Tag Archives: California DRE

Green Home Building Continues to Climb, Valued at $36 Billion in 2013

canstockphoto16053461(National Association of Home Builders) – February 4, 2014 – McGraw Hill Construction, a part of McGraw Hill Financial (NYSE: MHFI), today released findings from a new Green Home Builders and Remodelers Study at the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas. Green homes comprised 23% of the overall residential construction market in 2013 and are expected to grow to between 26% and 33% of the market by 2016. This equates to a doubling in the value of green home construction over three years, growing from $36 billion in 2013 to $83-$105 billion in 2016, based on the current McGraw Hill Construction forecast for total residential construction.

According to McGraw Hill Construction research dating back to 2006, the green home building market most rapidly accelerated during the housing downturn when builders experienced in green remained in business at higher proportions than those not knowledgeable about energy-efficient and green home building. As the residential market improves, indications are that the residential market is becoming bifurcated, with green builders accelerating the depth of their green work, and new or returned entrants into the market focusing on traditional construction practices.

“Green experience was a significant part of what kept builders in business during the recession,” said Harvey M. Bernstein, VP of Industry Insights and Alliances, McGraw Hill Construction, “and now, those same firms are embracing the competitive advantage they earned by deepening their delivery of energy-efficient and green homes. We also see firms reentering the market that are using traditional home building practices versus green practices because that’s what they know. However, the broader availability of green building products and practices, a more educated consumer and an increase in activity at the regulatory level will also encourage this group of builders to learn green practices over time.”

The study shows that the top drivers to increased green home building activity include changes in codes and regulations, better quality, wider availability and affordability of green products, energy costs, and competitive advantage.

The green home building study, produced by McGraw Hill Construction in conjunction with the NAHB, is the fourth in a series that dates back to 2006. It was designed to provide key insights into market opportunities, backed by proprietary research surveys and the power of the Dodge database. The study reveals business benefits afforded by green building:

– Competitive marketing advantage: 51% of builders and remodelers find that it is easier to market green homes, up from 46% in 2012 and 40% in 2008.

– Customer willingness to pay for green features:

o 68% of builders (up from 61% in 2011) report their customers will pay more for green, with 23% reporting that their customer will pay more than 5%

o 84% of remodelers report the same (up from 66% in 2011), with 55% reporting their customers will pay more than 5% for green features.

“This study shows that more and more builders are incorporating environmentally sensitive and energy and resource efficient techniques into traditional home building practices, and we expect to see even stronger growth in the coming years,” said Matt Belcher Co-Chair of NAHB’s Energy & Green Building Subcommittee and a Builder from Wildwood, MO. “Green building expertise provided builders and remodelers with a competitive advantage during the housing downturn, and now as the market continues to recover, NAHB members stand ready to meet the increased demand.”

In 2013, 16% of builders were dedicated to green building with more than 90% of their projects green, and another 20% were highly invested in green activity with 61% to 90% of their projects green. By 2015, that is expected to increase, with 20% of builders expecting to be exclusively working on green buildings, and 24% doing 61% to 90% green work. Remodelers are also increasing their attention to green work, with 16% reporting more than 60% of their projects are green today, expected to grow to 23% doing this amount of green remodeling in 2015 and 32% by 2018.

This spring McGraw Hill Construction will publish its 4th SmartMarket Report on the green home building marketplace, which will include these findings with additional analysis and new market research data on the trends of the multifamily builder. In the meantime, key findings from the study can be found at analyticsstore.construction.com/GreenHomeKeyFindings14.


This article was published on January 20, 2014. All information contained in this posting is deemed correct and current as of this date, but is not guaranteed by the author. Due to the fluid nature of the subject matter, regulations, requirements, 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.

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



Enforcement Agencies Continue To Fight Loan Modification, Mortgage Relief, and Foreclosure Rescue Scams

Consumers warned not to pay upfront fees, and victims urged to file complaints

(SACRAMENTO, California Department of Real Estate) – The California State Department of Real Estate (DRE) and other law enforcement agencies have alerted and continue to warn consumers to be wary of promises for loan modification, mortgage relief, and foreclosure rescue as scammers continue to prey on vulnerable, financially stressed homeowners.

The DRE, whose mission is to protect the public interests in real estate matters, continues to file scores of actions against individuals and entities illegally offering loan modification and mortgage relief services. The most typical scam involves the assurance of a loan modification in exchange for an upfront fee (which is illegal under California law), but once the fee is paid, little or nothing is done to obtain a loan modification.

Since 2009, the DRE has filed over 1,100 administrative actions against loan modification scammers.  The typical action involves the issuance of a Desist and Refrain Order to an unscrupulous operator ordering the stoppage of illegal activities, including the illegal collection of advance fees. However, in many instances an administrative order is insufficient to stop the illegal activity or the violations are so egregious that harsher action is necessary.

“It is imperative that law enforcement and administrative agencies work together to ensure consumers get the protection they deserve in these tough economic times” stated Barbara Bigby, DRE’s acting Real Estate Commissioner.

In this regard, the DRE commends the recent announcement by the California Attorney General (AG) of the arrests of Christopher Fox and Curtis Melone who operated Green Credit Solutions Inc. Green Credit Solutions Inc. is accused of collecting millions of dollars in illegal advance fees for loan modification services that were not performed. The DRE had previously filed actions against Fox and Green Credit Solutions Inc. that resulted in the surrender of the real estate licenses of Green Credit and Fox. At the conclusion of DRE’s case, the DRE investigators provided support to the AG in connection with their criminal case to ensure these scammers are subjected to more than just an administrative order.

In addition, recent actions taken by the Federal Trade Commission imposing million dollar judgments against Aminullah Sarpas, Damon Carriger and Macie Bain, all of whom had previously been issued Desist and Refrain Orders by the DRE for the illegal collection of advance fees, will help curb future abuses.

While multi-prong attacks and cross jurisdictional cooperation by administrative and law enforcement agencies help to protect consumers, consumer education is the real key to stopping the abuses. The following practical advice can help consumers from falling victim to a scam:

• Never pay an upfront fee for loan modification services. Such fees are illegal.

• Watch out for promises of guaranteed success. No one can promise that a loan modification will be successful.

• Ask questions, get referrals from people you know and trust, and always remember the following:  If it seems too good to be true, it probably is not true.

• Contact a HUD-approved counseling agency that can provide loan modification services for free.

• If you have been a victim of a loan modification scam, report it to the DRE, the FTC and the Attorney General.


For more information about loan modifications and related scams, and other mortgage relief and foreclosure rescue frauds, the DRE and its programs, visit www.dre.ca.gov. For information from the California Attorney General, visit http://oag.ca.gov/. For information from the FTC, visit https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/ or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). For HUD-approved counseling agencies, visit www.hud.gov.

California Department of Real Estate Approves OnlineEd 8-Hour Mortgage Loan Originator Course


(OnlineEd®) – The OnlineEd Mortgage Loan Originator (“MLO”) 8-hour NMLS approved continuing education course was approved by the NMLS for MLO continuing education sometime ago, but what you may not know is that it is also approved by the California Department of Real Estate for real estate license renewal. The approved course now allows licensees who hold real estate and mortgage licenses to complete just the one course and receive 8-hours of license renewal education toward both license renewals.

Designed to meet the requirements of the SAFE Act, the OnlineEd course is delivered wholly online and divided into the three main topics of  Federal Settlement Procedures Act;  Law,  Ethics, and Fair Lending; and Understanding FHA Products.  The course also serves to satisfy the annual fair lending educational requirement.

OnlineEd is an online education provider for mortgage loan originators and real estate brokers.  More information about OnlineEd and their courses can be found at their Website www.OnlineEd.com or by calling (866) 519-9597.


DRE Provider # 4056

OnlineEd Offers MLO Continuing Ed at CAMP Convention



(OnlineEd) – It’s time for Summer Camp! The California Association of Mortgage Professionals annual trade show will be happening in San Jose, CA on August 4-5, 2011.  The two-day event will include continuing education to cover both NMLS and California Department of Real Estate requirements.  The OnlineEd continuing education courses are approved by NMLS and the California Department of Real Estate for license renewal.

The OnlineEd 8-hour approved continuing education is scheduled for August 4th from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM at the San Jose Marriott, located at 301 South Market Street in downtown San Jose, CA.  Seating at the facility is limited, and with advance registrations already nearing 200,  those who are interested in attending should also register in advance.  Early Bird, Full Conference, and Thursday Day Pass registrations for the convention each include the education at no additional cost.

For more information and to enroll in the convention, please visit the CAMP Web site at: http://ca-amp.org/news/summercamp.htm

New Rules for California Real Estate Continuing Education



(OnlineEd) – Effective January 1, 2011 the California Department of Real Estate has new guidelines for continuing education for license renewal. All California approved online continuing education providers are required to implement these changes.  Some of the changes that are mandatory for ALL California continuing education providers are:

  • If the student does not pass the final exam in two attempts the course must be marked as failed, the course is over, and the student will not receive credit for that course.  If the student wishes to obtain course credit, the student must repurchase the course and retake it from the beginning.
  • All courses are to be timed. The student must actively participate in reading, studying, and completing the exercises in this course before being given access to the final exam. The student’s time while logged into the course and engaged in course activities must be timed by the course provider.
  • The student may not complete more than 8 hours of course study per day and no more than 15 credit hours of final exams in any rolling 24-hour period. The student must also wait 24 hours from enrollment before being given access to the first course final exam.

California real estate continuing education students should plan accordingly and be sure to schedule ample study time. Students will not be able to complete their continuing education requirements in just a couple days. To see a complete listing please visit this link: These regulations can be found here.

Here are a few pointers the student should know about OnlineEd courses:

  • Courses are completed entirely online. The student does not need to print materials or do any part of a course offline.
  • OnlineEd courses are mastery-based. This means that the student will not be allowed to move forward in the course until the current course lesson has been mastered.
  • Completion credit will be issued after the student has completed the entire course and passed all exams with the minimum passing score.
  • OnlineEd courses are available 24/7. The student can can quit or resume progress of a course at any time.  The OnlineEd system automatically registers and records student activity.
  • The student can go back and view content previously completed and may also retake quizzes for practice.
  • Students are not required to have or download any software.
  • All courses require active student participation. Students will not be able to take a course final exam until they have studied for the required amount of time.

OnlineEd courses comply with all new California Department of Real Estate (“DRE”) regulations and are approved as a California education provider under school number 4056.  To visit OnlineEd or to enroll in any real estate continuing education courses please go to www.OnlineEd.com.

DRE Provider # 4056

California Issues Informational Pamphlet on Real Estate Escrow Process


(California Dept. of Real Estate – SACRAMENTO) – The California Department of Real Estate (DRE) has issued a new informational pamphlet entitled “Surviving the Real Estate ‘Escrow’ Process in California: Important Tips You Should Know, and Mistakes to Avoid.” The new publication was written for California consumers, real estate licensees, and anyone else who is interested in learning about the California escrow process that applies to residential real estate.

“The Department of Real Estate is committed to educating consumers, its licensees and the public at large about important real estate matters that affect the purchase, sale and financing of homes in California,” said Real Estate Commissioner Jeff Davi. “I hope this pamphlet on escrows will be a valuable tool for those who are involved in residential real estate transactions,” Davi added.
After an easy to follow Table of Contents, the escrow pamphlet is broken up into clear sections, including an Introduction and Brief Overview, Escrow Basics (with 26 questions and answers), Helpful Tips (7 tips are provided), a discussion entitled “Beware of Fraud” (with 7 additional points with regard to fraud avoidance), a Conclusion, and References for further research by or assistance to the reader.
A few of the key points a home purchaser, seller, or homeowner who is going to refinance his or her home should consider with respect to the selection of an escrow holder are the following:
  • Real estate brokers licensed by the DRE can perform escrows (known as Broker Controlled Escrows) under an exemption from the State’s Escrow Law only where the escrows are in the course of or incidental to a real estate transaction in which the broker is an agent or a party to the transaction and in which the broker is performing an act for which a real estate license is required.
  • Real estate escrows performed by independent escrow companies licensed by the California Department of Corporations do not have the limitations imposed on Broker Controlled Escrows, and provide broad indemnification protections. Such escrow companies, when performing relevant real estate escrows, must be members of the Escrow Agents’ Fidelity Corporation, which provides coverage to its members of between $1,000,000 and $5,000,000 for certain fraudulent and dishonest conduct by certain individuals involved in the member companies.
  • Payments, costs and fees must be fully disclosed and made part of the escrow documents. If there are any payments, costs and fees to be paid “outside” of escrow, this may be the red flag that the payment is unlawful.
  • You can choose the escrow holder, and the fees charged by the escrow are or may be negotiable.
  • When possible, meet the people who will be working on your escrow in person, always retain a copy of everything you sign and receive, and be sure to question unexpected or last minute changes to documents.

You should do your own homework with regard to the escrow holder that is selected. Check them out through State licensing websites, Better Business Bureaus, “Google”-type searches, and by talking with real estate licensees and others who have bought, sold, or refinanced homes. Ask the escrow holders specific, detailed questions.

For a copy of the pamphlet, visit http://bit.ly/OnlineEd112. For more information about DRE and its programs visit www.dre.ca.gov.


California Department of Real Estate Revokes Record Number of Real Estate Licenses


SACRAMENTO, CA – The California Department of Real Estate (DRE), the state department that issues real estate licenses and protects consumers through enforcement of the Real Estate Law, revoked a record number of licenses for cause in the fiscal year ending June 30th, 2010. The DRE also accepted another record number of license surrenders from licensees facing disciplinary action. All told, over 886 licensees had their license revoked, suspended or they simply surrendered their licenses while facing accusations. (More –>)