Sep 29, 2009

New Listing in Plumas Lake + No REOs !!

Hello Neighbors, follow up that last "search engine helper" blog post, here is some market news.

We just went live with a listing in Plumas Lake. That's about 10 minutes south of Marysville (in Yuba County).

That is an area like Lincoln (Placer County) that was overbuilt during the boom. Plumas Lake is much smaller in scale, but experienced similar swings. ...oh, and there is no actual "lake" in Plumas Lake.

Why should you care?

a) The house we have listed is really nice - 2041 Maverick Drive

b) The market research we did before going live was fascinating. There were 51 homes on the market in the area: 50 were short sales, and 1 was an investor flip (good luck). There were NO (Zero, Zilch) bank owned or "REO" homes. None. Amazing.

To have such an area as Plumas Lake without REO homes tells us some important information... foreclosure inventory has dried up, and banks aren't releasing those homes to the marketplace.

When (if?) will those foreclosure homes come to market? We don't know. The industry experts all have different opinions. We pay attention to the data. Once the data shows a story, you'll get an update through this forum.

- Jim


Hello Neighbors,

That's our toll free number.

This blog post isn't industry news or an update on our services... it's simply an entry to help the search engines.

Please excuse the odd use of the blog space.

It appears that a collections company in Utah (we think it's Utah) is using our number inappropriately.

We wanted to help clear this up by getting out a note to those who may be Googling the 18009600860 or 1-800-960-0860 number.

If you find this blog entry when searching for your collections agency / company... know that the number is wrong. We wish you the best of luck, but can't help you with your search. The 1.800.960.0860 number is used to provide real estate and lending services, certainly not collections! We are not related to a collections company in any way.

While we enjoy entrepreneurship, "Neighborly Collections" certainly isn't a business model we are pursuing!

Good luck.

- Jim

Sep 22, 2009

"Nice Guy Realty & Loans"

Maybe that's what we should be called...

Hello Neighbors,

I just spoke with a gentleman who needs a home loan - his first.

In the conversation we learned that he has great credit, makes a good living, doesn't yet have a mortgage, and would be the ideal borrower.

We also learned that he has an auto loan with Golden One Credit Union, and that he was in the military several years ago.


We sent him away!

Yep. First, we told him to contact Golden One (the credit union). If he has a consumer debt instrument (car loan) with them, he may be able to combine that existing auto product with a home loan, and qualify for a greater purchase price (while keeping his overall expenditures down).

Second, we told him to call USAA (1-800-531-8722). They have loan programs and fees that are tailored specifically to veterans and service personnel.

Third? We told him to call us back if he wanted to - but that he would likely save money if he went with Options 1 or 2.

We get into conversations like this all the time. It may not help our bottom line much, but it sure helps with our karma accounts.

...problem is, karma doesn't blog.


Sep 18, 2009

Auburn Fire Benefits This Weekend

Hello Neighbors,

Flyers just arrived... thanks for passing our way. The flyers will be linked off of the Neighborly Realty & Neighborly Financial Facebook page if you'd like copies.

Two events this weekend to help with the Auburn Fire victims:

Saturday, September 19th and Sunday, September 20th - Pancake Breakfast at Applebee's on Bell Road! 8:00am - 10:00am $6.00 per ticket, 100% of donations going to the Auburn Disaster Relief Fund. You need to buy tickets ahead of time, and can get them at Applebee’s (along with a few other Auburn locations).

Sunday, September 20th - Benefit in the Park. Regional Park in Auburn, Noon - 7:00pm. 6 different bands, beer garden, food, inflatable rides for kids, and a bunch of other stuff. Donations are being accepted by Community First Bank. More info at

Sorry for the late notice, but we hope to see you there!

- Jim

Sep 16, 2009

Our Vision

Hello Neighbors,

From time to time, it's important to look at why we are here. Keeping us focused on a few fundamental beliefs means better service levels for you.

So now and then, we ask ourselves - what is Neighborly's Vision?

Where do we fit against the competition?

How do we behave, and represent the Neighborly Way every day?

Simply stated......

THE Choice

By Delivering Unequaled Customer Service, Neighborly is the Recognized Leader in Real Estate and Lending Services in Northern California - By Clients, Partners, and Industry Professionals.

Neighborly Offers a Fully Integrated Suite of Services to Meet and Exceed Client Expectations. Neighborly is THE CHOICE in Real Estate and Lending Services.

We believe it. We practice it. We welcome the opportunity to prove it to you.

- Jim

Sep 4, 2009

What is "The Neighborly Way"?

Hello Neighbors,

Many thanks for those of you who have helped us support the Auburn "Highway 49 Fire" relief efforts. We plan to drop off another huge batch of clothing this weekend. This is a great community, and we very much appreciate the support from everyone.

For us... This is more than propaganda. Helping the communities where we live is part of our operating philosophy we call "The Neighborly Way". Take a look at point #9:

The Neighborly Way

1) Service - NOT Sales

2) Be the Industry and Market Expert

3) Advisors, Coaches, and Teachers

4) Respect for the Client, Team Member, Partners, and Peers

5) Communicate Frequently - with Fact, Tact, and Truth

6) Integrity First, Honesty Always

7) Earn and Encourage Trust

8) Personal Earnings are Second to Client Service and Their Satisfaction

9) Repay our Communities, Promote Charity

10) Protect and Promote the Environment

11) Deliver a Single One Stop Shop Experience

12) Unwavering Belief in The American Dream

Our name was chosen very intentionally. "Neighborly" is the way we conduct ourselves. These points guide our decision making and our actions. The "Neighborly Way" is much more than a simple tagline - it's how we live.

Thanks again,


Sep 1, 2009

Auburn Fires - THANK YOU and Important Lessons

Hello Neighbors,

Our heart goes out to our friends and family who were impacted by the fires in Auburn on Sunday. Two of Neighborly’s own (Juli Marty’s family and mine) were impacted by the fires – although no damage.

A sincere thank you to the fire fighters and the pilots flying the 14 aircraft over our heads. An amazing job performed by these professionals.

We were told to evacuate at round 3:30pm on Sunday. ….exactly when we were getting home from a weekend out of town. There were “reverse-911” messages on our home answering machine. It took us an hour to go the last mile to our house, and we could see the smoke + fire the whole time. We were on the phone trying to get in touch with neighbors and family while driving that last mile. Our cell phones kept dropping, and we could see the 14 aircraft flying over our house. 20 minutes after getting to our house (and hearing the voice messages from the sheriff), we lost electricity.

It was nuts.

The fire never crossed over to our side of 49, but we didn’t know that until well past 11:00pm on Sunday night. We had no electricity, and only 1 battery powered 1980s style walkman radio to get news. At one point I jumped on my old Schwinn cruiser to head to the fire to get my own news. We were hearing on the radio that 84 lumber and other businesses had burned to the ground, and that our side of 49 was getting burned as well. Once I got back to the house from my bike ride, we decided we could relax a bit – but we still left the cars packed.

Since we have a 3 month old baby and a 3 year old toddler… it added about an extra million layers of challenge to the whole process… All of our neighbors were packing up and asking us what we needed for the kids. VERY KIND group of folks.

My wife was packing diapers, photo albums, baby clothes, our home movies, etc…. while I was outside running hoses and putting ladders up to the roof. My truck battery was dead – and no electricity at the house – so I was pulling batteries from other cars to try and get the truck running…. Wow. All in parallel with trying to get updates from my parents and aunt on their homes… 7 or 8 hours of pure adrenaline is enough to make a guy (a family) tired.

It taught us some important lessons, if I may share:

a) ABSOLUTELY make sure you have good battery powered radios in the house. We bought a hand-crank radio at Home Depot yesterday. We have lots of batteries for the kids toys… which meant power for flashlights too.

b) Centralize those things that you would take out in a fire. If you get the call to evacuate, you really don’t have the kind of time you think you will have…

c) Talk to your neighbors about what they would like pulled out of their houses in an emergency. We didn’t even have our neighbors cell phone numbers to do any coordination…

d) Keep those car (truck!) batteries charged. BAD mistake on my part. You can get a lot more into a full size GMC truck than a Toyota Prius.

e) News is 50% rumor, and wrong. We were told at different times that the fire was on our side of Highway 49 (it never was) and that several of the local business had burned to the ground – like 84 lumber (it did not). It’s best to be prepared for different contingencies, since the news didn’t keep up well with reality.

f) Not much else in the house matters except having clothes for your kids ready.
a.) Jenny (my wife): “I’ve got the baby stuff packed, what do you want of yours”?
b.) Jim: “I really don’t know, just get their stuff”.
c.) Jim grabs three old photo albums of his own and throws them in the Prius. That was it for Jim stuff.

Wild times.

The fire’s path is shown on this KCRA video: The fire ran right to the back fence of we had listed for sale in 2006. We’ve checked with that family, and the house survived (smoke issues of course).

As I write these quick tips, my wife Jenny is collecting clothing for the families who were burned out.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO DONATE, CALL ME AT 916.801.3940 and I will pick up your donations in my truck… now with a working battery.