Author: Carrie B. Reyes

Make solar power feed-in tariffs work for you

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP) recently began a pilot feed-in tariff (FiT) program, allowing commercial property owners to sell energy captured with solar panels back to the DWP. This is a second attempt based on an earlier net-metering program which included residential properties. The previous program frustrated customers and produced little return due to processing delays and poor customer service. Commercial warehouses and multifamily buildings qualify for FiT if they have: at least a 30-kilowatt capacity; and an approved solar energy system. The pilot program presently allows 30-50 participants, though the program is hoped to...

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FHFA finally gives cramdowns merit

Would the FHFA allowance of principal reductions benefit the real estate market? Yes (74%, 100 Votes) No (26%, 35 Votes) Total Voters: 135 Long objecting to principal reductions (a.k.a. cramdowns), the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), overseer of government owned and sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (collectively Frannie), now reluctantly views cramdowns as a potentially effective tool to aid negative-equity homeowners. Recently, the FHFA director, Edward M. DeMarco, gave an analysis demonstrating his continued hesitancy towards cramdowns. However, it now seems he is finally willing to consider the possibility, not simply reject cramdowns outright. Cramdowns are the...

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Get creative with vacant retail space

Would you like to see your local shopping mall converted into: Don't change it - I love malls and I think they're here to stay. (38%, 15 Votes) Offices; (23%, 9 Votes) Condominiums; (21%, 8 Votes) A hospital; or (18%, 7 Votes) Total Voters: 39 Still not sure what to do with vacant retail space? Turn it into something else! Shopping centers have been one of the hardest hit properties in the commercial real estate sector, as the Great Recession triggered less consumer spending even as online retailers continued to gobble up market share. This has resulted in increased...

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“The housing recovery is upon us!” – not so fast

Do you think home prices will go any lower than their current average before a sustained recovery? Yes (61%, 120 Votes) No (39%, 76 Votes) Total Voters: 196 Optimists everywhere have been abuzz, claiming the housing industry is showing marked signs of recovery. It’s okay to focus on the positive, but we’re not out of the woods yet, according to Washington Post’s business columnist Barry Ritholtz. Prices must stabilize before a recovery is reached, and that has yet to occur. Unless something drastic occurs, shadow inventory and negative equity remain factors in light of massive delinquencies in mortgages, and...

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Is Prop 13 a regressive tax regime?

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from POLL: Is Prop 13 a regressive tax regime?

Over the next 5 years, mortgage rates will rise to:

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from POLL: Mortgage rates increases over the next 5 years?

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