Castro Valley CA Real Estate Agent Murline Monat Discusses Current Underwriting Regulation Debate

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Murline Monat Castro Valley CA real estate agent explains current debate around underwriting requirements currently taking place in Washington.

In a recent editorial (1) published in the New York Times, Peter J. Wallison argued to keep mortgage underwriting standards more stringent The Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 directed federal regulators to develop standards that would “raise the quality of prime mortgages” to prevent another housing crash like as seen in 2007 - 2009. Now in 2014, pricing seems to have stabilized in the Bay Area providing a more balance market for both buyers and sellers.

However, affordability, down from 64% to 36%, is now a huge problem. Now the administration, congress, lobbyists and banks are determined to increase home sales, but at what cost?

These entities have just watered down the Frank Dodd guidelines previously set in place to protect our more balanced housing market and to protect the quality of mortgages i.e., value of the home equals the amount owed to the bank.

The problem is “not everyone should be buying a home,” noted Castro Valley, CA Realtor® Murline Monat. Her argument has value. The economic recovery is underway, but there are still many people struggling and cannot really afford to purchase a home. And, while employment numbers are growing in the Bay Area, many salaries are still insufficient to purchase homes.

Softening credit rating, increasing the debt-to-income ratios and reducing down payment requirements may help people into homes, but may force buyers to again walk financial tight rope as before. A reasonable economic balance is in order and must be reached Ms. Monat noted.

Part of Mr. Wallison’s position is that smaller down payments directly result in the reduction of housing affordability. “If someone saves up enough money for a 10% down payment and their lender only requires 5%, they now have a significantly bigger down and can bid on more expensive homes. Why wouldn’t a seller increase their asking price?” Ms. Monat posed. “Would higher down payments solve California’s affordability issues? Not entirely, there’s just too much demand. But it certainly would contribute to a more financially stable buying group. And, if people are saving instead of buying, sellers are likely to notice.”

Considering all the parties involved, there is no easy answer for how, or if, the government should regulate mortgage underwriting. Ms. Monat supports balanced guidelines, one that encourages homeownership yet, encourages buyers to save and actually invest in the housing market. Governmental guidelines can be both helpful and hurtful as the last recession. “Theoretically, I believe that there is a viable solution.” Ms. Monat concluded with a smile. Recent homes for sale in Castro include 5964 Skyfarm Drive.

About Murline Monat, Realtor®

Specializing in homes in Castro Valley Neighborhoods, Murline is long-time Bay Area resident and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her realty career – including an M.S in Industrial Psychology, building her own home, and group facilitation. Her background makes her an excellent champion for her clients. By ensuring her clients are appropriately informed throughout the purchasing or selling process, coordinating all the parties involved, and negotiating the best deal, Murline’s reputation in the community and realty industry is impeccable.

Before becoming a realtor in 2009, Murline Monat spent her time analyzing sales trends for both large corporations and small businesses. The difference between retail sales trends and real estate trends are minimal and she is able to support her clients in one of the most important lifestyle choices they will make. These decisions “bring great comfort and satisfaction to individuals and to families. I love being a part of that process.”

A Bay Area resident since the age of 5, Murline and her husband made Castro Valley their home because of its central location for both of their careers at the time. While a practical choice, the decision to live in Castro Valley has always been a happy one.

Contact Information

Murline Monat
Empire Realty Associates, Inc.
Danville, CA 94526


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Suzanne Bourgault
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