News

Recent news, business resources and press releases.
FAAR Partners with Local Housing Non-Profits to Expand Affordable Housing Opportunities

FAAR Partners with Local Housing Non-Profits to Expand Affordable Housing Opportunities

By Kim McClellan, RCE, Public Policy Director

On any given day, 200 adults and children are homeless in our community.  Homelessness is often a root cause of many other issues such as poor health, trouble in school, and lack of employment. 

 

No one can feel stable without a place to call home

The Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS® (FAAR) has partnered with local housing non-profits to help expand affordable housing opportunities through the launch of the Stable Homes Partnership. 

FAAR began working last year with housing non-profits through the Continuum of Care (CoC), a federally-mandated local planning body that coordinates housing and services for homeless families and individuals

Under the CoC umbrella, FAAR partnered with Micah Ecumenical Ministries, Loisann’s Hope House, Empowerhouse, and the Thurman Brisben Center to create a marketing and recruitment plan to expand the pool of property owners’ in the region willing to rent to families and individuals facing housing challenges. 

The partner organizations assist tenants with rent and security deposits, while also providing case management and regular property inspections to smooth the path for long-term stability and success.  Property owners engaged in the program have access to a ready pool of quality tenants paying fair market rent, reducing costly downtime advertising and showing their properties

FAAR and the CoC agencies hosted two public information sessions on this program at the end of March.  These informational meetings featured an overview of the program and panel discussions with both property owners and case managers involved in the program. 

The program administrators aim to expand their pool of landlords by following up with the attendees of those meetings

Fredericksburg REALTORS® Foundation: Changing of the Guard

Meet President-Elect Anne Overington

 

The Fredericksburg REALTORS® Foundation has enjoyed many years of forward-thinking leadership under President Mary Beth Rich.  When Mary Beth joined the Foundation in 2014, the group made just 3 grant awards.  In her first year as President, the Foundation made 7 awards for a total of $17,250.  In 2018, the Foundation made 11 awards for a total of $30,319.83 granted out.  FAAR and the Foundation are grateful for the incredible work Mary Beth inspired as President.  It is now time for her to hand the baton to the next in line for a new chapter in the Foundation’s history.

Anne Overington has served on the Foundation since 2017 and comes to the group with a long history of giving back.  Get to know what makes her tick and what she has planned for the future of the Foundation!

 

Name:  Anne Overington
Company:  Century 21 Redwood, The Overington Team
Years in real estate:  12
Passions:  Family, The Middle East, adorable grandchildren, helping seniors, and volunteerism

 

 

1. How did you get your start on the Foundation?

Kim McClellan with FAAR called and asked me to meet her to discuss the opportunities. She had heard of my involvement with the Alzheimer’s Association and other community non-profits and thought this might be a good fit. We’ve lived in Fredericksburg for over 30 years and my desire to help area residents continues to grow. After learning more about the Foundation’s mission, I was thrilled to be a part of this incredible resource for our community.

 

2. In your opinion, what kind of impact does the Foundation have on our community?

The impact is increasing as we elevate our visibility and involvement in the Fredericksburg area. I think there may be a misconception about REALTORS® being “Million Dollar Producers” and that can translate into a public perception that we set ourselves apart from the community. That couldn’t be farther from the truth!  As you know, many of us are committed to bettering the communities in which we live. Our region is diverse and the needs of people are complicated. Our ability to provide funds for housing-related needs is more important than ever. 

 

3. If you could tell FAAR members one thing about the Foundation, what would it be?

The Fredericksburg REALTORS® Foundation is the charitable giving arm of FAAR and is here to assist area residents with basic housing-related needs. The money we give away is all raised through fundraising efforts (golf tournament, bingo, 50-50 raffles, etc…) and does not come from member dues.

Non-profits rely on us to grant money to fund basic projects like plumbing, roofing, ramps, security, and more, so that area residents can live safely and comfortably. Each Foundation Governor has a non-profit, or two, that they develop a rapport with so we can anticipate their needs. Mine happens to be senior housing for our aging population.

 

4. What are you goals for the Foundation’s future?

My goal is to continue to increase awareness and develop new income streams so we have more grant money to give away! It’s important for community non-profit organizations to know we are available to them. The need is increasing and we don’t want to rely just on REALTORS® and Affiliates to fund our grants.

Asking other area businesses to become involved will be a major focus as we move forward. Our annual golf tournament and other fundraising efforts will continue to help us raise money but I’d love to see corporate dollars come rolling in to help us help Fredericksburg.

#MemberMonday Meet Affiliate Kent Schrader

The Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS® Member Spotlight feature allows members of the community to get to know each other before working with each other in a transaction. Each member answers a series of questions to reveal more about themselves as people.  It is FAAR’s hope that learning about an individual may spark connections that blossom via email, phone conversations or in-person meetings at events and classes.

Name
Kent Schrader

Hometown
Fredericksburg

Current Location
Fredericksburg (Spotsy)

Title
Mortgage Loan Officer at Assurance Financial

Number of Years in the Industry
39 in lending

Why do you love working in real estate?
Everyone needs a place to live, and to work. Real estate affects everyone. I thoroughly enjoy helping people and getting them into new homes is exciting! There are so many aspects of real estate – legal, financial, and physical – all of which interact in unique ways with each transaction. I’ve said for years that ‘part of me’ always wanted to be a detective. Being a lender is the closest thing I could think of to being a detective where I don’t have to be shot at!

Favorite Work Story 
One comes to mind. As the 2008 recession was ending, I had a business client who owned his house plus several commercial properties and a business. He wanted to refinance as rates had fallen but had difficulty due to cross-collaterization of some of his debt and lenders that wouldn’t budge. Finally at just the right time, I was able to develop a plan to complete four refinances. While we completed the process over several years, I had changed employers twice, but between the three companies, we completed everything and the client was able to reduce his monthly debt payment by almost $10,000.

What are you most proud of in your career?
I’ve worked in many types of lending, from car loans and personal loans to indirect lending, commercial lending, commercial real estate, construction, and of course mortgage. I have financed a number of the hotels and churches in the area. Early in my career, however, I was fortunate to learn about win-win outcomes. Somehow I also figured out that to be the most successful in lending, the most important thing is to always make the customer a winner first. This means looking at each transaction to accomplish what’s best for the client rather than what’s best for me. It is the “other-focused” approach to people that I believe is actually the most important in any career.

Do you have a special cause or volunteer your time? 
The most important cause in my life has been helping disadvantaged children. Last year my wife and I finally “retired” from doing foster care in our home after 20 years. During those years we cared for several dozen children for varying lengths of time, from a couple days to a few months to life (adoption). Foster care taught us so much about raising kids, about people, about ourselves, and about life in general. We learned how huge the need is for positive influences in our kids’ lives. We learned that the most important job in the world is parenting. It has been a tremendous blessing in our lives.

Fun Fact
Lending is not exciting or fun for most people, and I accept that. But somebody’s got to do it and I love it. Once JM High School had a career day and I was invited to speak about my job. I was really looking forward to it until I arrived and found out the schedule. My talk was to be sandwiched in between a prison guard and an airplane pilot. So I figured my hour would be nap time. (Actually it turned out pretty good.)

Tina Keene Exit Elite Realty
Are you ready?

Are you ready?

Board of Directors Application Deadline: Friday, June 21st

by Pat Breme, RCE, CEO

The question is are you ready to step up be a participant in the organization or will you remain an observer perhaps a complainer without knowing all the facts. Every year the Association sends out an invitation to consider running for a director position on the Board of Directors.

Last year three new directors were elected, Cindy LeBrun, Carol Sondrini and Deb Ellis.  They offer their reasons for getting involved—

Carol Sondrini

I am very happy to be a part of FAAR because I believe in the mission of FAAR and I know that without the hard work of volunteers, it cannot be as effective. I first joined Education Committee and was so impressed that I also joined the REALTORS® Foundation and Awards Committee and was honored to be elected to the Board of Directors. I decided to run for the Board because I want to help continue the vision and pathway set forth. The staff and committee members are knowledgeable, professional and inspiring.

 

Being a part of FAAR has definitely helped me to become a better and more informed REALTOR®.

Cindy LeBrun

I have been involved with FAAR for many years, Chair of the Grievance Committee, member of the Events Committee and my most rewarding time, as a Governor on the REALTORS® Foundation. Our members don’t fully understand the Governors’ commitment of their time and talents to raise money for many needy local residents.

The work only happens when people get involved.

My reason to serve on BOD was to assist the new President with his vision of bringing the membership together, whether they are experienced or just being sworn in. I want to support the BOD’s efforts to educate, encourage and support our members to be successful REALTORS®. I have advanced my career by taking advantage of educational opportunities, networking and assuming leadership roles.

Deb Ellis

I am very passionate about education. I see a need in our industry for ongoing education because the industry is constantly changing. I want to learn from other educators so I can make a positive difference as an instructor. Better training will increase the number of agents with a deeper knowledge base and who live the Code of Ethics.

One benefit of serving on the Education Committee, is getting to interact with many other talented instructors the other is to nurture agents from many different backgrounds at all levels in their careers. This exposure has helped me grow as an instructor, broker and leader as well. Committee work is collaborative and positive changes are generated in the friendly, respectful environment but FAAR’s committees need new faces and points of view.

Rewarding Committee work lead to a desire to join the Board of Directors. I believed that as a Board member, I could bring a fresh perspective as well as communicate to association members the amazing value the association offers.

In the short time I have been a Director, the experience has given me more than I expected. The Board does more than agents realize. I am honored to have been chosen to be an advocate for the members and a spokesperson for the benefits the association offers.

 

By being involved, I continue to gain more industry knowledge and how to use the information to succeed. I want to share what I learn with members.

Be a participant in the process. Make your opinions and concerns heard. Be a catalyst for change!

Interviews to take place in June. The Board votes on the slate at its July meeting. The election ballot is pushed out to the members in August. The winners are announced at the September 25th Expo.

Questions? Contact me at pbreme@faarmembers.com.

FAAR Partners with NAR in Amicus Brief Supporting AHPs

The Fredericksburg Area Association of Realtors® (FAAR) has agreed to join the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) amicus brief in defense of the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Association Health Plan rule. Amicus briefs are legal documents filed in appellate court cases by non-litigants that have a strong interest in the subject matter in question.

Earlier this year, a federal court ruled that provisions of the DOL’s rule were unlawful, a ruling adversely impacting Realtors® seeking more cost effective and comprehensive health insurance solutions through AHP options.

“Passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act resulted in significant regulatory changes to the individual insurance market, some of which have benefited Realtors®,” the brief reads. “However, ACA changes have also resulted in significant increases in health care costs, leading many individuals to forgo coverage, which jeopardizes the health, safety and financial stability of their families and others.” 

FAAR, along with a number of other state and local associations, has agreed to join NAR in protecting AHPs, which has been the subject of litigation since shortly after the rule was finalized in June of last year. Others participating in the amicus brief include five state and local associations that are currently offering AHPs to members, including the Baldwin County Association of Realtors® in Alabama, the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors®, the Kansas City Regional Association of Realtors®, the Nevada Realtors®, and the Tennessee Realtors®.

To date, over 3,000 Realtors® and their families have found cost-effective health insurance solutions through these five association health plans. Many more Realtor® associations are also exploring AHP options but have been delayed due to this litigation uncertainty. “FAAR is supporting this amicus brief to support the work already happening in Virginia to expand access to AHPs.  Too many of our members are paying exorbitant premiums or forgoing insurance altogether,” states 2019 FAAR President Drew Fristoe. 

If the courts final ruling is adverse and pending any appeals, independent contractors may lose the ability to access insurance coverage through an AHP, sacrificing valuable savings on premiums, and broader network access with more comprehensive benefits. Overall, AHP plans have proven to have lower cost options and better overall coverage, leading countless sole proprietors and small employers alike to purchase association health plans over the past year.

#MemberMonday Meet REALTOR® DeAnna Hamn

The Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS® Member Spotlight feature allows members of the community to get to know each other before working with each other in a transaction. Each member answers a series of questions to reveal more about themselves as people.  It is FAAR’s hope that learning about an individual may spark connections that blossom via email, phone conversations or in-person meetings at events and classes.

Name
DeAnna Hamn

Hometown
Fredericksburg

Current Location
Fredericksburg

Title
Realtor®, Admin Assistant, Property Management Assistant

Number of Years in the Industry
As a Realtor® 1, Pushing paper (Administrative) 17

Why do you love working in real estate?
I love it when first time home buyers and long term renters realize that homeownership is not just a dream but very attainable.

What are you most proud of in your career?
Rookie of the Year 2018! Need I say more…lol. Just kidding, 1st Choice BHL is home to 3 Rookies…Carrie Danko, Ruth Campbell and myself.

Do you have a special cause or volunteer your time? 
Prison Ministry! My degree is in counseling with a focus on corrections. However, I will never pass up an opportunity to volunteer in the community.

Fun Fact
I am a 3rd generation Realtor®! Ann Black is owner/broker of 1st Choice Better Homes & Land, LC my amazing brokerage, but more importantly she is my grandma (Meme). Tricia Barnes, Associate broker and General Manager is my Aunt, Penny Traber Realtor® and Sales manager is my Aunt, LeAnn Black, Realtor® is my mom. Additional family that works at 1st Choice BHL are my Uncle Greg Traber and my cousin Beth Pannell.

Tina Keene Exit Elite Realty

Spotsylvania County Provides Fire & EMS Information for Lake Anna

With the summer nearly in full swing at Lake Anna, your clients may have questions about fire and rescue coverage.  Here is an update courtesy of Spotsylvania County.  Still have questions?  Email Kim McClellan and she will run them down for you.  

Spotsylvania County Department of Fire, Rescue, and Emergency Management has a new fire boat on the agenda for the next Board of Supervisors meeting.  (Update:  this was approved by the Board along with 3 new fire tankers.)

We have 3 fire and rescue stations that cover the Spotsylvania side of the lake.

  • Company 3 can access the lake within 5 minutes or less at Amy Drive.
  • Company 2 can access the lake within 4 minutes or less at Sturgeon Creek Marina.
  • Company 9 can access the lake within 2 minutes or less at Hunter’s Landing. 

Currently we have 1 dive boat at Company 2.

Company 3 and 9 have small inflatable rescue boats and life jackets. 

All stations are staffed 24 / 7 with 5 personnel and at least 1 paramedic.

May Sees Continued Strength in Local Real Estate Market

May posted strong numbers indicating that the spring selling season is well underway.  Total sold dollar volume increased 15%, settling at approximately $224.5 million in May of this year, compared to $195.2 million in May of 2018.  Units sold increased nearly 9%, going from 608 last May to 661 units in May of this year.  Median price saw a 6% year-over-year increase, going from $299,450 in May of 2018 to $318,000 in May of 2019, holding steady from last month. 

Days on market, the time it takes from when a listing enters the market until it receives a ratified contract and is removed from active status on the multiple listing service, decreased almost 2% with houses averaging 54 days on the market in May of 2019 compared to 55 days in May of 2018. 

Active listings were up for the fifth month in a row, with 1,755 listings on the market representing a nearly 6% year-over-year increase.  New listings posted a 1% increase with 1,141 new homes coming on the market this May compared to 1,128 last year.  Future settlement activity continues to post strong numbers boding well for sales in June with over 45% new properties under contract in May of 2019 compared to May of 2018.  Inventory overall continues to remain low, especially in the lower-priced market segments.  “May saw heavy traffic in contracts, but the lack of new listings coming on the market will create a logjam soon,” states FAAR Board Member Kevin McGrath.  The last two months posted very similar numbers with increasing prices and volume sold coupled with large increases in homes under contract.  A steady stream of new listings will be needed to satisfy this demand and that will not happen with a mere 1% increase in new homes coming on the market. 

Update to NAR Class Action Lawsuit

Recent update from NAR Legal Counsel, Katie Johnson, on the class action lawsuit…

In response to NAR’s motion to dismiss the Moehrl v. NAR lawsuit, the plaintiff’s attorneys this week let the court know they are amending their complaint. Although the case is ongoing, this a sign the class action attorneys recognize the legal viability of our position and are regrouping to try to salvage their baseless case.

This means the court will no longer rule on our motion to dismiss the case and instead wait for the amended complaint.  NAR will continue to fight these meritless claims and continue to make it clear the MLS system is pro-competitive and pro-consumer and functions to the benefit of both buyers and sellers. In order to best represent the interests of consumers and our members, we will continue to aggressively defend against this lawsuit.

Go Wild at the 2019 FAAR Expo

Go Wild at the 2019 FAAR Expo

The FAAR Special Events Committee &  the FAAR Education Committee have been hard at work planning the 2019 FAAR Expo.  There will be some new twists to this year’s expo with a special focus on more ways to win prizes every hour throughout the day. 

 

Mark September 25th on your calendar & look for registration in July!

 

 

Keynote

Pete Kopf, 2020 REALTOR® Party Director
9-10 AM Classroom 1

Pete brings decades of real estate experience with him from his home state of Ohio and currently serves as the REALTOR® Party Chair at NAR.  He will focus on growing your business through the power of the REALTOR® brand.  From professionalism to the Code of Ethics to RPAC and advocacy, being a REALTOR® sets you apart…. Learn how to harness that power!

The Age of Aggregators—Creating Opportunities & Sustaining Value

Matthew Rathbun
10:30-11:30 AM
  |  Classroom 2

Some see proliferation of listing data among multiple aggregators and websites as a threat to the industry, while others have been mastering the use of these marketing platforms to serve their clients and build their business.  This session helps agents re-establish their value proposition with their clients utilizing the tools and free resources offered by the data aggregators to help with personal branding, marketing their client’s listings and creating more business opportunities. You’ll leave with a list of tools and practices that have been proven to enhance your business.

2020 Vision: An Economist’s View

Dr. Lisa Sturtevant, Chief Economist, Virginia REALTORS®
11 AM – 12 PM Classroom 1

Boom or bust??  That is the question that REALTORS® and anyone in the real estate industry is always asking themselves.  The Virginia REALTORS® Chief Economist will sift through the tea leaves of today’s real estate market and give you the insights and information you need to weather any storm. 

HOA’s from A to Z 

Michele Freemyers 
12:30-1:30 PM Classroom 1

Everything you need to know about the HOA’s affect on your transaction!  Partial HOA packet?  Seller has violations?  Initiation fee confusion?  Learn how to navigate these and other situations in this NEW class with Michele!

Press Releases

FAAR Partners with NAR in Amicus Brief Supporting AHPs

The Fredericksburg Area Association of Realtors® (FAAR) has agreed to join the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) amicus brief in defense of the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Association Health Plan rule. Amicus briefs are legal documents filed in...

May Sees Continued Strength in Local Real Estate Market

May posted strong numbers indicating that the spring selling season is well underway.  Total sold dollar volume increased 15%, settling at approximately $224.5 million in May of this year, compared to $195.2 million in May of 2018.  Units sold increased...

April Brings Strong Start to the Spring Selling Season

The lackluster first quarter start to the 2019 real estate market gave way to a stronger April, notes FAAR Board of Director Phillip Blake.  “Lower interest rates have helped push buyers off the fence and into the market, with some consumers choosing to...

March Sees Increasing Sales, Decreasing Prices

The start of spring usually ushers in the high season for the local real estate market.  March numbers did not disappoint, providing a strong foundation for the market that will hopefully continue into April and beyond.  “The spring market is in full...

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This