Southern Oregon Radio Show - New Laws 2021

Southern Oregon Radio Show - New Laws 2021 Affecting Real Estate

Full Video Transcript Below (Edited for Clarity)

[00:00:00] Alice Lema: Well, good morning, Southern Oregon. Welcome to the real estate show. We're so happy to have you. Pete Belcastro, Alice Lema. We're both real estate brokers here in Southern Oregon with John L. Scott. Good morning, Pete.

[00:00:16] Pete Belcastro: Yeah. Hey Alice, how you doing today? Hey, look at this. Here we are, you know, school starts this next week in some places and then labor day weekend is here and summer is gone and about over.

[00:00:27] And hasn't it been just a crazy summer Alice of smoke? I don't think we're, it's been well over six weeks now of this and it's affecting real estate a lot. I think people have canceled visits, things like that. I don't know if you experienced that, but it's just kind of a wild time here. I guess the market continues to, to move and see people still buy and sell houses.

[00:00:49] We've talked about it flipping over the top and that we've hit maybe that, that plateau. And I think that's still true. We're going to see what the stats show for August, but right now the people, the smoke is really having an effect on everything around Southern Oregon. All of our counties are affected by that.

[00:01:05] Alice Lema: Well, and I think it makes people grumpy. It's hard to breathe. And you know, one of the things we love about being in Southern Oregon is enjoying the lakes and the camping and the hiking and the smoke has been so bad that it's hard to even get out and enjoy the whole reason we live here.

[00:01:21] Pete Belcastro: Right. And then you combine that with the water and the drought that we've had and, and things like that. And a lot of you mean a lot of great camping places have been destroyed. I mean, you go on and on and we've really seen an effect on this. Today you know, one of the things today on our show, we have a really interesting show, Alice, because we've got the recently completed Oregon legislature. And every time every two years is the legislature has met this last time with COVID and everything.

[00:01:47] Well, they always take on real estate and issues of housing and things like that. And Greg Addington from the Oregon association of realtors and Tina Grimes from our VOD, they Rogue Valley Group is going to join us to talk about some of those bills that were out there. And the assault that comes on in real estate.

[00:02:04] And what we can do about it, because really we just do a lot of talks, throw money around and nothing really ever gets solved. Can't wait to hear what they have to say.

[00:02:11] Alice Lema: Yeah. It's, it's so great that they're going to be on the show today, giving us an update on some of the topics that were discussed. Some of the bills that were passed. And you know, during the shutdown and we've got our new mandate again, the mask mandate and how that's affecting investing, and landlords and tenant. And rents, you know, rents are just through the roof and that's, if you can find something!

[00:02:32] Pete Belcastro: Well, we're going back to March of 2020. Again, we know we're masking, they're not shutting things down. I don't think people are going to do that. And I don't know how much the mask thing is going to work anyway. Certainly the unvaccinated or the vulnerable people, Alice, and those are the ones who are being sick right now.

[00:02:46] And I, you know, everybody has their choices to make, but all of it, when you combine it all, it really has an effect on what we do every day in real estate in buying and selling and investing, because it's just as part of the part of daily life. It's up in the air right now. It's very uncertain.

[00:03:02] Alice Lema: Well, and real estate is life driven.

[00:03:04] So stay tuned for our show today. We're brought to you by the Rogue Valley Association Realtors Southern Oregon, John L. Scott and Mutual of Omaha mortgage, Guy Giles., don't touch that dial Alice Lema and Pete Belcastro, we're both brokers at John L. Scott here in Southern Oregon.

[00:03:19] And today we're welcoming two very special guests. We have Tina Grimes, who is the chief executive officer, the Rogue Valley Association of Realtors and part of Southern Oregon MLS the multiple listing service. And we also have Greg Addington, who is the government liaison for the association. Welcome Greg and Tina. Thank you.

[00:03:43] Well, I'm one of the things we're so grateful for you guys coming on today is the end of our legislation the state of Oregon, and just wanted to kind of bring our listeners up to speed and some of the changes in some of the topics of conversation, because it's been a really wild year, hasn't it..

[00:04:00] Greg Addington: Yeah. It's well, thanks for, for having us and it's, it's good to be here. It is maybe cause to celebrate when the legislature adjourns each year, because things tend to be a little safer at that point, but yeah very weird.

[00:04:13] You know, really last two years, as far as the state legislature goeswe had a series of short sessions in 2020 amidst COVID and wildfires and protests at the Capitol. And then that led into the full session in 2021, the regular session they call it, which goes basically from January to the end of June.

[00:04:35] And all a virtual which is certainly a first and you know, it was not without controversy. It's the people's legislature, you know, how do you engage the public when the building's closed? So that was you know, it was an interesting process.

[00:04:50] Alice Lema: And that was just kind of made up as we went along because none of us had ever been through a pandemic and shut down and all that.

[00:04:59] Greg Addington: So. Right. And it, it, you know, it, it, I think it does affect policy-making when you know, there was opportunity for public input through a virtual setting, but it's just not the same as, as looking people in the eye and having you know, everyone in the building interacting with, with lawmakers and the public.

[00:05:16] So it was it was definitely different. And You know, I, I think it, it worked as best it could, but like I said, it was a lot of controversy about whether or not the building should have been closed.

[00:05:29] Pete Belcastro: Well, you know, the legislature, I remember since I've become a real estate broker, Greg, one of the things that I've found is that the legislature is really easy to target real estate, to tax it, to use it to, you know, for other purposes, other than, you know, home ownership and things like that.

[00:05:44] And every year, it gets more and more intense with some of those discussions. I'm sure that you're involved with, with legislators. Is that how you see it or tell us what the general atmosphere is among kind of the lawmakers regarding real estate in general. Because it's such a big issue and it's such a big topic is such a huge economic force in our state. So what do they think? You tell me, tell me what you see when you talk to somebody.

[00:06:11] Greg Addington: Well, I mean, it's a, that's a great question. And I, I guess, depending on what segment of the economy you're from, I think you always feel targeted. I spent a lot of years in the ag agriculture and water world, and I know that every, every time the session came up, we felt like they were, you know, people were coming after us and, and those kinds of things.

[00:06:30] But certainly, yeah with, you know, the atmosphere we're in today the legislative leadership made no secret about their priorities going into this session. It was supporting Oregonians that were hardest hit by the pandemic. It was a recovery from the 2020 wildfires, which certainly had impact in the rogue valley.

[00:06:48] Equity and social justice were a major theme throughout in a lot of the legislation. Police reform was a big topic and then climate change. Those, those themes were woven throughout the session and you know, showed up in places you wouldn't think it would normally show up. Some of them good, some of them, you know, maybe questionable. But that certainly held true for the you know, property, real estate type legislation as well.

[00:07:15] I do think Pete, to your point the thing that we, you know, find ourselves, it seems like every session having to fend off is the mortgage interest deduction. And the, you know, trying to do away with that. There was an effort to do that. It actually was a significant effort to do that this year.

[00:07:33] And really thanks to the realtors association membership. There was a full court press put on that and those bills never really got any traction.

[00:07:42] Tina Grimes: Yeah, there's three, there was three different bills in this last session that were all targeting the mortgage interest deduction.

[00:07:49] Greg Addington: And a lot you know, people, people, you know, will say, you know, one of the bills was to target mortgage interest deduction for second homes, which, you know, so everybody said, well, that seems okay. But when you dig deep into those really, it was a means test. And so, you know, it's based on income and basically anything over a hundred thousand dollars, you know, you were gonna lose ability to duct your interests. Which just eats away at sort of the, the fabric of home ownership and building a community and incentives to buy and that kind of thing.

[00:08:21] Alice Lema: Well, and even on a modestly priced home, sometimes the interest can be a thousand dollars of their payment a month, so that can easily be 11 or $12,000.

[00:08:33] Greg Addington: Oh, it's yeah, it would've been a huge well, first of all, I'd been a huge boon to the state coffers. Right. And those, those things need to go through a process through the ways and means process. And it was sort of skirting around some of that, but that would add a big impact on Oregonians everyday, Oregonians.

[00:08:51] Pete Belcastro: How big do you think the discussion goes Greg, and even Tina, but you know, regarding housing and, you know, look, our state is in a real bind with housing. Look at the rogue valley, look at Klamath the Klamath Basin where I'm in that now. I mean, there's simply no houses. And the prices are going skyrocketing.

[00:09:09] We're in double digit increases. I mean the last three weeks Greg, inMedford in Jackson county, the median price has been around $500,000 and over. Yeah. So the affordability thing just keeps coming up and up and up.

[00:09:21] And, and I wonder if the legislature ever, ever addresses some of these things of how they can have a more proactive role. I mean, they want to do everything from climate change, as you just said, all those things.

[00:09:32] But you didn't mention housing in any of those things. And that's what really kind of bugs me. That that is such a huge issue. And nobody ever wants to really talk.

[00:09:41] Greg Addington: Well it's so, you know, and I'll let Tina chime in on this as well, it wasn't one of those things I mentioned that was listed. But I can tell you the term affordable housing was very prominent in the legislative session. Now the definition of affordable housing is a little bit subjective, right? It wasn't ever really laid out what that means. When you look at the money tied to this session that that went out, there was over 700 million in state funding that was directed at housing and homelessness.

[00:10:11] Now, does that mean that's 700 million to build homes and, and get things going? No. A lot of it is stuff that you know, studying things it's you know, I could go through a list here too. It would bore you. But It seems like that affordable housing question, there is some effort to deal with it in suburban and rural Oregon.

[00:10:32] But to me, it, it seems driven by the social social justice and equity issues. And not that those are bad things, but I think it sort of leaves out the middle sometimes. And and I think that's what we saw. There was a huge problem. Pete, as you guys all know. Tina, what I don't, you know, you've seen it in the rogue valley and, and it's certainly not unique to the rogue valley.

[00:10:56] Tina Grimes: No, I mean, there was a couple of bills that passed that might help. But none of them are really addressing the heart of the issue, which is you know, there's a lot of us that feel that the heart of the issue is the fact is the statewide land use system, which just has a stranglehold on anything that any cities want to do.

[00:11:13] Because it's a one size fits all approach. Well, you can't treat Klamath the same as you treat Portland. You can't treat Medford the same as you treat Burns. I mean, we're all totally different. You can't, you can't do this one size fits all approach. And so until we can get that down to where it's at a county level I don't think we're going to see much traction, unfortunately.

[00:11:35] So, but you know, the, the state likes its control in that area. So that's going to be a big battle to try and get that unraveled.

[00:11:44] Pete Belcastro: How have we been doing Tina regarding Phoenix and talent and the rebuilding that's going on in the rogue valley? Are you, are you pleased with what you're seeing so far, hearing what's happening? Are you, are you kind of, not so enthusiastic as maybe we were when we talked about some of these issues a few months ago.

[00:12:02] Tina Grimes: Yeah. I think it's kind of a mix. I wish more stuff was happening. I'm hearing too many reports of people who want to rebuild what was lost. And they're being required to bring it up to current code. Which is just totally cost prohibitive. And there was actually one of the bills that passed that prevents cities from being allowed to require that can only them bring it up to 2008 code, I think that is what it was. So they do have to do some improvements, but they don't have to bring it up to current code.

[00:12:34] But some of the cities are ignoring that as I'm hearing. I'm hearing, they're still trying to make people bring it up to current code. So it's totally cost prohibitive and it's going to price the very people who lost their homes, it's going to completely price them out of living there ever again.

[00:12:48] So that's frustrating. I am pleased at the level of rebuilding that I'm seeing happening because when we heard from the people in Paradise and how long it took them to start rebuilding, I think we are moving on much quicker than they did. But it's still frustrating because it's a lot. There's so much that seems to be getting bogged down in red tape.

[00:13:10] Alice Lema: And, you know I know there, there a lot of compassion from the municipalities to try to help people. The city of Medford tried to relax some of their fees. And I called the other day because I have somebody who wants to be in one of those programs and there's actual deed restrictions.

[00:13:27] If you agree to accept some of those discounted fees not every homeowner is going to be willing. And it was a 10 year deed restriction for a particular kind of use. And I just walked away and my owner said, I'm not willing to tie it up. How am I going to sell this? What if I have to sell it? So it's just like you said, I mean, they may be trying to do something, but the way they implement it, it's cost prohibitive.

[00:13:51] There's too much paperwork. And they're asking for the property owners to, to give too much for it, to be reasonable for people to jump in on those.

[00:14:01] Tina Grimes: Yeah. It's like they're giving with one hand and taking away with the other.

[00:14:04] Alice Lema: And taking away hard. I was shocked a 10 year deed restriction to get like a smidgen of a discount.

[00:14:12] Yeah. Not worth it.

[00:14:14] Pete Belcastro: So, so after all the discussion, after all the fires and all this, all this thing, the legislature, Greg and Tina, and Alice, everything it sounds like it's a worse condition than when we started. And that is so bad because we've had, I mean, the city manager for Phoenix, we've had so many people on talking about this, trying to, we're going to get this through the legislature its a priority and here you guys are all saying, it's a mess.

[00:14:39] It's really discouraging to hear. I have to tell ya.

[00:14:42] Greg Addington: I, and I'll S I'll say, oops. Yeah, I'll say this. I think I, there was, I don't want to misrepresent it. And I think there were a lot of bills that, that really did provide some benefit and incentive, breaks to those folks that were hard hit. And they weren't all necessarily real estate related. But they're, you know, certainly building back in the footprint instead of, yeah, bringing it up to the current code, as Tina talked about, that was house bill 2289.

[00:15:09] It allowed them more flexibility looking at the assistant development charges and how you you know, handle that re hooking up to some of these services. And, and I, I should say too, that, you know, representative Marsh was in the middle of all, a lot of those. And you know, and she'd be a good one to weigh in on some of those things too, I think.

[00:15:27] Alice Lema: We've had her on as a guest, we've got a quick break coming up, so do not touch that dial. We have just an amazing update from Tina Grimes, the chief executive officer Rogue Valley Association Realtors, and Addington from the governmental affairs please not touch that dial. We'll be right.

[00:15:45] Welcome back real estate fans, Alice Lema here with Pete Belcastro we are both hosts of the real estate show you're listening to right now. And we have a really great interview going with Jeff Addington government affairs of the association of realtors and Tina Grimes, who is our local chief executive officer rogue valley association realtors. And right before the break, we were talking a little bit about what was working and what was not working in the legislature this last session.

[00:16:12] Tina Grimes: Yeah. And I just wanted to jump on and echo what Greg said just before the break. There have been amazing efforts made and not to downplay anything. And I do know that representative Marsh and representative Morgan both were in the thick of some of this wildfire recovery efforts and they did an amazing job.

[00:16:28] And, and we are ahead of other communities that have gone through the similar devastation. We are ahead of where they were at this time in their recovery. So that's great. It's just frustrating when you know that there's still, you know, hundreds of people that are still living in hotels are in temporary housing because they can't get back into a permanent home.

[00:16:47] Alice Lema: They had to leave the area a lot.

[00:16:49] Tina Grimes: They had to leave entirely. Exactly frustrating. And it's just it's frustrations that we'd be having no matter what I think. So.

[00:17:00] Alice Lema: So when we look around at the cleanup effort we just don't have that many people getting their construction done. It's just very hit and miss.

[00:17:10] Tina Grimes: Well, part of the stories I'm hearing and you guys are out in the field more than I am, so you might know more of this. But part of what I've been hearing is that you know, a lot of them got their insurance payouts, but then by the time they started rebuilding it, all the construction material costs had gone through the roof. And their insurance payout was now no longer enough to rebuild their home.

[00:17:29] Oh, no. So that's some of the stories I've heard. I don't know if you guys have heard anything different, so.

[00:17:36] Pete Belcastro: You're absolutely right. There is, there is a huge increase in the cost of construction that's happened to us, that hit us like a ton of bricks. And just kind of put a halt to so many things.

[00:17:48] And there were air even contractors, no trying to renew, trying to renegotiate some of these things because the prices have gone up so much for materials. But you know, the demand is still there, Tina and Greg. It didn't go away. And so people are having to fork out more, you know, and to do this. And that really, again, comes back to that affordability thing that we always talk about that it's just prices so many people out.

[00:18:11] I wonder if that's happened in Paradise or Redding, some of these fires, you know, because people haven't you're right, Tina. They haven't built back and government says, no matter what the legislature says, we're going to do all this stuff. People don't do it. They don't build back in here. And the reason is exactly what you guys have described, too much red tape, too much of this, is too much of a hassle I'm going to go someplace else.

[00:18:34] Greg Addington: Yeah. Well, and you know, the other thing now is and I'm channeling one of our board members who Tina will know too. And he would say right now he would bring up the insurance issue. Right. It's like, so we've had these, these issues happen. What's going to happen to insurance premiums or what is happening to insurance premiums moving forward. And, and you know, that could be a real bottleneck going forward as well. That's something I know that we're going to be paying attention to.

[00:18:59] Alice Lema: On the sales side, we are having buyers that are writing offers only to find out they have to cancel their offer because the insurance has doubled and they actually don't qualify now for their loan. Because they just want it to be a little bit outside of town. You know, the Southern Oregon thing. We want our elbow room. They can't afford it. It's it was just really heartbreaking and shocking.

[00:19:22] Pete Belcastro: Yeah, let, let, let me change the subject this for a second to ask Greg and Tina about the issue of water. You know, we've talked about fires and the smoke that we're seeing and experiencing is having an effect certainly on our market right now, people are canceling.

[00:19:36] I've got a number of friends who have an Airbnb and it just died. I mean no one's coming here because of the smoke it seems like. So, but what about water? I'm curious about the legislature, if you see anything coming pending about relief, or what about water issues that are going to become front and center if this drought continues, we have to go another year or two, the way we've been. What have you hearing about that?

[00:20:01] Greg Addington: Well you got right into my wheelhouse here, Pete. So I can talk about this all day long. But you know, my there's a lot of talk about water and there's a lot of bills to increase measurement and tighten regulations and, and we should be using water wisely and, and those kinds of things.

[00:20:19] You know, and again, they talk about it a 20 year or 50 year water vision. That's great, but we need to like take care of some things right now. The fact that we are running out of water in this state, agriculture kind of becomes the default water supply. And so you know, the things happening in the Klamath basin right now, you have somewhere around 180 homes with domestic wells that have failed because of a lack of surface water in the system. You know, irrigation water that has gone on, we're not making more storage. And if we, if we're experiencing climate change and we are, That snow pack is melting off sooner. We should be capturing some of that water.

[00:20:57] And we just don't do that. You building a dam or something like that is a dirty word these days. And that's the thing that frustrates me. There's a lot of focus on water, but I don't think there's a lot of focus on you know, really increasing supply. It's about divying things. It is smaller and smaller amounts, right?

[00:21:16] Pete Belcastro: Never about water storage, which is we have a water storage problem in Oregon, more so than a water shortage problem. And that's really true. And I'm wondering what you guys are going to think of the effect on real estate in rural properties that you know, you can't. I thought I thought the game changed this year when Talent irrigation district didn't, divy water.

[00:21:35] It says that you really can't guarantee if you have a sale anymore and rural property with water rights that you're going to guarantee water, can you any more.

[00:21:43] Greg Addington: No, I don't, I don't see how you can. I mean,and that's a prime example. I mean, it happens in the Klamath basin, but this year, I mean, the drought, you know, hit all of, all of the west, but certainly Southern Oregon.

[00:21:55] I don't know if that's ever happened before where Talent hasn't delivered water.

[00:21:59] Tina Grimes: Well I don't know about in Klamath, in the basin, but I know on this side of the mountains, Eagle Point irrigation district is pretty much the only one still running.

[00:22:07] Pete Belcastro: Tina has told me this all summer. And I just say, I can't believe you still have your, you have irrigation water and you are the only one.

[00:22:17] Tina Grimes: Yeah. Yeah, because TIB is down. Mid is down. Rogue River irrigation district is down. I think a couple of them in Grants Pass are down. So yeah. .  (**This was not confirmed for Grants Pass, as most if not all were on their regular irrigation schedule)

[00:22:27] Pete Belcastro: But what we're doing now in irrigation, we're using well water and ground water. And you know, deplete, we're going to continue to deplete some of those resources. I would assume because you just can't keep pumping water and keep pumping water and not have it replaced.

[00:22:41] We really have some big issues don't we around here that we're we're dealing with. And these are, these are huge and there's no easy solutions. Believe it. There's no easy solution here, but man, we got to talk about this stuff and how we can maybe modify what climate change is doing to us, because it's going to affect real estate. It's going to affect real estate sales. No question about it. Absolutely.

[00:23:00] Alice Lema: And the prices on some of the, as soon as the ditches went off the prices on some of those rural properties went down. And we stopped having showings. So there was a pretty instantaneous effect. And then the new Wells that are being drilled, and there seems like there's a lot of them. Try to get a well driller appointment right now.

[00:23:16] It sounds like they're going deeper and deeper which is gonna compromise the other people's wells, you know, possibly that are not quite as deep. So it's, it's just this constant cycle.

[00:23:30] Tina Grimes: Yep. It is. And it's not just, I mean, it's going to start with rural properties, but it'll trickle into the, some of the residential properties too that are on. Cause I mean, you've got like entire towns that are still on Wells. So, you know what happens when it starts affecting them?

[00:23:47] Greg Addington: Yeah. And I, I just, I just just to circle it back, I just think, I think there is an awareness of this at the, at the state level, but I just don't think it's urgent enough.

[00:23:58] I just don't. I, you know, yes. There's climate change and we worry so much about getting people to admit there's climate change. Or that it's caused man made that we say, okay, it's just like the fires. And the right, okay, I'll grant you it's hotter and drier than it has been. Do we just, does that mean that we have everybody driving an electric car tomorrow and that's going to solve the problem?

[00:24:21] No, but we could go thin out some forests and we could do some logging. And we could manage the system better than we do. Okay. You know, climate change is happening, but that doesn't mean you throw your hands up, you know, there's things that we could be doing now. And water's the same way that we aren't doing great.

[00:24:37] Alice Lema: Was there much conversation about fire management and forest management?

[00:24:41] Greg Addington: Huge. Yeah. Big. That was a huge topic. You know, there's going to be a ton of money that's going to be put into the wildfire, I dunno, management recovery, firefighting.

[00:24:52] Senate bill 762 was a pretty controversial bill at the end of the session. Senator Golden and Ashland was the driving force behind it. The problem with the bill from a real estate perspective, was that it adopted some, there's a term, they call rural wild land, urban interface, right? So this is where we have rural homes, Alice that you were talking about out, you know, on the edges of town and things.

[00:25:18] And you know, what happened is Senator Golden used a plan or a model that was developed in Europe. And when you overlay that in Oregon, it covered the whole state. I mean, everything virtually everything was going to be wild, land, urban interface, which restricts what you can build. In fact, you can't build and look in these places.

[00:25:38] And so the restrictions and the concerns about property rights, what you would have to do. There were stories about people with vineyards that would have to actually tear out part of their vineyard because it would be in this interface. And so long story short, but that was finally there was some compromised reach that allowed instead of the legislature to define what that looks like, to send out to a work group through the department of forestry. You can get stakeholders involved. So you know, that bill passed with bipartisan support ultimately, but lots of resources there, that's going to go to, to firefighting. And hopefully we can be doing some thinning and other management.

[00:26:14] Course that's that's on state and private lands. We have this huge amount of federal lands that we can't control.

[00:26:23] Alice Lema: We need some help there. Don't we? Sorry, Pete, go ahead.

[00:26:26] Pete Belcastro: And those federal lands are the ones that have burned mostly this year, not state lands. Yes that still doesn't solve any, here's another, I think what's going to happen here. What's going to happen. I mean, just the bootleg fire, the one that in Northeast, from Klamath, I mean that burned 450, some thousand acres of lodgepole, Pines .And trees in the forest are being destroyed around us. What are we going to do? What are you hearing about the timber that is out there that is burned?

[00:26:55] I mean, there are millions and millions of, of trees. Are we going to do anything with them or what's going to happen? What are you hearing about that?

[00:27:02] Greg Addington: I think it's too early to say. I mean, they haven't, I haven't heard much about that. I mean that fire's going to smolder and continue. They have it contained, but it's going to continue to burn through these until we get some wet weather.

[00:27:14] So I think that remains to be seen. I know that a lot of folks that I know are you know, there should be salvage, pushing for salvage logging. And, you know, taking advantage of what you can. Others oppose that idea. I think that's a fight that we'll see over the next year.

[00:27:30] I was just going to say that ironically, the thing about these federal lands, which are a huge percentage of the landscape in this part of the world any Southern Oregon, you know, ironically, if you have a fire start on your private land and it burns onto federal land, you will get a bill from the federal government. But that doesn't work the other way. And that's where most of those fires start is on federal land because they don't manage well.

[00:27:54] Alice Lema: We've got to take a quick break folks. We're interviewing Greg Addington for the Rogue Valley Associate Realtors, government affairs office, and Tina Grimes,the chief executive officer, Rogue Valley Association of Realtors, our local gal here. We want to say thank you to our sponsors, the Rogue Valley Association of Realtors, John L. Scott here in Southern Oregon, and mutual of Omaha mortgage, guy Giles. We'll be right back with a word from our sponsors. Do not touch that dial.

[00:28:19] Well, welcome back to the real estate show. Pete Belcastro, Alice Lema, bothbrokers here in John L. Scott, Southern Oregon talking to Greg Addington, the Rogue Valley Association, Realtors, government affairs, getting an update on kind of what happened in our last session in Salem. Also Tina Grimes the executive, chief executive officer Rogue Valley Association Realtors and Southern Oregon MLS.

[00:28:41] And we were just talking about fire, fire management, and some of the conversations in our session the state of Oregon this last time. Do they, do they ever give any clues about how they might be dealing with this next year, besides just funding more of the prevention?

[00:29:03] Are they going to have any active projects to do more forest management?

[00:29:09] Tina Grimes: I think a lot of that will come out of that SB 62 won't it, after they get the work groups together. Yeah.

[00:29:15] Greg Addington: I think it's remains to be seen, but it'll certainly be a focus and, and frankly, the housing issues are going to continue to be a big focus.

[00:29:23] Again, I think, I think they'll focus on affordable housing which is good. But there should just be a focus on housing, right? Because you, you have to have it at all levels. The demand is at all levels. So you need to fill, fill all that demand and, and that'll bring prices down and make things more reasonable.

[00:29:41] So, I mean, just focusing on housing and there were some, there were some good things. Senate bill 391 now allows accessory dwelling units in rural, rural areas outside of exclusive farm use. But so rural residential inside the urban growth boundary and that kind of thing. That was something that previously was just within city limits.

[00:30:04] Yeah. So that's a good one. Senate bill 4 58 has to do with, they call it this middle housing. So I know there's mixed feelings about it, but, but it would be basically allow for a multi-family housing in single family, residential. So you could have duplexes and, and things like that and within the single family Zoning. You know, again, mixed feelings about that from some folks, but this is something that the state at the Oregon association of realtors worked with habitat for humanity, so that people can afford and buy some of these units.

[00:30:36] It's a good thing for housing supply. So, I mean, not all bad, there's a bill that replenishes puts $2 million into the Septic. It's septic replacement fund. So you know, there was that funding exists. It was it was tapped out. But basically what, what we found was, you know, the DEQ runs this fund, there's all these failing septic systems that affect water quality.

[00:31:01] People get in a bind when they're selling or buying a house. They find they discovered these things. So they created this, this fund to help people replace these septic systems.

[00:31:10] Alice Lema: So that's, well, that's a lot of money, $2 million for septics.

[00:31:17] Yeah. I mean, it is. Yeah, I think it goes pretty fast when you start adding it up around the state, you know, when people take advantage of that, it's probably, definitely not enough.

[00:31:26] Those are pricey repairs.

[00:31:29] Pete Belcastro: If Greg, if you were a landlord today and investor in real estate how would you view what Oregon has done to the rental market? I know a lot of people have good intentions when they start out. But what, what has happened to the rental market statewide now?

[00:31:46] Because we see what happened here where, you know, we've got a problem. So tell me what, what that ended up doing. What, tell us what that's like.

[00:31:54] Greg Addington: I feel like this is a trick question, Pete. If I was the landlord right now, I wouldn't, I don't know if I'd want to be a landlord right now. What a huge, huge challenge.

[00:32:05] You know, all the eviction moratoriums that were put in place because of COVID they continue to be extended. It's not letting people off the hook for the rent owed. But you got to ask yourself, you know, somebody is six or eight months behind on rent. What are the odds that you're going to ever, you know, collect on that?

[00:32:25] Now the good news is that along with the extensions of the eviction moratorium, there was a bill passed and the realtors worked really hard on this one, to get compensation compensation fund developed for landlords. So there is a compensation fund. It was not fully funded until this session.

[00:32:47] I was just looking for the, I think it's Senate bill 278. But that creates a hundred percent compensation for landlords. So there's a fund out there that landlords can apply for. Now the problem is that I have yet to hear from a landlord that's gotten money. I mean, it's, it's quite a bit of paperwork is what I hear and it's challenging and the funds aren't showing up yet.

[00:33:08] But the funding is there and in theory, that money should be getting out to landlords.

[00:33:14] Alice Lema: So part of the misunderstanding of the benefit of having landlords is that not only is this housing provided, but they're part of the economy and they're also very strongly supportive of home ownership. And for the most part, really good humans trying to help other people, you know, with the temporariness of having a rental. And I am concerned for the longterm effect that this is going to have on our economy if we don't have landlords. Then does that mean we don't have tenants? And then what does the community look like at that point? And if you really can't be a homeowner, then are we going to lose all of those folks to other states. And we're going to lose their income and whatever benefit they're having on our taxes and the economy.

[00:34:07] Tina Grimes: Well, and I know one of the messages that we were really trying to convey hard during this last session. And in specifically related to this landlord compensation fund is, you know, they're so focused on protecting the renters and them not getting evicted and becoming homeless.

[00:34:22] But if that landlord continues to not be able to pay their mortgage and they get foreclosed on those renters are going to be homeless.

[00:34:30] Alice Lema: And the landlord might be homeless as well.

[00:34:33] Tina Grimes: Right. So just getting them to understand that, you know landlords are not the bad guys by and large. And that, you know, the banks were not forgiving the mortgage while the state was forcing the landlords to forgive the rent or delay the rent.

[00:34:47] So there needed to be some help there. So that was one of the messages that really got pushed hard to the state legislature in this last session from the realtor.

[00:34:57] Greg Addington: Yeah. And I think Pete, your question, maybe, maybe the better question is if you were an investor that had money to invest, would you build apartment buildings to help with the affordable housing issue?

[00:35:07] Or would you look at this and go, I'm going to take my money and do something else with it. So we're kind of, it's kind of self-defeating right. It's we need more housing. We need more rental units. But we're kind of discouraging people from doing that.

[00:35:20] Alice Lema: A lot of landlords that do 10 31's wanting their money out of here. That's legal tax avoidance, moving your asset, finances to another state, and they're taking those landlord businesses, other places. And that's when I started getting worried. If enough of those people leave, then the housing shortage gets worse, especially for tenants, right? Yep.

[00:35:42] Pete Belcastro: And the price and the prices go up as a result. I know we're out, we're almost out of time. One interesting thing, the state of Oregon has so much money right now. There's so much money out there and what we do with it here and how just throwing it and throwing money in some of these things without thought, just seems stupid. And you see people can't manage. You can't a lot of times because of so much red tape.

[00:36:04] So, you know, it defeats the purpose. And yet we have all this money in this state right now, and yet we're sitting here still with smoke, and no water and all these things, and none of them are going away. We're going to talk about this again, next time. If we all get together in six months, we're going to continue to talk about this.

[00:36:19] Alice Lema: That is a great idea. Thank you so much, Greg Addington government affairs, Rogue Valley, Association Realtors, Tina Grime, Rogue Valley association realtors, chief executive officer, and head of the Southern Oregon, multiple listing service, fabulous information. We appreciate you coming on the show so much, and we hope to have you back again soon.

[00:36:38] Have a beautiful Southern. Weekend. Thanks guys. Thank you. Bye now.

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