Tuesday, November 29, 2011


The $84 million project will add one general-purpose lane for six miles in each direction between the 55 and the 241.

An upcoming 91 freeway widening project is expected to make life easier for Orange County and Inland Empire commuters.

The $84 million project – scheduled to begin construction the first of August – will add one general-purpose lane for six miles in each direction between the 55 and the 241. Crews will widen the bridge for Imperial Highway and the Weir Canyon Road undercrossing in both directions.

On Monday, transportation officials gathered outside the Orange County Transportation Authority's 91 Express Lanes offices – bordering the 91 – to break ground on the project that's expected to be completed by September 2012.

"It touches you in the heart when you get on this freeway at 5:30 or 6 o'clock in the morning and you see a line of lights going all the way out towards Riverside. ... Think of the folks living in our neighboring county coming to Orange County and work and sit in that traffic spending an hour, an hour and a half," said Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait at the ceremony.

"Bottom line of this project is ... it gets people home to their family sooner," Tait said.

Officials at the ceremony said this stretch of the freeway is not only one of the most important in Orange County, but it's considered one of the most congested in the nation.

This freeway is also thought as a lifeline for Orange and Riverside counties as it is the only corridor connecting the two counties.

Officials said this section of the 91 carries an average of up to 174,000 vehicles in the eastbound direction with about 160,000 vehicles that travel the westbound portion of that freeway.

By 2014, officials expect that traffic volumes will grow to an average of 158,000 to 190,000 daily.

Motorists feel the traffic congestion during the week in both the morning and afternoon peak periods, during the holidays and weekends.

"This freeway has linked the two counties for decades and while the congestion of the freeway has caused lots of frustration, this freeway has created all kinds of opportunities," said Karen Spiegel, a Corona councilwoman.

Spiegel said the 91 is not only crucial for Riverside County residents who commute from their home to their jobs in Irvine or Anaheim Hills but also allows them to keep in contact with their families in the O.C.

"When a family seeks to buy a larger home less expensive than Orange County, they come to Corona and the 91 freeway allows them to do so but still stay connected to family and friends in Orange County and LA County," Spiegel said.

Funds for the widening project come from the State Transportation Improvement Program and Proposition 1B – a bond approved by voters in November 2006. About $400,000 in funds are also provided by the renewed version of Measure M that voters approved in 2006.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Allen Group is actively working to pass a law through congress to stop foreclosures. We are asking that you pass the word to everyone you know to help join this cause. Please visit www.TheAllenGroup.blogspot.com and register to be part of the petition.

Even if you are not facing foreclosure, this problem effects ALL OF US. As more and more foreclosures continue to pop up, the home prices in the neighborhood decline.

So, we are asking everyone to take a couple minutes and register on this blog
using the Contact button above.

Thank you for your support!

Thursday, November 17, 2011


This headline was posted by the KCM Crew, authors of a blog for a real estate website called, "Keeping Current Matters."  It's a great name for a blog, because in real estate, keeping current does indeed... matter.  The above mentioned article randomly addresses the many negative articles regarding real estate, many of which have been published in local southern California papers.  This newsletter, although not political, strongly disagrees with scare tactics and negative ploys designed solely to sell papers.  After numerous recent articles all playing on the word, "scary", a pun on the Halloween holiday, let's level the playing field with some real numbers and let you, the discerning and intelligent reader, make up your own mind. 

Local papers would have you believe that the sky is, in fact, falling; real estate will never recover and will never be the same. More on that later, with some real numbers that are a little sobering.  But first, homeownership itself; is it dwindling?  Is it, "on its way out?"  Hardly.  In fact, pick up a copy of the recently released Fannie Mae 2011 3rd quarter National Housing Survey.  Both Generation Y (birthday mid-1970's to mid-1990's) and Generation X (mid-1960's to mid-1970's) have stronger beliefs in the importance of homeownership than those of the general population... yes that would be the boomers, and boomers have loved real estate.  It seems clear that as the economy improves, so will housing demand.


In fact, local associations of Realtors and Multiple Listing Data indicate that inventory is quite low.  Part of the reason sales have slowed is there simply isn't enough saleable product out there.   In this type of market, there will always be properties on the market that are technically available inventory, but simply have too many problems to overcome.  They need a particular type of buyer.  These properties can make it appear there is more inventory than is actually "saleable."  Frankly, it is surprising that people who can buy, have chosen to back away from the market because of predictions of a triple dip.  It's a "cost vs. buy" analysis.  If you believe in home ownership, its tax deductions, its features of durability and stability for yourself and your family, then prices coupled with interest rates should make for a fairly attractive picture.  Yes, prices could go down, but what it actually costs you, may never be better.  Also loan programs could change and availability could change, since lending has been very volatile.  But what won't change is the historic and undeniable return on investment that occurs in real estate every 10 years.  Sometimes the cycle is shorter; sometimes the downturns (such as this one) are annoying.  But check on a property, any property, and see what it sold for in 2000, and what its value is today, in the midst of our worst downturn.  REMEMBER THE PROMISE OF MORE ON THE TOPIC, "REAL ESTATE WILL NEVER RECOVER?..."


        DOW +6.7%    S&P -12%    NASDAQ -30%            REAL ESTATE +43%


Well, both are true.  October 31st, CNN Money reported: "Home prices headed for triple dip."  Fiserv (a financial analytics company), has predicted a 3.6% fall in prices on a national basis by next summer.  Now remember, southern California is a very different place than Las Vegas or Florida.  But still, nationally it means that the Case-Shiller Home Price Index is going to fall to 35% below its peak in 2006.  But what Ken Johnson, Ph.D. (Florida International University and Editor of the Journal of Housing Research) points out, is that the dip depends on circumstances being in place to lessen the impact that market anxiety causes.  What circumstances?  According to Johnson they are sometimes referred to as "housing affordability measures, and some of them are:  1) Price of income to the house 2) mortgage payment to income  3) buy versus rent analysis for various markets that encourage buying.  Did you know that the payments to income ratios are at a 30-year low in all 50 states?  Why haven't the local papers reported that?  The downturn in prices will bring more affordability factors into play for more people, especially the Gen Xers and Gen Yers, which is where the pent up demand is going to come from in the first place.

Also of interest locally to southern California is the best prognosis for recovery you can have: skilled labor, desirable location, and economic resiliency.

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