And on that note, Frazier is seeing an increase in beverage centers, which encompasses every drink throughout the day, from breakfast to cocktail hour. “In the past a beverage center was maybe just a coffee bar or a cocktail bar, but now people want them to be multipurposeful, a place where they can make their morning coffee or tea, make a smoothie bowl after a workout or pour a beverage after work.” Most of these areas include a beverage fridge or fridge drawers, a built-in pullout trash can, a wine fridge, a sink, and cabinets for blenders, coffee pots or tea kettles. “It depends on the person, of course, but they are designed for how they want it to function,” she says.

Trend: Cozy spaces

“The light airy home has had its moment,” says designer Kara Adam. “People now want a cozier environment rich in color.”(Michael Hunter)

Homes built in the last decade mostly feature open-concept floor plans, which usually include an open family room, kitchen and breakfast nook. But Adam is hoping to design cozier spaces in the next year. “No one wants to relax in their family room when they are sitting on the sofa and behind them is the kitchen,” she says. Dirty dishes, a pot of soup on the stove or clutter on the countertops does not create for a relaxing space. “Creating separation is good for your mental health,” she says. “You can step away from it and go back and clean it up later.” Plus, when a space is large and open, there is no breaking point for a designer to do something playful and fun on the walls or molding. “When it’s one huge space, it’s a lot harder to upholster or lacquer a wall,” she explains.

Her clients are also asking for game rooms. “We can’t do enough of them,” she says. “We are redoing spaces so that people can have a mahjong room. In our home we have a table built for mahjong, but when it’s not set up for that, we always have a puzzle out, too. Work on a puzzle for 20 minutes and it’s good for your brain and it slows things down. Then you can go back to running around or going to carpool,” she says.

Trend: Textured and printed wallpaper

Patterns, textures and fabrics are big in wall coverings this year. Brian Yates, principal designer with Yates Desygn, covered this bedroom in Ever Atelier x Yates Desygn “In-Site” patterned wallpaper.(Michael Wiltbank)

Wallpaper has been trending for some years now, and it’s still holding strong in 2024, especially selections that boast texture, bold patterns and fabric. “In 2023, we launched our first wallpaper collection with Ever Atelier, Ever X Yates, and it led us to experiment with wall coverings in new ways. For example, new construction ceilings are typically much taller nowadays, and implementing wallpaper can help weigh it down and feel more proportional,” says Bryan Yates, principal designer of Yates Desygn. “In addition, we are currently framing three panels of a de Gournay print to work as a 9-foot-by-9-foot piece of art and create a more significant moment in a client’s dining space rather than using traditional panels as a series.”

Adam notes that adding the right wallpaper to a space helps to evoke a mood, too. “People are wanting texture as opposed to a super flat, quiet space. For instance, when you’re having a dinner party in a dining room covered in cool silk wallpaper, it makes people want to stay. We want our clients to have dinner parties that go on all night,” she says.

Related Stories


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When you live in an apartment, you most likely won’t have a backyard or lots of outdoor space. However, a lot of apartment complexes include a patio on the ground level so you can step outside and enjoy some fresh air. Even if a patio is small, it doesn’t mean it can’t be grand. If you are looking for ways to spruce up your patio and turn it into a luxurious outdoor space, here are some small patio ideas to consider.

Small patio ideas you’ll love

Whether you opt for all of these ideas or choose only a handful of these small patio ideas, you can turn any mundane patio into a place you’re dying to spend all your free time.

Just be sure to check with your landlord first before installing or building anything!

1. Add a table and chairs

First on the list is finding a set of chairs and a table. Patio furniture comes in all shapes and sizes. You can get wrought iron, plastic or rattan to name a few. No matter what kind of patio furniture you choose, a table and chairs are essential because it’ll be the place you sit to eat, drink, read or simply relax.

2. Consider multi-use furniture

If your patio is small, you’ll want to consider purchasing furniture that has multiple uses. For example, you could get a foot pedestal that also used as a small table, a footrest and a place to hold plants for decoration. If you can get each piece of furniture to serve more than one purpose, you’ll save money in the process, too.

3. Find foldable furniture

Are you short on space on your patio? This small patio idea is perfect for those with cramped quarters. Buy foldable furniture that you can easily store when you’re not using it. You can easily access and use it when you need to, otherwise, you can quickly fold it and store it to add more space to your patio.

4. Decorate with a mattress

Mattresses don’t just belong in a bedroom. Putting a mattress on your patio is a great way to create a Bohemian-style feel on your patio. Take a blow-up or regular mattress, put some sheets over it, add some blankets and you’ve got created a comfortable and chic patio.

5. Use pillows for comfort and decor

Pillows add both decoration and comfort to any patio space. Get some oversized pillows and add them to your patio, like this idea from Pinterest. You can put them on your chairs or use them as poofs to sit on. Pillows are a great way to add a pop of color to your patio as well as adding an element of comfort and design.

6. Get a blanket basket

Like pillows, blankets are another way to spruce up any patio. On summer nights as the sun sets and it starts to get cooler, people will want to grab a blanket to drape over their lap as they continue chatting and hanging out into the night. Get a basket to fill with outdoor blankets and you’ve got yourself some small patio decor that’s practical and cute.

7. Set up a speaker system

Music can set the mood on any occasion. From outdoor date nights to a casual gathering with friends on the patio, you need music to create ambiance. Invest in an outdoor speaker system for your patio. This could be a small speaker you plug your phone into, a smart home device like Alexa or even a full-blown speaker system. Regardless of what you choose, a speaker is a great small patio idea.

8. Watch movies on a movie projector

Movie projectors are a fun purchase to splurge on for your small patio. You can project a movie onto the wall of the apartment and watch it from the comfort of your patio. They don’t take up too much space but are a fun way to get outside more often.

9. String up a hammock

Opting out of traditional patio furniture? Consider hanging a hammock on your patio. If you’re cramped for space or simply like to hang from a hammock, this is a great small patio idea to go for.

10. Install a privacy screen

Given that patios are on the ground floor, you won’t have as much privacy as on a balcony. But, you can easily install a privacy screen, shutters or even curtains to your patio to create some privacy. Plus, you can have fun with the decorating process as you choose what color of the curtain you want or what color of paint to use on the privacy screen.

11. Burn some candles

Candles are a great small patio idea. They don’t take up much space but add a lot of ambiance to any patio. Get a variety of sizes, shapes and colors and use candles to both decorate and light up your patio.

12. String up lights

Strings of lights are another easy way to decorate your small patio. You can hang the lights from end-to-end, drape them around the table and chairs or hang them above the doorway. White string lights are cute, sparkly and practical and will make any patio feel like a fairy garden.

13. Add a rug

Rugs are a great way to decorate a small patio. First of all, they can add a pop of color to the patio. Second, they can cover up the ugly cement they likely were made of. And third, they make the space feel cozier.

14. Prop an umbrella

Your patio may already be shaded, but adding an umbrella is a great small patio idea. Umbrellas easily move so you can block out the sun anywhere it comes through on the patio. Umbrellas also come in a variety of shapes, colors and sizes.

15. Pot some plants

Potted plants add charm to any patio. You can buy pots of all sizes, depending on how large your patio is. From small pots that fit on a table as a centerpiece to giant ones that take up lots of space, using pots as a small patio idea is a great way to add greenery to your patio.

16. Get flower window boxes

If you don’t have a garden but want to plant some flowers, you can buy a few flower boxes for windows, ledges or gates. Add the window box and fill it with your favorite flowers.

17. Think vertically

Because patios often are small and short on space, think vertically when decorating. You can use ladders, tall planter boxes or racks and decorate upward instead of outward. This allows you to have lots of decorations without taking up too much space.

18. Buy a barbecue

Barbecues go hand-in-hand with summer nights. Barbecues are a great product to invest in and add to your small patio. They may take up some space but it’ll be well worth it when you’re cooking and entertaining all summer long.

Just make sure they are allowed at your property before investing the money. Some cities do not allow grills on patios due to fire codes.

19. Build up a bar cart

Bar carts are a fun item to have on your patio. You can choose a bar cart and start building up the contents over time. You can add different types of drinks, mixers, cups and ice containers to it. Not only is it a great small patio idea, but your friends will also love coming over and mixing themselves up a drink.

20. Splash some paint

If your landlord permits, you can paint your patio. Consider painting the floor a fun color or one of the walls. This takes up no space and allows you to add more color into the space.

Decorating with our small patio ideas

It doesn’t take a full-blown renovation to turn an ordinary patio into a place of relaxation and rest. Your patio can become your outdoor oasis with these easy ideas for decorating your small patio. Any one of these small patio ideas will surely turn it into a place you want to spend all your free time.


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Home Equity, Pre-Qual, Correspondent, Verification Tools; Training and Webinars; STRATMOR on LO Habits

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Home Equity, Pre-Qual, Correspondent, Verification Tools; Training and Webinars; STRATMOR on LO Habits


7 Hours, 30 Min ago

Attention in the hallways in the early going at the IMB Conference in New Orleans is varied. LinkedIn traffic seems to have picked up for IMB companies like Draper and Kramer and Atlantic Bay, but that is hardly a scientific measure of companies being bought, buying, or exiting the business. (As always, direct questions to company representatives.) Credit costs and trigger leads are a big item; this Wednesday’s L1 Mortgage Matters session at 2PM ET features John Fleming, of John Fleming Law and the Texas MBA, discussing issues including a fine update on the trigger lead situation. Being pragmatic about handling branches that are losing money, even if the crew there has been with you for years and years, is a hot topic among owners. The last 18 months has not been the time to waffle or ignore information. Today’s podcast can be found here and this week’s is brought to you LoanCare. LoanCare has successfully navigated clients and homeowners through market change for 40 years. The mortgage subservicer is known for delivering superior customer experience through personalization and convenience via its portfolio management tool, LoanCare Analytics™, supporting MSR investors with a focus on customer engagement, liquidity, and credit risk.

Lender and Broker Services, Products, and Software

Jonathan Spinetto COO & Co-founder at Nyfty Door, grew business from 0 loan originations two years ago when he signed with TRUV, and is projected to hit 3,000 loans a month in 2024. NYFTY door sees conversion rates over 60% with Truv and is saving 60-80% over competitors. Contact TRUV today for your income, employment, insurance, and asset verifications.

“Citi Correspondent Lending continues to foster targeted growth of our approved lender base with a focus on the expansion of our Community Lending platform. To start off the new year, we’re moving forward with full implementation of our proprietary affordable lending program, HomeRun, which features no MI, up to 97 percent LTV and as little as 1 percent borrower down payment contribution. To further compliment this rollout, our CRA pricing incentives were recently updated with enhancements to several markets, including Miami, Newark, San Jose, and Los Angeles. Learn more about HomeRun and all of the other growth opportunities Citi Correspondent Lending has to offer by contacting our National Client Services Team or completing our Prospective Correspondent Questionnaire.”

Get ready to rev your engines and network like a champion at the 3rd annual Supercar Experience, brought to you by Lender Toolkit, Reggora, Lenders One, and LodeStar! Mark your calendars for March 18th, before the kickoff of EXP24 in Vegas. We’ll take over Speed Vegas Exotics Racing, where you can unleash your inner speed demon behind the wheel of a dream supercar and connect with industry decision makers in a high-octane setting. Build valuable partnerships and expand your circle with leading mortgage minds at this one-of-a-kind event. Gain exclusive insights from and ask your questions of industry expert Rob Chrisman in a live Chrisman Commentary podcast. Plus, shake hands with Talladega Nights’ icon, Ricky Bobby himself! Experience more than just supercar thrills with an exclusive reception, delicious catering, and racetrack excitement. Don’t miss out on this unforgettable opportunity to elevate your brand, fuel your EXP24 prep, and network like a boss. Secure your spot now. Shake and bake!

One of the more annoying jobs of a loan officer is putting together closing cost summaries every time a borrower looks at a new house. What if they could fire them off from their phone (accurately) without having to go into the LOS each time? All your pre-approved buyers, on your phone, integrated with the LOS. Turn your loan officers into super-awesome fireball-throwing loan officers with QuickQual by LenderLogix.

Introducing The 2024 Lender Playbook: 4 Tips to Drive Profitability in a Recovering Market. How will the coming election, housing inventory, and Fed action impact the mortgage market (and your lending success) this year? There’s a lot going on in 2024, and market recovery won’t be straightforward. The good news? You can still build a strong, forward-thinking plan for resilience and profitability. Tenured industry experts from Maxwell’s senior team helped create this guide to teach you how to reduce costs, win borrower business, and capture intermittent loan volume as it reemerges in the market. To get a leg up on the competition and build agility into your business, click here to download The 2024 Lender Playbook: 4 Tips to Drive Profitability in a Recovering Market.

Join FirstClose, Curinos and Fifth Third Bank on Thursday, February 15 for a deep dive into today’s home equity market. Take a look behind the scenes at the products and processes that fuel home equity lending, new financing options that are creating opportunities for both depository and non-bank participants and, most importantly, learn how to capitalize on this market. This one-hour online event is a must attend for anyone currently in the home equity space or thinking of entering. Register today.


Do you ever feel like you’re living the same day over and over again? Sometimes it takes watching a 90’s comedy classic to bring us to our senses and remind us that we must keep trying new things, changing, and evolving if want to see new and different results. In his latest Customer Experience Tip, STRATMOR Customer Experience Director Mike Seminari shares some lessons Bill Murray’s character learns in the movie “Groundhog Day” and how LOs can apply it to their process in 2024. Check out “Fresh Ideas for LOs Looking for Better Results in 2024” for recommendations on how to incorporate small change habits into your daily routine to help drive more referrals and repeat business in 2024.

Webinars, Events, and Training to Wrap up January

The upcoming webinar, “California Lien Law Overview for Construction Lenders” will be hosted by Land Gorilla on Wednesday, January 24 at 10AM PT/1PM ET. In continuation of the informative construction lien law webinars covering Florida and Texas, this webinar promises more great insights and understanding into California’s specific statutory requirements. Discover faster and more cost-effective alternatives to a foundation survey. Gain insights into California’s Prompt Payment Act. Learn the significance of the Notice of Completion in California and its critical timeline that can minimize a lender’s exposure during the final disbursement. You won’t want to miss these key insights to help you effectively manage construction loans. Register now to secure your spot. All registrants will receive the webinar recording.

A good place for longer term conference planning is to start is here, and click on “events” for conferences in the future. Of course this week we have the MBA’s IMB Conference in New Orleans.

What’s ahead for commercial real estate (CRE) markets in 2024? Join SitusAMC’s inaugural “ValTrends First Look” webinar on January 23, at 2pm ET, hosted by Senior Director of SitusAMC Insights Peter Muoio, PhD and Vice President of SitusAMC Insights Jennifer Rasmussen, PhD. Instead of looking back at the previous quarter, the new ValTrends webinar will leverage recent survey data of leading institutional and regional CRE executives to give you a forward-looking snapshot of the quarter ahead.

National MI: Highlights from the Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers with Rebecca Lorenz – January 23rd at 2PM ET. Build a Prospecting Follow-Up Strategy with Kendra Lee – January 25th at 1PM ET.

Sign up for a complimentary webinar hosted by ICE to hear about AI and the future of home valuations. A panel of industry experts will discuss the ways AI-powered tools eliminate valuation bias. They’ll also cover how AI accelerates the valuation process, and ways you can look out for fraud when using AI in home appraisals. The webinar, Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Home Valuations, will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 23 from 2 -3 p.m. Don’t miss out on key insights: register here.

Join BankingBridge, Wednesday, January 24th, 2PM ET/11AM PT, for an insightful webinar delving into the opportunities Zillow offers to enhance lead generation and conversion for mortgage lenders. This comprehensive session is designed to guide you through the various advertising avenues available on Zillow, including the strategic use of the Zillow Mortgage Rate Table, and the nuances of both long-form and short-form leads.

Wednesday the 24th, looking for more in-depth commentary on weekly mortgage news? Register here for “Mortgage Matters: The Weekly Roundup” presented by Lenders One. Every Wednesday at 2PM EST/11AM PT is a dive into a range of mortgage-related topics, including market trends, interest rate fluctuations, innovative mortgage products, and industry advancements. Listen to a unique mix of age perspective, expertise, and charisma to the screen, ensuring that the information is not only educational but also entertaining. Hear from This week is fabled Austin-based attorney John Fleming discussing trigger leads and the NAR verdict.

“Mastering the Art of Mortgage Broker Engagement” is on January 24th at 10AM PST to learn best practices and strategies that wholesale lenders are using to thrive in the TPO market. This webinar will show you proven tactics and technology tools that are helping wholesale lenders create efficient sales processes that are both scalable and effective. Click here to register.

Join Real Estate Consulting (RCLCO) for this Month’s Webinar: New Year, New Trends – Compensation & Talent Management, Thursday, January 25th, 9:15AM PT / 12:15PM ET. Speakers include Ellen Klasson, Managing Director; Eric Willett, Managing Director; Adam Ostler, Principal, and Moderator Joshua A. Boren, Managing Director, Strategic Initiatives (Moderator).

Friday, January 26th, is this week’s episode of The Mortgage Collaborative’s Rundown covering current events in the mortgage market for 30-45 minutes starting at noon PT, 3PM ET, in “The Rundown”.

The California Association of Mortgage Professionals (CAMP) is presenting the 2024 Economic Forecast with Dr. Michael Frantanoni and Rob Chrisman on Tuesday, January 30th

1PM PT. “Unlock the Future: 2024 Economic Forecast Revealed! Dive into a World of Opportunities and Growth. Discover Key Insights, Trends, and Strategies for Success in the Upcoming Economic Landscape.”

“Lending operations leaders who care about increasing revenue and decreasing costs, join your tribe in this live event. On January 30th at 1pm CT is an electric panelist lineup made up of Industry leaders that are going to ‘spill the beans’ on ten strategies they are focused on to increase sales and reduce costs with minimal investment in 2024. Join Kevin Peraino, Chief Lending Officer at PRMG, Delfino Aguilar, Chief Production Officer – TPO, Kind Lending, David Lykken, Founder & Chief Transformation Officer at Transformational Mortgage Solutions, LLC (TMS), and Richard Grieser, VP of Marketing at TRUV.

Now available on the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) Single Family Housing Events and Training web page under Single Family Housing Self-Paced, Pre-Recorded Training

The first self-paced training module, the Single-Family Housing Policy Handbook (Handbook 4000.1) is an evergreen presentation that walks new and/or existing stakeholders needing a refresher through Handbook 4000.1’s structure and style. It is designed to help viewers understand its benefits, where to access it online, how to read Mortgagee Letters (ML) in context, and how to locate content updates.

The second self-paced training module, the Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM) Origination and Servicing Overview, focuses solely on the newest and final Handbook 4000.1 section that was released on October 31, 2023, and announced in a press release and FHA INFO 2023-84. It begins with a review of the new HECM section’s style and structure, consistent with the rest of Handbook 4000.1 for HECM originators, servicers, and other interested parties. Additionally, it provides viewers with an overview of some of the more recent HECM policy updates that have been incorporated into this new Handbook section, making it easier for HECM originators and servicers to locate the information needed to do with business with FHA in one place.

Capital Markets

Another week, another round of good U.S. economic news. Last week’s Michigan sentiment for January crushed expectations to register at the highest point since July 2021, strong retail sales data from December, and the lowest level of initial jobless claims in over a year. Positive economic news, coupled with diminished chances of a March rate cut, have pushed bond yields to the highest levels in a month. Americans are feeling positive about the economy, their incomes, and the outlook on prices. Notably, the increase in consumer sentiment was accompanied by another drop in year-ahead inflation expectations, which have returned to a level not seen in three years.

The preliminary reading of the University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index for January was well ahead of estimates, hitting its highest level since July 2021 with year-ahead inflation expectations decelerating to 2.9 percent from 3.1 percent, a rate not seen in just over three years. Existing home sales decreased 1.0 percent month-over-month in December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.78 million from 3.82 million in November. Sales were down 6.2 percent from the same period a year ago as high mortgage rates continue weighing on the overall level of activity, though they have not stopped prices from continuing to climb.

Last week’s batch of data, which included a mix of high consumer confidence and lower inflation expectations that points toward a soft landing for the U.S. economy and Fed Chair Powell’s war on inflation, has dropped the implied likelihood of a 25-basis points rate cut at the March FOMC meeting to 45 percent currently from over 55 percent seen at the beginning of last week. While investors continue to chip away at bets that the Fed will cut rates early and aggressively this year, there remains a significant gap in the market and Fed expectations for the fed funds trajectory this year.

It all points to a solid American economy, notably more so despite a Fed rate-tightening campaign that seemingly has broken the back of inflation. However, investors are eager to know when those rate hikes will be reversed; expect them to wait to ease, and that the market will merge with what the Fed thinks. The Fed will err on the side of being conservative.

Central banks will also be busy, with monetary policy statements and interest rate decisions expected from the Bank of Japan, European Central Bank, and Bank of Canada. In the U.S., Federal Reserve members will be in a blackout period of no public talks ahead of the next FOMC meeting on January 30-31.

This week’s economic calendar includes month-end auctions consisting of $162 billion 2-year, 5-year, and 7-year notes tomorrow through Thursday with $18 billion 2-year FRNs also on Wednesday, Fed surveys, S&P Global PMI flashes, durables goods orders, the first look at Q1 GDP (expected at 2.0 percent), new home sales, and Fed favorite PCE on Friday. Expectations are for the core PCE Price Index to increase 0.2 percent month-over-month and 3.0 percent year-over-year versus 0.1 percent and 3.2 percent previously. No Fed speakers are scheduled with the Fed in their blackout period.

Additionally, this week brings the ECB’s first monetary policy meeting of 2024 and a rate decision from the Bank of Japan. Today’s economic calendar sees just one data point with leading indicators for December. (The forecast is for unchanged which, if realized, would be the first non-negative reading in 21 months.) We begin the week with Agency MBS prices better by .125-.250, the 10-year yielding 4.09 after closing last week at 4.15 percent., and the 2-year at 4.38.

 Download our mobile app to get alerts for Rob Chrisman’s Commentary.


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The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) faces a potential loss of roughly $7 billion in receipts in 2024, and a failure by Congress to come to terms on certain spending agreements could force across-the-board cuts to non-defense spending of roughly 5-to-9%.

This is according to a letter published this week by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), submitted to the chairman and ranking member of the U.S. House of Representatives budget committee.

CBO projections for FHA

“This letter provides CBO’s assessment of the effects of the caps on discretionary funding in fiscal year 2024,” the letter reads. “Those effects will depend on the nature and timing of appropriation legislation and on decisions by [OMB]. If necessary, the caps will be enforced by OMB through sequestration, the process by which across-the-board reductions are applied to budgetary resources.”

If Congress is unable to come to a compromise on government funding — with current continuing resolutions in place in two phases — sequestration would force cuts to both defense and nondefense government spending. The latter would see far more severe cuts, according to CBO.

“In the scenarios CBO examined, if enacted funding equaled the annualized amount of funding under the continuing resolution, sequestration would be required and would result in across-the-board reductions ranging from 5 percent to 9 percent for nondefense funding and from zero to 1 percent for defense funding, depending on when appropriations were enacted and what form they took,” the letter said.

FHA’s lower expected receipts in 2024 are cited by CBO as one of the reasons that nondefense spending could see more severe cuts in 2024, but both housing groups and the agencies themselves have explained that additional resources from Congress are needed to adequately handle the housing challenges across the country today.

MBA, NRMLA advocate for full FHA, Ginnie Mae funding

Leaders in Congress have been entertaining the notion of a 1% cut to housing agencies. In December, leaders at housing advocacy groups including the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) and the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA) submitted a letter urging leaders in Congress to fully fund FHA and Ginnie Mae.

“The [budget agreement] enacted this past spring contained an overall discretionary spending level of 1% below FY 2023 spending levels,” the letter said. “At this time, it is unclear whether FY 2024 HUD funding will be approved through a traditional conference report, a continuing resolution, or a reversion to the budget agreement default process.”

FHA, the groups said, provides “the most important mortgage option for affordable mortgage loans for first-time, minority, and other underserved homebuyers – responsibly serving qualified borrowers with low down payment requirements or minor credit blemishes,” while Ginnie Mae maintains a “critical role” in the housing ecosystem with its mortgage-backed securities (MBS) program and its other important roles in rural housing and loans for veterans.

A one percent cut to these agencies, the letter said, would “prove inadequate and substantially undermine FHA’s ability to fulfill its baseline responsibilities and pursue the initiatives identified above,” and would “result in harmful mortgage market impacts and taxpayer risks” for Ginnie Mae.

Possible reverse mortgage impacts

A reduction in FHA’s budget could negatively impact the administration of the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) program, but another reverse mortgage impact could be from potential cuts to Ginnie Mae due to liquidity challenges being faced in the reverse mortgage business.

After assuming control of Reverse Mortgage Funding (RMF)’s portfolio of HECM-backed securities late last year, Ginnie Mae officials explained throughout last year that the assumption of a large portfolio — estimated to contain as much as one-third of all HMBS issuance as of mid-2023 — necessitated more appropriations from Congress to adequately manage it.

In its 2024 budget request submitted to Congress last March, Ginnie Mae explained some of the challenges inherent in managing the RMF portfolio.

“We continue to spot new issues as we take the RMF portfolio in-house,” Ginnie’s budget request document said. “It has become clear that the HECM program requires enhanced governance across how Ginnie Mae makes decisions […] because the HMBS program presents a heightened set of operational risks for Ginnie Mae, we require additional staff to work through these issues.”

A continuing resolution keeps Ginnie Mae ‘flat’

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Alanna McCargo, president of the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae).

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Alanna McCargo

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Alanna McCargo

In an interview with RMD late in 2023, Ginnie Mae President Alanna McCargo spoke about some of the challenges in securing additional appropriations considering the narrow political majorities in both houses of Congress.

“We’ve been on a journey to right-size Ginnie Mae since I started, and then the acquisition of this portfolio and with the role we’re playing right now in the reverse industry, [that has] only accelerated our need to have more focus, more resources and more people to do the business that we have to do,” McCargo said.

While there has been some support shown for fully funding Ginnie Mae in Congress, operating off of a continuing resolution has stifled any potential growth in appropriations, she explained.

“Unfortunately, the [continuing resolution] that we’re currently operating under keeps us flat, so it really does slow down our ability to do the hiring and planning that we want and need to do,” McCargo said.

External to the budget issues, Ginnie Mae has taken steps to improve reverse industry liquidity by reducing the minimum size required to create HMBS pools to assist smaller issuers and changing certain pool eligibility requirements to ease some strain.


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From 9 a.m. ET on December 22, 2023, to 5 p.m. ET on Thursday, February 15, 2024, fans have the opportunity to enter for a chance to win the 2024 HGTV Dream Home.

HGTV and FoodNetwork fans have the chance to win the 2024 HGTV Dream Home giveaway in Anastasia Island, Florida. The prize package, valued at over $2.2 Million, includes keys to the home, all furnishings, an all-new Mercedes-Benz E Class Sedan, and $100,000. Eligible fans can enter for a chance to win daily at and, where they will also find full details of the official rules and additional home features.

The three-bedroom, four-bathroom home sits at approximately 3,300 square feet with views of the Matanzas River and the St. Augustine Lighthouse. The home combines classic coastal elegance with modern touches and layers of natural textures drenched in soothing blue and white hues. Upon entry, guests will instantly be taken away by the beautiful views of the waterfront. The front door leads to the great room with an open concept, including a living room with sleek sofas and a fireplace, a dining room with a beach-inspired distressed table, and a bright blue cabinet-filled kitchen. The laundry room and well-organized mudroom sit between the kitchen and an attached two-car garage. The main bedroom looks up to airy skylights and offers a private retreat from the rest of the home with a walk-in closet and main bathroom.

The house is perfect for entertaining, with two guest suites and a loft that provides a cosy space with a wet bar and a mini fridge. The spacious backyard is a dreamy getaway with an outdoor kitchen and high-top bar, two fire features, a pool, and multiple outdoor entertaining spaces, including a screened-in porch with lounge and dining and a pergola with conversation seating.

Architect Michael Stauffer designed the home, and local builder Glenn Layton Homes brought it to life. The interior design was done by Brian Patrick Flynn.

2024 HGTV Dream Home features overview:

  • 3-bed, 4-bath home with 3,300 sq ft
  • Views of Matanzas River and St. Augustine Lighthouse
  • Classic coastal elegance meets modern touches
  • The front door opens to a great room with an open-plan concept
  • Main bedroom with walk-in closet and main bathroom
  • 2 guest suites and loft with wet bar and mini fridge
  • Spacious backyard with outdoor kitchen, high-top bar, fire features, pool, and multiple entertaining spaces

The HGTV Dream Home inspires millions of HGTV fans who enter for a chance to win every year. With this year’s home, we are showcasing Anastasia Island, which offers something for everyone from historical sites to year-round outdoor adventures.

Loren Ruch, Head of Content, HGTV

Anastasia Island is located off the northeast Atlantic coast of Florida, just east of St. Augustine, considered the oldest city in America. The 14-mile island is connected to the city of St. Augustine by the Bridge of Lions, giving access to everything from the charming cobblestone streets and powder sand beaches to historical sites and a wide range of activities. With a rich architectural history, Anastasia Island sits atop layers of local coquina stone formed from seashells used to build the Castillo de San Marcos, a national monument and the oldest fort in the United States. Visitors can explore the St. Augustine Lighthouse, Anastasia State Park, Matanzas Inlet, St. Augustine Amphitheatre and many other local attractions. With endless water sports, scenic boat rides, campsites and majestic views, this seaside escape is the perfect dreamy getaway to call home.

Sponsors of the 2024 HGTV Dream Home include Belgard®, Cabinets To Go, Delta Faucet, James Hardie Building Products Inc., LL Flooring, Mercedes-Benz USA, The Sherwin-Williams Company, SimpliSafe Home Security, Sleep Number®, Trex Company LLC, VELUX® No Leak Skylights, Viva®, Wayfair® and KitchenAid, and Maytag by Whirlpool Corporation.

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Mihaela Lica Butler is senior partner at Pamil Visions PR. She is a widely cited authority on public relations issues, with an experience of over 25 years in online PR, marketing, and SEO.She covers startups, online marketing, social media, SEO, and other topics of interest for Realty Biz News.

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