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February 2, 2015


$20,000 Down Payment Assistance Available to Homebuyers Through TriplePlay!

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 are three great reasons you should attend the FREE MMP TriplePlay Workshop this 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.
     
  • Enjoy a complimentary networking lunch with fellow PGCAR members, state officials, title company representatives and MMP approved lenders.
     
  • Receive 1.5 Maryland Elective CEU.

The afternoon workshop will also sell out soon >
Networking lunch is included with registration at either session.


This 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)
Sold out!
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 >


Thank you to our Sponsors!

         


Share the Workshop flyer >     Read more about TriplePlay >     Register here >
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A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT - JANUARY 30
In Response to The Washington Post Articles

By now I'm sure many of you are familiar with the recent real estate articles in The Washington Post. As you might imagine the articles are not being received well by your Board of Directors. In fact, I penned a article and submitted it to The Washington Post. It is at this point unknown, as to whether or not they will choose to print it.

As REALTORS® representing and selling Prince George's County, we know that investment here is a positive and fruitful proposition. We cannot let outside influences cast an untrue and unrealistic view of our marketplace. Hopefully our response will assist in dispelling the negative aspects of this narrative.

Read the letter here >
Desiree Callender photo
Desiree Callender
2015 PGCAR President
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MY HOME PROGRAM SUSPENDED AS OF JANUARY 28
Nearly 1,300 Prince George's Homebuyers Have Been Assisted

Due to the overwhelming demand for down payment and closing cost assistance for first-time homebuyers, the Redevelopment Authority of Prince George's County (RDA) has suspended the "My HOME" homebuyer assistance program effective January 28, 2015, due to funding depletion. Completed applications received by January 28, 2015 that are pending approval, will be funded on a "first completed" basis, as additional funds become available.

Since 2009, the Redevelopment Authority has assisted nearly 1,300 homebuyers purchase a home in Prince George's County. In 2014 alone, the RDA provided 267 loans to first-time, moderate income homebuyers which generated over $2,133,300 in property, recordation and transfer taxes for the County. "My HOME provided hundreds of families the opportunity to begin building family wealth, as well as stabilizing county neighborhoods by promoting homeownership," said Howard Ways, Executive Director of the Redevelopment Authority of Prince George's County.

Homebuyers interested in obtaining down payment and closing cost assistance to purchase their first home should now consider applying for the "Maryland Mortgage Program Triple Play in Prince George's County." This home buyer initiative, launched in November 2014, offers homebuyers mortgage financing with incentives that are tough to beat anywhere in the Washington metropolitan region. Here's how the initiative works:

When eligible Maryland Mortgage Program (MMP) borrowers purchase in Prince George's County, they could receive up to $20,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance. Ten thousand dollars will come from the State of Maryland as a zero interest loan that must be paid back when the buyer sells or transfers the property; however, the buyer is eligible for an additional $10,000 in the form of a grant if they purchase a property within 14 targeted zip codes in Prince George's County. These zip codes are areas where some of the highest foreclosure rates are occurring in the County. Additional incentives included in the "MMP Triple Play in Prince George's County" include: a 0.25% discount on the interest rate of the standard MMP loan; and a tax credit for up to $2,000 annually on the homebuyer's federal income taxes for the life of the loan. For more information on the "Maryland Mortgage Program Triple Play in Prince George's County," visit the website: http://mmp.maryland.gov or call 1.800.638.7781.
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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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FORM EXPLANATIONS - JANUARY 2015



The REALTORS® Introductory Guide to Rentals is newly revised and available again!

The Guide has been extensively revised to bring it into conformance with new state and county laws. Revisions include:
  • The Security Deposits section was revised, due to new Maryland and Prince George's law changes which became effective January 1, 2015 and now mirror one another with respect to payable interest and "notice of damage" requirements.
  • Interest on rental security deposits are now to accrue at the daily U.S. Treasury Yield Curve Rate for 1 year or 1.5%, whichever is greater. The former required interest rate for Prince George's County was 4%.
  • Notice of damages or violations must be given within 45 days after lease is terminated. The former requirement for Prince George's County was 30 days.
  • The Lead Based Paint section was revised, due to Maryland Lead laws which are effective as of January 1, 2015. All residential rental units built before 1978 must now be registered with the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) and meet other lead law requirements.
  • At the end of the Rentals Guide, several Prince George's Municipalities and Resources Links have been updated.

Eight contract, listing or notice forms were also revised or added during January, due to changes in State and County Law.
  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.

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

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

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

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

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

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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!

Complete your remaining CEU anytime 24/7 online.
Just click here for class listings >

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 Wednesday, February 4
Maryland Mortgage Program and TriplePlay Workshop: Morning Session - 1.5 MD Elective CEU
Maryland Mortgage Program and TriplePlay Workshop: Afternoon Session - 1.5 MD Elective CEU
This Friday, February 6
MREC Required Supervision - 3 MD Required or Elective CEU
Next Friday, February 13
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 >

INCLEMENT WEATHER / SNOW POLICY >
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THE REALTOR® CREDIT CARD IS HERE!

Apply for a business or a personal credit card:
  • Competitive interest rates as low as 8.00% APR
  • A comprehensive rewards program
  • No balance transfer or cash advance fees
  • No annual fee
  • Customized real estate-themed designs
  • Apply Today at www.realtorsfcu.org >
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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:
Wednesday, February 4, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Case Escalations for Servicers

Wednesday, February 18, 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Unemployment Program for Servicers

Thursday, February 19, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program for Trusted Advisors
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Membership / Office Terminations
for Members with Non-Paid 2014 - 2015 Dues
Brokers and Non-Paid Agents - A $100 reinstatement fee was added to unpaid accounts on Tuesday, January 6. January 31 was the deadline to pay 2014 - 2015 dues or remove any unpaid agents from your office roster. All new licensed agents in your office were also required to join by January 31. Suspensions are now taking effect for offices with non-paid members.

Reinstate your membership, SentriLock key privileges, MRIS discount, ZipForms and other REALTOR® membership benefits 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.

RENEW IMMEDIATELY at www.pgcar.com, or if your account has already been suspended, please call the office at 301-306-7900 to reinstate your membership. Don't let your office suffer suspension!
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PRESIDENTS' DAY HOLIDAY

On Monday, February 16, the PGCAR offices will be closed in observance of Presidents' Day.
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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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THINK LOVE ON FEBRUARY 14, BUT GIVE LIFE ON FEBRUARY 18!
The REALTOR® Blood Drive Needs You

Giving your heart on Valentine's Day may change a life, but when you give blood at the REALTOR® blood drive, you can save lives – up to three! Please mark your calendar and plan to join us at the PGCAR offices between 9 am and 2:30 pm on Wednesday, February 18, to donate blood to the American Red Cross. Encourage your entire office to show up! Family and friends are all welcome!

Blood donors save lives.
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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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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:
Existing-Home Sales Rebound in December, 2014 Total Sales Finish 3 Percent Below 2013
Pending Home Sales Stall in December
FHA Fee Cuts Expected to Boost Home Sales
2015: The Breakout Year for Sellers?
FHFA Defends Lower Down Payments
Shrinking Inventory May Raise Prices Again
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FIXED MORTGAGE RATES REVERSE COURSE, MOVE UP SLIGHTLY
Remaining Well Under 4%

"Mortgage rates ticked up this week for the first time in 2015 following positive home sales reports," said Len Kiefer, Freddie Mac's deputy chief economist. "New home sales [PDF] surged 11.6 percent in December beating market expectations. Likewise, existing home sales rose 2.4 percent to an annual rate of 5.04 million homes in December."

Freddie Mac reports the following averages for the week ending January 29, 2015:

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.66%, up from 3.63% ~ Last year: 4.32%
The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.98%, up from 2.93% ~ Last year: 3.40%
The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM averaged 2.86%, up from 2.83% ~ Last year: 3.12%
The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.38%, up from 2.37% ~ Last year: 2.55%

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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