Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, September 20, 2014

MVNews this week:  Page B:3




 Mountain Views News Saturday, September 20, 2014 



 With markets so rapidly changing, it’s easy 
to imagine how property appraisers might sit 
in a darkened room, waving their hands over a 
crystal ball, and producing the mysterious and 
all-powerful document of a home’s value. Let’s 
dispel the notion of magical figures and look 
more carefully at the process. 

 When comparing against similar properties, 
it’s not just the final price that counts. Appraisers 
also factor in any “incentives” offered, such 
as sellers who pay closing costs or remodeling 

 Perhaps the most important factor that lenders 
review in an appraisal is the closing dates of the 
“comparables” (other homes by which yours is 
measured). Unfortunately, with today’s stricter 
lending requirements, most “comps” must have 
sold within the last 60 or even 45 days to carry 
weight. Markets change so quickly that any sale 
price over two months old may be completely 

 Now a few words about how foreclosures in 
a neighborhood affect determination of value. 
Technically, appraisers shouldn’t consider them, 
because they don’t fit the Appraisal Institute’s 
definition of “a property reasonably exposed 
in a competitive market.” However, if several 
area homes have been abandoned, we know 
the negative effect that can have on a home’s 
“perceived” value. 

 If you’re planning to sell, express your concerns 
about the appraisal process to your representative, 
who will offer explanations and suggestions for 
improving your report’s results.



Whether you have a lost a spouse or partner 
through divorce or death, being thrust into 
singlehood can be an emotionally and financially 
jarring experience. To get yourself back on firm 
footing, at least financially, follow these five steps:

 Finalize financial plans. In the case of a divorce, 
you must ensure that the terms of any settlement are 
actually executed, including the retitling of financial 
accounts, the transfer of divided assets to your new 
accounts, transferring titles on vehicles, etc. Be sure 
to notify your financial planner or CPA about your 
new status, including any changes to deductions 
(only one parent can claim children as dependents 
each year).

 Update your estate planning documents. If you 
no longer have a spouse, you will need to update your 
estate plan, including your will, trusts, living will, 
advance medical directive and powers of attorney. 
You’ll also need to update your beneficiary forms 
for retirement and investment accounts as well as 
insurance policies -- and remember that beneficiary 
forms trump a will.

 Scour your credit report. You want to be sure 
that any of your former spouse’s financial liabilities 
do not appear on your credit report. You also want 
to check for any surprises, including credit accounts 
you might not have been aware of but are still 
responsible for in the eyes of the law.

 Don’t act too quickly. Emotion can cloud 
anyone’s judgment, so you want to give yourself 
time to grieve the loss of your spouse -- to either 
death or divorce -- before making any big financial 

 Gather a support team. As you sail forward 
into your new life, gather a good support team to 
help you navigate. This should include a financial 
adviser and a personal family attorney who share 
your values and can help you accomplish all your 

 As always, I wish all the best to you and your 

Marc, a local attorney, father, and CASA volunteer 
(Court Appointed Special Advocate for Children) is 
on a mission to help parents protect what they love 
most. His office is located at 49 S. Baldwin Ave., Ste. 
G, Sierra Madre, CA 91024. Call 626.355.4000 to 
schedule an appointment to sit down and talk about 
ensuring a legacy of love and financial support for 
your family, or visit for more 


Social media channels do a great job of creating 
awareness of a brand and can give your business 
great visibility. But…is awareness enough to 
achieve the results your business is looking for? 
Most likely it’s not. 

 Converting your social media fans to your 
email list is an important strategy because the real 
action on-line happens in email campaigns. Email 
campaigns out perform social media posts when it 
comes to conversions. Having a quality email list 
is key. 

 There are several tools that can help you with 
the conversion. One of my favorite tools is the 
Facebook Fan promotion in the Constant Contact 
toolkit. It helps you set up a sweepstake, coupon 
or downloadable content promotion on Facebook 
that grows your email list and creates social word 
of mouth.

 Action Sprout is another cool tool that works 
great with Constant Contact. It helps you create 
social media posts that capture opted-in emails. 

 Exposure is great and all businesses need it. 
Keep your social media channels active and build 
up awareness but eventually you need a way to 
identify the fans who are really interested in your 
product or service.

 About MJ: MJ and her brother David own 
HUTdogs, a creative services business that 
specializes in Internet Marketing strategies and 
Social Media. They offer social media management 
services and help their clients build a strong on-line 
presence. “Like” them on Facebook for trending 
news in social media, internet marketing and other 
helpful tips,

Sign up for their upcoming classes, webinars and 
presentations at:



Hosts Live Hangout for Spanish-Speaking Young Entrepreneurs 

with on September 25, 2014

WASHINGTON – Young entrepreneurs have 
a new tool to help determine if they’re ready 
for business ownership and to help them get 
started. Young Entrepreneurs: An Essential 
Guide to Starting Your Own Business (Jóvenes 
Emprendedores) is a free, self-paced online course 
in Spanish that gives an overview of basic business 
principles and introduces resources available 
from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

 “This month, the SBA recognizes the vital 
contributions Hispanic American small business 
owners have made to our economy as we observe 
National Hispanic Heritage Month,” said Maria 
Contreras-Sweet, SBA Administrator. “As a proud 
Hispanic American, I believe that providing 
financial, educational and technical assistance 
to Hispanic entrepreneurs is a major means to 
create jobs and stimulate the economy. The new 
course is an essential business development tool 
for young entrepreneurs that can be central to the 
future success for many generations to come.”

 The Young Entrepreneurs course is designed 
to help with the essentials of starting a small 
business, including evaluating business ideas, 
choosing the best financing options and 
registering a business. The course also includes 
useful resources that will help with each step 
along the path to entrepreneurial success.

 The course is accessible from the SBA’s Learning 
Center under the banner “Starting a Business” 
at, and is also available 
in English. The Spanish version of the course 
includes a special video introduction. Young 
Spanish-speaking entrepreneurs will receive 
a personal greeting from SBA Administrator 
Contreras-Sweet when taking the course.

 Together, SBA and will host 
a live Hangout on Thursday, September 25 to chat 
about the new online course and entrepreneurship 
with Sarah Farzam, owner of Bilingual Birdies, 
a foreign language and live music company that 
encourages cross-cultural awareness through 
combining language and music. Farzam will 
answer questions about getting started as a young 

 Hangout participants can submit questions 
for Farzam by email to or tweet 
questions using the hashtag #jovenesempresarios. 
No registration is needed to watch.

 To join the conversation and watch 
live, go to
cb3oitffipifl4t42t9bd7uq0f4 for a live stream of the 
Hangout. The live Hangout will start at 1:00 p.m. 

 The Obama Administration has a good record 
of SBA assistance to the Latino community, 
and the SBA’s 7(a) loan guarantee program has 
increased its level of assistance to Hispanic-owned 
businesses over the last five year period.

 The agency has placed more than $3.3 billion 
in loans to Hispanic business owners over the 
four-year span from 2009 through 2013. And this 
year, SBA’s 7(a) lending pace has already exceeded 
last year’s volume, attaining a level of more than 
$857 million.”



Sacramento – Board of Equalization, (BOE) 
Chairman Jerome E. Horton announces that the 
Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) may have 
charged you too much use tax on your purchase 
of a car from a private citizen.

 When purchasing a car from a private party 
you are required to register the vehicle with the 
DMV, and pay the use tax. The use tax a buyer 
should generally pay is the applicable sales 
tax rate for the area where the vehicle will be 
registered (usually the new owner’s home or 
business address).

 The Department of Motor Vehicles, working 
with the BOE, has discovered that some taxpayers 
may have been charged the wrong rate in 
computing their tax liability on the purchase of a 
vehicle from a private party.

 For example, if you bought a used car for 
$10,000 and the car will be registered to your 
home address in the City of Inglewood, you 
would owe $950 in tax (based upon Inglewood’s 
sales and use tax rate of 9.5 percent). If your home 
was nearby in the unincorporated area of Los 
Angeles County, which is also in the 90045 zip 
code, you would owe $900 based on that area’s 
rate of 9 percent.

 The Board of Equalization, working with 
the DMV, is in the process of implementing 
safeguards to protect California taxpayers from 
being over-charged in the future. However, 
Chairman Horton encourages taxpayers to report 
any concerns to the Board of Equalization. 

 ”Taxpayers have the right to pay the correct 
amount of taxes under the law, and correcting 
this mechanical or human error preserves that 
right,” said Chairman Horton.

 To verify that you were charged the correct 
amount of tax, and to file a claim for refund if 
the wrong amount was collected by the DMV, 
please visit Your request for 
a refund must be made in writing, and must 
state the grounds or specific reason for the over-
payment. You may use the form BOE-101. More 
information and instructions are available on the 
BOE’s website in Publication 117.

 If you were overcharged tax by a registered 
vehicle dealer, you should request a refund from 
that dealer. For further assistance, consumers 
may contact the BOE’s Customer Service Center 
at 1-800-400-7115.