News and Information to Keep You a Step Ahead!

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Because September is REALTOR® Safety Month, we have devoted a special section in this issue to provide you with some tips about how to guard your online presence, how to use smartphone apps for personal safety, how to avoid several of the most common scams, and how to “sell at the safest speed.”

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Familiarity with these ten factors will enable you to address questions your clients may ask about the real estate market, especially about real estate values and where they may be headed. 

By David Girling

Rising home prices and rents, reduced housing affordability, and limited inventories dominate the headlines. Home prices, rents, affordability, and home ownership are all interrelated, and each will be examined separately. Inventories are still constrained, and although not on the current Dave’s Top 100 list, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is again at all-time highs, in large part because of the still-low yields in the bond markets. 

As with previous editions of Dave’s Top 10, these ten factors convey different messages about real estate. Some are positive for the housing market, others are negative, and still others fall somewhere in between. As REALTORS®, we need to read past the headlines and make sense of the facts for our clients. The goal of Dave’s Top 10 is to give you some tools to address questions that may arise because of economic and other factors mentioned in the news. 

  1. Tax Reform

The effect of Trump policies on the housing market has been minimal thus far, but housing tax benefits are under close review at both federal and state levels. Suggested changes include doubling, as part of the Trump plan, the standard deduction and eliminating state and local tax deductions. “The mortgage interest deduction and the state and local tax deduction make homeownership more affordable,” commented Bill Brown, president of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). “By doubling the standard deduction and repealing the state and local tax deduction, the plan would effectively nullify the current tax benefits of owning a home for the vast majority of tax filers.” 

Other initiatives include State Assembly Bill 71 (Chiu), which would disallow the mortgage interest deduction for second homes and create split tax rolls (residential versus commercial). 

Takeaway: Some lawmakers view housing tax benefits as subsidizing the wealthy. Tax changes are coming, and the impact of these changes on home values and on the potential home buyer’s decision-making process could be significant. 

  1. Interest Rates

For the past three or four years, the Federal Reserve has employed a monetary policy that has kept interest rates low (see Figure 1). Rates have climbed since the election but are still near historical lows. The expectation was that Trump policies would lead to higher rates, but that has failed to materialize because so little has been accomplished in Washington. Although the Fed has embarked on a tapering program, many economists do not expect a “shock” so long as incomes are not outpaced by any increase in rates.


Figure 1. For the past three or four years, the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy has kept mortgage interest rates at historical lows; however, rates have increased slightly since the 2016 presidential election. 

Takeaway: One of the effects of increasing mortgage interest rates is a loss of purchasing power. The rule of thumb is that a one percent change in rates equals a 10 percent loss or gain in purchasing power. As REALTORS®, we should be able to convey to our clients exactly how an increase in rates may impact them financially. 

  1. Housing Inventories

Continued low housing inventories have added support to home values. According to Attom Data Solutions, homeowners are staying put longer, an average of 9.2 years in California and 10.3 years in Orange County. Historically, the average has been 6 to 7 years. I believe that inventory levels will not improve significantly and that turnover will remain low for several reasons. Some homeowners were affected by the 2007 crisis and may still have negative equity. Other homeowners are reluctant to give up low mortgage rates, do not want to pay higher property taxes, or fear they will not find an adequate replacement home if they sell the one they currently own. Also, homebuilders are underperforming, which means that the home supply is inadequate. And many single-family homes that might be listing candidates were purchased by investors during the past few years and have become part of the rental pool. 

Takeaway: Low supplies and high demand will continue to support home prices for the foreseeable future. This is a basic economic principle. 

  1. Housing Affordability

According to the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R. ) Housing Affordability Index (HAI), the percentage of California home buyers who could afford to purchase a median-priced, existing, single-family home as of the second quarter of 2017 was 29 percent. The number was even lower for Orange County at 21 percent. Assuming a conventional, 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with a 20 percent down payment, typical home buyers would need to earn $110,000 and $158,000 per year to afford a median-priced home in California and Orange County, respectively. The corresponding housing payments (including principal, interest, and taxes) would be $2,770 and $3,950 per month. 

The HAI peaked at 56 percent at the beginning of 2012 and has dropped since home prices started to appreciate, with the median price in California more than doubling since February 2009 (see Figure 2). The median price for a home in Orange County has risen more than 80 percent in that same period.  

Takeaway: Affordability is a big concern for most economists, and the situation does not appear to be improving. Ironically, higher interest rates made affordability levels even lower before the mortgage “meltdown”; however, affordability was not an issue then because of the ease of obtaining credit. Recall, for example, low teaser rates, no money down, and negative amortization loans.


Figure 2. According to the CAR’s Housing Affordability Index, affordability for California and Orange County peaked at the beginning of 2012 and has dropped since homes started to appreciate. 

Another driver of affordability is rents. They have increased in parallel with housing prices, growing 4.8 percent year over year in Los Angeles according to Apartment List. Rents in Los Angeles are also rising faster than they are in other cities. The yearly increase is higher than the statewide average increase of 4.2 percent. Nationwide, rents are up just 2.9 percent in the same period. 

Takeaway: Renters are future homeowners. Do not overlook them.

  1. U.S. and California Homeownership Rates

Across the United States, the homeownership rate stands at 63.6 percent, having peaked at 69.2 percent in 2004 and reached its lowest level of 62.9 percent in the second quarter of 2016 (see Figure 3). According to Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, “There are fewer homeowners today compared to a decade ago, while renter households have risen by 8 million.” 

Takeaway: California ranks 49th in homeownership according to C.A.R. As a result, state lawmakers are under pressure to find ways to enable homeownership.


Figure 3.  Across the United States, the homeownership rate peaked at 69.2 percent in 2004 and currently stands at 63.6 percent. 

  1. Millennials

As older generations downsize and sell, millennials (defined as having been born in the early 1980s and the late 1990s through the early 2000s) will fill the void. However, because of the high cost of housing, accumulated student debt, low wage growth, and lifestyle changes (delayed marriage and childbearing), they have yet to purchase homes to the extent that their age segment has done historically. 

Takeaway: Do not overlook members of this important population segment. Putting time into understanding and educating them about the benefits of homeownership will pay dividends for you in the future. 

  1. Foreign Investment

Foreign investment and low interest rates were two of the main reasons that the real estate market recovered. Despite a strong U.S. dollar, which causes U.S. real estate to be viewed as more expensive, foreigners continued to purchase U.S. homes.

Lawrence Yun says, “While the strengthening of the U.S. dollar in relation to other currencies and steadfast home price growth made buying a home more expensive in many areas, foreigners increasingly acted on their beliefs that the U.S. is a safe and secure place to live, work, and invest.”  This observation is borne out in NAR’s recently released 2017 Profile of International Activity in US Residential Real Estate for April 2016 to March 2017.

Foreign buyers purchased $153 billion of residential real estate, up from $102.6 billion, and a 50 percent increase. This volume represents 10 percent of the dollar volume of existing home sales, up 8 percent from the previous period. The top five countries (51 percent of total) to invest in U.S. residential real estate were China (20.7 percent), Canada (12.4 percent), the United Kingdom (6.2 percent), Mexico (6.1 percent), and India (5.1 percent); and the average price for a home purchased by a foreign buyer was $536,9000 versus $277,700 for the average U.S. home. Florida, California, Texas, Arizona, and New Jersey accounted for 54 percent of the total volume by foreign buyers, and 44 percent of these buyers paid all-cash. 

Takeaway: Foreign investors continue to impact the U.S. real estate market, and REALTORS® need to stay focused on this segment of buyers. 

  1. Home Prices and Home Sales

Price appreciation for median-priced homes in California and Orange County, as measured by the year-over-year change for each month, has leveled off in a range of 3 to 6 percent since 2014 (see Figure 4). This trend continues with the latest results of the major home price indices, including the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index, which showed prices increasing 5.5 percent annually in April.


Figure 4. Price appreciation for a median-priced home in California and Orange County has leveled off in a range of 3 to 6 percent since 2014. 

Graphs such as the one shown in Figure 5 and indices like the Orange County Home Price Index (OCHPI) can help REALTORS® understand the relationship between current housing prices and peak levels in their focus areas. The OCHPI, which was first introduced in the July/August 2016 issue of OC REALTOR® (see pages 50–53), includes median prices for standard home sales in Orange County since January 1, 2006, in the following ten Orange County cities: Anaheim, Costa Mesa, Fullerton, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, Orange, Santa Ana, and Tustin. 

The OCHPI enables REALTORS® to compare housing values in a specific area. In the second quarter of 2017, this index resulted in a value of $750,000 for a standard home in Orange County. For purposes of the OCHPI, a standard home is defined as a single-family detached home that measures between 1,800 and 2,200 square feet and has three bedrooms and two baths. For more information about this index and the associated methodologies, visit    


Figure 5. In June, the California and Orange County median home prices were $555,100 and $795,000, respectively, up 6.9 percent and 5.4 percent from the previous year according to CAR. 

Takeaway: As prices continue to rise, affordability will be negatively impacted, especially if home price appreciation outstrips wage growth. In addition, values in some areas of California are approaching, or have surpassed, peak levels. REALTORS® need to understand the relationship of current prices to peak levels in their focus areas. 

  1. Delinquency Rates

According to CoreLogic’s latest Loan Performance Insights Report, 4.5 percent of U.S. mortgages were in some stage of delinquency in May 2017, representing a 0.8 percentage-point decline from 5.3 percent in May 2016. Delinquency rates continue to decline; however, they are still higher than they were before the “mortgage meltdown.” An alternative measure of delinquency rates is the Delinquency Rate on Single-Family Residential Mortgages, Booked in Domestic Offices of All Commercial Banks (see Figure 6). 

Takeaway: Delinquency rates are worth watching to see if the present downward trend continues.


Figure 6. The delinquency rate for the first quarter of 2017 was 3.90 percent compared with the peak rate of 11.36 percent, reported for the fourth quarter of 2009.

And the Number One economic factor REALTORS® should be following today is—  

  1. Disruptive Technologies

With the advent of Zillow, Trulia, social media, and many other technologies, the real estate industry has been turned upside down in the past few years. These disruptive technologies have forced REALTORS® to reexamine how we do business and, in many instances, to make drastic changes in the way we interact with clients. The latest development is the initial public offering filing by Redfin with its billion-dollar valuation. All brokerages are watching closely because it could have significant implications for our industry. 

Compass Real Estate Group, a luxury real estate brokerage startup with 1,200 agents, is also leveraging technology and recently opened an office in Newport Beach. This company is watching the Redfin IPO closely in anticipation of its own filing. Both Redfin and Compass are examples of the many technology solutions that have surfaced over the past few years. They all warrant examination. 

Takeaway: REALTORS® should keep a watchful eye on these new technologies and adapt their business approach to the changes that result. Otherwise, they may be left behind.


David Girling completed his undergraduate work at the University of Southern California and earned the degree of Master of Business Administration from the Anderson Graduate School of Management at the University of California, Los Angeles. In 2008, he formed Girling Real Estate Investment Group (Girling REIG) with his father, Bing, and has more than thirty years of experience in the financial services industry.  Dave and Bing are also affiliated with Villa Real Estate.

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In response to the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey, I am inspired to send this letter to you and to all 14,000+ OCAR REALTOR® and Affiliate members. It is about the concept of helping and giving, and “paying it forward,” in which so many of us believe.  

As you may know, the Orange County Association of REALTORS® maintains a special fund under the OCAR Cares Foundation, which gives financial aid to our own members during times of extreme financial distress or family crisis. This program is funded largely by the efforts of our members, who sponsor fundraising events such as our annual Palooza and our Golf Tournament. Over the past few years, we have used money from this fund to help many of our members get through their struggles and, with your help, we will continue to do so well into the future.  

Although our OCAR Cares Foundation fund is specifically reserved to help our REALTOR® and Affiliate members, in the past we have contributed money from our General Fund for crisis situations nationwide. For example, we made donations following both the 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina disasters.  

And on August 29, in response to the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, we took swift action to contribute once again. Rather than waiting for the regular September meeting of the Board of Directors, we sought approval of the Board via a rare email vote to donate to the relief effort. Within twelve hours, every one of our Directors had responded, even though some of them were out of town on business or away on family vacations, and their decision was unanimous.

The Association has now contributed $5,000, to be divided equally between the National Association of REALTORS® Relief Fund (in partnership with the American Red Cross) and the Texas Association of REALTORS® Disaster Relief Fund. 

As events continue to unfold in Texas and Louisiana, to help those in need, NAR’s REALTOR® Relief Foundation is collecting donations at I hope each of you will consider adding to the $5,000 contribution your Association has already made on your behalf. 

This is but one example of the many ways in which Orange County REALTORS® consistently give back to our communities, not just locally but globally. I am truly proud of our members’ commitment to helping people in distress. 

As always, if any of you have questions, concerns or suggestions about how your Orange County Association of REALTORS® can help you in any way, please feel free to call or text me on my direct cell phone at (949) 291-7250, or email me at  

With thanks,

Craig Borner
President, Orange County Association of REALTORS®

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b2ap3_thumbnail_lori_sm.png In Memoriam: Lori Gee

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of a beloved REALTOR®, Lori Gee. Lori worked for First Team Laguna Niguel and was a long time Orange County REALTORS® member. There will be a Celebration of Life get together at the Dana Point Yacht Club on Sunday, August 27th from 2pm - 5pm. Beach casual dress preferred.
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Do you know a super REALTOR®, Affiliate, or Volunteer? Each year, at the Annual Installation of Officers and Directors, we recognize one REALTOR® and two Affiliate members who exemplify professional excellence and service to the real estate community.

In addition, we will be honoring one member for exceptional volunteer service to the local community. This honoree also will be recognized at the installation on Wednesday, November 30 at The Center Club in Costa Mesa and will receive $250 for the community organization he or she designates.

Do you know someone—including yourself—who deserves to be honored in one of these ways?  

Download and submit a form:

REALTOR of the Year Nomination Form

Affiliates of the Year Nomination Form

Volunteer of the Year Nomination Form

Completed forms may be emailed, faxed or mailed to either Orange County REALTORS® office. A single nomination ensures consideration. All nominations must be received by Friday, October 20, at 5:00 p.m.


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If you don't already know about or use Google Alerts for your business then you are in for a treat!  Google Alerts allow you to keep up on posts all over the internet regarding a specific search phrase. The search phrase can be your individual name, your company name, your favorite celebrity or sports team and even your real estate listings! To track shares or posts about your listings, we recommend you create Google Alerts for each property address.  Below are instructions on how to create a Google Alert.

Create an alert

  1. Go to Google Alerts.
  2. In the box at the top, enter a search phrase you want to follow (e.g. 12345 Main St Laguna Hills, or ABC Realty)
  3. To change your settings, click Show options. You can change:
    • How often you get notifications
    • The types of sites you’ll see
    • Your language
    • The part of the world you want info from
    • How many results you want to see
    • What accounts get the alert
  4. Click Create Alert. You’ll get emails whenever we find matching search results.
  5. You will then be asked to sign into an existing Google account or create a new account.
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When excluding a listing from the MLS, It is required to submit to the MLS an exclusion form within 2 business days of the signed listing. All exclusion forms must be submitted to

In order for Days on Market not to accumulate during the exclusion period, no marketing must be occurring AND the CRMLS Exclusion form must be submitted with the no marketing selection being made. The C.A.R SELM form does not give this provision.

Below is the MLS rule that governs Days on Market.

7.9.1 Impact on Days on Market (DOM) As it Pertains to the Exclusion Form DOM stands for Days on Market, not Days on MLS. The DOM calculated in the MLS and reported to the various internet sites will be when marketing begins. As a general rule, the first Day on Market will be the beginning date of the Listing Agreement, which is either the beginning date identified on the agreement, or the date of the last signature required to make the listing agreement valid, whichever is later. The DOM may alternatively begin at a later date as long as no marketing of the Property occurs and the CRMLS Exclusion form is utilized. Marketing is identified as:

(a) Marketing is any communication made to the public containing any information, details, price or terms of any potential sale of the Property, or any communication made to the public in regard to the Brokerage firm or Agent’s representation of the Seller. Marketing includes, but is not limited to: 1) Sign on the property; 2) Internet Website posts; 3) Social Media Posts; 4) Flyers or Advertising; 5) Open Houses.

The CRMLS exclusion form can be found in several locations including the OCAR zipforms library, , or

Below is a video that outlines how to use the new exclusion form

Please note, that Seller and Listing agent must complete the form and be signed by the broker/manager.

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OCAR 2017 President, Craig Borner is pleased to announce the election results of the 2018 Officer positions of President-Elect and Treasurer held at the June 28, 2017, Orange County Association of REALTORS®’ Board of Directors meeting. 

Board member Matt Clements will serve as President-Elect in 2018, President in 2019 and Immediate Past President in 2020 and Adam Rodell will serve a one-year term as Treasurer in 2018.  Adam currently serves as the 2017 Treasurer.

“My congratulations to Matt who has served on the Board of Directors since 2015, and Adam who will be serving his second term as Treasurer in 2018.  Both of these gentlemen bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Association,” said Craig.

“Our Board of Directors demonstrates aptitude, experience and the commitment to provide strong leadership; It is gratifying that Matt and Adam took my encouragement to run for these positions, and I look forward to the opportunity of continuing to work with them in the coming year.”

Matt Clements: Matt has been a REALTOR® since 2004 and is a proud 4th generation real estate agent.  He is CEO, The Clements Group, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties, Laguna Niguel.

Adam Roddell: Adam has been a REALTOR® since 1998, and he is an agent with RE/MAX Select One in Huntington Beach.

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All Supra ActiveKEYs will be shut off effective Monday, September 18.

All ActiveKEY users must switch to eKEY service in order to still access Supra lock boxes. This means that you will no longer be able to access lock boxes and you will incur fees. All ActiveKEYs are leased, therefore, you are responsible for the annual lease payment until they key is returned. Otherwise, you may pay the liquidated damages on the key.

You have the following options:

  1. Return the ActiveKEY and sign up for the eKEY monthly service for only $14.78/month (the $50 activation fee will be waived)
  2. Return the ActiveKEY and cancel Supra service until needed ($50 activation will apply when activating Supra service in the future)
  3. Mail your ActiveKEY to us (please make sure you get a proof of delivery) and advise us by email of your intention to cancel your Supra service.

What you need to know about the transition:

• All ActiveKEYs will be shut off on September 18

• If you have an ActiveKEY, you must return or exchange it. Otherwise you will incur fees.

• You must have a smartphone or tablet in order to use the eKEY service

• You must download the Supra eKEY app

• You will need to know your Apple ID/Password for iPhone users or your Google Email/Password for Android users.

• You can also purchase an eKEY Fob for only $35+tax (regularly $59.95+tax) until September 30, 2017. Learn more about the eKEY Fob.


Worried about the eKEY not working in areas of little to no cell service?  Watch this video!

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By Tony Capitelli


On April 26, President Donald Trump released a one-page tax reform proposal. The goals of this proposal are to  

  • Grow the economy and create millions of jobs,
  • Simplify our burdensome tax code,
  • Provide tax relief to American families—especially middle-income families—and
  • Lower the business tax rate from one of the highest in the world to one of the lowest. 

Those in the real estate industry who are concerned about possible elimination of the mortgage interest deduction will not find much reassurance in Trump’s brief proposal. It makes only causal mention of these incentives with the words, “Protect the home ownership and charitable gift tax deductions.” Your guess as to what that means is as good as mine.  

But more important than focusing on the specific provisions of any proposal is understanding why government policy should incentivize home ownership. As an engaged industry, our purpose is not to obstruct but, instead, to support at all levels of government programs and policies that encourage home ownership and protect real property rights. 

There are enough theories about tax reform to keep Congress busy from now on. More important than theories, however, is the proven way in which tax incentives have worked to encourage home ownership and, thereby, to create and preserve the American Dream. 

The United States was once a renter society, ruled by aristocratic landowners. Fortunately, unlike any other period in history or any other place on earth, those landowners unselfishly built the lasting mechanisms of liberty and willingly spread the wealth of landowning. 

It is difficult for even the staunchest limited-government advocate to deny the correlation between government’s involvement in housing and the increase in home ownership. In the past century, home ownership was responsible for the largest redistribution of wealth in American history. It is the easiest way to move up the economic ladder, and it is the best way for those who have not inherited wealth to build it. 

The mortgage interest deduction and other tax incentives are part of a bigger picture. On a national scale, this picture includes not only tax incentives but also the government-sponsored enterprises like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and their work in the mortgage market. Locally, home ownership can be discouraged by factors like restrictive zoning and government-imposed building costs and fees. 

Whatever the issue, however, our messaging needs to be focused on what’s important to our industry and our clients. For us REALTORS®, this discussion is not theoretical and impersonal but emotional and personal because it affects where we live and how we work. Any decision about the “business” of buying, selling, and taxing homes is personal for us. And it is personal for our clients. Emotions cannot be ignored when the decision being made affects the largest purchase of their lives.  

The facts and figures are important, and I would encourage you to educate yourself about the effect of the home ownership incentives in the tax code. But political discourse often devolves into surface-level talking points that neither express feelings adequately nor result in a more meaningful dialog about the facts at hand. 

Remember, this time, it’s personal. Don’t just tell lawmakers what you want them to do; tell them why it matters. We cannot let them forget that we are fighting to preserve the American Dream. That message will stick with them long after the numbers have changed and the reasons for those numbers have been forgotten.  

As a husband and father, I am thankful that my family has a roof over its head and a solid foundation for economic success. More important than either economic theories or talking points is the proven way in which tax incentives have worked in the real world to encourage home ownership and, thereby, to create and preserve the American Dream. 


Disclaimer: The content in this Government Affairs column is intended as a general advisory and is not intended as a substitute for individual legal advice. Advice in specific situations may differ depending upon a wide variety of factors; therefore, readers with specific legal questions should seek the advice of an attorney.

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In Memoriam

 Barbara Reily Dostal


Barbara Reily Dostal grew up in the Los Angeles area, where she graduated from Immaculate Heart High School in Hollywood as a member of the class of 1948. After earning a degree from Woodbury University in Burbank, she became a teacher at St. John the Baptist in Costa Mesa. Perhaps because Barbara welcomed the opportunity to meet people, she entered real estate; and for nearly thirty years, she was a REALTOR® in the Irvine area.

When Barbara was not selling homes, she enjoyed helping youngsters in need throughout Orange County. Her talents were welcomed at Orangewood Children and Family Center in Orange, at the Lighthouse Learning Center in Santa Ana, and elsewhere. In addition to volunteering, Barbara filled her spare time by traveling, raising orchids, and painting with water colors.

Barbara is survived by two sons, Kevin Michael Reily and Sean Patrick Reily; two daughters, Coleen Patricia Reily and Kathleen Reily-Dixon; and three grandchildren—with whom she shared her love of life.

At 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 17, family members and friends will gather at the Woodbridge Village Association Clubhouse, 31 Creek Road, Irvine, for a service to remember Barbara and to celebrate her life well lived. Lunch will be served following the service. For those who may not be familiar with the clubhouse, parking is available behind the building.     

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The Orange County Association of REALTORS© (OCAR) launched its inaugural Leadership Academy in September 2016 and accepted twenty applicants into the program. 

The program is designed to train potential leaders to develop specific skills and perspective to achieve effectiveness in leadership, business, and life.  Rita Tayenaka, Academy Chair and former President of the Orange County Association of REALTORS© said, “It is the goal of the academy to give participants the confidence to embrace the responsibility to serve as a leader in the real estate industry and beyond.”  

She noted, “Several of our participants have already stepped up to leadership roles not only within OCAR, but at the state level of other real estate industry organizations such as the Women’s Council of REALTORS©, and locally as President-Elect of the Aliso Viejo Chamber of Commerce.” 

“We are proud to acknowledge the graduates of our first Leadership Academy," stated Craig Borner, 2017 President of OCAR. "They have completed the eight-month program and a legislative visit to the State Capitol. Some have already accepted leadership roles within OCAR, and many are looking to embrace future leadership opportunities with OCAR and the community. We are delighted that graduates Dorinda Francois and Danielle Corliss were recently elected to serve on the OCAR 2018 Board of Directors.”  

Graduates of the program are:
Josh Atwood - Alpine Mortgage
Karen Benefield - Casa Bella Realty Group
Cheryl Carrera - @Vantage Real Estate
Lynn Clancy - New American Funding
Danielle Corliss - Corliss Realty, Inc.
Dorinda Francois - Dorinda Francois Real Estate
Suzanne Gignoux - Keller Williams Realty
Torey Gilbert - Veranda Realty
Donna Hollingsworth - First Team Real Estate
Debra Krumboltz - HomeSmart, Evergreen Realty
Liz Lewis - RE/MAX TerraSol
Len Malena - Coldwell Banker – Powered by
Katie Martin - First Team Real Estate
Ron Pascual - RE/MAX TerraSol
Lacy Robertson - Keller Williams Realty
Heidi Stoops - Star Estates
Cindy Uhrik - Uhrik Group
Kathy Wall - Sierra Pacific Mortgage
Eric Wu - Excelerate Capital
Lorraine Zuschlag - HomeSmart, Evergreen Realty

Dave Stefanides, OCAR CEO is delighted with the caliber of the graduates and is hopeful that many of them will give back and mentor future Leadership Academy participants. 

The instructor-led training programs are conducted monthly. The 2017-2018 Leadership Academy is now accepting applications and the deadline to apply is July 28, 2017 by 5:00 p.m. For more information visit

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In celebration of June being National Home Ownership Month, the OC REALTOR® focused on the current housing market, benefits of home ownership and the role REALTORS® play in the American Dream. Read and share some of the featured articles in this month's issue.
Featured articles:
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Orange County REALTORS® is excited to announce two new FREE member benefits available through CRMLS. 

FHAPros is a new FHA eligibility status report within the Matrix system. All OCR members will now be able to see the FHA eligibility for the condominiums listed for sale within CRMLS.

You can find the new stoplight icon on the grid view when you search for properties. There will also be a link on the property detail report. Clicking on the icon or link will open the FHA eligibility report indicating the unit’s status and provide information about getting an association approved for FHA financing, if desired.

This new feature amps up the already powerful RatePlug Program which allows for the display of real-time housing payment information within MLS property listings to help Real Estate Agents and homebuyers effectively search for affordable properties. The system uses live lending data from lenders who are referred by and work with the participating REALTOR®. The program provides reliable financing information to homebuyers at the very beginning of the real estate buying process so that sound, knowledgeable decisions are made about housing affordability and financing, which in turn, helps agents sell homes faster.

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We are now accepting applications to be a 2018 C.A.R. or NAR Director. All applications are due to Debby Ritter by June 30, 2017.

State Director Responsibilities

  1. Maintain a REALTOR® membership in good standing at OCR
  2. Abide by the terms of OCR’s “State Director Commitment and Policy on Travel”
  3. Act as an ambassador for OCR and its members while fulfilling your duties as a state director
  4. Agree to a three (3) to five (5) year commitment
  5. Attend the three (3) State business meetings scheduled annually
  6. Actively serve on three (3) State Committees; they may be assigned as Leadership deems fit
  7. Submit a written report detailing the issues and outcomes at each committee meeting assigned
    or requested within two (2) weeks.
  8. Invest at least $148 in the REALTOR® Action Fund (RAF) while serving as a State Director
  9. Serve in a volunteer capacity at OCR, as a committee or task force member, as a project or event
    volunteer, or as a member of OCR’s board of directors while serving as a State Director.

C.A.R. State Director Application

NAR Director Responsibilities

  1. Maintain a REALTOR® membership in good standing at OCR
  2. Act as an ambassador for OCR and its members while fulfilling your duties as a NAR Director
  3. Agree to a three (3) to five (5) year commitment
  4. Attend the two (2) NAR business meetings scheduled annually
  5. Actively serve on at least one (1) NAR Committee
  6. Submit a written report detailing the issues and outcomes at each committee meeting assigned
    or requested within two (2) weeks
  7. Invest at least $148 in the REALTOR® Action Fund (RAF) while serving as a NAR Director
  8. Serve in a volunteer capacity at OCR, as a committee or task force member, as a project or event
    volunteer, or as a member of OCR’s board of directors while serving as a NAR Director

NAR Director Application

DEADLINE TO APPLY: June 30, 2017


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Committee participation and membership

Local Government Relations Committee North and South (Open committee participation, only members can participate in executive session and vote) – These are our primary policy committees.  Here you will review local, state, and federal legislative actions, and recommend policy positions to the OCR Board of Directors.  The committees often receive updates from local elected officials and community partners.  Meets monthly (10 times per year).

Political Affairs and Elections Committee (PAEC)(Closed to committee members only) - Handles political and election activities on behalf of the OCAR Board of Directors. Makes recommendations to support or oppose candidates for election to city, county, and state offices. Makes recommendations to support or oppose ballot measure and other issue-related campaigns. Conducts fundraising activities for the REALTOR® Action Fund (RAF). Meets monthly (10 times per year).

Community involvement

Join city commissions and committees – Much like our OCR committees, city commissions and committees are tasked with making recommendations to the city council.  Some, like the planning commission, has decision making authority of their own.  Committees and commissions are a great way to move up the political ladder in your city, and any resident can apply.  Members are, however, selected by council members, so it helps to first attend local events and meeting and get to know you council members. 

Participate in local non-profits - Many of the same people that participate in local government, are active in local non-profits.  It’s another great way to get your foot in the door, and work for a great cause!


Speak at council meetings – When certain issues appear on a council agenda, OCR often needs speakers.  Volunteering to speak is a great way to get known, and advocate for homeowners. 

Respond to C.A.R. Red Alerts – Red Alerts are an easy and effective way to speak as one voice to our elected representatives.  Text REALTORS to 30644 to sign-up

Educate yourself – Being an educated community advocate is a great way to build trust with your clients.  Sign-up for government affairs emails (sent only once a week), at


Contact: Tony Capitelli – Government Affairs Director - – 949-268-0406

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In Memoriam

 Anita Yegsigian


Anita Yegsigian passed away of natural causes at her home in Palm Desert on March 18, 2017. Before moving to the desert thirteen years ago, she had lived for forty years in Mission Viejo, where she was active in real estate. The owner of All Star Realty in Mission Viejo, she was named Top REALTOR® in Sales for the Saddleback Valley in 1976.

By all reports, Anita’s cooking also took top honors. Friends and family members recall that she was always preparing her favorite Armenian dishes for a gathering of one sort or another. More recently, she was active in the women’s guild of St. Garabed Armenian Apostolic Church of the Desert in Rancho Mirage, where she had been affectionately dubbed “the pilaf queen.”

In her later years, Anita enjoyed the peace and serenity of desert living and, until recently, spent at least two days a week on the golf course. Anita’s family members suggest that friends who wish to honor Anita’s memory send donations in her name to St. Garabed Armenian Church, 38900 Vista Dunes Road, Rancho Mirage 92270.   


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The strong connection between housing policy and housing availability is one reason that REALTORS need to take the lead on this issue.

By Tony Capitelli

I often speak of the nexus between public policies that affect real estate practitioners and those that affect everyone else. Perhaps, there is no better example of this nexus than our current affordable housing crisis. While REALTORS® have trouble finding listings, other people have trouble finding homes. The strength of this connection is the reason that REALTORS® need to take the lead on this issue. 

We often hear the phrase “disposable income”; however, this “income” is about as “disposable” as a soldier’s water canteen. It is our lifeblood when we face times of crisis and enables us to absorb what life throws at us. But this term is no longer in the vocabulary of many Orange County residents because housing costs consume so much of their income. According to the California Association of REALTORS®, only 22 percent of Orange County’s population can afford to purchase a median-priced home. To qualify, a household would need to make $92,571 a year, and this does not include saving for a down payment. 

I am sure you can think of someone who has been affected by this crisis—perhaps you, yourself. Are you a young adult trying to find your path in life? Do you have a young family and need space for your kids? Are you recently divorced and needing to find a new place to live? Are you paying for your children’s college tuition? If you are married and in your twilight years, you’re probably okay; but at this rate, you’ll soon be part of the only group left to enjoy home ownership in this beautiful county.  

The good news is that there are solutions. The question is whether we can come to grips with those solutions before we lose an entire generation of home owners. 

So, what are those solutions? 

  1. More Housing

    Ultimately, this crisis is a matter of supply and demand. California is running short about 65,000 housing units a year. During 2016, Orange County added 162,740 new jobs but built only 44,923 new housing units. This kind of deficit leads inevitably to higher prices. If the Orange County housing market cannot accommodate growth, neither can the Orange County economy. Higher density is difficult for communities to embrace; but with a little creativity, it can actually improve local quality of life. 

  2. Less Regulation

    According to the California Legislative Analyst’s Office, because of labor costs, construction costs, environmental regulations, and local development fees, it is $50,000 to $70,000 more expensive to build a home in California than it is to build elsewhere in the country. These higher costs are passed directly from home builders to home buyers and from landlords to renters. 

  3. More Entry-Level Ownership Options

    While we are still far behind the necessary pace of development, we are all witness to the recent development boom. Unfortunately, most of the new housing units being built are either rental apartments or expensive single-family homes. For many, including me, townhomes and condos are the only avenues into the housing market. Cities need to work with developers to encourage construction of more of these entry-level ownership options. If they don’t, younger renters will not stay. 

  4. Better Transit

    If home owners are to absorb higher housing costs, they need to save money elsewhere. Average car loan payments are about $506 a month, and this figure does not include insurance, maintenance, and fuel. Home buyers are looking to live closer to work and cut down on long commutes. Light rail, automated vehicles, and the location of housing—all need to be in the minds of policy makers.  

  5. Low-Level Assistance Programs

    Homelessness isn’t limited to the chronically homeless. This category also includes families on the verge of being evicted or living in temporary housing. Assistance programs like rapid re-housing are effective in providing a necessary safety net. 

    Down payment assistance is often essential for first-time home buyers. Without it, the U.S. homeownership rate might look more like that of Germany, where the rate is around 50 percent. And the negative connotation of FHA loans needs to be corrected. As it is, only 10 percent of townhome and condo communities are willing to accept these loans.  

As a REALTOR®, you are in a unique position because the future of your community affects both your home and your livelihood. I encourage you to embrace that role and become a community advocate. Help influence your local policy makers regarding the importance of making housing more available, more accessible, and more affordable.

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In Memoriam

 Esther Mae (Sherman) Goff


Esther Mae (Sherman) Goff was born in Los Angeles, on March 6, 1938, but later moved with her family to Temple City, California. In 1968, while living in Berea, Kentucky, she helped stage health fairs for the Council of the Southern Mountains, a nonprofit organization concerned with education and community development in southern Appalachia. This experience inspired Esther to become a nurse.   

Later, Esther turned from health care to real estate, becoming a salesperson in 1978 and a broker in 1982. For many years, she served as a director of the Saddleback Valley Board of REALTORS®, a predecessor organization of the Orange County REALTORS®, and as a director for the California Association of REALTORS®. Well respected among her colleagues in the real estate industry, Esther was elected president of Saddleback Valley Board of REALTORS® in 1991 and then honored as REALTOR® of the Year in 1993.    

Early on the morning of Tuesday, February 28, 2017, Esther Goff lost her battle with breast cancer. Those who knew her well will remember her as a caring person who always found meaningful ways to make a difference. She and Joe, her husband of sixty years, were residents of Forest Gardens in Lake Forest, where family members and friends will gather to celebrate Esther’s life in the clubhouse on Saturday, April 8, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.   


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