Draper and Kramer Mortgage Corporation (DKMC) has announced the opening of a new Los Angeles-area branch in Calabasas, Calif. The location was previously the branch of a local mortgage lender, and Draper and Kramer Mortgage Corp. is retaining the Branch Manager, top-producing Loan Originators and some support staff.
“This new branch is a big leap for us in the Los Angeles area,” said Paul Lueken, Chief Executive Officer of Draper and Kramer Mortgage. “Bringing an entire new office on board with a veteran group of leadership, origination and support talent is absolutely ideal, and that’s what we’ve done here. We couldn’t be more pleased.”
DKMC’s Calabasas branch will be managed by Daryl Wizelman, a 28-year veteran of the Los Angeles-area mortgage industry. Wizelman’s extensive credentials include 17 years of experience as the Owner and President of his own mortgage company, past leadership positions with several lenders in the region and an established name as a speaker, author, consultant and motivator.
“My team and I are very excited to be making this move, and I’m eager to welcome other opportunity-seeking mortgage professionals to join us as part of Draper and Kramer Mortgage Corp.,” said Wizelman. “One of my first actions with DKMC was to send out a recruiting letter to outside loan officers, and I’ve never had an easier time promoting a company. All I had to do was list the great loan products, aggressive rates, accessible leadership and other amazing resources we offer at DKMC. This is a fantastic development for local professionals in the mortgage industry, as well as consumers in the Los Angeles area.”
Three top-producing Loan Officers are also on the branch team: Randy Wagner, Moshe Niv and Curtis Abish. Together, the group originated more than $100 million in loans in 2017.
The California cities of San Diego and Lemon Grove have announced plans to sell lots for $1.00 each to a nonprofit land trust that will use the land to construct residential property for middle-class families.
According to a San Diego Union-Tribune report, the maximum prices for the new three- to four-bedroom houses to be built on the lots will be $350,000. One project involves 16 lots on vacant land in the town of Nestor, near the Mexican border, while another has nine lots located next to state Highway 94.
However, the new homeowners will not own the land where their houses are located. Instead, households will buy the homes but lease land underneath. Home sales can only be made to buyers who meets the income requirements set up for this program—in this situation, sales prices are tied to 120 percent of the area median income or less, which would be an income of up to $102,750 for a family of five.
HomeBridge Financial Services Inc. has announced that Kelley Granger has joined the company in Northern California as Branch Manager of its Concord office. Granger is a 20-year veteran of the residential lending industry and well-respected throughout Northern California’s builder community for her ability to assist homebuyers with their mortgage needs.
“After working with some of the leading Bay Area and national residential builders for so many years, I’m acutely aware of the unique pain points the builder community faces when it comes to mortgage finance,” said Granger. “I chose to join HomeBridge because their platform not only has all of the facets needed to assist builders, but also operates with the speed and exemplary level of customer service that ensures the process goes smoothly for all parties involved.”
After more than two decades in the mortgage industry, Granger has solidified her reputation for quality not just with borrowers, but also among industry colleagues, including Stan Bergum, HomeBridge’s Western Division Executive, who she will be working alongside once again as part of the HomeBridge team.
“I worked with Kelley for many years prior to when I joined HomeBridge and I’m extremely excited that she has chosen to become a part of our team in Northern California,” said Bergum. “Kelley is a proven industry leader and has an exceptional track record for creating and solidifying relationships with the builder community, which will be a huge asset to HomeBridge as we look to expand our retail platform in the area.”
New American Funding has named Christine Eskina as Sales Manager, covering the company’s Southern California territory throughout the Inland Empire, San Bernardino Mountains, Greater Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego. Eskina will focus on expanding the company’s footprint across this region through originating loans and building a team of originators.
“I’m excited to be at New American Funding,” said Eskina. “I’m confident this partnership will equip me to take my book of business to the next level; now I have a wider selection of products and enhanced services to deliver customers and partners. I look forward to giving them a first-rate home buying experience, being able to follow through on promises and doing business the way it should be done.”
Eskina, who is joined at New American Funding by her valuable team, brings 25 years of mortgage experience to the company that ranges from processing to underwriting; most recently, she was a Branch Manager and Senior Loan Officer with an independent lender, where she was a top ranked originator within the company for three consecutive years.
“We’re thrilled to have Christine on our team. She’s extremely sharp and her vast understanding of our industry will add tremendous value to our customers,” said Trevor Eschrich, New American Funding Regional Sales Manager. “Not to mention, she has an authentic personality and sincere way of treating people, which are an excellent fit for our company culture.”
In what might be one of the most lopsided data studies covering the housing market, Redfin’s sixth annual list of the nation’s hottest neighborhoods placed nine of the top 10 locations in the San Jose metro area. And the sole non-San Jose neighborhood on the list was in the neighboring San Francisco metro area.
Redfin achieved its rankings through page views of its Redfin.com Web site “Hottest Neighborhoods Within Reach,” where median home sale prices fell below the December 2017 national median of $286,700. The top neighborhood on that list were a pair of District of Columbia neighborhoods, Hillcrest and Deanwood, Seattle’s Riverview, the Misty Meadows section in Columbus, Ohio, and the Fairmount section of Providence, R.I.
“The Hottest Neighborhoods Within Reach list has places chock-full of amenities and diverse housing types,” said Redfin Chief Economist Nela Richardson. “Features like easy commutes, farmers markets and proximity to parks or the beach all represent livability characteristics that many people value when searching for homes. Also, these areas have a mix of single family homes, condos and townhouses, which make the neighborhoods accessible to a wide range of incomes.”
A new bill introduced in the California state legislature would provide residential housing developers with the incentive to construct taller and denser developments near major transit hubs.
According to a Curbed San Francisco report, SB 827 would exempt new housing developments from certain restrictions if they meet new qualifications as being “transit-rich housing,” which the bill defined as parcels located “within a one-mile radius of a major transit stop or a one-mile radius of a high-quality transit corridor.” The bill defines transit hubs as including an existing rail transit station, a ferry terminal served by either a bus or rail transit service, or the intersection of two or more major bus routes with a frequency of service interval of 15 minutes or less during the morning and afternoon peak commute periods.
Properties that are based near these transit hubs would be exempt from California’s maximum controls on residential density or floor area ratio, minimum automobile parking requirements, maximum height limitations and the design standards that restrict the applicant’s ability to construct the maximum number of units consistent with any applicable building code.
“After nearly 50 years of bad housing policy—policy designed to make it incredibly hard and expensive to create housing—we began the long process of righting the ship,” said State Sen. Scott Wiener, a co-author of the bill.
Supreme Lending has announced that its San Diego, Calif. branch has partnered with May We Give for Love, a San Diego-based non-profit organization that provides financial contributions and volunteer support to several local charitable causes.
May We Give for Love was started by Supreme Lending Loan Officer May Nguyen, who works out of Supreme Lending’s San Diego branch. Since the organization was founded earlier this year, it has raised in upwards of $12,000 through events such as charity balls, bowling tournaments and golf tournaments.
May We Give for Love has donated to Corazon de Vida, a non-profit organization providing support for orphaned and abandoned children in Baja California, Mexico; Friends of Downtown, a non-profit organization that provides scholarships to San Diego City College students and donates holiday gift bags for homebound senior citizens; and Rancho de los Niños, an orphanage in Baja California, Mexico. Its board takes regular trips to the orphanages it supports and encourages volunteers to get involved by visiting the facilities.
“We wouldn’t be able to accomplish what we have if it wasn’t for companies like Supreme sponsoring our events and supporting our mission,” said Nguyen. “I work at Supreme because the company embodies teamwork, accountability and support in everything they do from their charitable contributions to their business practices.”
Nguyen has been in the mortgage industry for 12 years, three of which have been with Supreme Lending.
November home sales in California took a mild drop from a year ago while the median sales price scored their greatest year-over-year gain since January 2016, according to new data from the California Association of Realtors (CAR).
Last month saw 440,340 existing single-family homes sold, which is up 2.1 percent from October but down 0.8 percent from November 2016. CAR attributed the year-over-year decline to an uncommonly strong sales volume last November.
The $546,820 November median price was a scant 0.1 percent above October’s $546,430 price, but it was a substantial 8.8 percent spike from the revised $502,490 recorded in November 2016. The year-over-year gain was the highest since January 2016. Forty-five of the state’s 51 counties recorded a year-over-year price increase, with 23 experiencing double-digit growth rates. The Bay Area saw the most aggressive price appreciation with a 12.5 percent regional annual price increase.
California’s housing inventory remained a problem, with the statewide unsold inventory index falling from three months in October to 2.9 months in November. The median number of days to sell a single-family home in November was 22 days compared with 30 days in November 2016.
“The state’s housing market performed better than we anticipated in November, despite a slowdown in sales activity in the second half of the year,” said 2018 CAR President Steve White. “While high-priced markets have performed well in recent months, sales remain lackluster in the lower-priced segments as the supply of affordable homes continues to shrink. This tale of two markets is not a story that we enjoy telling as the dichotomy in the market is posing some affordability challenges to many potential homebuyers who want to enter the market.”
California’s largest trade group representing real estate brokers has come out against the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that is being prepared by congressional Republicans.
In a statement, California Association of Realtors (CAR) President Steve White defined the legislation as being unfair to his state’s housing market.
“The final tax reform bill released punishes homeowners and weakens homeownership, and in fact, it looks at homeowners and the housing market as nothing more than a piggy bank,” White said. “Congress is touting this as a tax cut for middle-class families, but the reality is that thousands of California middle-class homeowners will be the first ones to face tax increases.”
White added that his state’s evaporation of affordable homeownership opportunities will be further exacerbated if the legislation becomes law.
“With homeownership already a stretch, or out of reach altogether for so many Californians, now is not the time to make owning a home more difficult,” White said.
The Los Angeles City Council voted to create a new linkage fee on real estate development to finance new affordable housing.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the fee’s proponents insisted that this will raise $100 million a year. The fee, which goes into full effect in 2019, will require developers to pay $1 to $15 a square foot, depending on the project and location, with higher fees in the more expensive sections of the city and lower fees in the working-class and at-risk neighborhoods.
Several development categories are exempt from the fee, including schools, hospitals and public museums plus residential additions smaller than 1,500 square feet are exempt. Developers can avoid the fee if they include a set amount of affordable, low-income or moderate-income housing in their buildings.
“Today, we see hope in the promise that Los Angeles can continue to grow and indeed must grow,” said L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti. “That when we see luxury condominiums going up, that we can make sure that there is money paid in to build housing for the rest of us.”