September 2016 - Women in Housing

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

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TH E M R EP O RT | 17 FEATURE Renters Warehouse Seeks: Takeovers, Transfers & Contract Buyouts. 952-229-8414 | #RentEstate Trust Your SFR Property Management to the Pros FREE Portfolio Management Consultation FREE Contract Buyout Estimates ✔ Manage $3+ Billion in Residential Real Estate ✔ Local Market Sta & Expertise ✔ Centralized Services Model for E‡cient Scale ✔ Customized Financial Reporting Solutions ers need to utilize reliable, cutting-edge technology that exceeds the expectations of our clients. To be competitive, we need to be easy to work with, and provide a great customer experience. Our industry now re- quires specialists that are proficient users of more technology platforms and components than ever before." For lenders to create a cutting-edge envi- ronment to drive our business, we need to continually analyze and focus on removing the obstacles that create duplication and inefficiencies of all types. This requires continued and expanded focus on the right technology. It also requires us to focus on removing the impediments to great cus- tomer service. Creation of Innovative Programs L enders are finally discovering the unique products offered by housing finance agencies that allow them to bridge the gap to homeownership for low- to- moderate-income homebuyers. Production nationwide has picked up as more and more HFAs enter the TBA market. "Here in Washington, our agency is help- ing more and more homebuyers every year thanks to the popularity and ease of our Home Advantage program—and thanks to our multiple down payment assistance programs," DeBrock said. "Last year alone, we helped almost 4,000 households buy a home—an increase of 57 percent over 2014—with 3,443 of them using down payment assistance." WSHFC has also seen growth within their conventional products as Fannie Mae offers the HFA Preferred product. The HFA sets the guidelines for income which DU recognizes. In Washington, the income limit is $97,000 statewide—a huge benefit for bor- rowers who are trying to access convention- al financing, as this limit would be lower in many parts of the state using open-market financing. DeBrock would like to see this program continue to grow, because often it will offer the borrower a lower payment— not to mention long-term affordability, as the mortgage insurance is cancellable. "As we begin the looming shift from a re- finance to a purchase market, I expect there will be pressure on real estate professionals, lenders, the secondary market, and our elect- ed officials to put affordable housing near the top of their agenda," said Dottie Sheppick, a well-known affordable housing consultant. "It has been a long time and we must desper- ately turn our attention to creating products and programs that will responsibly transition more renters to homebuyers and allow others to move up. These are the fundamentals that will induce new construction, create jobs, and strengthen our economy." Patterson does, however, see some hope. "Governor (Jerry) Brown has rec- ognized the importance of housing as an economic driver and has introduced some changes that could ease some of those dif- ficulties by making it easier for us to partner with cities, counties, and other organizations. Our multifamily division has introduced new programs to get back into that business. We've made some changes to our down pay- ment assistance programs that can give access to more first-time buyers. This is paying off; we've increased our single-family business more than a hundredfold, going from just 50 loans two years ago to 5,000 this year." We all would like to see the industry place more emphasis on making housing counseling widely available to consumers. Johnson advocates that we should be teaching children about finances and the importance of financial planning so they can learn good habits early on that will help them become successful not only in homeownership, but overall in life. Having worked in the mortgage industry for more than 35 years, Shari Flynn, Executive Director, Lubbock Housing Finance Corporation, believes that credit continues to be the primary barrier to homeownership. "Making sure potential buyers get solid financial counseling (as opposed to a quick credit 'fix') will help them become not just buyers, but successful homeowners," Flynn said. "While the benefits to their families are obvious, successful homeownership is also beneficial for communities and for the mortgage industry at large." We all would really like to see the process of qualification become more comfortable for our borrowers so that they truly understand the whole process better. As senior vice president of strategic products at Mountain West Financial, Inc., TONYA TODD is responsible for the company's participation and involvement in down payment assistance programs and works closely with nonprofit organizations and housing finance agencies to develop lending products that meet their constituents' needs. Operationally, Todd is responsible for the implementation, administration and maintenance of these programs and works daily with internal divisions, including loan underwriting, loan purchasing, and secondary marketing, to ensure programs are successful for both MWF and its housing partners.

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