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January 21, 2015


$20,000 Down Payment Assistance Available to Homebuyers Through TriplePlay!
Don't Miss the FREE TriplePlay Workshop on February 4

DHCD Logo Available through the Maryland Mortgage Program, MMP TriplePlay gives eligible homebuyers in Prince George's County incredible financial incentives that put homeownership within reach. MMP TriplePlay gives them more buying power and makes it easier for families to make the move to their own home. See mmp.maryland.gov/TriplePlay and attend the February 4 event to learn more.

Here's three great reasons why you should plan on attending the FREE MMP TriplePlay Workshop on Wednesday, February 4:
  • Learn how you can help your homebuyers take advantage of up to $20,000 in Down Payment Assistance and more through the new MMP TriplePlay Program in Prince George's County.
     
  • Complimentary networking lunch with fellow PGCAR members, state officials, title company representatives and MMP approved lenders.
     
  • Receive 1.5 Maryland Elective CEU.

Register TODAY for one of two sessions!
Networking lunch is included with registration at either session.


Wednesday, February 4
at La Fontaine Bleue
7963 Annapolis Road, Lanham, MD 20706

Session 1: Registration opens at 9:30 am
10 am to 11:30 am Class (1.5 CEU)
Register here >
Networking Lunch: 12 noon to 1 pm
Session 2: Registration opens at 1 pm
1:30 pm to 3 pm Class (1.5 CEU)
Register here >

Register by January 30 >

Thank you to our Sponsors!

         
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2015 MARYLAND ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® LEGISLATIVE BREAKFAST
Meet Your Legislators!

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

The MAR Legislative Breakfast is an excellent opportunity to interact with our Maryland Legislators and learn about key real estate issues before the Maryland General Assembly. Maryland General Assembly leadership and Governor Larry Hogan have been invited to address attendees.

Register at mdrealtor.org >

Know who your Legislators are! Check out the Guide to Prince George's County Government >
UPDATED with our newly elected officials.
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COUNTY ZONING TO BE REWRITTEN


The Prince George's County Planning Department is conducting a comprehensive rewrite of the County Zoning Ordinance and Subdivision Regulations. This project will transform the current zoning code. This action is of great importance to the future of economic development in Prince George's County and to REALTORS®. It's been more than 50 years since the last comprehensive update. REALTORS® are strongly encouraged to engage in this process.

There are three Countywide Forums scheduled where the public can learn more of this comprehensive rewrite.
Learn more here >

Tuesday, January 27, 6 - 8 pm
Parks and Recreation Auditorium
6600 Kenilworth Avenue, Riverdale, MD 20737

Wednesday, January 28, 6 - 8 pm
Southern Regional Technology and Recreation Complex
7007 Bock Road, Fort Washington, MD 20744

Thursday, January 29, 6 - 8 pm
Wayne K. Curry Sports and Learning Center
8001 Sheriff Road, Landover, MD 20785
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REALTORS® INSURANCE MARKETPLACE OPEN ENROLLMENT

The last day to enroll in a Qualified Health Plan for 2015 is February 15, 2015. After that point, you will need a qualifying event to trigger a Special Enrollment Period.

Are you:
  • Confused about health insurance?
  • In need of coverage?
  • Aware of (or fearful of being subject to) the financial penalties for not being enrolled in an ACA-qualified health plan?
There's a lot of talk about health care and insurance lately, and plenty of room for confusion, but NAR's REALTOR Benefits® Program is here to help make the facts clear with the REALTORS® Insurance Marketplace, an online comparative shopping site exclusively for NAR members.

At RealtorsInsuranceMarketplace.com, you'll find a full roster of insurance plans and products, including the private Members Health Insurance Exchange and access to complimentary consultative services from licensed benefit specialists.

Open Enrollment continues through February 15, 2015 for major medical plans that meet ACA mandates with coverage beginning in 2015. Insurance plans and products offered through the Marketplace are available to all NAR members with a NRDS ID, as well as their families.

Visit RealtorsInsuranceMarketplace.com today to find information or shop for your health insurance plan.
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Non-Renewed Memberships Have Now Expired!
Renew Today to Avoid Loss of Benefits
-- YOUR OWN AND YOUR OFFICE'S
Dues for the October 1, 2014 - September 30, 2015 membership year were due October 1, 2014. A $100 reinstatement fee was added to non-paid dues invoices on January 6, 2015. Non-paid REALTORS® and their offices will be suspended on Monday, February 2.


Please don't wait any longer to pay your dues renewal - you'll lose REALTOR® membership benefits, including SentriLock key privileges, your MRIS discount, and ZipForms!

Take 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.
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HUD SECRETARY JULIÁN CASTRO: THE HOUSING MARKET'S LOOKING UP!

In a recent email, Julián Castro, the Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary, notes exciting improvements in the housing market under the current administration.

There's much to celebrate: on January 8, President Obama directed the FHA to reduce mortgage insurance premiums - an action that will help 250,000 American families achieve homeownership over the next three years.

Additional highlights from Secretary Castro's email:
  • Home sales are up nearly 50%.
  • Home values, previously declining, have risen over the past three years.
  • New foreclosure rates haven't been this low since 2006.
  • The number of homeowners with underwater mortgages has decreased by nearly 10 million.
News like this means a bright horizon for our industry; be inspired! Read the full text of Secretary Castro's email.

To view Secretary Castro's January 13 National Press Club Newsmaker address on the state of housing and HUD's plans for 2015, click here >

To learn more about President Obama's plan to save Americans money on homeownership, click here >
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FORM EXPLANATIONS - JANUARY 2015



Due to recent changes in State and County Law, the listed forms have been revised.
  1. Form #502 - Maryland Lead Poisoning Prevention Program Disclosure:
    Latest revision date is January 1, 2015.

  2. New Form #904 - Notice of Referred Service Provider and Contractor Licenses:
    Form date is January 1, 2015.

  3. Form #1100 - Property Management and Exclusive Rental Agreement:
    Latest revision date is January 16, 2015.

    1. Paragraph 17 – Revised to reflect new Prince George's County Law relative to interest on rental security deposits. Added language indicating that Agent/Landlord will use the Maryland DHCD calculator to determine interest.
    2. Paragraph 22 – Added reference to property owner obtaining flood insurance if necessary to protect his/her interests.
    3. Paragraph 34 – Revised entire paragraph to address Maryland's new lead paint regulations.
    4. Paragraph 35 – Removed reference to Lead Paint Renovation/Repair/Painting of Property and incorporated this section into paragraph 34. Renumbered old paragraph 36 to 35, entitled Pending or Actual Bankruptcy/Foreclosure.
    5. Paragraph 36 – Revised language to correspond with legislative changes.

  4. Form #1105 - Single Family Lease:
    Latest revision date is January 7, 2015.

    1. Paragraph 3 – Revised paragraph to reference new method of calculating interest on security deposits and revised the number of days to notify Tenant of Damages (if any) from 30 to 45 days, which took effect on January 1, 2015.
    2. Paragraph 9 – Added language addressing a specific pet deposit.
    3. Paragraph 20 – Revised the paragraph in reference to potential flood insurance premium increases, and information on where to obtain flood insurance.
    4. Paragraph 39 – Revised the paragraph in accordance with new state lead paint laws which took effect on January 1, 2015.

  5. REALTORS® Introductory Guide to Rentals:

    We have restricted access to this document at this time in order to bring it into conformance with new state laws. The revised Guide will be available on or before this Friday, January 23, 2015.

  6. Form #1300 - Residential Contract of Sale:
    Latest revision date is January 1, 2015.

  7. Form #1400 - Property Inspections Addendum:
    Latest revision date is January 8, 2015.

    This Addendum was revised, along with the Property Inspections Notice to make both forms consistent with regard to the scope of inspections and repairs Buyer may request.

    As specified in the Property Inspections Addendum, the purpose of any inspection(s) agreed upon by the parties is to discover unsatisfactory conditions if any, of the components and systems of the Property. Depending upon the parties' agreement, Buyer may request that Seller repair any unsatisfactory conditions. Seller may elect the options as specified in the Addendum. Depending upon Seller's response, Buyer may make certain elections.

  8. Form #1400A - Property Inspections Notice:
    Latest revision date is January 8, 2015.

    This Addendum was revised, along with the Property Inspections Addendum to make both forms consistent with regard to the scope of inspections and repairs Buyer may request.

  9. New MAR Form - Independent Contractor Agreement Template:
    Form release date was January 8, 2015.

    This Template was designed to assist brokers and managers with creating an independent contractor agreement. This form may be requested by a manager or broker using the request form posted on the MAR Statewide Forms page.

    Practice Tip: As emphasized by the National Association of REALTORS®, having an independent contractor agreement is a very important element of establishing an independent contractor relationship with a real estate salesperson, but the existence of an agreement is not enough to avoid misclassification. Courts and regulatory agencies will look to the reality of the relationship, how the parties interacted, and how much control a broker exerts over the real estate salesperson in order to determine the true nature of the relationship between the parties.

    Improper classification of workers can cause businesses a number of tax and other legal problems. At the federal level, the IRS may levy unpaid payroll taxes against a business it believes is misclassifying its workers, as well as interest and other penalties.

    In addition, the United States Department of Labor, the National Labor Relations Board, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Agency have an interest in a business's classification of its workers, and may pursue penalties and legal action against businesses believed to be engaging in worker misclassification.

    At the state level, businesses may face fines and penalties for violations of state workers' compensation laws, tax laws, and state unemployment compensation laws. Improper classification can also expose businesses to private causes of action and costly litigation.
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DC LICENSE RENEWAL DEADLINES
Broker License Deadline is February 28; Sales Agent Deadline is August 31


DC Broker and Property Manager license renewals must be submitted and paid by February 28, 2015 to avoid penalties. ALL CE Hours must be completed and reported before-hand. The same rules will be applicable to DC Sales Agents, who must renew their DC real estate licenses before August 31, 2015.

Register now to meet your required topic CEU before license renewal deadline!

Thursday, January 29
9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

DC Fair Housing & Predatory Lending

Register here >
1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
DC Legislative Update / Exam Prep

Register here >
Friday, January 30
9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Financing Issues / Update

Register here >


Also earn your 6 required hours of general electives at PGCAR. See following article and complete CE schedule >
License Renewal CE Requirements >
Online Renewal for Brokers and Property Managers >
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AT A GLANCE: EDUCATION HIGHLIGHTS AT PGCAR

Early bird registration is only $18 for 3 CEU classes and $11 for 1.5 CEU classes.
This Thursday, January 22
New Member Orientation for new REALTOR® members only - Future Class Coupons Given for 3 FREE MD Ethics CEU; and 1.5 FREE MD Fair Housing CEU
This Friday, January 23
MREC Agency-Residential - 3 MD Required or Elective CEU
Reverse Mortgages - 1.5 MD Elective CEU
Next Thursday, January 29
DC Fair Housing & Predatory Lending - 3 DC Required Fair Housing CEU
DC Legislative Update / Exam Prep - 3 DC Required Legislative Update CEU
Next Friday, January 30
Financing Issues / Update - 3 DC Required Financing Issues / Update CEU; 3 MD Elective CEU
See the complete schedule and register at www.pgcar.com >

INCLEMENT WEATHER / SNOW POLICY >
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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. Click on Event Center tab if not immediately directed to webinar listing.

Upcoming sessions:
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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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 - - -
Great reasons to stay in touch! Share these with your customers.

DAVID MACLIN MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP

Do you know a Prince George's County Public High School Senior who wants to further his/her education and is already making a difference in the community?

Alert them to submit a David Maclin Memorial Scholarship application before Saturday, February 28. Winners will receive a $2,500 scholarship towards further education in any community college, university or trade school.

Please also share this with Principals and Teachers at your local schools, so you may enable someone who may not have received the materials to share this opportunity with their class.

You can make an important difference in the life of a student!

Scholarship Letter   •   Scholarship Application   •   Permission Slip

Scholarship Applications are Due Saturday, February 28, 2015.

Email Scholarship Info to a Friend

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TAX-FREE ITEMS - President's Day Weekend in Maryland!

Tax Free Weekend on Energy Star Products — Saturday, February 14 - Monday, February 16
Share the news with your homebuyers! Marylanders, mark your calendars. President's Day weekend will be a three-day partial tax holiday too, during which the sales and use tax will not apply to the sale of selected Energy Star Products, or solar water heaters.

Energy Star Products include air conditioners, clothes washers or dryers, furnaces, heat pumps, standard size refrigerators, compact fluorescent light bulbs, dehumidifiers, or programmable thermostats that have been designated as meeting or exceeding the applicable Energy Star Efficiency requirements developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. To see which products qualify, click here.
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3% DOWN PAYMENT MORTGAGES - NEW FROM FANNIE, FREDDIE
Prince George's County FHA Loan Limits Stay at Maximum Limit

New loan limits announced by FHA took effect on Thursday, January 1, 2015. For Prince George's County, the FHA loan limit remains at the maximum 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's new lending guidelines released in early December 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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2014 SALES DOLLAR VOLUME INCREASED OVER 2013, NUMBER OF HOMES SOLD AND DAYS ON MARKET DECREASED
Prince George's Market Statistics for 2014

2014 was the year of wide monthly fluctuations, with 10% plus changes between consecutive months not uncommon. Numbers were much smoother looking at the annual trends, with overall sales dollar volume finishing at 4.18% higher in 2014, and number of homes sold decreased by 6.04% in 2014. Great news: the average days on market decreased over 15% in 2014, from 58 days to 49 days.

For the year, the average price of Prince George's County single family homes increased 10.9% (from $227,537 in 2013 to $252,450 in 2014). The average price of condos/coops increased 13.3% (from $101,383 in 2013 to $114,824 in 2014).

Monthly stats? December single family settlements increased by 18.5% over November, and condo/coop settlements increased by 24.3%. WOW! An exceptionally nice upturn for the cold winter months. For more details, visit www.pgcar.com/stats.

National Market News:
REALTORS® Laud President's Action to Lower Cost Prohibitive FHA Insurance Premiums
Dip in Foreclosures Could Turn Up in Spring
'Worst Is Over' for Collapse in Lending
Mortgage Giants Urged to Ease Up on Credit
Loan Demand Posts Biggest Leap in 6 Years
How Dip in Oil Prices Impacts Home Buyers
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MORTGAGE RATES CONTINUE DECLINE
Now At Their Lowest Since May, 2013

"Mortgage rates fell for the third consecutive week as oil prices plummeted and long term treasury yields continued to drop despite a strong employment report," said Frank Nothaft, Vice President and Chief Economist for Freddie Mac. "The economy exceeded expectations by adding 252,000 jobs in December which followed an upward revision of 50,000 jobs to the prior two months. The unemployment rate fell to 5.6 percent which was the lowest since June 2008."

Freddie Mac reports the following averages for the week ending January 15, 2015:

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.66%, down from 3.73% ~ Last year: 4.41%
The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.98%, down from 3.05% ~ Last year: 3.45%
The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM averaged 2.90%, down from 2.98% ~ Last year: 3.10%
The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.37%, down from 2.39% ~ 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 this week's mortgage rate report as soon as they are released!
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MARK YOUR CALENDARS

The annual David Maclin Memorial Scholarship Fundraiser 5K Fun Walk/Run will be held Saturday, April 25, 2015.

Stay tuned for more information as the date approaches.
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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  |  ©2015 PGCAR
                    

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