Nonprofit Counseling: Protecting and Preserving a Vital Service to American Homeowners and the Finance Community

The past decade has taught us a great deal about housing loss and preservation. Many of us were personally affected, or know someone affected, by the 2007-08 economic downturn period our country experienced.

There have been several lessons learned. Most of all, we learned that too many U.S residents have too much debt and lack the necessary reserves to weather the slightest bump in their financial lives.

History will argue about what went wrong and who to blame. There were lots of mistakes but there were several good lessons. One was the reminder of the value and need for nonprofit housing advocates, educators and counselors.

We learned that homeowners and homebuyers who took advantage of homeownership, credit and financial literacy counseling fared far better during the housing and economic crisis and avoided foreclosure and delinquency more than homeowners who did not. We learned that pre-purchase education, credit and budgeting courses prevented many homebuyers from buying more than they could afford and taught them to avoid the pitfalls of over leveraging their home and excessive debt.
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Jumpstarting Your Career & Business in the Housing Ecosystem

As a professional in the housing ecosystem, it is crucial to think outside the box and utilize the resources at your disposal to grow and advance your business and career. Analyzing your market, familiarizing yourself with the competition and crafting a superior business plan are great first steps, but pioneering decisions are what will make or break you in the market.

Adapting to the changing times, leveraging your differences, preparing for the future of the market and surrounding yourself with people invested in your success will help you seize opportunities for advancement.

Balancing New School and Old School
If you consider your favorite products, are they the “best” or the most inexpensive choices on the market? Or, have you developed a relationship with a particular brand that you buy because it has done right by you? Similar to your preferred items, your business can become the go-to for customers.
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The Movers & the Shakedown

America has long been crowned as the land of dreamers, the land of opportunity, and if you work hard enough and remain diligent, there is nothing you can’t achieve. The wealth is in land and labor, and it’s that which accumulates, you can control, and pass on to the next generation. Black people are not very active in the home buying market today and the likelihood of changing this outlook is bleak. As the Pew Research Center reports, in 1994, 42.3 percent of black households owned their homes; in 2016, their homeownership rate is 41.3 percent. The dream of homeownership is fleeting for black households stemming from being a historically disadvantaged group. As we look at the effects of the foreclosure and unemployment crisis resulting from the Great Recession, an optimistic outlook is hard to find.

In examining the contributing factors and consequences of the 2007-2008 foreclosure crisis, the ramifications of housing discrimination against black householders, then and now, remain virtually unchanged. With the influx of stable employment and easily accessible mortgages, many Blacks were able to participate in the American dream of homeownership. But with the ease and accessibility of ownership came subprime loans, manipulated interest rates and overpayment of homes. It was a ticking time bomb.

Across the nation, black homeowners were disproportionately affected by the foreclosure crisis, with more than 240,000 of them losing their homes. In a 2014 article investigating the foreclosure crisis, Nathalie Baptiste presents staggering facts regarding the deterioration of black wealth. She states that the foreclosures affected blacks of all income brackets, and high-earning blacks were 80 percent more likely to lose their homes than their white counterparts.
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Women’s Housing Growth: Winning in Heels

Globally, women are finally entering into boardrooms without having to knock, and they are not just there to serve the coffee. We are managing businesses, large or small, employing multiple solutions without trepidation, and jack hammering every glass ceiling in our way, or at least taking a shot at it. We are standing up for our truths, flaunting our power suits, high heels and unique personalities without apology. In 2015, according to the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), 44 percent of the graduates in its accredited college program were women. The 2016 National Association of Realtors (NAR) Member Profile reveals that women comprise 62 percent of Realtors in the U.S. market, 21 percent also hold broker licenses and 16 percent hold broker associate licenses. Additionally, women in real estate are no longer limited to salesperson roles, but are builders, welders, roofers, plumbers and environmental assessment experts. It is important to explore just how difficult the journey has been, and to celebrate the fact that we continue to face our challenges head on, impacting our industry sectors positively just by taking up and owning our spots.

At birth, three words determined your life for the foreseeable future—“It’s a girl”—and your journey began. Do you get an education? Do you attend the same schools, participate in the same activities and take the same classes as the male siblings in your family, or do your parents provide you with less, expecting you to grow into a docile young woman who should be seen and not heard? Hopefully the former applied in your case, and off to school you went, pink backpack, pretty dress and all, and life as you knew it changed forever.

According to a study conducted by the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Making Caring Common Project, the “glass ceiling” concept is identified as early as middle school, with girls being
multiple times less likely to gain acceptance into leadership
positions, even by other girls in their grade. One of their most surprising findings was that 23 percent of girls preferred a male student in leadership, and only 8 percent preferred a female leader. Conversely, male students were 40 percent more likely to prefer a male leader, and only 4 percent were more likely to prefer a female.
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Ready to Expand/Move or Renovate? Be Prepared for Common Construction Pitfalls

The thought of expanding your business is exciting. Facilities can have a dramatic positive impact on bottom lines. However, if the end result does not meet your desires and needs, buyer’s remorse can be significant and the reparations costly. There are many common, yet often avoidable, pitfalls that affect construction-related projects. Being aware of these pitfalls in advance and putting the right team, processes and procedures in place, can minimize the opportunity for negative results.

Integrated approach: Each construction-related professional provides a particular strength and unique understanding within their field. Hiring experienced companies with a strong background of collaborating with other professionals to provide integrated delivery is critical to a successful project. Ensure a fully required scope is covered and proposals accurately reflect the required scope.

Stakeholders: Commercial facilities projects involve many different players including business owners, officers, owner’s representatives, architects, engineers, general contractors, subcontractors, construction managers, government entities and, in many situations, real estate brokers. Strong, clear leadership that communicates the scope, budget and schedule early on, defines job rules and expectations, and is prepared to make changes as needed, will facilitate the continued alignment of your project. As the list of stakeholders grows, it can be increasingly difficult to keep everyone in the loop—with the coordination of schedule requirements, the budget and scope changes—and moving toward the same goal.
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Millennials Driving Real Estate Investment

Millennials are Driving the Trend in Real
Estate Investment

Many have been skeptical that Millennials are interested in homebuying, but various reports show Millennials’ growing interest in real estate investment. A RealtyShares report on Americans’ investment preferences indicates that 55 percent of Millennials are interested in real estate. This interest is mirrored in research from Fannie Mae that states 85 percent of Millennials see real estate as a good investment.

A recent Forbes article shows they are driving the trend of real estate investment and investing less in the stock market. A little over half of Americans were investing in the stock market last year, a decrease from almost two-thirds in 2007. In the report, Millennials were asked to choose the “best-performing investment since 2000.” While 40 percent reported uncertainty, 25 percent chose the stock market, and 20 percent of Millennials believed real estate performed the best since 2000.

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Desirée Patno, NAWRB CEO &
President, Named Top 4 Real
Estate Influencer to Follow

“I am honored and humbled to be Ranked #4 amid the Top 10 Real Estate Influencers to Follow from As NAWRB continues our mission to advance women’s diversity and inclusion in the housing ecosystem, I am energized by the depths of conversations we are having to drive women to the forefront with accountability and results. Finding passionate, committed strategic partners and individuals in moving the needle in the right direction for women to have a seat at the table for economic growth is a dream come true.” -Desirée Patno

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Women Entrepreneurs Make
Progress on the Policy Front

When I first began advocating for women entrepreneurs over 15 years ago, I was excited to take on the challenge. At that point the majority of meetings I went to on Capitol Hill consisted mostly of men, and no one was focusing on women business owners. For the first five years, I spent most of my time convincing the Congress that women business owners cared about economic issues that affected the growth of their business instead of the social issues “women” cared about. Not only was there a lack of understanding about women entrepreneurs, there was also a disparity between male-owned and women-owned businesses. The women’s business community’s favorite phrase was “we want a seat at the table.”

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NAWRB Nexus Conference

2017: Early Bird Special Ends
May 31, 2017

The NAWRB Conference is the nucleus, the center, and the source of business sustainability. As a non-partisan organization, NAWRB still has a seat at the table. Our relationships at the forefront allow us an inside look at government contracting forecasts. What opportunities does the future hold? Millions of dollars in procurement contracts and vendor relations were secured from connections made at the 2016 NAWRB Conference. Unlock your business growth!

Register Today!

NAWRB Roaring Thirty Award Nominations! DEADLINE May 31

The NAWRB Roaring Thirty Awards honor the women leaders in the housing ecosystem making a difference with a seat at the table for women. These are trailblazers succeeding through unprecedented obstacles and demonstrating women’s power as influencers in business.

Nominate Today!

In the News!

The Federal Government Achieves Small Business Procurement Contracting Goal for the 4th Consecutive Year
The federal government has reached its small business federal contracting goal for the 4th consecutive year, awarding 24.34% ($99.96 billion) in federal contract dollars to small businesses.

Census Bureau Highlights Travel Data
The U.S. Census Bureau released a series of travel-related products to highlight travel dataduring peak tourist seasons.

Upcoming Events

If an event involves women’s equality and supporting the women’s
movement, NAWRB strives to be there. Join us to take part in making
a better tomorrow!

May 25: InnovateHER Challenge 2017
NAWRB is excited to announce that we are once again co-sponsoring the InnovateHER Challenge 2017 with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)! The InnovateHER competition aims at discovering women entrepreneurs with innovative ideas.

June 8: C.A.R. WomanUP! Conference
This one-day event dedicated to the empowerment of women will help you grow your business, develop your career and connect with other leaders in the California brokerage community.

June 8-9: IMN 2nd Annual Residential Mortgage Notes, Non- & Re-Performing Loans Symposium
With approximately $20 billion in non-performing loans already sold in 2016, the conference is well-timed for the industry to discuss the trading in the market.

June 20-21: MBA National Advocacy Conference 2017
The National Advocacy Conference is the largest advocacy event of the year focused solely on the issues facing real estate finance.

June 20-22: WBENC National Conference & Business Fair 2017
With three days of programming, the conference features lectures and presentations from today’s thought leaders, engaging panel discussions and more.

June 29: The Latino Coalition Economic Opportunity Summit
Guest speakers will delve into the most topical issues during a day that will cover TLC’s “four C’s” of business ownership: Capital, Capacity, Contracts and Cost.

July 16-19: NAWRB 4th Annual Conference, Women’s Collaboration for the Future
The NAWRB Annual Conference will highlight actionable solutions to increase women’s gender equality in the American workplace. The only way to beat the competition tomorrow is by preparing today. Register to take your business to new heights!

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Maintaining a Personal Connection With Your Clients

One lesson I’ve encountered in my tenure as a realtor is that learning to stay away from the shiny object syndrome is a big challenge. I’ve always admired technology and what it has done for my business and industry. I admit I am the agent who downloads every new application I can find and I love finding ways I can apply it to my business. Technology has made my life simpler in many ways, but I believe it has also taken some of the true essence of real estate away from us. We can communicate faster; we don’t have to drive documents around or even worse, fax them; we can instantly have all the information we need about a property at our fingertips; and we have numerous platforms to connect with the people we serve. However, everything comes with a cost. The cost is the threat of losing that personal, face to face connection with our clients.

Something on which I advise my team, and the agents I mentor and train, has always been preventing yourself from being replaced by technology. At the end of the day our clients need us for many things that technology cannot provide. My personal experience has taught me that clients, especially millennials, love using technology; they love being able to sign things digitally on their phone, look up schools in the area, browse homes in a neighborhood by using GPS and even utilize email and text to communicate while they are at work and can’t talk. What I have also learned is more than ever, people are longing for human connection, guidance and support. Believe it or not, millennials are craving this the most.
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Introducing Women’s Homeownership Series: Rachel

Rachel, a single mother living in Hayward, California, enjoys spending time with her son, seeing friends, going to the movies and imagining her dream home. Her weekday morning routine consists of waking up at 6:30 a.m. to pack lunches, dropping Sam off at preschool by 7:30 a.m. and driving 15 minutes north to her job at the local high school.

Rachel loves her job, and she’s great at it; helping her students thrive in a daunting subject matter is incredibly rewarding. Her talent and dedication as an educator recently earned Rachel a job offer from a private San Francisco school. It’s a dream job, head of the mathematics department with the opportunity to create her own programs and curriculums.

During the interview, Rachel fell in love with the school and felt welcomed by the staff. Whether she wants the job isn’t the issue, it’s whether she can make it work.

Commuting to San Francisco from her home is out of the question. A two-hour commute would mean having to leave home before 5:00 a.m. and moving closer, perhaps to Oakland, still results in a commute exceeding an hour.

Despite earning more than the median weekly income of $1,049 for women with a bachelor’s degree or higher, Rachel’s salary doesn’t go very far in the City by the Bay. In fact, after rent, Sam’s preschool tuition is more than all her other bills combined.

Rent for a two-bedroom apartment in San Francisco would run Rachel about $4,550 a month. Neighboring Oakland’s rent is much more affordable, but still averages a whopping $2,500 a month in addition to the commute. With rents averaging $3,330, Rachel wouldn’t even be able to afford downsizing to a one-bedroom in San Francisco.The difficulty in affording a move for her job is an unusual challenge for Rachel, a successful, independent person who has always earned her keep by the sweat on her brow. Her life has developed in line with her achievements. Now, though, Rachel’s efforts have landed her a dream job, but they cannot sustain the living expenses. The scale is tipped, the conditions imbalanced. She is qualified to teach students in San Francisco, but not capable of living in their city.

Rachel’s new salary—an attractive $60,071 a year—is a great increase from her current earnings; but still leaves her with less than $4,000 a month and makes a minimal dent in her projected living expenses. What does she do? What needs to change? What can change?

Let’s keep in mind that for a person seeking a move, Rachel is equipped well. She has a steady job, good credit, is a responsible mother and even has a job secured in her desired city. And yet, the obstacles facing her are powerful and pervasive. What would be the case for a person hoping to move without a good job or a great job offer? Would this feat be impossible and keep them perpetually stuck in their current location?

Being priced out of certain neighborhoods has been a reality for Americans. This is a difficult situation, but could she make it work if she really wanted to? There’s options. Possible options range from having a roommate, maybe two, asking someone to borrow money, even just making do and enduring a long commute to the city.

What if a person doesn’t have somebody to grant them the huge favor of lending money? Consider the impact commuting would have on Rachel’s quality of life. Spending hours driving every day to accommodate her job and rent. Having just a few moments to relax with Sam after her long commute rejuvenates the essence of being a working mother.

Rachel has put in the work, what does the future hold for her options?

Latest Legal Issues in Real Estate Trends

In 2007, the Great Recession hit the real estate market. As a result, there were unprecedented increases in foreclosures—approximately 8 million homes were foreclosed—and short sales due to losses of income and depreciation in the value of homes. The situation was compounded by loans secured by real estate, for which borrowers did not qualify. There were also questionable loan products with adjustable rates, creating a situation where borrowers could no longer afford their properties. As a result, from 2007 to 2011, the real estate industry dealt with short sales and the REO resale market.

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FHFA Performance & Accountability


The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA) established the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to supervise and regulate the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) and the Federal Home Loan (FHL) Bank System. The FHFA is an independent government agency that employs examiners, analysts, attorneys and industry experts. Congress provided the Director of the FHFA the authority to appoint the FHFA as the conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and this authority was utilized in 2008.

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