This is how my cat looks right before he pees on everything…

Ugh! After losing 3 out of 4 to the Mets, I’ve decided that the Giants season is dead (long live the Giants!) and that they should just start over with a total rebuild. Or…maybe they’re 8-5 after 13 games and they’re still a damn good team and, wait for it…it’s an even year. Let’s see this one through, eh? At any rate, let’s get on to this week’s top real estate (even if tangentially) related news stories:

  • OMG! OMG! OMG! Fairfield is number 1 in the state…at drinking! I kid you not. Or at least, they like to post about their drinking habits more than anyone else in the state and that’s not nothing, folks. Vacaville, we see you over there at #3. I have to admit, I’m a little disappointed in Vallejo which only came in at #14. I’m trying to figure out where Napa comes in but the information I have is sparse. In all seriousness, however, alcohol and drug abuse is a real issue. You can find more information about rehabilitation centers throughout the country here.
  • Fannie Mae announced this week that there will be a recession at the end of Q4 next year. Luckily, they don’t think that it will be as brutal, or last as long as the “Great Recession” of 2007-09, although personally it felt like much, much longer. Those of you who were out of work know…Historically (or at least until 2007) there hasn’t been a causal relationship between the country going through a recession and housing prices bottoming out. As of right now, Fannie Mae does not think that the real estate market will take much of a hit. My question to them is this: how can it not? Especially if interest rates stay high and wages stagnate. No, I don’t think that there will be a housing market crash, but at least there’s the potential for the end in sight of the continued boom. Developing…
  • This is my WTF moment. I subscribe to (and unwittingly get subscribed to) several different email spam thingies. One of them is The Daily List Reports. They usually send 2-3 articles along with a list of homes that are on the market. Today, one of the articles was about a new NAR report about the March sales #’s. Here’s the copy: “Existing home sales dropped 2.7% MoM, allowing inventory to move up (yay!) but still less that [sic] it normally would this of year (boo!)…” There’s a link to the NAR press release. I can assure you, that the above copy is absolutely not what the article is saying. Existing sales decreased because there are higher interest rates and the houses are 10+% more expensive than last year. There aren’t substantially more new listings…

I don’t begrudge people mistakes, but I think that it’s important to get the important 💩 right. Slower demand = fewer home sales…for the second month in a row. That’s potentially a trend. That’s potentially a significant trend…

  • The City of American Canyon will be putting Measure I on the ballot in June. This is a relatively contentious (among the council) and absolutely worthless ballot measure about term limits. I’m not saying that term limits are worthless, I’m just saying that if a person can serve up to 24 years between council and mayor, perhaps this doesn’t have the desired effect. What is the actual problem that the council is trying to solve here? 💡Maybe the council should be focusing on ways to get more people involved with governance of the city, rather than arbitrarily putting a time limit on the service of its members. I’ve greatly enjoyed reading the Argument Against Measure I by Mayor Garcia and David Oro. I’ll do a deep dive on the arguments in the ballot measure once the absentee ballots come out. Until then, I will say that there are inherent issues with the current elections process locally that should be addressed first:
    • We need more quality candidates who know all of the issues that the city faces – not just traffic and gas stations. I’m not hearing any whispers about people running against Mark & David this fall. If that happens, it will be the second time that Mark has run for reelection unopposed since first winning his seat…in 2010!
    • What about actual campaign finance reform? First up, make a candidates elections filing easy to find on the city website. Do you know how much it costs to run a campaign in American Canyon? There are only 5,000-plus households in the city, how much should it really cost? What about limiting the amount of money a candidate can loan themselves? It’s a few thousand dollars just to get on the ballot – even with signatures in lieu. Also, let’s take a closer look at limiting the amount of money that a candidate can take from one entity or person? Just because I yell louder doesn’t mean that what I have to say is more important.
    • With Watson Ranch starting to come on line, let’s start thinking about having district elections. We might be forced to move in that direction eventually, anyway.
    • What about Ranked Choice Voting?
    • Lastly, my personal favorite, stop allowing political signs to be put up prior to the filing period. There is absolutely no reason to have signs up for more than 60 days. In fact, most studies show that people don’t even pay attention to signs after the first 2-3 weeks. It’s not needed and it’s a passive way of allowing incumbents to scare off potential challengers with a massive show of support prior to the filing period even being open.

I certainly don’t have all of the answers but I think that these are better places to start than with ineffective term limits.

Lastly, I leave off today with a special thank you to all of you who give time and energy by volunteering in the community. Today is National Girl Scout Leaders Day. To my friends who are leaders in the Girl Scouts – you are absolutely awesome and wonderful and I love you and you rawk. But I don’t want to forget my friends (and especially my best friend who also happens to be my wife) who are also leaders but had the great misfortune of having boys…and so they are Boy Scout Leaders.

I appreciate what all of you do. I know the countless hours that you all work to make sure that we turn out strong girls and boys of character. Who learn to be respectful and kind. Who learn that it truly is ok for the collective to be more important than the individual. Thank you.

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