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The Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® 8th Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) Institute was held June 10-14. The CIPS Institute provides training in international business issues, including currency conversion, cultural awareness, legal and tax requirements, transaction principles of international real estate, and specifics about the real estate markets in Europe, the Americas, and Asia.

After completing five courses and other requirements, REALTORS® earn the prestigious National Association of Realtors CIPS designation. There are about 3,250 CIPS designees in the U.S.

SILVAR has offered the CIPS Institute every year since 2012. Teaching this year’s classes was REALTOR® and broker associate Bobbi Decker, a NAR REBAC instructor.

“We had a very vital and enthusiastic group for this CIPS class at SILVAR this week. NAR is very eager to have its members up their professionalism, particularly in this global economy and changing market dynamics of the real estate industry,” said Decker.

The CIPS designation gives REALTORS® an edge over other agents when dealing with foreign clients. Decker noted that Silicon Valley is an epicenter for innovation. “Certified International Property Specialist is an essential designation for REALTORS® working in this melting pot that draws people from all over the world.”

According to NAR’s “2018 Profile of International Activity in U.S.Residential Real Estate,” foreign buyers purchased $121 billion of residential property from April 201 to March 2018. Five states accounted for 53 percent of total residential property purchases: Florida (19 percent), California (14 percent), Texas (9 percent), New York (five percent), and Arizona (five percent). The major foreign buyers were China ($30.4B), Canada ($10.5B), the United Kingdom ($7.3B), India ($7.2B), and Mexico ($4.2B).

The CIPS Institute had five sponsors this year. Anita Rodal, international liaison with AFEX (Associated Foreign Exchange) and president of SBPI Services, Inc., informed Realtors the exchange rate can fluctuate on a second by second basis, so the exchange rate on the internet is not be the actual exchange rate. She also explained how market volatility affects inter-bank currency exchange rates and how AFEX helps foreign buyers convert their money to dollars quickly and at a competitive rate.

Avery Bibbs, business development manager with First American Exchange Company, delivered a presentation on the 1031 exchange and tax updates for 2019. A 1031 exchange allows an investor to sell a property, reinvest the proceeds from the sale in a “like kind” property that is of equal or greater value and defer all capital gain taxes. Examples of “like-kind” property exchanges are a single-family rental house for a duplex, an apartment building for a retail center, land for an income producing vineyard, etc.

Michael Cobb, CEO of ECI Development, spoke on how local REALTORS® can help clients interested in purchasing property abroad. Cobb said in addition to investors buying property overseas, Americans are looking at retiring abroad. Their move overseas is driven by cost, having a higher quality of life for less money.

Lisa Wendl, a loan officer with General Mortgage Capital Corp., provided information on loan requirements for foreign buyers. Wendl said because it is getting harder for Chinese living abroad to get money out of China, she has clients who have bought high-end properties in the Bay Area who are seeking to do cash-out refinancing in order to remain liquid. If the China government does not ease up on its restrictions on the outflow of money, Wendl anticipates some Chinese will be forced to sell their homes.

Amy Ku, Sandy Lee and Dean Chang represented the team of Winnie Ho, premier mortgage consultant with HSBC. Ku said a portfolio lending bank, HSBC is a one-stop shop designed to accommodate global clients. HSBC a number of programs that offer flexible terms to foreign buyers, like interest-only loans and family assisted programs for buyers who need help in qualifying for loans.

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FAREPA logo-newLooking to foster investment opportunities between real estate stakeholders in the Philippines and the U.S., the Filipino American Real Estate Professional Association Silicon Valley (FAREPA SV) chapter is organizing a trade mission to the Philippines on June 16-29. The trade mission will take participants to Manila, the country’s capital, to the island of Palawan, which has the best beaches in the world, and to Vigan, a city known for its preserved Spanish colonial and Asian architecture.

“This is an opportunity of a lifetime to learn about real estate opportunities in the Philippines, whose economy is thriving, develop partnerships with builders and developers, and see our beautiful country, especially Palawan, which is a hidden piece of paradise twice named ‘The Best Island In The World’ in Travel + Leisure magazine’s World’s Best Awards, and Vigan, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the few towns left in the Philippines whose old structures have mostly remained intact,” said FAREPA SV co-president Tess Crescini, who also serves as chair of the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® (SILVAR) Global Business Council.

In each destination the trade mission will provide real estate professionals the opportunity to partner with real estate builders and developers that are building the hottest developments around the country. The itinerary also will include the opportunity to attend the Philippine Economic Zone Authority’s First Global Ecozone Convergence & EXPO on June 18-19, of which the Chamber of Real Estate & Builders’ Associations, Inc. (CREBA) is an organizer. SILVAR is the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Ambassador to the Philippines and CREBA is its partner association there. SILVAR, CREBA and NAR President Liaison to the Philippines Jennifer Tasto are helping coordinate FAREPA’s trade mission.

FAREPA is expanding globally. The real estate association’s vision for the trade mission is to form marketing partnerships with top developers and local brokers and get to know the newest thriving areas and latest development amenities. Filipino-American baby boomers and Gen Xers are finding retirement in the Philippines desirable now due to low costs, improving health care, infrastructure, and a booming economy, said FAREPA trade mission committee chair Robert Balina.

“Becoming the go-to experts with marketing partnerships with top Philippine developers and brokers, U.S. clients can list their properties with us and we can help them purchase their retirement home, second home, or cash flow investment properties there,” said Balina.

Cost of the trade mission based on double occupancy is $3,075 all inclusive. The price includes round trip airfare via Philippine Airlines from San Francisco to Manila and back, two domestic flights, 11-night hotel stay, daily breakfast, lunch tour packages, airport transportation, and an option for an open-ended return flight. A non-refundable deposit is due by March 16, 2018. Full payment is due by May 1, 2018.

For more details, visit http://farepa.org/manila-trade-mission, or the SILVAR website at http://www.silvar.org, or contact Crescini at tess@heritagehi.com or (408) 781-0949; Balina at robert@synergizerealty.com or (408) 750-6425; or Wilma Baltar at wilmabaltar@kw.com or (408) 781-5300.

creba-logo                  SILVAR_logo - HIGH RESOLUTION

Team 408 included REALTORS® from the Cupertino/Sunnyvale and Los Gatos/Saratoga districts. They are pictured here with their Affiliates, who cheered them on.

A co-ed softball game pitting Team 650 (REALTOR® members of SILVAR’s Menlo Park/Atherton, Palo Alto and Los Altos/Mountain View districts) against Team 408 (REALTOR® members of SILVAR’s Cupertino/Sunnyvale and Los Gatos/Saratoga districts) turned out to be competitive, but fun, and successfully raised over $3,200 for the Silicon Valley REALTORS® Charitable Foundation.

More than 100 players and spectators gathered at the softball field in the New Portola Valley Town Center on Thursday afternoon for the event, which also featured music and a bar-b-que dinner. The event was hosted this year by the Menlo Park/Atherton District.

The event began with the national anthem sang by Lisa Nunes of First American Title and her daughter Taylor Nunes. SILVAR President Gene Lentz threw the first pitch. Then, the two REALTOR® teams played ball as Affiliates of the respective teams, wearing color coordinated t-shirts (blue for Team 408 and red for Team 650), and the crowd, cheered them on. With a final score of 5 to 1 in the bottom of the seventh inning, Team 408 won the game and the trophy!

SILVAR would like to convey a very special thank you to the following generous sponsors:
BBQ Sponsor: Opes Advisors
Home Base Sponsor: Coldwell Banker
Base Sponsors: Alain Pinel Realtors (Los Altos); Alain Pinel Realtors (Menlo Park); and Princeton Capital
Supporters: A & R Termite Control, Inc.; Cupertino/Sunnyvale District; and Moise Nahouraii-Referral Realty (Cupertino)

Team 650 included REALTORS® from the Menlo Park/Atherton, Palo Alto and Los Altos/Mountain View districts.

“I’m very happy that the Menlo-Atherton District could host an event that could bring the entire SILVAR association together,” said Day On the Diamond Committee Chair Lehua Greenman. “I thank all those who participated, and also the continued support of our generous sponsors and affiliates. We look forward to another great Day On the Diamond between Teams 650 and 408 in 2012!”

The real winner of the event was the Silicon Valley REALTORS® Charitable Foundation. “I want to thank everyone for supporting our Charitable Foundation by participating in this event, by sponsoring, playing, coaching, umpiring, hosting, cheering and being part of a great crowd,” added Greenman.

VIEW FULL STORY AND PHOTO HERE

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