Searching MLS Listings

I had a couple questions lately regarding my MLS Search FAQ where I state that my seaches have over 99% of the listings but not all of the properties in the MLS. The confusion is coming from other agents that advertise “Search ALL the MLS listings”. The fact is that my MLS searches have as many homes on it as any other MLS search service. Listing Agents have the option to not display a particular listing through MLS Searches on agents/brokers sites. They can also choose not to display it on Unless the homeowner knows enough to ask, their home may not be seen by Buyers searching on the Internet.

Our MLS Rules and Regulations do not allow for agents/brokers to say they search ALL the listings since that can’t ever be certain. Any advertisment that says something like “Search ALL Listings” is misleading. They are also is in violation of the MLS Regulation and subject to a fine.

Square footage is used as one of the key ways to describe a home. Most of the time it’s a value that someone has come up with but rarely is there something (like a floor plan) to show how the total sq footage was calculated.

The following comes from this article.

Square footage needed for the sale of buildings.
In the real property field, real estate brokers often compare the value of properties and offer them for sale on the basis of their relative floor areas. Frequently, sellers tell their real estate sales people their understanding of the square footage and this, in turn, is quoted to prospective buyers, often without confirmation. The seller’s understanding of the building area may not always be realistic and in some cases may be intended to deceive an unwary buyer.

Sometimes, owners or their brokers attempt a field measuring of the building and, not always knowing the proper measuring method or appropriate geometry, they arrive at erroneous or questionable results. Also, there is no consistency in knowing what areas to include or exclude in the calculation.

Another article on this topic can be found here

Conforming loan limit may go up

The U.S. House of Representatives voted this afternoon on H.R. 1461, Federal Housing Finance Reform Act of 2005. This legislation, which C.A.R. and NAR support, is intended to strengthen the regulations and oversight of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and FHA, also known as the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSE). Included in this legislation is a priority issue for C.A.R., the High-Cost Conforming Loan Limit provision. This provision will increase the conforming loan limit, currently $359,650, to the median home price of a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) if the median home price of the MSA is above the national conforming loan limit. The new conforming loan limit for a high-cost MSA would be set at its median home price, but capped at 150% of the national conforming loan limit, or currently $539,475. The amendment introduced by Representative Garrett from New Jersey would have stripped the high-cost conforming loan limit provision from H.R. 1461. This amendment was handily defeated! All Californians voted “NO” on the amendment except Rep. Radanovich and Rep. Royce who voted “Aye,” and Rep. Pelosi and Rep. Roybal-Allard who did not vote.

The Senate version of the bill still needs to be voted on.

Here’s a blast from the past…

When I went to Cal Poly in the late 70’s – early 80’s, I worked at the campus radio station (KCPR) from 79-81. I was a DJ and also on the Executive Staff. One of the old DJs is putting a website together with things from the past (

Here’s a couple links to some photos. You should recognize Weird Al in one set. If you watch Bay Area TV news, you should also recognize Brian Hackney.

Color Printer Tracking

A bit off topic but I thought this was interesting. It appears that when you print something on a color printer, it also prints an identification code which when deciphered is your printers serial number and date printed. It’s in yellow and you supposedly need blue light and a magnify glass to see it. It’s reportedly done so authorities can trace counterfeit money.

Fresh Choice closes in SLO

One of the last salad bar restaurants in the county closed last Sunday. Fresh Choice has been closing Southern California restaurants to focus on the Bay Area market as part of their Chapter 11 restructuring. This leaves Sizzler in AG as one of the remaining salad bars that offers more than what you find at a Round Table. I hope that a good replacement goes in its’ place.

On a side note…a Chili’s restaurant may be coming to Arroyo Grande! My wife and I love Chili’s!!!!!! If you’re reading this from out of the area you may think “big deal” but we’re in an area where a Panda Express opens up, and the line is out the door for 3 straight months.

Don’t use old real estate contract forms!

I’m amazed to see the old California Association of Realtor (CAR) forms still being used. These are the ones where you hand write all the information and hope you can still read what was written on the 2nd and 3rd copies. CAR discontinued providing these forms years ago and went to an electronic forms service called Winforms. Now when CAR makes any changes to a form or adds a new form, Realtors have immediate access to the new form. There are CAR lawyers that constantly review these forms to help keep buyers and sellers out of court.

I’m not sure why the old forms are still being used. The only two reasons I can think of are:
1) the agent doesn’t want to have to go back to their computer to fill out a form and then get the client to sign it, so they just use the ones they can write everything in on, or
2) the broker has a supply of the old forms they already paid for so they don’t want to throw them away.

When you are in a transcation, INSIST on using the most updated forms! It may keep you out of court or arbitration.

The 69-unit housing project for Cal Poly faculty and staff is on schedule

These are the homes being built near the corner of Highland Dr. and Santa Rosa St. They expect occupancy in 2007 and the home prices starting in the $300K range.

Full article here