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NEW HOME OWNERSHIP PROGRAM NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS
"Pathway to Purchase" Offers Up to $10,000 Down Payment and Closing Costs for First Time Home Buyers in Prince George's County

The Prince George's County Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) is launching a new home ownership program, entitled "Pathway to Purchase." This new program offers first-time home buyers up to $10,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance. Home buyers can purchase a home anywhere in Prince George's County. Eligible residential properties include: new construction, resale, short sales and foreclosures.

Pathway to Purchase is a 0% interest loan program that must be paid back when the home is sold, transferred or ceases to be the primary residence of the buyer(s). However, the loan repayment has a 10% decrease per year and after 10 years, it is forgiven and the lien is released.
 

DHCD will start accepting Pathway to Purchase applications on Monday, January 9.

"We are excited about this new opportunity," said Eric C. Brown, Director of the Prince George's County Department of Housing and Community Development. "We have dedicated $750,000 for this program to help people get on the path to home ownership."

The maximum purchase price of homes utilizing Pathway to Purchase assistance is $313,000. There are four loan programs accepted with Pathway to Purchase. Accepted loan programs are: FHA, Maryland Mortgage Program, VA and Conventional Loans. All home buyers using Pathway to Purchase must pass a Housing Quality Standards (HQS) Inspection as part of the application process.

The Redevelopment Authority of Prince George's County will administer the program. "We will begin taking applications on Monday, January 9, 2017," said Howard Ways, Executive Director of the Redevelopment Authority. "Home buyers must work with an approved mortgage lender to submit an application. We are eager to continue our progress in helping families begin their pursuit of the American Dream."

Since 2012, the Redevelopment Authority has assisted over 600 home buyers purchase their first home in Prince George's County through the various home buyer assistance programs.

For information on program income limits, buyer contribution, area median income, debt requirements, and other application details:
Real estate, homeownership and property management legislation for Prince George's County and Maryland state


LEGISLATIVE ALERT - January 4, 2017
Dwayne Mingo, Director of Governmental Affairs


DRUG ACTIVITY AND PROSTITUTION
& EVICTION
New Laws Effective as of January 9, 2017

REALTORS® transacting business in Prince George's County Maryland should be aware of two recently enacted laws effecting Landlord-Tenant Regulations. We encourage you to share this information with your sales team.

CB-59-2016 - Drug Activity and Prostitution
Beginning on January 9, 2017, it shall be against the law for any person, tenant, landlord, landlord agent, management staff and/or property owner to knowingly sublease, assign, transfer possession, or permit use of an apartment for the purposes of any violation of the Controlled Dangerous Substance, Prostitution or Human Trafficking Laws of the State of Maryland or Prince George's County. This expands current Prince George's County Code, Sec. 13-162.00.01. - Use of Apartment for Drug Activity Prohibited, to specifically reference "landlord agent" and "management staff" and bring in the prostitution and human trafficking element.

The legislation references "apartments;" however, "apartments" are not defined in the Prince George's County Code. As such, this could extend to single family properties where the landlord or "agent" is knowingly in violation of the law.
  • Violators would be guilty of a misdemeanor per apartment per occurrence, and upon conviction, subject to a fine of One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) or imprisonment for up to six (6) months for each offense.
  • Inquiries and/or complaints regarding prostitution and/or human trafficking to the Prince George's County 311 Call Center shall be directed to the enforcing agencies of the County, including the Human Relations Commission.
  • Upon request, the Human Relations Commission shall make available to property owners and landlords of rental properties, the information and/or the inquiries or complaints received regarding their rental properties.
  • The Human Relations Commission shall make available resources regarding prostitution and/or human trafficking to property owners and landlords of rental properties.
  • Every person who is a property owner, landlord, landlord agent, or management staff that operates an apartment rental within Prince George's County shall be offered voluntary training for management employees on how to identify human trafficking activities and human trafficking victims.
    • An owner and a manager of an apartment rental may voluntarily register for human trafficking training with the Human Relations Commission. If the rental property owner is a corporation, the registered agent of the owner may register with the Human Relations Commission.
    • Voluntary registrations shall be updated by the Human Relations Commission.
    • The Human Relations Commission, in collaboration with the Prince George's County Police Department, will provide voluntary training on human trafficking consisting of training for management staff of an apartment rental within the County at the cost of the participating apartment owners.
    • Beginning in calendar year 2017, apartment rentals may voluntarily biennially certify to the Human Relations Commission that management staff has completed the voluntary training.
As previously indicated, CB-59-2016 expands laws to prohibit the use of an apartment for drug activity or prostitution. The legislation seeks to hold landlords, owners, management staff, and tenants liable if their property is knowingly used for drug activity or prostitution, including human trafficking. The bill provides for outreach and education to encourage more effective community partnerships in prevention and enforcement.

PGCAR ACTION:  As REALTORS®, we care greatly about the communities in which we live and work and recognize the negative impact that these illegal activities have on our neighborhoods and communities, and understand the importance of eradicating drug and prostitution crimes. The Legislative Committee reviewed the bill and expressed a great deal of concern about the bill's ramifications. PGCAR representatives met with legislators and testified in opposition to the bill. Unfortunately, as you can imagine, it was challenging to argue against the issue of human trafficking. The sponsor of the legislation is targeting unscrupulous apartment owners who are preying on illegal immigrants and described the bill as another tool in the toolbox to eradicate human trafficking. In a collaborative effort with the Apartment and Office Building Association of Metropolitan Washington (AOBA), we were able to get the bill modified as much as we could. With the recent passage of CB-59-2016, REALTORS® are encouraged to be cognizant of this issue and be as mindful as possible of what goes on in their rentals.


CB-64-2016 - Eviction
CB 64, also effective on January 9, 2017, addresses the public health concerns regarding trash collection that may arise following an eviction. The County finds that the accumulation of garbage, litter, rubbish, abandoned property, and/or trash following an eviction may adversely affect the health, safety and general welfare of the residents of the County. This legislation seeks to improve public health by minimizing odor, removing unsightly garbage, litter, rubbish, abandoned property, and/or trash in order to prevent insect and/or rodent infestation, breeding, and feeding. (Prince George's County Code, Sec. 13-164. - Evictions; Placement of Abandoned Property)
  • Following an eviction, no garbage, litter, rubbish, abandoned property, and/or trash shall be placed, left dumped or permitted to accumulate or remain in buildings or premises in the County.
  • After the initial 4-hour property reclamation period, the landlord has one business day following an eviction to have the garbage, litter, rubbish, abandoned property and/or trash from the eviction removed at the expense of the property owner.
  • Within one business day of receipt of a complaint that garbage, litter, rubbish, abandoned property and/or trash is not removed, the Department of Permitting, Inspections and Enforcement shall investigate the complaint and shall issue a violation notice and/or citation, as deemed appropriate.
  • For private property evictions, the Department of Public Works and Transportation shall be designated as the responsible agency to remove garbage, litter, rubbish, abandoned property and/or trash placed on private property after an eviction upon receipt of a clean-up request and court order.
  • Any person who violates the bill's provisions is subject to a fine of $1,000 per day.
  • A tax lien may be placed on a property or properties to recoup outstanding fines.
  • Any person who violates the bill's provisions is subject to paying the cost of removal of trash and related expenses.
  • The bill also mandates a report of the actual annual number of evictions, actual annual number of trash removals after an eviction by the County, actual annual costs, and projected annual revenues as well as recommendations on streamlining the enforcement process.
PGCAR ACTION:  REALTORS® have long advocated for upfront advance notice to the tenant of the definitive date of eviction and other measures, as we believe this will help to eliminate the uncertainty of the eviction event and lessen the amount of personal belongings left behind. The Legislative Committee met and considered CB-64-16 and opposed the legislation as initially drafted. The initial bill extended from four (4) hours to twenty-four (24) hours, the period of time that a rental property owner is required to allow a tenant to reclaim their property following an eviction, which was quite concerning and counterproductive considering the intent of the legislation. We were able to contest changes to salvage the 4-hour period.
2016 PSAP Holiday Food Drive

2016 PSAP Holiday Food Drive

Members of the Board of Directors, led by President Pat Dowtin, and members of the Community Service Committee, chaired by Doris Kessebeh, joined with other community partners to present $5,700 raised at the PGCAR Holiday party to the Prince George's County Public Safety Assistance Program (PSAP) Holiday Food Drive. Representatives of PGCAR also showed up to organize the donated food and pack food baskets for those in need.
2016 Holiday Charity Event - REALTORS® "Pay It Forward" in the Prince George's County Community this Holiday Season

2016 Holiday Charity Event

The Prince George's County Association of REALTORS®, the county's leading advocate for real estate and private property rights, held a charity event on December 7, 2016, and raised $5,700 to feed those in need during this holiday season. Over 330 REALTORS® were in attendance to support the event.

REALTORS® recognize that the current economic climate continues to be challenging for everyone this year. "We are so pleased to support this important endeavor," said Association President, Patricia Dowtin. "There is always someone in greater need than yourself," she said.

Proceeds raised from the event will be used to purchase and pack complete holiday food baskets and provide them in time for the Christmas Holiday. The overall goal this year is 2,000 food baskets. REALTORS® also collected over 150 pounds of food to be included in the baskets, and REALTORS® from across the County will assist in packing the baskets for distribution to those in need.

Doris Kessebeh, Chair of the REALTORS® Community Service Committee that organized the REALTOR® project, was enthusiastic. "I am so proud to be a part of an organization with such strong roots in the community," said Ms. Kessebeh.
Message from the President:
PGCAR Acquires New Home!

The new PGCAR home will be at Metro East, 8300 Corporate Drive, Landover, at the heart of the New Carrollton Metro Center

 
Patricia A. Dowtin
2017 PGCAR President


I have exciting news! On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am proud to announce the purchase of a building which will serve as the permanent home for the Prince George's County Association of REALTORS®. The new location, Metro East, 8300 Corporate Drive, Landover, Maryland, is at the heart of the New Carrollton Metro Center. Over the next few months, the current structure will be remodeled to suit the needs of our members and staff. PGCAR will remain at its current location while the renovation takes shape.

This has been years in the making. We first established our Building Task Force in 2014.

Our goals were:
  • To OWN instead of lease, since we are in the business of owning real estate
  • Take advantage of post recession affordable pricing and low interest rates
  • Find a permanent location that is centrally located for our members
  • Easily accessible with ample parking
  • Adequate space to accommodate staff, training, meeting rooms, and store
  • To lease a manageable amount of office space - Return on investment!
  • To make a sound financial decision for our members
The location is ideal:
  • Close to Metro
  • Near intersections of RT 50 and I-495
  • Mixed Use Zone and Enterprise Zone
  • 19,515 feet of office space / currently class "B"
  • Purchased at very reasonable price
With this new purchase, the Board of Directors believes that we have been able to accomplish our goals and place PGCAR in a sound financial position moving into the future.

At this new location we will be able to provide better assistance to members, expand educational opportunities and seminars and gain better, more technologically advanced meeting space.

The new building was unveiled at the PGCAR Annual Holiday Charity party event on December 7, 2016. We are looking forward to updating you on the progress of our transition. We are truly excited to make this announcement.

The New PGCAR Home was Announced at the December 7, 2016 Holiday Charity Event
9th Annual Holiday Charity Event


Sincerely,

Pat Dowtin
President
Prince George's County Association of REALTORS®, Inc.
PGCAR Annual Legislative Breakfast

PGCAR Annual Legislative Breakfast

PGCAR Contributes to Branch Avenue in Bloom
and the Branch Avenue in Bloom Urban Farm

Branch Avenue in Bloom Urban Farm

Prince George's County Association of REALTORS® is pleased to partner with organizations, such as Branch Avenue In Bloom, to promote healthy eating, increasing a sense of community ownership and pride, teaching young people where food comes from and educating them on healthier eating options through the Branch Avenue In Bloom Urban Farm.

Through the National Association of REALTORS® Placemaking Micro-Grant, PGCAR was able to support Branch Avenue In Bloom and the Branch Avenue In Bloom Urban Farm and were delighted in assisting with funding to the program in the amount of $1,200.

Prince George's County Association of REALTORS® has undeniably been influential in assisting and cultivating a sense of involvement, community engagement and connecting residents to come together as a community and making neighborhoods a better place.

Our commitment demonstrates that REALTORS® care about the communities in which we live and work, and recognize the need to improve health and wellness in all communities, including throughout our own Prince George's County.
RPR App: The Mobile Tool that Helps You Succeed!

As a REALTOR®, you need property data as quickly as possible, especially on the go. Enter the new and improved RPR mobile app, providing you a parcel-centric database of residential and commercial properties nationwide.

Yes, you read that right: the RPR app now gives you access to both residential and commercial property information. With three ways to search, dynamic maps, and customized, client-ready reports at your fingertips, your best tool is already in your pocket!

Even better, this handy app is a benefit to you - just for being a NAR member.

There's no need to wait for your success; click here to learn more about the RPR app today!

My HOME II is open to even more buyers. It has higher income limits, and available to homebuyers in 14 Prince George's County zip codes. The Prince George's County Department of Housing and Community Development's (DHCD) My HOME II Program provides up to $20,000 towards down payment and closing costs for first-time homebuyers or those not owning a home within the last 3 years, and applicants may earn up to 120% of the Area Median Income.

Click Here for more information >
Early bird pricing for ALL CEU classes!
$11 for 1.5 CEU
$18 for 3 CEU

Register for YOUR choice of CEU here >
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1/18
9:30 AM - 12:30 PM
SOLD OUT!
MD Code of Ethics
THUR
1/19
9:30 AM - 12:30 PM
MREC Agency-Residential
 
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
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'Must Be a PGCAR Member' New Down Payment ...
 
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
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1/25
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DC Fair Housing & Predatory Lending
 
1:30 PM - 4:30 PM
DC Legislative Update / Exam Prep
 
5:30 PM - 8:00 PM
New Member Orientation
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1/31
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
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2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
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Association of REALTORS®
9200 Basil Court, Suite 400 | Largo, MD 20774
Phone 301-306-7900 | Fax 301-306-8273
info@pgcar.com
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