Sometimes it feels like the housing crisis was just last year, while other times, it feels like it happened decades ago. On the one hand, it seems every conversation about the economy is colored by the last recession and the fact that it was kicked off largely by troubles in the housing market. On the other hand, I’d guess there are readers of this magazine who’ve gotten into the business in the last five years or so and don’t remember a time when the Federal Housing Finance Agency — established in 2008 in order to, among other things, oversee the bailed out government-sponsored enterprises of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — didn’t exist.
Indeed, even for those agents who were there during that difficult summer when President George W. Bush signed the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 into law, it may be tempting to forget. Nowadays the market is humming along at a relatively stable pace, jobs are plentiful, and agents once again have the luxury of letting lending slip into the background of their lives.
But it’s important for real estate professionals working at every price point to understand how Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac make the mortgage industry happen, how unique the lending situation is in America because of their existence, and how regulators and lawmakers are proposing to change the situation. Now is the time to become informed, because your clients are going to ask you what reform will mean for them and the market as ideas become proposals that may just become law.
So please join us in tuning in to the machinations of the mortgage world in this pivotal moment. And if you have thoughts on GSE reform or anything else, let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.