A pilot program has been introduced in Los Angeles County that will encourage homeowners to build a second dwelling on their properties that will provide housing house homeless people.
According to a Los Angeles Daily News report, the county’s board of supervisors approved the program this week in a 4-0 vote. The program is aimed at homeowners in unincorporated communities, and qualified participants can either receive up to $75,000 to build a second dwelling in appropriately zoned areas or receive $50,000 to update and legalize an existing dwelling. The county has allocated $550,000 to fund these subsidies.
The pilot program will operate on an 18-month timeline, and is designed to address the dramatic rise in the area’s homeless population, which numbers more than 55,000. The homeless population for the county rose 23 percent compared to last year.
Guild Mortgage has been named as one of the San Diego Business Journal’s Fastest Growing Private Companies for 2017, marking its third appearance on the list in the past four years. Guild ranked No. 49 on the list, with revenue growth of 121.7 percent from 2014-16 ($358.8 million to $795.5 million). Guild was the largest of the 100 companies to be featured on the list based on total revenue in 2016. The company was ranked 90th on the list in 2016 and 41st in 2014.
Guild is one of three companies listed maintaining high energy and entrepreneurial momentum with more than five decades of continuous operation, and the only financial services company in this cluster of early innovators; the remaining 97 companies on the list were established in the 1980s or after. Born in a trailer in 1960, Guild has grown from one office in San Diego to more than 3,600 employees operating from 250 branch and satellite offices in 25 states today.
“Our continuing growth results from our focus on customer service and the entrepreneurial spirit of our people,” said Mary Ann McGarry, Guild’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “This has helped us succeed in delivering on our mission to offer a wide array of options and to help first-time homebuyers make the transition to homeownership.”
To be considered one of the SDBJ’s “Fastest Growing” companies, organizations were required to be in business for the entire year of 2014 (the first year of the comparison) and have generated more than $350,000 in revenues. Businesses were also required to be San Diego County-based, independent and privately held; and not a division or subsidiary of another organization, public or private. The publication reviewed financial details of each organization’s business operations in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
Bay Equity Home Loans has named industry veteran Chris Carbonaro as an Area Sales Manager for the company’s Danville, Calif. branch office.
“Serving customers to the best of your ability is something that is all too often overlooked,” Carbonaro said. “By keeping this goal foremost in mind—and in practice—I’ve helped thousands of borrowers get through the lending process and become homeowners.”
Area Sales Manager John Rodrigues says Carbonaro will focus on growing more business for Bay Equity in the Livermore Valley area southeast of Danville.
“I’ve known Chris for more than 30 years, and this is a huge addition to Bay Equity,” Rodrigues said. “He lives his daily life through the same principles the company represents–family and integrity.”
Castle & Cooke Mortgage LLC has announced its expansion in Southern California with the opening of its Glendora, Calif. branch. The new Glendora branch will be led by industry veteran and local Louie Rutnam, who has more than 15 years of experience in the mortgage industry.
"The opening of our Glendora office is a great opportunity for Castle & Cooke Mortgage to address the borrowing needs of residents not only in Glendora, but in the San Gabriel Valley and Inland Empire as well," said Regina Rutnam, Area Manager for Castle & Cooke Mortgage. "My son, Louie, and I share the same vision of helping our neighbors achieve their homeownership goals, and are eager to work with the business community and local real estate professionals as we share our mortgage industry expertise."
Prior to joining Castle & Cooke Mortgage, Louie was a Senior Loan Officer for Movement Mortgage, Freedom Mortgage and Nationstar Mortgage.
"I am thrilled to lead this new office and to be part of another Castle & Cooke Mortgage team that is focused on helping our neighbors meet their lending needs," said Louie. "I look forward to being available whenever my clients need me, and to finding ways to give back to the community where I work and live."
San Diego can expect to see an exodus of seniors and families over the next three years due to the severity of the local housing market, according to a new report from the Regional Chamber of Commerce.
“We’ve got a critical shortage right now with only about 50 percent of the stock that we need being built, and it all goes back to government and regulations,” said Jerry Sanders, the Chamber’s President and CEO, in an interview with KPBS. “We’re losing young folks and seniors at a fairly rapid pace out of San Diego. We’re seeing a much larger percentage of San Diegans paying well over 30 percent of their income for housing.”
The new report, titled “The Housing Scorecard,” measured new home construction in the 18 cities within San Diego County and concluded that new housing is being aimed at prospective buyers with above-average incomes. Several cities within the region failed to see any new home construction during the past six years for residents in the low- to moderate-income brackets. The median price for a single-family home in San Diego County was $612,000 in May, while the average cost of a two-bedroom rental was more than $2,200 a month.
“This is an economic crisis right now,” said Sean Karafin, the Chamber’s Vice President of Public Policy and Economic Research, and the author of the report. “Our employers consistently tell us at the Chamber that they can’t retain or hire good talent.”
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has issued a proposal that would enable a family of at least two people who collectively earn $138,400 or less per year to qualify for a home purchase under the City’s definition of affordable housing, while a single person would need to earn $120,000.
According to report from SFGate.com, this new policy would replace a 15-year-old guideline that restricted affordable housing purchases to those who earned 55 percent of the typical San Francisco median household income or less. The board also sought to change the municipal mandate on the percentage of units set aside in new residential developments for affordable units, from the current 12 percent level to a new 18 percent level.
The board will need to meet again after reviewing the proposal before they are finalized.
Orange Coast Title Company has announced that Kent Schmeeckle has joined their management team as Vice President and Senior Underwriter. Schmeeckle has been in the title industry since 1974 with more than 10 years of experience of direct underwriting of insurance.
Kent will be part of the company’s underwriting team and will work closely with the legal team to validate ownership and the line of the title of a property involved in a purchase transaction or a mortgage refinance.
“Kent will be an intricate part of the management team that will further launch and oversee Orange Coast Title Company’s title insurance entity, Real Advantage Title Insurance Company (RATIC),” said Rich Macaluso, President of Orange Coast Title. “We’re pleased to have Kent’s knowledge and professionalism as we move forward as a title insurance underwriter.”
A subsidiary of the California Association of Realtors (CAR) announced that it experienced a data breach that lasted roughly two months and might have exposed sensitive credit card information.
According to a San Diego Union-Tribune report, Los Angeles-based Real Estate Business Services (REBS) revealed that malware was found within the payment processing software used for the store.car.org Web page,” the Los Angeles-based Real Estate Business Services said in a July 3 letter.
“This malware may have copied and transmitted to an unknown third party personal information that briefly went through our servers during the store.car.org payment processing step of purchases of REBS (Real Estate Business Services) products and services between March 13, 2017 and May 15, 2017,” said the company in a July 3 letter to the office of California’s Attorney General. “The malware was removed from our systems, and we now use an entirely different payment system through PayPal. The data accessed included personal information entered in connection with a purchase of products from our online storefront. The data may have included the user’s name, address, credit card number, credit card expiration date and, in some instances, credit card verification code.”
REBS added that it does not request or use Social Security numbers or driver’s license numbers from individuals, thus preventing such data from being part of the malware breach.
Two of Silicon Valley’s most powerful companies are placing a new focus on providing affordable housing options in one of the nation’s most expensive housing markets.
According to a CNBC report, Facebook plans to create a new community called Willow Campus on its 56-acre Menlo Science & Technology Park property. The community will include a grocery store, shopping center and pharmacy, along with 1,500 new housing units—of which 15 percent will be priced below market-rate. Facebook plans to open the community to both its employees and the wider population.
Separately, Google’s parent company Alphabet announced plans to spend $30 million on temporary, prefab housing for 300 of its employees. The modular housing will be built and shipped in from a start-up called Factor OS; Alphabet opted to use this approach because existing housing prices became too expensive. Alphabet did not confirm whether it will follow Facebook’s lead in setting aside a percentage of units at below-market rates.
The California state Senate approved a new fee on some real estate transaction documents that is designed to create a new revenue stream for the creation of affordable housing.
The Associated Press reports the legislation adds a $75 fee on documents including deeds and notices, with a cap of $225 per transaction. This new fee is projected to bring in between $200 and $300 million annually, which will be used for affordable housing developments. The bill exempts documents related to residential and commercial property sales, but would apply to mortgage refinancing.
The bill passed the Senate in a 27-12 with all Democratic votes and has been sent to the state Assembly.
"When you use this money to build more housing, you generate more income more tax, more jobs and it helps spur the economy," said Sen. Toni Atkins, the San Diego Democrat who authored the bill. "This will make a difference for middle income families."