Wednesday, January 20, 2010

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

FHA today announced policy changes that will help FHA better manage risk and maintain support for the housing market as well as underserved communities. Check out the HUD press release for more details on the changes to FHA/

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

January Message

I am honored and excited to serve as your President for 2010. In the coming year, we will be faced with many challenging situations and opportunities. By working together, I believe we can overcome any difficult task that we might face.

When I was elected, I had very specific goals to accomplish in 2010. I would like to share them with you.

1] Bring members together through communications. We are living in the midst of a technological and informational revolution. There is an abundant amount of data available at our fingertips and it arrives in an increasingly rapid rate. Many times, there is so much coming at us that we become overwhelmed and miss important information. That is why one of my goals is to continue to explore new and innovative ways to effectively communicate Bay East information in a format that is easily understood and accessed.

2] Develop new leadership. In addition to providing resources that could help our members achieve success, we must discover new ways to involve more of you in leadership positions. It has been said that the strength of our association can be found in the wide variety of personalities, talents, backgrounds and experiences reflected in our members. I believe in this statement and have asked our current leadership team to identify future leaders who possess the skills and passion needed to guide Bay East into the next decade.

3] Create a dialogue with our association’s young professionals. Not only are our young professionals the future leaders of our association, they are a resource for information and knowledge. These individuals have openly embraced emerging technologies and incorporated them into their business models. By blending their skills with seasoned agents’ knowledge and experiences, we can all benefit. I will encourage our association to bring these groups together to share ideas and let them work alongside each other when designing our strategic plans and goals.

4] Promote “GREEN” technology and initiatives through Bay East. 2010 brings us the new Bay East GREEN Council whose purposes are to incorporate ecological strategies into the association’s operations; to encourage you to incorporate these concepts into your business practices; to educate the public about GREEN practices and advocate the responsible inclusion of these ideals into local public policy that impacts real estate. I would encourage you to watch for GREEN tips in our weekly communications and incorporate them into your personal and professional lives.

5] Develop and strengthen our relationships with neighboring associations and community organizations. In a time where fast-moving technology binds people across borders and regions, it is becoming increasingly important to realize that interdependence is the foundation for success as an association and real estate professionals. Cooperative efforts such as the new Full Reciprocal Access Network (also known as Quattro) will allow us to access property and listing information in 21 counties and communities in the greater Bay Area and the Central Valley. In 2010, we will continue to forge new partnerships and strength our existing relationships with community organizations and neighboring associations.

In closing, Bay East will remain committed to bringing outstanding products and services that help you succeed and prosper in the coming year. To this end, we are developing new, free real estate applications; instituted cost savings measures throughout the organization; and are currently engaged in looking for further cost savings and efficiencies which will bring our members additional benefits. As part of these efforts, we are studying the feasibility of merging with our neighboring association, the Contra Costa Association of REALTORS®, with whom we have had many successful business partnerships.

We are excited about the opportunities which a merger may present. Cost savings, greater efficiencies, new innovative services, coupled with the programs we offer today would enable us to provide a higher level of service to our members.

During the next few months, we will be doing the necessary due diligence and analysis to determine if there are sufficient benefits to our members in consolidating the two associations. At the conclusion of this phase, your Board of Directors will be able to determine if there are compelling reasons to move forward with a membership vote on merging. Look for more details on this development in the upcoming months.

It takes many stars to create a constellation and each one of you is a shining star. By working together, we can make 2010 a bright and successful year!


I‘m always available to answer your questions. Please feel free to contact me at

Major Changes Brewing at FHA

On Friday, Jan. 15 NAR sources in Washington D.C. indicated that FHA is about to announce the following changes to its purchase finance programs.

Borrower Issues:

Borrowers will be unable to finance upfront premiums;
Seller concessions will be reduced from 6% to, possibly, 3%;
Borrowers must have a minimum FICO score and their maximum loan-to-value ratio may be impacted by their FICO score; and Mortgage Insurance Premiums may be raised from their current 1.75% level.

Lender Issues: While the final lender eligibility rule has not been published, NAR is reporting the following proposed changes for FHA lenders:

Increasing net worth requirements of lenders to $2.5 million over the next 3 years; 20% of lender net worth must be liquid assets; and Increased default monitoring by lender underwriters.