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May 27, 2015


Prince George's County Proposed Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Calls for 15.6% Property Tax Increase



The Prince George's County Council is making final decisions on the fiscal year 2016 (FY 2016) budget NOW, including County Executive Rushern Baker's proposed 15.6% property tax increase. That's a $447 TAX INCREASE PER YEAR on a $300,000 home. FY 2016 begins October 1, 2015 thus any changes to the budget must be made within these final hours before being voted on when the County Council formally meets at 11 am tomorrow morning.

Prince George's County already leads the Maryland DC metro area in property taxes, closing costs, and transfer taxes. Unfortunately, we also lead in foreclosures and short sales. Over 55% of County tax revenue is derived from housing sector taxes. Our housing market is too fragile right now to sustain a tax or fee increase. Prince George's 2014 single-family property settlements were down 6% compared to 2013.

Your customers are already struggling to get the necessary capital together to buy homes. This increase lessens their ability to purchase. For sellers it lessens the pool of ready, willing and able buyers.

REALTORS® countywide NEED YOU, and your clients NEED YOU to BE HEARD. VOICE YOUR OPPOSITION TO THIS TAX NOW. Please take a moment to contact the County Council to voice your opposition to the property tax increase!
Thank you for your advocacy efforts!

Other details:
Please feel free to contact Mike Graziano at PGCAR, 301-306-7900 or mikeg@pgcar.com.
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AT A GLANCE: EDUCATION HIGHLIGHTS AT PGCAR

Reminder: ALL DC Real Estate Sales Licenses MUST be renewed by the August 31, 2015 expiration date. Required CEU must be reported prior to renewal; and can be earned at PGCAR.

Early bird registration is only $18 for 3 CEU classes and $11 for 1.5 CEU classes.
Today, May 27
9:30 am: MD Legislative Update - 3 MD Required Legislative Update CEU; 3 DC Elective CEU
1:30 pm: MD Fair Housing - 1.5 MD Required Fair Housing CEU; 1.5 DC Elective CEU
This Thursday, May 28
MD Code of Ethics - 3 MD Required Ethics CEU; 3 DC Elective CEU
Nuts & Bolts of an Alternative Dispute Resolution - 1.5 Elective CEU
This Friday, May 29
MREC Agency - Residential - 3 MD Required or Elective CEU
Tuesday, June 9
New Agent Basics Workshop: "What Type of REALTOR® Will You Be?"
- $15 Workshop ~ PGCAR members Only
Thursday, June 11
DC Fair Housing & Predatory Lending - 3 DC Required Fair Housing CEU
DC Legislative Update / Exam Prep - 3 DC Required Legislative Update CEU
Monday, June 15
Meeting With the Buyer for the 1st Time - 3 MD Elective CEU
Wednesday, June 17
Upcoming Home Lending Changes - 1.5 MD Elective CEU
See the complete schedule and register at www.pgcar.com >
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When: Tuesday, June 9th
Time: 5 pm - 7 pm
Where: Waterford Estates, A Stanley Martin Subdivision, at the Model Home
3301 Waterford Mill Road
Bowie, MD 20721
  BYOB
Bring a cooler of your favorite beverages (alcohol is permitted), and a lawn chair or blanket.

Please click here to
register online.

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BIG CHANGES IN LOAN ESTIMATES AND SETTLEMENTS COMING AUGUST 1
Lending and Settlement Form Changes Only 2 Months Away

Effective August 1, the HUD-1 settlement form, Good Faith Estimate (GFE), and Truth in Lending Act (TILA) disclosure form are all going away.

Replacing them will be several procedure changes, new forms, and possibly additional delays to settlement (guaranteed if parties aren't well prepared for the changes in advance).

Please prepare:
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Below is a status report of some of the issues followed by PGCAR and MAR during the 2015 Maryland General Assembly. Representatives of PGCAR frequently traveled to Annapolis to lobby legislators and testify on a number of these issues.

Summary of 2015 Legislative Session
Maryland Association of REALTORS®
Bill Castelli, Vice President of Government Affairs - MAR


HB 953 / SB 372 - Income Tax - Subtraction Modification - First-Time Homebuyer Savings Accounts
STATUS: NOT PASSED
This legislation would have allowed an individual to contribute up to $5,000 a year to a first-time homebuyer savings account. That money and the interest earned on that money would not be subject to state taxation up to $50,000. An individual could establish an account for a third party like a child or grandchild. MAR supported this bill but it had a significant budget impact and was not passed.

HB 1007 - Real Property - Condominiums and Homeowners Associations - Disclosures to Purchasers on Resale of Unit or Lot - Limitation on Fees
STATUS: NOT PASSED
This legislation would have limited the cost of condo and HOA resale packets. MAR worked out an agreement with the Condo and HOA managers in the last two weeks of session. Although the House and Senate passed the bill, last minute changes to the legislation undermined that agreement and were not resolved before the Legislature adjourned. MAR will be working with legislators on a more comprehensive condo / HOA bill for next year.

HB 1056 / SB 610 - Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons - Continuing Education - Requirements
STATUS: PASSED - Effective October 1, 2015
MAR supported this legislation which requires all real estate licensees to take the agency class every two years rather than every four years. The legislation also requires licensees who must take the broker supervision class to take that class every two years rather than every four years. This requirement would not increase the total number of hours for almost all licensees. However, those licensees who have graduate degrees in law or real estate will now have to take the full 15 hours of CE classes rather than the 7.5 hours under the previous law.

HB 17 - State Real Estate Commission - Continuing Education - Comparative Law Course
STATUS: NOT PASSED
The bill would have increased continuing education hours from 15 hours to 16.5 hours for all licensees by requiring a comparative law class. MAR opposed the legislation.

HB 1028 / SB 203 - Business Occupations and Professions - Real Estate Salespersons and Brokers - Formation of Business Entities and Payment of Commissions
STATUS: PASSED - Effective October 1, 2015
This legislation will permit real estate licensees to organize as any legal business entity with the consent of the real estate broker. Prior law limited real estate licensees to forming only two kinds of business entities: professional service corporations or limited liability companies. MAR supported this bill.

HB 782 / SB 408 - Real Property - Residential Leases - Interest on Security Deposits
STATUS: PASSED - Effective June 1, 2015
This legislation resolves conflicting language in the security deposit law. The law lowered the mandated state rate for security deposits from 3% to the higher of 1.5% or a standard short-term treasury rate tracked by the Department of Housing and Community Development. MAR supported this bill.

SB 863 - Watershed Protection and Restoration Programs - Revisions
STATUS: PASSED - Effective July 1, 2015
MAR supported this legislation which repeals the mandated stormwater fee (rain tax). The legislation gives local governments the flexibility to pay for stormwater remediation required by the federal government through a stormwater fee or out of existing budget money. Local governments will be required to show the Maryland Department of Environment their plans to meet federal requirements including the money set aside for projects.

HB 51 / SB 66 - Circuit Court Real Property Records Improvement Fund - Funding
STATUS: PASSED - Effective July 1, 2015
As introduced, this legislation would have made permanent the increase in the recordation fee enacted in 2011. That 2011 legislation increased the fee from $20 to $40. MAR worked with the Judiciary to impose a sunset on the legislation. In 5 years the Legislature will have to reauthorize the $40 fee or it reverts back to $20 per instrument.

HB 1158 / SB 859 - Lead Risk Reduction Standards
STATUS: NOT PASSED
The bill would have exempted many limited lead free properties (those that have lead paint only on the exterior) from inspections every two years as long as the owners completed an annual affidavit attesting that none of the exterior paint was chipping, flaking or peeling. MAR supported the bill which passed the House but was never voted on in the Senate.

HB 1184 / SB 835 - Real Property - Foreclosure Moratorium and Study (Foreclosure Relief Act of 2015)
STATUS: NOT PASSED
The bills would have imposed a 9-month moratorium on foreclosures in Maryland. MAR opposed the bill believing the moratorium would further delay the housing recovery and only delay foreclosure for those homeowners now in default. Already it takes close to two years for homeowners to move from default to foreclosure sale.

HB 420 / SB 480 - Commission on Rental Housing Stabilization
STATUS: NOT PASSED
The bill would have created a housing commission to study rent control among other provisions. MAR opposes rent control.

HB 1183 / SB 649 - Real Property - Contract for Sale of New Home
STATUS: PASSED - Effective October 1, 2015
MAR requested an amendment to this legislation that made changes to the financing contingency clause in new home sale contracts. The bill allows the buyer or the homebuilder to terminate a contract if financing is not obtained and requires the return of the deposit money. MAR amended the bill to clarify that if a licensed real estate broker holds the deposit money, the broker must follow current real estate law regarding the return of the deposit money.
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MAKING HOME AFFORDABLE (MHA) PROGRAM WEBINARS

There are sessions for 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:

Tuesday, June 2, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Second Lien Modification Program (2MP) for Trusted Advisors

Thursday, June 11, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Understanding the Terms of a HAMP Modification: Interest Rate Step-Up, Impact, and Resources

Monday, June 15, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program for Trusted Advisors
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REAL TRENDS REAL ESTATE NEWS
Read and Share the May Issue

REAL Trends


  • 5 Temptations of a Real Estate Broker - Tips on being an effective leader.
     
  • Talent Search, and Recruiting Wars - Insights into effective search, recruitment and development of team members.
     
  • 5 Simple Steps: Blow Your Productivity Through the Roof - Enough said. Great article; Read and apply these tips today!
     
  • 5 Temptations of Real Estate Technology - Based on the book, "The Five Temptations of a CEO," by Patrick Lencioni, we created technology's greatest issues list.
     
  • Print Advertising in Real Estate - A look at spending and effectiveness of print and digital advertising.
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PGCAR REALTORS® Award $10,000 in Scholarships to High School Seniors

Congratulations to everyone helping to raise funds for the David Maclin Memorial Scholarship Fund, and to the Prince George's high school graduates receiving 2015 scholarships:
  • Amber Nicole Braswell of the Academy of Health Sciences at PGCC in Largo, is planning to attend Towson University.
  • Milan Turia Brown of Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt, is planning to attend Howard University.
  • Tarck Mitchell of Charles Herbert Flowers High School in Springdale, is planning to attend Bowie State University.
  • Armani Breahn Tinnin of Charles Herbert Flowers High School in Springdale, is planning to attend the University of Maryland-Baltimore.
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2015 MEMBERSHIP APPLICATIONS

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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.


Red Cross Blood Drive in Upper Marlboro Maryland GIVE THE GIFT OF LIFE- DONATE BLOOD!
Tuesday, June 16 at PGCAR


Recruit your office, neighbors, customers and friends to donate blood on Tuesday, June 16 at the Red Cross Blood Drive at PGCAR. It's such an easy way to give back.

Drop in anytime 9 am - 2:30 pm, or make an appointment online.




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APRIL COUNTY HOME SALES CLIMB
County Home Sales Surged Even Higher in April!

1022 contracts were signed during April alone, to purchase Prince George's County single family homes. This was a 7.35% increase over March 2015's 952 contract signings. Settlements also increased by 6.28% from March to April for a total of 643 single family home settlements during April 2015. For Prince George's County single family home sales year-to-date, listings have increased 8%, contracts have increased 9.3%, and settlements have increased 17.8% over 2014.

April condo and coop contracts increased 6.3% while settlements decreased from 111 in March to 91 in April (18%), and listings are hovering around 154.

For the year-to-date, condo listings have increased 29.1%, contracts have increased 16.9%, and settlements have increased 19.3% over 2014.

See all the details at www.pgcar.com/stats >

To see Prince George's County monthly home sales statistics as soon as they are released, usually on the 6th of each month, with more details available on the 10th, like us at www.facebook.com/pgcar and visit www.pgcar.com/stats.

National Market News:
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MORTGAGE RATES MOVE HIGHER
Mortgage Rates Dip Slightly

"Mortgage rates were little changed this week amid positive housing news," said Ken Liefer, Freddie Mac's deputy chief economist. "Housing starts surged 20.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted pace of 1.14 million units in April, the highest level since 2007. As homebuying season moves into full swing, home builders remain positive about home sales in the near future. Although the NAHB housing market index slipped 2 points to 54 in May it is still above 50, indicating that on balance builders remain optimistic about housing markets."

Freddie Mac reports the following averages for the week ending May 21, 2015:

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.84%, down from 3.85% ~ Last year: 4.14%
The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.05%, down from 3.07% ~ Last year: 3.25%
The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM averaged 2.88%, down from 2.89% ~ Last year: 2.96%
The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.51%, up from 2.48% ~ Last year: 2.43%

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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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
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