Photo (L-R): Eric Berman (Communications Director, Mass. Assoc. of Realtors), Goretti Joaquim (Business Development Officer, MassHousing), Annie Blatz, (2016 President, Massachusetts Association of REALTORS®) Ann Sherry (Senior VP/ Customer Care & Relationship Development, Charles River Bank)

Each March, Charles River Bank hosts the Massachusetts Association of Realtors Breakfast. More than 25 Realtors and eight other invited guests participated in the 7th annual event. Speakers included Massachusetts Association of Realtors 2016 President Annie Blatz, MassHousing Business Development Officer Goretti Joaquim, and Charles River Bank Senior Vice President of Retail Lending Cheryl Beauvais. The networking and educational program provides an opportunity for local Realtors to interact with

their state leadership team, get market updates, and learn about pending legislation at the state and national level that affects the housing industry.

Charles River Bank President & CEO Jack Hamilton welcomed guests and discussed new TRID (Truth in lending/Real estate settlement procedures Integrated Disclosure) regulations that now impact the home mortgage application, underwriting and closing process.

CRB Senior Vice President of Retail Lending Cheryl Beauvais gave the Realtors insight on new products and services that Charles River Bank offers. CRB participates in the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston’s Equity Builder Program (EBP). The program provides income qualified homebuyers with grant assistance up to $15,000 for down payment and closing costs. Ms. Beauvais also discussed the “Mass Save Heat Loan Program,” which provides customers the opportunity to apply for an interest free loan to assist with the installation of qualified energy-efficient improvements in their homes or rental properties.

Goretti Joaquim discussed a few of MassHousing’s innovative lending programs featuring 3% down payments and MI-Plus that continues to make mortgage payments after a job loss. She then let the Realtors know about a newly introduced MassHousing program, “Operation Welcome Home,” which is available to active duty military, Veterans who served honorably, members of the Reserves and National Guard, and Gold Star family members to help achieve the dream of homeownership. All of these MassHousing lending programs are offered through Charles River Bank’s Mortgage Consultants Mickee Whitney and Jen Fasolino Benoit.

Featured speaker Annie Blatz reviewed 2016 vs. 2015 Mass home sales data and expected trends for the coming spring season. She showed realtor survey results on topics affecting the industry and discussed current legislation being considered on Beacon Hill and Capitol Hill. There were also questions raised by the Realtors in attendance about the increased use of solar panels on homes and how this affects the selling process. The MAR breakfast was informative and will help the realtors successfully adapt to new trends in the housing market.