Who Does NOT Need an Oregon Property Manager

Oregon has some exceptions to its property manager licensing requirement

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

(June 23, 2017)

canstockphoto13934650noThere are a number of exceptions to the requirement for a license in order to conduct property management. Some of these exceptions are:

  • When a person is an employee of a property manager or principal broker. An unlicensed employee of a property manager or principal broker cannot negotiate and enter into a property management agreement with a property owner. Only a licensee can do so. However, an unlicensed employee can engage in other property management activities under the supervision of a property manager or principal broker as long as the employee is complying with the laws and rules governing property management activities. Some of these permitted activities are:
    • Showing a rental unit to prospective tenant
    • Obtaining rental applications from prospective tenants
    • Checking a tenant’s personal and credit references
    • Negotiating rental agreements with tenants
    • Hiring people to make repairs or perform maintenance services
    • Collecting and processing tenant rents
    • Supervising the premises’ managers, if applicable
    • Coordinating F.E.D. (Forcible Entry and Detainer) actions (eviction proceedings)
  • When a person is a full-time employee of a single owner of real estate whose activities involve real estate of the employer and are incidental to the employee’s normal non-real estate activities. A common example would be the secretary of a property owner who periodically shows vacant spaces to potential tenants.
  • When a person is acting as an attorney-in-fact under a duly-executed power of attorney from the owner. The power of attorney must authorize the person to supervise or execute any contract for the leasing of real estate. The power of attorney must be recorded in the county in which the property is located.
  • When an attorney at law is rendering services in the performance of his duties as an attorney for a client. A typical example is an attorney entering into a rental agreement for a property belonging to an estate that is in probate.
  • When a person engages in property management activity under the order of any court. A common situation in this exemption category would be a court-appointed receiver who is ordered to manage and/or liquidate property in a bankrupt estate.
  • When a person is a regular, full-time employee of a non-licensed corporation, partnership, association or single owner, and that person only engages in property management activity for that single entity. This employee can engage in property management activity only. The employee may not engage in the sale, exchange, lease option or purchase of the real property of the owner. The employee can manage property for this single owner ranging from one residential unit to multiple apartment complexes. Compensation of the employee must be through regular paychecks, with proper federal and state tax withholdings. In other words, independent contractor status is not allowed. If the person holds a real estate license, the exemption does not apply.
  • When a person is a general partner for a domestic or foreign limited partnership. The person must be working for a limited partnership properly registered with the Oregon Secretary of State, Corporation Division. The general partner can engage in the sale, acquisition, exchange, lease transfer or management of the real estate of the limited partnership without a license. If the person holds a real estate license, the exemption does not apply and license law must be followed with respect to the record keeping, handling of funds, etc.

CAUTION: Always check with the Oregon Real Estate Agency before engaging in any activity that may require a license. Your particular situation may vary from the broad descriptions in this article.

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For more information about OnlineEd and their education for real estate brokers, principal brokers, property managers, and mortgage brokers visit www.OnlineEd.com.

All information contained in this posting is deemed correct as of the date of publication, but is not guaranteed by the author and may have been obtained from third-party sources. Due to the fluid nature of the subject matter, regulations, requirements and laws, prices and all other information may or may not be correct in the future and should be verified if cited, shared or otherwise republished.

OnlineEd® is a registered Trademark

Environmental Series: Molds and Fungi

Adverse health effects from fungi usually depend on the dose and duration of exposure to the mold source

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

(June 21, 2017)

Fungi are medically known to cause allergies, hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP), humidifier fever, infections, mushroom poisoning, mycotoxicoses, and mucous membrane irritation. Some of the Penicillium, Aspergillus, Stachybotrys, Paecilomyces, and Fusarium can be hazardous to health under ideal conditions.

Molds and Fungi are simple organisms. Microfungi are only visible through a microscope. Plaster and wood-rotting fungi are known as macrofungi because they produce sporing bodies that are visible to the naked eye. Molds and mildews are names given to thousands of species of Filamentous Fungi. Most molds and fungi do not cause health problems and are found on plants, foods, dry leaves, and other organic materials. In fact, molds and fungi perform a valuable function as they assist in breaking down dead material.

Mold spores are very tiny and lightweight, which allows them to travel freely through the air. Other types of mold colonize as a network of filaments by attaching themselves to host material. For molds to grow, they need a food source and moisture. Hydrophilic types of fungi need conditions close to saturation, or at least very damp conditions. The Xerophilic types of fungi grow in drier conditions, with only minimal moisture. Molds that have food and moisture will grow in an indoor environment – even in an arid climate. Evidence of mold growths can often be seen in the form of discoloration ranging from white to orange and from green to brown to black growing on various materials found inside and outside the house.

Adverse health effects from fungi usually depend on the dose and duration of exposure to the mold source. The methods of exposure are inhalation, exposure to skin, and ingestion. The groups of people at higher risk are elderly individuals, pregnant women, children, and those with compromised immune or respiratory systems. Health problems generally may be grouped as follows:

  • Infections
  • Respiratory problems
  • Nasal passage problems
  • Eye problems
  • Central nervous system problems
  • Fever
  • Possible death if exposure results from extremely toxic varieties

Remediation should be implemented when a structure has a mold or mildew problem. The following are regarded as the necessary steps in any remediation or cleanup process:

  • Identify and correct the moisture source. No permanent solution to the identified mold problem can be realized unless the source of the moisture fueling the mold growth is identified and corrected.
  • Hard materials that are not absorbent, such as glass, plastic or metal, must be properly disinfected. Disposal of these is not necessary.
  • Carpets, rugs, furniture, and other items with absorbent material must be removed and discarded if not thoroughly dried within 24 hours of water contamination. This type of material, even if disinfected, will usually continue to harbor unsafe mold after decontamination attempts. Therefore, it is best to remove and discard all porous material.
  • All stained ceiling tiles, carpets, or wallboard should be removed and properly discarded.
  • If a structure was flooded, the sheetrock should be removed to at least 12 inches above the high water mark. After sheetrock removal, the wall interior should be inspected for signs of mold.

The following cleanup steps should be followed in a mold remediation situation:

  • Identify whether contaminated material can be saved or should be removed and discarded.
  • If the material can be saved, before disinfecting the contaminated area or materials, clean the materials and surfaces to remove as much of the mold as possible.
  • After the contaminated area has been cleaned, the nonporous surfaces must be disinfected.

The removal of contaminated material should be regarded as a hazardous process, and contaminated materials should be disposed of properly.

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For more information about OnlineEd and their education for real estate brokers, principal brokers, property managers, and mortgage brokers visit www.OnlineEd.com.

All information contained in this posting is deemed correct as of the date of publication, but is not guaranteed by the author and may have been obtained from third-party sources. Due to the fluid nature of the subject matter, regulations, requirements and laws, prices and all other information may or may not be correct in the future and should be verified if cited, shared or otherwise republished.

OnlineEd® is a registered Trademark

Redfin: May Housing Market Sets Records for Speed and Competition

More than a quarter of homes sold for more than their asking price

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

(June 15, 2017)

canstockphoto10268206housepriceincreaseSEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)– U.S. home prices rose 6.8 percent to a median sale price of $288,000 in May, according to Redfin (www.redfin.com), the next-generation real estate brokerage. Home sales increased 7.5 percent over last year, despite a long-standing shortage in the supply of homes. The number of homes for sale fell 10.9 percent, leaving just 2.7 months of supply, the lowest supply Redfin has recorded since we began tracking the market in 2010. Six months is generally considered a market balanced between buyers and sellers.

The typical home that sold in May went under contract in 37 days, breaking the previous record of 40 days set in April. More than a quarter of homes sold above their list price, the highest percentage Redfin has recorded. The median sale-to-list price ratio set another record, hitting 95.4 percent in May.

“There is still a lot of momentum in home prices in many metros, not only on the coasts but also in places like Buffalo, Grand Rapids and Omaha,” said Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson. “Strong local economic growth and burgeoning demand from older millennials are accelerating home-price growth in this very competitive, low-inventory pre-summer market. The Federal Reserve’s latest announcement to raise short-term rates will have very little effect on buyer demand or on the overall housing market. If anything, it may motivate buyers to make their purchases sooner rather than later.”

In a Redfin-commissioned survey conducted last month, more than 1,000 homebuyers responded to a question about the effect a hypothetical rate hike above 5 percent would have on their home-buying plans. A quarter said it would have no impact, while nearly as many (23%) said they would increase their urgency to buy before rates went up further. Twenty-nine percent said they would slow down their search and see if rates came back down, 18 percent said their urgency wouldn’t change, but they would look in other areas or buy a smaller home. Just 5 percent said they would cancel their home-buying plans altogether.

Regional May Highlights

Competition

  • Denver, CO, was the fastest market for the third month in a row, with nearly half of all homes pending sale in just 6 days. Seattle, WA, was the next fastest markets with 7 median days on market, followed by Grand Rapids, MI (8), Portland, OR (8), and Omaha, NE (9).
  • The most competitive market in May was San Jose, CA, where 74.1% of homes sold above list price, followed by 70.9% in Oakland, CA, 70.1% in San Francisco, CA, 64.1% in Seattle, WA, and 51.8% in Tacoma, WA.

Prices

  • Seattle, WA, had the nation’s highest price growth, rising 15.9% since last year to $510,000. Lakeland, FL, had the second-highest growth at 15.1% year-over-year price growth, followed by Tampa, FL (13.2%), Memphis, TN (13%), and Manchester, NH (12.2%).
  • Two metros saw slight price declines in May including Albany, NY (-0.9%), and Baton Rouge, LA (-0.6%).

Sales

  • In 29 out of 89 metros, sales surged by double digits from last year. Poughkeepsie, NY, led the nation in year-over-year sales growth, up 44.4%, followed by Memphis, TN, up 40.2%. Philadelphia, PA, rounded out the top three with sales up 28.3% from a year ago.
  • Rochester, NY, had the largest decline in sales since last year, falling 14.3%. Home sales in Santa Rosa, CA, and Buffalo, NY, declined by 11.2% and 10.3%, respectively.

Inventory

  • Rochester, NY, had the largest decrease in overall inventory, falling 35.7% since last May. Buffalo, NY (-31.9%), San Jose, CA (-31.0%), and Seattle, WA (-27.1%), also had far fewer homes available on the market than a year ago.
  • Ogden, UT, had the highest increase in the number of homes for sale, up 41.4% year over year, followed by Provo, UT (34.9%), and Fort Myers, FL (27.3%).

To read the full report, complete with data and charts, please visit the following link: https://www.redfin.com/blog/2017/06/market-tracker-may-2017.html.

[Source: Redfin press release]

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For more information about OnlineEd and their education for real estate brokers, principal brokers, property managers, and mortgage brokers visit www.OnlineEd.com.

All information contained in this posting is deemed correct as of the date of publication, but is not guaranteed by the author and may have been obtained from third-party sources. Due to the fluid nature of the subject matter, regulations, requirements and laws, prices and all other information may or may not be correct in the future and should be verified if cited, shared or otherwise republished.

OnlineEd® is a registered Trademark

First-Ever Report to Track the Entire First-Time Homebuyer Market

Home sales to first-time homebuyers up 11% during First Quarter 2017

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

(June 12, 2017)

RICHMOND, VA., June 8, 2017 – Over the past 10 years, three million first-time homebuyers have been kept out of the home purchase market, according to Genworth Mortgage Insurance, an operating segment of Genworth Financial, Inc. (NYSE: GNW), which recently launched its inaugural First-Time Homebuyer Market Report.

The report is unique in that it traces the first-time homebuyer market back to 1994, analyzing more than 20 million records of first-time homebuyers from mortgage origination data. It is the first report to track home sales to first-time homebuyers on a monthly basis and report at quarterly intervals, allowing for first-time homebuyer data to be compared against national housing market indicators. Additionally, it is the first report to separately identify first-time homebuyers enabled by low down payment mortgages, such as conventional mortgages with mortgage insurance coverage, FHA loans, VA loans, and USDA loans.

“Over the past three years, first-time homebuyers have accounted for 85 percent of the growth in home sales, and have become an important indicator for understanding market trends,” said Tian Liu, Chief Economist for Genworth Mortgage Insurance. “Their impact has already been felt in falling inventory and rising home prices, and we expect them to increasingly drive growth to businesses most exposed to this market segment.”

Mr. Liu continued, “Despite their growth in volume, many prospective buyers and housing market participants still mistakenly believe that a 20 percent down payment is required to qualify for a mortgage. By studying this group more closely, we hope to bring a better understanding about the many low down payment options available to help first-time homebuyers reach homeownership sooner.”

The report, which will be published quarterly, had several notable findings in its first edition:

1. During Q1 2017, first-time homebuyers bought the most single-family homes since 2005. During the first quarter of 2017, 424,000 single-family homes were sold to first-time homebuyers (38 percent of all single-family home sales), the most during that period since 2005, and an 11 percent increase from the same period in 2016.

2. From 2014-2016, first-time homebuyers drove 85 percent of the housing market’s expansion, the fastest rate ever. The surge in the first-time homebuyer market from 2014-2016 accounted for 85 percent of the expansion in the housing market. The annual increase of approximately 260,000 first-time homebuyers for two years in a row is unprecedented during the period of 1994-2016 and had a large impact on the overall housing market in both inventory and home price appreciation. 2016 was the strongest year for the first-time homebuyer market in 11 years, reporting two million first-time homebuyers, or 15 percent more than in 2015. First-Time Homebuyers accounted for 37 percent of all single family homes sold in 2016, up from 34 percent in 2015.

3. Three million missing first-time homebuyers since the Housing Crisis. The report estimates that historically 1.8 million first-time homebuyers purchased homes each year between 1994 and 2016, accounting for 35% of all single-family homes sold. Because of the housing crisis, only 1.5 million first-time homebuyers have been able to purchase homes in the last 10 years, three million fewer than the historical average. That pent-up demand among first-time homebuyers will likely lead to a surge in demand for entry-level single-family homes, low down payment mortgages, and a general uptick in homeownership. 6620 West Broad Street Richmond, VA 23230

4. Private Mortgage Insurance and FHA loans had the most first-time homebuyer market share from 2014- 2016. Private mortgage insurance and FHA loans accounted for 80 percent of the growth in the first-time homebuyer market from 2014-2016. This breaks out to 730,000 first-time homebuyers who used FHA loans, and 510,000 who used private mortgage insurance.

For access to the full report, as well as a brief fact sheet, visit: https://miblog.genworth.com/first-time-homebuyermarket-report-06-17/.

[Source: Gentworth Financial press release]

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For more information about OnlineEd and their education for real estate brokers, principal brokers, property managers, and mortgage brokers visit www.OnlineEd.com.

All information contained in this posting is deemed correct as of the date of publication, but is not guaranteed by the author and may have been obtained from third-party sources. Due to the fluid nature of the subject matter, regulations, requirements and laws, prices and all other information may or may not be correct in the future and should be verified if cited, shared or otherwise republished.

OnlineEd® is a registered Trademark

Financial Freedom Agrees to $89 Million Settlement

Financial Freedom Settles Alleged Liability for Servicing of Federally Insured Reverse Mortgage Loans for $89 Million

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

(May 17, 2017)

briefcase with money(US Dept. of Justice, May 16, 2017) – Financial Freedom has agreed to a settlement with the United States of more than $89 million to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act and the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA) in connection with its participation in a federally insured Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM) or ‘reverse mortgage’ program, the Justice Department announced today. Financial Freedom is headquartered in Austin, Texas.

“The Department of Justice is committed to ensuring that those who participate in federal mortgage insurance programs comply with requirements essential to the success of its programs,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Chad A. Readler of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “Among these requirements are the deadlines imposed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) on those who service government insured mortgages. Those deadlines are designed to protect the government’s collateral and stop the unnecessary loss of government funds and resources.”

Through ‘reverse mortgage’ loans, older people are able to access the equity in their homes by borrowing money against the equity they have built in their home. To encourage reverse mortgage loans, the FHA protects lenders from loss by providing mortgage insurance. Under FHA’s program, a loan becomes due and payable when the home is sold or vacant for more than 12 months or upon the death of the homeowner, whichever comes first. The lender is repaid the amount of the loan, including the costs of servicing the loan and any interest that accrues on lender expenses after a loan becomes due and payable. FHA will reimburse a lender that is unable to recoup the full amount of the loan. In order to claim recoupment, the servicer is required to meet a number of regulatory requirements and deadlines.

The United States alleged that Financial Freedom sought to obtain insurance payments for interest from FHA despite failing to properly disclose on the insurance claim forms it filed with the agency that the mortgagee was not eligible for such interest payments because it had failed to meet various deadlines relating to appraisal of the property, submission of claims to HUD, and pursuit of foreclosure proceedings. As a result, from March 31, 2011 to August 31, 2016, the mortgagees on the relevant reverse mortgage loans serviced by Financial Freedom allegedly obtained additional interest that they were not entitled to receive.

The United States’ investigation arose from a declaration filed pursuant to FIRREA by Sandra Jolley, a consultant for the estates of borrowers who took out HECM loans. Under FIRREA, whistleblowers may file declarations concerning alleged violations of the statute and may obtain a share of the recovery. Ms. Jolley will receive $1.6 million from the settlement.

“This settlement represents our office’s continued commitment to protecting the financial solvency of vital financial programs designed to benefit America’s seniors,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Stephen Muldrow of the Middle District of Florida. “HECM servicers must be held accountable for failing to adhere to FHA requirements that are designed to ensure the continued viability of the HECM program. We are pleased that Financial Freedom agreed to accept financial responsibility for these failures.”

“Today’s settlement agreement resolves allegations that this lender failed to comply with FHA servicing requirements and sought to receive financial gains that it was not legally entitled to,” said HUD Inspector General David A. Montoya. “These actions today demonstrate our continued commitment to address and halt business practices that pose a serious risk to the FHA program and the public’s trust in HHUD-administered programs.”

The settlement was the result of the coordinated efforts of the Civil Division’s Commercial Litigation Branch, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Inspector General and Office of General Counsel. The case was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle Cohen, along with Trial Attorneys Sean O’Donnell and Christopher Reimer of the Department of Justice Civil Frauds Section.

The claims resolved by the settlement are allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability.

[Source: US Department of Justice press release]

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For more information about OnlineEd and their education for real estate brokers, principal brokers, property managers, and mortgage brokers, visit www.OnlineEd.com.

All information contained in this posting is deemed correct as of the date of publication, but is not guaranteed by the author and may have been obtained from third-party sources. Due to the fluid nature of the subject matter, regulations, requirements and laws, prices and all other information may or may not be correct in the future and should be verified if cited, shared or otherwise republished.

OnlineEd® is a registered Trademark

How to Renew Your Oregon Real Estate License

Requirements to renew an Oregon real estate license

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog
(May 9, 2017)

2015 logo green leaf

(Portland, OR) – To renew an Oregon real estate license, the licensee must pay a renewal fee and meet the following continuing education requirements:

  • 30 hours of continuing education during the two years preceding license renewal;
  • At least 3 of the 30 hours must be in a course on recent changes in real estate rule and law called the Law and Rule Required Course (LARRC), offered for FREE at OnlineEd;
  • First-time renewing licensees must take a Real Estate Board-approved 27-hour course on Broker Advanced Practices and a 3-hour course on recent changes in real estate rule and law (LARRC);
  • Continuing education courses and their course objectives must be based on Real Estate Board approved topics;
  • Only courses completed through an Oregon Real Estate Board Certified Continuing Education Provider will qualify for continuing education;
  • The Certified Continuing Education Provider must ensure that persons who teach their continuing education courses meet certain instructor qualification requirements; and
  • As part of the license renewal process, licensees will self-certify that they have met the continuing education requirement for the applicable renewal cycle.
  • While courses might be delivered by approved providers, it is the licensee’s responsibility to see that the courses meet all timing requirements and that provider can prove your time in the course to the Agency. This means that online courses must have timers and live lecture courses must have a method in place to verify time spent in attendance. A provider’s certificate of completion issued when the provider cannot prove time spent in the course will not be counted if discovered during an agency audit.

Eligible Topics

At least 3 of the 30 hours must be from a course on recent changes in real estate rule. The course on the recent rule and law changes is known as Law and Rule Required Course, commonly known by its acronym LARRC (“lark”). The remaining 27 hours of continuing education can come from any of these topics:

  • Principal broker or property manager record keeping
  • Principal real estate broker supervision responsibilities
  • Principal broker or property manager client trust accounts
  • Agency relationships and responsibilities for brokers, principal brokers, or property managers
  • Misrepresentation in real estate transactions
  • Property management
  • Advertising regulations
  • Real estate disclosure requirements
  • Real estate consumer protection
  • Anti-trust issues in real estate transactions
  • Commercial real estate
  • Real estate contracts
  • Real estate taxation
  • Real estate property evaluation, appraisal, or valuation
  • Fair Housing laws or policy
  • Managing a real estate brokerage
  • Business ethics
  • Risk management
  • Dispute resolution
  • Real estate finance
  • Real estate title
  • Real estate escrows
  • Real estate development
  • Condominiums
  • Subdivisions
  • Unit owner or homeowner associations
  • Timeshares
  • Water rights
  • Environmental protection issues in real estate
  • Land use planning, zoning, or other public limitations on use
  • Real estate economics
  • Real estate law or regulation
  • Negotiation

Specifically excluded from eligible continuing education are courses about these topics:

  • Real estate broker or property manager pre-licensing courses
  • Examination preparation classes
  • Sales meetings
  • Motivational classes or seminars
  • Time management classes or seminars
  • Sales and marketing classes or seminars
  • Psychology classes or seminars
  • Trade association orientation courses
  • Courses in standardized computer software programs not specifically related to one of the eligible topics
  • Courses with content that is specific to another state or jurisdiction

Certified Continuing Education Providers

For continuing education to qualify for license renewal, the education must be delivered by a Certified Continuing Education Provider and be time-monitored. The Certified Continuing Education Provider must

  • ensure that a course offered is within the scope of one or more of the eligible course topics;
  • identify to the licensee which course topic the course covers;
  • ensure that the course meets the minimum length requirement of one credit hour (50 minutes);
  • assign each course a four-digit number that is unique to that course;
  • ensure that courses offered will meet the stated learning objective requirements;
  • ensure that the instructor who teaches a continuing education course meets the applicable instructor qualification requirements;
  • give each licensee who completes a course a course completion certificate; and
  • keep records of each course provided for three years.

Online Renewal

To renew, licensees must use the REA’s online renewal system known as e-License. Licenses cannot and will not be renewed through the mail. During the online renewal process, licensees will self-certify that they have completed the required continuing education requirements. As part of this certification process, licensees must keep all certificates of completion received from continuing education providers and submit their completion information eLicense. The information necessary to complete this form will be found on each qualifying continuing education course completion certificate. All certificates must be kept by the licensee for three years after the renewal date for which the certificate was used for continuing education credit. Course completion certificates are obtained from the course providers.

The REA’s eLicensing website is: https://orea.elicense.irondata.com

The REA required information to be included on all qualifying continuing education course certificates includes:

  • the licensee’s name and license number;
  • the REA certified course provider’s name and REA provider number;
  • the course name and identification number. This course identification number is a four-digit provider number assigned by REA, followed by the 4-digit course number assigned by the provider and registered with the REA;
  • the date, location, and length of time assigned to the course;
  • the eligible course topics covered, or whether the course is the three-hour Law and Rule Required Course, the Broker Advanced Practices Course, or the Brokerage Administration and Sales Supervision course; and
  • the name of the instructor.

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For more information about OnlineEd and their education for real estate brokers, principal brokers, property managers, and mortgage brokers visit www.OnlineEd.com.

All information contained in this posting is deemed correct as of the date of publication, but is not guaranteed by the author and may have been obtained from third-party sources. Due to the fluid nature of the subject matter, regulations, requirements and laws, prices and all other information may or may not be correct in the future and should be verified if cited, shared or otherwise republished.

OnlineEd® is a registered Trademark

Changes to Contractor License Bond Claims Process in Oregon

As of January 1, the process of filing a claim against a residential contractor license bond now also includes a mediation process

By Vic Lance, Lance Surety Bond Associates

(April 8, 2017)

res_contractor_bond_claimsAs of January 1, 2017, new rules regarding the contractor license bond claim process in Oregon have been put in place. These rules only apply to bond claims brought against residential contractors.

Under the new rules, the Oregon Construction Contractors Board (CCB) will first attempt to mediate the situation that has given rise to a complaint before letting claimants file a formal claim against the bond. Read on for a full overview of the new rules regarding filing a contractor license bond claim in Oregon.

The Oregon residential contractor license bond

According to Section 701.145 of the Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS), residential contractors are required to obtain a contractor license bond when applying for their license. Current state law requires residential contractors to obtain bonds in the following amounts, depending on the type of license they obtain:

  • $20,000 bond for residential general contractors and residential developers;
  • $15,000 bond for residential specialty contractors; and
  • $10,000 bond for residential limited contractor, residential locksmith services contractor, home services contractor, home inspector services contractor, home performance score contractor.

The purpose of contractor license bonds is to offer protection to the Construction Contractors Board as well as to the clients of a contractor. The protection is provided in cases when a contractor violates Oregon contractor regulations and laws and causes damages or losses. This may include defaulting on a contract, not complying with the conditions of a contract or simply doing a bad job.

In the case of a violation, a contractor license bond claim can be made. Once the claim is investigated by the CCB and the surety company and is deemed within the scope of the bond, compensation is paid to claimants.

But as of January 1 the process of filing a contractor license bond claim against residential contractors in Oregon has been amended.

Changes to the Oregon residential contractor license bond claims process

In order to protect contractors from surety bond claims that may not be within the scope of the law as well as to assist the process of resolving complaints, House Bill 4121 introduced changes to the ORS.

Previously, a complaint had to be filed against a contractor, and the CCB would then investigate the complaint and either give rise to a claim against the contractor’s bond or recommend various actions to the contractor in order to resolve the situation.

According to Section 8.4 of Bill 4121, as of January 1, the process of filing a claim against a residential contractor license bond now also includes a mediation process. Once the Board receives a complaint against a contractor, it will investigate whether it has jurisdiction over the complaint.

The Board will then try to conduct meetings either on-site or per telephone to mediate the dispute between the complainant and the contractor. As previously, the Board may still suggest actions to the contractor that may compensate the complainant, without giving rise to a claim against the bond. According to the Bill, if a contractor takes the Board’s suggestions into consideration that is sure to influence any subsequent disciplinary proceedings that the Board may bring against the contractor.

Section 8.5 of the Bill specifies that only if the contractor and the complainant do not reach an agreement about resolving the complaint, does the complainant have a right to receive payment under a bond. The complainant must then:

  • Get a final judgment against the contractor by a court; or
  • Get an arbitration award against the contractor, reduced to a final judgment by a court.

When this occurs, the surety is notified by the Board of the final judgment as well as of the amount it must pay according to the Board.

It’s important to note that these changes to the contractor license bond claim process do not concern complaints filed under ORS 701.140 (4). Such complaints are related to the payments of wages for labor or employee benefits. These types of complaints do not go through a process of mediation but are instead immediately addressed through a court that issues a judgment.

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Vic Lance is the founder and president of Lance Surety Bond Associates. He is a surety bond expert who helps mortgage brokers get licensed and bonded. Vic graduated from Villanova University with a degree in Business Administration and holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.

For more information about OnlineEd and their education for real estate brokers, principal brokers, property managers, and mortgage brokers, visit www.OnlineEd.com.

All information contained in this posting is deemed correct as of the date of publication, but is not guaranteed by the author and may have been obtained from third-party sources. Due to the fluid nature of the subject matter, regulations, requirements and laws, prices and all other information may or may not be correct in the future and should be verified if cited, shared or otherwise republished.

OnlineEd® is a registered Trademark

Summer is the Best Time to Buy

Most inventory and price cuts occur in August and September

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

(April 5, 2017)

canstockphoto2590514 sun flowers 4(SEATTLE, May 4, 2017) PRNewswire — Patience pays off for home buyers. The best time to buy a home is late summer when there are the most options and frequent price cuts.

As summer approaches, overall inventory of homes for sale is down 5.3 percent from a year ago, signaling another competitive home shopping season for buyers this year. Even in markets that have seen a recent uptick in the number of homes for sale, inventory is still well below the levels of five years ago.

A new Zillow® analysis shows that there are more homes for sale at the end of summer than at any other time of year, giving buyers the greatest selection. In most major metros, August had more for-sale listings than any other month. In Los Angeles, for example, there were about 8,000 more homes for sale in August than in April. In Seattle, the difference was about 5,000 listings.

At the same time, price cuts are more common as home sellers start to worry about not selling their homes. Across the country, 15 percent of listings in August have had price reductions. In most large markets, buyers are most likely to find a home with a reduced price tag in either August or September.

The home shopping process can be stressful for buyers. On average, buyers spend more than four months shopping for a home, and put in at least two offers before buying, according to the 2016 Zillow Group Report on Consumer Housing Trends. Buyers who have been unsuccessful so far may find better luck in the later months of the summer.

“In such a competitive housing market, it’s easy for buyers to get frustrated when they are putting in multiple offers without success,” said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Svenja Gudell. “Buyers who start their home search in the spring may still be looking months later – but for those who can wait it out, the end of summer will bring more favorable conditions. Homes that may have been overpriced earlier in the year are more likely to have a price reduction, and those listings passed over in earlier months may look better with a fresh perspective.”

Spring traditionally kicks off the home shopping season – most new listings hit the market during these months. April in particular had more new listings than any other month in 2016.  However, shopping in spring can be competitive, and these homes are more likely to sell for a premium. Homes listed in late spring sell faster and for a $1,500 premium on average, according to Zillow’s Best Time to List analysis.

Share of Active Listings with a Price Cut – 2016

Metropolitan Area March April May June July August September October
United States 12.6% 12.8% 12.8% 14.3% 14.4% 15.1% 14.3% 13.0%
New York/Northern New Jersey 11.5% 12.2% 12.3% 13.2% 12.3% 11.9% 12.5% 11.2%
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA 10.8% 10.3% 10.7% 12.6% 13.2% 14.3% 13.5% 11.9%
Chicago, IL 13.2% 15.9% 16.2% 18.6% 18.6% 19.7% 19.9% 18.2%
Dallas-Fort Worth, TX 10.6% 11.2% 11.6% 13.7% 15.2% 16.4% 15.4% 14.5%
Philadelphia, PA 17.5% 18.5% 18.1% 20.1% 19.3% 19.0% 21.0% 19.7%
Houston, TX 17.1% 16.5% 14.7% 17.2% 19.1% 18.2% 18.2% 17.2%
Washington, DC 13.4% 15.4% 16.3% 17.8% 17.7% 17.1% 17.2% 16.8%
Miami-Fort Lauderdale, FL 14.1% 13.1% 12.1% 12.4% 11.8% 12.1% 11.8% 10.8%
Atlanta, GA 11.6% 12.1% 12.0% 13.3% 14.1% 14.6% 14.0% 13.6%
Boston, MA 10.8% 11.4% 12.5% 14.3% 13.4% 14.2% 14.6% 16.4%
San Francisco, CA 6.8% 7.6% 9.0% 10.3% 11.2% 12.3% 10.9% 10.1%
Detroit, MI 14.9% 13.9% 14.8% 17.5% 18.9% 20.8% 18.9% 17.6%
Riverside, CA 13.8% 12.5% 11.8% 13.0% 13.5% 14.6% 13.6% 12.8%
Phoenix, AZ 21.6% 19.3% 18.7% 18.7% 18.5% 19.4% 19.3% 19.8%
Seattle, WA 6.3% 7.0% 7.7% 9.3% 10.8% 12.1% 11.7% 9.2%
Minneapolis-St Paul, MN 12.8% 13.0% 13.7% 16.4% 17.2% 18.9% 18.6% 17.3%
San Diego, CA 12.9% 12.6% 12.6% 13.7% 14.9% 15.5% 12.7% 8.3%
St. Louis, MO 14.5% 15.3% 15.3% 17.1% 16.9% 17.9% 17.3% 15.7%
Tampa, FL 16.3% 15.6% 14.0% 14.4% 14.1% 14.6% 15.2% 14.6%
Baltimore, MD 16.1% 17.2% 17.7% 19.1% 19.6% 19.2% 19.9% 19.8%
Denver, CO 8.3% 9.3% 10.4% 13.5% 14.2% 15.3% 12.9% 9.1%
Pittsburgh, PA 14.4% 15.1% 15.7% 16.5% 17.4% 17.8% 17.9% 16.3%
Portland, OR 7.2% 8.2% 9.6% 11.4% 13.2% 15.3% 15.2% 13.0%
Charlotte, NC 11.3% 11.5% 11.5% 12.3% 12.9% 13.5% 11.8% 9.6%
Sacramento, CA 8.7% 9.9% 11.0% 12.3% 14.0% 14.6% 13.0% 8.6%
San Antonio, TX 14.3% 15.2% 15.9% 16.8% 19.4% 20.0% 17.9% 16.9%
Orlando, FL 15.9% 15.7% 13.3% 14.2% 14.8% 14.6% 15.1% 14.1%
Cincinnati, OH 13.5% 14.8% 13.7% 16.1% 16.0% 16.7% 15.8% 13.7%
Cleveland, OH 14.1% 13.6% 13.9% 15.9% 15.9% 17.5% 17.0% 16.2%
Kansas City, MO 11.7% 11.9% 12.0% 14.2% 15.0% 15.9% 15.3% 14.8%
Las Vegas, NV 13.0% 12.7% 12.1% 12.5% 13.6% 16.0% 15.3% 14.2%
Columbus, OH 11.5% 11.3% 11.5% 12.9% 14.4% 15.3% 14.8% 12.9%
Indianapolis, IN 13.0% 12.3% 13.1% 14.9% 16.0% 17.7% 16.9% 16.3%
San Jose, CA 7.7% 8.5% 9.9% 12.0% 11.9% 13.9% 13.1% 12.1%
Austin, TX 12.4% 13.1% 13.7% 15.3% 17.3% 17.0% 16.8% 14.1%

For the full data, visit Zillow Research: http://www.zillow.com/research/strategy-best-time-to-buy-15066/

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For more information about OnlineEd and their education for real estate brokers, principal brokers, property managers, and mortgage brokers, visit www.OnlineEd.com.

All information contained in this posting is deemed correct as of the date of publication, but is not guaranteed by the author and may have been obtained from third-party sources. Due to the fluid nature of the subject matter, regulations, requirements and laws, prices and all other information may or may not be correct in the future and should be verified if cited, shared or otherwise republished.

OnlineEd® is a registered Trademark

Zillow Group Launches RealEstate.com, Gives Millennial Buyers a New Way to Search

Buyers can search for homes by the monthly payment and down payment they can afford

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

(April 5, 2017)

canstockphoto44785937 guy buyer 1SEATTLE – May 2, 2017 – Zillow Group, which houses a portfolio of the largest and most vibrant real estate and home-related brands on mobile and web, today launches RealEstate.com, a new consumer real estate brand tailored to first-time home buyers, many of whom are millennials.

On RealEstate.com, buyers can search for homes in a completely new way – by the monthly payment and down payment they can afford.

Home buyers say finding a home within their budget is their top concern, even more so than finding a home in a safe neighborhood, according to the 2016 Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report. Yet, first-time buyers are nearly twice as likely to exceed their budget as repeat buyers.

To help buyers understand the additional costs associated with homeownership, RealEstate.com calculates an “All-In Monthly Price” for every home and breaks out estimated expenses that might roll up into a monthly payment, including principal and interest, property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, HOA fees and utilities, and closing costs.

In addition, home shoppers will be able to search for and see information about homes in English, Spanish or Chinese.

Nearly half of all home buyers (42 percent) are first-time buyers, and the majority of first-time buyers (56 percent) are millennials. In addition to playing an increasingly larger role in the housing market, the millennial generation is more diverse than older generations.

“RealEstate.com is designed to equip the next generation of home buyers to find a home that suits their needs and budget,” said Jeremy Wacksman, CMO at Zillow Group. “We know from our research that affordability is a huge driver for home buyers, and that first-time buyers are more likely to go over budget. By tailoring the home search experience on RealEstate.com around a home’s monthly cost, we hope to make the home buying experience less daunting and even more transparent for first-time buyers.”

Millennial home-shoppers are hungry for resources to help them in their home search. They rely heavily on technology early in the buying and selling process, according to the Zillow Group report. Agents continue to play an important role with this engaged group of buyers, with 70 percent using an agent in their home search and they are more likely to find their real estate agent online (29 percent) and to evaluate agents using online reviews (61 percent).

For real estate professionals, RealEstate.com offers another way to connect with first-time home buyers and millennials. Buyers will be able to connect with real estate agents directly from the listing details page on the site. Listings come directly from multiple listing services, real estate brokerages and franchisors, agents will receive the same listing treatment they currently have on Zillow® and Trulia®.

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For more information about OnlineEd and their education for real estate brokers, principal brokers, property managers, and mortgage brokers visit www.OnlineEd.com.

All information contained in this posting is deemed correct as of the date of publication, but is not guaranteed by the author and may have been obtained from third-party sources. Due to the fluid nature of the subject matter, regulations, requirements and laws, prices and all other information may or may not be correct in the future and should be verified if cited, shared or otherwise republished.

OnlineEd® is a registered Trademark

Days to Close Shortest in Nearly a Year

Overall time to close a loan drops to 44 days in February, with Decreased days to close across all loan types

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

(April 21, 2017)

canstockphoto45409979 millennials1 PLEASANTON, Calif. –  In February, time to close all loans for Millennial borrowers decreased to 44 days, the shortest average time to close since March 2016, according to the latest Millennial Tracker released by Ellie Mae® , a leading provider of innovative on-demand software solutions and services for the residential mortgage industry. The average time to close a purchase loan for Millennials decreased from 46 days in January to 42 days in February, while time to close a refinance loan also decreased to 52 days in February, down from 58 days the month prior. Similarly, the average time to close FHA loans decreased from 47 days in January to 43 days in February. Average time to close VA loans decreased dramatically from 57 days to 41 days.

As U.S. housing trends toward a buyer’s market, purchases accounted for 86 percent of all closed loans for the month of February, a slight uptick from 84 percent in January, while refinances fell two percentage points to 14 percent of all loans to Millennial borrowers. Share of conventional loans stayed steady from the month prior, representing 61 percent of loans, while FHA loans increased to 36 percent in February, up from 35 percent the month prior.

FICO scores across all loan types continued to fall in February to an average of 723, down from 724 in January and their peak of 726 from August through October 2016. For purchases, the average FICO score was 747 for a conventional loan, 690 for an FHA loan and 745 for a VA loan.

“Purchase loans are increasing, indicating that Millennials are continuing to enter the first-time homebuyer market,” said Joe Tyrrell, executive vice president of corporate strategy for Ellie Mae. “In addition, we saw time to close decrease from 49 days in January to 44 days in February, which indicates that our lenders are seeing more efficiency as they embrace mortgage automation.”

In February, the hottest housing market for Millennials was in the state of Texas. The top markets by percentage of Millennial loans closed in the state included Odessa, Midland and Beaumont-Port Arthur.

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For more information about OnlineEd and their education for real estate brokers, principal brokers, property managers, and mortgage brokers, visit www.OnlineEd.com.

All information contained in this posting is deemed correct as of the date of publication, but is not guaranteed by the author and may have been obtained from third-party sources. Due to the fluid nature of the subject matter, regulations, requirements and laws, prices and all other information may or may not be correct in the future and should be verified if cited, shared or otherwise republished.

OnlineEd® is a registered Trademark