Prince George's County Community Association Conference Focused on Mortgage, Homeowners Association Issues
Tracey Gold Bennett | , WI Staff Writer | 9/19/2011, 3:12 p.m.
Levi Connally and his family have lived in Prince George's County for several years. Connally says he moved to the county from the District just before the housing market began to tank.
"When I moved into the county the real estate market was booming up until that point, and then six months to a year after we purchased our brand new home, we started noticing a bunch of foreclosures in our neighborhood," Connnally said.
While Connally's property value has been affected by the number of foreclosures, but with no plans to sell, he's still cautiously optimistic that things will turn around.
"We know we could have gotten the home we purchased for significantly less if we had waited," he said. "But [while] we got the value for what we wanted at that time, we realize we'll get less money if we were to sell."
Abut 300 people like Connally turned up on Sat., Sept. 17 at the 4th annual Prince George's County Community Association Conference to find out about what options were available to them to help with issues, such as being underwater with their mortgages, to dealing with homeowners associations. Delegate Aisha Braveboy hosted the event at Prince George's County Sports and Learning Center in Landover.
"We lead the state in the number of foreclosures. In my district, the 25th district, we have one of the highest foreclosure rates in the county," Braveboy said, touting the importance of the annual conference. "Today was great today. Lots of representatives from housing associations, civic associations and even folks from other jurisdictions like Howard County came to get good information on new laws and government resources, both state and local, which are available. Representative Donna Edwards, County Executive Rushern Baker and Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown were also on hand to address concerns of the public.
Braveboy is also a broker/consultant for the Blue Chip Brokerage Group, a commercial and residential real estate service in Mitchellville.
Her one-day conference responded to the primary issues most often expressed by homeowners, including access to reliable services, knowledgeable experts and up-to-date information on the area's housing market.
This year's conference included workshops addressing concerns of homeowners, condominium, cooperatives and civic associations.
"The civic and homeowners'associations help keep residents empowered. These organizations can let property owners know what happens in their neighborhoods when a property is foreclosed and continue relationships with the new property owner," she said.
Genevieve Harris, is director of Operations for Sage Property Management in Riverdale, and her organization's information booth and a video presentation on home-ownership were featured during the event.
"We're here primarily to advocate so that people know their rights and responsibilities when it comes to their homeowners association," Harris said.
"There are a variety of economic issues around [what it takes to rebuild communities] during a recession, and we are here to educate people about those things."
The program format consisted of multiple breakout sessions, a free community association luncheon and an exhibit hall with an array of vendors including Quiza Nichol's company, Quiza Management, located in Bowie, Md.
"We came to help educate people about the different services that are available to homeowners," Harris said. "This entire event was put together to raise the awareness, and help people understand the responsibilities and benefits of home-ownership."
For more information on homeownership initiatives, outreach and education is available on the county's website. http://www.princegeorgescountymd.gov