Tag Archives: Energy News

NAR Hosts eClosing Summit

By Christie DeSanctis, Melanie Wyne

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RealtororgGovernmentAffairsHeadlines/~3/QIjU1NRFk0k/nar-hosts-eclosing-summit

HUD Regulatory Review

By Megan Booth, Sehar Siddiqi, Joe Harris

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RealtororgGovernmentAffairsHeadlines/~3/msDpq_SXotY/hud-regulatory-review

NAR Weighs-In on NFIP Bills

By Austin Perez, Ken Wingert, Erin Stackley

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RealtororgGovernmentAffairsHeadlines/~3/CnpdNalQ1p0/nar-weighs-in-on-nfip-bills

House Begins Flood Insurance Markup

By Austin Perez, Ken Wingert, Erin Stackley

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RealtororgGovernmentAffairsHeadlines/~3/7dHNvu5s-Q8/house-begins-flood-insurance-markup

Monday Minute

AE | Store | Directories

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RealtororgGovernmentAffairsHeadlines/~3/H0TcTOrBAxc/monday-minute-week-of-june-19-2017

Realtors® Highlight Flood Insurance Concerns as House Committee Finalizes Key Markup

AE | Store | Directories

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RealtororgGovernmentAffairsHeadlines/~3/xCKhyoJo_J0/realtors-highlight-flood-insurance-concerns-as-house-committee-finalizes-key-markup

NAR Welcomes 50% Fannie Debt-to-Income

AE | Store | Directories

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RealtororgGovernmentAffairsHeadlines/~3/zQkzAg5yYxo/nar-welcomes-50-fannie-debt-to-income

Monday Minute

AE | Store | Directories

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RealtororgGovernmentAffairsHeadlines/~3/l-IY8RPE82w/monday-minute-week-of-june-12-2017

Labor Department Withdraws Workplace Guidance

By Christie DeSanctis, Marcia Salkin

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RealtororgGovernmentAffairsHeadlines/~3/YKnVCIW8S2Q/labor-department-withdraws-workplace-guidance

House Holds Flood Insurance Hearing

By Austin Perez, Ken Wingert, Erin Stackley

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RealtororgGovernmentAffairsHeadlines/~3/KtIqN1mHm6g/house-holds-flood-insurance-hearing

Monday Minute – Week of June 5, 2017

AE | Store | Directories

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RealtororgGovernmentAffairsHeadlines/~3/oGUeOPZAv0E/monday-minute-week-of-june-5-2017

Advisory on Appraiser Availability

By Sehar Siddiqi, Joe Harris

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RealtororgGovernmentAffairsHeadlines/~3/uQX-vP1Z4mY/advisory-on-appraiser-availability

VA Clarification on Comparable Sale Properties

By Sehar Siddiqi, Joe Harris

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RealtororgGovernmentAffairsHeadlines/~3/acHIzqR4irg/va-clarification-on-comparable-sale-properties

Voice for Real Estate 68: Hill Visits, BOD Decisions

Congress hears from REALTORS® on tax reform

NAR’s board wants to curb rent control

And homes are selling faster than ever

Hi, I’m Stephen Gasque with the National Association of REALTORS®.

More than 9,000 REALTORS® traveled to Washington in May to meet with their members of Congress. Their message: tax reform must not place an unfair burden on our nation’s homeowners.

[QUOTE]

REALTORS® favor tax reform, especially changes that will ease the burden on small businesses. But they raised a red flag when the Trump administration released a plan that would do away with many of the deductions homeowners take, including real estate taxes and other state and local taxes. Even if owners can still deduct mortgage interest, the loss of those other deductions, in combination with other changes under consideration, would lead to a more than 800-dollar increase in taxes on average for middle-income homeowners, who earn between $50,000 and $200,000 a year.

[QUOTE]

In hundreds of meetings with lawmakers, REALTORS® were armed with research commissioned by NAR that found home prices would drop by an average 10.3 percent across the nation if the Administration’s plan were to take effect. That reform proposal would consolidate individual tax brackets from five to three, lower rates, double the standard deduction, and eliminate all itemized deductions except those for mortgage interest and charitable giving.

Homeowners would end up losing almost one trillion dollars in tax savings, a drop of more than 80 percent.

NAR’s position is: That’s an unfair burden to place on our nation’s homeowners, who already pay more than 80 percent of all personal income taxes in the United States.

You can access all of the research findings by searching “impact of tax reform options” on nar.realtor.

[SWOOSH]

The Capitol Hill visits by REALTORS® were just part of the action in Washington during the NAR’s legislative meetings. There were hundreds of education classes, committee sessions, and forums over the course of the week.

And at its meeting capping off the event, NAR’s board of directors voted on new policy positions in support of the nation’s REALTORS®.

First, the board voted to reaffirm NAR’s commitment to maintaining a federal guarantee for conventional mortgage financing. NAR also will continue to advocate for making loans receiving federal guarantees assumable. That would protect homebuyers, including move-up buyers, from seeing their buying power eroded by rising interest rates.

Other positions the board voted on:

  • Opposing the rise in rent control measures by state and local governments
  • Maintaining its support of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which helps combat fraud and abuse in the lending
  • industry. But NAR also wants the agency to be overseen by a five-person commission rather than a single director.
  • And removing federally backed reverse mortgages from the way FHA calculates the amount of reserves it maintains in its
  • main insurance fund.

[SWOOSH]

A minor pause in home sales last month.

NAR’s existing-home sales figures for April declined by about 2 percent to a 5.57 million sales pace. That’s still one of the highest levels over the last 12 months, and there’s no sign of any let-up in demand. In fact, the number of days the typical listing is on the market has fallen from 34 days to 29 days. That’s the first time that days-on-market fell below a month. Dannielle Hale, NAR’s managing director of housing research, has more.

[QUOTE]

We’ll have more on how home sales are doing across the country next week when NAR releases its forward-looking pending home sales index.

[SWOOSH]

Before we leave you, a special thank-you to the thousands of REALTORS® who traveled to Washington this month. You’re doing important work when you take time out from your business to make your voice heard at our nation’s Capitol.

And that’s our show for the week of May 29. You can get more on everything we talked about at the Voice for Real Estate page on nar.realtor. Thank you for joining us. And we hope to see you again next time, as we bring you all the latest news, on the Voice for Real Estate!

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RealtororgGovernmentAffairsHeadlines/~3/O2XWbqK9aJ8/voice-for-real-estate-68-hill-visits-bod-decisions

Hearing Held on PHH v. CFPB

AE | Store | Directories

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RealtororgGovernmentAffairsHeadlines/~3/SZMedRGG600/hearing-held-on-phh-v-cfpb

House Releases Flood Insurance Bill

By Austin Perez, Ken Wingert, Erin Stackley

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RealtororgGovernmentAffairsHeadlines/~3/Vb2FlBXBoJo/house-releases-flood-insurance-bill

NAR Opposes USDA Reorganization

By Megan Booth, Sehar Siddiqi, Joe Harris

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RealtororgGovernmentAffairsHeadlines/~3/ScepgZ2HtMM/nar-opposes-usda-reorganization

May 2017 GAD Briefing

AE | Store | Directories

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RealtororgGovernmentAffairsHeadlines/~3/1slIW4BNjaA/may-2017-gad-briefing

Monday Minute – Week of May 22, 2017

AE | Store | Directories

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RealtororgGovernmentAffairsHeadlines/~3/wAPipHrHhsI/monday-minute-week-of-may-22-2017

Internal News Service Special Report

NAR Reaffirms Support of Project Upstream

The NAR Board of Directors voted to continue its support of Upstream, the technology developed to give brokers and agents a better way to manage their listing data and direct its distribution to MLSs, vendors, and third-party listing aggregators. 

Spearheaded by the broker-run UpstreamRE LLC, the technology has been successfully demonstrated by RMLS, a REALTOR® owned MLS operating in the Portland, Ore., area. Several other demonstrations are planned for this summer with brokers and MLSs around the country. 

In comments to the Board, Upstream Chairman Dan Elsea likened Upstream to technologies that exist in other industries, including ATPCO, the source of airline fare-related data. Elsea heads one of the nation’s largest independent brokerages, Real Estate One, but said Upstream will benefit large and small brokerages alike. 

The vote authorizes NAR to fund $1.5 million for administrative costs through 2018, as well as up to $7.5 million to support deployment of the technology by REALTORS® Property Resource, the NAR subsidiary that developed the technology. Earlier in the week, UpstreamRE announced a new “broker of choice” model, which will enable listing data to be input directly into Upstream or flow to Upstream from the MLS. 

The Board’s decision came at its May 20 meeting, which capped off the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings Trade Expo in Washington. Nearly 10,000 REALTORS® and others attended the meetings and made visits to their members of Congress to advocate on behalf of homeowners, commercial property investors, and strong communities.

The board also approved measures dealing with federal policy, MLS policy, and credentialing of officer candidates. Here are highlights.

CFPB Structure Change Sought

The Board supported a proposal to restructure the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) by replacing the current single-director arrangement with a five-member board whose members would be appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. Under the proposal, no more than three CFPB board members would come from one political party. The existing independent agency structure and funding sources would remain unchanged.

ADA Lawsuits Should Be Last Resort

The Board called for legislation requiring that parties who claim violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) notify the person or organization responsible for the alleged violation and give them an opportunity to remedy it before filing a lawsuit.

FHA Fund Calculations

The Board supported the exclusion of reverse mortgages when HUD calculates the minimum capital reserve required for the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund (MMIF). While the FHA’s insurance program for single-family mortgages is growing and financially stable, the FHA’s Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) program has been unstable. Keeping the programs separate would help provide a more realistic picture of the FHA’s financial health. 

Opposition to Rent Control

In response to the growing number of rent control programs that have been implemented by states and localities in recent years, the Board adopted an updated rent control policy statement to replace the one that has been in place since 1997. The new statement reiterates NAR’s position that government programs that limit rent increases or impose other rent-related restrictions on landlords unfairly restrict private property rights. Under the policy, NAR encourages local and state associations to oppose legislative measures that allow for rent control or rent stabilization programs. 

Legal Assistance

The board allocated $500,000 to support two state REALTOR® associations and two other organizations in the following legal cases:

  • A copyright-infringement suit filed by the California Association of REALTORS® against a website that has posted copyrighted CAR forms and refused to remove them.
  • A suit that an organization in Oregon intends to file against the National Marine Fisheries Service in response to the service’s decision that FEMA’s implementation of the National Flood Insurance Program violates the Endangered Species Act.
  • A suit filed against the city of Portland, Ore., seeking to invalidate an ordinance that requires landlords to provide relocation assistance to tenants in certain cases. NAR funds will be used to reimburse the Oregon Association of REALTORS® for expenses related to its support for the case.
  • A suit filed by a Guam organization claiming that the federal government’s decision to sharply reduce the percentage of requests for H2B temporary worker visas it approves is arbitrary and harmful to Guam’s economy.

MLS Policy Changes

The Board updated the NAR Lockbox Security Requirements to reflect technology changes, particularly the increasing use of mobile devices. In addition, the Board approved the use of voice-activated services to deliver IDX listing information. Finally, the Board changed the model IDX rules to require that listing brokers be identified in all IDX displays; previously, listing broker attribution was optional. 

Government-Sponsored Enterprises

As the federal government considers reform of the secondary mortgage market, the Board reaffirmed NAR’s position that any successor to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac maintain an explicit government guarantee to ensure that mortgage funds remain available to credit-worthy homebuyers, even during economic downturns. In an addition to NAR’s Housing Finance Reform Principles, the board took the position that loans syndicated through government-guaranteed mortgage-backed securities should be assumable. The board also heard the following reports. 

The REALTORS® Information Network

Bob Goldberg, president and CEO of the REALTORS® Information Network and a senior vice president for NAR, said more than 100,000 members had registered for a .realtor top-level domain. 

realtor.com®

Luke Glass, executive vice president of Move Inc., told the Board that consumer awareness of realtor.com® is at 88 percent and said that the site now ranks third across the internet (behind just YouTube and Facebook) in terms of how much time users spend per session. Glass also described a variety of innovations, including virtual reality tours, a service that will allow people to get neighborhood information using the camera on their mobile device, and a new resource section that enables members to easily share realtor.com content with consumers. 

Realtors Property Resource®

About 98 percent of multiple-listing services now provide data to Realtors Property Resource® (RPR®), according to RPR® CEO Dale Ross. About 700,000 real estate professionals now use RPR® on an annual basis, and 158,000 “power users” tap the service regularly. 

Distinguished Service Awards

Jack Woodcock, GRI, CCIM, CRS, SRES, of Las Vegas, and Robert (Bob) Kulick, GRI, CCIM, of Monte Sereno, Calif., were announced as NAR Distinguished Service Award recipients. Woodcock and Kulick will receive their awards during the at the next Board meeting, Nov. 6 in Chicago. 

RPAC

RPAC has raised more than $17.5 million so far in 2017, more than half of its 2017 goal of $31.3 million. The number of major investors is up 19 percent.

Financials

NAR dues will remain at $120 for 2018, with $40 of this amount allocated for REALTOR® Party programs. The association membership stands at 1.23 million, and NAR forecasts 1.24 million members in 2018.

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RealtororgGovernmentAffairsHeadlines/~3/jnNbKHbUOIo/internal-news-service-special-report-1

Is Mortgage-Interest Deduction the Best Way?

By William E. Brown, Granger MacDonald

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RealtororgGovernmentAffairsHeadlines/~3/7Q34tDCMqS8/is-mortgage-interest-deduction-the-best-way

Flood Insurance, Tax Reform Top Issues as Realtors® Head to Washington

WASHINGTON (May 16, 2017) – Nearly 9,000 Realtors® and industry guests are descending upon Washington this week to address regulators and members of Congress on key industry issues, including national flood insurance, tax reform and sustainable homeownership.

Realtor® members will visit U.S. House and Senate offices to urge Congress to pass a multiyear reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program before it expires on September 30. Additionally, Realtors® are seeking to protect sustainable homeownership by advocating for responsible reform of the secondary mortgage market, prohibiting the use of mortgage guarantee fees for any purposes other than credit-risk management and improving consumer protections for energy efficiency improvement loans.

Realtors® will also be reminding legislators that while Realtors® support tax reform, it cannot happen by diminishing the real estate tax provisions that are an essential component of a vibrant housing market and key driver of the economy.

During the meeting, attendees will also be participating in a series of on-site visits with regulatory agency staff at the Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Department of Treasury and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

 “With a new president and Congress in office, it’s vitally important for regulators and policymakers in Washington to hear from the nation’s Realtors® about issues affecting their businesses, communities and clients,” said National Association of Realtors® President William E. Brown, a Realtor® from Alamo, California and founder of Investment Properties, a division of his family real estate business. “Robust commercial markets and helping more Americans achieve the dream of homeownership are things we believe strongly in protecting, which is why we are here this week engaging with our senators and representatives and making our voices heard.”

This year’s meeting, which kicks off today and runs through Saturday, May 20 will also feature nearly 100 conference sessions on hot topics that range from policy to technology. Conference attendees will hear from industry experts and thought leaders, including:

  • Mark Calabria, chief economist to Vice President Mike Pence, who will discuss the market and potential administration changes and their effect on housing.
  • Dr. Ben Carson, secretary, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, who will talk about access to mortgage credit and his priorities for the Federal Housing Administration.
  • John Worth, senior vice president for Research and Investor Outreach, National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, who will share the perspectives of publicly listed companies on current developments in commercial markets.
  • Roy Wright, deputy associate administrator for Insurance and Mitigation, Federal Emergency Management Administration, who will discuss the NFIP benefits provided to millions of home and business owners.
  • Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, who will share residential and commercial real estate market updates and forecasts.  

Recognizing those who play a role in making the Realtors® Political Action Committee among the largest and most bipartisan contributor to candidates, 143 Realtors® will be inducted into the RPAC 2016 Hall of Fame, which recognizes members whose aggregate RPAC investments are at least $25,000. The 2016 class is the largest ever and includes a member who has invested $150,000, the highest in RPAC’s 48-year history. Hall of Fame inductees were recognized onstage during the meetings with a plaque and lapel pin and will have their name inscribed on the Hall of Fame placard on the rooftop of NAR’s D.C. headquarters. The list of 143 inductees is available at www.realtoractioncenter.com/rpachof.

The legislative meetings coincide with Realtors® Advocacy Month, designed to engage and educate Realtors® to vote, act and invest in advocacy issues at all levels of government. Throughout the month of May, state and local associations of Realtors® are sharing their candidate and issue campaign successes, holding voter registration drives or community outreach events, and educating members on issues important to the industry, markets and consumers.

The meeting trade expo will be open Wed., May 17 and Thur., May 18 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. More than 100 industry-leading companies will demonstrate the latest real estate products and services.

To stay connected with the conference follow the Realtors® Legislative Live blog, live.blogs.realtor.org/, the Twitter hashtag #narlegislative, or find NAR at @nardotrealtor on Facebook and Twitter.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

###

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RealtororgGovernmentAffairsHeadlines/~3/NSgtKVEkhes/flood-insurance-tax-reform-top-issues-as-realtors-head-to-washington

Impact of Tax Reform Options on Owner-Occupied Housing

AE | Store | Directories

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RealtororgGovernmentAffairsHeadlines/~3/ynlLmx9Ehyk/impact-of-tax-reform-options-on-owner-occupied-housing

HUD Secretary Carson Highlights 3 Possible Improvements to Homeownership Programs

HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson speaks at the Regulatory Issues Forum at the 2017 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings Trade Expo in Washington, DC.

WASHINGTON (May 16, 2017) — Potential homebuyers have a lot to contend with from tight credit and low inventory to rising prices. But for buyers who are able to muscle past these hurdles, Realtors® know that tough-to-make deals can still fall apart when needlessly high regulatory burdens get in the way.

That point was made clear by and received loud applause for Dr. Ben Carson, secretary of Housing and Urban Development, who told attendees at the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings Trade Expo that HUD is working to make improvements with the goal of ushering in a new era of homeownership.

“It’s important to be able to learn from success and from failure,” Carson said. “That’s what wisdom is all about.”

NAR for years has pushed for reforms at the Federal Housing Administration – a program office under HUD’s jurisdiction – that would make it easier for homebuyers to utilize FHA’s low-down payment financing options.

One example is NAR’s call for FHA to address current restrictions on the treatment of condominiums. An NAR-backed rule that would make it easier to buy a condo with FHA financing has been pending since September 2016, and Realtors® welcomed an update from Dr. Carson on the status of the rule. He said that on the issue of condos, HUD’s position is in “lock step” with that of Realtors®. “I can assure you that this rule has very high priority,” Carson said. “I think it will make a big difference to a lot of Americans.”

NAR President William E. Brown, a second-generation Realtor® from Alamo, California and founder of Investment Properties moderated a short QA session with Dr. Carson in which Brown raised the condo rule issue, as well as some other key concerns facing Realtors®.

“Condominiums are an affordable option that many young and first-time buyers look to when they start their home search, but using an FHA loan to buy a condo is still a real challenge,” said Brown. “Finishing work on the condo rule would offer some much-needed clarity and relief.”

Realtors® have also long-supported an end to so-called “life of loan” mortgage insurance. On a conventional mortgage, borrowers typically must pay for mortgage insurance if they have less than 20 percent equity in the property. When the homeowner reaches that 20 percent equity mark, they’re usually able to cancel the mortgage insurance and put those monthly payments back in their pocket.

With an FHA mortgage, however, borrowers must maintain costly mortgage insurance for the entire life of the loan. That needlessly takes money from the consumer and offers an incentive for strong borrowers to leave the program, potentially weakening FHA’s book of business. For those reasons, eliminating the life of loan requirement is a priority for Realtors®.

In addition to condo rules and life of loan mortgage insurance, Brown raised another Realtor® priority: reinstating a cut to the mortgage interest premium FHA charges for its loans. FHA announced in January that it was cutting annual premiums consumers pay for mortgage insurance from 0.85 percent to 0.60 percent, but the cut was rescinded under the new administration just a few weeks later. FHA has said that the decision to reinstate the cut is still under review.

Brown said that while Realtors® were disappointed that the MIP cut didn’t go through, HUD leaders, including Dr. Carson, have shown a consistent willingness to work with NAR and its members to achieve a common goal in support of homeownership.

Brown also raised the issue of Property Assessed Clean Energy loans. Although Realtors® support the energy efficiency benefits of PACE loans, they have warned that consumers are burdened with a lack of transparency and information that can threaten home buying and selling. To address these concerns, Realtors® believe PACE loans should be subject to the same consumer disclosure laws as mortgages. Dr. Carson said HUD is “very amenable to adjusting that policy in the future.” Realtors® responded to that with applause.

“I can’t thank Dr. Carson enough for speaking to our membership and giving us his honest assessment of the road ahead,” said Brown. “We can do so much more to clear the way for creditworthy buyers trying to enter the market, and HUD is at the center of those conversations. Realtors® value their partnership with HUD and leaders like Dr. Carson, and we look forward to doing big things in the years to come.” 

Following Dr. Carson’s remarks, attendees heard from Roy Wright of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Wright is the deputy associate administrator for Insurance and Mitigation, with oversight over the National Flood Insurance Program. Wright told the audience that while challenges remain in ensuring access to affordable flood insurance, a multi-year reauthorization of the program is critical for protecting homeowners.

In addition, Wright announced what he described as a “moon shot” type effort inside FEMA. “We want to see the flood cover in the U.S. doubled by 2023,” he said. “In seven years I want to see us have 10 million policies across the U.S.” Wright added that he hoped the greatest proportion of those policies could happen in the private market.

Brown noted that flood insurance is among Realtors® top issues for 2017 and thanked Wright for his attention to what has become a growing concern for homeowners. “Hurricane season is just around the corner, and a September 30 expiration date for the NFIP has homeowners rightfully on edge,” said Brown. “We know more can be done to improve the program, make way for a private insurance market, and strengthen flood mapping and mitigation efforts, and there’s no small amount of work ahead of us. But it’s encouraging to know that as we tackle these challenges, we have an engaged and open partner at FEMA willing to work hand in hand with Realtors® on behalf of homeowners.”

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

###

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RealtororgGovernmentAffairsHeadlines/~3/59hGXG-sD9k/hud-secretary-carson-highlights-3-possible-improvements-to-homeownership-programs

Social Media Tools for the 2017 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo

AE | Store | Directories

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RealtororgGovernmentAffairsHeadlines/~3/KwksI4YafIA/social-media-tools

Real Estate and the Economy

AE | Store | Directories

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RealtororgGovernmentAffairsHeadlines/~3/JSALZhMceTQ/real-estate-and-the-economy

First-time Home Buyer Savings Accounts

AE | Store | Directories

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RealtororgGovernmentAffairsHeadlines/~3/jPh_J8rxIvI/first-time-home-buyer-savings-accounts

NAR Comments on Appraiser Qualifications

By Sehar Siddiqi, Joe Harris

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RealtororgGovernmentAffairsHeadlines/~3/u_aQOP6duX8/nar-comments-on-appraiser-qualifications

NAR Directory of Select Federal Departments and Independent Agencies

AE | Store | Directories

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RealtororgGovernmentAffairsHeadlines/~3/c97egaG1dIo/nar-directory-of-select-federal-departments-and-independent-agencies

Monday Minute

AE | Store | Directories

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RealtororgGovernmentAffairsHeadlines/~3/3ImfGFD8SUM/monday-minute-week-of-may-8-2017

Tax Plan Could Hurt Homeowners

The tax plan released by the Trump Administration earlier this week puts the real estate industry at the center of the debate over how to make the country’s tax code simpler, fairer, and better at generating economic growth in the United States. For that reason, it’s important for real estate professionals to dig below the surface to see how the plan could change the tax picture for most homeowners.

The plan calls for reducing the number of tax brackets for individuals, lowering the rates on the remaining brackets, and doubling the standard deduction while eliminating all itemized deductions except those for mortgage interest and charitable contributions.

On the surface, doubling the standard deduction and retaining MID might seem to put more money into the pockets of many middle-income households without compromising the federal government’s historic commitment to home ownership. And in fact it would for some households.

But for most middle-class households who own homes, the new standard deduction won’t be high enough to offset what they would lose on the itemization side. Yes, they would retain the option of taking the deductions for mortgage interest and charitable contributions, but unless these amounts totaled more than the standard deduction, it would not make sense to claim them. Also, they would lose the deductions for real estate taxes, mortgage insurance premiums, state and local taxes, as well as others, such as the medical expense deduction. There are also changes to the treatment of personal and dependent exemptions that will change one’s tax calculation. The net effect on many or even most homeowners would be a loss. In some cases, a big loss.

Take a single female who’s earning $65,000 a year and paying $1,000 a month in rent in Colorado. She decides to make a little higher monthly payment to become a homeowner. She puts 5 percent down on a $265,000 condo, which increases her monthly housing costs to $1,193 (principal and interest). That’s a common scenario for a first-time buyer like her, because while her costs go up, she now has a home of her own and the chance to build equity over time.

But under today’s tax code, her monthly costs actually go down, according to an NAR analysis, because when she claims all of the itemized deductions available to her as a home owner, she ends up with a net tax benefit of over $3,300, or roughly $275 a month, compared to what she would get by taking the standard deduction. When that $275 a month is factored into her monthly housing costs, she’s paying significantly less than she was as a renter.

Under the Administration’s tax plan, that advantage goes away almost entirely because she can only deduct her mortgage interest and charitable contributions Without the option to deduct real estate taxes, state and local taxes, and mortgage insurance premiums, her net tax advantage over taking the standard deduction falls to a little more than $150. Although that’s still a net gain, it’s just a shadow of her current benefits and not nearly enough to bring her monthly housing costs down to what she was paying when renting.

Clearly, the tax picture will differ depending on your situation. For households in higher-tax states, the benefit of itemizing is higher. And for second-home owners, the net tax benefit of itemizing can be substantial. On balance, though, according to different scenarios NAR has run, homeowners are going to come out the losers under the Administration’s tax plan.

Tax experts estimate that 95 percent of homeowners today would find it makes more sense to take the standard deduction rather than itemize under the Administration’s plan. That should be an alarming statistic to real estate professionals, because it means millions of homeowners would be paying more in taxes than they pay today. The tax plan does not preserve homeownership by preserving MID; it devastates homeownership, and it does it in three ways:

1. Removes or largely reduces the tax incentive of owning a home instead of renting one for most people.

2. Discriminatorily raises taxes on homeowners more than on renters.

3. Causes a drop in the value of homes by more than 10 percent.

Separate from the  changes the tax plan would make to household’s homeownership calculation are other changes that could affect real estate professionals. These include the proposal to reduce the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent and to extend that rate reduction to small businesses and pass-through entities.

NAR Senior Tax Policy Representative Evan Liddiard walks through different scenarios on how the tax plan affects households in a recorded webinar. It’s a good way to dig below the surface to see how the proposed changes could affect real estate. Before taking a stand one way or the other on the tax plan, you’re encouraged to get a sense of how it could affect home owners by watching the presentation.

Watch the recorded webinar.

Access the slides used in the webinar.

Also, Liddiard and NAR Deputy Chief Lobbyist Jamie Gregory walk through NAR’s concerns in a video with Jon Boughtin of NAR Media:

Robert Freedman

Robert Freedman is director of multimedia communications for the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. He can be reached at rfreedman@realtors.org.

More Posts

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RealtororgGovernmentAffairsHeadlines/~3/nvJwiGVLE78/tax-plan-could-hurt-homeowners

Government Affairs Talking Points for the 2017 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo

AE | Store | Directories

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RealtororgGovernmentAffairsHeadlines/~3/iXuH_PnduQU/talking-points

House Passes Health Reform Bill

AE | Store | Directories

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RealtororgGovernmentAffairsHeadlines/~3/UgvvKsLLuO0/house-passes-health-reform-bill

Government Affairs Materials for the 2017 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo

AE | Store | Directories

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RealtororgGovernmentAffairsHeadlines/~3/cXo0LIha97s/government-affairs-materials-for-the-2017-realtors-legislative-meetings-trade-expo

Government Affairs Talking Points for your Hill Visits in May

AE | Store | Directories

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RealtororgGovernmentAffairsHeadlines/~3/PBxFz_xRxBg/government-affairs-talking-points-for-your-hill-visits-in-may

Join in Celebrating REALTOR® Advocacy This May

ABOUT REALTOR® ADVOCACY MONTH

REALTOR® Advocacy Month is a celebration designed to engage and educate REALTORS® to Vote, Act and Invest in advocacy. Throughout three weeks in May, the National Association of REALTORS® invites you to use the more than 80 programs, services and grants offered by the REALTOR® Party to demonstrate the importance of advocacy at the national, state and local levels.

Each week has a Vote, Act or Invest theme that offers state and local associations opportunities to tout their candidate and issue campaign success, hold a voter registration drive, hold a community outreach event, or educate members on RPAC (the REALTORS® Political Action Committee). Feel free to use examples of activities to hold throughout the year. We encourage you to consult NAR and your state association to confirm if your activities meet the Core Standards advocacy requirements.

As you are holding activities, post photos and videos of your association’s advocacy efforts on social media using the hashtag #REALTORParty. Be sure to tag us (REALTOR® Action Center on Facebook and @REALTORAction on Twitter) in your post. Submit your advocacy activities using the feedback form.

TELL US WHAT YOU’RE DOING FOR REALTOR® ADVOCACY MONTH

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RealtororgGovernmentAffairsHeadlines/~3/K-zv1bukQa8/join-in-celebrating-realtor-advocacy-this-may

Monday Minute

538
Dirksen Senate Office Building

THE COMMITTEE ON BANKING, HOUSING, AND URBAN AFFAIRS will meet in OPEN SESSION to conduct a hearing entitled, “Reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program, Part II.” The witnesses will be: Mr. Steve Ellis, Vice President, Taxpayers for Common Sense, on behalf of the SmarterSafer Coalition; Mr. Michael Hecht, President and CEO, Greater New Orleans, Inc., on behalf of the Coalition for Sustainable Flood Insurance; and Mr. Larry Larson, Director Emeritus, Senior Policy Advisor, Association for State Floodplain Managers.

All mark-ups are webcast live and will not be available until the hearing starts. Individuals with disabilities who require an auxiliary aid or service, including closed captioning service for webcast hearings, should contact the committee clerk at 202-224-7391 Call: 202-224-7391 at least three business days in advance of the hearing date.

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RealtororgGovernmentAffairsHeadlines/~3/Z6JOSRXUm4A/monday-minute-week-of-may-1-2017

E-Fairness Bills Introduced

On Thursday, Apr. 27, both S. 976, “The Marketplace Fairness Act,” and H.R. 2193, “The Remote Transactions Parity Act,” were introduced in the Senate and House.  

S. 976 is cosponsored by Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND); H.R. 2193 is cosponsored by Representatives Kristi Noem (R-SD), Steve Womack (R-AR), Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Steve Stivers (R-OH), Lou Barletta (R-PA), John Conyers (D-MI), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Peter Welch (D-VT), Suzan DelBene (D-WA), and David Cicilline (D-RI).  Both bills are the same as versions introduced in the previous Congress that NAR supported. 

Since the 1992 Supreme Court ruling in Quill, States have been waiting for Congress to enact e-fairness legislation allowing them to require that state sales tax be added to online purchases made by their residents.  In the absence of Congressional action, the states  have attempted to capture some of the lost sales tax through “nexus” laws, which broadly define the physical nexus needed for a retailer in a state for sales tax collection to be required.  In 2015 alone, it is estimated that states lost $26 billion in uncollected sales tax on online purchases.  This is not a new tax, as residents are supposed to report and remit sales tax on purchases when they file their state taxes each year, but they overwhelmingly do not.  

NAR, a member of the Marketplace Fairness Coalition, has supported E-Fairness legislation for several Congresses, and will support S. 976 and H.R. 2193 as they move through the legislative process.  

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RealtororgGovernmentAffairsHeadlines/~3/OFLVw5kmOSQ/e-fairness-bills-introduced

Small Business & Economic Growth Hearing

By Erin Stackley, Stephanie A. Spear, Helen Devlin

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RealtororgGovernmentAffairsHeadlines/~3/8FwOA_Vavj4/small-business-economic-growth-hearing

Register for the NAR Town Hall Webcast

AE | Store | Directories

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RealtororgGovernmentAffairsHeadlines/~3/ZavktvpwPBk/register-for-the-nar-town-hall-webcast

Monday Minute

AE | Store | Directories

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RealtororgGovernmentAffairsHeadlines/~3/W9x08q--awA/monday-minute-week-of-april-24-2017

2017 Spring Break Report from NAR Government Affairs

Congress is approaching their April District Work Period. The District Work Period is an excellent opportunity to interact with your Members of Congress in advance of the 2017 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings Trade Expo in Washington, D.C. May 15-20.

Several issues have emerged in the early stages of Congress that are of critical importance to REALTORS®. It is essential for REALTORS® to highlight NAR’s positions on these issues to ensure Members of Congress do not enact proposals that would disrupt real estate markets around the nation.  

Tax Reform

Despite its status as one of the top priorities of both Congressional Leadership and the Trump Administration, tax reform remains in the discussion stages with much work remaining before any tax reform plan comes up for votes. The on-going debate places a number of tax laws, including those affecting commercial and residential real estate, under increased scrutiny.  

Threats to the Tax Benefits of Homeownership

  • Massive increases to the standard deduction reduce the relevance of itemized deductions.
  • Taxpayers claim the higher of the actual itemized deductions or the standard deduction.
  • Elimination of most other itemized deductions, such as the deduction for state and local taxes paid, would greatly exacerbate the effect of a higher standard deduction.

Projected Timeline

Tax reform legislation is likely to come into focus in late summer 2017.

NAR’s Issue Summary

National Flood Insurance Program Reauthorization

NAR supports renewing and strengthening the long-term viability of the federal flood insurance program, as well as maintaining funding to update and improve the accuracy of flood maps. The current program expires on September 30, 2017. NAR is working closely with Congress to ensure the program does not lapse. A program lapse could affect nearly 40,000 real estate transactions per month.

NAR Flood Principles

  • Long Term Reauthorization
  • Affordable Rates through Risk Mitigation
  • Accurately Priced Premiums 
  • Strong NFIP Homeowner’s Advocate
  • Improved Flood Mapping

Projected Timeline

NFIP legislation is likely to move in late spring 2017.

NAR’s Issue Summary

Government Sponsored Enterprises Reform (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac)

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac play a key role in the secondary mortgage market, which is crucial in providing capital for mortgage lending. Without the GSEs and FHA-insured loans, there would be almost no capital available for mortgage lending. This would severely restrict, if not curtail, home sales and any supporting ancillary home sales services.

NAR GSE Reform Principles

  • NAR supports restructuring the secondary mortgage market to ensure a reliable and affordable source of mortgage capital for consumers
  • Restructuring of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to end government conservatorship

Projected Timeline

GSE legislation has no projected start date.

NAR’s Issue Summary

GSE Guarantee Fees (G-fees)

NAR is very concerned with the high G-fees charged by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which have translated into huge profits for the entities. These profits show that the current fees and pricing do not reflect the improved profitability or reduced credit losses that the GSEs experienced over the last few years.  NAR will continue to push the GSEs for robust underwriting guidelines that put homeownership above profitability so that conventional borrowers are not priced out of the market.

Representatives Sanford (R-SC) and Sherman (D-CA) have introduced g-fee legislation H.R. 916, the “Risk Management and Homeowner Stability Act.”

Projected Timeline

Currently it is unclear if similar legislation will be introduced in the U.S. Senate.

NAR’s Issue Summary
 

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RealtororgGovernmentAffairsHeadlines/~3/x3hvaW6XFtI/spring-break-report

May is REALTOR® Advocacy Month

ABOUT REALTOR® ADVOCACY MONTH

REALTOR® Advocacy Month is a celebration designed to engage and educate REALTORS® to Vote, Act and Invest in advocacy. Throughout three weeks in May, the National Association of REALTORS® invites you to use the more than 80 programs, services and grants offered by the REALTOR® Party to demonstrate the importance of advocacy at the national, state and local levels.

Each week has a Vote, Act or Invest theme that offers state and local associations opportunities to tout their candidate and issue campaign success, hold a voter registration drive, hold a community outreach event, or educate members on RPAC (the REALTORS® Political Action Committee). Feel free to use examples of activities to hold throughout the year. We encourage you to consult NAR and your state association to confirm if your activities meet the Core Standards advocacy requirements.

As you are holding activities, post photos and videos of your association’s advocacy efforts on social media using the hashtag #REALTORParty. Be sure to tag us (REALTOR® Action Center on Facebook and @REALTORAction on Twitter) in your post. Submit your advocacy activities using the feedback form.

TELL US WHAT YOU’RE DOING FOR REALTOR® ADVOCACY MONTH

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RealtororgGovernmentAffairsHeadlines/~3/z8sR5MBG1wg/may-is-realtor-advocacy-month

VA Reconsiders Limits on Fees

By Megan Booth, Joe Harris, Sehar Siddiqi

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RealtororgGovernmentAffairsHeadlines/~3/BzOKhZWkd1s/va-reconsiders-limits-on-fees

Co-Marketing in a Digital Age under RESPA

AE | Store | Directories

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RealtororgGovernmentAffairsHeadlines/~3/WyWq3hs_qPY/co-marketing-in-a-digital-age-under-respa

First-time Home Buyer Savings Account Signed into Law in Mississippi

Mississippi is helping lead the way to home ownership after Gov. Phil Bryant today signed HB 1601 into law. 

The law establishes a First-Time Home Buyer Savings Account, allowing Mississippians to create monetary savings accounts for down payments or other home purchase related expenses. 

Mississippi REALTORS® President David Griffith said home ownership is part of the American dream. 

“With this law, more Mississippians will be able to invest in themselves and their communities,” he said. “One of our priorities as REALTORS® is to provide every Mississippian the opportunity to own a home. Through the leadership of Gov. Bryant, Speaker Gunn and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, Mississippi has created a smoother path to homeownership.” 

The law enables individual Mississippians to deduct up to $2,500 from state adjusted gross income annually, and couples filing jointly are able to deduct up to $5,000 annually from their state adjusted gross income. Interest earned on the account is also exempt from state gross income, and there is no cap on the aggregate amount that can be saved. 

Eligible single-family homes includes newly-constructed homes, existing homes, manufactured homes, modular homes, mobile homes, condominium units or cooperatives.

Individual account holders are responsible for maintaining the funds in a separate account and reporting to the Department of Revenue. Unqualified use of the funds is penalized 10 percent and all back taxes associated with the account. 

HB 1601 was introduced by Rep. Jeff Smith. It unanimously passed the House and passed the Senate 51-1. 

“The Mississippi REALTORS® would like to thank Ways and Means Chairman Jeff Smith, Finance Committee Chairman Joey Fillingane, Rep. Jason White and Sen. Barbara Blackmon for helping to make the dream of home ownership a reality for all Mississippians,” said Clarke Wise, Mississippi REALTORS® Governmental Affairs Director. 

As a result of the law, projections indicate approximately 379 new homes will be constructed to meet demand. It is also estimated that first-time homebuyer households will spend an additional $1,830 annually in their communities. 

The law goes into effect immediately. Mississippians can begin taking the tax deduction in tax year 2018. 

Mississippi is now one of only four states to have a First-Time Home Buyer Savings Account program. Montana, Virginia, and Colorado passed similar laws in recent years. “We hope that other states will follow Mississippi’s example and provide similar relief for first-time home buyers,” Griffith said. 

Mississippi is the fourth state to sign First Time Home Buyer Savings Accounts into law, joining Montana, Virginia and Colorado.

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RealtororgGovernmentAffairsHeadlines/~3/Dl4ti2zL_Vc/first-time-home-buyer-savings-account-signed-into-law-in-mississippi

NAR Publishes Co-Marketing Do's and Don'ts

By Sarah C. Young, Christie DeSanctis

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RealtororgGovernmentAffairsHeadlines/~3/rv15WUVas58/nar-publishes-co-marketing-dos-and-donts

Spring Break Report from NAR Government Affairs

Congress is approaching their April District Work Period. The District Work Period is an excellent opportunity to interact with your Members of Congress in advance of the 2017 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings Trade Expo in Washington, D.C. May 15-20.

Several issues have emerged in the early stages of Congress that are of critical importance to REALTORS®. It is essential for REALTORS® to highlight NAR’s positions on these issues to ensure Members of Congress do not enact proposals that would disrupt real estate markets around the nation.  

Tax Reform

Despite its status as one of the top priorities of both Congressional Leadership and the Trump Administration, tax reform remains in the discussion stages with much work remaining before any tax reform plan comes up for votes. The on-going debate places a number of tax laws, including those affecting commercial and residential real estate, under increased scrutiny.  

Threats to the Tax Benefits of Homeownership

  • Massive increases to the standard deduction reduce the relevance of itemized deductions.
  • Taxpayers claim the higher of the actual itemized deductions or the standard deduction.
  • Elimination of most other itemized deductions, such as the deduction for state and local taxes paid, would greatly exacerbate the effect of a higher standard deduction.

Projected Timeline

Tax reform legislation is likely to come into focus in late summer 2017.

NAR’s Issue Summary

National Flood Insurance Program Reauthorization

NAR supports renewing and strengthening the long-term viability of the federal flood insurance program, as well as maintaining funding to update and improve the accuracy of flood maps. The current program expires on September 30, 2017. NAR is working closely with Congress to ensure the program does not lapse. A program lapse could affect nearly 40,000 real estate transactions per month.

NAR Flood Principles

  • Long Term Reauthorization
  • Affordable Rates through Risk Mitigation
  • Accurately Priced Premiums 
  • Strong NFIP Homeowner’s Advocate
  • Improved Flood Mapping

Projected Timeline

NFIP legislation is likely to move in late spring 2017.

NAR’s Issue Summary

Government Sponsored Enterprises Reform (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac)

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac play a key role in the secondary mortgage market, which is crucial in providing capital for mortgage lending. Without the GSEs and FHA-insured loans, there would be almost no capital available for mortgage lending. This would severely restrict, if not curtail, home sales and any supporting ancillary home sales services.

NAR GSE Reform Principles

  • NAR supports restructuring the secondary mortgage market to ensure a reliable and affordable source of mortgage capital for consumers
  • Restructuring of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to end government conservatorship

Projected Timeline

GSE legislation has no projected start date.

NAR’s Issue Summary

GSE Guarantee Fees (G-fees)

NAR is very concerned with the high G-fees charged by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which have translated into huge profits for the entities. These profits show that the current fees and pricing do not reflect the improved profitability or reduced credit losses that the GSEs experienced over the last few years.  NAR will continue to push the GSEs for robust underwriting guidelines that put homeownership above profitability so that conventional borrowers are not priced out of the market.

Representatives Sanford (R-SC) and Sherman (D-CA) have introduced g-fee legislation H.R. 916, the “Risk Management and Homeowner Stability Act.”

Projected Timeline

Currently it is unclear if similar legislation will be introduced in the U.S. Senate.

NAR’s Issue Summary
 

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RealtororgGovernmentAffairsHeadlines/~3/x3hvaW6XFtI/spring-break-report

Commercial NFIP Priorities

By Austin Perez, Ken Wingert, Erin Stackley

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RealtororgGovernmentAffairsHeadlines/~3/bzTSqLHUaas/commercial-nfip-priorities

PACE Reform Bills Introduced

By Russell Riggs, Ken Wingert

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RealtororgGovernmentAffairsHeadlines/~3/oGg8gIT7kO4/pace-reform-bills-introduced