GBAR Conversations

Episode 1: Understanding NFIP & Risk Rating 2.0 


Featuring: Austin Perez, Senior Policy Representative for Insurance Issues with the National Association of REALTORS®

As you may know, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is undergoing changes. Earlier this year, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) introduced new risk rating methodology to determine pricing for flood insurance premiums. Implementation of the new Risk Rating 2.0 pricing policy began on October 1, 2021 for new construction and will take effect at the end of the first quarter of 2022 for existing policy holders. 

To learn more about the NFIP, new Risk Rating 2.0 policy, and the resources available to you, we invite you to watch the inaugural episode of our new video series - GBAR Conversations. In this 10-minute video, GBAR President Dino Confalone talks with Austin Perez, Senior Policy Representative for Insurance Issues with the National Association of REALTORS®, about recent developments with the NFIP to help you better understand flood insurance and how best to address this topic with clients and customers.
Additional information on flood insurance is available online at, including legal guidance and best practices, as well as numerous resources from NAR and FEMA, such as the Real Estate Professionals Guide to Discussing Flood Insurance and brochure What to Know and Say About Flood Risk and Flood Insurance. 

Click here to learn more about the NFIP & Risk Rating 2.0 


Episode 2: Discussing the New Condominium Regulations

Featuring GBAR Affiliate Members Marc Canner of Canner Law, and Rick Bettencourt

Earlier this year, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae announced changes to their condo loan requirements as a means to guarantee the safety of projects/buildings and avoid unforeseen assessments. Property Management Companies and Condominium Associations are now being held to a higher standard in regard to deferred maintenance and special assessments via a “Condominium Questionnaire Addendum” that is now required to be answered on MOST condominium properties. The new requirements which impact condo loans purchased or financed from lenders went into effect at Fannie Mae on January 1 and with Freddie Mac on February 28, 2022.
In this edition of GBAR Conversations, President Melvin A. Vieira Jr. sits down with GBAR Affiliates Marc Canner of Canner Law and Rick Bettencourt of Caliber Home Loans to discuss the new regulations and guidelines, offer advices to buyers and sellers, and how real estate professionals can help their clients and customers.

Click Here to Watch!

Episode 3: ANSI & Appraisals 

Featuring: Anthony N. Federico, RA, Independent Residential Appraisal & Consulting Services

Effective April 1, 2022, Fannie Mae has implemented appraisal changes for measuring, calculating and reporting the gross living area for loans it purchases.  Historically, Fannie Mae has not required a specific measurement standard, but under the new rules, appraisers must now use the American National Standard Institute’s (ANSI) Measuring Standard - “Square Footage-Method for Calculating: ANSI Z765-2021 - to measure, calculate and report gross living area (GLA) and non-GLA areas of properties that have loans which have been sold to Fannie Mae.  This policy applies to single family detached and attached houses in which interior and exterior inspections are required.

Learn more in this episode of GBAR Conversations in which Anthony Federico, RA, discusses the ANSI requirement and how it will impact appraisals going forward.  Additional information is available in this bulletin from Fannie Mae.

Additionally, you can learn more on the new ANSI Standard for Appraisals in this REALTOR® Magazine article.

Click here to view the video!

Episode 4: Transfer Taxes

The Massachusetts Legislature is currently considering several bills that would grant local cities and towns the authority to impose a real estate transfer tax on home buyers and/or sellers.  Among the communities which have filed home rule petitions to create this new sales tax on homes are Arlington, Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Concord, and Somerville.  The Greater Boston Real Estate Board and Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® oppose efforts to impose transfer taxes as bad public policy, since they single-out one segment of the population – home buyers and sellers – to fund programs.  This makes them an inequitable means to pay for affordable housing, open space, infrastructure improvements, or other community-wide initiatives, which also act to create an entry/exit fee into a community.  Studies show that transfer taxes to be both discriminatory and regressive, not to mention an unstable source of revenue due to the cyclical nature of the housing market.

Learn more about the legislative proposals under consideration on Beacon Hill, and REALTOR® opposition to a sales tax on real estate.

Episode 5: Home Inspections & Implications of Waiving an Inspection

In the current low inventory market, it’s not uncommon for buyers to waive the home inspection contingency, or look to have a pre-inspection or walk-and-talk analysis of the property performed with an inspector prior to submitting an offer.  Such practices have implications for buyers, sellers and real estate agents and brokers.  In this edition of GBAR Conversations, GBAR General Counsel William G. Mullen, III, Esq. discusses best practices for advising home buyers and sellers on the purposes of home inspections, the risks of waiving a home inspection, and the steps Realtors® can take to limit liability if the inspection contingency is waived.  He also reviews the law governing property condition disclosures and what to know about selling property “as is”.

Click here to watch Do's and Don'ts of Home Inspections 

Episode 6: Rent Control & Regulations on Evictions

In response to challenges of affordability in the rental housing market, legislation has been filed on Beacon Hill to re-introduce rent control in the City of Boston and elsewhere.  An initiative petition to put rent control on the ballot during the November 2024 election also has been filed with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office.  In each instance, the ability to place restrictions on evictions also are being sought by advocates.  If either effort passes, the implications for the housing market and multifamily housing market could be significant.  In this video, GBREB Government Affairs Director Patricia Baumer and Government Affairs Committee Chairperson Daphna Fields discuss the organization’s work to oppose rent control as well as efforts to support housing production and other solutions, like the Community Preservation Act, to address the region’s housing crisis and help get housing costs under control. 

Click here to view Rent Control & the Housing Crisis

Episode 7: Remote Online Notarization

Featuring Noel DiCarlo, Esq., a partner at Warshaw, DiCarlo & Associates, P.C.

The lengthy, time-consuming and often cumbersome process of purchasing, selling and conveyancing property is about to become significantly more streamlined as a result of the recent passage of Massachusetts’ new remote online notarization (RON) law which is set to take effect in early 2024.  Although regulations are still being finalized, a number of details about what’s permissible under the new RON law and how it will be implemented are known.  In this video, GBAR President Alison Socha sits down with Attorney Noel DiCarlo, Esq., a director with the Real Estate Bar Association of Massachusetts, to discuss specific provisions and benefits of the law, and how completion of the property transaction process and closing is expected to change when remote online notarization becomes standard practice in the real estate industry.        

Click here to learn more about Remote Online Notarization 





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