decisions. This is because a redevelopment agency’s decision to form a project area can divert property tax revenues from other agencies without their consent or voter approval. The agency forming a project area also does not have to confront the tradeoffs associated with diverting property tax revenues from its local schools because the state backfills virtually all of these property tax losses. Ending state–assisted redevelopment would require individual communities to confront the full policy implications of funding economic development within their borders, thereby improving transparency and accountability.

    Redirects Funds to Local Governments

    Under the Governor’s proposal, schools, counties, special districts, and cities would receive increased property tax revenues. While existing property tax increment revenues are restricted to redevelopment purposes, local governments would have the flexibility to direct these new revenues to their highest priority programs, including public safety, education, health, or social services. Local governments also could elect to use these increased funds for economic development activities.

    Provides a One Year State Fiscal Benefit

    The proposal would help address the state’s 2011–12 budget problem by offsetting state General Fund costs for Medi–Cal and trial courts by $1.7 billion. While there is little policy rationale for using property taxes permanently for these purposes, we think this one–time use is reasonable in recognition of the magnitude of the state’s prior–year subsidies for redevelopment.

    Additional Factors and Considerations

    At the time this brief was prepared, the administration was still developing the statutory provisions to implement its proposal. While we cannot provide the Legislature with a detailed assessment of the proposed plan, we highlight below three issues that merit the Legislature’s consideration.

    Early Plan Complicated School Funding and Property Tax Allocation Systems. Early versions of the Governor’s plan provided a special allocation system for the additional property tax revenues to schools. Instead of being allocated as property taxes to K–14 districts where the revenues were generated, the administration’s plan allocated these revenues to K–14 districts countywide as a supplement to their existing funds. In our view, this approach does not make sense and would further complicate the already complicated K–14 district finance and property tax allocation systems. This approach also would increase state costs over the long term (relative to current law) because the state would not receive the financial relief associated with the expected expiration of redevelopment projects. The state also would forgo considerable ongoing state savings because the increased K–14 property taxes would not offset the state’s spending for schools. In our view, any property tax revenue from the former redevelopment areas—above the amounts needed to pay existing debt—should be allocated as property taxes pursuant to existing laws. Should the Legislature wish to provide increased support for K–14 districts or to modify the AB 8 property tax allocation system, it could do so separately.

    Few Other Options for Ongoing Redevelopment Relief. In some ways, the Governor’s proposal is similar to many previous actions of the Legislature. Specifically, ten times over the last two decades the Legislature has required redevelopment agencies to shift funds to schools, thereby partly mitigating the state’s increased education costs associated with redevelopment. In 2009–10, for example, the Legislature required redevelopment agencies to shift $2 billion of redevelopment funds to schools over two years. The voter’s recent approval of Proposition 22, however, prohibits the Legislature from enacting these types of revenue shifts in the future. Thus, the Legislature has few options for mitigating the major ongoing costs of redevelopment other than dissolving the program. In the future, the Legislature could consider creating an alternative, more targeted, economic development program.

    Dissolving Redevelopment Will Be Complicated and Disruptive. Program changes of this magnitude inevitably pose administrative, policy, and legal difficulties. Ending redevelopment, a program that California local governments have used for decades, will not be an exception. Many communities have significant numbers of people and projects currently funded through redevelopment revenues, as well as plans for additional redevelopment expenditures over the coming months. In addition, a significant portion of redevelopment agency funds are committed to the payment of bonded indebtedness, and three voter approved measures—Proposition 18 (1952), Proposition 1A (2004), and Proposition 22 (2010)—contain provisions limiting the state’s authority to shift property taxes and/or redirect tax increment revenues. Drafting a plan for local governments to carefully unwind their redevelopment programs and successfully navigate the many legal, administrative, and financial factors will be complex. The Legislature will need to weigh the costs and benefits of dissolving redevelopment agencies versus the costs and benefits of other major budget alternatives.

    Conclusion

    Given the significant policy shortcomings of California’s redevelopment program, we agree with the Governor’s proposal to end it and to offer local governments alternative tools to finance economic development. Under this approach, cities and counties would have incentives to consider the full range of costs and benefits of economic development proposals.

    In contrast with the administration’s proposal, however, we think revenues freed up from the dissolution of redevelopment should be treated as what they are: property taxes. Doing so avoids further complicating the state’s K–14 financing system or providing disproportionate benefits to K–14 districts in those counties where redevelopment was used extensively. Treating the revenues as property taxes also phases out the state’s ongoing costs for this program and provides an ongoing budget solution for the state.

    Ordinarily, we would recommend that the state phase out this program over several years or longer to minimize the disruption an abrupt ending likely would engender. Given the state’s extraordinary fiscal difficulties, however, the Legislature will need to weigh the effect of this disruption in comparison with other major and urgent changes that the state would need to make if this budget solution were not adopted.


    Acknowledgments. This report was prepared by Mark Whitaker and reviewed by Marianne O’Malley. The Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) is a nonpartisan office which provides fiscal and policy information and advice to the Legislature. LAO Publications. To request publications call (916) 445-4656. This report and others, as well as an E-mail subscription service, are available on the LAO's Internet site at www.lao.ca.gov. The LAO is located at 925 L Street, Suite 1000, Sacramento, CA 95814.

    Return to LAO 2011-12 Budget: Realignment and Redevelopment Table of Contents
    Return to LAO 2011-12 Budget: Full Table of Contents

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    Time Value of Money - Six Functions of a Dollar

    Time Value of Money - Six Functions of a Dollar http://www.boe.ca.gov/info/tvm/

    Appraisal Training: Self-Paced Online Learning Session

    Welcome to the State Board of Equalization's self-paced online learning session on the Time Value of Money (commonly referred to as the six functions of a dollar). Please view the video and read the introduction below before proceeding to the lessons in the self-study session.

     

    The purpose of this learning session is to explain the compound interest functions presented in Assessors’ Handbook Section 505, Capitalization Formulas and Tables, the key concepts of the time value of money, and its relationship to appraisal.

    This learning session consists of 10 modules; each module provides discussion of the function or concept and shows practical examples of the calculation or method. The objectives of this learning session are to:

    • Provide a basic understanding of the time value of money
    • Demonstrate how to use the factor tables and each compound interest function in Assessors' Handbook Section 505.


    By the end of the session, you will understand:

    • The function and derivation of each of the compound interest functions presented in Assessors' Handbook Section 505
    • The appraisal application of the compound interest functions.


    There are six compound interest functions presented in Assessors' Handbook Section 505:


    We hope that you find the information presented in this learning session beneficial. Links to the Assessors’ Handbook Section 505 (AH 505), Capitalization Formulas and Tables are available throughout this presentation and is also available on the Board's website.


    Training Credit for Certified Appraisers
    If you are a certified property tax appraiser working for a California county assessor's office or Board of Equalization, you can obtain training credit for taking this self-paced online learning session. If you wish to obtain training credit, you must complete the Certified Appraisers Examination at the end of this learning session and submit your answers to the State Board of Equalization's County Assessed Properties Division using the 'Submit' button at the end of the exam.

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    Cityscape Directs its Attention to Rental Housing Policy

    August 10, 2011 

    Cityscape Directs its Attention to Rental Housing Policy

    A new issue of Cityscape features a symposium that examines rental housing policy in the United States from a variety of forward-looking perspectives. Collectively, guest editors Vicki Been and Ingrid Gould Ellen note, the articles attest to why rental housing is important and why a strong rental housing market is vital to the economy.

    Edward Glaeser argues that rental housing is environmentally sustainable and that federal incentives could encourage localities to make land use regulations friendlier to multifamily rental housing. Richard Green suggests that federal rental subsidies might be fairer in an environment of federal benefits for homeowners and local zoning restrictions that are not especially friendly to renters. Denise DiPasquale revisits federal housing policy in light of market risks to homeowners and renters, seeing an opportunity to move towards an unbiased national housing policy in terms of owning and renting. Todd Sinai provides a framework for evaluating and weighing the risks of renting or owning and suggests policies that would mitigate the risks of renting, such as encouraging lengthier term leases. Brendan O’Flaherty makes a case for policy that provides a safety net for renters experiencing financial hardship and offers low-income housing assistance that rewards good neighborhood choices. John Quigley explores the rationale for and the means of delivering renter assistance programs, suggesting how they might be reframed and financed. Invited to complement the symposium with their work, Rob Collinson provides a nuanced picture of housing trends and needs using data on rental housing market dynamics at national and metropolitan levels and Hugo Priemus offers a perspective on rental housing policy in the U.S. and the Netherlands.

    The issue also features research by Ronald Wilson, “Visualizing Racial Segregation Differently—Exploring Changing Patterns from the Effect of Underlying Geographic Distributions”; by Brian Mikelbank and Charlie Post, “Separating the Good From the Bad From the Ugly: Indicators for Housing Market Analysis”; and by Michael Hollar, “Regulatory Impact Analysis: Emergency Homeowners’ Loan Program.”


     

    Cityscape Learn More Button


     

       
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    Today at 2:00 EST - Learn about EPA's Environmental Enforcement Data

    Today at 2:00 EST - Learn about EPA's Environmental Enforcement Data

    Today's webinar will cover EPA's data systems that deal with environmental enforcement. You can find out which industries emit specific pollutants and what factories exceed federal or state environmental standards. For a single factory or a company, you can learn about violations, enforcement actions, or the financial penalties they have been assessed. We’ll focus on two data systems: IDEA (Integrated Data for Enforcement Analysis), which integrates facility data from different EPA databases, and ECHO (Enforcement and Compliance History Online), which is a Web interface that draws data from IDEA. It provides fast, integrated searches of EPA and state data for over 800,000 regulated facilities.

    There's still time to register! Reserve your spot at https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/639263281.

    Don't miss a special webinar with leaders in the Open Data movement on Thursday at 4:00 EST

    Since launching Apps for the Environment developers have had a lot to say, and we’ve worked hard to shape our efforts around that feedback. Now we're holding a webinar with leaders in the Open Data movement about what the government can do to make data more usable for developers.

    Presenters we are pleased to feature for this special webinar include:

    - Alex Howard, Gov20 correspondent at O’Reilly Media, moderator
    - Jeremy Carbaugh, web developer and Open Data specialist at Sunlight Labs
    - Michaela Hackner, developer at Forum One and winner of the Apps for America 2 challenge

    Federal agencies have a lot of data, but their value is determined by how they’re used. It’s time to hear what developers have to say about it, how we can improve our support of the community and in turn, how we can work together to move forward. The webinar will cover topics like how to find and use government data, how to make apps that are useful, and how to make apps that are sustainable after developer challenges.

    We want to answer the questions on government data and development you’ve got on your mind. Please join us for this exciting online event, and come ready to engage. Register at https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/494562289

    About Apps for the Environment

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has challenged developers to step up to the forefront of innovation and create applications that help communities make informed decisions about the environment and human health. EPA supplies a lot of data, but you deliver the vision and solutions. Create unique apps that put these resources at the American public's fingertips and showcase your talents!

    For more information follow #GreenApps on Twitter or check out the website at http://www.epa.gov/appsfortheenvironment, where you can also join this mailing list. Or email us at greenapps@epa.gov. Take the challenge, and pass it on!

    Details about the challenge: Applications for the challenge must use EPA data and be accessible via the Web or a mobile device. EPA experts will select a winner and runner up in each of two categories: Best Overall App and Best Student App. In addition, the public will vote for a "People's Choice" winner. Apps will be judged based on their usefulness, innovation, and ability to address one or more of EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson's seven priorities for EPA's future. Winners will receive recognition from EPA on the agency's website and at an event in Washington, DC in the fall, where they can present their apps to senior EPA officials and other interested parties.

    EPA plans to send two messages per week via GovDelivery. One message will be on Monday mornings and will describe recent information about the challenge. The second message will be on Wednesday mornings and will be a reminder about that day's webinar. Thanks for joining us!

    Visit the Apps Challenge page

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    August 09, 2011

    ACTING STUPIIDLY

    ACTING STUPIIDLY
    "The only source of knowledge is experience." Albert Einstein

    "Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes." Oscar Wilde

    If! Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes. And The only
    source of knowledge is experience. Then mistakes equate to knowledge.

    And, If mistakes equate to knowledge, then a lack of mistakes must equate to Stupidity.
    Curtis D. Harris

    http://www.harriscompanyrec.com/JustforFun.html

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    U.S. EPA Brownfields Program

    U.S. EPA Brownfields Program

    FY 12 Brownfields 101 Webinar

     Here's the link

    http://www.epa.gov/region9/brownfields/grants/Brownfields101Webinar.pdf

     

     Senior Environmental Employee Program

    US EPA Region 10 Brownfields Team

    1200 6th Avenue, Suite 900 – ECL 112

    Seattle, WA 98101-3140

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    Secretary LaHood Announces $179 Million to California for Continued Development of Integrated, Statewide Passenger Rail Network

    U.S.Department of Transportation

    Office of Public Affairs

    Washington, D.C.

    www.dot.gov/affairs/briefing.htm

    News

     

     

    FRA18-11

    Monday, August 08, 2011

    Contact: Brie Sachse

    Tel.: 202-493-6024

     

    $86 Million Will Extend High-Speed Rail Service Along Central Valley Segment, the Backbone of the Los Angeles to San Francisco Corridor

     

    WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced $179 million for the State of California to continue building a statewide, passenger rail network with both high-speed and intercity service. Funding will kick-start several major projects throughout the state including the construction of new tracks, the purchase of next generation trains and the installation of high-tech signaling systems.

     

    “California voters and train passengers have said it loud and clear, they want access to a world-class rail system in California.” said Secretary LaHood. “These projects ensure passenger rail is built to support a thriving California economy in the 21st century, while creating thousands of new construction and manufacturing jobs today.”

     

    Through federal investments and voter-approved state investments, California is laying the groundwork for the nation’s first 220 mph high-speed rail system that will deliver sub-two hour trip times to Los Angeles and the Bay Area. The rail dollars will also be used to improve existing intercity service throughout the state, including the acquisition of new trains.

     

    “With 20 million more people expected to be in California within the next 40 years, we can’t build enough highways and airport runways to accommodate the demand,” said Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph C. Szabo. “Passenger rail will play a much greater role in how Californians move throughout the state to ensure California’s economy keeps moving forward.”

     

    Californians are already seeking convenient alternatives to high gas prices and congested highways, as the state currently boasts some of the busiest rail corridors in the nation. The Pacific Surfliner has the 2nd highest ridership figures in the nation, and the Capitol Corridor had more than 1.5 million riders in 2010. Highlights of today’s announcement include:

     

    Central Valley High-Speed Rail

    The California High-Speed Rail Authority will receive $86.4 million for the Central Valley project, extending the current 110 mile segment an additional 20 miles to Merced and Bakersfield, advancing completion of the backbone of the Los Angeles to San Francisco corridor.

     

    Regional Equipment Pool

    Caltrans will receive $68 million for new trains servicing intercity routes. The funding is part of a multi-state procurement between California, Michigan, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri and Washington State to pool resources, maximizing the purchase of next-generation American-made trains. Along with $100 million from a previously awarded grant to California, the money will allow for the purchase six new locomotives and forty new passenger cars.

     

    Pacific Surfliner – San Diego to San Luis Obispo

    Signaling/Safety - Positive train control (PTC) will be installed between San Onofre and San Diego. This signaling system will increase railroad safety and efficiency by monitoring and controlling train movements. Over $24.9 million was awarded to Caltrans to install the system.

     

    A strict “Buy America” requirement for high-speed rail projects ensures that U.S. manufacturers and workers will receive the maximum economic benefits from this federal investment. In 2009, Secretary LaHood secured a commitment from 30 foreign and domestic rail manufacturers to employ American workers and locate or expand their base of operations in the U.S. if they are selected for high-speedrail contracts.

     

    Thirty-two states across the U.S. and the District of Columbia are currently laying the foundation for high-speed rail corridors to link Americans with faster and more energy-efficient travel options. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and annual appropriations have provided $10.1 billion to put America on track towards providing new and expanded rail access to communities and improving the reliability, speed, and frequency of existing service. Of that, more than $6 billion has been obligated to date.

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    OUR PLEDGE TO YOU

    We Make a Simple Pledge to

    Communicate, in a timely Fashion, each appraisal, analysis, and opinion without bias or partiality

    Abstain from behavior that is deleterious to our clients, the appraisal profession, and the public

    Hold paramount the confidential nature of the appraiser/consultant - client relationship

    and

    Comply with the requirements of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice
    and the
    Code of Professional Ethics of the National Society of Real Estate Appraisers
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    August 08, 2011

    Important Changes to FHA Communication Options:

    The Federal Housing Administration’s Single Family program area is announcing changes to our primary electronic mail address as well as the internet site of our FHA Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) site.  In 2006, FHA created the FHA Resource Center in order to help ensure prompt, accurate, and consistent responses to all inquiries.  The FHA Resource Center acts as the first line of response for the majority of industry and public inquiries.  FHA believes that the FHA Resource Center allows members of the industry and the general public to quickly obtain the information they need while improving the consistency and accuracy of the information FHA provides.  The email address and FAQ site are integral parts of the FHA Resource Center and FHA is anxious to spread the coming changes to our internal and external partners.
     

    Due to an internal system change we are now able to provide a more appropriate and easier to remember email address and FAQ site address for our clients.  The address changes outlined below go into effect on Monday, August 15.  They will not be operational prior to that date and should not be utilized prior to August 15, 2011. Both the existing FAQ site and email address will provide referral notifications regarding the new addresses, but clients should begin utilizing these new addresses exclusively on August 15, 2011. 

    The new address information is:

     
    ·        Primary email address will change from: info@fhaoutreach.com to: answers@hud.gov
    ·        Site address for the FHA FAQ site will change from: www.fhaoutreach.gov/FHAFAQ  to: www.hud.gov/answers
     
    Please note that there is no change to the primary FHA Resource Center telephone number which remains 1-800-CALLFHA (225-5342)

    AND

    Mortgage and Foreclosure Fraud Awareness Workshop in Ontario CA:

    August 27, 2011 – Ontario CA. Mortgage and Foreclosure Fraud Awareness Workshop Saturday, 8:30am-12:30pm, Ontario Police Department Community Room 2500 S. Archibald Avenue, Ontario California. CA The Fair Housing Lending Center is hosting a Mortgage and Foreclosure Fraud Awareness Workshop. Learn how to keep your home and protect yourself from fraud. The workshops will be both in English and Spanish. The workshop will also include the following topics: Impact of Foreclosure Fraud, Foreclosure 101, Reverse Mortgage Fraud & Other Fraud Against Seniors, Foreclosure Prevention by Neighborhood Partnerships. Don’t miss the date and RSVP as soon as possible by calling (909) 902-9606.

    _________________________________________________________________________________________

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    UPCOMING WORKSHOPS & SEMINARS

    UPCOMING WORKSHOPS & SEMINARS

            in the cities of Ventura and Santa Clarita!

                                                                                                                                                         

                                                                                                                                                          

                                                                                                                                                         

                   FREE Training events, workshops, and seminars sponsored by Southern California Edison Energy Education Center - Tulare.               

                                                                                                                                                          

                                               How to Conduct an Energy Efficiency Site Survey REGISTER TODAY!                                           

                                                                  Thursday, August 18, 2011                                                              

                                                8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (Continental Breakfast & Lunch Provided)                                           

                                                                         EVENT #A7941                                                                    

                                                        Marriott Ventura Beach - Puerto Excondido Room                                                    

                                                                     2055 Harbor Boulevard                                                               

                                                                       Ventura, CA 93001                                                                 

                                                                                                                                                         

     Learn how to perform an on-site energy efficiency survey during this informative seminar designed for building owners, maintenance professionals,   

     business owners, and facility managers.  At this session, you will learn how:                                                                        

        To identify energy savings potential                                                                                                             

        Become familiar with common energy systems such as HVAC, lighting, and refrigeration                                                             

        Field equipment, including motors, fans, and pumps                                                                                               

        Classroom instruction will include case studies                                                                                                  

        Hands-on exercise to perform an on-site survey                                                                                                    

     ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     -----------------------                                                                                                                              

                                                Transform: Turning Existing Buildings "Green” LIMITED SEATING!                                           

                                                                   Friday, August 19, 2011                                                               

                                                8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (Continental Breakfast & Lunch Provided)                                           

                                                                         EVENT #A7821                                                                    

                                           Cost:  $2.00 Parking Fee (Lot #14, pay at the Kiosk, exact change only)                                        

                                                                                                                                                         

                                                                    College of the Canyons                                                               

                                                           Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center                                                      

                                                                 Meeting Room 258 (UCEN-258)                                                             

                                                                  26455 Rockwell Canyon Road                                                             

                                                                   Santa Clarita, CA 91355                                                                

                                                                                                                                                         

     Improving energy performance and making a claim for sustainability can be achieved through energy efficiency practices and making changes to water  

     usage and indoor environmental controls.  This intermediate level workshop includes a discussion of various guidelines and standards for            

     sustainability in existing buildings along with practical ideas for low cost "green" O&M practices.                                                 

     4 AIA/HSW/Sustainable Design Learning Units                                                                                                          

                                                                                                                                                         

     Reservations can be made via phone Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. by calling (800) 772-4822 or (559) 625-7176.  Space is limited so    

     register early!                                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                                          

     To register please visit us on the web at www.sce.com/workshops.                                                                                     

     Privacy Disclaimer: Southern California Edison will not share, sell or otherwise disseminate information collected from our customers to any third  

     party. We may however, use information in our database to send customers additional information that will assist them with making informed decisions

     about energy efficiency and training.  If you would like to unsubscribe, please return this message and state unsubscribe.                          

                                                                                                                                                          

                                                                                                                                                          

                                                        FOR OVER 100 YEARS...LIFE. POWERED BY EDISON.                                                    

                                                                                                                                                          

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    A new bid request was posted by Southern California Association of Governments

    Dear The Harris Company, Real Estate Appraise:

    A new bid request was posted by Southern California Association of Governments which meets your selected criteria.

    Project Title: LEED Consulting Services
    Release Date: August 8, 2011 4:12 PM (Pacific)
    Bid Due Date: September 7, 2011 10:00 AM (Pacific)

    Please visit LEED Consulting Services for further details!

    Notified Categories:
    60012 - Architects, Engineer
    90868 - Project Management
    91806 - Administrative Consulting
    91843 - Environmental Consulting
    91846 - Feasibility Studies
    91892 - Urban Planning Consulting
    91897 - Gas, Water, Electric Consulting

    Thank you,
    Southern California Association of Governments


    Find out how you can receive more bidding opportunities today!
    August 08, 2011 16:13:21.181 [67.131.218.2] - Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 8.0; Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; Trident/4.0; SLCC2; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; .NET CLR 3.5.30729; .NET CLR 3.0.30729; Media Center PC 6.0; .NET4.0C; MS-RTC LM 8; InfoPath.3) >
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    August 07, 2011

    A word of Caution From the Appraisal Foundation

     

    The United States has some of the lowest education requirements for the credentialing of valuation professionals worldwide. Many nations require a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree, if not a Master’s degree, in a specified field of study such as business, real estate, architecture or engineering.

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    August 06, 2011

    Fannie Mae Releases New Monthly Indicators

    News Release  
     
      July 07, 2011  
     
    Fannie Mae Releases New Monthly Indicators

     

    Provides Timely Insights into Key Consumer Attitudes Driving Housing Decisions

    Monthly Survey Report Assesses Opinions about Owning a Home, Renting a Home, and Household Finances

    WASHINGTON, DC — Fannie Mae's new monthly national consumer attitudinal survey report provides eleven indicators offering a window into the opinions of Americans across the country. These behavioral insights convey what consumers think about the outlook for owning and renting a home and about their household finances, and may serve as key inputs for determining the future course of investment across housing types.

    The most detailed attitudinal survey of its kind, the Fannie Mae National Housing Survey polls 1,000 Americans each month via live telephone interview to assess their attitudes toward owning and renting a home, mortgage rates, homeownership distress, household finances, and overall consumer confidence. Homeowners and renters are asked more than 100 questions used to track attitudinal shifts (findings are compared to the same survey conducted monthly beginning June 2010). Fannie Mae conducts this survey and shares monthly and quarterly results so that we may help industry partners and market participants target our collective efforts to stabilize the housing market in the near-term, and provide support in the future.

    "Our survey data on key aspects of the housing environment and Americans' household financial situations offer a comprehensive view of the marketplace that hasn't existed previously," said Doug Duncan, Vice President and Chief Economist of Fannie Mae. "There's been strong interest across the industry for a monthly consumer attitudinal data set of this size. The data have only a very short lag from collection to delivery and at present show how sensitive consumers are to contemporaneous events. We see a continued lack of confidence among consumers on home prices, the ability to sell their homes, and the state of their personal finances — all of which point to housing as a continued downside risk to economic growth going forward."

    For detailed findings from the June 2011 survey, as well as technical notes on survey methodology and the questions asked of respondents associated with each monthly indicator, please visit the Fannie Mae Monthly National Housing Survey site at http://www.fanniemae.com/media/survey/monthly.jhtml. Also available on the site are quarterly survey results, which provide a detailed assessment of combined data results from three monthly studies.

    The June 2011 Fannie Mae National Housing Survey was conducted between June 1, 2011 and June 28, 2011. Interviews were conducted by Penn Schoen Berland, in coordination with Fannie Mae. Forthcoming Fannie Mae National Housing Survey Monthly Reports will be released on or around the seventh day of every month.

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    August 05, 2011

    JULY HOUSING SCORECARD

    HUD Public Affairs
    (202) 708-0980
    Treasury Public Affairs
    (202) 622-2960

    FOR RELEASE
    Friday
    August 5, 2011
    OBAMA ADMINISTRATION RELEASES JULY HOUSING SCORECARD
    Report Includes Spotlight on Recovery in the Riverside, CA Housing Market

    WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury today released the July edition of the Obama Administration's Housing Scorecard - a comprehensive report on the nation's housing market. The latest housing data offer continued mixed signals as home prices improved slightly but showed continued strain from foreclosures and distressed homes. Also, as more homeowners secure mortgage relief, fewer borrowers entered the foreclosure pipeline in June. The full report is available online at www.hud.gov/scorecard.

    "This month's housing data paint a mixed picture of conditions in the market - despite growing evidence of progress in the broader economy," said HUD Assistant Secretary Raphael Bostic. "We're continuing to see a slight improvement in home prices and a decline in mortgage defaults as our foreclosure prevention programs reach more borrowers upstream in the process. But we have much more work to do to help the market recover and to reach the many households there and across the nation who still face trouble."

    "Tens of thousands of additional homeowners are getting real relief from the Administration's programs every month," said Treasury Assistant Secretary for Financial Stability Tim Massad. "These programs are setting standards across the industry that are yielding more sustainable assistance for homeowners in the face of the worst housing crisis in a generation."

    The July Housing Scorecard features key data on the health of the housing market and the impact of the Administration's foreclosure prevention programs, including:

    • Fewer homeowners fell behind on their mortgages during the month of June. In June, 4.4 percent of prime mortgages were at least 30 days late - a significant decline from the peak of 5.9 percent seen in 2010. Moreover, seriously delinquent prime mortgages - those at least 90 days late or in foreclosure - remained approximately 22 percent below a high of 1.9 million recorded last year. As new delinquencies decrease across the nation, the number of new homeowners seeking assistance through the Administration's programs may also decrease.

    • The Administration's recovery efforts have helped millions of families deal with the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Nearly 5 million modification arrangements were started between April 2009 and the end of May 2011.This includes more than 1.6 million HAMP trial modification starts, more than 938,000 FHA loss mitigation and early delinquency interventions, and nearly 2.4 million HOPE Now proprietary modifications, reflecting the reach of standards developed in the Administration's programs. While some homeowners may have received help from more than one program, the total number of agreements offered continues to more than double the number of foreclosure completions for the same period (2.1 million). In June, nearly 32,000 additional homeowners received a permanent modification through the Administration's Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP); more than 760,000 homeowners across the country have received a HAMP permanent modification to date with a median payment reduction of 37 percent.

    • Even as new delinquencies continue to fall, eligible homeowners entering HAMP have a high likelihood of earning a permanent modification and realizing long-term success. The rate of modifications moving from trial to permanent is up to 74 percent, and the average time to convert from a trial to permanent modification is down to 3.5 months. Homeowners in HAMP modifications continue to perform well over time, with re-default rates lower than those on industry modifications. At one year, more than 84 percent of homeowners remain in their HAMP permanent modification. View the June HAMP Servicer Performance Report.

    Also featured is the bi-monthly Housing Scorecard Regional Spotlight reporting on market strength in Riverside, CA and surrounding communities. The Riverside metropolitan statistical area (MSA) was among the nation's hardest hit areas following the housing market downturn and a region where the Administration's broad approach to stabilizing the housing market has been very active.

    "Our Regional Spotlight shows that after years of rapidly rising home prices fueled in part by widely available - but ultimately unsustainable - adjustable rate mortgages, Riverside neighborhoods suffered a steep drop in property values and many severely underwater mortgages," added Bostic. "However, we also show how the Administration's approach to stabilizing the housing market has been a source of real help to local families - helping more than 131,000 homeowners to avoid foreclosure."

    The Housing Scorecard Regional Spotlight features data on the health of the Riverside housing market and impact of efforts to help homeowners at the local level including:

    • The Administration's mortgage assistance programs have helped tens of thousands of Riverside families avoid foreclosure. Through May 2011, approximately 131,000 mortgage assistance interventions have been offered to homeowners in the Riverside metropolitan area, including more than 75,500 interventions offered through HAMP and FHA loss mitigation and early delinquency intervention programs. An estimated 56,000 additional proprietary modifications have been offered through Hope Now Alliance servicers. While some homeowners may have received help from more than one program, the number of times assistance has been offered in the Riverside MSA is two-thirds higher than the number of foreclosures completed during this period (80,000).

    • Riverside homeowners are starting to see relief after struggling with some of the highest levels of mortgage delinquency and foreclosure in the nation. The share of area mortgages 90 or more days delinquent dropped from 17 percent to 12 percent over the past year - an improvement over the national decline of 1 percent over the same period. Completed foreclosures also declined from 9,400 in the first quarter of 2010 to 7,600 in the first quarter of 2011, although lender process reviews continue to affect foreclosure completions locally and nationally. However, many homeowners and loans remain at risk as nearly half of all mortgages in the Riverside area (47 percent) are in negative equity - more than twice the national rate (23 percent).

    • The Administration's Hardest Hit Fund and Neighborhood Stabilization Programs have fueled local foreclosure prevention efforts and market stability. California has received nearly $2 billion through the Hardest Hit Fund to implement local solutions to borrower mortgage defaults and address the range of factors that contribute to a family's financial problems. Moreover, approximately $191 million has been awarded to sixteen jurisdictions through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program to help purchase or redevelop residential properties and address the effects of abandoned and foreclosed housing. Both programs have helped provide stability to the Riverside housing market.
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    U.S. EPA, NASA Provide Summer Jobs, Challenge Commercial Appraiser, Commercial Appraisal

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Commercial Appraiser, Commercial Appraisal
    August 5, 2011

    U.S. EPA, NASA Provide Summer Jobs, Challenge
    College Students to Solve Green Problems
    Bay Area students take on innovative projects aimed at solving tough environmental challenges

    SAN FRANCISCO -- This summer, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and NASA’s Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif. hired more than 40 college student interns to work on site. This unprecedented number of students from California, Texas, Georgia, Michigan, W. Virginia, and New York participated in an innovative program that both agencies hope to repeat in 2012.  

    The EPA and NASA interns were given an opportunity to work on innovative group projects aimed at solving environmental challenges including: ways to reduce emissions associated with goods movement by improving packaging, examining how to incorporate greener practices in emergency operations, and researching ways to encourage renewable energy technologies in air quality non-attainment areas such as the South Coast and San Joaquin Valley in California.

    “It’s been fantastic to have an infusion of fresh ideas and innovation from students dedicated to protecting human health and the environment,” said Jared Blumenfeld, U.S. EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest.  “Their work on these challenging, ambitious projects has been very valuable to the Agency, and we look forward to improving on this summer’s program in the future.”

    “It has been a pleasure to work with our friends at the EPA and share some of the exciting research we are conducting in green technology and Earth science with these college interns,” said Pete Worden, director of NASA Ames. “We hope that this experience has motivated these students to continue working in these important research areas. We look forward to working together in the future.”

    Students were from more than 15 different colleges, including: the University of California at Berkeley and Riverside; San Jose State, San Francisco State, the University of San Francisco, Stanford University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Michigan, the University of Illinois, Spellman College, the Georgia Institute of Technology and many more.  Each student performed a rigorous and complex individual project supervised by experts from the EPA and NASA, and participated in speaker series events, field trips, and both individual and group skill-building assignments. 

    Sonam Gill, a graduate student at the University of San Francisco, is spending her time at the EPA identifying the most vulnerable spots within San Joaquin Valley, with particular focus on low income, minority and child populations. This has allowed her to help quantify vulnerability data, which incorporates social justice along with public health so that it can be cost effective for communities. 

    Rashi Goel, studying at the Georgia Institute of Technology, is working in EPA’s Superfund Division to help address some of the most toxic sites in the nation.  Her primary assignment has been a remedial investigation report for the New Idria Mercury Mine in San Benito County, Calif.  She was able to visit the site, conduct research, analyze data, and has written a report to analyze mercury contamination from the mine.

    Lawrence Reichle, a University of Michigan graduate student, contributed to the Toxics Release Inventory regional analysis which will feed a national database containing information on the disposal of more than 600 toxic chemicals from thousands of U.S. facilities.  He helped develop fact sheets to demonstrate how TRI data can be easily used by the public while incorporating environmental justice issues.  One of TRI's primary purposes is to inform communities about toxic chemical releases to the environment.

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    August 04, 2011

    FDIC SUES TWO APPRAISER MANAGEMENT COMPANIES-Commercial Appraiser

    FDIC SUES TWO APPRAISER MANAGEMENT COMPANIES

     

    Now this would be funny if it were not so serious. 

     

    "The FDIC seeks at least $154 million from LSI (and its parent companies, including Lender Processing Services and Fidelity, based on alter ego liability) and at least $129 million from CoreLogic (and its parent companies, including First American Financial, based on alter ego liability)."

    And to think that they did all this damage in one short year.  You see WAMU got it's ass in a sling for preasuering appraisers and was forced to hire an appraiser management company.  Now appraiser management companies have been in existence, in numbers for more than five years.  To get where we are today just double or triple that $129M and $154M, then multiply by five, that should get you a close number.

     

    "From The Subprime Shakeout Blog:

    In another sign that the Federal Government is turning its focus towards prosecuting the securitization players who may have contributed to the Mortgage Crisis, the FDIC filed separate lawsuits against LSI Appraisal (available here) and CoreLogic (available here) earlier this month"

    commercial appraiser

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    Fourth Exposure Draft of Proposed Revisions

    The Appraiser Qualifications Board (AQB) has issued the following Exposure Draft:


                            Fourth Exposure Draft of Proposed Revisions to the Future Real Property
                            Appraiser Qualification Criteria

                Link: https://appraisalfoundation.sharefile.com/d/sd8aac88a2bd41428

    Issued on June 17, 2011

    Written comments requested by September 30, 2011

    Send Comments to AQBComments@appraisalfoundation.org 


    Questions?  Please contact Magdalene Vasquez, Qualifications Administrator, at magdalene@appraisalfoundation.org.

     
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    August 03, 2011

    The Federal Housing Finance Agency lawsuit against UBS Americas

    Tusday, August 2nd, 2011, 5:03 pm

    The Federal Housing Finance Agency lawsuit against UBS Americas (UBS: 15.76 +0.32%) could be a game-changer — one that is followed by other investors harmed by alleged misrepresentations on mortgage-backed securities, according to Chris Gamaitoni, an analyst with Compass Point Research & Trading.

    Last week, FHFA – conservator to Fannie Mae and Freddie Macsued UBS and other defendants over the sale of $4.5 billion in private-label mortgage backed securities. In the suit, FHFA claims misrepresentations were made about the quality of loans underlying the securities and on underwriting guidelines.

    The FHFA seeks to recover losses and damages sustained by Fannie and Freddie as a result of the agency's investments in UBS securities.

    Gamaitoni warns the case could have a larger impact since it "will significantly increase the likelihood of success of other suits as concrete evidence is documented and further actions against other underwriters are taken."

    In his report on the case, Gamaitoni says FHFA, unlike private plaintiffs, had the option to perform discovery on loan files before filing suit in court. After reviewing 966 loans, he said the FHFA found a "material amount of violations to loan underwriting guidelines and misrepresentations of collateral data in prospectuses."

    "In our opinion, the evidence provided in this lawsuit is the most detail public information of origination violations to date." Gamaitoni said. Going forward, he believes the FHFA case has the potential to document more concrete evidence of violations, increasing the likelihood of success when it comes to other suits against underwriters of private-label MBS deals.

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    Legal Updates by JD Supra, Commercial Appraiser, Commercial Appraiser

    New Law Regarding Short Sales Goes Into Immediate Effect: No Deficiency Judgments

    On July 11, 2011, Governor Brown signed into law SB 458, a new bill that extends the reach of California’s anti-deficiency law so that a lender can no longer...more

    by Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean LLP

     

    PA Tax Law News - August 2011

    In this Issue: Philadelphia Property Owners Have Opportunity To Significantly Reduce Property Taxes The State Tax Equalization Board recently dropped...more

    by McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC

     

    Court of Appeal Confirms “Sub-guarantees” Are Enforceable

    In a landmark decision with important commercial implications, K/S Victoria Street v House of Fraser (Stores Management) Ltd, the Court of Appeal has affirmed...more

    by Dechert LLP

     

    Beware Interim Lien Waivers!

    The North Carolina Court of Appeals recently restored order to the use of interim lien waivers in North Carolina. The Court of Appeals issued its opinion in...more

    by Nexsen Pruet, PLLC

     

    InfoBytes, July 29, 2011 - A Weekly In-depth review of news & developments in the financial services industry

    Topics In This Issue: • Federal Issues • State Issues • Courts • Miscellany • Firm News • Firm Publications • Mortgages • Consumer...more

    by BuckleySandler LLP

     

    NAIC Rule on CTLs: Unintended Consequences

    The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (“NAIC”) recently set off a firestorm among life insurance companies that invest in credit tenant loans...more

    by Dechert LLP

     

    Can My Boss Fire Me for Filing Bankrupty? Discrimination and Bankruptcy

    Many people have the concern that they will be fired (or not hired) from their job because they have filed for bankruptcy. The Bankruptcy Code prohibits...more

    by John Skiba

     

    Marzulla Law Legal Report - July 29, 2011

    In This Issue: - Federal Government Admits To Liability In Land Takings: The Otay And Bassett Cases Sometimes the evidence of a taking is so...more

    by Nancie G. Marzulla

     

    Can I get a loan modification while in chapter 7 bankruptcy?

    If you want to keep your home and are considering your options, including bankruptcy, or if you have filed bankruptcy and are strugging with keeping your home...more

    by George Bourguignon

     

    Is Debt Making You Sick? Eliminate the Worry through Bankruptcy

    There was an interesting, although not surprising, article in the Arizona Republic yesterday that cited a poll stating that three out of four middle-class...more

    by John Skiba

     

    Miami Condos Selling Well Thanks to Foreign Investors - New York Times Takes Notice

    This week David Streitfield's article, "Affluent Buyers Reviving Market for Miami Homes," was published in the New York Times -- which can only mean even more...more

    by Rosa Eckstein Schechter

     

    Los Angeles Targets Trustee to Clean-Up Housing Mess

    The People of the State of California and The City of Los Angeles (collectively, the "Plaintiff") are seeking to hold Deutsche Bank National Trust Company and...more

    by Reed Smith

     

    Bankruptcy Options for When You Can't Raise Your Debt Ceiling

    It is an interesting comparison to watch what is going on Washington with their attempts to raise the debt ceiling and comparing that to your own debt issues....more

    by John Skiba

     

    Credit Crunch Digest- July 2011

    The subprime lending crisis and ensuing credit crunch have resulted in significant losses and numerous lawsuits involving parties to the mortgage lending and...more

    by Sedgwick LLP

     

    Legal Update: Redevelopment Bills Challenged: CRA Files Lawsuit Challenging Redevelopment Bills By Basil "Bill" Shiber and JoAnne L. Dunec

    ABX1 26 and ABX1 27 were enacted by the State Legislature in late June as “trailer bills” to help implement the state budget bill. The purpose and effect of...more

    by Miller Starr Regalia

     

    Can I Short Sell My House While in Bankruptcy?

    As I wrote in a recent article, more than 50% of homes in Arizona are worth less than what is owed on them. This is leading many people to try and short sale...more

    by John Skiba

    commercial appraiser, Commercial Appraiser

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    August 02, 2011

    Dynamic Changes Continue in U.S. Housing Inventory

    Dynamic Changes Continue in U.S. Housing Inventory

    A picture of repairing/upgrading a unit’s HVAC system. HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research has issued two important reports on the nation’s rental housing markets: Rental Market Dynamics: 2007–2009 and Components of Inventory Change: 2007–2009. The new Components of Inventory Change analysis examines the characteristics of the inventory reported in both years, reconciling the difference by tracking what happened to units recorded in 2007 and identifying the sources of units inventoried in 2009. The new Rental Dynamics report highlights the changes in affordability of the rental housing stock during the same period. The reports are based on American Housing Survey data.

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    LE's Summer 2011 US Lodging Report is now available

    LE's Summer 2011 US Lodging Report is now available. Please click here for the full report.

    For more information about LE and our Construction Pipeline Reports, please click here.

    LE ANNOUNCES ITS FORECAST FOR NEW HOTEL OPENINGS FOR 2013 AT 409 HOTELS/39,162 ROOMS - EXPECTS NET SUPPLY GROWTH OF JUST 0.6%-0.8% FOR EACH OF THE NEXT THREE YEARS

    For the first time, Lodging Econometrics has announced its Forecast for New Hotel Openings for 2013. A total of 409 new hotels/39,162 guest rooms are anticipated to come online. LE also adjusted its Forecast for 2011 and 2012 down slightly, as continued economic uncertainty and the lack of construction financing still hamper development. In 2011, 390 hotels/42,187 rooms will open, with an additional 368 hotels/40,070 rooms to open in 2012. Net supply growth, after removals from inventory, will range from 0.6%-0.8% for each of the next three years. 


    Please click here for more.



    CONTACT LODGING ECONOMETRICS (LE):

    The global lodging community and real estate industry rely on LE as trusted advisers and as a source of market intelligence to construct successful Growth Solution Programs. LE's customized programs include the identification and presentation of available growth opportunities in every country and region of the world for:

    • Franchise Companies seeking to expand their brand distribution and market share through both new construction and conversion opportunities
    • Acquisition Directors & Business Development Officers looking to acquire hotels and/or add asset management contracts to their portfolios
    • Consultants performing due diligence assignments analyzing particular markets or ownership portfolios

    For more information, please feel free to contact me at the phone number or email address below.


    Best Regards,
    Susan Forrest, Sales Manager
    Lodging Econometrics
    500 Market Street, Suite 13
    Portsmouth, NH  03801, USA
    Ph:    +1 603-431-8740 ext. 25
    Fax:  +1 603-431-4418
    sforrest@lodgingeconometrics.com

     


     

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    LE's Summer 2011 US Lodging Report is now available

    LE's Summer 2011 US Lodging Report is now available. Please click here for the full report.

    For more information about LE and our Construction Pipeline Reports, please click here.

    LE ANNOUNCES ITS FORECAST FOR NEW HOTEL OPENINGS FOR 2013 AT 409 HOTELS/39,162 ROOMS - EXPECTS NET SUPPLY GROWTH OF JUST 0.6%-0.8% FOR EACH OF THE NEXT THREE YEARS

    For the first time, Lodging Econometrics has announced its Forecast for New Hotel Openings for 2013. A total of 409 new hotels/39,162 guest rooms are anticipated to come online. LE also adjusted its Forecast for 2011 and 2012 down slightly, as continued economic uncertainty and the lack of construction financing still hamper development. In 2011, 390 hotels/42,187 rooms will open, with an additional 368 hotels/40,070 rooms to open in 2012. Net supply growth, after removals from inventory, will range from 0.6%-0.8% for each of the next three years. 


    Please click here for more.



    CONTACT LODGING ECONOMETRICS (LE):

    The global lodging community and real estate industry rely on LE as trusted advisers and as a source of market intelligence to construct successful Growth Solution Programs. LE's customized programs include the identification and presentation of available growth opportunities in every country and region of the world for:

    • Franchise Companies seeking to expand their brand distribution and market share through both new construction and conversion opportunities
    • Acquisition Directors & Business Development Officers looking to acquire hotels and/or add asset management contracts to their portfolios
    • Consultants performing due diligence assignments analyzing particular markets or ownership portfolios

    For more information, please feel free to contact me at the phone number or email address below.


    Best Regards,
    Susan Forrest, Sales Manager
    Lodging Econometrics
    500 Market Street, Suite 13
    Portsmouth, NH  03801, USA
    Ph:    +1 603-431-8740 ext. 25
    Fax:  +1 603-431-4418
    sforrest@lodgingeconometrics.com

     


     

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    Appraisal Institute President calls for Collaboration between Real Estate Agents and Appraisers

    THE ENTIRE INDUSTRY IS CALLING FOR APPRAISER INDEPENDENCE.  NOT THE APPRAISAL INSTITUTE. 

     

    "As such, there must be an increased emphasis on collaboration and data sharing between builders, loan originators, lenders, real estate agents, appraisers and all other parties involved in residential real estate transactions. " http://www.scotsmanguide.com/default.asp?ID=4699&part=1 

    BY:

     

     

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    AMCs/Reasonable and Customary Fees/Turnaround Time

    AMCs/Reasonable and Customary Fees/Turnaround Time

    FAQs

    What is a

    reasonable and

    customary fee?

    FHA believes that the marketplace best determines what is reasonable and

    customary in terms of fees. The fee is result of a business decision, which

    may or may not be negotiated, between the appraiser and the client. FHA

    does not set fees or determine whether a fee is reasonable and customary.

    Lenders are expected to know what is reasonable and customary in the areas

    in which they lend and are expected to ensure that the fees paid by consumers

    for both the appraisal and the management of the appraisal process are

    reasonable and customary.

    What if the

    AMC assigns

    the appraisal

    based on the

    lowest bidder

    for the service?

    The lender must

    determine whether an appraiser’s qualifications, as evidenced

    by education, training and actual field experience, are sufficient to enable the

    appraiser to competently perform appraisals before assigning an appraisal to

    them. Even if the lender employs an AMC to manage the appraisal process,

    FHA holds the lender responsible, equally with the appraiser, for the quality and

    accuracy of the appraisal. If an appraiser chooses to be a low bidder on an

    assignment, he or she is not relieved of the obligation to produce a credible and

    accurate report.

    Is “reasonable

    and customary”

    for any given

    market an

    objective

    number?

    Given that a reasonable and customary fee depends on the complexity of the

    assignment and the expertise needed to perform and report a credible and

    accurate appraisal of the property, the fee will vary depending upon the

    property type, the purpose of the assignment and the scope of work and,

    therefore, cannot be easily defined as an objective number.

    What will FHA

    do if there is a

    great disparity

    between the fee

    the appraiser

    reports and the

    fee on the

    HUD-1?

    Appraisers have the option of reporting the fee on the appraisal but are not

    required to do so. The disclosure of the fee promotes transparency and FHA

    believes that borrowers and other parties should be aware of the fee paid for

    the appraisal. Consistent with RESPA guidelines, lenders are not required to

    break out or itemize appraisal related fees on the HUD-1.

    Where do I

    complain when

    a lender wants

    to pay less than

    what is

    reasonable and

    The lender is responsible for ensuring that all FHA policies are followed and

    therefore has the responsibility to ensure that appraisers are paid a reasonable

    and customary fee. An appraiser who feels that the fee offered or paid for the

    appraisal is not reasonable and customary should file notice with the lender.

    Appraisers should not accept an assignment if they believe that the terms of

    2

    customary?

     

     

    the appraisal service being requested, including fees, are not reasonable.

    Where do I

    complain if the

    AMC asks for

    an unethical or

    inappropriate

    fee or service?

    FHA has no authority to regulate AMC’s. If an AMC requests an appraiser to

    violate USPAP or act in an unethical manner, the appraiser should refuse the

    assignment and notify the lender. The appraiser should also contact the

    appropriate state authority where the property is located to determine if the

    state has regulatory authority over AMCS.

    What do I do if

    the lender or

    AMC requires

    a quick

    turnaround

    time on

    appraisal

    assignments?

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    August 01, 2011

    Moodys/REAL Commercial Property Price Index (CPPI)

    Moodys/REAL Commercial Property Price Index (CPPI)

    Methodology developed at MIT's Center for Real Estate

    Monthly National All Properties Index

    Latest Results

    July 28, 2011 update: The latest results of the Moodys/REAL CPPI (published by Moody's on July 20) show a price change return of positive 6.28% inMay for the all properties national index. (This is a record for one month.)

    The Moodys/REAL CPPI will be published first by Moodys and will appear here on the MIT/CRE website shortly afterwards. The MIT/CRE is publishing the Moodys/REAL commercial property index results monthly as a service to the real estate academic and industry research communities. It should be noted that these indices are a statistical product that may contain estimation error, and that MIT makes no claim or warranty regarding its accuracy or use. The MIT/CRE is publishing the CPPI due to our role in the development of this pioneering commercial property repeat-sales price index (launched December 2006 on this site). MIT does not endorse, nor recommend this particular index over other econometrically valid such indices that may be developed subsequent to the CPPI.

    What is the Moodys/REAL Commercial Property Index (CPPI)?

    The Moodys/REAL commercial property index (CPPI) is a periodic same-property round-trip investment price change index of the U.S. commercial investment property market based on data from MIT Center for Real Estate industry partner Real Capital Analytics, Inc (RCA). The methodology for index construction has been developed by the MIT/CRE through a project undertaken in cooperation with a consortium of firms including RCA and Real Estate Analytics, LLC (REAL). The index has been developed with the objective of supporting the trading of commercial property price derivatives. The index is designed to track same-property realized round-trip price changes based purely on the documented prices in completed, contemporary property transactions. The index uses no appraisal valuations. The methodology employed to construct the index is a repeat-sales regression (RSR), as described in detail in Geltner & Pollakowski (2007). The data source for the index is described in detail in a white paper available from RCA.

    The set of indices developed so far includes a national all-property index at the monthly frequency, national quarterly indices for each of the four major property type sectors (office, apartment, industrial, retail), selected annual-frequency indices for specific property sectors in specific metropolitan areas, and primary markets quarterly indices for the top 10 metropolitan areas in the major property types. The annual indices are produced in four versions, beginning in January, April, July, and October of each year. These are respectively named the calendar year (CY) index, the fiscal year ending March (FYM) index, the fiscal year ending June (FYJ) index and the fiscal year ending September (FYS) index.

    The RCA Database

    The commercial property index is based on the RCA database which attempts to collect, on a timely basis, price information for every commercial property transaction in the U.S. over $2,500,000 in value. This represents one of the most extensive and intensively documented national databases of commercial property prices ever developed in the U.S.

    The Moodys/REAL CPPI and the TBI

    The Moodys/REAL CPPI index is a complementary information product to the transaction based index (TBI) also published on the MIT/CRE web site. Both the CPPI and the TBI are based purely on transaction price data. The TBI is based on NCREIF property sales prices data, while the CPPI is based on RCA sales prices data. Thus, the TBI is based on a smaller population of more purely institutionally held properties. The TBI is based on a hedonic regression methodology whereas the CPPI is constructed with a repeat-sales methodology. The TBI is published with history going back to 1984 but only at the quarterly frequency, and only at the national level (for the four major property types), whereas the CPPI includes monthly and annual frequencies and more geographic regional break outs. The CPPI is a variable-liquidity price-change (appreciation return) index, while the TBI includes total return and demand and supply-side indexes.

    Downloads

    The Basic Set of Indexes

    National and Regional Level Indices

    All (National) Download data View Monthly
    ApartmentIndustrialOfficeRetail
    National View Quarterly View Quarterly View Quarterly View Quarterly
    East Region View Annual View Annual View Annual View Annual
    South Region View Annual View Annual View Annual View Annual
    West Region View Quarterly View Quarterly View Quarterly View Quarterly

    MSA Level Indices

    ApartmentIndustrialOfficeRetail
    Top 10 MSAs View Quarterly View Quarterly View Quarterly View Quarterly
    Southern
    California
    View Annual View Annual View Annual View Annual
    DC Metro View Annual
    NYC Metro View Annual
    San Francisco
    Metro
    View Annual
    Florida View Annual

    Index Reports: Time Allowed to Gather Price Data

    Experience with the developmental database suggests that within 45 to 75 days of the close of an index reporting period, a sufficient quantity and proportion of the second-sale transactions that RCA will ultimately gather from the given month will be available for index construction. Based on this consideration, for indexes where the data availability is sufficiently dense (generally, the monthly and quarterly indexes), 45 days will be allowed to elapse after the end of the reporting period to accumulate data for index computation. For indexes where the data availability is less dense (generally the annual indexes), 75 days will be allowed to elapse. In all cases, the index report will be considered to be final once it is published, and any second sales occurring beyond the end of the subject period will be excluded from the index computation (no “backward adjustment”).

    Index Methodology and Further Details

    The CPPI are based on a repeat-sales regression model (RSR), with conventional modifications and enhancements that are widely used in the real estate indices estimated in the academic community. In an RSR index, the database on which the regression is estimated consists purely of properties that transact at least twice in the historical sample. The fundamental data on which the index is based thus consists of the price changes actually experienced by individual properties which are the same type of price changes as actually experienced by direct propery investors. While the indexes may contain normal statistical estimation error, all index returns are based purely and completely on actually realized investment round-trip price changes recorded in the RCA transaction price database, as described in the MIT and RCA white papers noted above.

    top

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    CENTRAL VALLEY APPRAISER, Most Public acquisition appraisers are performed by unqualified appraisers.

    CENTRAL VALLEY APPRAISER

    Most Public acquisition appraisals are performed by unqualified appraisers.
    CALIFORNIA CODESCODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURESECTION 1255.010-1255.080 1255.010. (a) At any time before entry of judgment, the plaintiffmay deposit with the State Treasury the probable amount ofcompensation, based on an appraisal, that will be awarded in theproceeding. The appraisal upon which the deposit is based shall beone that satisfies the requirements of subdivision (b). The depositmay be made whether or not the plaintiff applies for an order forpossession or intends to do so. (b) Before making a deposit under this section, the plaintiffshall have an expert qualified to express an opinion as to the valueof the property (1) make an appraisal of the property and (2) preparea written statement of, or summary of the basis for, the appraisal.The statement or summary shall contain detail sufficient to indicateclearly the basis for the appraisal, including, but not limited to,all of the following information: Operative words expert qualified
    An "Expert" is someone who has been so designated by the Trier of Fact, A JUDGE!  Before you sign on the dotted line make sure their appraisal was performed by an Expert Appraiser, not an Acquisition Appraiser who has little or no Expert Experience.
    Thanks!
    Curtis D. Harris, BS, CGREA, REB
    Bachelor of Science in Real Estate, CSULA
    State Certified General Appraiser
    Real Estate Broker
    ASTM E-2018 Commercial Real Estate Inspector
    HUD 203k Consultant
    HUD/FHA Real Estate Appraiser/Reviewer
    FannieMae REO ConsultantCTAC LEED Certification
    The Harris Company, Forensic Appraisers and Real Estate Consultants
    *PIRS/Harris Company and the Science of Real Estate-Partners*1910 East Mariposa Avenue, Suite 115
    El Segundo, CA. 90245
    310-337-1973 Office
    310-251-3959 Cell
    WebSite: http://www.harriscompanyrec.com Resume: http://www.harriscompanyrec.com/CURRICULUMVITAENAME2011a.pdf Commercial Appraiser Blog: http://harriscompanyrec.com/blog/IT'S THE LAW-Designation Discrimination is Illegal [FIRREA, Sec. 564.6]: Professional Association Membership http://www.orea.ca.gov/html/fed_regs.shtml#Statement7 Membership in an appraisal organization: A State Certified General Appraiser may not be excluded from consideration for an assignment for a federally related transaction by virtue of membership or lack of membership in any particular appraisal organization, including the appraisal institute.
    CONFIDENTIALITY/PRIVILEGE NOTICE: This transmission and any attachments are intended solely for the addressee. The information contained in this transmission is confidential in nature and protected from further use or disclosure under U.S. Pub. L. 106-102, 113 U.S. Stat. 1338 (1999), and may be subject to consultant/appraiser-client or other legal privilege. Your use or disclosure of this information for any purpose other than that intended by its transmittal is strictly prohibited and may subject you to fines and/or penalties under federal and state law. If you are not the intended recipient of this transmission, please destroy all copies received and confirm destruction to the sender via return transmittal
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