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Real Estate Round-Up: Why I write what I write

 

Last updated 12/18/2018 at 6:59am



My column about Measure EE received an outpouring of comments, mostly from residents who appreciated my perspective but a few from residents who took issue with my comments. I am writing this article with that in mind.

I believe than an effective Realtor must stay informed on current and pertinent topics that pertain to housing and real estate in general. Topics come to me from various sources. A primary source of information comes to me from the California Association of Realtors (CAR).

CAR is the industry leader on the subjects of private property rights and homeownership. Additionally, living and owning a home and business in Fallbrook regularly provides me with inspirational topics. Finally, the California State Legislature has made the availability and affordability of home ownership a top priority. With that emphasis, the Legislature has passed numerous bills to address those concerns.

My comments always review the topic through the lens of a Realtor. Realtors refer to themselves as the “Champion of Home.” My perspective assesses how trends, legislation, and attitudes affect private property rights and homeownership.

Homeownership has always been a cornerstone in the United States. Owning a home has been referred to as “The American Dream.” Homeownership is not insulated from economic volatility. It is not insulated from social attitudes. It is not insulated from local issues.

Homeownership looks like different things to different people, but for a Realtor, it means that everyone should have the right and the opportunity to own a home in a community that they want to live in and can afford to live in, with the expectation that neither government nor people shall impose anything on that property that curtails the property’s ability to increase in value. Homeownership provides stability to the homeowner and to the community.

Private property rights refer to the protection a property owner possesses, supported by zoning and building codes of the community in which it is located. Protecting those rights can be challenging because those rights do not exist in a vacuum. Those rights must exist in collaboration with the surrounding property owners’ property rights.

So, which set of property rights gain support and approval? To determine that, the pros and cons for both sides are evaluated and then a decision is made. San Diego County has zoning and building guidelines that are the foundation to development. The San Diego County Supervisors can vote to modify the zoning on a parcel if they believe it fits the goals of the County and State and conforms to the surrounding area development, but within reason.

Here’s an example. A few years ago, Granite Construction contracted with a private property owner to purchase their property with the purpose of mining for DG (decomposed granite). From the private property owner’s perspective, this was a huge win. The land was steep and full of boulders, so its highest and best use was not residential or commercial development.

The parcel was in South Riverside County. The proposal, however, was not a win for the adjacent property owners, whose parcels were in Fallbrook. The process of mining requires blasting with explosives during the working day and disperses unhealthy granite particles into the air. The Santa Margarita River would have been greatly affected by the silt produced when pulverizing the boulders. Needless to say, the quintessential peace that is Fallbrook, would be very disturbed by the mining. Private property rights did prevail, but not for the owner of the land that Granite contracted with.

So why am I telling you all this? My columns always run things through the lens of these two items. If after I assess the information available on a topic and I believe that the decision has a negative impact on either homeownership or private property rights, then my opinion will not be favorable. If I believe that it has a positive impact on those two items, then my opinion will be favorable. If it is neutral, I probably won’t write about it.

I wanted to share my process with you. I hope you will grow to appreciate my perspective and realize it is not personal. If it is good for homeownership, I hold the banner high. If it’s good for private property rights, I hold the banner high. If it steps on either of those value propositions, I will point out the negatives, and you can agree or disagree. Our individual opinions are also a cornerstone in the United States. Thanks for reading.

Kim Murphy can be reached at kim@murphy-realty.com or (760) 415-9292 or at 130 N Main Avenue, in Fallbrook. Her broker license is #01229921, and she is on the board of directors for the California Association of Realtors.

 

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