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bridge loan

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Bridge Loans

By Alexandra Swann, GenEquity Mortgage and Member, CCAR’s REALTOR®/Lender Committee

With the summer home buying season drawing to a close, more and more buyers and their agents inquire about bridge loans. Sellers faced with multiple offers do not want to take an offer with a contingency to sell an existing home, and buyers often do not want to be faced with making two house payments. A bridge loan sounds like a great alternative—and for the right buyer, it can be.

How does a bridge loan work?

The term “bridge loan” can mean a couple of different things in the industry, so when talking to a loan originator, you need to be specific on exactly what you want. A bridge loan is a type of financing that eliminates the need for a contingent offer, making it easier to win a competitive bid. Since there is no contingency, bridge financing can help with shorter closing times.

Types of Bridge Loans

There are currently two popular uses of the term “bridge loan,” as well as a new third type—each with its own advantages and disadvantages.

 Short-Term Home Equity Line of Credit

The first type of bridge loan is a short-term home equity line of credit against the equity in an existing home, which can then be used as the down payment on the new house. This is most common when the prospective buyer has a home with a lot of equity and a small first-lien balance or no balance at all. The new bridge loan is attached behind any existing first, and the buyer suddenly has access to the equity in the house.

Advantages:

This type of bridge loan can solve the problem of not having sufficient down payment because the funds to close on the new home are tied up in the current home. Home equity loans in Texas have no prepayment penalties, so when the house is sold, any first lien and the bridge loan are both paid in full. The only real expenses to the homeowner are any closing costs and the interest paid on the bridge loan during the months until the original primary sells. Also, the buyer is getting a permanent loan on the new primary immediately.

Disadvantages:

The buyer is making two house payments until the original home sells, which can deplete assets and strain income. In Texas, home equity loans are capped at 80% of the value of the property, so the borrower will not be able to access all of the equity. Most importantly, Texas cash-out loans are for primary residences only, so for a borrower to take out a home equity loan knowing that he/she is planning to immediately buy a new primary is dishonest.

Portfolio Loan

The second type of bridge loan is a portfolio loan which is offered by several of the smaller regional banks. In this type of loan, there is no dishonesty because the lender understands that the loan is for the purpose of purchasing a new house. The lender qualifies the borrower and then orders two appraisals—one on the current primary and one on the new purchase.

Advantages:

Like the home equity loan above, this type of bridge loan can solve the problem of not having sufficient down payment because the funds to close on the new home are tied up in the current home. It is set up to have no prepayment penalties; when the house is sold, any first lien and the bridge loan are both paid in full. As before, the only real expenses to the homeowner are any closing costs and the interest paid on the bridge loan during the months until the original primary sells. Furthermore, the buyer is getting a permanent loan on the new primary immediately.

Disadvantages:

As with a home equity loan, the buyer is making two house payments until the original home sells, which can deplete assets and strain income. Most lenders of this type of bridge loan also cap the loan at 80% of the value of the property, but in some cases, the lender may go as high as 90%. This is very rare, however. Regardless, the borrower will not be able to access all of the equity.

The New Bridge Loan: A Short-Term Loan on the New Primary

The new, third type of bridge loan is not really a bridge loan, but because it is being sold to REALTORS® as a bridge loan, the REALTOR®/Lender committee felt we should include it here.

With this loan, the lender assesses the equity in the current home as the future down payment on the new primary and then makes a short-term loan on the new primary at 100% of the purchase price. The borrower does not have any payments on the new home for a set period of time—usually six months—while he/she is waiting to sell the prior home. The borrower is responsible for six months of interest payments, but these are generally “rolled” into the costs for the prior home. So when that home sells, the bank is paid, the lien is released, and the current home is refinanced into a new, permanent, fixed-rate mortgage.

Advantages:

The advantages of this type of financing are obvious. The buyer is able to purchase a new home without first selling the former home, without the financial pressure of two house payments, and without having to qualify with two house payments.

Disadvantages:

If for any reason the borrower’s prior home does not sell during the period set by the bank, he/she is going to be making two house payments plus interest. This could be a huge issue for a borrower who really does not have the financial resources to make both payments. Although we are accustomed to a red-hot housing market in most of DFW, remember that we have buyers coming in from all parts of the country, and those housing markets may be much cooler than ours. If the house being sold has not been priced or marketed properly, the buyer with the bridge loan may find themselves in a financially disastrous situation. Another major concern is that the qualifying situation may change during the period between the home purchase and the refinance of the new home. There are no guarantees that the buyer will qualify for the refinance, and the terms after the initial period can be quite onerous. The last major issue is that the buyer is not locking in the rate and terms of the permanent mortgage when buying the new primary residence. If rates rise or values decline, which are not unprecedented, it could be terribly painful for the buyer at the time of the refinance.

Determining if Bridge Loan is a Good Option

Bridge loans are simply tools; they are not inherently good or bad. Like most mortgage products, they are highly appropriate for some buyers and extremely inappropriate for others. No borrower should ever take a bridge loan if he/she really cannot afford to make two payments. If the buyer really does not have strong cash reserves or the income to support two house payments, that buyer needs to sell his/her house before buying a new one. Better to miss out on the perfect home today than to buy that home and be unable to make the payments nine months later. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. 

For these and other questions about lending, contact the REALTOR®/Lender Committee at RealtorLender@ccar.net.

Real Estate

From Little House of Horror to Conceivable Contender

Anyone who has ever gone house hunting has encountered at least one of these in their search: A house of horror. If it isn’t written on their faces the moment they pull into the driveway, it will be by the time you turn the knob and invite potential buyers inside.

It is understandable if an undesirable home is being sought out by an investor skilled at transforming an ugly house into a profitable gem. The situation is also ideal for DIY enthusiasts who don’t mind rolling up their sleeves. Or, individuals who buy fixer uppers only to tear them down to acquire the land from which to build their dream house. Then, there are the rest of us—traditional buyers who prefer to walk into houses and envision how we can transform them with minor touches. We shouldn’t be tempted to strike a match, throw it, and run out.

If your seller places a buyer-repellant house on the market, we can only imagine what you, the REALTOR® in charge of selling that home, must contend with. The open houses are unfruitful, the ridiculous offers don’t even warrant a response, and yes, the excruciating wait and marketing efforts don’t yield the result you or the homeowners envision.

Hope, however, is not lost. Here are several simple solutions that the sellers can implement to sale their home faster and for a higher price tag.

Turn a once terrible reveal into a great deal.

Quick fixes like pressure washing the exterior of the house and landscaping the yard can make a property attractive to home buyers.
Quick fixes like pressure washing the exterior of the house and landscaping the yard can make a property attractive to home buyers.

It is one thing to not have enough bedrooms or bathrooms, a generous backyard, an updated kitchen, and the three-car garage that makes buying the house a deal breaker. However, it is another if the house in question meets all requirements but appears to be in a questionable state, even if nothing is structurally wrong with it.

Sometimes what a buyer can and cannot see causes red flags to emerge. Does the abundance of pet hair or pet smells have them concerned about the cleanliness and the air quality of the home? Are the dingy walls or orange carpeting drawing away from otherwise coveted features like coffered ceiling beams, crown moldings, or original hardwood floors? Does the sight of an overgrown jungle-like backyard and slanted storage shed have them envisioning weekend days spent slaving away just to access the space?

While the age of a home can explain stains and cracks a buyer sees, those details are oftentimes attributed to a lack of proper maintenance. It can be hard for the seller to see and think like the buyer. Since they are accustomed to their way of life, they might not notice the saturated scent of cigarette smoke that lingers on buyers’ clothes even after they emerged from the property hours prior. Although the seller fixed water damage, they might be oblivious to how potential buyers view visible stains and patches as out-of-pocket expenses they will accrue to remedy the situation.

When you meet with your seller to discuss placing the home on the market, be honest with them. Discuss what improvements they can make to not only get top value for their home, but also make someone walk in and fall in love with it so much they are tempted to buy it. They can avoid unnecessary scares with a few smart repairs. The wall patches, dull walls, and dated cabinetry can be livened with fresh paint. The gutters can easily be reattached. The shrubbery can be manicured for curb appeal. The low water pressure can be solved by a skilled plumber. The bathroom tiles can be caulked. If it helps, invite them to see other  comparables in their area to see how their house stacks up with one that is nicely presented.

Unclutter the clutter.

Sometimes, it isn’t the house itself that is the problem. As stable as a structure can be, buyers can get the illusion that something is amiss. They instantly chalk any imperfection with unforeseen problems that diminishes their interest in the house or results in a lowball offer. No one wants to feel as if they are standing in a construction site, a hoarder’s haven, or a childcare center gone awry.

Crowded kitchen counters and bathroom vanities tend to signal lack of storage space. This is also true for messy, overpacked closets and cluttered children’s room. Simply put, when a house is listed on the market, it shouldn’t look like it would have belonged in an episode of Clean House.

Time is a commodity, so it is understandable if your sellers are busy people. However, if they are motivated to sell the house, they should also be open to your suggestions. Suggest hiring a home staging professional who can help par down excess items or an experienced organizer who will transform their chaos into an organized system. If space is still an issue, the seller can pack up items not used on a daily basis and relocate any excess furniture into a storage unit while the home is on the market.

While bringing in professionals may be required in some situations, most homeowners would prefer to not spend an arm and a leg each time they turn around. More than likely, your seller will balk at the thought of spending any more money on a property they hope to relinquish themselves from soon. Motivate them with this obvious fact: They can sell faster and for a larger amount if the buyers don’t walk in immediately adding up what they must spend out-of-pocket to bring that property to their livable standards.

loans

Approving Buyers Just Got Easier

By Jake Perry, Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation and Member, CCAR’s REALTOR®/Lender Committee

Fannie Mae just made it easier to qualify borrowers by making it less challenging to exclude debts they are not paying. As many of you know, one of the most common problems lenders face is overcoming high debt to income ratios (DTI).

Along with credit, capacity as it relates to DTI very commonly causes a loan to not be approved. Capacity is defined by Freddie Mac as “Lenders look at your income, employment history, savings, and monthly debt payments, such as credit card charges and other financial obligations, to make sure that you have the means to take on a mortgage comfortably.”

Often, the cause of the high DTI is not even the borrower’s debt. It’s simply debt for which they cosigned for someone else.

How many of us have had clients that we could not approve because they co-signed for a car, a credit card, or a student loan? In a lot of cases, the buyers didn’t even co-sign; they were borrowers for their adult child or relatives, but they don’t make the payments. Good lenders ask detailed questions up front about these debt obligations. If a debt is reliably paid by somebody else, it seems only fair that a lender would ignore that debt. Until now, Fannie Mae required that the debt be counted unless it was co-signed, not when the debt did not include the third party on the debt.

Fannie Mae recently made changes to enable lenders to exclude debts that the borrower does not pay. This includes non-mortgage debts like installment loans, student loans, and some other monthly debt,- as defined by Fannie Mae.

Documentation must be provided that the debt has been paid by another party for the previous 12 months. The other party does not have to be obligated on the debt as it was in the past.

This change to DTI is a tremendous shift. It means that some of your buyers will have more opportunities to buy the house that they want. They no longer have to settle for a less expensive house that they really didn’t want or, in some cases, be a buyer instead of a renter.

TREPAC Logo

Collin County TREPAC-Supported Runoff Candidates

Each year, the Collin County Association of REALTORS®, in accord with the Texas Association of REALTORS®, interviews local candidates seeking election to public office across Collin County. This year, REALTORS® interviewed over 45 candidates seeking office.  The questions asked by our REALTOR® volunteers during the interviews ranged from taxes to immediate real estate issues and heavily emphasized private property rights and home ownership. The Texas Association of REALTORS® Political Action Committee (TREPAC) supports the following candidates for the June 10 Municipal Runoff Elections as recommended by your local REALTOR® volunteers:

ALLEN

Carl Clemencich, Seat 2

A resident of Allen since 1994, Clemencich is a Certified Public Accountant with over 30 years experience in Accounting and Corporate Finance. He has a long history of volunteering for both Allen ISD and the Allen community as a whole and has served on several city boards like the Economic Development Corporation, Park & Rec, and the Allen Community Development Board.

“I will continue to focus on keeping our community safe for those that live, work, shop and play in Allen.  As such, we must ensure our first responders have the best training and equipment in order to perform their responsibilities effectively and safely.  In addition, I will continue to involve the community in education and volunteer opportunities including the Citizens Police & Fire Academies, Citizens on Patrol, CERT and other types of educational programs.”

Community Involvement:

  • Allen ISD School Board Trustee, Place 2
  • Member: Allen Citizens Emergency Response Team
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • “Citizens on Patrol” Volunteer for the Allen Police Department

FRISCO

Brian Livingston

Brian Livingston, Seat 6

Named the 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year by the Frisco Chamber of Commerce, Livingston and his wife have been credited with providing approximately 125 jobs through their businesses. They operate the 6 unit Celebrity Café & Bakery brand, Texadelphia Frisco and Texadelphia Plano restaurants, and Strivant Health.

Livingston is an advocate and fundraiser for pancreatic cancer research. He is also a community leader who supports various local charities including Frisco Family Services, Frisco Fast Pacs, and Junior League of Collin County.

“The future of Frisco depends on the strength of our infrastructure; our roads, water, power as well as our police and fire departments. We have seen tremendous growth in our population over the last decade. It is imperative that we prepare the core of our city for the future.  The city needs to ensure that our citizens continue to receive the quality services from the city that they are used to receiving.”

Community Involvement:

  • Vice Chairman, Frisco Board of Adjustment/Construction Board of Appeals
  • Carroll Elementary PTA
  • Watch D.O.G.S.
  • Boys & Girls Club of Collin County
  • Americas Defenders
  • Frisco Education Foundation

PLANO

David DownsDavid Downs, Plano City Council Place 8

Downs has lived in Plano at various times since 1972 and for a total of 24 years. He has personally fundraised for various agencies and organizations over the years during his terms of service on boards or as part of programs to benefit those less fortunate or suffering from illness. In 2004 he was diagnosed with an aggressive malignant form of Melanoma and caught it early enough to eliminate it.  The experience led him to work with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and raise tens of thousands of dollars through various endurance events.  Eventually this led to the completion of an Ironman Triathlon, which helped solidify his belief in preparation and perseverance.

“It’s been truly an honor to serve the City of Plano residents these past 3 1/2 years.  We’ve accomplished so much to improve our City in areas of need and re-establish Plano as the place to live, work and play.  Each year the accolades continue to roll in, reaffirming the vision as well as the decisions being made to implement that vision.”

Community Involvement:

  • Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
  • Plano Youth Leadership
  • Leadership Plano
  • CASA of Collin County
  • Art Centre of Plano
  • Parks & Recreation Board
  • Planning & Zoning Comission
  • Collin College Education Foundation
  • Collin County Healthcare Foundation
  • District Chair for Northern Lights District BSA
  • Children’s Advocacy Centre

McKinney

Scott Elliott, Seat 3

Scott has served as a former Chairman for the McKinney Community Development Corporation and Campaign Chairman for United Way, as well as former board members of
Center for Children & Families and Society of Information Management. A graduate of Leadership McKinney, he is an Investor and Account Executive of Financial Gravity and the COO of Alagar Inc.

“McKinney has provided everything important to us as a family: a place to exercise our faith, deep friendships, a safe city, recreation, and opportunities to serve. Our citizens deserve a strong leader who is transparent and accessible, will listen to the people in the district, and has a demonstrated ability to work with others.”

Community Involvement:

  • Board Member of Global Sports Partners

Dusttin PearsonDusttin Pearson, Seat 1

Pearson is a native Texan who credits his parents, who were small business owners, for instilling the importance of personal responsibility. His career as a Healthcare IT Project Manager requires him to adapt critical thinking and an analytical mindset to finding solutions.

“I believe I should not simply be a member of the community but utilize my skill set to assist in influencing the community which I live, in a positive manner. My campaign is built upon a foundation of conservative principles to address complex issues currently facing McKinney.”

Derek Baker, At Large

An 8th generation Texas, Baker is a licensed realtor with Keller Williams. Prior to that, he was a conservative political activist for 25 years, worked in Congress for members of the U.S. Senate and House including Mike Pence (R-IN), Senator Phil Gramm (R-TX), and Representative Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), and the U.S. House Republican Study Committee. He also served as the Director of Federal Affairs for Americans for Limited Government. Among his community service, he was appointed to serve on the Collin County Child Protective Services Board in 2012 and was reappointed in 2016. He currently serves as a board member for Foster Friends, a local charity that assists those affected by the foster care system. A sports fanatic and amateur athlete, Baker has competed in over 100 5k and 10k races, as well as marathons and triathlons.

McKinney has a well established reputation across Collin County as a city that’s difficult to do business with, whether we like it or not or agree with that assessment. While I believe this reputation is starting to change and improvements have already been made by the current council and new city manager, I do not want to be complacent and assume all our issues are resolved. I will advocate for a complete top to bottom review of our policies, procedures, and ordinances as they relate to McKinney’s ability to quickly respond to current and future development opportunities. It is ultimately the responsibility of the city council to attract and retain new business.

Community Involvement:

  • Assistant Treasurer of Collin County Child Protective Services
  • Board member of Foster Friends
  • Assistant Treasurer of Collin County Conservative Republicans Club
  • Member of Collin County Association of REALTORS Government Affairs Committee
  • Republican Precinct Chair, Precinct 131 in McKinney
  • Chairman & Founding Board Member of Texans for Freedom & Liberty
paperwork

New Credit Reporting Changes To Impact Real Estate Closings Positively and Negatively

By Alexandra Swann, GenEquity Mortgage and Member, CCAR’s REALTOR®/Lender Committee

On July 1, the three major credit reporting agencies—Transunion, Experian, and Equifax—are going to implement some major changes to the way they report judgments and tax liens on individual credit reports. As with many new rules, this one has both positive and negative ramifications for your borrowers.

So what are these changes? In accordance with the National Consumer Assistance Plan, the three major bureaus will no longer be able to report public records—specifically civil judgments and tax liens—without verifying three pieces of consumer Personal Identifying Information (PII). These three items are:

  1. Name of consumer
  2. Address of consumer
  3. Social Security number and/or date of birth

Civil judgments and tax liens not containing all three elements must be deleted from consumer credit reports.

Additionally, the new standards require that the three agencies must update their records every 90 days with the courthouse. This means that changes to public records—such as a paid judgment—will show up sooner than they have in the past.

What does this mean for you and your clients?

The Good:

In the short term, it should mean that virtually all civil judgments (the official statement from the Consumer Data Industry Association says “a vast majority”) and about 50% of tax liens will be removed from credit files on July 1. Since public records have a negative impact on credit scores, the immediate result should be improved credit scores for borrowers who are plagued with public records.

Since the rule requires that public record reporting be updated every 90 days, we should also see paid judgments updating more quickly on credit reports. This can help scores to improve dramatically, and it can also allow more borrowers to get approved.

Going forward, John and Mary Smith should not have public records and tax liens from 10 other John and Mary Smiths reporting erroneously on their credit reports. The new requirements should eliminate some of the errors today that occur among people with common names and should help to protect the innocent from having their credit ruined just because they share a name with someone with credit problems.

The Bad:

The new law will also shield the guilty—at least for a while, and that may be very problematic. Although tax liens and civil judgments may be initially removed for a time, the attorneys and government entities can refile with proper information. That may result in a time lag between initial pre-qualification and final loan approval, where a judgment or tax lien that was initially removed has now reappeared on the credit report complete with all identifying information. Since lenders have to recheck credit as late as 48 hours before closing, this could cause serious issues for underwriting.

Also, even though the reporting requirements have changed with regard to tax liens and civil judgments, underwriting standards have not. No government agency or government-sponsored enterprise will make a loan to a consumer with an open tax lien or judgment. As part of the mortgage application process, the consumer is asked whether he or she has either tax liens or judgments against him or her. If a consumer is less than truthful, the loan originator may not know that there is a problem, since in the past, lenders have relied heavily on credit reporting information to fill in gaps in consumers’ memories, so the judgment or tax lien may not be discovered until well into the underwriting process. This could potentially kill some transactions that looked great at the point of pre-qualification.

How to Protect Yourself:

Whether you are a buyer’s agent or a listing agent, talk to the loan originator. Make sure he or she is asking the right questions. If the loan is a government loan—VA, FHA or USDA, ask if the loan originator has run the borrower information through CAIVRS—HUD’s Credit Alert System—prior to issuing a pre-qualification letter. This system catches many hidden issues that torpedo files.

Finally, recognize that the title company is going to be an increasingly important partner in the loan transaction. The title company can search for public records, liens and judgments and can help identify hidden issues.

For more information on this or any lending issues, please contact your REALTOR®/Lender Committee at realtorlender@ccar.net.

mckinneyhome

McKinney Residents Now Eligible for SETH 5 Star Texas Advantage Program

Courtesy of the City of McKinney

The City of McKinney Housing & Community Development Department has announced the city has been added to the Southeast Texas Housing Finance Corporation (SETH) 5 Star Texas Advantage Program.

The SETH 5 Star Program makes homeownership possible for families and individuals wanting to purchase a home in McKinney by providing support for down payment and closing costs. The program provides qualified buyers a grant for up to 6 percent of the total loan amount. The grant can be used toward a buyer’s down payment and closing costs. Mortgage options include 30-year fixed rate FHA, VA, USDA, and conventional financing. The program is intended to assist a broad range of families that include middle- and low-income households.

With this program, there is no first time homebuyer requirement. All borrowers on the mortgage loan must complete the SETH on-line Homebuyer Education Course. The program can be used for the purchase of single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and owner-occupied properties containing up to four units. Interested homebuyers can find more information about the program here.

home foundation

10 Steps for Maintaining Your Home’s Foundation

By Jessica Barker, Arch Foundation Repair and Member, CCAR’s Affiliate Committee

Happy Spring! As warm weather moves into North Texas, it is important that your clients understand the essentials required to maintain a home’s foundation. Here are 10 tips to keep their foundation in good shape:

1. Make sure that the soil around the foundation is graded so that water flows away from it. The soil should drop 4–6 inches, every 4–6 feet.

2. Avoid trapping water against the foundation. Water can be trapped against the building by sidewalks, raised flower beds, metal edging or other borders that do not have openings to allow water to escape.

3. Place soaker hoses around the foundation to keep soil damp during dry periods. Soaker hoses should be placed 6–12 inches away from the home. In addition, hoses should be replaced every couple of years.

4. Keep the majority of shrubs around the house under 3-feet tall. Large plants need large amounts of water, which can cause foundation problems.

5. If there are large trees around the house, consider installing root barriers to keep them from pulling water out from under the foundation.

6. Use downspout extensions or splash blocks on all down spouts to move excess rain water away from the foundation.

7. Make sure that all paved surfaces that border the foundation slope away from it—this is particularly important for pool decks.

8. Keep the soil around the foundation between 2–4 inches below the brick line or edge of a house’s siding. The soil helps to hold the water in the ground and reduces seasonal settlement.

9. If the sewer becomes blocked or backed up, have it tested for leaks. Many times, sewer blockages are caused by roots, which mean there are openings in the sewer.

10. Leaking sprinkler lines and pool circulating systems cause foundation problems. Have the systems tested for leaks every 2–3 years.

Community Outreach Committee

CCAR’s Community Outreach Committee: Serving Collin County

Sometimes it is a simple act of selflessness that stands out in one’s mind. Brandon Hern witnessed such an act.

“My oldest son donated all his savings to help kids at his school afford books. When I asked him why he so quickly donated all his savings, his response was simple. ‘Dad, they need books right now more than I need toys.’”

Brandon Hern“What attracted me to that Committee was purpose. A sense of service has always been my core driver in life, and this Committee is geared towards finding creative ways to support Collin County residents in times of need.”

—Brandon Hern, Community Outreach Committee Vice-Chair

 

Hern joined the Community Outreach Committee a little more than a year ago to do the same thing: Help people. The Community Outreach Committee was established to implement and support outreach programs in Collin County. Members of the Committee organize events like toy drives and a pancake breakfast to raise donations for local non-profit organizations, including the Boys & Girls Clubs of Collin County. In addition, they raise funds for the North Texas REALTORS® in Action Foundation, which implements outreach programs to aide local areas impacted by natural disasters. This includes providing charitable donations, volunteer work, education, and charitable housing initiatives.

Realizing the value of volunteerism, Hern encourages his two sons, ages 4 and 10, to participate in several events the group organizes. Last year, the trio was involved in the Relay For Life of McKinney-Allen.

“What attracted me to that Committee was purpose,” said Hern, a CCAR Affiliate member and loan officer for Integrity Mortgage Corp of Texas. “A sense of service has always been my core driver in life and this Committee is geared towards finding creative ways to support Collin County residents in times of need.”

If you are interested in being a part of the Community Outreach Committee, click here to complete the Committee Volunteer Form.

 

TREPAC Logo

Collin County TREPAC-Supported Candidates

Each year, the Collin County Association of REALTORS®, in accord with the Texas Association of REALTORS®, interviews local candidates seeking election to public office across Collin County. This year, REALTORS® interviewed over 45 candidates seeking office.  The questions asked by our REALTOR® volunteers during the interviews ranged from taxes to immediate real estate issues and heavily emphasized private property rights and home ownership. The Texas Association of REALTORS® Political Action Committee (TREPAC) supports the following candidates for the May 6 Municipal Elections as recommended by your local REALTOR® volunteers:

ALLEN

Steve TerrellSteve Terrell, Allen Mayor

Terrell, who was appointed Mayor since 1997, has been a resident of Allen since 1980 and Allen business owner since 1986. Under his leadership, the city gained the Allen Station Park, Celebration Park, numerous neighborhood parks, the Don Rodenbaugh Natatorium, Allen City Hall, five Fire Stations, 50+ miles of hike/bike trails, the Allen Library, the Edge Skate Park, the Senior Center, Watters Creek Golf Course, Allen Event Center, The Old Stone Dam redevelopment, the Heritage Village, and the Train Depot.

“I want to see government run like a successful business. The city has 97,000 customers (residents), and I want them to receive quality services in the most cost-effective method possible. The citizens of Allen expect this level of service. Long range planning, coupled with citizen input and board recommendations, make it possible to prioritize and budget for future upgrades and needs.”

Community Involvement:

  • Mayor’s Committee
  • Voting Representative: NCTCOG  and Dallas Regional Mobility Committee
  • Board of Directors: North Texas Commission and Medical City Plano/Frisco
  • Board Member: NCTCOG 9-1- 1 Advisory committee and Regional Transportation Commission
  • Advisory Board: Allen Chamber of Commerce, Collin County Meals on Wheels
  • Charter Member Allen Noon Lions Club
  • Member: Allen Noon Rotary Club, Allen Masonic Lodge #1435, Heritage Guild
  • Friends of the Allen Public Library, Christ the Servant Lutheran Church
  • Donor to: Friends of Scouting, Foundation for Allen Schools

Shirley MangrumShirley Mangrum, Allen City Council Place 2

After moving to Allen in 1984, Mangrum has spent countless hours in volunteering within the City of Allen and in different organizations. She has served on several boards, including the Planning and Zoning for the City of Allen.

“We have some great and exciting things happening in Allen! With the continuing growth at the Villages of Allen, Allen Outlet Mall and the success of Watters Creek, it is only a matter of time before we see Allen continue to grow more by seeking out great developers for our 121 corridor and along highway 75.  I look forward to working with the City Council, Allen Economic Development Corporation and City Staff to ensure we continue to bring in quality commercial and retail developers.”

Community Involvement:

  • Member of Allen Rotary Club
  • Leadership Allen Graduate
  • Leadership Allen Alumni Board
  • Kids First Committee
  • Special Olympics Committee
  • City of Allen Planning and Zoning
  • Board member: Allen Public Safety Recovery Fund
  • Recipient of Outstanding Volunteer for AISD

FRISCO

Jeff Cheney-FriscoJeff Cheney, Frisco Mayor

Cheney is the owner of Frisco’s top producing real estate agencies, The Cheney Group. In 2007, he was elected by the citizens of Frisco to serve on City Council and re-elect in 2010 and 2013. He has also served five times as Mayor Pro Tem.

“As proven by my tenure on Frisco City Council, I will continue my commitment to giving Frisco Police and Fire departments the resources they require to keep our community safe. I was proud to support the construction of Fire Stations 7 and 8 as a Council priority, even in the midst of an economic downturn.  We also worked to establish SAFER, a partnership with FISD, which earned the prestigious ESRI President’s Award. Situational Awareness For Emergency Response (or S.A.F.E.R.) is a unique program that gives Frisco firefighters, EMTs, and police officers immediate access to school building information — including ‘real time’ video – while heading to campus emergencies at any of the district’s schools.”

Community Involvement:

  • Budget and Audit Committee Chair
  • Frisco’s Technology Committee
  • Mayor’s Youth Council Liaison
  • Frisco Education Foundation Board Member

Tim Nelson-FriscoTim Nelson, Frisco City Council Place 5

An officer in the United States Army Reserve and a real estate entrepreneur and investor, Nelson has lived in Frisco for 12 years. As a Soldier and businessman, he has visited five continents, over 25 countries, and most of the United States. Through his travels, he has experienced some of the best and worst that national and local governments have to offer. Nelson believes successful governments are comprised of individuals that make strong, effective and sometimes difficult decisions in a timely manner.

“My goal is to become a true representative of the people. I’ve developed many strong relationships over my 12 years in Frisco. Most importantly, I listen to what is happening in my neighbors’ lives and understand what is important to them. I reach out to all that have an issue or concern whether I agree or disagree with their opinion. My goal is to champion the will of the people and find compromise and consensus among the council. Nothing is more important than ensuring the safety and security of those that choose to live and work in Frisco.”

Community Involvement:

  • Frisco Charter Review Committee
  • Smith Elementary PTA
  • Hillcrest-Lebanon HOA Board of Directors
  • Heritage Association of Frisco
  • Frisco Veterans Advisory Committee
  • FISD Independent Study Mentorship Program Mentor
  • Boy Scouts of America

PLANO

Harry LaRosiliereHarry LaRosilierePlano Mayor – City Council Place 6

Plano’s Mayor since 2013, LaRosiliere works to protect the quality of life citizens work so hard to achieve. His passion for the city and commitment to lasting infrastructure, great neighborhoods, first class parks, outstanding local schools and protecting the suburban fabric of the community has helped make and keep Plano the best place to live, work and raise a family.

“The opportunity to serve as the Mayor of Plano is a privilege and honor that I enthusiastically embrace. I am fully committed to helping Plano maintain its position as a vibrant work center and desirable family-friendly city – a City of Excellence.”

Community Involvement:

  • Advisory Board Member of CASA of Collin County
  • President’s Council at Texas Health Resources
  • Plano Metro Rotary Club
  • Plano Chamber of Commerce
  • Vice Chair of Transportation and Advisory Board member for U.S Conference of Mayors
  • President of MetroPlex Mayors Association
  • Regional Transportation Council

Kayci PrinceKayci Prince,  Plano City Council Place 4

Prince, who grew up in Plano, has been working for a local hospital for the last ten years as a marketing and public relations professional. Prior to that, she worked in Congressman Sam Johnson’s office. A graduate of Plano West Senior High School, she went on to Southern Methodist University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Corporate Communications and Public Affairs with a minor in Political Science. She later received a Master of Business Administration degree from Texas A&M Commerce.

“Great people are the heartbeat and core of any great community, and Plano is full of great people. In order to remain a vibrant city, we must continually work to keep our citizens engaged and invested in our community.”

Community Involvement:

  • Plano Metro Rotary Club
  • Collin College Foundation Board of Directors,
  • Christie Elementary PTA member and volunteer,
  • Plano Chamber of Commerce Public Policy Committee,
  • Plano Chamber of Commerce

David DownsDavid Downs, Plano City Council Place 8

Downs has lived in Plano at various times since 1972 and for a total of 24 years. He has personally fundraised for various agencies and organizations over the years during his terms of service on boards or as part of programs to benefit those less fortunate or suffering from illness. In 2004 he was diagnosed with an aggressive malignant form of Melanoma and caught it early enough to eliminate it.  The experience led him to work with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and raise tens of thousands of dollars through various endurance events.  Eventually this led to the completion of an Ironman Triathlon, which helped solidify his belief in preparation and perseverance.

“It’s been truly an honor to serve the City of Plano residents these past 3 1/2 years.  We’ve accomplished so much to improve our City in areas of need and re-establish Plano as the place to live, work and play.  Each year the accolades continue to roll in, reaffirming the vision as well as the decisions being made to implement that vision.”

Community Involvement:

  • Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
  • Plano Youth Leadership
  • Leadership Plano
  • CASA of Collin County
  • Art Centre of Plano
  • Parks & Recreation Board
  • Planning & Zoning Comission
  • Collin College Education Foundation
  • Collin County Healthcare Foundation
  • District Chair for Northern Lights District BSA
  • Children’s Advocacy Centre

WYLIE

Eric HogueEric Hogue, Wylie Mayor

Hogue was elected as the 45th Mayor of Wylie, Texas on May 10, 2008, and is currently serving his third term. Previously, he served the City of Wylie for over ten years: Seven years as a member of the City Council and three years as a member of the Wylie Planning and Zoning Commission. During his time in office, Hogue has been actively involved in the construction of Wylie’s Fire Station 3, the Wylie Municipal Complex and the City Wylie Public Works Facility, and the remodel of the City of Wylie Public Safety Building, Founder’s Park, Community Park, and the Wylie Senior Citizen Recreation Center, as well as improvements and expansion of FM 1378, East Brown, and West Brown streets.

Community Involvement:

  • Chairman of the Board for the Birmingham Land Trust
  • President of the Governing Board for the Texas School for the Deaf
  • Member of the Board of Trustees for Baylor Scott and White Lake Pointe Medical Center
  • Honorary Board Member of the Children’s Chorus of Collin County, Texas
FHA Buyers and the Appraisal Process

FHA Buyers and the Appraisal Process

by Vaughn Kerkorian of Kerkorian Residential Appraisals, REALTOR®/Lender Committee

It is common to hear that sellers are shying away from considering a purchase contract when the buyer is securing an FHA mortgage. Often the sellers may be led to believe that the FHA application process for the borrower is difficult, an FHA loan is a “loan of last resort,” or the FHA appraisal process is so cumbersome that very few properties will ever appraise to the contract price. In addition, there may be so many conditions on the appraisal report that the transaction may be scuttled.

Not considering a buyer with an FHA financing option could limit your buyer pool. Not all buyers are cash purchasers, have sufficient funds for a qualifying down payment, or are considered eligible for conventional financing. FHA financing options increase the buyer pool for your clients.  Remember, the appraisal contingency clause within an FHA purchase contract can be negotiated. FHA eligible properties include single family residences, townhouses, manufactured housing, 2-4 multifamily, and approved condominium projects.

To save time, consider the following tips to increase the efficiency of the FHA appraisal process:

  • Appraiser will need full access to every room, including access to the attic and/or crawl space and all attached or detached buildings.
  • Ensure appliances that are conveying are functional; an appraiser must observe that they are operational.
  • If a septic system is present, provide the location of the septic box portal and leaching field.

Be aware of the FHA Minimum Property Requirements (MPR), which are the general requirements for FHA-insured homes. These consist of:

  • Safety: The home should protect the health and safety of the occupants.
  • Security: The home should protect the security of the property.
  • Soundness: The property should not have physical deficiencies or conditions affecting its structural integrity.

In addition to existing properties, the FHA sets standards for new properties. The FHA Minimum Property Standards (MPS) refers to regulatory requirements relating to the safety, soundness and security of new construction dwellings (proposed, under construction, less than one year old, and 100% completed).

FHA does not require the repair of cosmetic or minor defects, deferred maintenance, or normal wear if they do not affect safety, security, or soundness. Examples include missing handrails, cracked window glass, damaged drywall, defective floor finish or carpeting, and defective paint surfaces built after 1978. As with a conventional loan, FHA would require further inspection if there is evidence of termite infestation, inoperative or inadequate plumbing and heating or electrical systems, leaking or worn-out roofs, foundation damage, drainage problems, or potential structural failure.

Click here to access the HUD / FHA Single Family Housing Policy Handbook. CCAR REALTOR®/Lender Committee will gladly highlight why sellers and buyers should not be hesitant with FHA financing options.

For questions about this article or other lender topics, please contact your REALTORS®/Lender Committee at realtorlender@ccar.net.