Hard to find comparable sales on this home. Photo credit: http://hekk-m.com/post180818332/
In recent months, real estate professionals have had to hold their breath as they waited for an appraisal on a property to come back. Would it be lower than the agreed-upon selling price — and by how much?
Many real estate professionals have blamed a high number of derailed transactions on low-ball appraisals.
But now the industry is noticing a change in appraised values: Appraisals are getting more in line with the agreed upon selling price, CNNMoney reports.
Appraisers are valuing homes at or above their selling prices as home prices nationwide climb and inventories of homes decrease, says Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS®.
For example, in Wallingford, Wash., real estate pro Michael Ackerman told CNNMoney that he was concerned a transaction would fall apart when a buyer agreed to pay $755,000 for a home since other comparable homes in the area had sold for $690,000.
“Everybody’s jaws dropped” when the appraised value came in at the full, agreed-upon selling price,” says Ackerman.
In some cases, appraisals are even coming in higher — which was practically unheard of just a few months ago. For example, real estate pro Cara Ameer in Jacksonville Beach, Fla., says with home prices in the area rising 15 percent over the past year, she was concerned the appraisal on a two-bedroom townhouse wouldn’t reflect the current rise. A buyer offered to pay $5,000 above the $189,000 asking price. The appraisal came in above the selling price, Ameer says.
San Joaquin Yacht Club at Bethel Island Photo Credit: Bill Wells
By Bill Wells
Every year in the spring when the weather turns warmer and the rains subside, thoughts turn to boating in the Delta. Certainly there are many diehard boaters about in the winter months too, but the advent of spring brings them out in force. Most resorts and restaurants that close for a winter vacation reopen in mid – April and opening day of yachting parades are scheduled all around the Delta and San Francisco Bay area.
The term “opening day” was coined in 1903 when the drawbridge in Belvedere was opened to let the “arcs” or houseboats travel from Belvedere Lagoon to their summer location in Belvedere Cove. Since then the various yacht clubs have called the beginning of yachting season in the area “opening day.”
Korths Pirates Lair & Delta Loop Photo Credit: Bill Wells
Opening day parades are held all over the Delta during April with major parades sponsored by the Stockton Yacht Club, Sacramento Yacht Club and the San Joaquin Yacht Club. You don?t need to be a club member to participate in a parade with your boat. You contact the sponsoring club to register beforehand and generally there is a small fee to cover administrative expenses.
No boat? No problem! There are many shore side venues where you can watch the parades as they pass by.After the opening day celebrations, boating season begins in earnest. By mid-May the weather is generally consistently warm and there are parties and events all over the Delta every weekend from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Barron Hilton has been sponsoring a fireworks display at Venice Island on the San Joaquin River for more than 50 years. Hilton explains that he originally started setting off fireworks for his children at his duck club. “I began shooting rockets and fountains on the levee for the benefit of my eight children,” he said. “I noticed that four or five boats stopped by to watch, then a dozen the next year, and about three times that number the third year. From there, it just seemed to grow like an amoeba.”
Today, Hilton produces a 30 minute show, choreographed to patriotic music, and fired by professional technicians from Pyro Spectaculars.
Bill Dutra of the Dutra Group provides a barge that serves as a floating launching pad for the fireworks. Even though the fireworks show itself only lasts a half hour, the boats start arriving for the event weeks beforehand. Many people anchor their yacht near the island and use their shore boats to commute to work at their area jobs. The thousands of boats are grouped so that there are pathways to travel between boats and many groups secure the same space year after year.
Later in July local folk head to Village West Marina in Stockton for the annual “Taste of the Delta” event. This is a strolling wine and food tasting showcasing Delta area wineries and restaurants. It is accessible by boat (or car) and is a very popular event, one of the many available to boaters in the Delta. With almost 60,000 acres of water and 1,000 miles of waterways, the Delta fun never ends.
Written by Bill Wells, Executive Director, California Delta Chambers & Visitor’s Bureau
The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) event at the Sheraton last Friday was a signal to all the water agencies and their hangers-on that the PPIC wants to be a player in the California water war. If you will remember, the first PPIC report on the Delta a few years ago proposed an honest-to-goodness Peripheral Canal and a possible water barrier across the estuary at Chipps Island. Of course, we all know the Bechtal Corp., whose foundation funds PPIC, builds things like Peripheral Canals.
The event, in two words, was a “stacked deck.” Not one voice of opposition was seated on the stage. Only the usual cast of characters. The “environmental” voices were all party-liners, too. All did their thing and none bit the hand that pays them although Dr. Peter Goodwin, the head of the Delta Independent Science Board, speaking to the concept of Adaptive Management, did allow that, “There is so much uncertainty ahead of us that we have to have Adaptive Management.”
Almost every other word he used was “uncertainty.” I like this guy!
When he came off the stage, I met him with the statement, “Peter, if you want to stop uncertainty, just leave more water in the Delta and forget the tunnels.” He smiled and Jeff Kightlinger of the MWD, who was standing next to him, made a quick exit.
I got a chance to speak in a public comment period after the next group. I wanted to take issue with a couple of things Phil Isenberg, the Delta Stewardship Council chairman, said during his presentation. Phil began by philosophizing, saying, “The American People like to have a choice.” I told Phil, “That may be correct in the other 49 states, but not in California. We can’t vote on the twin tunnels of the BDCP plan. Jerry Brown is afraid he’ll lose. So we have no choice.”
I noticed that they did not give me the mic, but kept a firm grip on it while I spoke and took it away from me when I finished so I couldn’t reply to Phil’s answer. I did anyway. Shouted it out.
The other statement I took issue with was when Phil said, “Water problems make environmental problems.” I hit him with the same thing I told Dr. Goodwin privately, “Why not just leave the water in the Delta and don’t divert so much anymore and we can solve both our water and environmental problems.” Phil, as usual when he is cornered, retreated into a very long Shakespearian-like soliloquy that had all the characteristics of a fog moving under the bridge into SF Bay and swallowing up the city. It’s effect is that pretty soon people even forget the question. I think I even did.
The gamin-like Ellen Hanak, the PPIC chairperson for the event, was a strong facilitator and generally kept things moving but I didn’t hear one thing that I hadn’t heard before. The people sitting with me were curious about why she would give us a free continental breakfast and decent lunch to listen to 15 people telling us what we already know. You don’t spend that kind of money unless you want something back for it. What she got was the top water agency guys whose egos love the spotlight inherent in such functions.
Although the PPIC line differs here and there from the water agencies’ party line–but not so much as to make real waves–one came away with the impression that Hanak just wants to be a player with a seat at the water table. We’ll see.
A couple of more free lunches ought to do it, I thought.
On the other hand, doesn’t the Bechtal Corp. build water tunnels, too?
Although the 2012 tax season is officially over, tax scams unfortunately are not, which is why the IRS issues an annual “Dirty Dozen” list that includes common tax scams affecting taxpayers.
Taxpayers should be aware of these tax scams so they can protect themselves against claims that sound too good to be true, and because taxpayers who buy into illegal tax scams can end up facing significant penalties and interest and even criminal prosecution.
Here are the tax scams that made the IRS “Dirty Dozen” list this filing season:
After a mid season trade brought him from Milwaukee to Anaheim last year, Zack Greinke extended his stay in Los Angeles by signing a lucrative six-year contract with the Dodgers this offseason. And it appears the pitching ace has settled into his new West Coast surroundings quite comfortably. With $147 million burning a hole in his pocket, Greinke recently picked up a prime piece of real estate in L.A., shelling out nearly $5 million on a massive Craftsman compound in Studio City, CA.
Built in 2012, Greinke’s Greene & Greene-inspired home is the work of noted architect Ray Keller. Weighing in at nearly 11,000 square feet, 7 bedrooms and 9 baths, the home itself certainly has enough room to move, but it also wades out into very Californian, Renaissance Man territory with luxuries like a gym, library and the amenity every big league pitcher will tell you they need, an art studio (just ask Barry Zito). A 9-car motor court anchors the one-acre grounds, while the two structures found on the property are linked via a walking bridge. Last, but certainly not least, Greinke’s new manse rounds out with a pool, spa and waterfall.
The Nevada County Fairgrounds will host a job fair to fulfill its hiring needs for this year’s Fair season. The Nevada County Fair job fair will be held on Thursday, May 16, from 2 – 6 pm in the Main Street Center at the Nevada County Fairgrounds.
If you are interested in working at the Fairgrounds during the 2013 Fair season, plan to attend this event. Fair staff will be accepting applications from 2 – 6 pm for all departments, as well as conducting interviews on site. Some of the jobs available include gate cashiers, ticket monitors, “red shirt” patrols, exhibit crew, exhibit entry clerk, clean-up crew, and parking crew.
Employment applications, as well as available jobs and job descriptions are posted on the Fair’s website at www.NevadaCountyFair.com. Applications will also be available on the day of the job fair.
The 2013 Nevada County Fair is August 7 – 11. For information, call (530) 273-6217 or visit NevadaCountyFair.com.
More than 180 volunteers participated in the Rotary at Work Day at the Nevada County Fairgrounds on Saturday. Organized by Nevada County’s Rotary Clubs, volunteers spent the day fixing up and sprucing up the community’s Fairgrounds.
More than 180 volunteers spend a day “beautifying” the Nevada County Fairgrounds
On Saturday, Nevada County’s Rotary Clubs – Grass Valley Rotary, Nevada City Rotary, Nevada City 49er Breakfast Rotary, Penn Valley Rotary, and South Nevada County Rotary – joined together for the second year for the Rotary at Work Day at the Nevada County Fairgrounds. Local contractors and volunteers from Bear River FFA, NU FFA, Sierra College Volunteer Club, Interact Club from Lyman Gilmore and Seven Hills, and Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, also participated in the event, which amounted to more than 180 individuals volunteering their time and efforts to perform much-needed repairs and maintenance at the Nevada County Fairgrounds.
The volunteers worked hard staining fences, replacing roofs, laying concrete, painting barns, planting trees, removing decking and raking the grounds. They also replaced a dilapidated billboard that faced Highway 20 with a new billboard that includes the Fairgrounds logo.
In addition to the volunteer efforts, there were numerous contractors and suppliers who donated goods and services – Waste Management, Caseywood, Earley Concrete Pumping, BP Landscaping, C & D Construction, Hanson Bros., Viking Roofing, DMCE Concrete, Moule Paint and Glass, Grass Valley Signs, and JSM Construction.
“The work completed at the Fairgrounds this weekend, and at last year’s Rotary at Work Day, serve as another reminder of the ongoing support and generosity of our community,” said Sandy Woods, CEO of the Nevada County Fairgrounds. “We are so grateful to the Rotarians for organizing this yearly event, and we thank all the volunteers and businesses for their efforts in ensuring that the Fairgrounds remain beautiful and a source of pride for our community.”
“It was an amazing day filled with so much enthusiasm for the work at hand,” said Scott Spencer, organizer of the event. “We aimed high this year – and we met our goals! It is amazing what can be accomplished when a large group works together for a common goal. A special thank you goes to the Nevada County Fairgrounds’ maintenance crew for all their work in preparing for the Rotary at Work Day, and for going above and beyond the call of duty to accommodate the various needs for this event. It truly was a team effort.”
With 180 volunteers at this year’s Rotary at Work Day, and more than 200 at last year’s event, this event continues to be the largest one-day community service project conducted in the county.
By: Wendy Oaks
Publicist, Nevada County Fairgrounds
Scott’s Flat Reservoir (picture by John J. O’Dell)
Nevada Irrigation District has maintained good levels of reservoir storage and is planning to make normal deliveries this year.
District reservoir levels rose in the near record rains of November and December but the normally wet months of January, February and March brought just eight inches of precipitation to NID mountain watershed.
Official April 1 snow surveys, usually the year’s best indicator of seasonal water supplies, showed just 17% of average water content in a thin mountain snowpack.
Seasonal precipitation at Bowman Reservoir (elevation 5,650 feet) stood at 52.62 inches as of April 10, which equals 87% of average. Seasonal precipitation is measured from July 1 to June 30 on a yearly basis.
April 10 storage in NID’s 10 reservoirs stood at 233,277 acre-feet, which is 93% of capacity and 125% of average for that date.
“Although we’re starting out with well above average water storage, we are expecting below average runoff from the snowpack” said NID Water Operations Administrator Sue Sindt. “This could impact the amount of storage we are able to carry over for 2014”
Sindt said NID will continue a conservative approach in water system operation and is encouraging district customers to eliminate water waste and use water efficiently.
To Contact NID Call (530) 273-6185 or (800) 222-4102
Escaped residential debris burns continue to be a leading cause of fire suppression calls in Nevada County. Learning to safely and cleanly burn vegetation debris helps to minimize smoke emissions and allows firefighters time to respond to true emergencies. It is your responsibility to know and follow local and state burning regulations. Failure to follow these regulations is a misdemeanor offense and you may be fined and prosecuted for the expense of containing a wildfire.