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The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) is asking all REALTORS® across the country to TAKE ACTION NOW and urge your Senators to pass H.R. 3700, the “Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016.” This bill makes needed reforms to the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) condominium loan program, federal-assisted housing programs and Rural Housing Service loan programs. The reforms would make buying a condominium easier by expanding opportunities for first-time homebuyers and streamlining rural housing programs for low-income rental residents.

Early in February the U.S. House of Representatives voted unanimously to advance legislation that will expand opportunities for homeownership, especially for first-time home buyers. H.R.3700 takes aim at the difficulties in getting mortgages for condominiums. NAR has supported the inclusion of reforms to current FHA restrictions on condominium financing.

Condominiums are among the most affordable homeownership options for first-time home buyers, as well as lower income borrowers, but barriers to safe, affordable mortgage credit for condos still exist. H.R. 3700 takes a number of steps to address those concerns. These include efforts to make FHA’s recertification process “substantially less burdensome,” improving a process that is often costly and which condo developments must repeat every 24 months.

H.R. 3700 also lowers FHA’s current owner-occupancy requirement (the number of units in the development owned by the people living in them) from 50 percent to 35 percent and requires FHA to replace existing policy on transfer fees with the less restrictive model already in place at the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

Additionally, the bill streamlines the process for exemptions to FHA’s rule requiring that condominium projects have no more than 25 percent of the space dedicated to commercial use. This effort is in line with the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s initiative to promote neighborhoods with a mix of residential housing, businesses and access to public transportation, which has become a trend in housing development today.

Finally, H.R. 3700 includes further support for rural housing loans and multifamily housing initiatives.

H.R. 3700 removes a burdensome and expensive FHA condo approval process, reduces the FHA restrictions on the number of condos available to homebuyers, and permanently streamlines the Rural Housing Service loan program.

NAR is encouraging all members to take action even if they do not do business with condominiums or in rural areas. SILVAR members can take action by going to




Last chance to register or audit a class!

SILVAR’s 5th Certified International Property Specialist Institute (CIPS) is on June 20-24. If you would like to learn how to expand your global real estate business and earn the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) CIPS designation, enroll in the CIPS Institute. Classes start next week, so you need to register right away. Cost for the entire CIPS Institute, which includes five courses, is $450 for the paperless option $500 for the paper version, which includes a manual for each of the five courses for both members and nonmembers. Regular price is $600.

Members may enroll online at Non-members and those who want the paperless option may register by calling SILVAR at (408) 200-0100. Breakfast and lunch are provided and included in the cost, thanks to our generous sponsors Darrell Monda of TourFactory; Larry Tringali of Property Inspection Service; Anita Rodal, international liaison with AFEX (Associated Foreign Exchange) and president of SBPI Services, Inc.; Janet Case, CEO of Proxio; and Suzette Reboton of HSBC.

If you are a CIPS designee, you can audit a course for $20 for paperless and $30 for the paper option. Cost also includes breakfast and lunch. There are always new developments taking place in real estate markets around the world. Every two to three years CIPS courses are revised with updated statistics and relevant information. The most recent courses updated are Global Real Estate: Local Markets (May 2016) and Global Real Estate: Transactions Tools (May 2016). Instructor David Wyant, who will be teaching the courses again this year, also regularly furnishes students with information on the latest developments in international real estate.

If you would like to audit a CIPS course, please contact SILVAR Public Affairs and Communications Director Rose Meily at (408) 200-0109 or email

The CIPS Institute provides training in international business issues, including currency conversion, cultural awareness, legal and tax requirements, ownership and transaction principles of international real estate, and specifics about the real estate markets in Europe, the Americas, and Asia. Members using Proxio, which is a SILVAR benefit, may find the CIPS courses very useful in advancing their global real estate business. See registration form and class schedule below.



For the 17th straight year, the Silicon Valley REALTORS® Charitable Foundation is awarding scholarship awards to 18 graduating high school seniors in Silicon Valley at the end of the 2015-2016 school year. Scholarship recipients each receive $1,000 and are selected from public high schools in communities served by members of the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS®. The Silicon Valley REALTORS® Charitable Foundation scholarship program recognizes students who have exemplified outstanding achievements in academics, extracurricular/employment activities and community involvement. The selection committee includes representatives from the local business community, area high schools, area colleges and the local trade association.

“We are happy we are able to assist our youth with their education. Thank you to the teachers and staff for their help in making this program the success that it is. The scholarship program is truly a partnership effort between the Silicon Valley REALTORS® Charitable Foundation and the wonderful educators in our service area,” said Nina Yamaguchi, Charitable Foundation scholarship program chair.

Students receiving scholarships, the schools from which they are graduating, and the colleges and universities they will be attending this fall are Kelly Jiaying Chen, Cupertino High School (UC Berkeley); Alexandra Tan, Fremont High School (UC San Diego); Audrey Cheng, Gunn High School (Princeton University); Angela Grace Wang, Homestead High School (USC); Sara Lucero, Leigh High School (UC San Diego); Bailey Thayer, Los Altos High School (Cal Poly San Luis Obispo); Molly Ilana Ball, Los Gatos High School (Barnard College); Sally Zhengyuan Wan, Lynbrook High School (University of Chicago); Ritwik Kesavath, Menlo-Atherton High School (Cal Poly San Luis Obispo); Woo Chul Kim, Monta Vista High School (West Point); Samantha Rubinstein, Mountain View High School (UC Berkeley); Lavanya Mahadevan, Palo Alto High School (Stanford University); Shravan Davuluri, Prospect High School (University of Texas at Austin); Ajaipal Chahal, Santa Clara High School (Dartmouth College); Isha Mangal, Saratoga High School (UC Berkeley); Nguyen Dang, Westmont High School (University of San Francisco); Yu-Bin Moon, Wilcox High School (UC Irvine); and Frederique Corcoran, Woodside High School (UC Santa Barbara).

Members of the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® who presented the scholarship awards to the recipients at their respective senior award ceremonies include Chris Alston (Keller Williams), Sue Bose (Referral Realty), Mark Burns (Referral Realty), Davena Gentry (Sereno Group), Mary Kay Groth (Sereno Group), Theresa Loya (Coldwell Banker), Cassie Maas (Alain Pinel Realtors), Russell Morris (Coldwell Banker), Bill Rehbock (Coldwell Banker), Robert Reid (Keller Williams), Amy Sung (Pacific Union), Susan Sweeley (Alain Pinel Realtors), Mary Tan (Coldwell Banker), David Tonna (Alain Pinel Realtors).

The scholarship awards presented by the Silicon Valley REALTORS® Charitable Foundation are made possible by donations from Realtor and affiliate members. Since its creation, the scholarship program has provided $306,000 in scholarships to high school seniors in Silicon Valley.

Gunn scholarship presentation

At this morning’s Palo Alto District tour meeting, SILVAR member Davena Gentry presented the last of 18 $1,000 scholarships awarded by the Silicon Valley REALTORS® Charitable Foundation to graduating seniors from public high schools to Audrey Cheng. Cheng graduated this week from Gunn High School.


June 2016


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