News

Recent news, business resources and press releases.

2020 Board of Directors Election Results

2020 Board of Directors Election Results

2020 FAAR Leadership Team

                       

President                   Drew Fristoe, Coldwell Banker Elite, Massaponax

President-Elect        Carrie Danko, 1st Choice Better Homes & Land

Vice President          Pam Kuper, Century 21 New Millennium

Secretary                  Carol Sondrini, Coldwell Banker Elite, Massaponax

Treasurer                  Deb Ellis, Coldwell Banker Elite, Two-year term                    

Immediate Past President- To be filled by appointment

 

Clay Murray, Pathway Realty

Randy Walther, Nest Realty

Kelly Bradshaw Walker, Coldwell Banker Elite, Stafford

Lynn Lenahan, 1st Choice Better Homes & Land

Sandy Pearce, Pathway Realty

 

Affiliate position

Donna Schmidt, American Home Shield

 

Returning Director:

Cindy LeBrun, Exit Realty Group

FAAR to host Opportunity Zone Meeting

FAAR was able to secure a grant through the National Association of Realtors® to host a meeting on Qualified Opportunity Zones and how our region might best be able to utilize this new tool for redevelopment.  Anyone who works with investors or has an interest in economic development is encouraged to attend and be part of the discussion.  

So what is an “Opportunity Zone”?  
The Qualified Opportunity Zone (“QOZ”) program was created by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to encourage economic growth in underserved communities through tax incentives for investors who utilize “Opportunity Funds” to invest in the Zones. Along with tax benefits, it presents opportunities for real estate investment and development in those communities. U.S states and territories, including Washington, D.C., nominated areas to be designated as QOZs in 2018, and the IRS and Treasury finalized the designations that year. 

What are the benefits for my clients?
There are multiple tax benefits available to investors who invest in a QOZ, if all the requirements are met. First, capital gains reinvested within 180 days into a QOZ are tax-free for up to nine years, through 2026. If that initial investment is held for five years, the tax ultimately paid on it is reduced by 10%; if held for seven years, it is reduced by 15%. In addition, gains accrued on deferred-gains funds while invested in a QOZ are tax-free if they are held for at least ten years. These investments must be processed through an “Opportunity Fund,” which is a partnership or a corporation organized for the purpose of investing in QOZ property; these funds self-certified, and must hold at least 90% of their assets in QOZ property (which includes stock, partnership interests, and/or tangible property used in a trade or business in a QOZ, such as real estate).

#MemberMonday Meet REALTOR® Carmella Tritt

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
Carmella Tritt

Hometown
Northern Virginia

Current Location
Fredericksburg

Title
REALTOR® with Berkshire Hathaway HomeService Select Realty

Number of Years in the Industry
13.5

Why do you love working in real estate?
Nothing is more gratifying than assisting clients whether its the first time buyer or repeat clients with the biggest purchase in their lives. Being able to be there as their agent, shoulder to vent too, share happy joys and family life. Something about serving that is truly gratifying. I have been in sales my whole life and this by far is the most rewarding. Being brought up here in Virginia also helps us navigate our clients on the best location for their needs…

Tina Keene Exit Elite Realty

Favorite Work Story 
Well we have a lot at this point. I think I would need more time . I would have to get our clients to give us permission on some of the really funny ones. LOL
When I met my husband and now we work together. I get to work with my best friend : )

What are you most proud of in your career?
I’m most proud that all of our clients are now friends. And the one thing we constantly talk about is that there is not enough time to get with every one. When you get asked to their family events, out to dinner or their house. When they refer one of their friends or family members. That to me says a lot about the type of person you are and how they see you. The fact that we work with so many military families is truly a blessing.

Do you have a special cause or volunteer your time? 
We love working with young adults. Volunteering at church. We also feel a strong pull to help military families get situated when located here. Help them get started and set up. We are like their extra family.

Fun Fact
I love to cook! From scratch and if it is a challenge even better!!! Hang out with my husband and enjoy our kids! And of course our grandsons are our biggest reward : )

#MemberMonday Meet REALTOR® Tracey Farmer

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
Tracey Farmer

Hometown
Fredericksburg

Current Location
Fredericksburg

Title
REALTOR® at Century 21 Redwood

Number of Years in the Industry
16

Why do you love working in real estate?
Real estate has been quite rewarding to me personally and professionally. I love the opportunity to assist folks with one of their biggest investments but more importantly I relish the opportunity of making these relationships with folks that last and build upon for a lifetime. In addition, I have grown to love the relationships made with my colleagues industry wide.

What are you most proud of in your career?
I treasure that this one of few career’s that you somewhat control your destiny. Most of the time, the harder you work/more time put into work – the more rewarding this business can be. Again, the most rewarding to me is the relationships made along the way. Also, as an agent, you are warranted the opportunity to be aware and participate in so many ways to give back to our community (i.e. timewise as well as financially).

Do you have a special cause or volunteer your time? 
My company offers many ways to contribute to our community via “Redwood Gives Back”. I also participate with the Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Dept with the “Operation Blue Christmas” to assist with many children’s Christmas as well as the Senior Lunches for the Spotsylvania County and the Thurman Brisben Center.

Fun Fact
I love helping people!

Tina Keene Exit Elite Realty

Want to serve on the Fredericksburg Realtors Foundation?

Do you have a passion for real estate AND for giving back to the Community?  Then apply to be a Fredericksburg Realtors Foundation Governor!  We will have vacancies at the end of this year and are looking to seat several new members in January of 2020.  Governor terms run for three years and the only requirement for membership is a desire to help those in need in our community find stable housing.  

The Foundation’s mission is to steward and inspire philanthropy in connection with the real estate industry to fund local charities assisting those in need to retain and secure shelter.  In practice that means that we raise money from within our membership and from the general public that we then grant out to local housing non-profits.  We have worked with numerous charities in the region including Habitat for Humanity, Hope House, the 516 Project, Rebuilding Together, Mental Health America, and many more.  

We need your enthusiasm and energy so apply today!  All FAAR members are welcome, both Realtors and affiliates.  

FAAR members recognized at Virginia REALTORS® Williamsburg Convention

FAAR members recognized at Virginia REALTORS® Williamsburg Convention

Arguably, the highpoint of the Virginia REALTORS® (VR) convention in Williamsburg, September 8-11, was the election of FAAR President Drew Fristoe to the 2020 VR Board of Directors, the graduation of Carol Sondrini from the 2019 Virginia Leadership Academy and the recognition of Sha Williams- Hinnant named Women’s Council State Member of the Year. Congratulations to all three FAAR achievers!

Pictured- Gathered at the VR installation dinner are Melanie Thompson, past FAAR and VR President, Carol Sondrini, Sha Williams- Hinnant, Sherry Bailey, VLA Advisor, CEO Pat Breme and President Drew Fristoe.

August Market Continues to Sizzle

The summer market continued to sizzle with an active August that posted gains in total volume, median price, and units sold with a large decrease in days on market.  Total sold dollar volume increased nearly 13%, going from approximately $191.2 million in August of 2018 to nearly $215 million in August of this year.  The increase was fueled by a more than 5% year-over-year increase in median price which came in at $315,900 for this August, compared to $300,000 for last August.  Units sold increased over 8% with 644 homes being sold this year compared to 595 last year. 

“August was a good month,” comments 2019 FAAR President Drew Fristoe.  “It was a little odd having both the City and Stafford go back to school so early in the month.  It pushed the traditional lull around when school starts to sooner in the month, but that certainly didn’t dampen buyer enthusiasm.”

The City of Fredericksburg reached a notable milestone in August by breaking the $400,000 median price mark for the month, settling at $405,000.  This is the first time a jurisdiction in the region has ever broken the $400,000 mark.  However, the small size of the City’s market makes it more susceptible to large market swings.  Over the last 10 years, the City’s lowest price was in March of 2011, posting a median price of just $127,450. 

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 nearly 21% with houses averaging just 50 days on the market in August of 2019 compared to 63 days in August of 2018. 

Active listings remained virtually unchanged from last August.  There were 1,762 available properties on the market at the end of August, down by just 12 homes from last August.  New listings posted a modest increase of nearly 6.5%, with 936 new homes coming onto the market this August compared to 879 last August.  Future settlement activity continues to post strong numbers with over 49% new properties under contract in August of 2019 compared to August of 2018. 

New 2019 Ballot for 2020 Leadership

New 2019 Ballot for 2020 Leadership

Please note:

The previous ballot went live on September 3, the election was closed down on September 6 because the ascending 2020 president Arlene Mason, resigned from the Board for medical reasons. A new/revised ballot will go live on September 23. The election closes on October 14. The membership is given a two week notice of the new election and the balloting will be open for three weeks until Oct. 14 at 1 pm.

The Board of Directors met on September 9 to discuss the vacancy and how it impacts the line-up for 2020 leadership. A motion was made, seconded and carried to approve a revised slate with Drew Fristoe to serve another year, as 2020 President. This action allows the other officers on the slate to serve the position they agreed to serve in 2020. The motion added Past President Kevin McGrath to the ballot to serve another term as an Immediate Past President.

The lineup for the Director positions, remains unchanged, 8 candidates for 5 positions. There is no change to the affiliate race. The new slate creates the least confusion and maintains the succession except for 2 positions, as recommended by the Nominating Committee.

Revised 2019 Sample Ballot

 Slate of Candidates- 2020 Leadership

Electronic balloting begins September 23, 2019

FAAR offers electronic voting and the ballot will be sent in an email to each REALTOR® member on September 23. Members will have two weeks to vote. The balloting closes on October 14. The results will be communicated to the membership asap after the election closes.

Candidates for 2019 Election for the Year 2020

President                           Drew Fristoe, Coldwell Banker Elite, Massaponax   

President-Elect                  Carrie Danko, 1st Choice Better Homes & Land, Fredericksburg   

Vice President                   Pam Kuper, Century 21 New Millennium

Secretary                            Carol Sondrini, Coldwell Banker Elite, Massaponax

Treasurer                            Deb Ellis, Coldwell Banker Elite (Two-year term)                         

Immediate                         Kevin McGrath- Long & Foster Inc.
Past President

 

Directors- 8 candidates for five positions. Select up to five.

__ Clay Murray, Pathway Realty

__ Pam Black-Lemon, Dockside Realty

__ Tammy Berfield, Long & Foster Inc.

__ Randy Walther, Nest Realty

__ Kelly Bradshaw Walker, Coldwell Banker Elite, Stafford

__ Lynn Lenahan, 1st Choice Better Homes & Land

__ Sandy Pearce, Pathway Realty

__ Kardin Lillis (Wykoff), Weichert Realty

 

Two candidates for 1 affiliate position. Select one.

__ Donna Schmidt, American Home Shield

__ Sherrie Shaw, Universal Title

Read the candidate’s bios in the latest FAARside

REALTOR® Members can vote at https://vote.electionrunner.com/election/dF3TI

Your Voter ID is your NRDS #

Your Voter Key is your email on filer with FAAR

Thank you for participating in Fredericksburg Area Associations of REALTORS election process!

Here we go again…NFIP set to expire

Without Congressional action, the National Flood Insurance Program is set to expire on September 30, 2019.  NAR is working with Congressional leaders and the White House to secure a long-term reauthorization of NFIP before then.  In the meantime, NAR has prepared this FAQ sheet to help answer any client questions about what this means for any upcoming real estate closings as well as identify several proactive steps clients can take over the next several weeks in the unlikely event of a lapse later this month.

What you need to know about the Trump GSE reform plan

The Trump Administration issued a blueprint on Thursday, September 5 for getting Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac out of conservatorship.  This is important to REALTORS® because the secondary mortgage market impacts the cost and availability of credit for your clients.  The most important thing to take away from the release of this plan is that it will NOT impact the housing market in the short-term.  This is simply the first step in a long process and one that NAR will be a part of every step of the way.  Read below for an NAR press release on the plan and talking points if you get questions from your clients.  

WASHINGTON (September 5, 2019) – National Association of Realtors® President John Smaby issued the following statement commending the Trump administration for its efforts to reform America’s housing finance system. The White House this afternoon released a proposal to reform operations of the Government Sponsored Enterprises and the Department of Housing and Urban Development that it had been working towards since the President made the issue a top priority earlier this year.

“The National Association of Realtors® thanks President Trump and his administration for initiating thoughtful, genuine effort toward housing finance reform. We look forward to reviewing the proposal in more detail and are optimistic that, at a minimum, the White House’s efforts will shed light on the remaining mile markers on the path to reform, along with the critical role the GSEs and Federal Housing Administration play in America’s housing market,” said Smaby, a second-generation Realtor® and broker at Edina Realty in Edina, Minnesota.

“NAR continues working with the White House and Congress as we move closer to securing palatable, pragmatic improvements to our housing finance system, and we maintain our belief that NAR’s blueprint for GSE reform represents the best path forward for this system and our economy. Our proposed utility model, as any successful reforms must, highlights competition, protects taxpayers and remedies the failures of the pre-crisis system while ensuring equal access for responsible, mortgage-ready Americans in every market, safeguarding the role the GSEs were intended to play in our housing market.”

The National Association of Realtors® is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

###

GSE Reform Talking Points 

  • The Trump Administration has released a blueprint for getting the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, out of conservatorship and for modernizing the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). 
  • The plan involves potential administrative, regulatory, and legislative changes-and it’s the start of a process we expect to take several years.
  • The administration’s plan won’t have any effect on housing markets in the short term.
  • NAR has been in direct meetings with the administration and the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees the GSEs, and we will continue to play an active role in the process. 
  • We applaud the movement forward on getting Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac out of conservatorship, and we’ll be looking for areas of collaboration with the administration and with Congress. But we’ll also share concerns if we see provisions that have the potential to negatively impact housing markets.
  • Potential areas of concern will be in capital requirements for the GSEs (increases will raise borrowing costs); guidelines for second and vacation homes; and underwriting requirements with the expiration of the so-called QM patch in January 2021.

Why you should care

  • Reforms to FHA and the secondary mortgage market have the potential to affect both the availability and the cost of mortgage credit for your clients.

Background

  • Since 2008, as a consequence of the mortgage market meltdown, secondary-mortgage market giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (“the GSEs”) -have been under the conservatorship of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). During the Great Recession, conventional lending guidelines grew extremely tight, and FHA became a much more critical source of housing finance.
  • In the years that followed Treasury’s takeover of the GSEs, FHA’s share of the market has decreased, and Fannie and Freddie have returned to profitability, though their “profits” go straight into the U.S. Treasury. 
  • There have been many proposals over the years on the future of the GSEs. NAR released its own plan in February, and the plan has garnered the support of many industry groups. We’ll continue to promote our plan, which brings together the best of the public and private model in good times and bad.

Press Releases

August Market Continues to Sizzle

The summer market continued to sizzle with an active August that posted gains in total volume, median price, and units sold with a large decrease in days on market.  Total sold dollar volume increased nearly 13%, going from approximately $191.2 million in...

FAAR Announces Endorsements for 2019 Local Elections

The Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS® (FAAR) announces endorsements for local Board of Supervisors and Commissioner of the Revenue races on the ballot for the November 5 general election.  The endorsed candidates represent areas throughout...

July Housing Market is a Scorcher

July proved a hot month for both the weather and the local housing market.  “The July real estate market started with a bang and was hot all month,” states FAAR Board of Director Cindy LeBrun.  Total sold dollar volume increased nearly 18%, coming in at...

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