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June 10, 2015


Joan Ostenso's Retirement Celebration


The Prince George's County Association of REALTORS®
cordially invites you to attend a dinner celebration in honor of
Joan Ostenso's Retirement

Wednesday, June 24
6 pm - 10 pm
La Fontaine Bleue
Business Attire

Tickets must be purchased in advance by 5 pm next Wednesday, June 17th.
Register at www.pgcar.com, email Erica Kaleda, or call Erica at 301.306.7900 x 233 with your payment information.
Tickets: $47 per person

We look forward to seeing you! Come help celebrate Joan, with her family and so many of us who appreciate and love Joan and everything she does for PGCAR, the community and every life she touches!
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FREE Webinar
This Thursday, June 11
10 am - 11 am

Matt Colimore, Branch Manager of PrimeLending
Tom Drechsler, Esq., Regional Counsel for Sage Title Group

On August 1, 2015, the Good Faith Estimate, Truth-in-Lending Act disclosure and the HUD-1 settlement statement are going away.

In their place will be a NEW Loan Estimate and a NEW Closing Disclosure. The rules also include significant changes to the settlement process, including a requirement that everything be in place three days prior to closing, which means last-minute changes face new hurdles.

Click Here to learn about the new rules and forms in this informative and interactive webinar through presentations by a loan officer and title attorney.

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CFPB "SENSITIVE" TO COMPANIES THAT MAKE GOOD FAITH EFFORT
June 3 Announcement is Positive Development

On June 3, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that it would be "sensitive" to companies that make a good-faith effort to comply with the new Truth in Lending Act and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act Integrated Disclosure (TRID) regulation that goes into effect on August 1, 2015. This is a welcome development that can be compared to the effective CFPB implementation of the Qualified Mortgage (QM) regulation in 2014.

Bottom Line: The announcement by CFPB is a net win but less than what some Members of Congress requested, which was a hard deadline five-month testing or "grace" period.

Next Steps: NAR has been leading the effort to ensure an effective implementation of the TRID regulation. We will continue to have a dialog with Congress and the CFPB as we move toward August 1, 2015. It was through our member efforts during the 2015 REALTOR® Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo that more than 275 U.S. Senators and Representatives signed onto a letter to CFPB Director Richard Cordray to ask for the clarification that was issued yesterday.

Please prepare for the August 1 changes:
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Message from the President - June 8, 2015

Council Passes Budget with
$.04 Property Tax Increase. . . Not $.15!

  Desiree Callender photo
Desiree Callender
2015 PGCAR President

On Thursday May 28th, the Prince George's County Council passed the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget at $2.95 billion, considerably less than the $3.63 billion asked for by County Executive Rushern Baker. The Council returned the budget with a $.04 real property tax increase as opposed to Baker's proposed $.15 tax increase (per $100 in assessed value).

From the on-set of the budget discussion PGCAR was unabashedly vocal in our opposition to the property tax increase, sharing our concerns directly with County Executive Baker at the March Board of Directors meeting. In the weeks leading up to the vote, PGCAR led an extensive advocacy campaign against the property tax proposal that included face-to-face lobbying with elected officials, print media, an email campaign and telephone calls. Though we were unable to defeat the tax increase entirely we were successful in lessoning the impact on homeowners to 4%, instead of the massive 15% originally proposed.
  • Thank you to all PGCAR members who responded to our numerous "calls-to-action," sending well over 1,700 opposition email messages to the County Council. Your messages were definitely heard.
  • Also heard, were the opposition voices from another 1,200 concerned citizen voters who phoned their Council representatives through "robo call pass-throughs" hosted by the National Association of REALTORS®. Thank you NAR!
  • Thank you to the Maryland Association of REALTORS® for their generous contribution that allowed us to run two full-page advocacy advertisements in the Prince George's Gazette.
  • And let us not forget the countless hours PGCAR representatives spent meeting with public officials to plead for a more reasoned approach.
Thank you all! Fortunately, these efforts were not in vain as we were successful in bringing this issue to the attention of the membership and the general public and successful in greatly lessening the impact of the property tax increase.

Finally, I wish to thank our County Council Chair, Mel Franklin and the full Council for listening to our concerns and recognizing that "housing" simply cannot pay for everything.

The new property tax increase will take effect on July 1, 2015.

In brief, the FY 2016 Budget package includes:
  • $.04 increase in the real property tax rate (from $.96 to $1.00 per $100 in assessed value)
  • $.10 increase in the personal property tax rate
  • 1% increase in the telecommunications tax rate
  • 2% increase in hotel/motel tax rate
  • $.015 increase in the MNCPPC tax rate (Vetoed by the County Executive on June 8, 2015)
  • Various permit and license fee increases, including a $40 increase in the cost of a single family rental license (from $75 bi-annually to $115)
Thank you again, for voicing your concerns. It made a difference!

Desiree Callender,
President
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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.
Thursday, June 11
9:30 am: DC Fair Housing & Predatory Lending - 3 DC Required Fair Housing CEU
1:30 pm: 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
Learn More Loans, Sell More Homes - FREE Workshop ~ No CEU ~ PGCAR members Only
Thursday, June 18
Financing Issues / Update - 3 DC Required Financing Issues / Update CEU; 3 MD Elective CEU
Friday, June 19
MREC Required Supervision - 3 MD Required or Elective CEU;
required for every 2-year renewal cycle for Brokers, Managers and Team Leaders as of October 1, 2015
Thursday, June 25
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
Friday, June 26
MREC Agency - Residential - 3 MD Required or Elective CEU;
required for every 2-year renewal cycle as of October 1, 2015
See the complete schedule and register at www.pgcar.com >
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Are you, or someone you know, interested in serving as a member of the 2016 Prince George's County Association of REALTORS® Board of Directors? The PGCAR membership will elect:
  • a President-Elect,
  • a Secretary, and
  • two (2) Directors to serve two-year terms.
All terms begin on October 1, 2015. Any individual wishing to run for President-Elect or Secretary
  • must be a REALTOR® member in good standing of PGCAR,
  • must have held membership in PGCAR for a minimum of two years and
  • must have served two years as a Member of the Board of Directors during the last four years.
Those running for a Director position
  • must be a REALTOR® member in good standing of PGCAR,
  • must have held Membership in PGCAR for a minimum of two years and
  • must have served on a PGCAR standing or special committee for two full years or two separate standing or special committees for one full year during the last four years.
Service on the Board of Directors requires a commitment to attend Board of Directors meetings (12 per year) as well as participating in other PGCAR activities. Interested in having your name considered by the Credentials Committee for inclusion on the ballot? Please complete the Online Candidate Form or you can complete a PDF candidate form.

Printed forms may be submitted by fax at 301.306.8273 or by e-mail to info@pgcar.com.
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Below is a status report of issues followed by PGCAR and MAR during the 2015 Maryland General Assembly Session and 2015 Prince George's County Council. Representatives of PGCAR frequently traveled to Annapolis and Upper Marlboro to lobby legislators and testify on a number of these issues. This year, we are happy to report, that we ended the Annapolis Session with several "wins" for REALTORS®. Our efforts before the County Council are on-going, as their session runs through December.

2015 Prince George's County and Annapolis Delegation Issues
Mike Graziano, Director of Government Affairs - PGCAR


Prince George's County Budget FY 2016
STATUS: Passed, Effective 7/1/15

On Thursday May 28th, the Prince George's County Council passed the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget at $2.95 billion, considerably less than the $3.63 billion requested by County Executive Rushern Baker. The Council returned the budget with a $.04 real property tax increase as opposed to Baker's proposed $.15. In brief, the FY 2016 Budget package includes:
  • $.04 increase in the real property tax rate (from $.96 to $1.00 per $100 in assessed value)
  • $.10 increase in the personal property tax rate
  • 1% increase in the telecommunications tax rate
  • 2% increase in hotel/motel tax rate
  • $.015 increase in the MNCPPC tax rate (Vetoed by the County Executive on June 8, 2015)
  • Various permit and license fee increases, including a $40 increase in the cost of a single family rental license (from $75 bi-annually to $115)
PGCAR ACTION - PGCAR was vehemently OPPOSED to the property tax increase. PGCAR led an extensive advocacy campaign against the property tax proposal that included face-to-face lobbying with elected officials, print media, email campaign and telephone calls. Though we were unable to defeat the tax increase entirely we were successful in lessoning the impact on homeowners to 4% instead of the massive 15% originally proposed. Read the June 8 President's Letter for more details.


CR 26 - 2015 - Blue Ribbon Commission on County Structural Deficit
STATUS: Introduced

This Council Resolution, when enacted, will establish a citizen advisory board to study the County's fiscal health and address the County's long term structural deficit.

PGCAR ACTION - PGCAR SUPPORTS the concept and lobbied successfully to be named specifically in the resolution for a position on the study commission. A representative from PGCAR will be appointed to serve on the commission along with other members of the community and business interests.


SB 756 - Prince George's County - Foreclosure Relief Act of 2015
STATUS: DEFEATED

This bill would have created a six-month, across the board, moratorium on foreclosure filings exclusive to Prince George's County. It would have also increased the evidentiary paperwork, notices and fees necessary for a lender to "docket" a foreclosure and require the Maryland Attorney General to "study" foreclosure practices in Prince George's County.

PGCAR ACTION - PGCAR was OPPOSED to any foreclosure moratorium effort and lobbied vigorously to defeat this bill.


HB 938 - Maryland/Washington Regional District - Fairness in Zoning
STATUS: Passed, Effective 10/1/15

This bill clarifies the procedure and processes for the County Council, acting as the District Council, to overturn a Planning Board zoning decision. The bill amends the permitting process by establishing clear criteria relative to: the timeframe the ZHE renders a decision, limits District Council appeals, clarifies who has standing in certain cases.

PGCAR ACTION - PGCAR SUPPORTS clear and consistent procedures that expedite and add certainty to the permitting process.


HB 935 - Tax Sales - Foreclosure of Abandoned Property
STATUS: PASSED, Effective 6/1/2015

By "foreclosing all rights of redemption" this legislation greatly expedites the County's possession of certain abandoned properties offered at tax sale when there is no private purchaser. The intent is to enable the County to more expeditiously take hold of vacant and abandoned properties and rehab or dispose of them.

PGCAR ACTION - PGCAR SUPPORTS the rapid improvement of sub-standard, vacant abandoned properties.


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:

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

Wednesday, June 17, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
MHA Tools and Resources for Trusted Advisors - learn how to navigate through HMPadmin.com and MakingHomeAffordable.gov. This session will explore all of the resources that are available to you, the homeowner trusted advisor, to assist homeowners who may qualify for assistance under the Making Home Affordable Program.
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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.


HOMEBUYER SAVINGS FOR VETERANS, MILITARY FAMILIES AND THOSE WITH STUDENT LOAN DEBT
$10,000 in Down Payment Savings with 2.75% Mortgage Interest


Homeownership Savings for Veterans and Military Families On Memorial Day, Governor Larry Hogan and Secretary Kenneth Holt announced a $20 million initiative that will give a significant boost to veterans and military families who are looking to buy a home in one of Maryland's 86 Sustainable Communities.

The "You've Earned It!" initiative offers a 2.75% fixed-rate 30-year loan through the Maryland Mortgage Program and $10,000 in down payment assistance in the form of a zero interest deferred loan to active duty military, including members of the military reserves and National Guard, and honorably discharged veterans and veterans with a disability.

The first phase of "You've Earned It!" - aimed at qualified homebuyers with more than $25,000 in student loan debt - was announced May 4.The initiative is for a limited time until the $20 million allocation is exhausted.

Maryland's Sustainable Communities program seeks to strengthen reinvestment and revitalization in the state's older communities through state, local and private sector partnerships. There is at least one designated Sustainable Community in each of Maryland's 23 counties and Baltimore City. A list of Maryland's Sustainable Communities can be found here. Use this map to see whether a specific property address is in a sustainable community.

For more information about the Maryland Mortgage Program, as well as other loan specials, participating lenders and homeownership counselors in your area, visit the Maryland Mortgage Program website.
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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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PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY HOME SALES KEEP LOOKING UP
May County Home Sales Stay Strong and Consistent with April

2015 Year-to-date (YTD) single family settlements are now 15.8% above 2014 YTD volume; while average single family sales price is $253,658.

After large increases in March and April sales across the majority of sales price ranges, May is almost even in comparison with April. For example, settlement volume increased by 1 home in the single family market and decreased by 2 homes in the condo/coop market.

Year-to-date in Prince George's County:
  • Single family contracts are up 11.5% over 2014
  • Single family settlements are up 15.8% over 2014
  • Condo/coop contracts are up 14% over 2014
  • Condo/coop settlements are up 15.5% over 2014
See all the details at www.pgcar.com/stats >


To see details for each and every month, like us at www.facebook.com/pgcar and visit www.pgcar.com/stats.

National Market News:
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MORTGAGE RATES REMAIN AT 2015 HIGHS
Still Below 2014 Fixed Rates

"Mortgage rates were little changed for the week following mixed economic data before bond yields began moving higher Wednesday afternoon," said Ken Liefer, Freddie Mac's deputy chief economist. "Although real GDP growth was revised down to a negative 0.7 percent annualized rate, the Institute for Supply Management reported a modest growth in the manufacturing sector in May. If the Wednesday surge of treasury yields persists, the impact on mortgage rates is likely to result in a bout of affordability shock to many housing markets across the country."

Freddie Mac reports the following averages for the week ending June 4, 2015:

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.87%, same as previous week ~ Last year: 4.14%
The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.08%, down from 3.11% ~ Last year: 3.23%
The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM averaged 2.96%, up from 2.90% ~ Last year: 2.93%
The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.59%, up from 2.50% ~ Last year: 2.40%

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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