August 2016 Newsblog


Now I know why people call a craze a “craze”.

It’s because people are crazy! I found out about Pokemon Go when my assistant Mario came back from lunch one day and said he had just walked all over Old Town Monrovia looking for Pokemon critters.

My reaction was – What?

Mario, walk? In the heat? And then boom, just like that, the whole world went nuts.

Who would have thought that a 1990s video game could have developed such a smart marketing premise to make such a huge comeback.

If you are still wondering what in the world, here is a little guide to why all these people are walking around immersed in their phones to the exclusion of their surroundings.

There are lots of stories of how it took over people’s lives, how some are incorporating this craze into what they do – Realtors take note!, and how others are begging players to stop playing this game at certain places where the irreverence of it jars the solemnity of the location.

It may well affect the sanctity of property ownership, meaning that illegally entering properties of others to pursue Rattata is not a good legal defense. But there is a silver lining to everything and at the very least, this is promoting Michelle Obama’s goal of health through exercise.

All of a sudden, those young video gamers who never see the light of the day are now out in the sunlight, walking, jogging and otherwise participating in the real world around them even if it is to try catching a virtual image.

Are you a parent with crazy kids? Here is an advice article for those of you who might be a bit concerned that you will be losing your kids to lakes, fountains, lampposts and moving vehicles that get in their way.


Besides Pikachu, Rattat, Squirtle, Bulbasaur and Golem, there are other players in this crazy world and their names are Trump, Clinton, Cruz and even Reince (I like Reince because when you say his name out loud it sounds like a Reece’s peanut buttercup, you know?).

I can just imagine the havoc caused if any of the Pokemon had the nerve to appear right on stage with the nominees as their henchmen. With the end of the RNC and DNC and the beginning of the REAL craze, the big question, which deserves serious consideration, is: Who will make our real estate industry better as the next Prez?

Well, it depends if you are Republican or Democrat, rich or poor, and whether you are clueless or not.

I go for the third set. I know I am totally clueless. But Trulia seems to think they are not and have given the crystal ball a shot with this brief synopsis which I am including here just because I want everyone to be in the same (clueless) mindset like me after looking at the weird chart with the scary head drawings.

If you are wondering about stocks, here is an article written earlier in the primary circus. So long questions, short answers.

Trump for the first question and Clinton for the second. Or Pikachu and Golem. Whatever.


Okay, I don’t ever like to make political or religious commentaries on my news blog, because chances are I will get yelled at no matter what. But here we are talking about the RNC and the DNC and I can’t resist making this POLITICAL OBSERVATION, because this is such an EXCITING year!

So, here goes.

If Hilary Clinton wins the Presidency, then we will have at least 26 women leaders of nations, with the most important being Angela Merkel for Germany, Theresa May for the United Kingdom, and Hilary Clinton for the U.S. – the Big Three.

Wouldn’t that be an awesome watershed moment?

Not only that, their backup support are the rest of the women leaders on this list.

It is a heartening thing because I sincerely feel that if we are trying to achieve World Peace, which is the goal of all Miss Universe contestants, we stand a better chance of making inroads to that when we have women welding political, sociological and/or economic power.

Mr. Time Magazine, please note that maybe you should declare 2016 the YEAR OF THE WOMEN. Just remember you read it here first.

Now if could only we could get a woman to head China’s Premiership, that would round it off nicely, wouldn’t it.


As we are wondering about China, have you heard of “Shadow Lending?

I sure didn’t, and see, we learn together.

Shadow lending is, apparently, high rate financing for the purpose of financing odds and ends of daily living, oh like throwing a lavish wedding or funding obscure projects that no decent bank will take on. But at this time there are no government guidelines and this “no oversight” is kind of troubling, wouldn’t you say?

I mean this is China, after all, where spending is crazy and overboard capitalism is the name of the game (I can say that because I am Chinese, you know).

The government is getting concerned as this type of lending has grown to equal four fifths of the nation’s GDP.

Any slight tremor in that market will send out shock waves through China’s economy. With all the economic issues facing the world, having China’s economy shudder will make the rest of us quake.


Closer to home I am happy to pass on some good news. Yes, it seems a little rare now that you can put the word “good” in front of “news”, at least according to Trump. It looks like with the passing of “Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act” (HR 3700) FHA guidelines on approving condominiums are loosening.

Here is a short but succinct article from NAR applauding this, and what, you may ask, does this have to do with me? Okay, let me dissect it:

Astronomical real estate prices in some cities are preventing the next generation from affording that single family stand-alone home.

Condominiums, therefore, are the next best thing for that first time home buyer.

FHA guidelines used to be that in order for loans on condos to be approved, the guidelines involved checking how many of the total units in the complex were “owner occupied” and does the HOA have a healthy reserve.

The smaller complexes that have more affordable units were at a huge disadvantage because they might have very high non-owner occupied occupancy rates and low reserves.

With the new bill the guidelines to approve condo sales under FHA will be loosened considerably, and voila! Millennials are happy again.


I can’t let a month go by without mentioning that “astronomical” Bay Area.

There is a concern that the high cost of homes there has unintended consequences that impact other areas of living, including the commute to surrounding areas.

The news out of Marin County is that rail services are going to be impacted because they can’t find enough engineers who are able to live in the area to work in the area dominated by high residential prices. If you ever want a perfect example of the domino effect between industries, this is it. I bet you never thought of that.


I believe that I reported in January or February that the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCen) Department was targeting a review of foreign Buyers entities who are using cash to buy luxury real estate in Manhattan and the Miami-Dade County area of Florida.

Apparently FinCen is now expanding their target area to include Los Angeles County, San Francisco area counties, San Diego County and San Antonio, Texas.

FinCen will be asking Title Companies in these areas to provide identification of the individual members of these corporate Buyers entities so that the money can be traced. This all goes back to the government’s concerns regarding money laundering by foreigners through shell companies.

This issue even caught the LA Times’ attention and a large piece appeared in their business section on Thursday July 28th, days after the FinCen report.

Needless to say, this is another major headache for those of us who deal with such foreign cash Buyers in high priced areas of the nation.

Even though this order is limited to certain areas and short in nature (180 days) what do you think the chances are that they will:

(1) expand the area of investigation

(2) expand the time period? I never bet against a sure thing.

What a crazy month this has been. RNC, DNC, Pokemon and .. Russians cyberhack the Dems? What is this world coming to?

To end on a funny, this is a quote that is attributable to Sigmund Freud:

̴“I had some words with my wife, and she had some paragraphs with me.” ̴

I am sure my husband will concur.

2 thoughts on “August 2016 Newsblog”

  1. Juliana, I love your blog posts and always appreciate the amount of humor you bring to your observations regarding this industry. I am a loan signing agent in Marin so imagine my surprise when I saw the article about our SMART Train conundrums in your blog. Just wanted to add that the only crazier place with the cost of living than Marin is of course San Francisco. My son rents a loft apartment there… 850 sq feet (plus 1 teeny parking space) for $3600 a month. And this is the lease price from last year so who knows what they are going for today. Talk about crazy! In Marin, 3 bed/2 bath ranch home in modest neighborhoods go for $1.2 million. Absolutely ridiculous. So no surprise about the struggle to find employees.

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