California

First California Mortgage Company (First Cal) has named 10 loan officers to its prestigious President’s Club
First California Mortgage Company (First Cal) has named 10 loan officers to its prestigious President’s Club in recognizing their customer service and performance for 2016. Each year, First Cal selects the top agents from across the country, and the honorees this year include:
 
►Jeff Cameron from San Antonio, Texas
►Wayland Coleman from Bellevue, Wash.
►Joseph Cowart from Gilbert, Ariz.
►Catherine Eusea from Ft. Collins, Colo.
►Gene Kuehnis from Folsom, Calif.
►Steve LaForest from Greeley, Colo.
►David Marcus from Greenwood Village, Colo.
►Nate Pina from Vacaville/Napa/Davis, Calif.
►Garrett Pirenian from Petaluma, Calif.
►Ali Schellenberg from Folsom, Calif.l
 
“Our President’s Club members stand head and shoulders above the norm in their personal commitment to home-loan clients, their knowledge of the market, and their execution of results,” said Chris Hart, president of First Cal. “First Cal, in turn, supports our agents with unparalleled tools and loan products, to help them provide a competitive edge and superior customer service in the marketplace.”

 
The California Mortgage Bankers Association has announced that its Mortgage Technology & Marketing Committee will host a free Webinar on April 18 on incorporating mobile strategies into a marketing plan
The California Mortgage Bankers Association has announced that its Mortgage Technology & Marketing Committee will host a free Webinar on April 18 on incorporating mobile strategies into a marketing plan.
 
The presentation is titled “How to Win on Mobile …Or Be Ready to Lose Your Audience” and will be hosted by Sam Mallikarjunan, chief marketing officer at HubSpot. “Companies who do not embrace a mobile-first world will not survive the coming years,” said Mallikarjunan. “The brand experience has been decentralized from the brick-and-mortar, telephone, and Web site. Consumers now expect a cohesive, value-added relationship in whatever channel and at whatever time is convenient for them. Consumers take the path of least resistance and most value, and will flow to whoever delivers.”
 
The Webinar will begin at 2:00 p.m. EDT/11:00 a.m. PDT and is open to all mortgage industry professionals. Registration information is available at CMBA.com/mtam.

 
Constance Griggs Lazzeroni is vice president of operations for Fresno, Calif.-based Elite Mortgage & Financial Services and current president of the Central Valley Chapter of the California Association of Mortgage Professionals (CAMP)
Constance Griggs Lazzeroni is vice president of operations for Fresno, Calif.-based Elite Mortgage & Financial Services and current president of the Central Valley Chapter of the California Association of Mortgage Professionals (CAMP). National Mortgage Professional Magazine recently spoke with her regarding her work with the state’s trade group.
 
When did you first get involved with the California Association of Mortgage Professionals, and what was the path that led you to a leadership role?
I got involved many, many years ago—CAMP dwindled in our area about eight years ago. When it was back, I was interested in the Government Affairs Committee because I wanted to understand what was coming out in terms of regulations—and I did not want to find out what was going to be implemented a week before it came out. I got on the board after hearing Fred Kreger, current NAMB president who was CAMP president at the time, speak about getting involved. We had low attendance in the Central Valley and I along with others on the CAMP Board have worked hard to promote CAMP and it’s benefits over the last few years.
 
A couple of years ago, I was nominated to be president, and it was my main intention to grow our chapter. The last few years, we have more than doubled our event attendance.
 
Why should members of your state’s mortgage profession join CAMP?
For starters, we are represented by lobbyists who fight on our behalf … one strong voice is better than many scattered voices. Also, we are serious about promoting ethics and education. My chapter promotes cross-education—and I speak at escrow and title events and have them speak at our events along with the leaders in the realtor chapters.
 
How is CAMP involved in shaping legislative issues, at both a state and federal level?
We are only involved on a national level to some degree. Right now, we are focused within the state on some real estate code clean-up, a bill dealing with personal income tax deductions, and several dealing with affordable housing. There’s going to be one on Property Assessed Clean Energy loans like last year and a bill to move the Bureau of Real Estate out of the Department of Consumer Affairs.
 
california associaiton of mortgage professionalsWhat has been your most significant accomplishment within CAMP?
Rebranding CAMP’s image and getting CAMP back in action again. Over the last three years, our membership and attendance have been increasing. Right now, our chapter has about 60 members, and a couple of hundred people showed up at our last event. We are one of the smaller CAMP chapters in terms of membership numbers, but we have better event attendance.
 
What is the synergy between CAMP, NAMB and other trade groups?
NAMB and CAMP are very closely related. We basically coincide with each other. With the Mortgage Bankers Association and the National Association of Professional Mortgage Women, we have the same objectives, but we don’t cross with each other very often.
 
One of our objectives for 2017 is to reach out with other mortgage groups, as well as with the Realtor associations, the Young Mortgage Professionals Association, and the California Escrow Association.
 
What is the housing market like in the state of California?
We are definitely seeing values increasing. But we are short on inventory. In January, we noticed a slowdown for just a little bit. But overall, we’ve had healthy growth and movement in the market. Within the state, the Bay Area is strongest market, but our part of the state is also moving pretty quick.

Phil Hall is managing editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at PhilH@MortgageNewsNetwork.com.
 
Forty percent of Bay Area residents are looking to move out of the region in the next few years because of expensive housing and a too-high cost of living
Forty percent of Bay Area residents are looking to move out of the region in the next few years because of expensive housing and a too-high cost of living, according to a new poll from the Bay Area Council. This level of discontent represents a six percent increase from a similar poll conducted last year.
 
The San Francisco Business Times reports that 46 percent of Millennials polled for this survey said they were looking to move away, the largest percentage of all age groups. Bay Area Council President Jim Wunderman viewed this statistic with alarm, noting, “I would say the thinking amongst younger folks that the Bay Area doesn’t hold their future is really settling in and that’s concerning.”
 
Wunderman added that elected officials and policymakers need to reconsider the problems that are influencing the decision by residents to move away. “It could suggest that the Bay Area economic leadership may fall behind it if we don’t act on these problems,” he said. “In order to effect meaningful change, we have to signal to the people who live here as well as people who are looking to the region that we’re ready to take on the challenges of making the Bay Area a place that feels like the future.”
 
The lack of affordable housing has plagued the area for years, and Wunderman noted that the absence of new construction is exacerbating problems. “I think there needs to be some requirements that are serious for local communities, but I believe that the real solution is a way of changing the fiscal incentive for building housing,” he said. “Building should be a fiscal win for cities but currently there are no real incentives for it.”
 
The new survey is the latest to raise alarms about the future of the region. A recent report from San Francisco's Planning Department discovered that only 18 percent of households in the city have children, less than half the level recorded in the 1980s.
The one-time residence of the most beloved vampire in movie history is now on the market
The one-time residence of the most beloved vampire in movie history is now on the market.
 
According to Realtor.com, the Los Angeles residence of Bela Lugosi is available for $3 million. Located beneath the iconic Hollywood sign, the three-bedroom, four-bathroom, 3,484 square foot property was the home of silver screen’s Count Dracula between 1934 and 1937.
 
Over the years, the residence became home to other notable actors, including Academy Award-winner Kathy Bates and “Two and a Half Men” star Jon Cryer, who sold the property in 2004 for $1.36 million. And while the home has undergone renovations over the years, many of the features from the Lugosi era—including fountains on the grounds and the stone fireplace in the cavernous living room—remain intact.
Former 26-year LPGA great Patricia Hurst has joined Bay Equity Home Loans as a loan officer in the company’s Danville, Calif. office
Former 26-year LPGA great Patricia Hurst has joined Bay Equity Home Loans as a loan officer in the company’s Danville, Calif. officeFormer 26-year LPGA great Patricia Hurst has joined Bay Equity Home Loans as a loan officer in the company’s Danville, Calif. office.
 
Her success on the toughest courses in the world will serve her well in the world of mortgage lending: Planning and execution, attention to detail and focus on her goals. Her goals include: To work for her clients to the fullest potential, utilizing a strong work ethic, patience and the great resources of Bay Equity.
 
The LPGA’s Rookie of the Year in 1995, Hurst is a six-time winner on the LPGA tour. She’s one of only 114 ladies who can boast a victory in a “Major” tournament; her one-stroke victory in the 1998 Nabisco Dinah Shore Classic.
 
“Rest assured I will bring a ton of energy, passion and integrity to my new profession,” Hurst said. “I believe the transition will be as smooth as my putting stroke.”
 
Hurst is not retiring from golf entirely, as this August, she’ll return as an assistant captain for the U.S. team as it defends the Solheim Cup. The biennial event pits a team of the best women’s pros in the U.S. against the best in Europe.
Former 26-year LPGA great Patricia Hurst has joined Bay Equity Home Loans as a loan officer in the company’s Danville, Calif. office
One of the most famous residential properties in the pop culture universe is back on the market, with a considerably lower listing price
One of the most famous residential properties in the pop culture universe is back on the market, with a considerably lower listing price.
 
According to an Associated Press report, Michael Jackson's sprawling Neverland Ranch is relisted at $67 million, a significant decrease from the $100 million asking price posted last year for the 2,700-acre property in Santa Barbara County, Calif. The estate was purchased by Jackson in 1987 and was transformed into a private amusement park, complete with rides and a petting zoo. Jackson stopped living at Neverland in 2005 following his trial on child molestation charges, and the iconic singer sold the property to Colonial Capital for $22.5 million prior his death in 2009.
 
Colonial Capital has reportedly spent $50 million in upgrading the property. In an attempt to distance the estate from its legendary owner, the property is now officially known as Sycamore Valley Ranch.

First-time homebuyers in California are having the hardest time achieving their homeownership goal, according to a new data analysis from Bankrate.com.

 
This new study evaluated all 50 states based on home affordability relative to median income, credit availability, unemployment, market tightness and homeownership percentage among under-35 households. California turned out to be the hardest place for the first-time homebuyers in the overall rankings, and it repeatedly ranked low in regards to home affordability (49th place), availability (49th place), the under-35 homeownership percentage (49th place) and high Millennial unemployment (41st place). Other states where conditions are difficult for first-time homebuyers include Hawaii, New York, Louisiana, Mississippi, Rhode Island and Texas.
 
However, Iowa was rated as the easiest state for first-time homebuyers pursuing the American dream, due in large part to the having some of the most affordable home prices in the country. Utah, Minnesota, Kansas and Missouri were also rated high among states for first-time homebuyers.
 
“Tight market conditions and unaffordably high prices really plague what many young Americans feel are the most desirable places to put down roots,” said Bankrate.com analyst Claes Bell. “On the other hand, the availability of FHA loans that allow down payments of as little as 3.5 percent may make it easier to buy a home in high-priced markets than you think.”
When it comes to paying monthly rent for a residence, the U.S. offers four of the world’s 10 most expensive rental markets.
 
According to a new study of 87 global cities by the British property firm Nested, San Francisco offered the world’s most expensive rental market, where the monthly rent for a single person averages roughly $2,100 and the monthly rent for a family averages nearly $4,000. New York City came in second, where the monthly rent for a single person averages approximately $2,000 and the monthly rent for a family averages approximately $3,800. In comparison, third-place Hong Kong seems like a haven for affordable housing: its monthly rent for a single person averages about $1,600 while the monthly rent for a family averages slightly under $3,100.
 
Rounding out this pricey top 10 global rental list were Dubai, Singapore, Washington, D.C., Geneva, Sydney, Zurich and Los Angeles.
California housing is so expensive—pause for reader to ask, “How expensive it it?—that the state occupies all 10 rankings among the top 10 list of priciest residential markets in Coldwell Banker’s 2016 Real Estate Home Listing Report
From the some-things-never-change department: California continued to dominate the new Realtor.com’s Hottest Housing Markets list, with 12 markets occupying slots on the February Top 20 list.
Vallejo, Calif., took the number one spot for the first time since August, displacing San Francisco which dropped into second place. San Jose, which held second place on last month’s list, fell to fifth place, while San Diego dropped from last month’s fifth place to this month’s sixth place.
 
On a national level, Realtor.com determined that nearly 425,000 new listings will have entered the market in February, but that will not help alleviate inventory shortages. And complicating matters for many potential homeowners is property appreciation: the median list price of $250,000 is nine percent higher than one year ago.
 
“Spring has arrived early this year, at least in terms of the rapid decline in the age of inventory,” Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke of realtor.com said in a statement. “Strong off-season demand powered new seasonal highs in prices and left us with a new low in available homes for sale. Potential sellers take note: This year is shaping up to favor you even more than last year.”