On Tuesday, the Vail Symposium will present a panel discussion entitled "Navigating the New Seas of Real Estate Purchasing and Financing." If you are a potential buyer or seller of real estate in the Vail Valley or elsewhere, this is a must-see program.Following the financial melt-down in 2008, the rules for bank financing of real estate changed and, in some cases, changed dramatically. Whether you are a seller, a first-time home buyer, a second-home buyer or a home buyer who is retired, you must understand how these new rules affect each and every one of you. Sometimes, the new rules lead to absurd results.For example, a local retired couple recently applied to their bank for a 50 percent mortgage on a new property. The bank, however, in determining their qualification for a loan, would not consider their monthly checks from natural gas production. The bank would also not consider - or would substantially discount equity on - the two residences they owned free and clear or their three rental homes. The bank even counted the available balance on a home equity line of credit against their assets even though they had never used it and applied an asset reduction analysis to their retirement accounts. As a result, the bank denied their loan request even though they had sufficient cash and securities in their accounts at the bank to buy the property without a loan. They then went to a private equity lender and their loan request was approved the same day. There are many similar stories about the difficulties faced by first-time and second-home buyers in this new age of lending. In addition to discussing the details of real estate financing, our panel of top real estate and lending experts from around the Vail Valley will discuss the intricacies of how to purchase foreclosed properties and how to purchase and sell properties that are short sales. Jim Flaum and Kim Bradley from Slifer Smith & Frampton will give the perspective of Realtors on buying foreclosed properties and short sales as well as obtaining financing from the buyer's point of view. Sheila Smith from Integrity Real Estate Advantage Inc. specializes in buying foreclosed properties and short sales and will guide you through the long and difficult process of negotiating with banks for foreclosed properties and short sales. Scott Prince from Wells Fargo Home Mortgage will guide you through the new lending rules for first-time buyers, second-home buyers and buyers who are retired. If you are, or intend to be, in the real estate market in the near future, you need to be at this program.James Ruh is the chairman of the board of directors for the Vail Symposium. He practiced law in Denver for 35 years and is now a principal in Innovative Dispute Resolutions, LLC, a mediation firm based in Santa Barbara, Calif. James and his wife, Bobbie, have lived in Vail for the past five years.