Dodd-Frank: Wanna make a $54K down payment?

There’s a big buzz these days in the real estate blogosphere about the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which was signed into law last July. Including 16 titles that address everything from the regulation of hedge funds to the Federal Reserve System, Dodd-Frank has been described as the most sweeping change in financial regulations since the Great Depression. While few seem to disagree that the intent behind the legislation is indeed to offer protection to the consumer, many in the real estate community are concerned about the proposed rule that was released March 29 regarding Qualified Residential Mortgages (QRMs).

And just what is a QRM? 

In an effort to shield borrowers from unscrupulous lending practices, Dodd-Frank requires lenders that securitize mortgage loans to retain 5 percent of the credit risk unless the mortgage is exempt. The logic behind this seems solid: if lenders have to retain a portion of the risk, they’ll be less likely to originate shaky loans, right?

FHA loans, which currently require a 3.5 percent down payment, are exempt, as are QRMs, which must meet the following criteria: 

• The loan must be for an owner-occupied property, not an investment.
• The borrower must have no judgments, defaults, or bankruptcies for three years prior to application and must have no current payments more than 30 days late on his credit history.
• The mortgage payment must be no greater than 28 percent of the borrower’s gross income.
• The loan must be a straight 30-year program– no interest-only or balloon payments allowed.
• The borrower must put at least 20 percent down.

This last one is the really big bugaboo. Here’s why:

Given that the median sales price for a detached home in the greater Charlottesville area is $267,407, a 20 percent down payment would be $53,480. How many prospective buyers can come up with that kind of cash? Not many.

According to the National Association of Realtors, over 60 percent of homebuyers make down payments of less than 20 percent. No wonder realtors are so worried. 

Shannon Harrington, a Realtor with REMAX Commonwealth, who represents clients in both the Richmond and Charlottesville markets, had this to say: “The proposed QRM regulations will reduce the number of able first-time home buyers, without a doubt. And we need those well-qualified first timers to clear this logjam of inventory, re-stabilizing local markets, and make recovery possible."

Harrington raises a good point. Local market reports indicate that this year’s housing inventory is up more than 10 percent over last year’s, so the Charlottesville area has a sizeable logjam to clear. 

But wait a minute: do these new regulations mean that those of us with less-than-stellar credit or less than 20 percent to put down can’t get a loan at all? Actually, no.

There will still be opportunities out there, but they’ll cost more because the lenders are taking a bigger risk– and retaining a portion of it themselves. Consequently, interest rates and fees will be higher.

Borrowers can also choose to explore the FHA option since it, too, is exempt from the risk retention requirements. But there are restrictions on that program, as well. The limits on FHA loans vary by location, the low down payment means that mortgage insurance is required, and the appraisal guidelines are stringent.

Pointing out that an improvement in the housing market affects improvement in the overall economy, and limiting the number of qualified buyers will only add to the current economic problems, the National Association of Realtors has prioritized the elimination of the 20 percent down payment. The goal is not to do away with the Dodd-Frank regulations altogether– after all, if these provisions had been in place 10 years ago, the housing market might not be in the shape it’s in now– but rather to loosen them enough to allow for some very necessary movement.

It’s important to note that Title XIV of Dodd-Frank, the portion concerning QRMs, is not scheduled to go into effect immediately. According to, the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau has nearly 18 months to issue the final draft of the regulations, so there’s time for concerned homeowners, real estate agents, and would-be purchasers to express their concerns to their lawmakers, if they’re so inclined.

In the meantime, prospective first-time buyers might want to start saving their pennies.
Once a month in this space, Samantha Masone pens a real estate column instead of the usual tour of a house. This is the first one!



Since the bank can end up with houses whose
owners default on the loan what's the kick about
the 5 percent credit risk? BTW there are
derelict bank owned houses even in upscale
developments around here now. The banks
own them but don't maintain them.

That is just it, the bank could end up with a bunch of money tied up in houses that no one is paying for, that tie up even more money to maintain, and that no one can afford to buy.

Its like blowing all your money on a Maserati so you got nothing left to fill the tank. The banks could end up having all these houses and being too broke to enjoy them.

This legislation is good for the housing market. First time buyers are riskier and should pay a higher interst rate. There is no reason why their fees should be higher and they won't be because the banks still need to lend and simply won't have the room to gouge or the customer will walk away. If the realtors want more sales then let them take a commision cut for entry level houses and switch to a flat fee.

It used to be that people bought an entry level home and transferred that equity into a larger home as the family and the income grew. Then people bought their next home with 3% down and spent the equity on a car or furniture. That is how we created the bubble.

The market will recover. When the population needs housing, rents will go up and when rents go up the price of homes will go up because the rents are what justifys the home price.

Realtors just want the government to make it so people can get loans that they are unqualified for. Realtors made billions in commisions selling houses and now want the government to subsidize them AGAIN. They got FAT on a system that they KNEW was rigged. Let em suffer.

Let the free market work. Making sure people can pay their mortgages will prevent another collapse in housing in the future.

I just purchased a home as a first-time home buyer. I put down 20%. Aren't people supposed to save to be able to buy a house?

Am I missing something here? These rules only apply to lending institutions that securitize mortgage loans. Isn't the whole point of this exercise to discourage banks from engaging in this risky practice? Or at least to make sure that these derivatives are at least somewhat safe? If the banks want to take less money down or lend to riskier borrowers, they still can - they'll just have more of their own skin in the game. This seems like a reasonable requirement to me.

Pretty one-sided article.

And once again the know-it-alls in DC have no clue as to how real life works.....

Your example makes the steep entry clear, and this will be tough and frustrating for new buyers and for realtors (but really that's a herd in need of thinning anyway). Losing the 5% plus payments on a house that was beyond the purchaser's means is a lot worse. Ask someone who's been through foreclosure. And FHA will make it possible to enter for less down for those who can prove their financial worthiness.

Requiring people to make a substantial downpayment to be able to "own" a house is sensible. More conservative countries like Germany require higher downpayments, and this has the consequence of making the real-estate and lending markets more stable.

But what should be incorporated in the big picture is the inflationary effect that low downpayments have had for all these years. And the cost to all of us that has resulted from the difficulty of tracking down just who owns the debt of defaulted mortgages. Like the man said "The rent [and price] is too damn high!"

No sympathy from me for the realtors, mortgage companies AND the people who can't afford 20% down. This same group of people are largely, VERY largely responsible for the mess we are in now. Greed explains the actions of ALL these groups. Simply unexcusable, PERIOD ! Most of us in the middle class are paying the price for actions taken by a relative few. But the middle class has no power. The 2 party system has failed us and only the wealthy (who will undoubtedly look out for themselves) can afford to run for office. Yes, I am bitter, pessimistic and cynical.

Ask the banker how much they put down on their house..............

What percentage of mortgage loans end up getting turned into securities? Would've been nice if the article had addressed this.

Wow - thanks for all the comments here. Great to know that people really do care about what is happening in our neighborhoods.

I think lots of us agents hear horror stories about folks' experience with their agents and lenders, and it is hard for us, for sure. We definitely feel for the person who felt tread-upon or disrespected - but there are all kinds in every business. I can assure you that there are lots of us who care greatly about our clients, as well as the big picture. Most of my clients actually become like family to me, and it's awesome.

The stereotyping of all agents and lenders as greedy and bad at what they do is the same as stereo-typing anyone out there. It just cannot be accurate, and is really not helpful to an intellectual look at a big problem. I am, however, genuinely sorry for any experience that has led a member of the public to feel that way. I do this all day, every day, and know lots of other excellent agents who feel super-loyal to their clients. We take serving our clients' best interest, and the big picture, very seriously.

What we are talking about here is otherwise well-qualified folks who don't have 40 or 50 grand rolling around in their pockets. First timers rarely do. Heck, those with contingencies on the sale of their home rarely do these days. But oftentimes these folks have fantastic jobs, excellent credit, and are paying WAY more in rent than their mortgage would be if they were to take advantage of the mass of inventory and low rates.

What sent us into crisis before was not so much first-timers, but a couple loan products that are either no longer available (sub-prime) or VERY carefully used these days (ARMS.) There was also the encouragement to spend out of range, true. But that was a different climate. (Hopefully agents and lenders who practiced this way of doing business have either learned, or moved on to another career. We don't want them here making it harder for everyone.) This was coupled with regular homeowners falling on hard times because of the overall state of economic affairs.

History does teach that loaning to barely-qualified is not a good idea, and we help people all the time who need some counseling on how to get their finances in order for a future purchase. But we are not talking about the barely or under-qualified.

Getting these REO's off the ledgers (and the banks off the tax rolls) will go a long way toward stabilizing our neighborhood property values. With the Dodd Frank, we are looking at cash buyers, and those rare few who have a huge chunk of change lying around to put down as the primary beneficiaries. If you think that the middle class is suffering now, it will be way worse if only the very cash-rich can become property owners. And sure, there will be other programs available, but paying more in profit to the banks as the form of putting more skin in the game is not attractive to folks who can think it through.

The reduction in the amount of well qualified individuals served will hurt us, and continue the glut. We are all about all buyers being well-qualified and invested, but 45-50 grand down (around here) is just too much.

I know this was a REALLY long reply, and if you made it this far I thank-ya for taking the time.


I see you are at your sweeping self righteous types of statements again.

"First time buyers are riskier and should pay a higher interst rate."

Mallarky. I would love for you to find some hard core data on that. If a buyer has been consistently making a rent payment, they can consistently make a house payment. You are either able to handle your money or you aren't. My kids at 20 were better with their money than a lot of home owners I know.

The risk is your ability to manage money, and how much debt you take on, you job standing, etc. The problem is the system is set up to punish the frugal and good money handlers, and reward the risky spend thrifts. I watched my mother in her late years get turned down for a credit card becuase she didn't carry debt for a long time, paid 'cash' and used her debit card. & years and boom, no card. No credit.

Spare us your generalizations.

Whew! Thank goodness a realtor weighed in to help us "think it through." Such a relief to know that the agents and lenders who got us into this mess have (according to Ms. Harrington) either suddenly developed scruples or "moved on to other careers". I certainly feel better knowing that the real estate climate that existed a mere five years ago is such ancient history that we could not POSSIBLY repeat it. (dripping withe sarcasm...)

Seriously though. Those complaining about this minimum down payment requirement are acting as though it applies to ALL mortgages. My understanding is that it only applies to those loans that the lender plans to securitize. It does not apply to the normal kinds of loans that lenders have always made (before somebody had the bright idea to bundle them together and sell them off as "investment vehicles").

Hey CB - agents and lenders didn't get us into this mess. It was a team effort with everyone helping, even the folks who signed all the docs - the buyers themselves. But we are here now, and I can't speak for anyone's scruples but my own, and folks who I know personally. Can anyone?

And for clarity, I wasn't helping anyone think it through. Sorry if you took it that way - sincerely. Was just stating my opinion by saying that folks "putting more skin in the game" in the form of higher bank profits/higher interest rates is probably not going to work for those buyers that think it through - thus more homes sitting there deteriorating.

Lots of deliberate misinterpretation there, when all of this is just grist for the mill. I'm a pretty earnest girl, and we don't have to agree! But I'm not sure what's with all of the generalizations against folks who work in the real estate industry. Did you have a bad experience? If so, that stinks.

But people have bad experiences in all service industries all the time, and anonymous flaming is kinda, well... unproductive. If you want to chat about what happened to you - why you are so mad - click my name, and call me up. My number is right there. Maybe I can help, or refer you to someone who can.

The marketplace will respond with non securitized loans (as they should be). The reason that this legislation wants a larger down payment is because the people buying the loan will actually have something substantial to lose and will fight to save it. If someone has a good income ratio, good credit history and 5% down they can get a house. This bill does not prevent that at all. It may drive up interest rates a bit but they are at historical lows and there is a little room to move.

here is a great article :

Old timer... so if your kids and I have the same credit score and income.. but I have a 25 year credit history and 20% down should the bank NOT give me a better deal than your child who wasn't even born when I made my first payment? Are they charging your kid more or me less? Whats the difference?

Hey, I just thought of another way that realtors could clear out this logjam a little bit more: LOWER THE DAMN PRICES TO SOMETHING MORE REALISTIC!!! Seriously. There's a house across the street from me that's been on the market for YEARS now because they are asking too much...more than anyone in this neighborhood has ever paid.

Thanks for posting the link to the Reuters article. It
proves to me yet again that the $ industries real
estate included are one big game. They make the
"rules" more and more complex to confuse and
obscure but above all to make more $ for
themselves. A good book for dealing with real
estate agents (not all negative but with a focus
on self protection) is Les Scher's Finding and
Buying Your Place in the Country.

Old Timer.... first time home buyers with the lowest down payments are the largest number of defaulters and I am not going to waste time explaining to you how to use google.

The difference between renting and owning is significant. Oftentimes when people own they stretch into as much as they are allowed by the mortgage company and sweat it out until their income rises. This is a gamble and the bank SHOULD charge extra for that risk. First time buyers are younger with shorter work and credit historys. This alone means that they are statistically a higher risk and since interest rates are based on statistics and risks then charging a higher rate is reasonable. Especially if there is no equity contribution.

Housing is fairly priced when the property can be rented for 7% of its value. So if a house in this area rents for 14k a year its price should be 200k. The reason is simple. taxes and insurance eat up 1% and maintanane eats up 1% leaving 5% return plus appreciation (if any)

When prices drop to that level, investors snap up the properties (so long as there is rental demand) and the glut is reduced. We are there in the outskirts but not in C-ville and the local suburbs. There are a lot of good deals out there and anyone who plans to live here forever and not buy will regret it in a few years. The houses can be purchased for less than the cost of building new and that factor alone will drive prices up when jobs recover.

Anyone that bought a basic house in C-ville in 1995 is paying less than 1000 a month and will still be paying that for another 15 years and then it will be paid off.

Assumable mortgages used to be a great path to building equity but banks did away with them because they make as much or more on the origination fees as they do on loans. Used to be you borrowed money from them that had been deposited by your neighbors and you paid them back over time but now they're just brokers skimming a little off the top. They make their $$ on volume not quality. They don't want you to stay in your house and grow old and pay it off, there's nothing in that for them. They want you borrowing as much as you can because when you get overextended they can gouge you on overdraft fees, credit card interest, etc.. The business of banking has changed drastically in my lifetime and comprehensive solutions are needed, not a band-aid.

Random Citizen - agreed! The mean price here is about twice the Richmond mean. Different market granted - but quite a huge difference just up the road. And lots of houses are actually selling for way more than they might in Richmond, for example - so the price difference is justified to some degree. All real estate markets are local, but a little compare/contrast is sometimes interesting.

About the house up the street from you: The agent has agreed to market the house at that price, true. But the agent doesn't own it. The final decision on price lies with the Seller. Agents have different business plan viewpoints about the sale-ability of the properties that they market. I like mine to be priced what I consider reasonably - but reasonably is up for interpretation, and all sale and buy situations are unique. Still, it's frustrating to have a house on the market in your neighborhood for so long. I can see how it could kind of make the area feel like it looks unattractive.

Mer - Nice book suggestion. Will look that up today. Finding someone to help you that you have reciprocal trust with is huge, for sure.

We have small house next to us a that was turned into 4 apartments, SRO each. and we are zoned R-1. The City sued the owner but lost apparently.. There is a house down the street being sold to foreclosure this month. If that house gets bought by an investor and goes to SRO also... I have to seriously think about getting out of C-ville. I was sued by REIII over what I signed and what the agent was telling us were not the same. They dropped the suit but there are good and bad realtors here.

Congratulations on your debut real estate column, Samantha! This is a clear, solid article that I found informative. Keep up the great work!


"first time home buyers with the lowest down payments are the largest number of defaulters"

But that is not what you said. You said:

"First time buyers are riskier and should pay a higher interst rate."

Those are two entirely different statements and Google has nothing to do with it. Your attempt to change the qualifications like, like the WMD's only identifies your right wing mentality even more. Lower down payments by any buyer increases risk, and the greater risk in FHA loan is reflected in the higher interest rates they do pay.

Again, the issue is money management, and has nothing to do with the fact that the housing crisis was not caused by first time home buyers perse. Plenty of non first time buyers got swept into it, and made plenty of bad decisions by singing on to ridiculous interest rates.

I suggest you learn how to use google to understand what really went on, instead of trying to victimize a single group of people you have been told by your daytime radio show are the 'slackers.'

Give me a break. As if a mortgage borrower would care if their mortgage can be "securitized"! As if a home buyer gains ANYTHING from the securitization of their mortgage.

What a misleading article. It is advocating for a position that the large banks want and trying to make it sound like it's advocating for a borrower.

What is at stake is whether or not a banks has to invest in %5 of a mortgage security. That is a perfectly reasonable standard. FHA loans are already exempt from this.

Why a reporter for the hook would intentionally try to spin this as helping home buyers is a question that should be answered. The legitimacy of the hook as a journalistic entity is in serious question as a result of this article.

@Shannon Harrington:
Re: "team effort getting us into this mess" - Speak for yourself. I can safely say that I had nothing to do with the housing mess. And it seems to me that the folks most interested in weakening Dodd-Frank are some of the very same folks who had ALOT to do with the mess.

Re: "Lots of deliberate misinterpretation there..." - I don't think I misinterpreted anything, deliberately or otherwise. I initially commented to express dismay at a one-sided article that was clearly written to voice the real estate industry's speaking points on Dodd-Frank. I then responded to your comments that essentially did the same thing.

Re: “bad experiences, anonymous flaming, etc…” – Sorry, not everyone holds such pollyannaish notions about the altruism of the real estate industry. And, believe it or not, such a perspective cannot necessarily be dismissed as reflecting some grudge against a realtor or being rooted in a "bad experience". It merely means that the person recognizes that realtors (and bankers) have a particular ax to grind when it comes to the topic at hand, and their claims that they are looking out for anybody but themselves need to be taken with a grain of salt. So since I am not particularly mad at anyone, you will forgive me if I do not give you a ring. I definitely don't need anybody trying to sell me a house.

Everyone should learn from the earliest possible age when
someone esp a stranger esp a stranger in the $ industries
says "Trust me" don't.

old timer says:Bill,

"first time home buyers with the lowest down payments are the largest number of defaulters"

But that is not what you said. You said:

"First time buyers are riskier and should pay a higher interst rate."

I say from a lenders point of view first time home buyers are higher risk based on the the facts in the first statement.

First time buyers do not have a successful first time purchase under their belt and therefore are unproven as a homeowner as opposed to someone who has purchased one home, proven themself and is ready to move up. It is not a slight on your precious little snowflake it is simple economics and the correlation between risk and return. Your kids may have not wrecked the car either but someone with a 20 year history of not wrecking a car gets a lower insurance premium. I suppose that is a right wing conspiracy too?

Your inabiility to understand does not make you right.

At one point or another weren't all home owners first time home buyers? Yes, we are in a situation caused by some lenders who focused on sub prime buyers. The sub prime buyer was the person who had a lower credit score - lenders increased the interest rates however still allowed for a high debt to income ratio. Buyers put themselves in situations where they had more of a house payment than they could afford while lenders were happy to give them the paper to sign and hoped these people would pay their mortgage - most if not all of these buyers probably had the intention of doing exactly that until other things came up and THEY DIDN'T KNOW HOW TO MANAGE THEIR MONEY. 1st time home buyers who haven't established the same credit line should put more money down, they should have a higher rate and something I haven't read mentioned is they should be required to pay for and take a money management class. I am not sure if any of the schools around here offer it and it won't impact everyone in a positive way however it may benefit some which is a plus. There's a program in Charlotte, NC called House Charlotte. It's for 1st time home buyers, they put the buyer through a class, they make sure the home they are buying passes their inspection process and then the buyer has to live in the house for a period of time. Is asking a lender to have a similar program to much to ask? If schools around here don't offer money management classes wouldn't it be beneficial for the lenders to provide them? I flip houses, if it means stabalizing the market and selling more houses at affordable prices, I am open to helping in anyway I can -

Hey CB - I'm not real snarky, so please receive this simply - which is the way it is intended.

Sweeping stereotypes don't work. Not with race, religion, gender, job, age, height, and so on. They keep folks ignorant, and discredit an entire viewpoint which may otherwise have merit in spots. They are also boring. If there was an actual gripe, I'd be happy to help, like I said. But I don't think that basic anger issues can be fixed from the outside, so rock on.

I would never try to sell you something. I help folks buy and sell. Unless I own it to sell, or I am buying my own property from someone else, this is a helping job. The first line of my business plan doesn't talk about money. Talks about people. Been the same for a few years now, and it works for me.

It's not like folks like you going in and sitting at a table in a restaurant - and the waitress has to deal with you, no matter how you behave. I only work with folks I can work with - and that means that I have to like them and they have to be at least a little bit cool to be around. Getting to choose that is one of the many perks of not having someone else pay my health insurance, and getting an hour lunch, paid, every day. And leaving at 5, etc. So I always pass on the crazy vibe, and everything that goes along with it - save my energy for my many awesome folks.

No matter what someone may think of how all of us are, I'll never hang out with jerks for money. Just not how I do it, and yep - I get to choose.

PS - It's not uncommon for me, and other agent like me, to refer folks like you to other agents that we don't like either. Just a little inside scoop.

Yes $ management another thing that should be taught
at the earliest possible age. Jane Quinn's new book is
great very funny very chastening. You can find out what
the $ people have in mind for YOU no matter what your
age or situation.

@Shannon Harrington:

???? Sweeping stereotypes? Basic anger issues? Folks like me?? Crazy vibe??!! Glad you’re not real snarky.

And thanks for the psychoanalysis, but I already told you that I truly bear no malice toward realtors (you really seem to be hung up on that). I’m just smart enough to realize that what might be in the best interest of those who sell real estate – excuse me, HELP other folks buy and sell real estate - for a living is not necessarily in the best interest of everyone else... despite what the National Association of Realtors says.

“PS - It's not uncommon for me, and other agent like me, to refer FOLKS LIKE YOU to other agents that we don't like either. Just a little inside scoop.”

Folks like me? Wow. Who’s stereotyping now? And so nice to know that your earlier offer of assistance was so heartfelt. Hope nobody you have ever referred to another realtor (or the realtors to whom you have made referrals, for that matter) reads this.

And by the way, I AM pretty snarky, so take all of this however you like.

Referring undesirable (uncool?) clients to an undesirable (for
whatever reason) realtor is a breach of ethics and
would be in any industry whether it be
"helping" or not. Imagine a doctor shuffling off a difficult
patient to another doctor he/she considered incompetent.
It would be grounds for medical malpractice.

Hey guys - thought I would throw out there that I just moved back here in the past year. I'm from here. CHS class of 87. Have mentioned this to a couple folks and they laughed, saying stuff like you jumped in THAT pond? I didn't know. Guess that was naive of me. But here we are.

Breach of ethics is strong words, mer. Not taken lightly, and totally not true. Didn't say that I would refer unpleasant people to someone incompetent. Just said that I would send them along to someone who was a better match for their acrid personality - let's say others more tolerant of negative behavior because they are that way themselves - people "dripping with sarcasm." They have a great chance at having a very successful, and enjoyable (for them) experience. Sarcasm and hostility are not protected by fair housing, and are not fun for me. And that's allowed. Smart business decision, actually. If you want, you can click my website, and see how much fun - serious fun, but fun - that I get to have with my clients. It's awesome! I get to be around people who I can care about, who can care about me, and who don't beat me up. Nothing wrong with that, in my book! Works great.

In no way is choosing my clients based on my preference of the energy that I desire to be around a breach of anything. It's a perk of the self employed. It's working with people you can work with, and it's awesome. And it should be some indication that we are not all just dollar chasers. For some folks, there's just not enough money in the world - and I'm okay with saying that.

And BC - Me saying "Folks like you" is based on a series of behaviors that are directly hostile towards me. Simple - and not snarky or sarcastic at all. Interpretation is in the eye of the reader I guess. My earlier offer to help was based on the idea that maybe there was something I could do, but it was discovered that if there is any help needed or required here, it would not be my area of focus, anyway.

The differing of opinion is awesome, but upon entering a convo to chat about a different point of view, one of someone actually in the business and not anonymously, ya tanked me. Pretty unpleasant. Why would someone sign up to be around an individual like that if they didn't absolutely have to? No - money's not enough for that.

Only a darn fool would buy a house these days, lots of good rentals out there. The home mortgage deduction is a joke and if you have a long term debilitating illness, your property will eventually be sold to pay your medical bills even if you have medical insurance.

Live like a gypsie, a prayer rug and a teapot in your cave.

In the real world most people have to work with people they
consider difficult all the time. It's very rare to have other options.
You have to learn to work with them to earn a living--it's that
simple. The realtor said she referred clients she didn't like
to other realtors she didn't like (for whatever reason). Most
moral philosophers would consider that a dubious act at best
if not unethical.

"In the real world most people have to work with people they
consider difficult all the time."

Absolutely - they are all over the place, huh? And difficult is in the eye of the observer, too!

And it's not to say that we don't have to deal with it. But I don't have to put myself in a position to ADVOCATE for that difficult behavior/person in the name of cash. I just don't. Funny to get hung up on that, but everyone has their cause to champion - maybe rights-of-the-unpleasant-and-negative is one that I didn't know about. It's all relative anyway. Everyone brings themselves to whatever job they have. No reason not to acknowledge that.

There are plenty of others for which an enjoyable life is not connected to their business priority set. But getting to choose is definitely one of the good part of the self employment gig, in any industry. And believe me, there are hard parts! Not going to list them, because you are right - overall I am very fortunate!

But you get to have your own game plan, and assemble your team with intention - to some degree at least. I get to talk to my friends (or at least pleasant acquaintances/friends-to-be) about houses for a living, and help them get most of their needs met in the way that works best for them. What could be wrong with that? I just don't really get the gripe.

Throwing around the E word around that choice is just not applicable. It's hard to offend me, but I take the concept of ethics, honesty, and advocacy really seriously. And again - difficult and hostile folks are not a protected group, nor will they have a hard time getting service. Just won't get it from me, or others like me who care more about having a nice life than piles of cash. It's really allowed.

20% down, that's how my daddy always taught me. The main problem with the housing bust was folks putting down 3 bucks to buy a million dollar plus home with minimal income. Too man clowns said ignored the fallacy of that logic because they were getting rich and would pawn off the risk on others. What is ironic here is that the same Barney Frank was one of the prime motivators to get everyone (qualified or not) into homes just a few years ago.

I am just devastated that Ms. Harrington has refused to assist me in my next real estate transaction. Sniff. (Funny thing though, I don't recall even asking for her help.)

I do wonder about a few things though. With so many realtors in town, why did Ms. Masone chose Ms. Harrington to express the official National Association of Realtors' party line in her puff piece on eliminating the 20% requirement from Dodd-Frank? Could she not find someone with a little more recent experience in Charlottesville to quote? (And may I add ahead of time for the benefit of Ms. Harrington that I am not trying to be a "meanie" and attack your qualifications. You indicated yourself that you have only been active in this market for the past year. So relax. I'm just asking a question.)

Also, why did Ms. Masone fail to quote someone offering another viewpoint? Namely, that the 20% requirement is limited to securitized mortgage loans and is, in fact, a sensible response to abuses perpetrated over the last ten years by folks in the real estate and banking industries.

I would also like to know what percentage of all home loans in Charlottesville end up being securitized - so that we have a better idea of exactly how many people are affected by the 20% requirement.

Finally, shouldn't consumers be the least bit suspicious of the claims of a trade group (national Association of Realtors) that represents the interests of those who stand to benefit a great deal from the relaxing of Dodd-Frank?

If Ms. Harrington wants a profitable career in this business I would stop commenting on Hook articles. Nothing ever good has come from and it furthers the Hook's tabloid intentions.

@ downtown brown

Well, at least she's posting under her real name, unlike most of us. Some people here are apparently posting under like 10 different names. So I give props to anybody brave enough to be here as themselves. But I do agree that nothing really positive ever comes from posting here. If I was a prominent real estate agent, I wouldn't risk my image by actually engaging in a back and forth with sarcastic anonymous cowards on the Hook's comments sections, trying to defend myself or the industry I work for. It's not worth it to lower oneself to that level. (It's like I said on the comments section of another story.......never identify yourself with any particular group. Be an individual outside of it all. This way, when somebody directs an attack at that group you won't feel the need to step up and start defending anything, due to mistakenly viewing the group as a giant extension of yourself.)

@ Capwater

@ Capwater

So true. A few years ago (2006-07) I had a coworker who pretty much had no money, and yet, was able to buy this really nice house out in Albemarle with almost nothing down. I wondered at the time how the heck that one worked, but looking back on it, we all now know...............

Good, this will help make housing more affordable.

Thanks for the props, Boo, and the support and suggestions. Totally appreciated!

I'm more than an agent, though. I do lots of stuff. Tonight I auditioned for a horror show, and this weekend I'll be on the river. I am also a mom and a musician, blah blah blah. And I am a person who helps folks buy and sell Real Estate. Sincerely thought I was clarifying, rather than stepping out into the firing line. But that's cool - I lived. And downtown brown, I hear ya.

Seems that there is kind of a need for this type of forum, though - between the flying arrows. Lots of misconceptions, and some of the folks with those misconceptions seem to be kind of upset by them. But I am not going to spend time trying to "be right" on the internet anymore. Incidentally, I have gotten lots of comments about this in my regular life - and positive ones at that. So that's nice.

But I was a little bummed about this thread the other day. Mentioned before that I just didn't know the potential tone here, at least about this type of convo - which we can't blame the Hook for - they just pay for the bandwidth. Hope it hasn't seemed like I was defending myself, though. Just taking an opportunity for a sec.

My mom gave me this book when I was 12. It's awesome. Great way to view the opportunities out there for making a living. I have read it a bunch.

So no matter what forum I am chatting in, or who wants to make real estate seem horrible, I love what I do. I'm do a pretty good job, and I really do just want to help.

So at the suggestion of my very wise son, and now a couple of others here, I will have to ask that if I can help you you call or email me from now on. Contact info on my website.

Was never looking for the tit for tat. Just give me a shout if you need me.

And I am not going to obsess over a typo! HA! Okay - I did a little.

Not *I'm* do a pretty... I meant *I* do a pretty...

And now you know that I am also someone who can also make myself crazy about something like that, even though it's just a web forum. HA! Oh well!

Thanks for talking with me.

OK, everybody's got the sales pitch now, and we are all duly informed of what a golly-whiz swell gal Shannon Harrington is. If we want her help, we are welcome to toddle on over to her website (well, everybody is welcome except me of course - and people "like me.").

However, I wish she (or the author of the article) would have answered some of my questions above about the original article (remember Dodd-Frank?) rather than evading to a defense of the real estate industry in general and herself in particular because she felt "picked-on" on an internet message board. Guess that's too much to ask.

Hey Chuck,

Maybe Shannon Harrington should run for an Albemarle Board of Supervisors position or Charlottesville City Council position (didn't go to the website and don't know where this person lives - nor do I care). She (or he - don't really remember seeing anything to specify sex but I could have missed it) is obviously good at deflecting questions, agrandizing themselves and just overall full of it as most politicians are.

I am 54 years old and have come to a personal belief that many people that spend an inordinate amount of time and energy telling you one story are actually hiding an exact opposite truth. You know, like car dealerships and such that tell you how low their prices are and how great their service is when reality is the complete opposite.

Obviously she/he won't want me for a customer either :-) .