Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Laguna Woods Village Wasteland – When will they ever learn?


Dear Supporters and Friends of PPV,

Today we received a copy of a letter from a new owner in United sent to the Globe two weeks ago, but it has not been printed. I am forwarding it to all of our PPV Friends to show how important it is to elect Doran, English, Ferris, and Auble to the United Board, so that the 6 month lease restriction can finally be eliminated, and we will know longer continue to see our property values spiraling downward. It is imperative that you get your ballots back and you encourage your neighbors to return their ballots by October 1st. The ballot count will be Oct. 3rd.
On another note, we have been receiving calls regarding the Board's latest ballot proposal regarding the vote on services that is suppose to be mailed on September 28th. At this time---NO One knows what will be in that proposal or what it will ask or say. Since we are being blindsided again by the United Board and this issue has not been discussed or evaluated in any open Board meeting with United Owners, we ask," Why is this necessary now?" United Mutual has been providing maintenance and appliances for close to 50 years, that alone dictates that they must continue providing these services.  

Since we are in the middle of an election, where 4 new Board members are going to be starting soon--we question, again, the purpose of this vote, the validity of it, (since past practice already dictates what they continue doing what they have in the past. )we have to ask why the Board is spending more of our money at this time. The Board  spent over $225,000 for the attorney's fees since January and it cost $40, 000 to print up the By-law and Occupancy Agreement package not including the postage spent on mailing it out to 6300 unit owners.


In the end, both issues were overwhelmingly REJECTED by the members of United.
It's time to contact the current Board members and tell them to stop wasting our money on another foolish ballot proposal. With a new Board coming in next month---there will be plenty of time to have discussions in open Board meetings with input from residents on whether United can even legally discontinue these services.  Why rush to judgment--which this Board has done time and again.
Please contact the Board members and tell them that you do not want another ballot sent out before the new Board is seated. Tell them to STOP wasting our money and START protecting it,which is their fiduciary duty.  Send an email or give a call to the Board members and let them know how you feel about this profound waste of on an unnecessary election. Remind them that it is their fiduciary duty to protect members and their assets---and that there will be 4 new faces on the Board soon.  
United Mutual owners spoke loudly and clearly in last month's defeat of the By-laws and Occupancy Agreement. When is the United Board going to start listening???
Stevie Magid


The following letter was written by an new owner in United Mutual. He has offered to keep us updated on the most current statistics regarding distressed properties on the market in United Mutual. Please read this letter. It supports everything that PPV has been saying for the last several years. 

I discovered to my dismay that we paid 1/3rd the price of what one my neighbors paid.  Our short sale manor purchase had three price reductions as it was a distressed estate.  It appears that market forces, by-laws, board admission policies are problematical.   Of the 441 manors for sale on September 5, 2012 perTrulia.com 154 are foreclosures or pre-foreclosures - 34.9% of the manors on the listed.  (Look at listings sorted low to high.)  Short sales are not reflected as it would require review of each of the 287 (441 – 154) listings – beyond my attention span.  

Economic conditions for the foreseeable future look bleak.  Consider the median income of 65 and older household is annual income $31,408 (U.S. Census Bureau 2010) which is below the minimum income entry retirement of $36,000.  Assuming the average current purchase price of $114,000 plus $125,000, $239,000 in minimum assets would be required for entry.  Informed and knowledgeable buyers would know the higher the selling price the higher the asset requirement which is a price disincentive.  Per a recent study, the median net worth of households 65 years and older is $195,800 with the typical 65 years and older household having a net worth of $170,218 most of which is home equity.  Net of home equity senior household net worth is $28,518.  In short, the pool of people who meet both the income and asset requirements continues to shrink. 

Not being able to rent out a co-op beyond the 6 months forces sales at lower prices as both the monthly HOA fee and monthly mortgage approximate upwards of $1,000 per month.  Statistical evidence has yet to be developed, but common sense suggests that if someone is in an assisted living facility, sustaining  $1,000 per month Laguna Woods obligations is at lease a hardship.  At death estates are forced to sell or sustain the monthly carrying costs.  Selling at a lower price is thereby compelled.  Given the number of foreclosures and short sales, the hard impact of the 6 month lease limitation is reflected in lower selling prices.  Hypothetically, if 154 foreclosures were eliminated due to ability to lease out for 12 or more months at market price, there would be less downward pressure on pricing. 

The entrance requirements should also be more flexible and calibrated.  For example, if someone has twice the minimum income of $36,000 per year, a lowering of the asset requirement could be calibrated to higher income.   The United Mutual Board should undertake a study to guide adjustment of entry financial requirements that are more sensitive to individual financial circumstances that also take into stability of foreign income and/or assets in excess of minimum requirements.   

The United Mutual Board has a moral and ethical stewardship obligation to safeguard property values of its shareholders.  As primary reasons for property turn over are death and infirmity, continuing an obsolete lease limitation that forces sale of an asset below market is dereliction of moral and ethical duty.  Creating asset entry requirements that act as barriers and/or pricing disincentives is contrary to stewardship obligations.

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Hello Friends,

There are some very rude rumors circulating about the upcoming election and the candidates endorsed by Protect Property Values Club, and I’d like you to know the truth.  Vote for whoever you want to vote for, but don’t vote against someone because you heard a rumor.  We’re better people than that.  If you find this information helpful, please circulate this to your friends in United.

Linda Wilson is now on the GRF board and sits on the Security committee. She was then and is now completely clueless and does more damage than good.

Maxine McIntosh who said that Cris Trapp (now Robinson) was not a lawyer is also completely clueless. Mike Curtis says Robinson IS a lawyer. Robinson’s bar number is: 153438. You can see her CalBar listing here http://members.calbar.ca.gov/fal/Member/Detail/153438 . Robinson is the LEAL AFFAIRS DIRECTOR for PCM and is frequently seen taking Storage’s place on the dias when he is absent…probably having a big lunch at On the Boarder…..one of his favorite lunch on-the-members places. Robinson also enjoys sporting events for which the members pay and also fill her gas tank for the trip there and back. I refer to the emergency only credit card usage and reimbursement for expenses to employees; or STAFF as everybody so fondly calls them.

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