July 10, 2019

Why I Run Part 1

Why I Run (written in October 2013):

My wife and I came from our home in Southern California to the interesting city/state of Washington DC, so I could run my 5th Marine Corps Marathon.  We arrived a few days early so I could adjust to the three hour time difference and so we headed south for a few days to visit family.  My wife has family that lives in the Richmond, Virginia area and we stayed with her uncle.

As part of my adjustment efforts I tried to run every morning and this morning I got up and headed for the woods near his house.  On the other side of the woods I had to follow a road for a couple of miles before coming back to the woods again.  This morning’s run was dark (05:30) and back East they do not have shoulders along their highways. It is road and then nothing, so I found a hole while avoiding being hit by a car and fell.  Along with the normal cuts and bruises, I also broke my left ankle.  I did not think I would or could run because of the pain. Yet I have spent hundreds of hours training and thousands of dollars to participate in this marathon, I kept moving.  Finally making it back to my wife’s uncles home I packed my ankle in ice and wrapped it with KT tape then keep moving to reduce the swelling.  

Broken AnkleBroken Ankle

The race day was the next morning:  Before coming to this year’s marathon I decided this would be my last Marine Corps Marathon.  I no longer had a reason to run it.  My son who started me running marathons five years go graduated from West Point and was now an Infantry Officer in Afghanistan.  So I dedicated this last Marine Corps Marathon to honor son LT Erik Pedersen and another dear hero/friend, Gunner Bill Crowell. 

Prior to leaving for Washington DC I found out that Gunner Crowell was suffering from Congestive Heart Failure and was at a rehab hospital.  I am going to tell you a little about this unsung hero.  He enlisted in the Marine Corps along with his father (who also served as a Marine in WWI and fought in the famous battle of Belleau Wood and was discharged from the Corps after the war) together they went through basic training and eventually they fought at the battle of Iwo Jima.  During this battle, Gunner Crowell lost his father (his remains where never found) and Gunner Crowell was also wounded in the hip. 

He spent the rest of the war in rehab and pushed himself to be it to be put back in the Corps to fight again in Korea, where he was wounded a second time.  He later served two more tours in Vietnam.  He has been awarded two purple hearts and a two bronze stars and I think a silver star.  He served 38 years in the US Marine Corps and achieved the highest rank of Warrant Officer and the title of “Gunner” given to him by the President of the United States.

So on race day as my wife accompanied me (like she has for the past five years) as I hobbled  with her around the Pentagon to the starting line of the race near Arlington Cemetery.  It was dark at 5:00 in the morning, and while we walked I formed a plan with her.  I would run for at least 6 miles where we could meet and then head back to our hotel in Crystal City.

But this year the race changed part of the race course, so instead of going up and around Georgetown, we headed directly to Georgetown the up through a park and back, so I missed the meeting place where I planned to meet my wife.

Course Map MCM 2013

Then the second change to the course.  Just past the Kennedy Center heading out on the east end of the Potomac Park there was something new…

Over the next couple of miles of name course place a sacred Honor Mile with pictures of all the fallen in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, with each picture was accompanied an Honor Guard holding an American Flag and the Service Flag of the fallen.  But what really affected me was the many people, family members, fellow service members who served with these fallen heroes, they stopped and many knelt down next to the pictures (most were crying) other silently stood at attention or solemnly bowed their heads.

I do not think I have ever been so touched.  Hundreds of pictures, honor guards, and mourners; how could I stop now?  With tears in my own eyes I kept going.

It was almost to mile 15 when we finished the Honor Mile and I had no where to go to be picked up by my wife that was shorter then what I had to run.  So again, I kept running and eventually got to the 14th Street Bridge. 

At the end of the 14th Street Bridge (mile 21) there was the usual beer, and I was tempted, really tempted to indulge in some extra carbs.  But what saved my life was a new Aid Station in Crystal City.  That station had DONUT HOLES!! Chocolate donuts, glazed donuts, sugar donuts… I was in heaven; I filled my mouth and my shirt and pockets with dozens of donut holes and I ate and ate them.  I was in sugar heaven.

When I was finished with my donut holes, I was around the Pentagon at mile 25, only 1.2 miles to go, so I pushed on and on.

I finished with my slowest time of 5:52:48 but I finished.   I met my wonderful wife at the finish area and she helped me back to the hotel where we prepared for the horrible flight home the next morning at 6:00 a.m.   Not moving in the plane for many hours was worse than the run.  That flight almost killed me. 

But that is another story.

 

 

Feb. 4, 2019

Housing Market Forecast for 2019???

Over the past several months I have heard from news sources, lenders, clients and just regular people telling me that the housing market is expected to crash.  In fact many are predicting a recession.  I asked repeatedly in each of these conversations for them to help me with some data to support their claim. houses for sale, for sale sign

The only thing I get is “the housing prices are too high.” So I ask myself, “Will the market slow down or crash? And what are the factors supporting each hypothesis?”

I first turn to current economic data collected by Kimberly Amadeo’s article “US Economic Outlook for 2019 and Beyond”:  Updated January 01, 2019 https://www.thebalance.com/us-economic-outlook-3305669  I found her article typical of the rhetoric I have been hearing from other sources stated above, it  was biased and inaccurate, numbers came out of nowhere, for example she states that the US GDP for 2018 is around 3% and will fall because of the “Trump Trade Wars” but data sited from government sources show 2018 GDP is 5.46% (1st, 2nd and 3rd quarters) almost double what she states. 

Articles from Fortune, Goldman, Reuters, all forecast a rescission for 2019…yet none will show the numbers they us!

So I look further for information on: Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Inflation, Unemployment, Interest Rates, and Oil and Gas Prices from direct sources and got the following.

Year       Inflation (1)         Unemployment Rate      GDP (3)                Avg Hr Wage (2)

2005      3.4%                     4.70%                                  6.47%

2006      3.2%                     4.60%                                  5.29%                                   

2007      2.8%                     5.00%                                  4.59%

2008      3.8%                     7.80%                                  -0.83%                 $   21.18

2009      -0.4%                    9.80%                                  0 .47%                 $   21.96

2010      1.6%                     9.10%                                  4.19%                   $   22.42

2011      3.2%                     .30%                                    3.65%                   $   22.86

2012      2.1%                     8.00%                                  3.56%                   $   23.26

2013      1.5%                     6.60%                                  4.43%                   $   23.75

2014      1.6%                     5.70%                                  4.42%                   $   24.22

2015      0.1%                     4.90%                                  2.89%                   $   24.75

2016      1.3%                     4.70%                                  3.40%                   $   25.38

2017      2.1%                     4.10%                                  4.49%                   $   25.99

2018      2.4%                     3.70%                                  5.46%                   $   27.39

1. U.S. Labor Department (https://www.usinflationcalculator.com/inflation/current-inflation-rates/)

2.  US Bureau of Labor Statistics (https://www.epi.org/nominal-wage-tracker/)

3. US Bureau of Economic Analysis http://www.multpl.com/us-gdp-growth-rate/table/by-year

 

Year                      Oil Prices/barrel  (4)        Fed  Interest Rate (5)      US Housing Prices            

2005                     $86.33                                 4.25%                                  $246,600

2006                     $76.25                                 5.28%                                  $245,400

2007                     $115.18                              4.25%                                  $238,400

2008                     $64.55                                 0.00%                                  $222,500

2009                     $92.61                                 0.00%                                  $219,000

2010                     $79.48                                 0.00%                                  $224,300

2011                     $94.88                                 0.00%                                  $221,100

2012                     $94.05                                 0.00%                                  $251,700

2013                     $97.98                                 0.00%                                  $273,600

2014                     $93.17                                 0.00%                                  $298,900

2015                     $48.72                                 0.05%                                  $302,500

2016                     $43.58                                 0.75%                                  $310,900

2017                     $50.84                                 1.50%                                  $337,900

2018                     $48.71                                 2.50%                                  $325,200 (3rd Quarter)

4.  https://www.macrotrends.net/2516/wti-crude-oil-prices-10-year-daily-chart

5.  https://www.thebalance.com/fed-funds-rate-history-highs-lows-3306135

6. Federal Reserve Bank https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/MSPUS

 

So are there any signs of an impending recession?  Is the housing market going to crash? The housing “bubble burst” in 2007/2008 and lasted until 2012.  There was also a major recession from 2008 to 2015.

Looking at all of the major indicators above; unemployment, oil prices, and interest rates are the only indicators of a financial meltdown.  One can argue the unemployment is a “result” of the economic recession, not the cause.  But living through three recessions, I can vividly remember what caused the one in the 1980’s and the one in 2008; and it was oil prices.  Everything in our economy was effected by oil prices, i.e. transportation, home energy and heating, manufacturing, everything.  All other indicators are reactions to the inflation caused by the dramatic increase in oil prices.

 

Here is one prospective of the cause of the housing collapse in 2007,  according to  Inflationdata.com (https://inflationdata.com/articles/inflation-adjusted-prices/inflation-adjusted-housing-prices/)

“So How Could a (Housing) Bubble Like This Happen?”

“This was primarily the result of government policy changes not due to any intrinsic value in houses. What happened was that congress decided that everyone has the “right” to buy a house whether they could afford one or not. So in order to facilitate this utopia, they instituted loose lending practices through Governmental Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac agencies. And at first it had wonderful effects on the economy -- demand for houses rose, builders made money, banks made money, life was good.

This combined with a loose money policy by the FED to goose the economy through the turn of the century Y2K scare and then the FED added in artificially low interest rates and you have a government sponsored housing bubble. But to make matters worse some smart guys on Wall Street figured out how to squeeze even bigger bucks out of this boom by using some creative financing and slicing and dicing these mortgages (which everyone now thought could only go up). Since they believed that most people wouldn’t default on their mortgages, if you bundle enough of them together the risk was very low. So with low risk you could use extreme amounts of leverage to buy these mortgage derivatives and theoretically make a fortune.

But remember the foundation was that anyone could get a mortgage even if they couldn’t afford it.  So when housing prices stopped going up in 2006 and people realized that inflation wasn’t going to bail them out, they began defaulting on their mortgages.  This snowballed and took down these large derivative bundles of mortgages and because they were highly leveraged in themselves when the tide turned against them it took down some of the biggest players on Wall Street like Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers.”

Given the irresponsible actions of government and banks in and before 2006 that created the housing bubble, and when oil prices shot up which started the economic collapse, including facilitating the housing market crash, are there any signs of a similar occurrence repeating itself?

What traumatic event like oil prices rapidly rising is foreseen by so many that they are not telling us about?  Trump Trade Wars?  Where is the data showing the negative impact?  I have concerns about what the Government is doing in the Farm Bill of 2018 that subsidize a few select industries, but what other indicators are there that predict a recession and a housing crash?

Housing prices have risen too fast as of late in California, but the numbers coming from the California Association of Realtors and IVAR (Inland Valley Association of Realtors) show an increase in housing inventory yet it also shows prices going up by about 2% (https://www.iehousingmatters.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/2018-11-ivar-housing-data-report.pdf)

 One possible answer for the concerns of many is consumer beliefs.  Way back when I was in college taking an economic class ,one of the principals we learned was that “consumer beliefs” affect markets.  If enough people believe something, their belief/actions will cause the event regardless of other events.   This phenomenon was the cause of “bank runs” and banking collapse that destroyed economies through the western world for centuries. 

 So are our fears founded in facts and data or are they just fears?

April 5, 2017

Buying a Home? What about HOAs and How Do They Work?

 

 

house Victoria Grove Riverside CABuying a Home - What at an HOA? 

Some home buyers don't have any experience with HOAs.   Here's some info for those buyers. 

When you purchase a home, there's a good chance you'll have to pay a homeowners association fee, especially in gated communities, townhouses, condominiums, and other similar planned neighborhoods. The idea is to keep common areas clean and maintained, and there's usually an HOA board that is responsible for setting the rules and regulations.

 

Each HOA is different, but most have the same core elements. You'll typically pay your HOA fees either monthly or annually, and it's an important factor to consider when you're weighing your options for a new home. So what is typically included in your HOA fees?

 

First, the fun stuff Amenities are typically the big perk of living in a community with an HOA. While you lose out on some of the freedom of living without an HOA, you instead get community amenities like a maintained pool, gym, clubhouse, tennis courts, and other amenities. The HOA fees pay for cleaning and maintenance, so-in theory-you'll always have a clean pool whenever you want to use it.

 

Protecting the community HOA fees often contribute to insurance for the community amenities, as well as a fund for unexpected repairs to damaged community property-think damage from weather or accidents.

 

General maintenance Your HOA fees will go toward maintaining the general safety and upkeep of the community. This means things like elevator maintenance for condominiums, snow removal, and trash/recycling services.

 

Be active in the association There may be a board of directors, but homeowners associations exist for the betterment of the entire community, and every voice matters. HOA meetings-and the amenities they support-provide great opportunities to meet your neighbors and make your community a better place.

Call us today if you are thinking of buying a home.  We'll help you with the entire process - from start to finish. 

March 2, 2017

Beautiful 5 Bedroom Home for Sale - in Riverside

Jan. 12, 2017

Three Ways to Ease Your Fears About Making a Move

Are you thinking about buying a new home? 

Couple buying a  new homeWith low inventory in many markets throughout the country, many homeowners are afraid to sell their homes because they’re concerned that they may not be able to find a new one. This can be a real problem, but if you are seeking to sell—whether to upgrade or find a new neighborhood—there are a few ways to combat the low inventory.

Look to buy first In most markets it is a real mistake to put your home up for sale before you start looking for your new property. Identify the geographic area where you are interested in buying. Even if you don't see anything on Zillow, it doesn't mean you can't or won't find the right home.

Think outside the box Be proactive! Keep in mind that there are probably many people like you who want to make a move but are afraid as well. Have your real estate agent send a letter to the neighborhoods in the geographic areas where you want to live. The letter should be heartfelt and personal while announcing that you are ready to buy a home in that neighborhood. You could find a home to buy that may not even be currently listed or for sale.

Protect yourself legally Each state varies in how the purchase process is conducted. Talk to your real estate professional about adding a clause in the purchase contract for the home you are selling that will enable you to not sell the home if you cannot find a suitable home to buy.

 

Want to learn more about selling your home.  Click here

Click here to learn more about buying a home. 

Jan. 2, 2017

Stop Thief

Here are some tips to help keep your home from being burglarized - particularly when your home is listed for sale.

Avoiding burglary

 

Learn more here about selling your house

Dec. 31, 2016

Homes for Sale in Corona CA - December 2016 Real Estate Market Report

Corona CA residential real estate - market report

 Houses for sale and houses sold in Corona CA

Residential real estate trends in Corona are almost the same as Riverside.  The number of sold listings ticked up in December.  But the number of active listings and the those in escrow (pending) continued downward.  With the recent increase in interest rates, we'll probably see a continued downward trend into early 2017. 

Let us know if you have any questions or if you'd like to get a market report for your city.  Search for Corona CA homes for sale.

 

Dec. 31, 2016

Homes for Sale in Riverside CA - 12/2016 Market Report

Riverside CA residential real estate - market report

Houses for sale in Riverside CA - market report

The number of sold listings ticked up in December.  But the number of active listings and the those in escrow (pending) continued downward.  With the recent increase in interest rates, we'll probably see a continued downward trend into early 2017. 

Let us know if you have any questions or if you'd like to get a market report for your city. Search for homes for sale in Riverside.

 

Dec. 15, 2016

Victoria Grove, Riverside CA, Real Estate Update

Victoria Grove Real Estate Market Update

Victoria Grove is one of my favorite neighborhoods and I’m not alone in that.  A long-time resident of Victoria Grove who is a good friend says that she likes that it is nestled away from things to be peaceful.  She also loves the community involvement, the community amenities and the sense of unity here. 

Here’s an update on the current real estate activity in Victoria Grove Riverside CA as of December 15, 2016. Victoria Grove is a beautiful gated community in the Southwest part of Riverside California - near Lake Mathews.  It is about about three miles south of the 91 freeway just off La Sierra Ave.  It is a very terrific community with nice houses and great community amenities - and it is one of our favorite neighborhoods in Riverside

Victoria Grove - Riverside CA - houses for saleActive Listings

There are 19 houses currently for sale (active listings on the multiple listing service) in Victoria Grove in Riverside California.  Of the houses currently for sale, there are two short sales and one foreclosure.  The least expensive house currently for sale is a short sale listed at $400,000.  The highest price listing is a 4800 sq ft home listed for $999,900.  The average list price in the community is $578,048 (including the almost $1M home) and $554,611 (not including that home).

Houses in Escrow
 
There are only four houses in escrow right now.

Closed Homes

There were a total of 16 houses close (sold) in the last 100 days in Victoria Grove.  The most expensive house sold for $620,000 (a 4078 sq ft house) and the least expensive was a 2642 sq ft house that sold for $410,000.

Click here to learn more about the wonderful community of Victoria Grove.  Contact us if you are thinking of selling your Victoria Grove house or if you are interested in learning more or buying in Victoria Grove.

Search for houses for sale in Riverside or Corona

 

Posted in Neighborhoods
Nov. 30, 2016

November Market Report for Riverside and Corona CA

November 2016 Real Estate Market Report  -- Riverside and Corona

Here ae the latest numbers of sales in Riverside and Corona for single family houses.  The market is slowing  - including the number of listings and the number of sales.  Check out the graphs here.  If you would like us to create a market report for a different Inland Empire City, let us know. 

Riverside CA real estate market - homes for sale

Corona CA real estate market - homes for sale

The latest report from Inland Valley Association of Realtors just came out for all residential sales in Riverside and Corona.  For Riverside, the number of sales for the first 10 months in 2016 is 22% over November of 2015 and the median sales price increased in that same time period 6%.  For Corona, the number of sales in the first 10 months stayed the same as a year ago and the median sale price increased only 2%. 

Let us know if you would like to receive a market report for your city or zip code. Search for Corona and Riverside houses for sale.