Posted by Rick Griffin on Jan 22, 2021 4:49:22 PM

Joyce Evans Retiring
After 13 years of serving PSAR members as a loyal and dedicated PSAR employee, Joyce Evans is retiring. Her final day is Friday, January 29. She started her career with PSAR on January 7, 2008.

Joyce Evens Working all areas of PSAR

Over course of her career with PSAR, Joyce has served in a number of capacities, including communications coordinator marketing manager (which included graphic design, marketing, advertising) member services (onboarding new and transferred members, resolving a range of member issues), new member orientation coordinator, and retail sales. When PSAR published a bimonthly magazine, Joyce was the designer.

Outside of the real estate industry, Joyce, who has lived in San Diego since 1982, has brought her considerable skills and work ethic to bear in a number of different industries, including academic, landscaping, printing, building maintenance, and coal-powered energy. In all instances, she held marketing and graphic design positions. Joyce has a bachelor’s degree in art from California State University Northridge. A notable achievement of hers occurred when she was on the design team of McQuiston & Partners, that created 13 coffee table books that were published between 1989 and 1993 and resulted in Joyce being the recipient of several design awards.)

During the past two of years at PSAR, Joyce has served as the PSAR education manager, overseeing scheduling and organizing training classes and a variety of seminars, both on site and virtual.

Before she departs, all PSAR members are invited to send Joyce an email with their thoughts to, or mail a card to 880 Canarios Ct., Chula Vista, CA 91910.

Joyce and Rich D’Ascoli, PSAR CEO, recently spent some time together discussing the highlights of her illustrious career at PSAR. The recording is available on Facebook, where well-wishers comments also can be posted.


Joyce Evans and Co-Workers

Rich: We are really going to miss you, Joyce. You’re known as one of the most beloved and kind and respected members of the staff. You reflect the essence of our association, our staff’s willingness to go the extra mile to help our members, and empathy for any problems a member may be facing. You really are able to feel their pain.

Joyce: Thank you, Rich. You get the credit for forming an excellent group of employees who really work well together as a team. I will miss the camaraderie, the way we encourage each other and the friendships and relationships with members. Every PSAR employee works extremely hard. I’m not kidding when I say it can be a tough job on some days and it’s not easy to display a good disposition. We all wear a lot of different hats. But, I thank the Lord Jesus Christ for teaching me that everybody needs to be loved and no one is less of a person than anybody else. I will miss some of our members dropping by the office simply to give hugs to the staff. Our members are some of the greatest people on this planet.


Rich: Why did you decide to retire?

Joyce Evans and Husband GordonJoyce: Well, I believe it’s a good time to move on to other things. The timing is right. My husband Gordon and I plan to do some camping and visiting friends over the next couple of months. I’m hoping to get the vaccine before I leave. However, I’m not really retiring. I’m hoping to take my real estate sales license exam next month and begin a new line of work as a REALTOR®. It’s sorta funny that here I am, at 69 years of age, ready to start something new. Hey, after I get my license and sign-up with PSAR, I will know how to complete the paperwork. 


Rich: What are some memories of your time at PSAR? I always appreciated your efforts to speak Spanish with our Spanish-speaking members. We always joked together that you reminded me of my annoying sister.

Joyce: And you, Rich, reminded me of “mi hermanito es irritante.” Thankfully, I took Spanish in high school and college. But, seriously, I enjoyed brainstorming with you about marketing strategies. Also, when PSAR was down to only three employees during the recessionary years in 2008 and 2009, you hosted after-work tailgating in the parking just to talk, tell jokes and encourage each other during those tough times. And, I will always be grateful, Rich, for how you emphasized to the staff to learn and use the latest technology to improve our service to our members. You were patient with the learning curve and never afraid for us to try new things. I appreciated the opportunity to be on the cutting edge of technology. So, when COVID and the lockdowns hit us, we hardly missed a beat with continuous remote service to our members during probably one of the toughest years ever for the real estate profession. Fortunately, there are many technology tools that REALTORS® can use to make their jobs easier. I have many good memories of my time at PSAR.

Joyce 4                              ____________________

Rich: So, what are we going to say when people call PSAR and ask for you? Some of our 3,500 members only want to talk to you. I’m just joking, but can I give them your home phone number? 

Joyce: Instead, just tell them to send me an email and then I’ll call them back in a couple of months.


Topics: Announcements

Get a $1250 Gift Card for your First Time Homebuyer

Posted by Kevin McElroy on Dec 30, 2020 11:59:16 AM

First Time Home Buyer Program

Starting January 8th 2021, you can apply on behalf of your clients for the California Association of REALTORS® Housing Affordability Fund (HAF) Home Essentials Program 

So, what exactly is the HAF’s Home Essentials Program:
C.A.R.’s Housing Affordability Fund’s Home Essentials Program will provide qualified first-time California homebuyers a $1,250 Lowe’s Gift Card to purchase appliances for their new home. Due to limited availability, funds will be distributed on a first come/first served basis.
Launch Date: January 8, 2021 (applications will be available beginning January 8th) 
How to Qualify:
  • Be a first-time homebuyer
  • Homebuyers must use a California REALTOR® in the transaction
  • Purchase a primary single-family residence in California with the intent to occupy the property as a primary residence
  • The conforming loan amount on the single-family residence must be at or below the FHA conforming loan limit
  • The purchase of the single-family residence must use financing. All-cash purchases do not qualify

HAF must receive all program requirements below no later than thirty (30) days after closing escrow:
1. Home Essentials Program Application and Home Essentials Certification Form
2. Purchase Contract
3. Closing Disclosure Form
How to Apply:
REALTORS® must complete a Home Essentials Program application and Home Essentials Program Certification form on behalf of their client. The Home Essentials Program application form along with rules and conditions for HAF’s Home Essentials Program are available HERE.
PLEASE NOTE: Link for application will be available January 08, 2021 at 
HAF Home Essentials Program

Topics: Announcements, Brokers/Managers, Industry

New California COVID Relief Grant for REALTORS®

Posted by Kevin McElroy on Dec 29, 2020 2:12:39 PM

COVID-19 Relief Grant for REALTORS

Starting December 30th, 2020, REALTORS® can apply for California’s new relief grant program for small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program provides micro grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 to eligible small businesses (including independent contractors and sole proprietors) impacted by COVID-19 and the related health and safety restrictions. The grant amount will be based on the business’s annual revenue as documented in its most recent tax return:

  • For annual revenue of $1,000 to $100,000, the available grant amount is $5,000.
  • For annual revenue of greater than $100,000 up to $1,000,000, the available grant amount is $15,000.
  • For annual revenue of greater than $1,000,000 up to $2,500,000, the available grant amount is $25,000.

A small business must satisfy certain criteria to be eligible to receive a grant award — read the criteria in full herePlease keep in mind that even if you meet all eligibility requirements, it is not guaranteed you will receive a grant.

Applications for the program must be submitted through a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that has partnered with the state of California to distribute the funds. The list of partners, organized by location and by language services, can be found here.

The first round for applications opens on December 30, 2020, at 8:00 a.m. and closes on January 8, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. Approval notifications will begin on January 13, 2021. There will be a second round for application submissions and reviews, although the dates for that round have not yet been announced.

See the grant California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program website for more information.

Topics: Announcements, Brokers/Managers, Industry

PSAR supports pro-housing candidates and initiatives

Posted by Rick Griffin on Oct 23, 2020 4:30:00 PM

 PSAR 2020 Endorsements for General Election

List of Candidates

PSAR has announced its November 3, 2020 General Election Voter Guide, featuring endorsements of San Diego County candidates and local initiatives.

The endorsed candidates have demonstrated their understanding of the real estate industry and have indicated their commitment to home ownership and housing. PSAR's Government Affairs Committee, following a review of ballot measures and propositions, are recommending votes based on potential industry impacts. Particularly important in the midst of the current housing crisis is for PSAR members to support leaders and policies that protect and promote home ownership.

A team of PSAR members researched candidates’ voting records, public comments relating to preserving and protecting property rights and support for public policies and initiatives promoting participation in the American dream of homeownership and property investment. The endorsements that resulted from this research were approved by members of the PSAR Government Affairs Committee and PSAR Board of Directors.

PSAR’s list of endorsed candidates covers a broad spectrum of positions, including an open and incumbent seat in Congress, two open seats for San Diego County Board of Supervisors, mayors in two San Diego County cities,11 other candidates for seats on local city councils in five other cities, city attorney, school district and special district seats.

Sara Jacobs, PSAR’s endorsed candidate for the 53rd Congressional District, is hoping to succeed Susan Davis, who retired after 20 years of service in the House. This is the second run for Congress by Jacobs, the granddaughter of Qualcomm co-founder Irwin Jacobs. She ran in the 49th District in 2018 but came in third in the primary.

No longer coastal, the 53rd stretches from Interstate 5 on the west, through Mission Valley to the East County and south to Chula Vista. PSAR also has endorsed the reelection of Rep. Juan Vargas, who has represented the 51st Congressional District since 2012. The 51st includes all of Imperial County, National City, Chula Vista, Imperial Beach and El Centro.

Two San Diego County Supervisor seats are open due to term limits for the incumbents. The endorsed supervisorial candidates include Joel Anderson, former State Assemblyman and State Senator for District 2, and Ben Hueso, former member of the San Diego City Council, State Assembly and State Senate, for the District 1 seat. 

Anderson, who lives in Alpine, is hoping to succeed Dianne Jacob, who has served for the past 28 years. Jacob, first elected as Supervisor in 1992, is termed out. Anderson, a Republican, previously served for 12 years on a statewide level in the California State Assembly (2006-2010) and the California State Senate (2010-2018).

The Second Supervisorial District, the largest of the county’s five districts, features more than 2,000 square miles and more than 50 communities and cities in the East County, including the unincorporated communities of Lakeside, Alpine, Ramona and Julian, the cities of El Cajon, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, Santee and Poway and the city of San Diego communities of Allied Gardens, College Area, Del Cerro, Grantville, Navajo, Rolando and San Carlos.

Hueso, a San Diego native and resident of Logan Heights, is hoping to succeed Greg Cox, who is termed out after 25 years of representing District 1’s South Bay communities. Hueso, a Democrat, first held elected office in 2005, winning a special election for the San Diego City Council. He served on the council for five years, including one year as council president, before running for a seat in the State Assembly in 2010. His tenure in the Assembly was brief, as he won a seat in the State Senate during a special election in 2013.

District 1 includes the cities of Coronado, Imperial Beach, Chula Vista, National City, communities within Southeast San Diego, Point Loma, Sunset Cliffs and parts of downtown San Diego. The district also includes the unincorporated communities of Bonita, Sunnyside, Lincoln Acres and East Otay Mesa.

Other noteworthy PSAR endorsements for the November general election:

  • Juan Vargas, congressman, 51st Congressional District
  • John Minto, reelection as mayor, City of Santee
  • Jerry Jones, mayor, City of Lemon Grove
  • Joe Leventhal (District 5), Stephen Whitburn (District 3), Will Moore (District 1), San Diego City Council
  • Mike Diaz (District 4), Steve Padilla (District 3), Chula Vista City Council
  • Phil Ortiz (District 4), Humbert Cabrera (District 2), El Cajon City Council
  • Kristine Alessio, Laura Lothian, Colin Parent, La Mesa City Council
  • Ditas Yamane, National City City Council
  • Mara Elliott, reelection as San Diego City Attorney
  • Armando Farias, Laurie Humphrey, Chula Vista Elementary School District
  • Adrian Arancibia, Sweetwater Union High School District
  • Mitch Thompson, Mark Roback, Otay Water District
  • David Johnston, Valle de Oro Planning Group

In addition to candidates, PSAR is recommending “No” votes on two California propositions: Proposition 15, a ballot measure calling for higher property taxes on commercial and industrial real estate, and Proposition 21, a rent control ballot measure.

PSAR has recommendations on two local measures, the City of San Diego’s Measure “E,” which addresses the city’s Midway-Pacific Highway Community Plan, and the City of Santee’s Measure “N,” called the General Plan Protection Initiative.

PSAR is recommending a “Yes” vote on Measure E. If approved, Measure E would exempt the Midway-Pacific Highway Community Plan from its current 30-foot coastal height limit. Measure E is the only local ballot measure to earn bipartisan endorsement from the Democratic and Republican parties of San Diego counties

PSAR is recommending a “No” vote on Measure N, which would limit new housing. Voters will decide whether to allow residents to determine the fate of high-density housing projects that don’t comply with the city’s General Plan-- its blueprint for growth. If approved, Measure N could imperil the recently approved 3,000-home Fanita Ranch development.

To review the PSAR November 2020 General Election Voter Guide, visit


Our Mission is to empower Realtors to flourish while being accountable to each other
our clients and our community.

Since 1928, the Pacific Southwest Association of REALTORS® has played a significant role in shaping the history, growth & development of the Real Estate industry in San Diego County. This program is only open to REALTORS® and PSAR Affiliate Members. There is no cost for attending this program.

Topics: Announcements, Industry

Exercise your voice, your right, your vote!

Posted by Rick Griffin on Oct 16, 2020 4:30:00 PM


exercise your right to vote

PSAR is encouraging all of our members, and all San Diego-area real estate industry professionals, to exercise their right to vote in the upcoming election. Your vote counts!

PSAR has an active and vital group of REALTOR® members who serve on the PSAR Government Affairs (GA) Committee. The GA Committee has three subcommittees that focus on specific geographical areas of the county.

GA Committee members offer political endorsements, and act as political advocates and review public policy and its impact on the PSAR membership in particular and the real estate industry as a whole. In addition, GA Committee members address a variety of complex and multi-dimensional issues impacting the protection of private property rights.

GA Committee members are acutely aware of the importance of voting, even more so in this upcoming general election. The stakes are high. If issues and candidates affecting your realtor business and the industry itself matter to you, then it matters that you vote on them.

With early voting underway, GA Committee members were recently asked about the importance of voting. Below are their comments (names appear in alphabetical order, some quotes were edited for clarity).

-- “Our committee is made up of Republicans, Democrats, Independents, and others. We research, conduct interviews, review questionnaires, and our decisions are primarily based upon the notion of property rights, expanding homeownership, rights of tenants, and the rights of owners of commercial and rental properties. We will endorse candidates whom we feel best support these values over their opponents. It’s important to elect leaders who will work with REALTORS®. We all have our own choices of candidates, but we hope by supporting pro-real estate candidates and propositions, it might help influence voters who agree with us that property rights and the expansion of homeownership are essential to all Americans.” -- Mike Anderson

“Democracy is vital to real estate. If people don't vote, then it’s the corporations and banks that set policy that affects your ability to buy a home. When you vote, you make your voice heard. Be a voice for our communities where we can work towards a country where everyone has the opportunity to be a homeowner.” -- Deirdre Bramberg

--“ I sat with my family and we reviewed each proposition and discussed ones we were not clear on. Let’s use the voting season to engage and unite families.” -- Jeff Campbell

-- “Elected officials are political beings. They listen to the people in the communities who vote and they also listen to the people and organizations who contribute resources that allow them to reach out to those voters. Making sure your voice is heard as a voter is every bit as important as for whom you vote.  Communities and neighborhoods with high voting percentages attract more attention and resources.  Citizens who vote have a voice with politicians and those who do not vote have no voice." -- Richard D’Ascoli, Chief Executive Officer, PSAR

-- “It is a civic duty to vote and every single vote makes a difference. As a citizen of the country, the right to vote is one of the freedoms the county gives its people. It is a chance for our voice to be heard and an opportunity to select the leaders we believe have the ability to represent us in our government.” -- Merrie Espina.

-- “Each PSAR member should exercise their right and obligation to vote. In this election, as in most elections, your future earnings, your tax obligations, and the laws that enable or hobble our industry are all in play. PSAR, C.A.R. and NAR can all be influential as supporting organizations, focusing on critical policy issues. But, in the final analysis, it is your individual vote and the power of our collective votes that will select our elected officials and establish the policies that impact our lives and our business environment for years to come.” -- William Hall

-- “Our votes this election are more important than ever as our region, state and country stand at a pivotal time.  PSAR’s Governmental Affairs Committee, as well as C.A.R. and NAR, spend a lot of time each election interviewing and weighing which candidates and propositions uphold basic property rights. REALTOR® endorsements have been made available to all of our members and we hope that you will read and consider the recommendations when you cast your votes as you believe best represents your views.” Kay LeMenager

-- “In all areas of life having your opportunity to vote is of utmost importance. I feel it is our duty as Americans to make voting a serious commitment in support of the sacrifice of those before us to fight for our right to do so. My children were educated to study the propositions and follow the federal, state and local elections and vote from the age they became eligible. It starts with us as parents to lead by example.”  -- Colleen McDade

-- “It’s very important to get out there and vote. Many people complain about the results, but if you don't vote, don’t complain. Every vote counts, so do your part and get out there and vote.” -- Patricia McFadden

-- “Voting is how we convey our desires for change. Please exercise your right to vote with the goal of making a better today and tomorrow for us all.” -- Paul Moses

-- “Every vote really does matter. Just last cycle, San Diego District 8 primary was decided by 3 votes, my college board race was decided by 23 votes. Vote and get your friends and family to vote, too.” -- Rafael A. Perez

-- “I am involved in Government Affairs and I try to be as active as I can be in politics is because it does have an impact on our industry. One can be part of the problem or the solution. I can stand by and complain or I can do what I can do to act.  Rome was not built in a day, and as we all know California has its issues which have a direct impact on our business. Be impactful and relevant. Part of doing that is reading the voters guide and voting. It’s common sense, do nothing and one can only expect nothing. So, why not be relevant and do something.” -- Rebecca Pollack-Rude

-- “I’ve been a member of the Government Affairs Committee for many years because I believe the grass roots portion of our local governments are truly the roots of our way of life as it pertains to the freedoms that are rightfully ours. Voting is the most important right and freedom that, as a U.S. citizen, we enjoy, or should enjoy. The committee is a way to hear from our peers, our local government officials and the candidates at various levels of government who have an impact at every level of our community life, and most especially as it pertains to housing and private property rights. In this unprecedented time of pandemic, the value of the roof over our head has never been more in the spotlight. Personally, I’ve grown to appreciate greatly our rights as individuals, as members of our local communities, our country and lately as a member of humankind. Register to vote, inform yourself. Make choices because you understand the issues and the candidates, not because someone else told you that it’s the best way or the only way or just because. Exercise your most valuable right. Vote and understand and appreciate that right.” -- Pat Russiano

-- “I have always felt that it is one’s responsibility to be knowledgeable regarding the election process, issues and then vote. I taught my children and now grandchildren that they have a responsibility as a citizen of the United States of America to vote.” -- Norma J. Scantlin

-- “Our GA Committee spends a lot of time vetting our recommendations with input from REALTORS® from various backgrounds and party affiliations. Please let your voice be heard and vote. If nothing else, vote NO on the real estate related propositions 15, 19 and 21.” -- Mark Scott

-- “I have never once missed the honor and the obligation to vote. It is the glue that binds us as Americans, giving us the confidence that we are a nation guided by the rule of law.  It is fundamental to the American success story and to our sense of pride in being an American.” -- Mitch Thompson

-- “As a REALTOR® Party member, 2021 PSAR President-Elect, and as an individual, I care deeply about the future of our country. I know first-hand that our vote is needed in this election more than ever before. Your GA committee and the PSAR Board of Directors have spent a great deal of time to vet all PSAR endorsed candidates. I hope that you would consider these candidates as you cast your vote. The future of our country is in our hands. Please vote.” -- Max Zaker


Our Mission is to empower Realtors to flourish while being accountable to each other
our clients and our community.

Since 1928, the Pacific Southwest Association of REALTORS® has played a significant role in shaping the history, growth & development of the Real Estate industry in San Diego County. This program is only open to REALTORS® and PSAR Affiliate Members. There is no cost for attending this program.

Topics: Announcements, Industry


Posted by Rick Griffin on Oct 9, 2020 4:46:14 PM

Vote NO on Prop 21

PSAR is recommending a “No” vote on California Proposition 21, a rent control ballot proposition known as the “Rental Affordability Act.” The Governor and Legislature have already passed rent control into law. This Proposition goes too far and has too many unintended negative consequences.

If approved, Prop. 21 would change state law to allow cities to apply new rent control ordinances and/or expand existing ones. New laws could be enacted affecting homes at least 15 years old. Prop. 21 exempts single-family homes owned by landlords with more than two properties.

Proponents claim cities should be allowed to approve additional limits on rent increases to protect California families who are one rent hike away from being driven out of their neighborhoods by landlords. They further claim this proposition will stop homelessness and gentrification.

Full PSAR Voter GuideThe fact is that Prop. 21 would make it less desirable for builders to construct more housing, affordable or otherwise, at a time when California has a massive housing shortage. It would also decrease revenue for city and state governments, already cash-strapped by the fallout from the Covid pandemic. It would reduce the number of housing units in the state and allow bureaucrats to add fees on top of base rent, thereby increasing the cost of living at a time when Californians can least afford it. In fact, only two years ago, in 2018, Californians made their decision about rent control at the polls.

In 2018, voters in 56 of 58 California counties overwhelmingly rejected a statewide rent control measure by a 20-point margin. Why is this subject being revisited so soon? Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation and its President, Michael Weinstein, funded a signature collection drive that once again put the measure on the ballot. This appears to make this issue a special interest one.

Last year, state legislators passed a new law that set a 7 percent ceiling on yearly rent increases. CalMatters, a public interest journalism venture, concluded that the action by Sacramento lawmakers in 2019 was an effort to ward off another statewide rent control ballot measure by Weinstein and company that clearly was unsuccessful.

According to CalMatters, Prop. 21 opponents include Governor Gavin Newsom, California Apartment Association, California Seniors Advocate League, Essex Property Trust and Prometheus Real Estate Group. Prop. 21 supporters include the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Eviction Defense Network and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.), Apartment Association of Orange County and Californians to Protect Affordable Housing, a coalition of housing advocates, renters, businesses, taxpayers and veterans encourage a “NO” vote on Proposition 21.

Other organizations opposing Prop. 21 include the California Council for Affordable Housing, California Community Builders, the California State Conference of the NAACP, Si Se Puede, Congress of California Seniors, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and the San Diego Building and Construction Trades Council.

A CalMatters headline stated “Proposition 21 rent control will discourage construction of affordable housing.” A CalMatters opinion writer asserted: We must protect small property owners who, in contrast to corporate landlords, often are natural affordable housing providers, operate on small margins, give applicants a chance if they don’t meet all of the rental qualifications, and help maintain the integrity of a community. The state of California is facing a new economic challenge, and families across our state are struggling. What we need most is new investment in our housing market, not an extreme measure like Proposition 21 that will further destabilize it.”

The San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper editorial board wrote: “Expanding rent control will make the California housing crisis worse. Rent control is the wrong way to help Californians struggling with housing. Lawmakers who are juggling a lot during this pandemic need to not lose sight of that. The long-term solution is listening to experts and building new houses.”

The San Francisco Chronicle newspaper editorial board described Prop. 21 as “a rent control retread unimproved by age.”

The Press Democrat newspaper in Santa Rosa, Calif. said Prop. 21 is a proposed “rent control law that won’t end the housing crisis.” Its editorial resource stated: “California voters soundly rejected rent control in the November 2018 election for a good reason: It won’t alleviate the state’s housing problems. In fact, economists almost universally agree that imposing rent control would be counterproductive. State lawmakers voted in 2019 to cap rent increases anyway, while requiring landlords to show `just cause’ for evictions. Yet, here we are again, barely a year later, asked to decide another rent control initiative. Voters should once again say no.”

The headline in the Orange County Register read, “Rent control is the horrible idea that won’t go away.” Its editorial stated: “California’s housing affordability isn’t that complicated. There is high demand and inadequate supply. If the goal is to expand the accessibility of housing, it is necessary to increase supply. Rent control is incredibly effective at backfiring on that front. Research has shown that San Francisco’s rent control policies resulted in many landlords removing housing units from the market. Renters in non-rent-controlled units, meanwhile, faced even higher rents than would otherwise be the case.”

For more information about the campaign against Prop 21, visit

No on 21


Our Mission is to empower Realtors to flourish while being accountable to each other
our clients and our community.

Since 1928, the Pacific Southwest Association of REALTORS® has played a significant role in shaping the history, growth & development of the Real Estate industry in San Diego County. This program is only open to REALTORS® and PSAR Affiliate Members. There is no cost for attending this program.

Topics: Announcements, Industry


Posted by Rick Griffin on Oct 2, 2020 4:09:13 PM

PSAR is recommending a “no” vote on California Proposition 15, a ballot measure that calls for higher property taxes on commercial and industrial real estate.

Prop. 15 is referred to as the “Split Roll Ballot Initiative, Schools and Communities First.” If approved, Prop. 15 would require calculating property taxes for commercial and industrial real estate based on current market value. It would raise property taxes on supermarkets, shopping malls, office buildings, factories, movie theaters, hotels, restaurants, sports stadiums, warehouses, self-storage facilities, major retailers and other businesses.

Proponents claim $6.5 billion to $11.5 billion generated from the increased property taxes would be allocated to schools (40 percent) and local government (60 percent).PSAR Voter GuideOpponents say Prop. 15 is a direct attack on Proposition 13, which limits annual increases in assessed property value to 2 percent. Prop. 13, passed by California voters in 1978, remains a godsend to fixed-income retirees and middle-income workers who would be incapable of paying the increased property tax assessments over the last 40 years as California home prices have quintupled. If enacted, this massive tax increase will prompt companies to flee California at a time when businesses are already struggling.

The San Diego County Office of Assessor-Recorder-County Clerk, which opposes Prop. 15, recently delivered a presentation to PSAR members. The presentation included the contention that supporters for Prop. 15 are laboring under five false premises:

  1. Businesses don’t pay their fair share of property taxes (in fact, taxes paid by commercial property owners have increased 1,930 percent since 1978);

  2. Prop. 15 won’t impact small businesses because properties worth less than $3 million are exempt (in fact, the average commercial or industrial parcel in San Diego County is valued at $3.1 million, which is above the exemption level);

  3. Prop. 15 will impact only property owners, not tenants (in fact, if tenants are required to pay higher rents by property owners who need to recoup the property tax increase, then costs will impact tenants/customers);

  4. Prop. 15 won’t impact residential housing (in fact, raw land zoned for residential and commercial-industrial uses will be reassessed and mixed-use properties with more than 25 percent commercial also will be reassessed);

  5. Prop. 15 won’t impact female-, immigrant- and minority-owned businesses (in fact, the groups opposing Prop. 15 include social justice leaders, such as the NAACP, California Black Chamber of Commerce, California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, CalAsian Chamber of Commerce and National Action Network).

A Berkeley Research Group study found increasing property taxes on small businesses will hurt female- and minority-owned businesses the most, and up to 120,000 private-sector jobs will be lost. Prop. 15 would incentivize local governments to approve business projects to replace existing housing in order to generate greater property tax revenue.

Ernie Dronenburg, Jr., San Diego County Assessor-recorder-County Clerk, said, “Proposition 15 won’t close the door on an imaginary corporate tax loophole, but it will close the doors of real San Diego small businesses. Prop. 15 is the wrong idea at the wrong time.”

The San Diego Union-Tribune editorial board wrote: “No on Proposition 15, vast tax hike during a deep recession is a crazy idea. Approving Proposition 15 is not about preserving essential government services, as advocates assert. It is about preserving generous government pensions that threaten to bankrupt government agencies across the state. Send a message that pension reform should precede a massive tax hike and vote no on Proposition 15.”

Dan Walters, columnist with CalMatters, a public interest journalism venture, wrote: “Both proponents and opponents know that Proposition 15 is a proxy battle over whether Proposition 13 is still an untouchable icon. The measure’s backers had no way of knowing that the COVID-19 pandemic and the severe recession it spawned would visit themselves on California, changing the tenor of their battle with business groups over the issue. While proponents argue that the new revenue is needed to keep vital public services, including schools, from being slashed, opponents argue that with businesses already suffering, this is the wrong time to saddle them with more taxes.”

Antonio Villaraigosa, former Mayor of Los Angeles and Speaker of the California State Assembly, wrote in a CalMatters column: “This poorly drafted tax measure will disproportionately hurt everyday Californians during the worst economic crisis since the 1930s. It will put significant pressure on jobs in general, but private sector union jobs in particular. Because Prop. 15 raises property taxes, those higher taxes will get passed on to small business tenants, who rent. These businesses, in turn, will pass higher costs on to consumers in the form of increased prices on everything we buy, groceries, fuel, utilities, clothing and health care. California’s cost of living is already among the nation’s highest. Prop. 15 will drive the cost of living even higher.”

For more information about voting “no” on Prop. 15, visit The following statement is on the website: “Amid an unprecedented economic crisis, special interests are pushing Prop 15 on the November 2020 statewide ballot that will destroy Prop 13’s property tax protections and will be the largest property tax increase in California history. If businesses lose their Prop 13 protections, homeowners will be next.

“Prop 15 will raise taxes on business property, leading to higher rents for small businesses. Ultimately, Prop 15 will make income inequality worse by driving up the cost of living for just about everything we need and use, like food, utilities, daycare and healthcare.

“We must reject Prop 15 and maintain Prop 13 protections that have kept property taxes affordable and provided every taxpayer who buys a home, farm or business property with certainty that they can afford their property tax bills in the future. Now is not the time to raise taxes and bring more uncertainty to businesses and all Californians.”

County Assessor Comments on Prop 15 - "Unfortunately, Prop 15 hides that it is the largest property tax increase in California history that will"... Read More

Vote No on Prop 15


Our Mission is to empower Realtors to flourish while being accountable to each other
our clients and our community.

Since 1928, the Pacific Southwest Association of REALTORS® has played a significant role in shaping the history, growth & development of the Real Estate industry in San Diego County. This program is only open to REALTORS® and PSAR Affiliate Members. There is no cost for attending this program.

Topics: Announcements, Industry

PSAR Voter Guide - Endorsements for 2020 General Election

Posted by Kevin McElroy on Sep 30, 2020 7:30:00 AM

PSAR has endorsed the following candidates for the 2020 General Election

PSAR would like to remind you to please register and vote in this upcoming election.  PSAR is endorsing the candidates listed below and has taken positions on the ballot measures and propositions listed at the bottom.  The candidates below have demonstrated to PSAR their understanding of our industry and have indicated their commitment to home-ownership and housing.  PSAR's Government Affairs Committee also reviewed the ballot measures and propositions listed below and PSAR is taking the positions listed based on the impacts these items would have on our industry.   
In the midst of the current housing crisis, it is imperative that we elect leaders and enact policies that will protect and promote home-ownership.  Click on each candidate to find out how you can support them.

Sara Jacobs Juan Vargas Ben Hueso Joel Anderson Jerry Jones
John Minto Mike Diaz Steve Padilla Humbert Cabrera Phil Ortiz
Colin Parent Kristine Alessio Laura Lothian Ditas Yamane Joe Leventhal
Stephen Whitburn Will Moore Mara Elliot Armando Farias Laurie Humphrey
Adrian Arancibia David Johnston Mark Robak Mitch Thompson  

Measures and Propositions

Vote No on Measure N which would limit new housing and add to traffic.

City of San Diego
Vote Yes on Measure E which removes an overly burdensome height limit
in the Midway District.

Vote NO on the Prop 15 Property Tax Increase 
Vote NO on the Prop 21 More Rent Control 


PSAR's Mission is to empower Realtors to flourish while being accountable to
each other, our clients, and our community.

Since 1928, the Pacific Southwest Association of REALTORS® has played a significant role in shaping the history, growth and development of the Real Estate industry in San Diego County.

Topics: Announcements, Government Affairs

Meet Merrie Espina - A Mentor, A Leader and a Good Friend

Posted by Rick Griffin on Sep 18, 2020 4:35:52 PM

Merrie Espina

Meet Merrie Espina, who was recently elected to a two-year term (2021-2022) on the PSAR Board of Directors. 

Merrie grew up in the Philippines, traveled to London to study nursing and then moved to the United States with her first husband who was serving in the military at the time. The couple then lived abroad in Guam, Greece, London and Italy and Merrie worked both as a nurse and in banking during this time. They returned to the U.S. in the early 1990s living in Norfolk, Virginia and Long Beach, California, before relocating to San Diego.

While the family was stationed in Naples, Italy, Merrie had the experience of kissing the hand of Pope John II, who was the second longest-serving pope in modern history (from October 1978, until his death on April 2, 2005, at age 84).Merrie with Pope John II

“It was my daughter’s first communion and she was in the second grade. All the children were invited to go to the Vatican,” said Merrie. “The pope put his hand on each child’s head. When he walked down the line, I reached for his hand and he let me kiss it. It was a lifetime experience.”

In San Diego, Merrie worked for Navy Federal Credit Union and organized a trip for 20 bank employees to travel to Los Angeles to watch “The Price is Right” daytime TV game show.

“It was so much fun, especially when the announcer called my name. You don’t even realize that you’re on TV,” said Merrie. “I missed a car and a trip by one spot on the big wheel. Instead, I won seven mountain bikes. One of our bank employees won $10,000, but I got to hug and kiss Bob Barker.”

Merrie on the Price is RightMerrie worked for 21 years in banking as a loan counselor, manager and marketing director. She then launched a career in real estate, beginning with a job with Century 21 Award. She moved to Realty Edge, followed by Ad Valorem. In 1997, she earned her real estate sales license and joined PSAR. By 1998 Merrie had formed her own brokerage firm, which she later sold during the 2007 recession.

“When I opened my own office, I set-up a crib for my granddaughter in our real estate office where she grew up while I worked. She’s now 19 years old” said Merrie. “I love my family, my two children, 6 grandchildren and my 84-year-old mom who lives with me. And, I love my PSAR real estate family."

“I’ve always been a volunteer. As a military spouse, I volunteered as an ombudsman. At church, I volunteered for a prom for special needs kids. For PSAR, I have volunteered annually on several committees, including Education, Grievance, Government Affairs, Global Council and Charity.”

Marrie earns REALTOR of the year 2019

This is not Merrie’s first time serving on the PSAR board. She was a board member from 2016 and 2017. She also served as a C.A.R. director (2018).

Merrie has earned a Master of Real Estate degree from REALTOR® University, a program endorsed by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). She also has a bachelor’s degree in management and business from the University of Laverne.

She has been honored with the 2019 PSAR REALTOR® of the Year award. Her former real estate office was named Business of the Year by the San Diego Filipino American Chamber of Commerce.

“I love real estate, I value my clients’ trust, loyalty and support,” said Merrie. “I treat and take care of them like family. I believe in helping others, listening and sharing my ideas to be part of the solution. When I go to bed, I ask myself: What good things did I do today to make a difference?”


PSAR's Mission is to empower Realtors to flourish while being accountable to each other our clients and our community.

Since 1928, the Pacific Southwest Association of REALTORS® has played a significant role in shaping the history, growth and development of the Real Estate industry in San Diego County.

Topics: Announcements, Industry


Posted by Rick Griffin on Sep 11, 2020 4:53:54 PM


PSAR is proud to announce the completion of the “Robert Calloway Memorial Veteran Housing Grant” program.

In a joint partnership with the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.) Housing Affordability Fund (HAF), on Memorial Day, PSAR launched a special grants program named in honor of 2019 PSAR President Robert Calloway, a military veteran and PSAR Past Immediate-President.

The PSAR Robert Calloway Memorial Veteran Housing Grant program helped first-time military homebuyers with closing-cost assistance of $1,500. 

A total of 34 grants were available. The grants program was scheduled to continue for up to one year or until the available $51,000 was exhausted. Less than three months later, on Aug. 26, the final available closing-cost grant was approved and distributed.

“This grants program was a tremendous success for our veterans,” said Robert Cromer, 2020 PSAR President. “PSAR was honored to give-back to our military community and provide closing-cost assistance to our hometown heroes and their families who were searching to find a place to call home. I am proud to have been part of this effort to help these courageous men and women who have sacrificed and served to protect this beautiful country and our values and freedoms that have kept us free.”

Robert Calloway 1965-2020

“We felt that naming this grant after Robert Calloway was a fitting tribute to his legacy as a veteran and a member of the PSAR family,” said Rich D’Ascoli, CEO of PSAR. “Our Association was proud to team-up with C.A.R. and give back to those who have worked hard to protect our everyday lives. The Robert Calloway Memorial Veteran Housing Grant program has truly been an across-the-board, undeniable success story that everyone can be proud of.”

The joint partnership with PSAR and C.A.R. was initiated by the late Robert Calloway, who suddenly passed away May 4 this year from heart disease. He was 54. Prior to his real estate sales career as a REALTOR®, Calloway served in the U.S. Navy for 26 years, from June 1985 to June 2011, retiring as a Senior Chief Navy Counselor. He specialized in human resources and counseling for the Navy during 20 of his 26 years. In 2008, Calloway started selling real estate while still serving in the Navy. He joined PSAR at the start of his real estate sales career and was elected to the PSAR board of directors in 2014.

At the time of his passing, Calloway was serving as a current PSAR board member and as a C.A.R. director, including as Vice Chair of C.A.R.’s Southern California Region 30. In addition, Calloway was serving as an advisor to Ernie Dronenburg, San Diego County assessor-recorder-clerk. With the assistance of  Calloway’s leadership, Dronenburg introduced a number of housing initiatives that assisted disabled military veterans achieve homeownership, stay in their homes and save money on their property taxes.

“It’s wonderful to learn of PSAR’s success with the Robert Calloway Memorial Veteran Housing Grant program,” said Dronenburg. “It was an honor to work with Robert, who made San Diego a better place to live. His life was marked by service, starting in the Navy and ending as a super professional in the real estate industry. His legacy of service will live on in the homes of the veteran families who were able to achieve homeownership thanks to the Robert Calloway Memorial Veteran Housing Grant.”

Prior to serving as PSAR president, Calloway also served as the founding president of the Veterans Association of Real Estate Professionals (VAREP), San Diego chapter. Established in 2011 and based in Corona, Calif., VAREP is a non-profit, HUD-approved housing counseling organization dedicated to increasing sustainable homeownership, financial-literacy education, VA loan awareness, and economic opportunity for the active-military and veteran communities.

“Our gratitude and congratulations are extended to PSAR for working to enhance lives of our veterans over the long haul,” said Son Nguyen, founder and president, VAREP. “On behalf of our 6,000 members nationwide, we applaud PSAR for their efforts to create housing opportunities for veterans and remove barriers to homeownership. We are very grateful to PSAR.”

HAF, a nonprofit dedicated to addressing California’s growing housing affordability crisis, was established by C.A.R. in November 2002 to provide more options to first-time homebuyers. It was created by REALTORS® who bore witness to working families being denied the American dream of homeownership. The HAF mission statement states the nonprofit plays an active role in addressing ongoing housing affordability challenges facing Californians.

HAF receives donations from C.A.R. members, non-members and other institutions that are committed to addressing housing challenges in California. HAF donations are then distributed through local REALTOR® associations who have submitted funding requests for local housing affordability and housing supply programs. For maximum impact, HAF funds are leveraged with local associations and their housing partners.

“We were honored to work with PSAR on the Robert Calloway Memorial Veteran Housing Grant program,” said Sharon Barron, 2020 HAF chair. “We applaud PSAR for their innovative leadership and allocation of HAF funds that are intended to provide more options for first-time homebuyers’ entry into homeownership. We especially appreciate the support of C.A.R. members for their unwavering support and contributions to the Housing Affordability Fund so that we can continue to address California’s housing affordability crisis in the midst of skyrocketing housing costs. Their participation allows us to continue to help Californians achieve the dream of homeownership.” 

“As a first-time, military veteran homebuyer, I went through different moods and feelings going through the home purchase process, and shock and fear were some of those feelings,”

Several first-time veteran homebuyers who were recipients of Robert Calloway Memorial Veteran Housing Grant, along with their agents, spoke with PSAR to express their gratitude to PSAR for the grants program.

Renales Family“As a first-time, military veteran homebuyer, I went through different moods and feelings going through the home purchase process, and shock and fear were some of those feelings,” said Efren Renales Jr., a 20-year retired U.S. Air Force veteran. “However, the PSAR closing-cost assistance proved to be a huge help. This program, along with an awesome realtor, gave the boost of confidence and security we needed to know we can have the home we envisioned building our legacy in. After living in 13 different homes across seven U.S. and overseas locations, we consider ourselves blessed to be able to ground roots and watch our children grow in our hometown, which the PSAR closing-cost assistance program greatly contributed to.”

Renales and his wife have three children. PSAR REALTOR® member Brynn Gonzales represented the Renales family in their home transaction.

“It was a great honor and enjoyable experience to be able to help my clients find a place to call home, especially the Renales family,” said Gonzales. “As a PSAR REALTOR® member, it feels good to be able to give back to our military families. I think building wealth for families is important and it excites me because it provides unique wealth building opportunities for future investments. It’s important for homeowners to invest in and take ownership of their community because they can help improve the sales of their surrounding area when purchasing their home. The community also benefits from the homeowner paying real estate taxes.”

“I am thrilled to finally be done renting, start building equity and calling my new place home,”

Brennan and Tafeshnia

Justin Brennan is a U.S. Navy submarine veteran who served aboard the USS Olympia (SSN 717). The native of Northern Virginia joined the Navy at age 23. Brennan was represented by REALTOR® Amir Tafreshnia in his home purchase.

“I am thrilled to finally be done renting, start building equity and calling my new place home,” said Brennan. “I don’t think it would have been achievable without my veteran benefits and the zero-down VA loan. With the added PSAR closing-cost assistance, it really made a difference during my homebuying journey. The PSAR closing-cost assistance allowed me more flexibility in creating a competitive offer. It also provided big relief when it came to closing time. Closing is expensive and with the additional money in my pocket I was able to finance my move, purchase needed items for my new home and it made me feel very appreciated. I am proud to have served this great country. There are so many great programs out there for us veterans and I can not thank the PSAR team enough for their assistance.”

“Thanks to the PSAR grants, it helps spread awareness of possibility of homeownership and the pride of ownership in the community,” said Tafreshnia. “There is no better feeling, and the best part of my job, to help someone get into a home they love, in an area they love and ultimately reach one of the goals they’ve been working so hard towards. It means the world to me and motivates me daily. Thanks to the PSAR team for making it happen.”

"Being a homeowner and sharing this positive energy with my family is the highlight of my recent retirement."

Clemons Family

Corey Clemons spent 26 years in the Navy. Corey, his wife and three children recently moved into their new home.

“It was truly rewarding to serve our amazing country for 26 years, and I understand what sacrifice really means,” said Clemons. “I served for all those years because this journey was bigger than me. I wanted to give back and anticipated that my sacrifice would pay dividends for my family. We are extremely appreciative and proud to be brand new homeowners in sunny San Diego for the first time. Being a homeowner and sharing this positive energy with my family is the highlight of my recent retirement. The PSAR closing-cost assistance meant a lot to my family and I. This assistance was more like icing on a cake especially when blessed to purchase a brand new home in California for the first time. Thanks abundantly to PSAR for such a kind gesture that my family and I will be forever grateful for.”

“Being a first-time buyer was stressful and, at the same time, exciting,”

Kristopher Mangrbang is in his 29th year of active duty in the U.S. Navy. He was represented in his recent home purchase by PSAR REALTOR® member Merrie Espina.Mangrbang Family

“Being a first-time buyer was stressful and, at the same time, exciting,” said Mangrbang. “I and my family are very grateful for the PSAR assistance as it covered our HOA fees for the whole year. And, of course, we wouldn’t have this type of assistance without our agent Merrie.”

PSAR REALTOR® member Marielena Beatie represented homebuyer Agustin Villasenor.

“I received news about the Robert Calloway VA grant as soon as we opened escrow and I quickly contacted Sally Valdez from PSAR and she guided us through the application process,” said Beatie. “It was a pleasure to work with Agustin and Daniela Villasenor. The VillasenorsThey were approved as one of the grant recipients and this was definitely an added bonus. They were very grateful for this additional help with their closing costs. This was their first home purchase and it was exciting to be able to make their dream of home ownership come true. It was truly an honor to help a veteran in his first investment.  It is exciting to help veterans be able to own a part of the American Dream. Military families sacrifice for our freedom and it is truly an honor to be able to give something back to them. I hope they enjoy their beautiful home, they deserve it.”

To qualify for a Robert Calloway Memorial Veteran Housing Grant, the homebuyer’s mortgage loan had to be already approved through regular Desktop Underwriting (DU) industry standards and have an executed Residential Purchase Agreement (RPA) in escrow. Homebuyers also had to use a Veterans Administration (VA) loan for their home purchase. All San Diego County-area REALTORS®, regardless of Association membership, were invited to participate in the grant program.

Topics: Announcements, PSAR Benefits, Industry