My top 10 predictions for real estate in 2018

Compass goes public, economy soars, Congress pivots on homeownership tax benefits and more

Two years ago as we approached the year 2016, I predicted Donald Trump would be elected President. My crystal ball hasn’t always been so prescient. Last year I guessed that in 2017 Zillow would expand overseas and NAR would pick a woman CEO (stupid me).

I was right about the soaring housing market and Redfin’s public offering, but otherwise this year did not unfold exactly as I had anticipated. Ibuyer Opendooris indeed growing but at a much slower pace than I expected. Consider this a warning about this year’s predictions for 2018.

Here goes.

1. Tax reform legislation, which will be signed by President Trump by the end of this year, will be amended next year and Congress will give back the homeownership bennies taken away in the original bill. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) will take credit for using its steroids-like political muscle to manipulate the politicians.

2. Speaking of NAR, the powerful trade group will not squash RPR or Upstream. fan of Bruce Springsteen, CEO Bob Goldberg will quickly discover that singing a new hit tune is difficult when the old band (trade group bureaucracy) controls the score and the set.

3. Compass will successfully go public. Last month, the fast-growing real estate technology company announced its plans to expand into 10 new markets in an ambitious bid to grab 20 percent market share in the 20 largest U.S. cities by 2020.

In a data driven world, how well do you know your recruits?
You can’t build a relationship with generic marketing materials READ MORE

4. Backed by Fidelity National Financial (FNF), Pacific Union Real Estate will expand outside California.This year, the San Francisco-based brokerage went on a Southern California buying spree acquiring Partners Trust, a luxury brokerage with 240 agents, on the heels of snatching up the John Aaroe Group.

5. FNF will merge its brokerage operations with its real estate software company holdings (Commission, Inc., Real Geeks and SkySlope), spinning off a NewCo and laying plans to go public in an effort to capture a Redfin-like tech/brokerage valuation (nearly $2 billion).

6. The StreetEasy data squabble will fizzle out with Zillow winning again.New York brokers will realize that their customers don’t give two hoots about the politics of data and just want their listings on StreetEasy.

7. Zillow will face some regulatory sniffing around about its Premier Agent ad placement program, which allows a Zillow agent advertiser to preempt the listing agent on a home listing. But the scrutiny will go nowhere. (Full disclosure; I was duped by this advertising slight of hand when I bought a home this summer — calling who I thought was the listing agent but really an advertiser).

8. In 2018, Keller Williams will do exactly what it did this year, grow like a weed.

9. Leading Real Estate Companies of the World (LeadingRE) CEO, Pam O’Connor, will retire.Describing itself as “a global community” of brokers and agents, LeadingRE is the best kept secret in town with 572 brokerage members and 130,000 realtors in 65 countries. O’Connor has been the master behind the company’s growth.

10. EBay, Google and Facebook will all expand their real estate business through acquisitions and investment. The real estate opportunity is irresistible.

BONUS: The economy and the housing market will grow like crazy. Job creation is at record levels; unemployment is at a 17-year low; wages are feeling upward pressure and companies are investing at a fast and furious pace. A backdrop of political uncertainty will not slow down the global economic thoroughbred that is galloping at a full run. Left in the dust will be housing affordability in many major metro markets, which will further galvanize local political activism and polarize more communities.

Fasten your seat-belt, 2018 will be a fun and scary but prosperous ride.


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What These Homeowners Wish They’d Known When They Bought

Too early, too late, too rushed… Sometimes homebuyers take the leap only to wind up feeling like they bought at exactly the wrong time.

What happens when you buy a house that seems just right, but the timing turns out to have been all wrong?

Buying a home is so much about nailing the timing. Everyone has a story of a missed opportunity, of not buying before the market exploded. Of course, being too early to the party can also backfire—rushing the decision before you know the area well or buying a fixer straight out of college, before you’ve really figured out where you want to be and what you want to do.

Regrets of all sorts are all too common among buyers. According to a 2017 Trulia survey, 44 percent of Americans have a regret about their home or the process they went through when choosing it. And bad timing can undo the best-laid plans. It can cost big bucks, too, at a time when more than half of buyers find homes unaffordable. So you’ll want to avoid expensive and stressful timing mistakes by reading below. The homeowners in them wish they had known what they’re about to tell us.

Prisca Weems of New Orleans

regrets when buying a home

When she bought

When Prisca Weems was a newly minted graduate from the architecture program at Tulane University in 1995, she was looking for a house to practice her skills on. “A real history project,” she explains. She found it in New Orleans’ Eighth Ward for $53,000: a barely loved and hardly maintained 1850s Center Hall cottage with what had once been slave quarters out back.

She and her soon-to-be husband, Oliver, knew it would be a major project, but they were game to embark on it together. The idea was to convert the former slave quarters into three apartments. They figured the rental income would be their golden goose. “That way, we’d only need one income and could take turns working. It was a nice plan,” she remembers. Nice, that is, until Oliver, a British national, was unexpectedly deported when the couple re-entered the country from their honeymoon in India. “We thought the house would give us freedom,” she says. “Then my husband was deported, and all I did was work to support the house.”

This plot twist did not fit in with Prisca’s plans at all. She had sunk $160,000 into renovations, but now her life was across the Atlantic. The house began to feel more like a ball-and-chain. “I could have sold it,” she says. “But I didn’t know that I’d be able to get a similar foothold in real estate again.” So, she lived in London, managing the property from afar, until she divorced in 2004 and returned to New Orleans. “I’d been in the house for a year when Katrina hit. After that, all I did was work for 12 years to support the repairs.” The house upkeep strapped her financially, with most of her earnings going to fix rotting floorboards, peeling paint, and battered plantation shutters.

“Let’s just say that this was a different relationship with a house than I’d expected.”

What she learned

Over time, Prisca says, “I realized that for creative people, a house is not about an investment and certainly not about freedom since it takes up space in your brain.” For those in the early stages of life, she recommends really taking inventory: “Is it more important to have a house that’s cool and attractive or to live a life that’s cool and attractive? In retrospect, I wish I had spent my money living well rather than taking care of a house.”

It’s taken years and years, but the house has finally become the golden goose Prisca always hoped it would be. It’s located in what’s now the trendy Tremé, and after bringing the home back to life and hiring a property manager, Prisca has been able to rent out the apartments and list a studio on Airbnb. These days, she’s off pursuing a creative project in the South of France, living off the rental income on a house that has tripled in value.


Vance and Kristen Adams of Henderson, Nevada

regrets when buying a home

When they bought

In 2005, Vance Adams had settled into his transplanted life in Las Vegas quite well. Just two years in, and he had scored a sweet job and gotten married. The couple didn’t plan to stay in the city long-term, but when they found out a baby was on the way, Operation Leaving Las Vegas was put on pause.

“I was caught up in the emotion of where we were in life: a killer job, a new marriage, a baby on the way. What you do next is buy a house,” he remembers. “Plus, the real-estate market was booming. I thought, if we’re going to be here for two years, let’s not rent—let’s buy and build up some equity.” Vance and Kristen bought a three-bedroom house in an established subdivision in Henderson, Nevada for $283,000.

It seemed like a solid choice, but it wasn’t long before the housing market crashed, more than halving their home value to $105,000. In the end, the couple had to sell the loan to a company that allowed them to stay on as renters while they recouped. The house today has still not regained the price they paid for it but they’ve left the state and are currently…renting.

What they learned

Vance sees now that buying decisions tend to be emotional. He says, “When I feel excited about a purchase, now I check myself. I seek counsel. I’m in no rush.” Unless you’re planning on living in one place forever, he now believes in renting. “If you’re planning to leave, a house can tie you down and become a money pit.” Although the Adamses do now plan to stay put, so far they have put off buying until the market cools down.


Toby Studley of Seven Springs, Pennsylvania

regrets when buying a home

When he bought

Toby Studley isn’t a gambler. He’s not a regular at casinos, and he rarely buys a Lotto ticket. So the irony isn’t lost on him that he bet the house on a rumored casino opening in the Pennsylvania ski resort town of Seven Springs. It all started 12 years ago when he spent a weekend in Seven Springs. He had grown up in the Washington D.C. area, three-and-a-half hours away and had skied this mountain as a kid. While there, he heard buzz about a few developments, including a casino, that were in the pipeline, and thought, “I should buy a condo on this mountain.”

“Everything then happened really fast,” he remembers. Until it didn’t … Twelve years later, ground remains unbroken on the casino, and the value of the two-bedroom condo he bought for $170,000, has long since plateaued. When the novelty of having a ski pad wore off, tinges of regret arose. “If instead I had bought a similar place in Washington D.C. near the NBA’s Washington Nationals stadium, the value would have tripled by now.” He’s been toying with the idea of selling his mountain condo but hasn’t for fear that the jackhammers would immediately break ground and he would miss out on the boom.

What he learned

Resort areas tend to be speculative, Toby now realizes. “I banked on a rumored development, and it never materialized. Before jumping into a deal based on a proposed development, I recommend visiting the city planning commission to find out the real status.” Also, chat up the year-round community. “They might say, ‘Oh thatPshtt. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard that one …’”

While the conditions for skiing have become hit or miss over the past 12 winters and the casino is still only an idea, Toby has made his peace with his purchase for one simple reason: “It’s fun. I open it up to friends. I enjoy having a vacation place.” Although the condo isn’t quite the jackpot he’d hoped for, he figures it’s not a complete bust either.


For info on this article visit: Trulia Blog


RE/MAX Fine Homes TV show: Episode 2/24/2018



Canaday Group, RE/MAX Fine Homes

This Is The Best City in California To Live

This Is The Best City in California To Live

Mission Viejo is the best city in California to live, according to new rankings. A list compiled by 24/7 Wall Street notes that Mission Viejo is one of the more expensive places in the United States when it comes to goods and services — which are “on average 29.3% more expensive than they are nationwide.” But while Mission Viejo has a high cost of living, it’s the most livable city in the state and one of the most livable cities in the country—not least of all because it’s safe.

“Area residents are largely untouched by crime,” 24/7 Wall Street writes. “There were 78 violent crimes in the city for every 100,000 residents in 2016, far fewer than the 386 incidents per 100,000 Americans nationwide.”

The median home value in the state is $667,100 and the poverty rate is 4.7 percent.

Through its analysis, 24/7 Wall Street found that the majority of cities that made the list are home to a large share of college-educated adults than the share of college-educated adults nationwide (31.3 percent). Educated populations, 24/7 Wall Street writes, are more resilient to economic downturns.

Another trend noted by 24/7 Wall Street is that the violent crime rate for almost every city on the list is lower than the U.S. rate. The presence of cultural amenities and entertainment venues was another common factor for the cities.

To determine the best city to live in every state, 24/7 Wall Street considered the 550 cities with populations of 65,000 or more. If a state had no cities with a population of at least 65,000, all cities in the state with a population of 40,000 or more were considered.

Data was collected in nine categories:

  1. Crime
  2. Demography
  3. Economy
  4. Education
  5. Environment
  6. Health
  7. Housing
  8. Infrastructure
  9. Leisure

24/7 Wall Street used data from Census Bureau’s 2016 American Community Service, the FBI’s 2016 Uniform Crime Report, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and ATTOM Data Solutions. For each category, specific measures contributed to a city’s overall score.


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Dana Point Heritage: Classic Surf film Inspires artist Bill Limebrook

When pioneer surfer Greg Noll wasn’t charging down the face of a wave or shaping longboards, he made a number of films, highlighting surfing and fellow pioneers of the sport. In “Search for Surf,” Noll meets up with Bruce Brown – creator of the acclaimed surf documentary “The Endless Summer” – to rekindle the memories.
“So many classic guys and surf spots,” comments artist and veteran surfer Bill Limebrook, watching Noll’s film. “I was able to see the first good image of pro surfer Ron Drummond in this video,” says Limebrook, who’s creating a series of ten sculptures that pay tribute to surfing icons, including Drummond, for a public park that will border South Cove. “I was beginning to think there were no pictures of him, thankfully, I found one.” Other surfing legends that will be featured in the park include Phil Edwards and Bruce Brown.

Watch Greg Noll’s “Search for Surf” here.

What Tax Reform Means for Real Estate Industry, ALTA Members

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), which was signed into law Dec. 22, slashes rates for corporations, provides new breaks for private businesses and reorganizes the individual tax code. Specific to real estate, the new legislation will affect homeowners, homebuyers, real estate investors and ALTA members.

The legislation also includes a significant victory for ALTA and its members. Efforts by ALTA, members of the Title Action Network and the Congressional Liaisons helped convince Congress to retain the current treatment of capital gains on sale of a primary residence. Current law says a seller must live in their principal residence for two of the last five years before a seller can exclude up to $250,000 ($500,000 for joint filers) of capital gains on their sale.

The Senate-passed bill would have changed the amount of time a homeowner must live in their home to qualify for the capital gains exclusion to five out of the past eight years. The House bill would have made this same change as well as phased out the exclusion for taxpayers with incomes above $250,000 single/$500,000 married.

“ALTA commends the work of the House and Senate conferees as they finalize the landmark tax reform plan and applauds the preservation of key housing tax provisions including the capital gains treatment on sale of a primary residence,” said Michelle Korsmo, ALTA’s chief executive officer. “ALTA has argued that tax policy changes should promote investment in real estate and housing. The decision to preserve the two-year ownership requirement for capital gains treatment on the sale of a principal residence is a victory for working families and military veterans who must move for their job. There are many marbles in the tax reform bag, but Congress understood that increasing the holding period would have artificially reduced the ability of homeowners to generate wealth, decreased the desire to purchase a home and profoundly affected the economy and local communities.”

Tax cut impact


Key Provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Affecting Real Estate and ALTA Members

Tax Rate Reductions

  • Maintains seven individual income tax brackets, but lowers most rates: 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35%, and 37%.
  • The final bill retains the current-law maximum rates on net capital gains (generally, 15% maximum rate but 20% for those in the highest tax bracket; 25% rate on “recapture” of depreciation from real property).
  • Lowers the corporate tax rate to 21% (from 35%).

Mortgage Interest Deduction

  • The final bill reduces the limit on deductible mortgage debt to $750,000 for new loans taken out after Dec. 14, 2017. Current loans of up to $1 million are grandfathered and are not subject to the new $750,000 cap. Neither limit is indexed for inflation.
  • Homeowners may refinance mortgage debts existing on Dec. 14, 2017, up to $1 million and still deduct the interest, so long as the new loan does not exceed the amount of the mortgage being refinanced.
  • The final bill repeals the deduction for interest paid on home equity debt through Dec. 31, 2025. Interest is still deductible on home equity loans (or second mortgages) if the proceeds are used to substantially improve the residence.
  • Interest remains deductible on second homes, but subject to the $1 million/$750,000 limits.

Deduction for State and Local Taxes

  • The legislation allows individuals to deduct an aggregate of $10,000 of state and local government taxes (SALT) for property, sales or income tax. Previous bills limited the SALT deduction to only property taxes. This $10,000 limit applies for both single and married filers and is not indexed for inflation.
  • The final bill also specifically precludes the deduction of 2018 state and local income taxes prepaid in 2017.

Standard Deduction

  • Nearly doubles the standard deduction from $6,350 ($12,700) under current law to $12,000 ($24,000) for individuals (married couples).

Alternative Minimum Tax

  • Retains the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), but increases the amount of income exempt for individuals. Repeals the corporate AMT.

Like-Kind Exchanges

  • The final bill retains the current Section 1031 Like Kind Exchange rules for real property. It repeals the use of Section 1031 for personal property, such as art work, auto fleets, heavy equipment, etc.

Carried Interest

  • The final bill includes the House and Senate language requiring a three-year holding period to qualify for current-law (capital gains) treatment.

Pass-Through Relief

  • The legislation creates a new tax deduction of 20 percent for pass-through businesses. For taxpayers with incomes above certain thresholds, the 20 percent deduction is limited to the greater of: (a) 50% of the W-2 wages paid by the business, or (b) 25% of the W-2 wages paid by the business, plus 2.5% of the unadjusted basis, immediately after acquisition, of depreciable property (which includes structures, but not land). REIT dividends and distributions from publicly traded partnerships are not be subject to the wage restriction. Estates and trusts are eligible for the pass-through benefit.  Income from certain specified services businesses is ineligible (e.g., health, law, financial services, etc.).
    • Example. A business purchases an office building for $10 million ($7 million attributable to the structure, $3 million attributable to the land). The building generates annual rental income of $500,000. The maximum allowable pass-through deduction would be $100,000 (20% of $500K). Even if the business paid no wages, the business would qualify for the full deduction because 2.5% of $7 million is $175,000. For a taxpayer subject to the maximum 37% tax rate, the rental income would be taxed at an effective rate of 29.6%.

Affordable Care Act

  • Eliminates individual mandate penalty associated with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) beginning in 2019.


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Please Vote for Christa Lee Canaday!

We are honored to announce that our very own
Christa Lee Canaday has been nominated for a second year in a row as “Favorite Realtor in Orange County”
by the community for Locale Magazine.
Please click the link below to place your vote for our favorite, Christa Lee! 
How to vote for Christa Lee:
2. Scroll to the bottom of the page and select
“Christa Lee Canaday, Canaday Group” 
3. Select “Vote”
Voting ends 2/5/18 at 5:00pm
Thank you for your vote!

Virtual Reality Is One of Real Estate’s Next Frontiers

Virtual reality (VR) has gone through wide cycles of consumer skepticism and adoption in the past several years. And although many industries, save video games and amusement parks, have backed off the technology recently, it’s time for real estate to go all in on VR.

This week, Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC released the results of its annual smart home survey. Conducted online by Harris Poll with the participation of over 3,000 U.S. adults, the survey reveals the smart home products that Americans desire most—smart thermostats (77 percent) and smart fire detectors (75 percent).

The survey also clearly points to VR as being the next big thing in real estate.

In the U.S., companies like Matterport and Transported are already providing VR tech services to the real estate industry on a large scale. The most popular of these services is, of course, the VR home tour. And real estate giants, such as Coldwell Banker and Sotheby’s Realty, are already integrating this technology into their suite of offerings.

“It’s crucial that the real estate industry stays on the cutting edge of technology,” said David Marine, SVP of marketing of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC, in a statement. “From virtual reality to smart home tech, consumers are now interacting with these technologies in different capacities and expect the same when working with a real estate professional.”

On the smart home tech side of things, the survey reveals some interesting figures. This year, 32 percent of Americans reported owning smart home products (a 33 percent year-over-year increase). Also, if you’re selling a home this year, 42 percent of Americans are looking to their agent for tips on how staging their home with smart home tech could impact their home sale.

If you’re like most brokers and agents in this country, your clientele is getting younger and younger. Things like smart home products and VR home tours should no longer be on your back burner. Here are some key takeaways on VR from the survey:

virtual reality

  • Seventy-seven percent of Americans agreed that they’d enjoy being able to take virtual reality house tours before visiting actual properties.

virtual reality

  • Sixty-eight percent of respondents indicated that they’d love the ability to see how their current furniture would fit in a particular home using VR.

virtual reality

  • Sixty-two percent of Americans revealed that they’d be more likely to choose a real estate sales associate who offered VR house tours.

As a real estate professional, will you integrate VR into your business this year?

For more info on this article, visit: RIS Media

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