NEW! $15,000 HOMEBUYERS PROGRAM FOR COLLEGE PARK
A Second College Park Program Offers up to $5,000 in Home Buying Incentives!
$15,000 Home Ownership Program
Through a new College Park City-University Partnership (CPCUP) Home Ownership Program, employees of the University of Maryland, College Park can receive $15,000 in down payment or closing cost assistance for a home purchased anywhere in College Park. The home must be their primary residence. It can be a single-family or condominium unit.
The $15,000 funding is received as a zero-interest, ten-year forgivable loan so long as all requirements are met. These funds may be combined with other home ownership programs and grants.
The CPCUP Home Ownership Program is part of an effort to increase the number of University of Maryland employees living in the City of College Park as outlined in the University District Vision 2020
$5,000 New Neighbors Program
College Park's New Neighbors Program provides a $5,000 grant when buying a primary residence in College Park. Applicants must agree to live in the property as their primary residence for a minimum of 5 years.
New Home / Resale / Former Rental / Foreclosure
Anyone purchasing their primary residence within the City of College Park which meets ANY of the following conditions is eligible for a $5,000 grant:
- Anyone purchasing a single-family home that was previously rented for a minimum of two years.
- Anyone purchasing a single-family home or condominium unit that is in foreclosure or short sale status.
- Anyone purchasing a single-family home or condominium unit who is a City of College Park employee; full-time certified police officer employed by the State of Maryland, the University of Maryland, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), Prince George's County or Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission; career firefighter or full-time emergency medical technician (EMT) employed in Prince George's County; or members of a volunteer fire department in Prince George's County who can provide certification for their department.
2015 REAL ESTATE LEGISLATION
Below is a status report of issues followed by PGCAR and MAR during the 2015 Maryland General Assembly Session and 2015 Prince George's County Council. Representatives of PGCAR frequently traveled to Annapolis and Upper Marlboro to lobby legislators and testify on a number of these issues. This year, we are happy to report, that we ended the Annapolis Session with several "wins" for REALTORS®
. Our efforts before the County Council are on-going, as their session runs through December.
2015 Prince George's County
and Annapolis Delegation Issues
Mike Graziano, Director of Government Affairs - PGCAR
Prince George's County Budget FY 2016
STATUS: Passed, Effective 7/1/15
On Thursday May 28th, the Prince George's County Council passed the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget at $2.95 billion, considerably less than the $3.63 billion requested by County Executive Rushern Baker. The Council returned the budget with a $.04 real property tax increase as opposed to Baker's proposed $.15. In brief, the FY 2016 Budget package includes:
- $.04 increase in the real property tax rate (from $.96 to $1.00 per $100 in assessed value)
- $.10 increase in the personal property tax rate
- 1% increase in the telecommunications tax rate
- 2% increase in hotel/motel tax rate
- $.015 increase in the MNCPPC tax rate (Vetoed by County Executive Baker. Veto overridden by County Council.)
- Various permit and license fee increases, including a $40 increase in the cost of a single family rental license (from $75 bi-annually to $115)
- As of June 22, 2015, the County Executive and the County Council are engaging in a "back and forth" debate on the budget through vetoes and overrides. As it stands today, the Council has overridden an attempt by the County Executive to interject a revised budget calling for an approximate 11% tax increase. This override returns the tax increase to 4% which could still face a legal challenge.
PGCAR ACTION - PGCAR was vehemently OPPOSED to the property tax increase. PGCAR led an extensive advocacy campaign against the property tax proposal that included face-to-face lobbying with elected officials, print media, email campaign and telephone calls. Though we were unable to defeat the tax increase entirely we were successful in lessoning the impact on homeowners to 4% instead of the massive 15% originally proposed. Read the June 8 President's Letter for more details >
CR 26 - 2015 - Blue Ribbon Commission on County Structural Deficit
STATUS: Passed by the Council 6/16/15
This Council Resolution, when enacted
, will establish a citizen advisory board to study the County's fiscal health and address the County's long term structural deficit.
PGCAR ACTION - PGCAR SUPPORTS the concept and lobbied successfully to be named specifically in the resolution for a position on the study commission. A representative from PGCAR will be appointed to serve on the commission along with other members of the community and business interests.
SB 756 - Prince George's County - Foreclosure Relief Act of 2015
This bill would have created a six-month, across the board, moratorium on foreclosure filings exclusive to Prince George's County. It would have also increased the evidentiary paperwork, notices and fees necessary for a lender to "docket" a foreclosure and require the Maryland Attorney General to "study" foreclosure practices in Prince George's County.
PGCAR ACTION - PGCAR was OPPOSED to any foreclosure moratorium effort and lobbied vigorously to defeat this bill.
HB 938 - Maryland / Washington Regional District - Fairness in Zoning
STATUS: Passed, Effective 10/1/15
This bill clarifies the procedure and processes for the County Council, acting as the District Council, to overturn a Planning Board zoning decision. The bill amends the permitting process by establishing clear criteria relative to: the timeframe the Zoning Hearing Examiner (ZHE) renders a decision, limits District Council appeals, clarifies who has standing in certain cases.
PGCAR ACTION - PGCAR SUPPORTS clear and consistent procedures that expedite and add certainty to the permitting process.
HB 935 - Tax Sales - Foreclosure of Abandoned Property
STATUS: PASSED, Effective 6/1/2015
By "foreclosing all rights of redemption" this legislation greatly expedites the County's possession of certain abandoned properties offered at tax sale when there is no private purchaser. The intent is to enable the County to more expeditiously take hold of vacant and abandoned properties and rehab or dispose of them.
PGCAR ACTION - PGCAR SUPPORTS the rapid improvement of sub-standard, vacant abandoned properties.
On Memorial Day, Governor Larry Hogan and Secretary Kenneth Holt announced a $20 million initiative that will give a significant boost to veterans and military families who are looking to buy a home in one of Maryland's 86 Sustainable Communities. Read the release
The "You've Earned It!" initiative offers a 2.75 percent fixed-rate 30-year loan through the Maryland Mortgage Program and $10,000 in down payment assistance in the form of a zero interest deferred loan to active duty military, including members of the military reserves and National Guard, and honorably discharged veterans and veterans with a disability.
The first phase of "You've Earned It!" - aimed at qualified homebuyers with more than $25,000 in student loan debt - was announced May 4.The initiative is for a limited time until the $20 million allocation is exhausted.
Maryland's Sustainable Communities program seeks to strengthen reinvestment and revitalization in the state's older communities through state, local and private sector partnerships. There is at least one designated Sustainable Community in each of Maryland's 23 counties and Baltimore City. A list of Maryland's Sustainable Communities can be found here
If you'd like to see whether a specific property address is in a sustainable community, view this map
For more information about the Maryland Mortgage Program, as well as other loan specials, participating lenders and homeownership counselors in your area, visit the Maryland Mortgage Program website
On June 17, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
(CFPB) announced it is proposing an amendment to delay August 1, 2015 implementation of the new Truth in Lending Act and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act Integrated Disclosure (TRID) regulation until October 1, 2015. The proposal must still undergo a public comment period before it becomes official.
This is another welcome development, as well as the June 3rd
' the CFPB offered to companies making a good-faith effort to comply with the new TRID regulation.
Please visit www.realtor.org/respa
for the latest information on this issue, as well as learning how to prepare for the August 1 changes by registering for the July 21 1.5 CEU Upcoming Home Lending Changes course
President's Op-Ed on Gazette.net
Higher taxes would hurt homeowners, economy
2015 PGCAR President
"Real estate can lead our economy, and we are poised to do that as our market stabilizes," states PGCAR President Desiree Callender in a recent Gazette Opinion Editorial. "Increasing housing costs, however, is counterproductive to building our local economy and a barrier to stabilizing our local real estate market. We encourage our government leaders to help strengthen our local market and incentivize buyer investment in Prince George's County."
"We urge County Executive Baker to rethink this (15.6% property tax increase) proposal."
Read the entire Op-Ed here >
PGCAR REALTORS® Award $10,000 in Scholarships to High School Seniors
Photos from Maclin 5K Fundraiser Now Available
PGCAR's David Maclin Memorial Scholarship Fund has presented four more Prince George's County high school seniors with $2,500 college scholarships.
The Fund and its accompanying "Fun Run
" are one of the Association's premiere community service endeavors. In honor of the late REALTOR®
David Maclin's contributions to Prince George's County, the fund recognizes a student's commitment to community service, based on the theme "How I Made A Difference In My Community."
"Community service plays an important role in building neighborhoods. These young people have demonstrated community spirit. For that, REALTORS®
are excited to help them attain their future goals," said PGCAR President, Desiree Callender.
"Seeing these high school students prepare for college with the assistance of the scholarship makes me so proud," commented Juanita Maclin, the Co-Chair of the Scholarship Committee and the wife of the deceased, David Maclin.
Those receiving 2015 scholarships are:
- Amber Nicole Braswell of the Academy of Health Sciences at PGCC in Largo, is planning to attend Towson University.
- Milan Turia Brown of Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt, is planning to attend Howard University.
- Tarck Mitchell of Charles Herbert Flowers High School in Springdale, is planning to attend Bowie State University.
- Armani Breahn Tinnin of Charles Herbert Flowers High School in Springdale, is planning to attend the University of Maryland-Baltimore.
Thank you to the entire Maclin family, and to the Scholarship Committee members for bringing such a "good news" story to life! We also thank all Maclin Memorial Scholarship 5K participants and sponsors, and Maclin Memorial Scholarship Fund donors and volunteers!!!
Call to Action VICTORY!
You Said "NO" to State Legislators
Imposing a 6-Month Foreclosure Moratorium
Exclusively in Prince George's County.
THANK YOU for contacting your Delegate to oppose SB 756.
During the week of March 23, the Prince George's County Delegation in Annapolis was considering legislation to impose a six-month moratorium on foreclosures EXCLUSIVELY
in Prince George's County. REALTORS®
were opposed to this concept, as we believe that it would have drastically slowed our fragile real estate market recovery. The current statewide foreclosure process is fair and well conceived. There are numerous notice requirements to protect consumers and legislated mediation opportunities for consumers to negotiate with lenders. A moratorium would have caused more harm than good. We needed help to urge our Legislators in Annapolis to OPPOSE
the foreclosure moratorium!
Within a few days of members contacting our Delegates, the Senate REMOVED
the 6-month foreclosure moratorium which was exclusive to Prince George's County, from proposed state legislation SB 756.
DoublePlay program offers a discount on loan rates and $5,000 in down payment assistance (DPA) to Prince George's County home buyers. See details >