AP Nancy McCready closed out our Social Hour precisely at 12:30 PM and welcomed us all to the Warm and Friendly WVRC without needing a bell. She expeditiously led us through our Flag Salute and called upon PP Tom The Barron for his Thought of the Day. Fortunately, he had been wrestling with one which he shared with us. With Good Friday approaching, he noted that
the very next day was to be Passover and the very next Easter. Like many Christians, he was also charmed by the fact that the Christian Pentateuch is taken directly from the Jewish Torah and that the Passover lamb’s blood which protected the Egyptian Jews seems related to the Blood of the Lamb shed for us. All to illustrate that we’re all more alike than we are different in this warring world.
Songmeister PP Edwin (Admiral) Gauld was summoned to remind us of gentler times and less discouraging words with a lullaby (at least it was for me). He donned a sombrero and we proceeded with a harmonious verse of “Home on the Range.”
Cimran, secretary of our famous (and busy) UCLA Rotaractors, announced her presence and an opportunity to participate with the Rotaractors in Operation Gratitude (CARE packages and letters for our military personnel overseas) on the morning of April 23. PP Marsha Hunt, our Peace Chair, announced a Peace Concert for Ukraine at 9:00AM April 16 (I apologize-now long gone). Our next regular meeting at the Luskin Center, April 21, will feature a personal trainer, Ana Dzwoniarck, who is completing her Masters in Physical Therapy here at UCLA. Youth Service Chair Phil Gabriel reminded us that the participants’ videos for the Pageant of the Arts are now available-so contact him to help with the judging process. Lastly, we were told that the 5280 District Conference at Lake Arrowhead from 5/12 to 5/15 is still open for reservations.
Our Program Chair, John O’Keefe, introduced our guest speakers with the “need no intro” line and scurried off. Lynne and Mark Rogo stepped up confidently, bursting with the latest info on the RE market. With mock humility, Mark proclaimed that Lynne “is the brains behind our operation” (as if we didn’t know that) and let her, the company founder, explain their excitement. Lynne proclaimed that this surge in RE selling prices and number of sales is “the biggest in 10 years,” and gave us some of the causes: still low rates (and mortgage payments), Baby Boomers leaving their houses for assisted living, etc.; workers moving out of state for cheaper homes where they will work; FOMO due to small inventory and rising rates—isn’t that enough? A lower-end listing like $800K from their territory is likely to get 22 offers and sell for $300K more. Closing is taking two weeks rather than the usual several months. For the first time, they have actually eight escrows going simultaneously. Even the second-story condos facing Wiltshire Blvd (noisy) are highly desirable.
What do we need to wade into this feeding frenzy? 1–a lender’s letter of qualification. 2–verification that ALL the money is in the bank and liquid (not in an IRA). 3-Income for the payments. Merely having a lot of excess assets doesn’t carry the weight it used to, it seems, but guaranteed income still satisfies the lenders. If you have to compete with “no contingency offers,” I guess you can only win these deals if you do not need a mortgage loan at all to buy. If you win the deal with a “no contingency offer,” remember you will lose your 3% deposit if you need a mortgage and you can’t qualify for some reason you didn’t expect. For example, your lender can say “Oh, that building has 20% of occupants renting—over our limit.”
But the demanding loan underwriters may not be your biggest problem: If you are downsizing into a condo, enter into a world of complex rules and economics. Condos have a lot of rules called CC+Rs which you have to live with—your condo is not your property fee-simple to do with as you please. Clearly, you need an experienced attorney to check this trap out. Even worse: what is the monthly HOA payment, how stable has it been, and how much is available in reserves to handle future repairs? What are the rules for your contributions and assessments? How many current tenants are not owners? How many units are there—smaller buildings are notorious for scrimping on reserves and relying on shocking assessments to repair problems. Hardly a “worry-free retirement,” compared to a single-family dwelling, I think. Most of us considering a condo probably know most of the dangers of growing old in a single-family home.
Lynne and Mark made an admirable case (very little bragging) for selecting a very experienced condo specialist realtor (like themselves) if you want to buy a condo. It was 1:31PM before we knew it!