Baltimore is the latest city to use a voter referendum to address the question of public financing of affordable housing.
According to a Baltimore Sun report, the new ballot proposal would update the city charter to enable the creation of the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, which would provide loans and grants for the construction and maintenance of housing for low-income homeowners and renters. The advocacy group Housing for All Baltimore proposed the fund’s creation and successfully collected enough signatures to secure a spot on the November ballot.
However, the proposed charter amendment is vague regarding how this new fund would be financed. Odette Ramos, executive director of the Community Development Network of Maryland, told the Baltimore Sun that the fund could involve public and private financing, with the mayor and city council determining which projects would receive funding.
GSF Mortgage has added Pino Ude as mortgage loan originator located in Gaithersburg, Md., joining the company with 21 years of expereience in the mortgage industry. He began his career as an appraiser for a mortgage company, where he learned a lot about what to look for in a real estate property. This experience was useful as he transitioned into a role as a mortgage loan originator.
Ude became a net branch manager for a nationwide company and grew his team from two mortgage loan originators to eight loan originators. He eventually decided to open his own company where he managed 27 mortgage loan originators. Ude moved over seas to Africa for a period of time, where he managed the compliance and operations training for a mortgage company.
Due to his extensive background, Ude has cultivated numerous customer and real estate agent relationships. He plans on differentiating himself in the market by establishing new homebuilder relationships.
“I am pleased to welcome Pino to our team and we are excited to have him join GSF Mortgage," said GSF Mortgage Branch Manager Sam Fisher. "His knowledge and experience working with his clients will be a great asset."
The Maryland Association of Realtors 2016 Annual Conference & Expo will be held Monday-Wednesday, Sept. 12-14 at the Roland E. Powell Convention Center, 4001 Coastal Highway in Ocean City, Md.
Click here for more information, or contact MAR by phone at (800) 638-6425.
Colleen Palmer is area sales manager at Caliber Home Loans in Edgewater, Md., and president-elect of the Maryland Association of Mortgage Professionals (MAMP). National Mortgage Professional Magazine spoke with her regarding her work within her state’s trade association and her local mortgage market.
How and why did you get involved in your association? And can you share the track within your association that led to the leadership role?
I got involved probably 10 or 12 years ago. It was in the role of golf tournament chairman, and I took that position for a year. Then, I became the education chair and was really involved with education for many, many years. Now, I am the president-elect and I am working at the moment on finding keynote speakers for our conventions. We are doing two conventions this year because it is hard to get people away from their desks.
Why do you feel members of the mortgage profession in your state should join MAMP?
That’s a good question! They always ask us that. We’re working on behalf of all folks in our industry in the state of Maryland. We have a legislative associate on staff that helps us with issues related to our industry, either nationally or at a local level. And education is a key piece of what we do–it is near and dear to all of our hearts.
What role does your association play in the state legislative and regulatory environment, and is there any item on the current agenda you would like to highlight?
It is a really quiet year. Our legislative associate with us travels to Annapolis and Washington, and we host dinners every year for legislators to bend their ear and educate them–many of whom do not necessarily understand our industry fully.
What do you see as your most significant accomplishments with the association?
For me, I would say the education piece and expanding the membership. I used to do educational seminars monthly, now I do them every other month. It is difficult for people to leave their offices. As for popular topics, our legal pieces got more attendance, but the marketing ones do not get as many as we’d like.
As Maryland’s state affiliate of NAMB, what do you feel that adds to your association and towards the overall agenda for the mortgage profession nationwide?
I am not sure we have utilized that relationship to its fullest. I don’t know if MAMP makes its members aware of NAMB—and I am not sure if we are really cross-selling that.
In your opinion, what can be done to bring more young people into mortgage careers?
I am really trying to get younger people involved, and in the last nine months, we’ve seen a greater influx of young folks.
The average age of a mortgage broker is in the mid-50 range. I’m willing—and a lot of my peers are willing, too—to help initiate more young people into our industry. They may be taught the ABCs in school, but we can teach them product pricing, insurance, and other industry topics.
What is the current state of housing in Maryland?
It is okay, although we could use some more growth. In some counties, there is not a lot of new construction. And a lot of qualified creditworthy borrowers struggle with the loan process.
It takes a professional to be in this business—it is not an easy business anymore. But we are busy and I am grateful it is not what it used to be.
Phil Hall is managing editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at PhilH@NMPMediaCorp.com.
Staff from the Salisbury, Md. branch office of Mortgage Network Inc. spent the past weekend helping to build homes for needy families through Habitat for Humanity of Wicomico County. Eighteen employees, friends and the future homeowners worked side-by-side framing houses at the Cole's Circle project in Salisbury’s Doverdale neighborhood. The single-story, four-bedroom homes are expected to be ready for occupancy by late summer or fall. Mortgage Network does business in Maryland as MNET Mortgage Corp.
Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit organization that forms partnerships with public and private entities to build, renovate and repair houses worldwide using volunteer labor and donations. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage.
“We were honored to help two local families achieve the dream of homeownership, and a fun and rewarding time was had by all,” said Hope Morgan (pictured right), district branch manager of Mortgage Network’s Salisbury branch. “Over the years, Habitat for Humanity of Wicomico County has helped build more than 60 homes for local families. Mortgage Network is proud to be a part of that tradition, as we share Habitat’s belief that every person should have a decent, safe and affordable place to live.”