What started out as a celebration to mark our young nation’s independence from England more than 200 years ago, has evolved into a national holiday that celebrates the American Spirit and powerful leadership in the world. We were founded on the principles of equality, religion, tolerance, and opportunity. These beliefs have been challenged many times over the years, but have always been defended by men and women willing to protect these principles, sometimes by making the ultimate sacrifice. While you gather with friends and family around the barbeque this 4th of July, take a moment to reflect and be thankful for the freedom we have and those that have and are standing in harm’s way to give it to us.
Every day I work hard to keep a pulse on the market and provide my clients with insightful and interesting perspectives on the real estate industry. However, I must admit that this month I am exasperated. I am not sure whether I should be up or down, pro or con, here or there. This market is befuddling! However, one thing is clear, there will be an investment play ahead in the fall out of this very confusing market. I am afraid we are much like the recent iconic Wimbledon Tennis match, going days looking for a winner.
Welcome to Summer! A time of warmer weather calling us to open our windows and welcoming all things fresh – new ideas, better plans, simpler life strategies, anything that makes our days easier and more enjoyable. From my end we are making a number of technology upgrades – please be patient with us for the next 30 days – changing phones, voicemail systems, cell phones, email providers and to some of the ways we handle our paperless system (Technology is supposed to lead a recovery so we are doing our share.)
I am also pleased to announce that we are bringing in another recent USD graduate, Matt Orth to start training and eventually becoming a broker. In the meantime, he will be working hard cold calling and working on marketing our properties to help find those elusive tenants. Matt has been a family friend for years and I look forward to his success (besides I am doing my share to lead the recovery by lowering unemployment.)
As we wait for what Sam Zell calls, “Come clean by 2013”, we must maintain a focus and sense of urgency to get the deals done that we can. I am fond of telling those around me “you have to work as if your hair is on fire.” Deals are not as easy. The vision of the future is not so clear, but the second half of this year may have us perched on the doorstep of recovery. The USD economic index remains positive the NREI investor sentiment index has turned positive. The National Association of Realtors reports that U.S. Commercial values could start to recover next year, but with values declining and vacancy rising through year-end.
The key to recovery is job growth. High unemployment fuels the foreclosure cycle. All my sources say that the foreclosure pipeline is still full. If we don’t see a recovering job market there won’t be buyers for the new inventory coming on the market.
A couple of items closer to home. Because it has come up in a few cases lately, let me warn you that you should not approve tenants putting up wallpaper. The cost of replacing wallpapered walls is exorbitant and owners get stuck with the cost at re-tenanting time. Now time for me to ask for your help. We are working to spread our net to capture those elusive tenants and I need your help. If your tenants need a second location, your golf buddy needs to relocate or downsize or your sister in law wants to open a yogurt shop – please – please – please let us know. We’d love to pay you a referral, buy you wine or send you on vacation. Finding tenants is like dating – the more you ask the more dates you get! We’re out asking all day long on your behalf but if everybody starts asking we can all “share the wealth” and mutually benefit.
I want to tell you about my work on the Board of Directors at Interfaith Community Services. Right now we’re engaged in a critical capital campaign. With the economic crisis, as a service agency helping the poorest of the poor Interfaith has been challenged from two ends . . . substantially increased demand for assistance and reduced income from all sources. We aim to pay off important mortgages and free up approx. $30,000 per month for direct services. This is “the gift that keeps on giving!” We have raised enough funds to retire all but the last remaining mortgage held on our Veterans Housing project in Oceanside, which provides transitional housing and comprehensive supportive services for 72 men and women. This is a tremendously worthy program, which is so timely for veterans in dire need returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Too many returning veterans exit the military without transferrable skill-sets, often suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and almost always having served multiple deployments in a theater of war. These young soldiers are becoming homeless and hopeless, but when they turn to Interfaith they are receiving the empowering help they need to rebuild their lives.
This capital campaign is blessed by matching opportunities – dollar for dollar. It is a tremendous benefit for those who can help us meet this goal! Also, please check out this link to a video created by students from Cal State San Marcos, about our Veterans Housing programs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhbvbmS_yGY
Can you guide us to potential sources of support for this campaign? Every bit will help. “You can even donate online or just read more about what we’re doing at:
Thanks for your help! Thanks for your support and trust in CDC Commercial and my team in these trying times. I hope you enjoy this month’s story and may God Bless America!
The daughter of a Soldier
While I was at the airport, returning home, I heard several people behind me beginning to clap and cheer. I immediately turned around and witnessed one of the greatest acts of patriotism I have ever seen. Moving through the terminal was a group of soldiers in their camo’s as they began heading to their gate everyone (well almost everyone) was abruptly on their feet with their hands waving and cheering. When I saw the soldiers, probably 30-40 of them, being applauded and cheered for, it hit me. I’m not alone. I’m not the only red-blooded American who still loves this country and supports our troops and their families.
Of course, I immediately stopped and began clapping for these young unsung heroes who are putting their lives on the line every day for us so we can go to school, work and home without fear of reprisal. Just when I thought I couldn’t be more proud of my country or of our servicemen and women a young girl, not more than 6 or 7 years old, ran up to one of the male soldiers. He kneeled down and said “hi,” the little girl then asked him if he would give something to her daddy for her. The young soldier, he didn’t look any older than maybe 22 years old himself, said he would try and what did she want to give to her daddy. Then suddenly the little girl grabbed the neck of this soldier, gave him the biggest hug she could muster and then kissed him on the cheek.
The mother of the little girl, who said her daughter’s name, was Courtney, told the young soldier that her husband was a Marine and had been in Iraq for 11 months now. As the mom was explaining how much her daughter, Courtney, missed her father, the young soldier began to tear
up. When this temporarily single mom was done explaining her situation, all of the soldiers huddled together for a brief second. Then one of the other servicemen pulled out a military-looking walkie-talkie. They started playing with the device and talking back and forth on it. After
about 10-15 seconds of this, the young soldier walked back over to Courtney, bent down and said this to her, “I spoke to your daddy and he told me to give this to you.” He then hugged this little girl that he had just met and gave her a kiss on the cheek. He finished by saying “your daddy told me to tell you that he loves you more than anything and he is coming home very soon.”
The mom at this point was crying almost uncontrollably and as the young soldier stood to his feet he saluted Courtney and her mom. As the soldiers began to leave, heading towards their gate,
people resumed their applause. As I stood there applauding and looked around, there were very few dry eyes, including my own. We need to remember every day all of our soldiers and their families and thank God for them and their sacrifices. At the end of the day, it’s good to be an American.