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May 12, 2014

    I n   t h i s   i s s u e . . .
 
Events
  • Education Day
        - Earn 6 CEU June 19
  • New Agent Basics Tomorrow, May 13
  • REALTOR® Party Convention & Trade Expo
        - Happening Now in DC
  • Learn about the Maryland Mortgage Program
  • MAR's CARE & Special Project Awards
  • FREE Health Resources and Tips Available
  • FREE MRIS Training at PGCAR
  • MD Primary Voting & Registration

    Homeownership Matters
  • Veterans and Military Homebuyer Savings
        - Program Ends May 30
  • Flood Insurance Program and Rate
        Improvements are Effective Immediately
  • Homebuyer Incentives in Prince George's County
  • Consumer Tip: Forget Painting Ps and Qs
        - Mind Your VOCs!
  •  
    The Industry Insider
  • Contract Form #1301 Updated TODAY
  • 2014 Real Estate Legislation
  • County Settlements for April
        See Double-Digit Increases
  • Earn Your MD and DC CEU at PGCAR
  • Remember! Enjoy Savings on CEU at PGCAR!
  • REALTORS® Introductory Guide to Rentals
        - NEW Resource!
  • Market Sen$e: Fixed Mortgage Rates
        Lowest Since November 2013
  • Sales Coach: Are You In It To Win It?
  • Code of Ethics: Case #2-10
  • Good Neighbor Nominations Due Friday
  • NAR Committee Recommendations Due May 23
  • Call For Entries: Artwork For Juried Art Show     and Silent Auction Due May 30
  • Open a Money Market Savings Account
  • PGCAR and WCR Membership Applications
  • Memorial Day, May 26
  •  
    THURSDAY, JUNE 19
    at La Fontaine Bleue
    Earn 6 CE hours for MD and DC Continuing Education
     
    MORNING:
    • MREC Agency - Residential
      3.0 CE, MD Required "H" hours
      Instructor: Fredericka Lloyd
    • DC Fair Housing
      & Predatory Lending

      3.0 CE, DC Required hours
      Instructor: Jackie Talpa
    • Financing Issues
      3.0 CE, DC Required & MD Elective hours
      Instructor: Michael Chelst
    • 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 Legislative Update / Exam Prep
      3.0 CE, DC Required hours
      Instructor: Jackie Talpa
    • Contracts
      3.0 CE, MD & DC Elective hours
      Instructor: Al Monshower
    • 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 REALTORS® or PGCAR Members
    $100 Non-REALTORS® / Non-Members

    CLICK HERE
    TO REGISTER AND
    TO SELECT YOUR
    CLASSES NOW !

    Click here for a printable flyer.


     

    Learn New Agent Basics with YPN
    Tomorrow at PGCAR


    The Young Professionals Network is hosting a Brown Bag Session on New Agent Basics.

    Date:   Tomorrow, Tuesday, May 13
    Time:   12 noon - 2 pm
    Place:   PGCAR Association Office
    Cost:   Just $10

    Register today >
    Network and learn tomorrow!


     

    2014 REALTOR® Party Convention & Trade Expo
    Taking Place NOW Through Saturday in DC!


    Trade Expo Join thousands of fellow REALTORS® this week. The REALTOR® Party Convention & Trade Expo is a short drive or Metro ride away, full of valuable industry meetings and legislative activities, and FREE to REALTORS®.

    Meetings:   Today, May 12 - Saturday, May 17
    Capitol Hill Visits:   Wednesday, May 14 - Thursday, May 15
    Trade Expo:   Wednesday, May 14 - Thursday, May 15
    10 am - 6 pm both days

    RSVP online to save time checking in >

    Carpool, drive or take Metro to the 2014 REALTOR® Party Convention. The majority of meetings and the Trade Expo are at Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, 2660 Woodley Road NW, Washington, DC 20008.

    Metro Directions
    • From New Carrollton: Take the Orange Line (towards Vienna) to Metro Center. At Metro Center, transfer to the Red Line (towards Shady Grove) and ride to the Woodley Park-Zoo Metro Station. The Marriott Wardman Park trade show location (2660 Woodley Road NW) is a 0.13 mile walk from the station.
       
    • From Greenbelt: Take the Green Line (towards Branch Avenue) to Fort Totten. At Fort Totten, transfer to the Red Line (towards Shady Grove) and ride to the Woodley Park-Zoo Metro Station. The Marriott Wardman Park trade show location (2660 Woodley Road NW) is a 0.13 mile walk from the station.

    We look forward to seeing you there!


     

    Learn about the Maryland Mortgage Program
    This Thursday, May 15


    The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development will host two informational sessions on the Maryland Mortgage Program this Thursday, May 15. This free event takes place at Holiday Inn Solomons, and you may register to attend either or both of the sessions.

    Session 1:
    9:00am - 9:30am -- Breakfast and Networking
    9:30am - 11:30am -- Maryland Mortgage Program Presentation and Discussion

    Session 2:
    12:15pm - 1:30pm -- Loan Package Training Session

    For more information or to register, please click here >


     

    Additional Savings for Military and Veteran Homebuyers
    Ending This Month - May 30, 2014


    Maryland Homefront, the Veterans and Military Family Mortgage Program, was formerly extended from June 30, 2013. It is now scheduled to end May 30, 2014. Homefront provides veterans and active duty military personnel with a special interest rate of 3.50% for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, as well as up to $5,000 in down payment and closing costs assistance.

    See program details and important links at www.pgcar.com and the Maryland Homefront website.

     
     

    RECENT FORM CHANGES
    Additional Form Update Released Today


    PG Form #1301 Addendum of Clauses was revised today. The May 2014 revision corrected a few paragraph cross-references within the document. Do not use the 4/14 revision; update to PG Form #1301 dated 5/14.

    During April, PGCAR revised five other forms, assigned PG Form #1366 to a MAR disclosure form, and deleted a form. Some of the form changes were necessary as a result of County legislation creating a special tax district in Riverdale Park. PLEASE DISCONTINUE USING ANY OLD VERSIONS OF REVISED FORMS. Using outdated forms could result in violations of law.

    Please visit PGCAR Members Only to download the latest forms and see the Summary of Form Changes. These forms have also been updated on ZipForm, a FREE benefit to PGCAR REALTOR® members. Not signed up yet? Login to PGCAR Members Only and sign up today!




     
     


    LEGISLATIVE VICTORY!
    Improvements to National Flood Insurance Program Rules
    and Insurance Premiums are Effective Immediately


    Thank you for making your voices heard and helping to protect the recovery of Maryland's housing and financial markets!

    Effective May 1, 2014, all buyers of older properties (pre-FIRM*) will see a premium rate reduction under the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014. Instead of jumping to "full cost" for flood insurance, buyers will assume the seller's October 2013 rate for a pre-FIRM property.

    NAR prevailed upon FEMA to implement this provision seven months early. FEMA also extended the rate relief so all pre-FIRM properties (including second homes and businesses) will begin paying October 2013 rates when they purchase or renew their flood insurance after May 1, including:
    • ALL buyers of a pre-FIRM property, not just those whose seller has an existing policy
    • ALL recent owners who apply for a new flood insurance policy on a pre-FIRM property
    • ALL recent owners who reinstate an old pre-FIRM policy that previously lapsed for any reason
    • ALL recent owners who renew a policy on a pre-FIRM property bought or newly insured after the 2012 Biggert-Waters law
    While expediting the rate relief, FEMA must still issue refunds to all those who paid more than their October 2013 rate. NAR will continue working with FEMA and Congress to quickly issue these refunds to anyone overcharged for flood insurance under Biggert-Waters.

    Flood Insurance Resources on the Web * Pre-FIRM Building - a building for which construction or substantial improvement occurred on or before December 31, 1974, or before the effective date of an initial Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM).


    2014 REAL ESTATE LEGISLATION
    County and State Legislation
    That Affects Homeowners and YOU


    PGCAR and MAR followed a number of legislative issues during the 2014 Maryland General Assembly which impact the real estate industry, homeownership, property rights, the environment, and rental properties. To view a full status report, please see www.pgcar.com (login required).

     
     

    MAR's CARE & Special Project Awards
    Your Volunteer Work May Help Win $10,000 for Charity


    PGCAR has a chance to win MAR's CARE Award, which gives us $10,000 to use for whatever charity we select. We could use it to fund FOUR $2,500 scholarships to our graduating students; we could give it to a food bank or numerous other charities - the possibilities are endless. But we can't win if you don't let us know what you're doing!

    Please take a few minutes to tell us how you help your community!
    Forms are due to PGCAR by Wednesday, June 4.

    Click Here for the CARE Award / Special Project Nomination Form >

     

    COUNTY SETTLEMENTS FOR APRIL SEE DOUBLE-DIGIT INCREASES

    facebook logo April home sales in Prince George's County showed mixed results, with large increases in the most important category - settlements - and a small decrease in the number of new contracts from March to April.

    In single family homes, new settlements increased an amazing 15.3% from March to April, and new contracts decreased only 1.8% in the same period. In condos and co-ops, new settlements increased from the March figure of 65 to 82 in April - an increase of 26.2% - while new contracts decreased 8.3% in the same period.

    Inventory is holding steady in Prince George's condos and co-ops, while single family homes inventory is increasing. The inventory for single family homes increased 13.6% from March 2014 to April 2014, and increased 14.5% from April 2013 to April 2014.

    See the detailed Prince George's County sales statistics for April at www.pgcar.com/stats.

    Also see these national stories from NAR:
    Mortgage Application Activity Rebounds, Up 5.3%
    Historic Low for Young Adult Home Ownership Rate
    Luxury Home Sales Soar Above Historical Average


     
    1. My HOME / My HOME II Program
      Up to 5% or $20,000 in Homebuyer Incentives!
      Program offers up to 5% of sale price (through My HOME) of a primary residence anywhere in Prince George's County; up to $20,000 (through My HOME II) within targeted zip codes. Program details >
    2. College Park Live Smart Program
      Up to $5,000 in Homebuyer Incentives!
      College Park's program highlights affordability and convenient location to encourage home sales in the community, offering up to $5,000 in incentives to home buyers. Program details >
    3. 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 >
    4. $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 >
    5. Buy Suitland Initiative
      $40,000 Maximum in Downpayment & Closing Cost Savings!
      Up to 5% of home purchase price to first-time homebuyers or those who haven't owned within the last 3 years; Up to 7% for local civic employees. Program Details >   Revised Buy Suitland Flyer >
    6. 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 >
    7. American Dream Downpayment Initiative (ADDI)
      Up to $10,000 to County homebuyers who have not owned a home within the last 3 years.
      Program Details >
    8. 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: Forget Painting Ps and Qs - Mind Your VOCs
    That Splash of New Color Could Cause a Headache


    When you decide to update your interior or freshen a room, paint is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to go. Before you pull out the paint cloths and rev up the roller, though, give some thought to the type of paint you choose. Color and finish are certainly prime considerations, but another factor also merits thought: many conventional paints contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which may be something you'd like to leave out of your decorating plans.

    Know the following facts about VOCs before selecting your interior paint:
    • VOCs are chemicals that tend to vaporize at room temperature and have been linked to a range of ill effects from watery eyes and headaches to respiratory problems and even cancer.
       
    • Formaldehyde, benzene, and ethylene glycol (used in antifreeze) are just a few of the toxic or flammable VOCs that can be found in paint. Know what hazardous components your paint contains by checking its materials safety data sheet (MSDS) - usually displayed in the paint store or available for download from the manufacturer's website.
       
    • Some of the low-VOC paints available can have less than 50 grams of VOCs per liter, well below the EPA's VOC limit of 250 grams/liter for latex, and 380 grams/liter for oil-based paints. Those claiming to have zero VOCs must have 5 grams or less per liter.
       
    • While many people shy away from low-VOC paint because of a long-held belief that it's more expensive or provides inferior coverage, the fact is that it's quite comparable in both aspects.
       
    • If you decide on low- or no-VOC paint, be aware that tints added to it may contain VOCs - so be sure to ask for low-VOC tints when adjusting the paint color.
       
    Bear in mind that while airing the room will help to diminish odor, paint can continue giving off VOCs for months to come. So know the facts about VOCs, choose the best paint for your project, and go on and color your world!

    For more information on painting and other home improvements, please visit Houselogic.com.


     

    FREE Health Resources and Tips Available
    Be Part of the Healthy Revolution!


    Prince George's County Health Department has made many free resources available at their Healthy Revolution site. Please check out the healthy living, exercise, and eating tips and tools available -- and pass along favorites to your contacts!

     
     

    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!


    Next Monday, May 19
    Risk Management
    3 MD Elective CEU
    Don Martin 1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

    Next Thursday, May 22
    Financing Issues / Update
    3 DC Required Financing Issues / Update CEU;
    3 MD Elective CEU
    Michael Chelst 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

    Next Friday, May 23
    MD Legislative Update
    3 MD Required Legislative Update CEU;
    3 DC Elective CEU
    Don Martin 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
    MD Fair Housing
    1.5 MD Required Fair Housing CEU;
    1.5 DC Elective CEU
    Don Martin 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

    Wednesday, May 28
    Contracts
    3 MD Elective CEU;
    3 DC Elective CEU
    Rachel Jefferies 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

    Thursday, May 29
    MREC Agency-Residential
    3 MD Required or Elective CEU
    Fredericka Lloyd 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
    Reverse Mortgages
    1.5 MD Elective CEU
    Bruce Winstead 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

    Complete CEU Schedule >


    PGCAR Store


     

    Remember! Enjoy Savings on CEU at PGCAR!


    Maryland and DC real estate CEU is on sale at PGCAR PGCAR Members and REALTORS® - Enjoy steep discounts on ALL classes held at PGCAR!

    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 >
     
     


     

    NEW! REALTORS® Introductory Guide to Rentals
    Resource Booklet Now Available to PGCAR Members


    PGCAR has released a REALTORS® Introductory Guide to Rentals. Whether you manage one rental, specialize in rental property managment, or considering rentals, the Guide will contain information useful to you. Here's just a few of the topics covered!

    • Advertising Rental Properties
    • Landlord Tenant Law - Legal Requirements
    • The Rental Application Process
    • Fair Housing Requirements and Resources
    • Treatment of Pets Versus Service Animals
    • Security Deposits
    • Evictions
    • 2014 Legislative Changes Affecting Rentals
    • Resource Links
    • . . . and Much, Much More!
    Download the Rentals Guide at www.pgcar.com Members Only >

     
     

    Market Sen$e: Fixed Mortgage Rates Down Again; 30-Year FRM Hits Lowest Since November 2013


    Last Thursday, May 8, Freddie Mac released results showing fixed mortgage rates moving down for a second week, with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at its lowest since November 7, 2013.

    "Mortgage rates continued moving down following the decline in 10-year Treasury yields after a dismal report on real GDP growth in the first quarter," said Freddie Mac's Vice President and Chief Economist, Frank Nothaft. "Meanwhile, the economy added 288,000 jobs in April, the largest since January 2012, and followed an upward revision of 36,000 jobs for the prior two months. Also, the unemployment rate fell to 6.3 percent."

    Freddie Mac reports the following averages for the week ending May 8, 2014:
    • The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.21%, down from 4.29%.
    • The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.32%, down from 3.38%.
    • The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM averaged 3.05%, same as last week.
    • The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.43%, down from 2.45%.
    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!

     
     

    Sales Coach: Are You In It To Win It?
    Success Comes with Sacrifice


    Home Sales Coach If you're new to the real estate profession, there's a tough lesson you're about to learn: you can't succeed if you don't put your business first. Those who enter real estate with the goal of having free time find out all too quickly that relaxation is elusive, at best. Sure, there's plenty of flexibility with your time, but no fewer work hours.

    Many rookie REALTORS® have learned that establishing their business takes a lot more work than they expected. It's helpful if you can find a mentor to guide you, but no matter what, you must be prepared to commit to your business if you want to enjoy success. Once you've established clientele and a name for yourself, you'll be better able to share time with other interests.

    For more information on focusing on your business, and to read more about one rookie agent's first year, please visit Realtor.org >

     
     

    Case #2-10:
    Use of State Revenue Stamps to Mislead

    REALTOR® A, the listing broker, had shown a house to Buyer B on several occasions. It was an old house in a desirable location in which Buyer B had become interested for extensive modernization. It was listed at $140,000. Buyer B had offered $125,000, but the owner had held firm to his asking price. While negotiations were at this point, REALTOR® A received a call from the owner saying that because of a sudden death in the family a number of family plans were being rapidly changed, and if a signed offer was presented within 24 hours, the price of $125,000 would be accepted. REALTOR® A called on Buyer B, obtained a written offer, and closed the transaction.

    Buyer B then continued his discussion with REALTOR® A concerning financing for the modernization of the house that he contemplated. In this connection, REALTOR® A advised him that state revenue stamps in the amount of $5.00 per thousand of the price paid for the house would have to be affixed to the deed when it was filed, and suggested that Buyer B spend an extra $75 for stamps to give the appearance of a $140,000 purchase price for the house. This, he pointed out, would be to his advantage in obtaining a liberal mortgage, should it be checked by the financing institution when Buyer B applied for a mortgage loan to finance his modernization program.

    An official of a local mortgage company learned from Buyer B of this advice given by REALTOR® A, and made a formal complaint to the Board of REALTORS® that REALTOR® A had violated Article 2 of the Code by making this suggestion. He pointed out that mortgage finance institutions in the locality generally regarded the state revenue stamps as an indication of selling price.

    At the hearing, REALTOR® A's defense was that he had not been a party to the naming of any false consideration in a document; that the deed in this case stated that the consideration was "ten dollars and other consideration" - a nominal consideration expressly permitted by the Code of Ethics; that the state revenue stamps are not required as a means of indicating prices paid for property, but as a means of deriving state revenue; that while a buyer may not lawfully place less in such revenue stamps on a deed than $5.00 per thousand in price paid, there was nothing illegal or unethical in placing a greater amount in stamps on the deed than the minimum required.

    Based on your understanding of the Code of Ethics Article 2, what do you think the hearing panel concluded? Click here to find out >

     
     

    REALTOR® Magazine's Good Neighbor Nominations Due This Friday, May 16
    Five Winners will Receive $10,000 Grants and National Publicity


    REALTOR® Magazine is seeking nominees for the 2014 Good Neighbor Awards. The program recognizes REALTORS® whose extraordinary commitment to community service has helped make their communities better places to live.

    If a REALTOR® you know is putting forth the effort to make a difference in the community, help their cause by nominating them today! They could become one of five winners recognized nationally and awarded a $10,000 grant to further their work!

    Deadline for entry is this Friday, May 16.
    Click here for details, rules and an entry form.

     

    Call for 2015 NAR Committee Recommendations
    Nominations Due by Next Friday, May 23


    Take the time to nominate a REALTOR® you know for a NAR committee - even if it's yourself (self-nominations are encouraged)! Nominations are open now (login required), and due by next Friday, May 23.

    NAR Committee Details and Nomination Form >

     

    HANDS-ON MRIS TRAINING


    Tuesday, May 27 @ 10:00 am
    MRIS 201: Maximize Your Productivity with MRIS

    Tuesday, May 27 @ 1:30 pm
    Matrix 201: Customize Matrix to Fit Your Business

    MRIS reports that agents who take advantage of their FREE workshops, also tend to seldom receive complaints and fines for misuse of the MLS. Visit www.mris.com/training for details and registration. Advance registration with MRIS is required.

     
     

    Call For Entries: Artwork For Juried Art Show and Silent Auction
    Submission Deadline is May 30; Opening Reception and Art Preview June 27


    The Partnership for Housing Foundation (PHF) will hold a juried art show and online art auction to benefit MARYLAND HOME MAKEOVER® and the PHF Endowment Fund. The theme of "Maryland, My Maryland" has been selected and all artwork must portray something about Maryland, featuring any of the following concepts: Urban, Rural, Bay or Shoreline Scenes; Architectural Landmarks / Prominent Buildings; Portraits of a Community; or "Home".

    All artists must be Maryland REALTORS®, REALTOR® staff, or sponsored by a REALTOR® member of the Maryland Association of REALTORS®.

    Art entries must be submitted by Friday, May 30.
    Details and artist entry form >


     

    Exercise Your Right - and Your Privilege - to Vote!
    MD Primary Early Voting Starts Thursday, June 12


    Early voting for Maryland's Primary Election will take place Thursday, June 12 through Thursday, June 19, 10 am until 8 pm. Please be sure to cast your vote and make your voice heard.

    If you don't know whether you're registered or need to update your address, check here >
    To register, you can print and complete the Maryland Voter Registration Application. Be sure to follow instructions: your original signature is required, and the application must be postmarked by next Wednesday, May 21. If you're eligible to vote and need to register, you can also register online here >

    Important voting dates for the primary and general elections are on the PGCAR Events Calendar, along with links to early voting centers, voting registration forms, and polling locations.

     
     

    Open a Money Market Savings Account
    A REALTORS® FCU Membership Benefit


    This savings account offers a premium rate to members who carry higher savings balances and for whom earning a greater return on their savings is a priority. With three flexible tiers to help you save and rates to reward your higher balance, the FCU's competitive rates beat some of the top banks! Open an account today; just log in to online banking and click on "Open New Account" in the "Accounts" tab.

     
     

    PGCAR and WCR Membership Applications for 2014
    New Agents? Looking for a PGCAR or Local WCR Membership Application?


    Download the 2014 PGCAR Membership Application from www.pgcar.com >
    Women's Council of REALTORS® Prince George's Chapter Membership Application >

     

    The PGCAR Office office will be closed Monday, May 26
    in observance of Memorial Day.
    We remember and honor those who protect our freedom.

    Have a Happy and Safe Memorial Day!
      Memorial Day Salute

    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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