Conventional Loan Limit Increase in 2017

On November 23rd, 2016 the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) sent out a letter to all Fannie Mae Single Family Sellers. The letter confirmed an increase of conventional loan limits for 2017.

The FHFA has issued the maximum loan limits that will apply to conventional loans to be acquired by Fannie Mae in 2017.

The first mortgage loan limits are defined in terms of general loan limits and high-cost area loan limits. This is the first time the maximum loan limits have increased since 2006.



High-cost area loan limits are derived from median home prices estimated by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).FHA will permit a 30-day appeals period during which requests for individual area median home price increases will be evaluated. FHFA will issue a subsequent announcement if any individual high-cost area loan limit is increased as a result of the appeals process. Updates resulting from subsequent FHFA announcements will be posted on Fannie Mae’s website.

Loans subject to the high-cost area limits are referred to as high-balance loans and must comply with the high-balance loan requirements described in the Selling Guide.

Second Mortgage Loan Limits

Second Mortgage Loan Limits The loan limit for second mortgage loans for 2017 is $212,050 (or $318,075 in Alaska, Guam, Hawaii, and the Virgin Islands). As set forth in the Selling Guide, lenders must obtain approval from Fannie Mae to sell and service second mortgages. Fannie Mae is not currently acquiring second mortgages.

Application of the Limits Based on Original Loan Amount

Application of the Limits Based on Original Loan Amount All of the loan limits apply to the original loan amount of the mortgage loan, not to its balance at the time of purchase by Fannie Mae. Lenders are responsible for ensuring that the original loan amount of each mortgage loan does not exceed the applicable maximum loan limit for the specific area in which the property is located.

NOTE : As a reminder, a modified mortgage loan with an original loan amount that exceeds the current loan limits is not eligible for purchase by Fannie Mae, even though the balance may have been paid down at the time of the modification to or below the current applicable loan limit.

Effective Date

Effective Date The new limits are effective for whole loans delivered, and mortgage loans delivered into MBS with pool issue dates, on or after January 1, 2017.

Loan Limit GeoCoder

Are you curious if a property you’re interested in falls into a high-cost area? Fannie Mae provides visitors to their site with a convenient tool called the Loan Limit GeoCoder. It allows you to confirm the loan limit for a single address or for a group of addresses. Fannie Mae makes no representation, warranty or guarantee regarding the accuracy or completeness of the results.


22 Real Estate Activities Your Unlicensed Assistant Can Help You With in Florida


Have you finally gotten to that point in your real estate career?

You’re building your client list, closing deals and barely have time to eat lunch.

If you’re close to dropping the ball on a client – you should hire a real estate assistant.

As a real estate broker or sales associate your ability to grow your business and maintain customer service is essential.

Hiring a licensed assistant will lower your risk. But what if the right candidate is unlicensed or working toward a license?

Acting as support staff, an unlicensed assistant is permitted to engage in the following tasks:

  1. Answer the phone and forward calls.
  2. Fill out and submit listings and changes to any multiple listing service.
  3. Follow-up on loan commitments after a contract has been negotiated and generally secure the status reports on the loan progress.
  4. Assemble documents for closing.
  5. Secure documents (public information) from courthouse, utility district, etc..
  6. Have keys made for company listings, order surveys, termite inspections, home inspections and home warranties with the licensed employer’s approval.
  7. Write ads for approval of the licensee and the supervising broker, and place advertising (newspaper ads, update websites, etc); prepare flyers and promotional information for approval by licensee and the supervising broker.
  8. Receive, record and deposit earnest money, security deposits and advance rents.
  9. Only type the contract forms for approval by licensee and supervising broker
  10. Monitor licenses and personnel files.
  11. Compute commission checks.
  12. Place signs on property.
  13. Order items of repair as directed by licensee.
  14. Prepare flyers and promotional information for approval by licensee and supervising broker.
  15. Act as a courier service to deliver documents and pick-up keys.
  16. Place routine telephone calls on late rent payments.
  17. Schedule appointments for licensee to show a listed property (revised and approved by FREC 09/15/2009).
  18. Be at an open house for security purposes and hand out materials (brochures).
  19. Answer questions concerning a listing from which the answer must be obtained from the licensed employer-approved printed information and is objective in nature (not subjective comments).
  20. Gather information for a Comparative Market Analysis.
  21. Gather information for an appraisal.
  22. Hand out objective, written information on a listing or rental. (source                    

There’s a long list of services that a real estate broker or sales associate provides for their client. You should understand real estate regulations before hiring someone to help you accomplish important tasks. If you are accustom to doing everything yourself, defining your assistant’s role will give them direction and also help you “let go”. A win-win situation for everyone.

Florida Real Estate License Renewal FAQ’s


What are the renewal dates for Florida Real Estate Licenses?

Florida licenses renew every two years on either March 31st or September 30th. Check the renewal date on your license or visit the Department of Business and Professional Regulations (DBPR) at

What is the renewal process?

You will receive a renewal notice from the DBPR 60 days before your renewal date. You are required to complete the required CE course. You are required to renew your license by sending payment to the DBPR in Tallahassee or pay by credit card at

Blakely School of Real Estate will electronically report your course completion to the state and email you a certificate of completion. The DBPR typically reports completions to its website within 24 hours of receipt.

What if this is my first renewal?

If this is your first renewal you should complete the post license education. The 45 hour course is required for sales associates and the 60 hour course for brokers. If you do not complete this course before your first renewal your license will become null and void.

What happens if I renew late?

If this is your first renewal your sales associate or broker license becomes null and void. If you are a sales associate you will need to take the pre-license course and state exam over again. If you are a broker you will have six months to revert to a sales associate license. To operate as a broker you will need to prequalify by taking the broker pre-license course and passing the state exam.

If this is not your first renewal, your license will go into involuntary inactive status. You can complete the CE course within one year and pay late fees to renew your license. If you remain involuntary inactive for more than 12 months, but less than 24 months, you will need to complete 28 hours of reactivation education and pay late fees to renew. If you remain involuntary inactive for more than 24 months, your license will become null and void.

When can I start my continuing education?

You can complete your education any time during this cycle. FREC states that you must complete your education within your renewal cycle which is two years – ending on the expiration date listed on your license. You should complete the course and renew your license at least several weeks before the expiration date to avoid delays and the risk of going inactive.

Can I complete the entire 14 hour CE course online?

Yes, you can complete the entire course and 30 question final exam online.

What is a passing score?

A passing score is 80% or higher.

What are the advantages of completing the course online?

Completing the course online offers you the convenience of working at your own pace from home, at work or on the go. You avoid wasting time and money commuting to and from the classroom. Visit our website to learn more about our online courses

8 Tips to Getting Started and Landing a Job in Real Estate


1. Real Estate License


If you haven’t already gotten your real estate license — this should be your first step.

In most states, you have the option to get your real estate license in a classroom or online. Classroom courses can vary from seven days to four weeks (evening/weekend).

Most online courses allow you to work at your own pace. If you need more flexibility because of your work, family and/or schedule the online courses are a great option. If you go this route you will still need to be disciplined and schedule time to study just as you would in the classroom. 

2. Job Boards


Finding a job is easier if you know what you are looking for. Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you start your search:


a. Would you like to work in residential, commercial or corporate real estate?                  

b. Do you want the financial freedom of being an independent contractor or the stability of being a salaried employee? Many employers also offer a salary plus commission which may also be right for you.

c. Do you prefer to work autonomously or in a group?

d. Are you self-motivated or do you prefer to be given a task?

e. What previous experience (if any) could you use towards your next career?


If you’re new to the business, finding a direction may take more time. That’s okay —don’t rush. You want it to be the right fit for you. 

Search online job boards such as; Indeed, Monster, and Careerbuilder. Brokers are always looking for new and experienced real estate agents. Many will offer free training  and allow you to shadow experienced agents to help get you started.

Search Select Leaders if you’re interested in commercial or corporate real estate jobs.

Reach out to real estate recruiters. In addition to helping you find a job, they may also give you guidance with your resume, interviews and career path. 

3. Associations


Realtor associations are available on a national and local level. If you are focusing on residential real estate, join your local real estate association or the NAR (National Association of Realtors).

If you are focused on commercial or corporate real estate NAIOP – Commercial Real Estate Development Association, ICSC (International Council of Shopping Centers) or Corenet Global (corporate real estate) would be a better fit for you.

Always connect with your state real estate board.

4. Select a Broker or Company


Once you have perfected your resume — Interview!

Meet with brokers and companies to hear what they have to offer. You never know what you’ll learn and who you will meet.

Interviewing helps sharpen your interview skills and builds confidence.

Be honest with yourself. Select a broker or company that is going to give you the training you need and an environment you will thrive in.

Working with people you like will increase your odds of long-term success.

5. Network


Build your presence online and in person with networking. 

Join Meetup — a networking tool used to meet other real estate agents, exchange ideas, share referrals, network and socialize.

Attend educational seminars and courses to educate yourself and connect with others.

Many companies and associations host networking events. You can find paid and unpaid events to attend. The events don’t always need to be related to real estate. Everyone needs real estate in some way, shape or form.

Be a business card taker as well as a giver. Follow up with everyone you meet by calling or sending an email. Connect with people on social media platforms such as LinkedIn.

Find a way to enter your contacts in a contact management software and stay organized. Eventually, you may want to create your own networking events.

6. Social Media


Social media is a way to build a database of contacts and develop your brand. Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are all excellent ways to connect to potential clients.

You can use your current social media accounts if they are professional or you may want to consider creating a new account dedicated to you and your career as a real estate agent.

Connect to, like and follow a variety of real estate companies, associations, networking events and prominent figures in the real estate world.

7. Marketing plan


Find your niche and create a marketing plan around it. Let’s face it — you can’t be everything to everyone. While it is okay to take the occasional referral or lead outside your scope, you really want to streamline a marketing plan and focus on it.

8. Never give up!


Real estate can be incredibly lucrative but it takes time and effort.

Plan to endure your fair share of rejection while creating short and longer term goals for success.