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Meet Richard Kushner, San Diego Council on Literacy donor!

Why is literacy important to you?

Literacy is the key to growth and change. It is the foundation for education, professional development, personal enjoyment and enrichment! Teaching someone to read in this day and age is not only a necessity but also one of the greatest ways to yield exponential return on investment. As the saying goes, "give a person a fish and you feed them for a day; teach a person to fish and you feed them for life". Teaching someone to read is giving them the tools to feed themselves for life.

Whose idea was it to begin donating funds to literacy and other causes through home sales? How common is this?

I don't know of any other real estate agents doing this but I decided to do this because I have always believed in helping those less fortunate. I am a dog lover and started by donating to dog charities. But then people said, "what about the cats?", so I said, "buy or sell a house and I'll write a check to the cats". Then people said, "What about Wounded Warriors?" so I said, "Buy or sell a house and I'll write a check to Wounded Warriors."

It dawned on me that it would be exciting to let the client decide what charity our relationship would benefit. That is when I started the website www.CharitableRealEstateAgents.com. From that point on I decided that 10 percent of my commissions would go directly to a charity of the client's choice.

A few years ago after selling a house, a client told me to donate to whatever charity I saw fit. They had a small child and it got me thinking about the importance of educating our youth.That's when I first met Jose Cruz at the San Diego Council for Literacy, and made my first donation.

It has become my personal mission to help change the world for the better, in my own small way. This idea also helps me include, in a fun way, others who have good hearts, but just haven't taken action. Hopefully, this will create a ripple effect and inspire others to do the same.

What is your literacy story? Do you remember learning to read? What were your first favorite books?

My parents were always about reading and education. I remember during the summer, my mom would always encourage me to read instead of watching television! She would pay me $1 per book…one summer I made $48! My favorite series of books was Encyclopedia Brown and I think I read every single one of those books ever written.

Have you ever tutored someone or read to children? If yes, describe that experience.

Yes! I have two nieces who I have helped learn to read. It is such a rewarding experience to give someone the tools to change and watch them grow. And when teaching children, it is humorous to hear the questions they ask! There is no more fulfilling experience than helping someone else to discover the gift of reading!

The San Diego Council for Literacy salutes Rich Kushner’s commitment to our mission and other wonderful causes he benefits through his professional relationships. If you wish to contact Rich, please do so at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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This campaign involves the debut of more than 20 special beers over the next 12 months, all of which will be produced by local breweries so a portion of proceeds from their sale can be donated to the Lupus Foundation of Southern California (LFSC). Many of the breweries will hold release parties or similar events where representatives from the LFSC will be on-hand to help raise awareness and educate the public on the disease. Most of the companies offered to hold events without being asked, and every one of them offered up a higher percentage of proceeds than the LFSC expected. Such is the generous and compassionate nature of this industry, something every bit as impressive as the ales and lagers it yields. Find your favorite brewpub below and help us fight Lupus.

Read more: Beer to the Rescue

CASales 9 16California single-family home and condominium sales were 35,842 in September 2016, a decline of 10.4 percent from August and a decline of 6.7 percent from 38,397 in September 2015. Year-to-date sales (January through September 2016) totaled 318,757 properties, down 3.7 percent from the same period in 2015.The median price of a California home was nearly unchanged at $434,500 from $435,000 in August but gained 6.6 percent from $407,500 a year ago. The median price of a condominium was $419,000, nearly unchanged from $420,000 in August 2016 but up 6.1 percent from $395,000 in September 2015.

Read more: End of the Summer Selling Season

CASales 8 16California single-family home and condominium sales were 39,091 in August, a gain of 4.4 percent for the month but nearly unchanged from 39,062 in August 2015. Taking a longer-term view, year-to-date sales (January through August 2016) totaled 282,260 properties, down 3.4 percent from the same period in 2015. The median price of a California home fell 0.9 percent in August to $435,000 from $439,000 in July but gained 4.8 percent from $415,000 a year ago. The median price of a condominium was $416,000, down 1.0 percent from an adjusted $420,000 in July 2016 but up 3.5 percent from $402,000 in August 2015.

Read more: Peak or Plateau?

CASales July 2016California single-family home and condominium sales were 37,823 in July, falling 10.4 percent for the month and down 12.8 percent from July 2015. Taking a longer-term view, year-to-date sales (January through July 2016) totaled 244,035 properties, down 2.0 percent from the same time period in 2015. The number of homeowners in a negative equity position fell to 472,000, or 5.4 percent of all California homeowners. Since July 2014, the number of negative equity homeowners has fallen more than 50 percent. Currently, one in 18 homeowners are underwater, down from one in eight 24 months ago.

The July 2016 median price of a California home was $438,000, down 0.7 percent, from a revised $441,000 in June. On a year-ago basis, median home prices were up 5.0 percent from $417,000. The median price of a condominium was $417,000, down 0.2 percent from an adjusted $418,000 in June 2016 and up 4.3 percent from $400,000 in July 2015. At the county level, July median home prices in 17 of California’s 26 largest counties were flat to lower from the previous month.

Read more: California Median Price Edges Lower

CASales 6 2016California single-family home and condominium sales were 41,291 in June 2016, up 8.1 percent from a revised 38,198 in May 2016. On a year-ago basis, sales were down 4.5 percent from 43,227 in June 2015. Year-to-date sales (January through June 2016) totaled 199,310 properties, down 2.8 percent from the same time period in 2015. January through June sales have oscillated around the 200,000 mark since 2009. The June 2016 median price of a California home was $441,250, a 9-year high and an increase of 1.4 percent, from a revised $435,000 in May. On a year-ago basis, median home prices were up 6.3 percent from $415,000. The median price of a condominium was $415,000, up 1.2 percent from $410,000 in May 2016 and up 3.8 percent from $400,000 in June 2015. At the county level, median home prices in 18 of California’s 26 largest counties reached 9-year highs.

Read more: Median Price Hits 9-Year High, Up 6.3 Percent from June 2015

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