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Real Estate News
Updated: Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Ask the HOA Expert: The Process To Handle A Recall Petition

Question: I serve on our HOA board. Certain members have circulated a recall petition against two of the directors and obtained the required number of signatures based on our bylaws. The next board meeting is coming up soon and the petitioners want the recall resolved then. What is the normal process to handle a recall?

Answer: Normally, a recall would be handled at a special meeting called for that purpose. As such, it needs to be noticed to all owners well in advance so all have a chance to attend. This should not be handled at a normal board meeting since the topic is likely to take quite a while unless the target directors yield to the pressure and step down early.

Question: The board of our HOA meets four times a year. We are largely a vacation community with only a few permanent residents. Between board meetings, the board president makes all the decisions as long as they are in line with previous board decisions, the budget and governing documents. The president has been consulting other directors by email concerning certain decisions and calling for motions and votes by email. Doesnt this constitute a board meeting and circumvent the open meeting concept?

Answer: Yes, making board decisions by email constitutes a board meeting. If the bylaws do not prohibit it, the board could possibly enact a resolution which allows doing business this way but it still would probably be construed to be a closed meeting. An alternative to email is to hold teleconferences. There are free services available including The notice of a board teleconference could be emailed to all members so any that wanted to attend could. Consult with a knowledgeable HOA attorney in your state to make sure this is allowable.

Question: Our governing documents restrict units to "Single Family" occupancy. Our board interprets this to mean ">

Answer: What gets written into governing documents often sounds reasonable but is unworkable for practical reasons. The board is simply not positioned to research or enforce this kind of standard and shouldnt because it assumes that >

Just because the governing documents say something doesnt makes it reasonable or enforceable. The board has the right to make a judgment on this and choose how its interpreted. Rather than some arbitrary standard like "single family" the board should focus on behavior. If either owners, renters, married or singles are violating HOA rules, they should all be treated the same. It is the behavior that is at issue, not family status.

Question: A homeowner who recently broke her arm wants the HOA to install and pay for a second handrail on the staircase to her unit. She has an equilibrium problem. Is the HOA responsible to install special equipment for residents who are physically challenged? Several of the owners in our complex are seniors and have physical challenges.

Answer: The HOA is not responsible for or required to install special equipment but the board should make "reasonable accommodations" by allowing those that request it to do so at their own cost. The installation should be professional and not detract from the curb appeal. The board can also require the unit owner to remove the installation when it is no longer needed.

That said, if a majority of owners are in favor of installing ramps, handrails and the like, there is nothing wrong with installing them. HOAs can have anything the majority are willing to pay for.

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Americas Educators Cant Afford Homes: What Now?

Buying a home is part of the American dream, and every citizen strives to achieve that lifetime goal at some point in their lives. However, for many American teachers, the goal seems blurred due to the skyrocketing home prices and the seemingly stagnant teachers salary in most states.

Buying a Home in the U.S.

The real estate industry in the U.S. is enormous. The total value of household in the country has grown from 1.1 trillion in 2015 to 28.5 trillion in 2016, according to Property Wire. Each state within the US has a distinct set of regulations, rules, and taxation plans making the property prices variable across the states.

Teachers salaries across the States have risen over the last few years, especially in California, but not adequate to catch up with the soaring home prices. This is a major concern as the public schools are not able to attract and retain enough qualified teachers.

According to a report by Redfin, an established real estate brokerage firm, only 17 of houses for sale are affordable to teachers earning a national average salary of 73,536. The analysis focused on 31 most populated counties from Los Angeles to Sonoma Valley Wine County. Thats a worrying decline from 2012 when 30 of houses for sale in those areas could be afforded by teachers who earned an average of 70,487 at that time.

More Gloomy Reports Based On Salary

Buying a home continues to get out of reach for teachers depending on the cities where they live. The National Housing Conference, which is a nonprofit organization advocating for affordable housing in the country, studied 210 metro areas on whether teachers could afford to buy or rent a house.

High school teachers with a median salary of 56,882 were able to rent a 2-bedroom house in 94 of the areas. Teachers could not afford to pay housing rent in 12 metro areas including Honolulu, Hawaii. This has occasioned the teachers recruitment and retention crisis in the State.

The report further indicated that high school teachers at the same median salary could afford to buy median-priced homes in 62 of the areas analyzed. The income required to purchase a house in San Luis Obispo, for example, was double the teachers salary in that area.

A typical home in California is sold for over 500,000, according to Redfin. That is 200,000 more than what an average teacher can afford. According to Nela Richardson, Redfins chief economist, California is a good example of teaching staffs woes in owning homes, but the problem spreads across many states of the nation. The gap between income and home prices continues to open denying the public workers the privilege of living in the areas the serve.

Housing Incentives to Attract and Retain Teachers

Some districts have put in place measures and incentives to attract and retain qualified teachers. The incentives include subsidizing housing costs for teachers, housing loans, home renters insurance, and internal housing programs. In California, a bill has been passed to allow district schools to lease properties for the development of housing units for teachers and other public workers in the district. The bill that was championed by the San Francisco school district has been submitted to the governor for signing.

The Washington Post has also reported that a nonprofit organization run by the Charter School Incubator Initiative has commenced construction of subsidized housing units for teachers in Washington, D.C.

The Education Week recently published news on the Newark, N.J. apartment complex, which is a modern day teachers village open to all public school teachers. The complex offers reduced rents and also collaborates with three charter schools. The move to involve charter schools has, however, raised questions from the teachers unions, although many teachers living there have expressed their excitement on the affordability of the units and the convenient location. More developments are expected to crop up in several states to address the teachers plight in accessing affordable homes.

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Three Things Every Real Estate Agent Should Do Before the Holidays

We put a lot of time and care into the things which make December the most wonderful time of the year for us. But what about our businesses? How can we make sure they will develop and grow successfully in the coming year?

1. Draw the line and learn the lessons

Applying your own critical eye is one of the most important ways you can improve your business. Come the years end, its wise to sit down, reevaluate your tools and decisions and see what worked and what didnt.

You have to ask the right questions in order to better prepare for the coming year:

Are you budgeting for marketing and reaping the benefits of a solid strategy?

Does your agent website look as sleek and intuitive as you need it to be?

Are you advertising in the right places and to the right people?

Are you getting enough exposure?

Do the tools you have at your disposal generate plenty of leads?

Answer honestly and write down the ideas, then start planning your needs for the coming year and think of the strategies you will need to make your goals come true.

2. Plan ahead

Secure the tools needed to make 2017 successful and kick off the year, the right way. Make sure you have an all-in-one solution that will help you save time and money in the long run. Point2s marketing solutions offer just that, plus a web-based Online Office which gives you complete control over your marketing strategy at all times. Here are some of the things you can do with a marketing toolkit like the one mentioned:

In terms of online presence and presentation, a mobile-friendly agent website that you can maintain yourself goes a long way. Go further by creating individual property websites for your most promising listings -- home buyers love a home with a dedicated website

Incubate your leads with an effective integrated CRM. Use drip email campaigns to keep engagement up, which is important considering that 70 of homebuyers forget their agents name within a year.

You also get several advertising options designed to boost your exposure, both in terms of listings and as a local agent.

3. Get an edge with smart advertising

And speaking of exposure, its crucial that you get your listings in front of as many eyes as possible, at the right time, in the right place. With a solution like Point2 you can get all the tools above, plus an extra edge with featured advertising on Point2s real estate portal Point2 Homes: 1,000 worth of ads each year included in their Professional toolkit or 6,000 worth of ads per year with the Elite toolkit, at a fraction of the cost.

Point2 Homes has had 35 million visits in 2016 and a 56 year-over-year traffic increase. In 2017 the traffic growth is expected to break new records. As a Point2 member, you get your listings on Point2 Homes and connect to a massive pool of potential home buyers right off the bat, with:

  • Priority placement on Point2 Homes
  • 3.6 million monthly visits
  • 23.1 million monthly page views
  • 18,000 listings browsed every hour

Click here for more info about the offer

All of these tools and advertising options are available to you at a discount in two tax deductible solutions, if you act fast:

The Professional solution is designed for ambitious agents, conscious of the importance of online marketing. It offers all of the tools and benefits above at a 120 discount, for a limited time.

The Elite solution is designed for brokers and teams, but it also works great for agents who want to take their business up a notch. You get an additional set of specially designed Broker Tools, plus more of everything: unlimited property websites, 5 Featured Agent Ads/month, and 20 Featured Listing Ads/month. The Elite solution has a 300 discount right now.

Consider giving your business the same care you give your home this holiday season. Following these principles and using these tools is how you make sure youre all set for 2017.

This offer is only available by phone, so call 888-277-9779 now to find out more or click here to check out the Winter Sale.

Point2 is the premiere online marketing solution for real estate professionals. Get everything you need to expand your real estate business, including an easy-to-use-website, intuitive lead generation tools, detailed analytics and much more.

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