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June 10, 2013

    I n   t h i s   i s s u e . . .
 
Events
  • Education Day - Earn 6 CEU
  • SentriLock Lockbox Sale Expires Soon!
  • Red Cross Blood Drive
  • Fair Housing Poster Contest Children's Party
  • Annual Charity Event - Save the Date

    Homeownership Matters
  • College Park Program Offers up to
        $5,000 in Home Buying Incentives
  • Buy Suitland Program Offers up to $40,000
        in Assistance!
  • Homebuyer Incentives in Prince George's County
  • Consumer Tip: Here Comes the Sun
  •  
    The Industry Insider
  • Legislative Alert
  • PGCAR's Grassroots Action Center
  • MD and DC CEU
  • Sale on All PGCAR Classes
  • Market Sen$e: Mortgage Rates Higher
        for Fifth Consecutive Week
  • Apply for the Annual Leadership Academy
  • County Home Settlements Still on the Rise
  • Sales Coach: Open Houses: Opening
        Doors for Your Business
  • Code of Ethics: Case #12-9
  • Oklahoma REALTORS® Distributing Tornado Aid
  • FCU: Benefits for Your Business
  •  
    WEDNESDAY, JUNE 26
    at La Fontaine Bleu
    Earn 6 CE hours for MD and DC Continuing Education
     
    MORNING:
    • MREC Agency - Residential
      3.0 CE, MD Required "H" Hours
      Instructor: Fredericka Lloyd
    • Financing Issues
      3.0 CE, DC Required & MD Elective hours
      Instructor: Michael Chelst
    • DC Legislative Update
      3.0 CE, DC Required hours
      Instructor: Prabhjit Singh
    • Risk Management
      3.0 CE, MD Elective hours
      Instructors: Don Martin
    AFTERNOON:
    • MD Code of Ethics
      3.0 CE, MD Required "D" & DC Elective hours
      Instructor: Don Martin
    • DC Fair Housing
      3.0 CE, DC Required hours
      Instructor: Prabhjit Singh
    • Contracts
      3.0 CE, MD & DC Elective hours
      Instructor: Jill Pogach Michaels
    • Current Mortgage Guidelines
      Made Easy

      3.0 CE, MD & DC Elective hours
      Instructor: Michael Chelst

    Terrific Courses & Instructors

    Choose One Morning and
    One Afternoon Class

    Breakfast, Lunch and
    Our Famous
    Top-it-as-you-like-it
    Ice Cream Social

    All for Only
    $75 Members
    $100 Non-Members

    CLICK HERE
    TO REGISTER AND
    TO SELECT YOUR
    CLASSES NOW !

    Click here for a printable flyer.

     

    SentriLock Lockbox sale expires soon!  Get yours today!

    Pay only $65 each (plus tax) for up to 9 lockboxes; order larger numbers and enjoy even
    greater discounts! Power paddles are also discounted to $55 for a limited time. To take
    advantage of these great prices, please contact Shirley at the Association office.
     

     
    Please Help the Red Cross Save Lives: Give Blood!

    This Thursday, June 13
    PGCAR is hosting a Red Cross Blood Drive®


    According to the American Red Cross, more than 44,000 blood donations are needed each day, and over 5 million patients receive blood each year. The Red Cross Needs YOU!

    Join us THIS Thursday from 9 am to 3 pm
    at the PGCAR office:
    9200 Basil Court, Suite 400
    Largo, MD 20774

    ALL ARE WELCOME!
    Members/Friends/Family/Neighbors
    Please come and give the gift of LIFE!



     
     

    Fair Housing Poster Contest/Children's Party Held Last Tuesday


    Fair Housing Poster Contest


    The 2013 PGCAR Fair Housing Poster Contest Party was held last Tuesday, June 4 with over 150 people attending and 17 contest participants. All contest participants are Prince George's County schoolchildren from kindergarten through 8th grade, and drew pictures representing the theme "Fair Housing Lives in Maryland". The winning picture from Prince George's County will be featured in MAR's 2014 Fair Housing Calendar.

     
     

    Save the Date!


     
    Annual Charity Event
    December 11, 2013
    at La Fontaine Bleu

    View photos from the December 12, 2012 Winter Wonderland event >


     

    College Park Program Offers up to $5,000 in Home Buying Incentives!


    College Park has launched a promotional program called Live Smart to encourage home sales in the community. The ads tout College Park's affordability and convenient location and the program offers up to $5,000 in incentives to home buyers; additional information is available at collegeparkmd.gov/LiveSmart.

     
     

    Buy Suitland Program Offers up to $40,000 in Assistance!


    Buy Suitland Don't keep this a secret: share the Buy Suitland Flyer with clients. This exciting program offers the opportunity to purchase a home in the Suitland Neighborhood Stabilization target area, which includes parts of Suitland, Capital Heights, District Heights, Morningside and Temple Hills.

    Through the Buy Suitland Program, income eligible, credit worthy, first time home buyers can receive up to $40,000 in down payment and closing costs assistance to purchase a foreclosure or short sale property.

    Review the chart below to see who can qualify for this unique program:


    Qualifying Households May Earn Up to 120% of the Area Median Income (AMI)

    Prince George's County AMI 1 Person Household 2 Person Household 3 Person Household 4 Person Household 5 Person Household 6 Person Household 7 Person Household 8 Person Household
    50% $37,600 $42,950 $48,300 $53,650 $57,950 $62,250 $66,550 $70,850
    120% $90,150 $103,000 $115,900 $128,750 $139,050 $149,350 $159,650 $169,950


    For more information on the Buy Suitland program, visit www.pgcar.com – and don't forget to print the Buy Suitland Flyer to share with clients.


     
    1. Maryland Homefront - Expires June 30, or When Funds Run Out!
      Historically low, reduced interest rates starting at 2.875% (APR 3.675%) and increased payment assistance for qualified current and former military members. Program Details >
    2. Homebuyer Savings for City of Laurel
      Buyers of foreclosed homes receive tax credits. The program offers a five-year descending City tax credit of up to $3,500 for buyers purchasing their primary residence within Laurel City limits.
      Program Details >
    3. $30 Million Targeted Areas Initiative for All Homebuyers
      First-Time Homebuyers Can Gain Same Benefits in ANY Prince George's County Area

      Reduced interest rates starting at 2.875% (APR 3.675%) for qualified homebuyers purchasing a new primary residence. Program Details >
    4. Buy Suitland Initiative - Savings in 11 Census Tracts!
      Up to 5% of home purchase price to first-time homebuyers; Up to 7% for local civic employees. Program Details >   Revised Buy Suitland Flyer >
    5. Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta (FHLB Atlanta)
      Up to $15,000 toward a foreclosure purchase; Up to $7,500 toward the purchase of a property located in area approved for NSP funds.
      Program Details >
    6. American Dream Downpayment Assistance (ADDI)
      Up to $10,000 to County homebuyers who have not owned a home within the last 3 years.
      Program Details >
    7. Freddie Mac HomeSteps SmartBuySM
      Offers up to $500 for purchase of a home warranty.
      Home listings and incentive details >   Sign up for homesteps.com buyer leads >

    Most of these programs can be used in combination. Information on these and other homebuyer savings are available at pgcar.com.


     

    Consumer Tip: Here Comes the Sun - (So Send High AC Costs Packing!)


    Here Comes the Sun It's that time of year again: the mercury's rising as the sun grows brighter and days grow longer. After a long winter, the balmy temperatures are certainly a welcome change, but it won't be long before we'll be worrying about cooling costs.

    This summer, you can go a little greener by using the following tips to keep your house cool and either avoid or minimize AC use:
    • Keep the sun outside! Adding features such as light-blocking drapes or shades, awnings, shutters (inside or outside), and reflective window film will help to keep the sun's rays from heating up your home.
       
    • Let the cooler air inside! Open windows when the air outside is cooler than the inside. Not only does this help to keep your home cool longer, it's also good for you: the ventilation helps to reduce VOC's and prevent mold.
       
    • Become a fan of fans. Portable fans, ceiling fans, and whole-house fans are all effective ways to keep your home more comfortable in warmer months. Note: be sure your ceiling fans are set to push the air down for efficient cooling.
       
    • Practice wise appliance use. Turn off appliances you're not using (e.g., TV and computer) so they don't needlessly generate heat. Also, use appliances that generate heat/steam either early or late in the day, if they must be used. The washer, dryer, oven, and range are all heat-heightening bandits.
       
    • Use greenery for a "greener" cool. Trees planted near south- and west-facing walls of your home will help to block the sun's heat; deciduous trees are best, because they allow the sun to warm your home in colder months. Vines are also helpful as insulators, but train the vines on wires or trellises near the house to prevent damage to siding or brick.
       
    For details on these ideas and additional energy-saving tips, visit Houselogic.com.

     
     
    LEGISLATIVE ALERT

    County to Propose Stormwater Management Plan and Fee

    Following federal and state mandates, the Prince George's County Department of Environmental Resources is presenting its proposal to implement a stormwater management plan (SWM) which will include a fee on residential and commercial property owners. They are projecting that the residential fee will average approximately $42 annually; however, it could go as high as $80 for larger homes.

    The PGCAR Board of Directors and Legislative Committee were briefed on the proposed plan at a recent meeting with representatives of County Executive Baker. As you may know, the SWM plan is rooted in mandates imposed by the federal Environmental Protection Agency upon the state of Maryland (and other states) to make significant reductions in nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment discharges by 2025.

    The stormwater remediation fee will be collected on the annual County property tax bill. PGCAR will be closely studying proposed plans as planning evolves.

    Learn more here >   (6MB PowerPoint Presentation)
    Stormwater Fee FAQ >


     

    Check Out PGCAR's Grassroots Action Center

    Take Action Button At the bottom left of www.pgcar.com, you'll see a flashing "Take Action" button, which links directly to our Grassroots Action Center.

    This page allows you to quickly and easily respond to PGCAR Calls-to-Action on vital legislative issues and learn more about legislative topics affecting Prince George's County REALTORS®. All you have to do is add your name and address to take action. The Convio system we are using does the rest. It knows your legislative districts and elected officials - allowing you to support and protect your business with ease at those critical moments when we need to make our voices heard.

    Click here for more details and to check out the page >


     
     

    Earn All MD and DC Required CEU at PGCAR

    All classes are held at PGCAR offices, just off the Route 202 / Landover Road exit of I-495. Find our association office at 9200 Basil Court, Suite 400, Largo, MD 20774. There's plenty of parking.


    Today, June 10
    Reverse Mortgages
    1.5 MD Elective CEU
    Eric Rittmeyer 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

    Next Monday, June 17
    MD Legislative Update
    3 MD Required Legislative Update CEU;
    3 DC Elective CEU
    Don Martin 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
    MD Fair Housing
    1.5 MD Required Fair Housing CEU;
    1.5 DC Elective CEU
    Don Martin 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

    Wednesday, June 26
    PGCAR EDUCATION DAY
    Up to 6 hours of MD and DC CEU
    various 8:00 am - 4:30 pm

    Complete CEU Schedule >


     

    Sale on All PGCAR Classes
    Hurry! Sale Ends June 28th!


    Sale Tag

    PGCAR Members and REALTORS® - Register NOW, Before Discounts Expire!

    Register for ANY 3 CE class for $18 early bird, $33 regular.
    Register for ANY 1.5 CE class for $11 early bird, $26 regular.

    Hurry to www.pgcar.com/real-estate-ceu today >


     

    Market Sen$e: Mortgage Rates Higher for Fifth Consecutive Week


    Results released last Thursday, June 6, displayed a rise in fixed mortgage rates for the fifth week in a row. Notably, the 15-year fixed rate rose above 3 percent for the first time in more than a year.

    The 30-year fixed rate averaged 3.91 percent last week. The 15-year fixed rate rose as well, to 3.03 percent.

    Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac's Vice President and Chief Economist, noted that with the economy strengthening, market concerns about slowing bond purchases by the Federal Reserve have nudged fixed mortgage rates higher yet again.

    "In its June 5th regional economic conditions report, known as the Beige Book, the Federal Reserve noted that overall economic activity increased at a modest to moderate pace over April and May in all its districts except for Dallas which indicated strong economic growth," Nothaft said. "In addition, pending home sales rose in April to its fastest pace since April 2010 and May's consumer sentiment was revised upwards to its highest reading since July 2007."

    Freddie Mac reports the following averages for the week ending June 6, 2013:

    • The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.91%, up from 3.81%.
    • The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.03%, up from 2.98%.
    • The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM averaged 2.74%, up from 2.66%.
    • The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.58%, up from 2.54%.
    Freddie Mac's Weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey >

    Like us on Facebook to see monthly Prince George's County home sales and weekly mortgage reports as soon as they are released!

     
     

    2013 - 2014 MAR Leadership Academy - Applications Due Thursday, August 1


    The Maryland Association of REALTORS® Leadership Academy offers an enriching opportunity for REALTORS® to strengthen leadership skills through a series of eight sessions. Applications for the upcoming October 10, 2013 through April 15, 2014 sessions are due Thursday, August 1, 2013. Applicants must be available for an interview on August 8 or August 20.

    Details and application >
    Leadership Academy brochure >

     

    County Home Settlements Still on the Rise
    May Statistics Available at www.pgcar.com/stats >

    facebook logo May home sales statistics are now available for Prince George's County!

    Single-family settlements increased 5.3% from April to May, and several of the upper-bracket categories increased by 100% or more in the same time frame.

    Condos and co-ops followed suit, with settlements overall making an 8.1% jump over May 2012. Also, contracts in the $200,000-$299,999 price range increased by 175%, or 11 contracts in May, compared with just 4 in April.

    Visit www.pgcar.com/stats for more details. And don't forget to like PGCAR on Facebook to see monthly statistics first!

    And coverage on the national market from REALTOR.org:
    Higher Home Prices Cool Buying Frenzy
    Return to 'Buyer's Market' Still Years Away

     
     

    Sales Coach
    Open Houses: Opening Doors for Your Business


    Home Sales Coach Holding an open house is not only about selling a particular property; it's also a great opportunity to talk with buyers who could potentially be your clients. After all, (most of) the visitors are there looking for a new home; if this isn't the one for them, they're still in the market.

    Here are six tips that can help you turn open houses into an effective means for better business:
    1. Don't count on calling visitors later. What you have to say to them, say while they're there. Make a good impression now by being interested and helpful.
       
    2. Greet visitors at the door, rather than letting them enter unannounced. This is not just a warmer approach; it's also an opportunity to enter into conversation, and a safety measure.
       
    3. Let your literature bespeak your credibility. Your informational packets (emblazoned with your contact info in large font) can go beyond the basics to provide details about the property, schools, and community. Be a resource for questions beyond just this listing.
       
    4. Check in with visitors after they've wandered. Don't smother them or be intrusive; just a friendly offer to answer questions can open the door to conversation.
       
    5. Be sure the house is tip-top for the showing. Suggesting ways the sellers can present their home best will help you sell the home, and visitors may be impressed enough with your staging skills to list their own home with you.
       
    6. Be shrewd about your open houses. Don't hold one "just because", but rather, to highlight an exceptional property, a new listing, or a great value.
       
    For more information about ways you can make open houses work for you, click here.

     
     

    Case #12-9: Unethical Advertising

    REALTOR® A inserted an ad in the local newspaper soliciting $5,000 investments in a "sure thing". The ad explained that he was seeking only ten investors at $5,000 each; that each investor would receive $6,000 for his investment in 30 days; or if he chose to invest for a longer period, could receive $8,000 in 90 days. The ad stated that REALTOR® A personally guaranteed this investment experience to the first ten investors who responded to the ad.

    The President of REALTOR® A's Board saw the ad and was concerned. He requested the Board's Grievance Committee to review the matter and determine if a hearing was warranted. The Grievance Committee asked REALTOR® A to demonstrate that he had put liquid assets in escrow to back up his published guarantee. REALTOR® A was at first evasive, and then explained that there was no possibility of any one losing any money as a result of his ad because he had simply been using ingenuity to develop a list of prospects interested in small real estate investments.

    The Grievance Committee referred the matter to the Professional Standards Committee of the Board for a hearing, charging a violation of Article 12 of the Code of Ethics. In the subsequent hearing, REALTOR® A explained that he had told those who inquired that the opportunity was no longer available, but that he would take their names and addresses for future investment opportunities that might arise. He explained that in this case any guarantee he would make in a tangible transaction would, of course, be fully protected by liquid assets put in escrow.

    Based on your understanding of the Code of Ethics Article 12, what do you think the hearing panel concluded? Click here to find out >


     
     

    Oklahoma REALTORS® Distributing Tornado Aid


    Oklahoma Association of REALTORS The Oklahoma Association of REALTORS® is helping REALTORS® who have lost their homes in Moore and other tornado-ravaged areas through the Oklahoma Housing Foundation REALTOR® Disaster Relief Fund. "We have received many offers of supplies from all over the country," the association says. "The REALTOR® Family is truly coming together to help our folks in Moore."

    The Oklahoma Association of REALTORS® is accepting donations online to assist those affected by the multiple deadly tornadoes that recently hit Oklahoma.

    Click here for more information and to donate to Oklahoma REALTOR® Relief. Thank you for your generosity!

     
     

    REALTORS® Federal Credit Union
    Personal and Professional Lines of Credit


    Whether you're consolidating higher interest debt, investing in home or business improvements, spreading tuition or annual dues payments, or simply opening a line of credit "just in case", you can cover it with a REALTORS® Federal Credit Union line of credit or personal loan.

    Apply for personal or professional loans and find out more about great offers here >

    Prince George's County Association of REALTORS®
    9200 Basil Court :  Suite 400 : Largo, MD 20774
    Phone 301-306-7900  :  Fax 301-306-8273  :  www.pgcar.com  :  ©2013 PGCAR

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