During the month of June, the Coastal Mendocino Association of REALTORS® (CMAR) raised funds to benefit the Safe Passage Family Resource Center’s special fund designed for rental assistance, to help families facing eviction. The money raised enables Safe Passage to provide assistance to Mendocino County families who are in danger of becoming homeless. From July 2016 through June 2017 the Rental Assistance Program was able to assist 45 local families.

Laura Welter, Director of Safe Passage responded to the donation stating, “When parents find their way to Safe Passage, we will now be able to give them a bit of breathing room as they work to stabilize their living situation. Their children will have a place to eat their meals, do their homework and go to sleep.”

Safe Passage began providing services to families in 1996. They work closely with other local organizations to provide a variety of programs to assist families with many different issues and problems. Their ultimate goal is a community filled with safe nurturing families who have both children and parents who are happy and successful. Services offered through Safe Passage include information and referral about community resources, enrollment assistance for health insurance and other programs, transition assistance for Spanish speaking parents, parenting sessions, support and advocacy for parents of children with special needs and grandparents raising their grandchildren, support and information for pregnant women and new parents, monthly clothing giveaways, and much more!

Laura Erskine, the Case Manager who administers the Rental Assistance Program said, “These funds will enable us to prevent at least one family from being evicted and becoming homeless. Thank you for this very real and meaningful help that you have chosen to provide for them.”

Photo: Safe Passage Director Laura Welter, Safe Passage Case Manager Laura Erskine and CMAR President Carol Ann Walton.

Legislative Day 2017

CMAR President Carol Ann Walton, Past President Meghan Durbin and AE Lesli Langslet joined 2500 Realtors at Legislative Day 2017. The morning session featured dynamic speakers, including Governor Brown. Senator Mike McGuire was the keynote speaker during the Region 4 luncheon. Afterwards, we were able to speak to Assemblyman Jim Wood in his office and Senator McGuire inside the Senate Chamber. The full schedule had us “Come Together” again for a Member and Director Forum. After a long day of making our voices heard to our state officials, we participated in the Capitol Reception which was also attended by 52 legislators. The heart of the message was that California needs to increase the number of housing units available in order to address our affordable housing crisis.

Existing-Home Sales March-On at Highest Pace in 10-Plus Years

Existing-home sales leaped to their highest pace in 10-plus years in March, reaching a robust level of activity not seen since February 2007, reports the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

Existing-home sales totaled 5.71 million last month, a 4.4 percent increase from February and 5.9 percent increase from one year prior. Inventory increased, as well, by 5.8 percent to 1.83 million—though still 6.6 percent below one year prior.

“The early returns so far, for this spring buying season, look very promising as a rising number of households dipped their toes into the market and were successfully able to close on a home last month,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR. “Although finding available properties to buy continues to be a strenuous task for many buyers, there was enough of a monthly increase in listings in March, for sales to muster a strong gain. Sales will go up as long as inventory does.”

Some real estate market analysts expect home prices to continue to rise, as much as 5%, over the next 12-months.

The Coastal Mendocino Association of Realtors reports:
Our local housing market confirms the high-paced leap Realtors are seeing nationwide.Homes sold in the Fort Bragg area, during the first quarter of 2017, saw a price increase of 24%, from the same period in 2016. An average price increase of $81,860.83, per home sold.

26 homes were sold in Fort Bragg in the first quarter of 2016, with an average price of $340,104.38. 23. In 2017, 23 homes sold, but the average price per home increased to $421,965.21.

The Mendocino market also saw an uptick in pricing, 10%, from first quarter 2016, to 1st quarter 2017.

16 homes were sold in the Mendocino area between January 1st to March 31st, 2016, with an average price of $666,468.75. For the same period in 2017, 15 homes were sold, with an average price increase of $63,347.91, bringing the median home price in Mendocino to, $729,816.66.


During the month of March, the Coastal Mendocino Association of REALTORS® (CMAR) collected canned goods to benefit the Fort Bragg Food Bank. For the drive, CMAR REALTORS® concentrated their efforts on protein rich food, such as tuna, peanut butter, canned chicken, chili or stew. The total donation was 90 pounds, which represented almost 25 pounds of beans and chili, more than 14 pounds of canned tuna and 11 pounds of canned chicken.

Nancy Severy, the Executive Director of the Fort Bragg Food Bank responded to the donation stating, “Every donations helps. The CMAR REALTORS have been generous to us and we are thankful for their support.”

The Fort Bragg Food Bank was founded in 1979, with the objective to distribute emergency food to and improve the nutrition of needy residents of Mendocino County. The Food Bank relies heavily on the generosity of individuals and businesses in the local community, whose food and cash donations represent a large portion of their cash budget and food they distribute. Due to the generosity of the coastal community, the Fort Bragg Food Bank is able to serve approximately 870 client households each month, which represents 1,600 household members. Their efficient food distribution system enables them to distribute over $6 worth of food for every dollar they spend.  They welcome donations healthy foods, especially protein-rich foods, fresh garden produce and grocery bags.  They also welcome donations of time, as volunteers represent over half of the person-hours needed to run the Food Bank. Volunteers are utilized to pack food bags, serve clients, sort and repack foods, assist in the kitchen, help keep the Food Bank clean and provide office assistance.

Photo: Fort Bragg Food Bank Executive Director, Nancy Severy and CMAR President, Carol Ann Walton

Fed Raises Rate for Second Time in Three Months

The Federal Reserve today announced the first interest rate hike of 2017, and the second rate hike in three months.

The Federal Open Market Committee concluded its meeting with the announcement that the Fed will raise interest rates by 25 basis points to 1 percent.

The last rate hike occurred in December, when the Fed moved to raise rates from .5 percent to .75 percent.

The Mendocino area realty market has seen an uptick in prices and more activity as the market is moving from a buyer’s market to a seller’s market.

Current “active” listings 244; “pending in escrow” listings 52; and listings “sold” this past year to date until 3-15-17; 290


During the month of February, the Coastal Mendocino Association of REALTORS® (CMAR), collected pet collars and toys to benefit homeless cats and dogs at the Mendocino Coast Humane Society.  REALTORS® collected collars with “personality” to help the animals at the shelter be noticed by prospective adopters and toys to help the animals feel special while they wait for their forever homes.  During the project, over 30 pet collars and almost 70 cat and dog toys, plus a few other items like kennel pads, were collected and presented to the Mendocino Coast Humane Society’s Director, Chuck Tourtillott.

CMAR President, Carol Ann Walton stated, “We are thankful to have the opportunity to help homeless animals. We hope that our contributions help them get adopted and improve their lives a little while they are waiting.”

The Mendocino Coast Humane Society (MCHS) was created by Coastal residents who desired a “no-kill” alternative to the County’s Animal Control.  Their Adoption Center, on Summer’s Lane, provides a warm, comfortable and secure temporary home for the animals. They utilize their Mobile Pet Adoption truck to improve visibility of the program and increase adoptions.  The MCHS relies on the generosity of our community, in both time and money. They welcome financial support, as well as the time spent by the many volunteers who walk the dogs, socialize with the cats and help out at their Ark Thrift Store.

Photo: CMAR President Carol Ann Walton, CMAR AE Lesli Langslet, Mendocino Coast Humane Society’s Director Chuck Tourillott

Traditional Housing Affordability Index Fourth quarter 2016

Higher wages and seasonal price declines hold California housing affordability in check, C.A.R. reports

• Thirty-one percent of California households could afford to purchase the $511,360 median-priced home in the fourth quarter, unchanged from third-quarter 2016 and up from 30 percent in fourth-quarter 2015.
• A minimum annual income of $100,800 was needed to make monthly payments of $2,520, including principal, interest, and taxes on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at a 3.91 percent interest rate.
• Forty percent of home buyers were able to purchase the $413,700 median-priced condo or townhome. An annual income of $81,550 was required to make a monthly payment of $2,040.


As part of a monthly giving project started by the Coastal Mendocino Association of REALTORS® (CMAR), a sock drive to benefit the Mendocino Coast Hospitality House was conducted during the month of January. REALTORS®, employees at their offices and some business affiliates of CMAR joined in the “Sock It To Me” sock drive, collecting new socks for use by those in need. Over 200 pairs of socks, plus a gift certificate to purchase additional socks, were presented to Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center’s Executive Director, Anna Shaw.
CMAR President, Carol Ann Walton stated, “We are pleased to be able to support the Hospitality House. They have given so much to those in need in our community.”
The Hospitality House began operating a homeless shelter in 1986. In recent years, the Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center has added additional services for the homeless and mentally ill in our community – including Transitional Housing projects, case management services, vocational services, mental health services and more. The Hospitality House was chosen as the first recipient of the monthly giving project, in order to assist those without homes, as a step towards self-sufficiency. Homeless people are on their feet almost all day, often wearing the only pair of socks they own, which are likely to be wet on the moist Mendocino Coast. While many local residents donate used clothing to the Hospitality House, donations of new socks are rare. In order to help reduce the gap, CMAR selected a sock drive as a way to help.

Photo: CMAR Association Executive Lesli Langslet, CMAR President Carol Ann Walton, Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center Executive Director Anna Shaw