Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Great Humboldt County 3rd District Supervisorial Forum!

Mark Lovelace

Humboldt Association of Realtors had a great candidate forum tonight between two great people, incumbent Mark Lovelace and challenger Karen Brooks, who are both running for Humboldt County’s 3rd County Supervisor seat!  Both candidates did a great job of fielding some tough questions and communicating many similarities, but also some key differences in how they would respond to upcoming issues in the County.

  • Karen Brooks said that she would like to take the county housing element “back to the drawing board.”
  • Mark Lovelace noted that “infill only works if that’s what the people want.”
  • Brooks, when asked about the issue of  “shaded parcels,” said that the shading that the county did was “unethical and illegal.”
  • Lovelace is working to allow landowners to file “non-industrial timber management plans” at less expense to enhance their ability to manage resource lands.
  • Brooks is open to the idea of outsourcing many of the planning department’s permitting processes to local agencies.
  • Lovelace believes that a key government role in the planning process is to “balance the property rights of an owner with the property rights of his neighbors.”
Karen Brooks

I am thankful that both candidates came out on a rainy night to give us their thoughtful, sometimes provocative answers to some tough county problems.  It was an entertaining and informative forum!  Thank you, Mark & Karen, for your thoughtful responses and willingness to serve!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Tacky Neighbors Can Cost You Money!

The three biggest factors in real estate values are 1) location, 2) location, and 3) location.  So the old saw goes, but this photo proves that the quality of neighbors has to fit in there somewhere.  I drive by this pick-up truck on my way home from our local grocery store, and cringe every time.  And when my children are with me, I often think about pointing out some feature in the clouds on the left side of the street.  Fortunately, our home is another half mile or so away, so this pickup doesn’t affect us directly.

I got a call recently from a friend who owns the property just across the intersection from this pickup.  They live out of the area and have been renting their home to tenants for several years now, and are thinking about selling.  We talked about a lot of the neat features they built into their home, and the extra large lot, and the huge amount of privacy, especially considering the location in the middle of town.  But she had no idea what was on the tail gate of her neighbor’s truck!  She was mortified!

When the home hits the market, I will be sure to give directions for other agents to approach from the opposite direction; at least the offending neighbor has the consistency to park on the same side of the street, all the time. But eventually some potential buyers will drive by and see the tail gate, and will instantly be turned off on the neighborhood, and consequently the home. 

How much of a price hit will we take on this otherwise delightful cottage?  Fewer interested buyers means fewer offers, which means more downward pressure on the price.  Is it a $5,000 hit?  $10,000?  $25,000?  It might even be worth it to “buy out” the tenant’s lease and make it worthwhile for him to move into someone else’s neighborhood.  Maybe yours?  Maybe mine.