California’s Dought Problem Impacts Real Estate in More Ways than One.

I’s no secret that California’s water supply is becoming a big concern for homeowners and businesses. There have been many arguments, ideas, and restrictions that have been or will be implemented that many should be aware of.


1. Approximately 1.18 million residential pools exist in California, according to data from Metrostudy.

2. 2014 was California’s driest on record for much of the state, and this year (2015), conditions are only worsening

3. 63% of the state is in extreme drought, and Sierra Nevada snowpack is now running at just 10 to 30 percent of normal.

4. The Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) is establishing new building standards through an emergency adoption process. These regulations are set forth in the California Green Building Standards (CALGreen) Code and will ensure that newly constructed residential buildings, permitted on or after June 1, 2015, include water-efficient landscaping.

5. In an average year, about 30 percent of California’s urban and agricultural water supplies come from groundwater. Reliance on groundwater increases during droughts due to reduced availability of surface water.

REALTOR’s with “Teams”; How Beneficial is It?

In the last 6 years or so, the number of REALTOR’s promoting themselves and their “teams” to the general public has been dramatically increasing. As a consumer, this may sound attractive because having more than one professional helping you instills greater peace of mind, right? The answer to this question is YES and NO and here’s why:


As a real estate professional, having an assistant (or Transaction Coordinator, also known as a TC in the industry) to handle all of the administrative work, so you have more time to meet clients and generate more business, makes complete sense. However, in practice some professionals are giving too much authority and duties to their TC’s, which are putting their licenses at risk and giving their client’s an unjust level of representation and service.

As a full-time and active broker, I’ve seen many professionals allocate the following duties to their TC’s.

These are the most common:

1. Show properties (you must be a licensed broker or agent to conduct a showing)you need to know

2. Explain and facilitate the signing of contracts and disclosures (a licensed and experienced professional is the only person who can explain such documents to a client and one of the many reasons why people get sued).

3. Negotiate on the REALTOR’s behalf (Only a licensed broker or agent can negotiate on behalf of client).

4. They are the main point of contact for the REALTOR’s client(s) (legal, but defeats the purpose of our job. We build relationships with our clients through communication, without it, you have no real relationship or can build trust).

5. They communicate with all parties involved from start to finish (legal, but building relationships with fellow REALTOR’s, escrow officers, and lenders, is an integral part of our business. When people know your reputation and how you work (assuming its positive), they are more likely to work with you in the future. A TC can only do the transaction, not build relationships on the REALTOR’s behalf).


The level of responsibility allocated to TC’s has increased dramatically among many professionals and this has raised questions among other professionals as to the level of authority they should have. Many, if not most, TC’s are part time employees and unlicensed. Additionally, those who are licensed, are just that- licensed, they are not experienced.

If formed properly, a team can be a great asset and increase the level of proficiency for any professional, which can in turn provide a more streamlined process for their clients. The best way to determine if a team is formed properly, is to have your REALTOR be your main point of contact and have their team handle the administrative tasks behind the scenes.

I hope you or someone you know finds this information helpful and insightful.


Valerie Valenzuela

Broker / Owner







New surveys are revealing the TOP 4 features that new-home buyers say are becoming a “must-have.”

1. Spacious closets: Builders and re-modelers in a recent survey by the National Association of Home Builders say that walk-in closets in the master bedroom are the single most requested amenity from home buyers and owners.

2. Fancier laundry rooms: Home buyers are searching for laundry rooms with skylights, built-in ironing boards, extra space for folding clothes, storage, and upgraded appliances, according to NAHB’s survey of 400 home builders.

3. Greater energy efficiency: Home buyers are looking to cut utility costs, and they want everything to have greater energy efficiency, from features like low-e windows, artificial grass, programmable thermostats to Energy Star appliances.

4. Nine-foot ceilings: Home buyers are looking for higher ceilings on the first floor. The standard for a new-home is eight feet, but buyers are increasingly asking builders to stretch higher. The higher ceilings can help open up living rooms, dining rooms, and other shared spaces, builders note.

I hope you or someone you know finds this information helpful & insightful.