Monthly Archives: March 2013

Prudential PenFed Realty Expansion to Include New Full-Service Realty Office in Columbia, Maryland

Prudential PenFed RealtyPrudential PenFed Realty announced today that the firm will open a new, full service realty office in Columbia, Maryland on March 27, 2013. The new office, located in the Columbia Corporate Center at 10500 Little Patuxent Parkway, Suite 170, Columbia, Maryland, will feature Fine Homes, New Homes, Relocation, Commercial, and Property Management Real Estate divisions. “We are excited to be revolutionizing real estate while serving the brokerage needs of our existing real estate clients and the members of our parent company who choose to enlist our assistance when buying or selling real estate in Howard, Montgomery, Carroll, and Frederick counties,” said Chris Collins, Branch Manager, Prudential PenFed Realty “This expansion positions us to uniquely serve a sophisticated client base that has come to expect service that is second to none.” Collins went on to say that Prudential PenFed Realty enjoys volunteerism in many of the communities the company serves by supporting charitable organizations like the Sunshine Kids and the PenFed Foundation. The company has also earned a host of industry honors such as the 2011 Spirit of Partnership award for their outstanding Relocation services, and remains in the top 1% of all Prudential affiliates in the world. The scope of the Prudential/Brookfield network, coupled with the company’s accomplishments nationally and reputation locally, enhances what Prudential PenFed Realty agents and their clients experience as evidenced by this agent’s feedback, “I joined Prudential because of the nationally recognized brand name and size of the local brokerage firm, which offers me more business opportunities. I’m still pleased with my decision after five-plus years with the company,” said Jan Schaefer, Sales Associate and Team Leader, Prudential PenFed Realty. Another agent, Elizabeth Lownes stated, “Prudential is imprinted in the minds of consumers, and has an impeccable reputation in the industry.” It was this feeling that led to Lownes’ decision to serve her clients as a member of Prudential PenFed Realty in the new Howard County office. “We see the new Columbia, Maryland office as a great resource and fit for the Howard County community,” said Terri Bracciale, Regional Vice President, Prudential PenFed Realty. “Prudential PenFed Realty has grown over 800% since 2010 with 100% year-over-year growth in Howard County. This exponential growth positions us to expand from our current Howard location to this larger, contemporary, more centrally located space that will enhance the consumer experience.”

Full release can be found at

NVAR Publishes February 2013 Regional Home Sales for Northern Virginia

The Northern Virginia Association of Realtors® reports on February 2013 home sales activity for Fairfax and Arlington counties, the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax and Falls Church and the towns of Vienna, Herndon and Clifton.

A total of 1,103 homes sold in February 2013, a 5.25 percent increase above February 2012 home sales of 1,048.

Active listings decreased by about 33 percent from last year, with 2,029 active listings in February, compared with 3,033 homes available in February 2012. The average days on market (DOM) for homes in February 2013 decreased by about 27 percent to 55 days, compared with 75 days in February 2012. Price growth held for the second month in a row, with year-over-year increases almost identical to the January 2013 numbers. The average sales price in February increased by about 9 percent from February 2012, to $496,226, compared with last February’s average of $455,453. The median price of homes sold in Northern Virginia rose by almost 12 percent in February to $430,000, compared with February 2012’s median price of $384,500.

Reflecting a continuing shortage of inventory, the number of new pending home sales in Northern Virginia in February decreased by almost 2 percent to 1,688 compared with 1,721 new contracts pending in February 2012.

View RBI’s report for the Northern Virginia Real Estate market at

Seller Contributions and Non-Allowed Lender Fees

Questions?  Call Maxine for answers! 703-836-1464

Questions? Call Maxine for answers! 703-836-1464

Did you know that FHA and VA loans both contain fees that a borrower cannot, by law,

Yep.  It is a fact.  In order to facilitate settlements you will find in most of our DC Metro Area contracts contain clauses in the VA and FHA Finance Addenda that state that the “sellers agree to pay any fees that the borrower cannot, by law, pay.”

If you have a contract with seller contributions, the fees the borrower cannot pay are first deducted by that same concession (i.e. If you have $500 in fees the buyer cannot pay and have
$1000 in seller contribution then the $1000 first pays the $500 for the buyer
and the remaining $500 is provided to offset other closing costs.)
Remember no closing costs assistance can EVER go towards a borrower’s down

But what if you have $0 seller contribution?  Again, as
most of our local contracts read, the seller will still be responsible for
paying those fees that the buyer cannot pay.  For Presidential Mortgage
Services, Prudential PenFed Realty’s affiliated lender, this amounts to $760 on a VA loan and
$85.00 on an FHA loan.  For other lenders it could be significantly more.

Please be aware that if you are a listing agent and you agree to an FHA or VA
contract that $0 seller contribution, does not necessarily mean $0 from your

You get your appraisal, all is good…Right?

Questions?  Call Maxine for answers! 703-836-1464

Questions? Call Maxine for answers! 703-836-1464

The home buying process is a complex puzzle. As each piece falls into place you move closer to settlement. Every once in a while we have a tendency to check off a box before it is no longer an issue. Appraisals are a perfect example. Most of us assume that if the value comes in at or above the sales price, then all is well but that is only step one in the appraisal review process. There are a number of checks and reviews that are placed on that appraisal through a lengthy process.

Generally speaking, an appraisal is ordered through a third party company and is completed by an individual appraiser.  The appraisal then goes through a review by a national firm before it is sent to the lender.   That is step one and where most agents will typically make the mistake of checking the box that the appraisal is complete.  It is important not to be hasty in removing the appraisal contingency until the next steps are complete.

Step two comes once the bank has the appraisal in house.  At that time it is reviewed by the processor or loan officer to pick up any obvious issues.  Next, and before the loan is submitted to underwriting, the loan is run through one of the Automated Underwriting Systems (AUS systems). This underwriting system then runs its own Automated Valuation Model (AVM) on the subject property. If the AVM identifies the sales price or estimated value is greater than 20% of its estimate, then a review appraisal is ordered at the lender’s expense.  As long as it is within the 20% range then we move forward to the next step.

Step three comes when the appraisal is sent to underwriting. Underwriters have the right to challenge a value or request additional items. If the underwriter does not agree that the appraiser supported the value with sufficient comparable sales, then a request is made for additional items to better support the value. If the underwriter feels the appraisal is flawed he/she may request that a review appraisal is conducted. If the review comes back clean then we get to move forward. If it comes back with suggestions, then the original appraiser is contacted and expected to make the requested changes.

Confused yet?  It gets more confusing if the appraiser disagrees with the underwriter or refuses to make the changes.  At that time a second appraisal is ordered!  If the second appraisal comes in lower than the first, then the lower of the two appraisals is used. Actually, the lower of the two appraisals is used no matter what – if they happen to come in for the exact same amount then I guess you could say both are used.

The long and the short of it is that you should always double check with your loan officer or originator to make sure underwriting has signed off on the appraisal before removing the appraisal contingency.  If the lender comes back and discounts the appraisal after the continency is removed the buyer client does not have a rememdy.  Even worse, they could still be on the hook and considered in default.

Prudential PenFed Realty Acquires Prudential Texas Properties

Dallas, TX and Washington, DC (PRWEB) March 04, 2013

PenFed Realty, LLC, a leading full service real estate company serving the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Southern United States, announced today that it has acquired AHK Realty, Inc. (AHK), doing business as Prudential Texas Properties, a Dallas-based real estate firm.

“This is an outstanding opportunity for PenFed Realty,” said James Schenck, President of PenFed Realty. “We are committed to our vision of bringing the ‘Member First’ credit union service model to real estate. Our new relationship with Prudential Texas Properties and their outstanding sales professionals and leadership team will provide best in class real estate services to PenFed’s Texas members and the greater Dallas community at large.”

“We are extremely excited to align ourselves with PenFed Realty and PenFed, the third largest credit union in the nation,” said Rick Wylie, president and broker of Prudential Texas Properties. “It is a wonderful opportunity to be a part of a global company with financial strengths, unmatched by any other in our region.”

Over the past few years, PenFed Realty, LLC has increased its presence in order to better serve PenFed Credit Union’s 1.2 million members nationwide. It has experienced success as a result of significant affinity relationships and a reputation among REALTORS® for supporting its agents, creating a stable environment in which they can grow, and providing best in class services to its clients.

Vibrant growth through several very successful mergers in 2012 has increased the presence of PenFed Realty, LLC in the market to over 1400+ world-class sales professionals with 47 office locations. Ranked as one of the top 10 real estate firms in the market with over $500 million in sales, the Prudential Texas Properties acquisition will add another seven office locations and approximately 240 sales professionals; including an additional 30 agents, within its referral company.

Under the agreement, Wylie will remain in his leadership role. The Prudential Texas Properties name will remain unchanged and the firm will continue to manage its sales accordingly.

For more information about Prudential Texas Properties, visit

About PenFed Realty, LLC

PenFed Realty, LLC, was originally established in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area in 2006 as a full-service real estate brokerage firm and is wholly owned subsidiary of PenFed (Pentagon Federal Credit Union). With annual sales volume over $2 billion, PenFed Realty, LLC serves both PenFed members as well as the general public, and is recognized as a leading real estate company in its service area; ranking it among the top Prudential affiliates nationwide. With 47 offices and over 1400+ world-class sales professionals, PenFed Realty, LLC offers complete service coverage in the Maryland, Northern Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Washington, D.C. markets, as well as Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, Texas, Kansas, and Florida.

For more information about PenFed Realty, LLC, visit

Read the full story at