Southern Oregon Radio Show Interview with Sheriff Sickler

Southern Oregon Radio Show Interview with Sheriff Sickler

Full Transcript of Video Below

[00:00:00] Alice Lema: Well, good morning, Southern Oregon, and welcome to the real estate show. I'm Alice Lema. I'm a broker here in Southern Oregon with John L. Scott real estate. And we have changes in the air. We have the season changing. It's going from hot to cold school's back in session. We still have a pretty interesting market.

[00:00:26] We still have a lot of buyers out there, but we have finally more sellers. So here we go, transition transition. It's not just about the season, but it's about the market and we also have interest rates changing. So we're going to have a great conversation today with Guy Giles Mutual Omaha mortgage. He's got an update on what's going on in the lending side, and he's going to be talking about some of the new programs that are coming out.

[00:00:53] So you want to definitely stay tuned and listen for that because he also has some predictions. So and I don't want to give it away, but you definitely want to stay tuned. Listen to Guy Giles. We also have one of our very favorite, special guests. Sickler, Jackson county sheriff. And he's going to be speaking with us today in a really interesting interview, talking about house bill 3000.

[00:01:16] What's going on with the illegal hemp grows, the illegal cannabis, the water, the water stealing, how all that's going and what a difference it's making for his department and how things are going just in general in the Sheriff's office. We're also going to have a little update on the progress. That's great progress that's been made in the homeless programs here locally.

[00:01:39] So Sheriff Sickler will have an update for us on all of that. In the meantime, just wanted to mention that we're still having arm wrestling matches in our lower price points. Even though we are finally getting more and more listings on the market, it seems like whatever the situation with the COVID and people hesitating to make decisions, they're finally getting their homes on the market. You can see it every week now. And you can see it in a lot of the lower price points was, which is awesome. But in the meantime, we do track the upper price points because they're trendsetters and, you know, in Jackson county we have 134 listings in the over $800,000 range. Josephine county has 54, in Klamath county has 20.

[00:02:26] So we're watching it as an a market indicator. It's very interesting. That market is definitely saturated. So just keep in mind, if you are doing a move up, selling something and buying something bigger, if you can lock in that low interest, you can still make a pretty good deal because the upper price points are definitely a buyer market, but most of us are down in the lower price points.

[00:02:48] That's where we're buying and there's still some great opportunities. So fear not stay tuned for the interviews with sheriff Sickler and Guy Giles, Alice Lema broker John L. Scott. We'll be right back after a word from these sponsors. Don't go away.

[00:03:03] Well, welcome back folks to the real estate show. I'm Alice name. I'm a broker here at John L. Scott in beautiful Southern Oregon. And today we're so excited to have two of our favorite people on the show. Today. We have Guy Giles of Mutual of Omaha mortgage. Hi Guy. Hey, how's it going? And we have sheriff Sickler, Jackson county, sheriff. Good morning, sheriff Sickler.

[00:03:23] How are you?

[00:03:25] Sheriff Sickler: Thank you. Thanks for having me again.

[00:03:27] Alice Lema: Well, it's been a while since we've had you on the show and we've gone through a lot of changes in our little Southern Oregon, sheriff Sickler. One of the big topics that's been on everybody's mind lately is what's going on with the illegal grows and some of the enforcements with that you want to maybe chime in and bring us up to speed.

[00:03:48] Sheriff Sickler: Yeah. So, you know, go back several months at the beginning of the year you know, we saw a, what I'll call an explosion of Marijuana or cannabis cultivation locations kind of come up really quickly all through the county. And we saw a lot of them in the form of these, what we call hoop houses or greenhouses.

[00:04:07] And these are the plastic structures that people see in, you know, fields or other areas around the county. And it became immediate immediately apparent that the problem was going to be much larger than it had been the previous year. And it was going to be tough to do. Part of driving that was there, there are many things that were driving that I think explosion of, of cannabis cultivation locations.

[00:04:30] And you know, what was unfortunate is trying to get a handle on it so that the cannabis and the marijuana laws together created some loopholes that made it fairly easy for people to try to circumvent the system, meaning it wasn't a crime to grow you know, cannabis. Oh, I'm sorry, hemp without a license. Now it was a violation of the ODA and some things that they had set up for cultivating hemp.

[00:04:56] But and when you grow marijuana, you have to be part of a regulatory program, whether the SCO LCC, OHA, OHA regulates those things. So if the recreational gross, or if you keep under a certain amount, you know, you don't have to have any licensing, but it's a pretty small amount.

[00:05:12] So, what we saw was these hoop houses. Either people were getting licenses to grow hemp, or they would just weren't licensing anything. But because we couldn't definitively say that it was, you know marijuana, not hemp, it became very challenging to enforce the laws. And so we went through our legislative process, working with our legislators, our county governments other law enforcement, the OLCC, the ODA, everybody to try to create some sort of assistance to help crack down on some of that.

[00:05:39] So house bill 3000 came about, was presented in, passed by our legislators and they basically changed the laws to close some of these loopholes. But it will certainly give us some more tools to address this. And then it also provided some for law enforcement to help bolster our enforcement efforts against these illegal grows.

[00:05:58] Cause we saw a large presence of cartel move into our county this year and set up grows and just a host of other issues. So it's pretty pervasive right now. But we are, you know, working daily to you know, get rid of these unlicensed grows or these individuals that are you know, growing illegally or outside of the, the regulations as far as, you know, imposing criminal sanctions or make an arrest or, you know, fines and other things.

[00:06:23] So there's a lot of issues totally. Or there's a lot of issues that encompass these grows from livability to water theft. You know land use issues as far as hazardous materials. We're seeing labor trafficking, you know, some human trafficking in some instances. And so it's a wide variety of just conduct that is not really good for our, for our community here.

[00:06:48] So we're trying our best and you know, it's been a, been a long summer. And and I should say spring and now summer, and now we're going into fall, but we're doing our best for sure.

[00:07:02] Guy Giles: Oh, no. I was going to say I've actually been on the advisory committee with, with Nate for a few years now. And, you know, as a rural landowner, it does seem worse after all the efforts that we put, but, but literally, what was it a month and a half ago, I guess, with this new Senate bill it's, it's actually putting some teeth into, in to taking care of some of this that will actually be lasting.

[00:07:27] In the past if somebody came out and the OLCC went to a marijuana grow and said, hey we you know, we want to inspect this because they're in charge of that. They could literally just look at the guy and say look, I'm not a licensed. So they had no jurisdiction at that point and then they would have to leave. And then it was incumbent on the code enforcement to go out and, and try to find, you know, something wrong.

[00:07:50] And it literally, there was, there was no way that, that, that we could do anything. And, and, and especially when the hemp kind of came in at that point, people could just say, we're just growing hemp. And then that definitely wasn't under anybody's specific jurisdiction. So. I do think that we're going to see a lot of improvements coming next year.

[00:08:09] And, and that's from a guy that's been really skeptical or skeptical about the way things that have been, have been happening for the last couple of years.

[00:08:17] Alice Lema: Well, and I don't think the general public was really aware of the influx of the illegal activity and the cartel. And we just don't think of Southern Oregon is really attracting that element.

[00:08:26] So I think we were all a little taken aback and really grateful for the combined efforts of the sheriffs. And so who were some of the other agencies that you were working with on some of these big.

[00:08:36] Sheriff Sickler: So currently, you know, We're working, we worked with the Metro police department Oregon state police. So LCC ODA, which is the Oregon department of agriculture. We work with OSHA some circumstances when we find, you know people being housed in deplorable conditions, which violate, you know, basic, you know, employee standards or violate rules set forth by OSHA for keeping employees safe.

[00:09:00] So there's just the water master. I mean, we work with just about everybody code enforcement. To try to take a really kind of a diverse multi-facet approach at some of these locations. And the code enforcement has been a very very good partnership for us. And we've been partnering with them a long time, but this year, because of the magnitude, the, the board of commissioners basically kind of expanded the authority or the mission, I should say the mission statement of code enforcement to be a little bit more aggressive on these blatant, flagrant grows, where people are putting up dozens sometimes a hundred hoophouses and without any permitting, without any electrical permitting, and they're creating a fire hazard, an environmental hazard. You know, living condition hazards for the workers and just all these things. So code enforcement has had some pretty good I should say they have a lot of teeth when it comes to these, because each violation could be a thousand dollars. And if you have 80 hoophouses, the $80,000 fine levied against the person that installed them, the property owners.

[00:09:58] So that's another thing is talking really quick. And one thing we're trying to get out to our public is, you know, the money might look like easy or might it look like an easy way to make some money by leasing your property out to potential growers.

[00:10:11] But there are some due diligence that needs to be done to ensure that they're going to grow licensed, get the permitting for any buildings they put up. Because a property owner is also responsible for what goes on on their property, regardless of the lease or whatever agreement they have.

[00:10:25] So in some instances, you know, we had property owner cited as well as the individuals who constructed the structures or what not. So that is working and we're trying to get the word out, but we would love to be able to educate our public, to not fall into a trap of like, Hey, this is some quick dollars to do this. It doesn't ever seem to work out that way.

[00:10:48] Alice Lema: So when when a property owner is involved in a situation like that, and they have not gotten the proper documentation, what are, what are the likely outcomes? What's the likely side effect to the property owner? Because I, again, I don't think people realize what they're up against.

[00:11:06] Sheriff Sickler: You know, just one of the big things is going to be the immediate fines by code enforcement if they're allowing structures and people to run electrical or other things on their property without the permits.

[00:11:16] Alice Lema: And that goes against the property owner.

[00:11:19] Sheriff Sickler: In cases, they can issue both. So they do it against the person who put up the structure. So we'll say you know, the growers and then they also go to the property owner. So you know, it could be large fines levied against them. And then, you know, there's always due process. And there's a court process for that, you know, which they could state their case. But essentially it's not just, you can't say, Hey, not my problem if you're a property owner. You gotta, you gotta be aware and conscious conscientious of what's going on there on the property.

[00:11:50] Alice Lema: So if you have these activities going on, you really need to have documentation from the grower on licensing. If they're building any structures, you're saying they need to have proof of permitting. And all well, you would have to be involved in the permitting process down at the county. Right?

[00:12:07] Sheriff Sickler: Generally speaking, you know, like I said, like I said, there's just a lot of things that you need to do as a property owner to ensure the rules are being followed and just. Yeah, turning a blind eye isn't necessarily going to pass the sniff test, so to speak. So they could co come under some scrutiny and or some sanctions for allowing this to take part onthe property.

[00:12:26] And it should be quite obvious, you know, we've investigated some of these locations. And we talked to the property owners and, you know, they literally spend more time looking at what color they want to paint their home versus doing due diligence on who's going to be growing what on their property.

[00:12:41] So it kind of, you know, we would encourage people to be very, you know, leery of somebody coming to them with a contract saying, we want to pay you $20,000 to grow hemp. And then we'll pay you another $20,000 at the end of the harvest. And then they start constructing you know, structures without permitting.

[00:12:55] Guy Giles: Permitting process, also, if you don't get down to the county and say, I want a hoop you know, permit. You have to have one for each one. And I mean, and then you talk about the electrical that goes into that because they're going to have to have their drying fans. I can't imagine that there are very many really legal things going on.

[00:13:14] And as far as the homeowners go, you know, They're going to have to understand that there wasn't any teeth in any of this until very recently. So you might've got away with this for the last three or four years, but it's not going to continue to happen like that.

[00:13:28] And there are ramifications beyond, even you decided, Hey, you know, you're somebody that lives in California and you own this property here and you weren't able to inspect it, you're still going to be liable for the cleanup on that place. I mean, there's potential hazmat and that, that kind of thing is very, very expensive. I drove by and I have pictures of the place off Foothill right now, four years ago, they did hemp when it first started. And we were all told that that a lot of these plastics that they used on the grounds were biodegradable.

[00:13:58] It's been four years and you can see every little piece of plastic there. And I still don't understand why, you know, every spotted owl or sea turtles going to die if you drink out of a plastic straw. But it's okay to have 10 acres of plastic just tilled up that sits around there year after year. If that's not going to be an attraction to some sort of a, an animal at some point, you're just, you're just kidding yourself. And I don't know why some of these environmental groups are not getting involved with some of this stuff.

[00:14:27] Alice Lema: Yeah, that's a, that's a good question. It's not good for the soil. You know, it makes it hard to farm later. So what are some of the possible ramifications? Like, is it possible that a homeowner could lose their property? Could it go that far?

[00:14:41] Sheriff Sickler: You know, I don't know about that. I guess it depends if there are repeated violations and then, you know, what the any, how any hearings would go forward, meaning like there's a big process to all of this. And so I'm sure, if somebody was issued a huge fine, and then was able to, you know, say mitigate the damage to the property, meaning get rid of all the things that were on the property.

[00:15:06] Come to the hearing, explain to the judge that they were unaware, they were taken advantage of, so to speak or duped and then remedy that the whole problem. I can't say what a judge will do not my job, but I can imagine that that show some intent that, you know, you probably won't engage in this type of activity.

[00:15:26] Alice Lema: Really hot topic right now. We're going to have to take a quick break. We're talking to sheriff, Nathan Sickler, and Guy Giles Mutual of Omaha mortgage. We'll be right back after a word from these sponsors.

[00:15:38] Well, welcome back to the real estate show folks. I'm Alice Lema here, John L. Scott broker in Southern Oregon, and we're doing some really interesting interview with sheriff Nathan Sickler, Jackson county, sheriff, and Guy Giles Mutual of Omaha mortgage.

[00:15:54] And right before the break, we were talking about some of the potential side effects to homeowners for leasing your property to illegal growers ,Hemp and Cannabis. So you can get in trouble for illegal hemp as well. Even though hemp is legal.

[00:16:09] Sheriff Sickler: Yeah. So house bill 3000, when it passed, essentially created it to be a crime, if you grow hemp without a license. And that was kind of the, where the sticky point was before, because you can't tell the difference. When you look at hemp plant and a marijuana plant. You know, you just, can't the, when you just look at them from a distance, you can't say for certain one is the other. Now there are certain ways that plants are grown that maybe give you indicators of whether or not they're being, you know, they're their marijuana or cannabis, but that's, you can't articulate.

[00:16:42] Cause there's always a possibility that somebody's growing cannabis. And so. With having this in place. If somebody doesn't have licensing now, it would automatically trigger law enforcement with the ability to be able to, you know, write a search warrant or investigate that particular property. So that will help you know, us next year, more than this year, because that's really going to be something when we see stuff going in next year and we don't have licensing, we can automatically jump on it before it becomes a big problem.

[00:17:10] Guy Giles: Yeah, that was also part of, of this whole thing. You can't come back and ask for forgiveness at this point. So once your plants are in the ground, you are not eligible for a license. So if you say, yeah, and then say, oh yeah, we're, we're growing some hemp, that's, that's not gonna, that's not gonna fly at all. And I think that was part of the motivation.

[00:17:29] I mean, obviously we have very unpredictable weather here, but for all these, these huts to show up, because how are you going to prove it? If you don't have, you know, legal and I'm a property rights guy, but at the same time, you know, everybody sees what's going on around here. You know, if you just grow it inside of your, your, your little hut, then nobody knows what's going on in there.

[00:17:49] So I think this will fix a lot of that. Code enforcement was purely reactionary up until this bill also, where if you called in and were complaint driven and they're able to see things and react to them on their own now without having a longer process. So we've definitely have talked on the committee and, and I do believe there are ways to attach fines to your properties. I mean, Nate would understand that a lot better than me, and maybe I am incorrect about that, but I do believe that if you get, if you get a fine and you can't pay it, you know, at some point a lien could be, could be placed. So I, I don't know. I don't know how that potentially works.

[00:18:32] Alice Lema: Yeah, I'm sure there'll be pretty, pretty quick about that. So sheriff house bill 3000, Hey, gave you more money to work with how much money was that?

[00:18:42] Sheriff Sickler: So it essentially kind of doubled or just a little bit over doubled what our previous grant was. So we've had a grant for the last few years and that came about you know, after a lot of work and, and what not, and a lot of you know, explain what was going on in Southern Oregon.

[00:18:57] Cause we haven't been unique to the marijuana problem. As you know, when, when recreational marijuana became legal, we saw a big increase in, we call it the green rush. A lot of grows, a lot of people coming into our valley. We've talked about it on the show before. And then when we got the grant and started doing a lot of enforcement and the word got out, we saw a kind of a reduction or things slow down and then this year, the explosion again.

[00:19:21] And so, you know, there's a lot of reasons for that I believe. You know too much to probably get into, into this show. But a lot of drivers and here we are, again, like kind of starting over at ground zero. And now we have the team, but the problem was so vast this year, it was just really like, you know, fighting a forest fire with a garden hose, you know, at some point.

[00:19:38] So, you know, coming together the house bill 3000 gave us some more money so we can hire additional staff to help deal with this. Is going to provide us with you know, it allowed the OLC C to use their resources locally to help the ODA. The ODA only have one inspector and there was hundreds and literally hundreds of grows that were registered in the hemp program or had licensing in process, and they had one inspector for awhile.

[00:20:03] So, you know, imagine how difficult that is for one person to try to manage 500 locations. Some of these locations aren't safe, you know, for somebody to go into alone because they are cartel operated. They have firearms they have other drugs, they have human trafficking going on and so all sorts of things.

[00:20:19] So this bill really gave us a lot a lot of resources to, to use to help try and get this under control. And I don't think it's an overnight fix. But I certainly think as we move into next season, as we get some more resources here, more people are aware of what's going on. It certainly provides us with some optimism moving forward.

[00:20:39] Alice Lema: Well, it's nice to have some support finally, for all that. It's, it's been a difficult situation. I don't know how that poor one inspector managed. Can you? I can't even imagine.

[00:20:50] Sheriff Sickler: I was, it was, it was not realistic to have one person do that.

[00:20:54] Alice Lema: Yeah. And scary too. So what are the other topics that we wanted to touch on? Was this kind of the movement in the homeless arena? There's been a lot of changes, people trying to help, a lot of inner agency cooperation. Sheriff just wondered if you want to address that.

[00:21:12] Sheriff Sickler: Yeah. So, you know, when the onset of the pandemic, you know, we kind of evaluated, we had a lot of you know, efforts to try to, you know, kind of clean up some of the homeless camps. And you know, find some alternatives for those living on the Greenway.

[00:21:28] And then when you know when covid hit last March or two Marches ago, you know, and, and shelter started to shut down because of COVID and other things were shutting down and access to food and resources, it became like, is this going to be, what is this going to be like for the Greenway? So we kinda changed just howwe looked at things and thought, how can we do, how can we improve the community?

[00:21:49] Meaning how can we reduce the homeless problem? How can we make it more usable for our public, the Greenway? And then how can we also you know, give resources to those that are experiencing homelessness. So the urban camp came to play and that's on Biddle road and the city of Medford has really stepped up to house that, and their ability team has done a fantastic job, you know, trying to connect individuals who are living on the Greenway with resources. We have a component that's similar. We just don't have the same resources that they do. But again, trying to connect people with the urban camp. And now there's urban camp, 2.0, which is housing that's got some wraparound services or some counseling associated with that.

[00:22:28] So when they move from one camp to the other, it's hopefully this evolution of getting back into, you know, as, as we would call what we would call, I guess, a more long-term housing. You know, maybe getting some of the issues addressed, whether that's addiction or mental health and, you know, getting them back on their feet to where they can go out and potentially you know, integrate back into society and get a job and, you know, maybe get some long-term stable housing.

[00:22:53] So that's the goal, and we've been able to reduce the number of camps. And this has been a cooperative effort between our social service providers, you know, rogue retreat, our county and city governments, and just, you know, law enforcement .And just a, it's really kind of a cool thing to see, to see everybody who has different responsibilities or different areas that they specialize in to come together for a common goal and trying to, to make this problem better.

[00:23:19] So we don't end up having things that look like Seattle and Portland in our area. Cause that's just not something that we want to have happen.

[00:23:28] Alice Lema: I think we've learned a lot by watching our neighbors to the north and south avenue.

[00:23:32] Sheriff Sickler: Yeah, absolutely. You know they just don't seem to have good outcomes. Where rogue retreat has done a phenomenal job managing the urban camps. We have very few problems within the camps, meaning they're not a drain on resources. They're not a you know, necessarily they don't cause issues surrounding the camps.

[00:23:51] Meaning, you know, cause it is a little alarming. I, you know, to be perfectly honest, you know, do people want a homeless camp in, within the city. And that's a tough thing, but the way they've managed it, the way it's set up, the way it's they have done at Rogue Retreat has been phenomenal, very few problems. And so they're really Testament to the partnerships. Yeah. A lot of success of people moving on to the next level and into more stable environments.

[00:24:16] Alice Lema: Yeah. So when you say counseling, cause I get asked questions about this all the time, especially people relocating from out of the area here. And they're wondering on the counseling services side in the camps is a drug counseling as well as some assistance if they have mental health issues?

[00:24:33] Sheriff Sickler: We have weekly meetings about the Urban camp. And you know, on those calls, we have everybody from Jackson care connect, we have Jackson county mental health. We have Asante you know, Providence, and law enforcement, Rogue Retreat, city government officials. So it's a very, you know, like I said, a lot of different people have a lot of different facets of the social services or law enforcement working together and providing the resources they can to this camp.

[00:25:02] Everyone's trying to do what they can to support it. And so there's opportunities for both addiction services, mental health services, medical services. There's just a lot of stuff going on. And again, you know, our goal is to. You know, one thing that I said when we started doing this, was we got to have measurable objectives and that means we improve livability for the community.

[00:25:23] I mean, we got to clear the Greenway, clean out some of the, the areas that are certainly an eyesore and a detriment to our waterway, the Bear Creek, Greenway. We got to reduce the problem. So we can't just say we got a solution, but then the problem gets worse. And then we gotta improve outcomes. Right for individuals who are going into this stuff.

[00:25:40] And so far it's been really good. I think we've had a lot of success in, like I said, Rogue Retreats, expanding. They're doing some great things. They're looking at a camp in Grants Pass. So anyways, we're just, I think there's some really cutting edge progressive things going on in JacksonCounty that we can be proud of. That other areas are going to start mimicking because it is successful. Right? We are reducing the problem. The entry to the, to the camp is vetted typically through our livability Medford teamor through the Sheriff's office. And there's a couple of other players that have, you know, that, and that kind of obviously Rogue Retreat can put people in it, but that gateway there has really cut down on issues and problems and people are vetted and, you know, so there's just a lot of things in place to help keep it from you know, or to keep it running very well smooth.

[00:26:28] Guy Giles: The Medford Gospel Mission is something I've volunteered at for years also. And, and, and they're doing a lot of good things. They're teaching people how to interview for jobs, helping them get, get clean and sober, you know? Well, beyond that, just let's feed you and enable you to.

[00:26:43] Sheriff Sickler: Yeah. And they're part of this group. We have the gospel mission and the salvation army. They're both at our weekly meetings, representatives from their organizations. And this is like I said, this is like a, like a pretty cool county partnership. It's a lot of collaboration with all the different entities to work together. And they've been huge in helping this camp succeed. And, you know, they're also a resource for people to stay of course, and providing meals.

[00:27:08] And there's a lot of neat things.

[00:27:11] Alice Lema: So how common is a program like this? I'm just wondering how many other parts of the country are doing, doing this kind of inter agency cooperation for homelessness?

[00:27:21] Sheriff Sickler: Well, I, I would say, you know, I can't, can't say how many other, I know we have had people who have moved here from other parts of the country and taking jobs in various disciplines and said, wow. Other places need to do what you guys are doing. Because truly when you bring a lot of perspectives in, you know, cause not everything I say, everyone's going to agree with. And I'm not gonna agree with what everyone else has says, but our points of view are relevant, right? When you look at the whole picture.

[00:27:48] And so when you look at things like that from kind of an open mind, so to speak or say, Hey, you know, your input is valuable. I might not agree a hundred percent. But you know what you're talking about on your side. So when we come up with solutions or ideas and you're able to bring in all those perspectives, Yeah it was only logical that you would have a better success overall. Because you're considering more pitfalls. You're considering things that you might not think about within your particular discipline that are relevant. And so I think we have a really good model and we have a track record and I think our county, yeah, it's very exciting.

[00:28:21] Alice Lema: Sheriff Sickler, Guy Giles, Alice Lema, we'll be right back after a word from our sponsors. Do not touch that dial.

[00:28:28] Well, hi again, everybody. Welcome back to the real estate show. Alice Lema here. We're interviewing Nathan Nathaniel. I'm sorry, sheriff Sickler. We just call you Nate. Is that all right? Nate Sheriff Sickler, Guy Giles from Mutual of Omaha mortgage.

[00:28:43] Fabulous conversation. I get up to speed, not only about a house bill 3000, cannabis grows illegal, legal enforcement homelessness. We talked a lot about that in our last segment. Some of the relocating folks coming from other parts of the nation to live here in Southern Oregon have had a lot of questions about how we're handling COVID, how are we handling the homeless?

[00:29:07] And they're also wanting to know what they can expect from market changes and interest rates. So Guy, do you want to maybe bring us up to speed about some of the things that are happening in that department?

[00:29:21] Guy Giles: Well probably one of the, probably one of the biggest things coming around I mean, we w we are going to, like, we do every year, raise what are called the conforming loan limits. Those are the loans that the federal government allows Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to buy.

[00:29:37] So I I'd say probably 90% of the loans out there are, are Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac loans. So that's going to raise up in this area from about $548,000 to $625,000. And anyway, kind of work its way into where it's ready to go by the, by the first of the year, all the way around.

[00:29:57] Alice Lema: So can, can I stop you right there? So what does that mean exactly when you say those, those those rate increases, those levels increase, what does that mean exactly?

[00:30:08] Guy Giles: So, so it, it would just basically mean the amount that you're able to get a loan at kind of the best rate. There's just a, there's a lot of competition. Places to give, to give good rates in that bucket. Knowing that you can always sell that loan off to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac in case your bank needs liquidity, for some reason. So is all it means is it's not necessarily your purchase price. That is your loan amount.

[00:30:34] So if you have 20%. You know above that or 5% above that kind of, you know, however much your down payment is. So that's just actually what the, what the loan amount will allow. We've actually had some, some other things happen over the last year, year and a half, and some things that are happening right now, they're going to make it a little bit easier for people, you know, maybe that don't have a lot of credit history to be able to get into the house.

[00:31:00] Where if pretty much your credit history is only being in a rental, we can now qualify and use that, that, you know, good history. Obviously, if you're not making your rent payment on time, it's not going to help you at all to try to add that into your FICO score, but we can sometimes get 40, 50 points out of your credit score by, by adding in that other, basically like a trade line of just making your rent payment on time every month.

[00:31:27] I have another part and probably I should dive a little bit deeper into these next month, but the mortgage insurance, if you have a decent credit score mortgage insurance has got a lot cheaper through the private companies also. And they're using some of these that would be the third topic, the blended credit models.

[00:31:46] They're, they're allowing their rents, but also they're, they're changing up the scoring a little bit to where people's mid scores are going to be a little bit higher. And again, I think I'll just go in deeper that next time, you know, when we have a little bit more time. But there are just a lot of tools, a lot of what are called non QM loans that aren't necessarily the Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac loans that I was talking about a minute ago.

[00:32:08] They are really jumping in to help with investment properties, where we have some bank statement loans, or just a whole lot of different programs. I tend not to get too far in the weeds with a lot of rehabs and things like that, and just stick to the good solid programs and for self-employed people or people buying investment properties, we definitely have some non-traditional avenues to get those things done right now.

[00:32:32] Another thing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were charging or telling the banks that they could only have 7% of all of the loans on their books be investment properties and second homes. And that's something that kind of came out this last year.It was really affecting the rates and fees for non owner occupied houses and for second homes. They have done away with that at this point. So that was, that was kind of a welcome sight. Because you know, it's just everybody can't necessarily buy a house right now and owning rentals, providing a place for people to live is actually needed.

[00:33:10] Alice Lema: That would be interfering right with that effort.

[00:33:13] Guy Giles: Yeah. And I don't know that a lot of people higher up, I won't get political because I did like Nate's idea about like everybody talking. You know, that might be a nice thing for the federal government to get a little different points of view. Rather than just one.

[00:33:30] Alice Lema: Yeah. Maybe we'll have him run for president

[00:33:38] Guy Giles: there, actually a lot of good things going on in lending. We've had a little bit of an increase in rates. We're probably in the, you know, without quoting a specific rate so I don't have to get into APRs and things, you know, we're, we're up in the low threes again. You know, you're going to pay, pay to be in the twos at this point.

[00:33:52] I really in my heart believe that another dip in rates is coming. I don't know. Yeah. In my opinion, just, just to keep kind of this whole financial world going, and again, that will be another one of those conversations. Probably I have to go into a little bit deeper next time.

[00:34:08] Alice Lema: Yeah. Well, we get closer to the year end, we're going to start asking you for more predictions. But the feds really have their hands full don't they? And if they do start raising rates and it doesn't go well, you think they'll bring them back down?

[00:34:22] Guy Giles: Yeah. I mean the economy is just too fragile right now. They're walking a really tight line. You know, I'm hoping that we can get some spending under control because honestly that's what's going to hurt us inflation wise. That's what's going to hurt us just as a country. I mean, if you have a ton of credit card debt as a family, you're not going to have the disposable income to go do many more things at that point, you're just servicing that debt. And that's the, that's the problem that we run into as a country that you know, that the, the fed is walking that line, trying to keep inflation low.

[00:34:59] And at the same time, well, there, there's just a lot that they have going on right now. Again, it's not a position I necessarily want to be in.

[00:35:07] Alice Lema: Well, that's really our most vulnerable parts of society that take the hit the hardest when we have these hyperinflation moments, you know, and I remember back in the seventies cause I'm older than both of you guys, and it was terrible and people really, really struggled. And I'm starting to watch some of that happen again. Except I think this caught us by surprise don't you.

[00:35:27] Guy Giles: A little bit. Yeah. I think a lot of, a lot of the things that have happened to bring people out of the labor force have, have heard this a lot. I mean, there's obviously, if you, if you're not building as many things, then you, you know, there's going to be more competition for it. So the prices are going to go up. I don't think that inflation is a huge lasting thing. And I know that's kind of contrary to what a lot of people believe right now.

[00:35:53] Alice Lema: That would be great.

[00:35:54] Guy Giles: But the labor force thing, I think, you know, what's going on in China right now is, is, you know, could kind of wipe out what, what I'm saying, but, but I, I just don't see, I don't see it getting horrible at all. We just have to get people back to work. I mean, it's your self worth at that point. And it's nice maybe to sit home and play a little Nintendo.

[00:36:17] Alice Lema: But not for two years.

[00:36:23] Guy Giles: Get back out there.

[00:36:26] Alice Lema: That brings up an interesting question for sheriff Sickler, how are things going with your labor force?

[00:36:31] Sheriff Sickler: You know what we're doing pretty well. You know, we have retirement. We've had people who have chosen other career paths. But overall we're doing pretty well. We're able to recruit still, which is nice.

[00:36:43] We're able to get some really good applicants and turn into really great employees that work at the Sheriff's office. So it makes things better for, for me, obviously as the boss and you know, as our command staff to have good applicants and good people working for agency because they do a good job.

[00:37:00] And then that makes our life easier. So we're not, we're not in that necessarily what I would put a category of ,you know, where we're, you know being severely impacted. Now, every, every vacancy hurts don't get me wrong. Because if I could, I could use another 80 employees, honestly. So, but you know, with COVID and all the challenges that we've had, the fires and you know, now just the turmoil around the country on so many different issues, it does wear on everybody.

[00:37:29] We have know, we've had an influx of just things in our community that aren't ideal. Like I said, these grows and some of the other things associated with them and some violent crime and all those things take toll. But overall, our staff is pretty resilient and we're, we're doing okay.

[00:37:45] Alice Lema: Awesome. Well, thank you gentlemen so much sheriff Sickler, Guy Giles Mutual of Omaha. This will be repeated again tomorrow. Have a beautiful Southern Oregon weekend. Bye now. Thanks you guys. Take care. Have a good day. Thank you so much.

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