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22 December - 4 January 2014


HOLIDAY OFFICE HOURS

PGCAR will close at noon this Wednesday, December 24 and be closed on Christmas Day, this Thursday, December 25, and this Friday, December 26. Next week, we will close at 3 pm on Wednesday, December 31 and be closed on New Year's Day, Thursday, January 1, 2015.

We wish you and your family a joyful Christmas and a New Year filled with peace and prosperity.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
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YOUR CHARITABLE GENEROSITY IS CHERISHED
6th Annual Holiday Charity Event Was A Great Success!

We are grateful to all of you who attended or sponsored the Annual Holiday Charity Event, or who donated food or coats. Thanks to your generosity, many Prince George's County families in need will have a brighter holiday this year! PGCAR was able to present a check for $4,500 to Prince George's County Public Safety Assistance Program (PSAP) for holiday meals, and dozens of coats to the Mission of Love. See photos from the Charity Event and donation presentations at www.pgcar.com >

A BIG THANK YOU TO OUR 2014 CHARITY EVENT SPONSORS

 
Platinum Sponsors
Doris Kessebeh, EXIT Bennett - Centerpieces
George Mason Mortgage
Ironmark - An Image Company - Tickets
La Fontaine Bleue - Open Bar
TitleMax, LLC - Band

Gold Sponsors
Academy Mortgage - Photographer
Norcom Mortgage
RGS Title
Stanley Martin Homes

Silver Sponsors
Byron L. Huffman, P.C.
Capitol Title Insurance Agency
Marrick Homes, LLC
Millennium Title & Abstract
Primary Residential Mortgage
QWilliams Real Estate Associates
RE/MAX United Real Estate

Bronze Sponsors
AmeriSpec Home Inspection Services
Chances Are Realty
Home First Title Group
  Thank You Charity Event Sponsors


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NON-RENEWED MEMBERSHIPS EXPIRE AT MIDNIGHT NEXT WEDNESDAY
Renew By Midnight December 31 to Save the $100 Reinstatement Fee!

Membership will be terminated if payment is not received by midnight next Wednesday, December 31, 2014. At that time, a $100 reinstatement fee will be added to the account in addition to the already-assessed $50 late fee. Also, offices will be made inactive if they have non-paid agents remaining on their office rosters past the final deadline.

Avoid the $100 reinstatement fee by taking just a few moments to renew your membership right now: just use the secure, easy online dues renewal at www.pgcar.com.
  1. Click here
  2. Log in
  3. Pay and receive an itemized receipt for your
    2014 - 2015 PGCAR, MAR and NAR membership renewals
Paying your 2014 - 2015 dues by midnight on Wednesday, December 31 will prevent loss of SentriLock key privileges, your MRIS discount, ZipForms and other PGCAR REALTOR® membership benefits.

Renew now!
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AT A GLANCE: 28-DAY EDUCATION HIGHLIGHTS AT PGCAR

Early bird registration is only $18 for 3 CEU classes and $11 for 1.5 CEU classes.
This Tuesday,
December 23
MD Legislative Update - 3 MD Required Legislative Update CEU; 3 DC Elective CEU
MD Fair Housing - 1.5 MD Required Fair Housing CEU; 1.5 DC Elective CEU
Wednesday,
January 14
MD Legislative Update - 3 MD Required Legislative Update CEU; 3 DC Elective CEU
MD Fair Housing - 1.5 MD Required Fair Housing CEU; 1.5 DC Elective CEU
See the complete schedule and register at www.pgcar.com >
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RENTAL SECURITY DEPOSIT CHANGES EFFECTIVE NEXT THURSDAY, JANUARY 1
Interest on Rental Security Deposits is Reduced;
Timeframe for Notice of Damages is Extended

On Wednesday, November 12, in a 9 - 0 vote, the Prince George's County Council passed much-needed rental security deposit reforms. At the encouragement of PGCAR and AOBA (The Apartment and Office Building Association), Council Member Derrick Davis introduced CB 63 - Residential Leases - Rental Security Deposits.

The new County law (CB 63) rescinds the County's 4% interest on deposit mandate in favor of the U.S. Treasury rate or the 1½% floor dictated by Maryland law. The new County law also changes the timeframe under which a property owner (landlord) must provide notice of damages to the tenant with the intent to retain a portion of the security deposit. CB 63 extends the notice timeframe in Prince George's County from 30 days to 45 days, which will also be in conformance with Maryland state law.

Please take notice; the new state law and County law are effective on January 1, 2015. The PGCAR Single Family Residential Lease (form 1105) will be revised in accordance with the new laws and will be available next Thursday, January 1, 2015. Until that time please continue to use the current PGCAR lease which follows present day law.

Read more >
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2015 MARYLAND ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® LEGISLATIVE BREAKFAST
Save the Date!

Tuesday, January 27
8 - 9:45 am at the Loews Annapolis Hotel
126 West Street, Annapolis, MD 21401
Cost: $15

The Maryland Association of REALTORS® invites members to participate in the 2015 Legislative Breakfast with the Maryland Legislature.

This is an excellent opportunity to interact with your elected officials and learn about key real estate issues before the Maryland General Assembly. Maryland General Assembly leadership and Governor-Elect Larry Hogan have been invited to address attendees.
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THANK YOU FOR ACTING IN SUPPORT OF IMPORTANT LEGISLATION
Mortgage Forgiveness Tax Relief Act Passed; TRIA Unfortunately Failed

Mortgage Forgiveness Tax Relief Act
Last Tuesday, December 16, the Senate approved a retroactive one-year extension of the Mortgage Forgiveness Tax Relief Act (S. 1187) with a vote of 76 to 16.

The income tax exemption on mortgage debt forgiven in a short sale or a workout for principal residences expired at the end of 2013. This bill extends the exemption until December 30 of this year, meaning that distressed homeowners will not have to pay tax on "phantom income" from forgiven debt when filing their 2014 income taxes.

Thank you for contacting your local legislators to support this legislation! Your voice was counted!

Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2014
Last Tuesday also brought news that, despite overwhelming bipartisan support of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, or TRIA, the proposed extension of the legislation failed in the Senate. Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma objected to the measure, and the Senate was left at an impasse as Congress adjourned.

Created following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program filled the void created when private insurers withdrew from the terrorism insurance market. That disruption caused construction projects to come to a halt and commercial property values dropped. Since the Senate failed to reauthorize the bill, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program will expire next Wednesday, December 31.

Hear more >
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3% DOWN PAYMENT MORTGAGES - NEW FROM FANNIE, FREDDIE
Prince George's County FHA Loan Limits Stay at Maximum Limit

FHA has announced the new loan limits that take effect on January 1, 2015. For Prince George's County, the FHA loan limit will remain at the maximum limit of $625,500.

Read more >

Another victory has been won in the fight for safe, affordable loans for qualified home buyers. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have both announced that 3% down payment mortgages are available for first-time home buyers.

Even for non- first-time buyers, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac new lending guidelines released early this month are much more reasonable, opening up mortgages and refinances, and speeding up the application and approval processes, to more qualified home buyers and home owners.

Read more >
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QRM MORTGAGE RULE COULD EASE CREDIT FOR CONSUMERS
No Minimum Down Payment, as NAR Sought

Mortgage financing could improve as a result of the qualified residential mortgage (QRM) rule federal regulators are releasing. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is the first of six financial regulators to release the final version of the long-awaited QRM rule, which stems from the big 2010 banking reform bill the federal government enacted after the financial crisis.

A few provisions of the FDIC rule are:
  • Lenders do not have to retain 5% of the loan amount on their books. Because the QRM loan comes without the risk-retention requirement, lenders should be able to make more loans and also make them more cheaply, because they don't have to pass along that risk-retention cost to borrowers.

  • The QRM rule will match up with the qualified mortgage (QM) rule, which was implemented in the beginning of 2014.

  • Under the QRM rule, as under the QM rule, loans are generally considered qualified if the borrower's debt-to-income ratio is 43%, among other things.

  • There is no onerous down payment requirement. Regulators had talked about including a 20% down payment requirement, which NAR and coalition partners strongly opposed.
Regulators plan for the QRM to take effect in October 2015. That will give lenders time to align their internal processing systems with the requirements. Since lenders have already been aligning their systems to the QM rule, the process can be expected to go smoothly.

For lenders, having the two rules in alignment provides clarity that they've long been asking for. One result of this new clarity could be a widening and deepening of loan availability, which has been one of the main stumbling blocks to increased home sales.

Read more >
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NEW AGENTS? INTERESTED AFFILIATES?
2015 Applications are Online

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MAKING HOME AFFORDABLE (MHA) PROGRAM WEBINARS

Sessions are scheduled for both MHA Trusted Advisors and MHA Servicers. Click here to see all scheduled classes.

Upcoming sessions:
Tuesday, January 6, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Case Escalations for Trusted Advisors

Monday, January 26, 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Home Affordable Modification Program Webinar: Part 1

Thursday, January 29, 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
Home Affordable Modification Program Webinar: Part 2
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30 UNDER 30 APPLICATION DEADLINE LESS THAN A MONTH AWAY!
Applications Due January 15

Are you or someone in your office a rising star in the real estate industry, and younger than 30 as of May 31, 2015? If so, apply for NAR's 30 Under 30 Class of 2015 and be recognized internationally for your exceptional real estate skills!

The application period closes January 15, 2015. With the busy holiday season upon us, take the time to apply now, and don't forget to ask for recommendations in support of your selection.

30 Under 30 Web Site >     30 Under 30 FAQ and Contest Rules >

Maryland boasts two REALTORs® in the 2013 class of 30 Under 30, and one in 2012.

We'd love to see a member of PGCAR in the 2015 list of honorees!
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A WEALTH OF INFORMATION - 24 X 7! - Find important industry information, as well as details and registration for PGCAR Events and Classes - all at the PGCAR.com Events Calendar.
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- - - CONSUMER'S CORNER - - -
Share these items with your customers.


At the PGCAR Annual Legislative Breakfast on November 20th, Director Eric Brown of the County's Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), announced the launch of the NEW Maryland Mortgage Program (MMP) TriplePlay Initiative. The $100 million initiative is intended to help stabilize County neighborhoods by promoting home ownership.

On the same day, PGCAR President Desiree Callender along with Chuck Ottley, Linda Simpson and Mike Graziano, represented PGCAR at a press conference announcing the TriplePlay Initiative.

More press conference photos and details >

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The $100 million TriplePlay Initiative is designed exclusively for Prince George's to promote homeownership and assist Prince George's County homebuyers.

"TriplePlay" offers three things:
  • Homebuyers interested in purchasing a Prince George's County property may be eligible for up to $20,000 of down payment and closing cost assistance.
     
  • Buyers are eligible for a reduced Maryland Mortgage Program interest rate.
     
  • The State is waiving its fee to receive the Maryland HomeCredit, which allows homebuyers to claim a federal income tax credit of up to $2,000 for as long as the Maryland Mortgage Loan is outstanding.
The Maryland Mortgage Program (MMP) TriplePlay Initiative will help an estimated 500 families own the home of their dreams in Prince George's County. It is the result of a partnership between the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, Prince George's County, and the Office of the Maryland Attorney General, Doug Gansler. The funding source is part of the landmark Mortgage Servicing Settlement between the nation's attorneys general and the five largest lenders.

The lower Maryland Mortgage Program Interest rate, plus down payment assistance, plus a Maryland HomeCredit federal tax credit without the customary fee gives homebuyers three unique financial incentives to purchase a home in Prince George's County.

For specific details on this exciting NEW program please visit:
http://mmp.maryland.gov/TriplePlay
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FOR PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, SALES DOLLAR VOLUME IS UP FOR THIS YEAR, NUMBER OF HOMES SOLD DOWN YEAR-TO-DATE

So far, 2014 has been the year of wide monthly fluctuations, either increasing or decreasing in much larger percentages than normal by month. Numbers have been much smoother looking at the annual trends, with sales dollar volume trending higher from 2013 to 2014, and number of homes volume trending slightly lower from 2013 to 2014. However, even the year-to-date numbers volume of single family sales contracts and settlements is higher than 2014, in all $100k sales price ranges, from the $200,000 - $299,999 range to the $800,000 - $899,999 range.

Prince George's county condos contracts decreased 4.9% from October to November 2014, while settlements decreased 2.6% and average sales price increased 2.3% (from $106,641 in October to $109,102 in November).

For more details, visit www.pgcar.com/stats.
Like PGCAR at www.facebook.com/pgcar to see December statistics when they are released in early January!

National Market News:
Fannie: Brighter Days Ahead in Housing
Loan Apps Drop Again, Despite Low Rates
Lenders Eased Standards in November
Help Your Buyers Reduce Closing Costs
New-Home Market on Slow Route to Recovery
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FIXED MORTGAGE RATES AT A NEW LOW FOR 2014

"The 30-year fixed mortgage rate dropped to its lowest point of 2014 this week," said Frank Nothaft, Vice President and Chief Economist for Freddie Mac. "Mortgage rates fell along with 10-year Treasury yields, which closed at their lowest level since May 2013. November housing starts [PDF] came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.028 million starts, down 1.6 percent from an upwardly-revised October value. Housing starts for the calendar year will likely come in around 1.0 million, above the 2013 pace but lower than forecasters had expected at the start of 2014. Consumer prices declined more than expected in November, with CPI [PDF] contracting 0.3 percent."

Freddie Mac reports the following averages for the week ending December 18, 2014:

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.80%, down from 3.93% ~ Last year: 4.47%
The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.09%, down from 3.20% ~ Last year: 3.52%
The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM averaged 2.95%, down from 2.98% ~ Last year: 3.00%
The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.38%, down from 2.40% ~ Last year: 2.56%

Freddie Mac's Weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey >

Like PGCAR at www.facebook.com/pgcar to see monthly home sales statistics and weekly mortgage rate reports as soon as they are released!
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SHARE HOMEBUYER SAVINGS FROM PGCAR.COM

First-time homebuyers, homeowners buying again, Military homebuyers, teachers... There are real estate deals for everyone in Prince George's County. It's easy to find the right information and send links from www.pgcar.com >
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9200 Basil Court, Suite 400  |  Largo MD 20774  |  Phone 301.306.7900  |  Fax 301.306.8273
PGCAR.com  |  jostenso@PGCAR.com  |  ©2014 PGCAR
     

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