You are currently browsing the daily archive for March 2, 2012.

On Thursday, SILVAR President Suzanne Yost updated members of the Cupertino/Sunnyvale District on the state of the Association. Yost announced the Association is financially secure (SILVAR hasn’t raised dues since 2002) and stressed that SILVAR highly values its membership.

SILVAR offers many valuable member benefits, including PRDS Forms, a complete line of paper and online forms for residential purchase and sales transactions. PRDS Forms were developed specifically for Silicon Valley’s REALTORS® by Silicon Valley REALTORS® who saw the need. These forms are highly acclaimed and available online free of charge as a SILVAR member benefit.

Yost assured members their dues dollars are very well spent, especially on government affairs. She highly credited SILVAR Government Affairs Director Adam Montgomery for his work in successfully warding off many point of sale and transfer tax proposals that could have hurt homeowners had they passed. A recent example is proposed regulations that would have included sewer lateral inspection and compliance mandates at the transfer of property for homeowners in southern San Mateo County. She added since it is a large association with a strong government affairs staff and many accomplishments, “SILVAR has a footprint” at the local, state and national REALTOR® level.

Yost noted SILVAR’s District Council system is an especially good model that emerged upon the merger of the five boards in 1995. This model provides another level of opportunities for leadership. Having more people “with ears close to the ground” helps ensure that the Association meets the needs of agents working in all five districts.

Members are very lucky to be doing business in Silicon Valley, said Yost. Recent speaking engagements before the New York State Association of REALTORS® and the Michigan State Association of REALTORS® brought home this fact, she said. While REALTORS® everywhere have had to face tough markets during the past three years, Silicon Valley’s housing market is improving due to its location and strong tech and other innovative industries.

SILVAR’s president encourages members to take part in the Association. Join your District Council, get involved in activities at the District and Association level, volunteer for RSVP (REALTOR® Service Volunteer Program) and help others in your community, Yost urged.

“We always want to develop new leaders and give you the opportunity to become leaders,” she stressed.

Yost is excited about a couple of new Association components this year. There is SILVAR’s Young Professional Network (YPN), which welcomes all members – the young, as well as the seasoned professionals. SILVAR is also developing a Global Business Council, an initiative which will have a strong education component to help REALTORS® learn how to effectively work with international buyers. She added that SILVAR highly values its Affiliate members and a group is currently working on written policies and guidelines for Affiliates.

Last, but not least, Yost urged members to continue to stay positive. “The numbers are getting better,” said Yost. “2012 is the year we’ll come out of this. 2012 will be better.”

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The Silicon Valley REALTORS® Charitable Foundation presented a $1,500 grant to the Edgewood Center for Children and Families at Monday’s Menlo Park/Atherton District meeting. John Tripp, 2012 president of the Charitable Foundation, presented the check to Jamilla McCallum, kinship program director of the San Carlos center.

Edgewood Center for Children and Families helps children and families take back their future by working with them to overcome severe challenges like abuse, neglect, mental illness and crisis. The center is the oldest children’s charity in the western U.S., and began as a refuge for Gold Rush orphans. Edgewood now serves more than 5,000 children and families in the Bay Area each year, offering a broad range of behavioral health, family support, and educational services.

McCallum explained the center’s kinship program helps relatives of those who need help, she explained. Family members often step up to fill the gap when a crisis situation takes parents from a child. These “kinship caregivers” often have special needs themselves, linked to age, poverty, poor health, social isolation, and inadequate access to information and services. The Edgewood Kinship Program addresses the unique needs of each caregiver and child by providing referrals to basic services and a break from daily stresses.

Tripp thanked SILVAR members for their support of the Charitable Foundation. He urged members to continue giving to the Foundation. The Charitable Foundation grants support three main causes: families, youth and housing. He noted these grants would not be possible without the help and support from SILVAR members.

 

The California State Senate will be holding an informational hearing regarding High Speed Rail on Tuesday, March 13, at 7 p.m., in the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro Street.

Senator Joe Simitian will be hosting the hearing and will be joined by Senator Mark DeSaulnier, chair of the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee and Senator Alan Lowenthal, chair of the Senate Select Committee on High-Speed Rail. This event is open to the public, and attendees will have the opportunity to speak during a public comment period following prepared testimony from state officials and others.

 

Wednesday, May 2, is Legislative Day. This is the day REALTORS® from all over California will meet with their elected officials in Sacramento and discuss critical legislation that can affect REALTORS®, homeowners and private property rights. Members of the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® will be participating in this annual one-day event in Sacramento.

Once members arrive in Sacramento, they will receive a special briefing from California Association of REALTORS® lobbyists, REALTOR® leadership and honorable guests. A luncheon will follow the briefing. California Governor Jerry Brown has been invited to speak at the event.

After lunch, SILVAR members will have meetings with all of the legislators in Silicon Valley, including Senators Elaine Alquist, Sam Blakeslee and Joe Simitian, and Assembly members Jim Beall, Paul Fong, and Rich Gordon. At these meetings, our REALTORS® will have the opportunity to discuss important real estate issues, such as private property rights, legal reforms and housing opportunity policies.

SILVAR REALTORS® who plan to attend Legislative Day should register for the event by calling SILVAR at (408) 200-0100, or sign up online at ims.silvar.org no later than Monday, April 23. See flyer for cost and more details.

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