|December 9, 2013|
FOOD AND COAT DRIVE
Continues Through This Thursday, December 12
In addition to the gala, PGCAR is collecting coats and non-perishable food to give to the needy. Please open up your closet and pantry. Do you have coats you never wear that could keep someone else warm? Are you still hanging on to coats that your kids have outgrown? Another child could be that much warmer through your sharing. A few cans or boxes of veggies, beans, canned meats, cereals, baby food, or any non-perishable food item will bring joy to someone feeling hunger.
Please gather any items that you can and bring them by the PGCAR offices by this Thursday - or to the Holiday Enchantment Gala on Wednesday night!
We urge you to contact your Senators and Congressional Representative in support of the "Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act." This bipartisan and bicameral act will allow additional time for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Congress to review and consider disputed aspects of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) reauthorization (known as the Biggert-Waters law) that could undermine some real estate transactions.
Maryland Short Sale Certification
Thursday, January 16
9 am - 3 pm
Only $195 through Jan. 14 / $225 after Jan. 14
On July 1, the MARS Act became effective in Maryland, and ALL real estate licensees involved in short sales MUST COMPLY with the Act.
How do you know if you're in compliance? How do you protect yourself and avoid penalties of up to $5,000 and/or imprisonment? (Yes, you read that right!)
PGCAR is here to help! Our one-day program, The New Maryland Short Sale Certification, will give you the knowledge you need to successfully navigate short sales while staying compliant with the new regulations.
PGCAR Hosts Legislative Breakfast
Over 110 REALTORS® attended the PGCAR Legislative Breakfast on November 21, held at Martins Crosswinds in Greenbelt. The event was a huge success, organized by the Association's Legislative Committee under the supervision of Committee Chair Linda Simpson. REALTORS® in attendance were excited to hear from our County Executive, Mr. Rushern Baker; Prince George's Senate Vice-Chair, Anthony Muse; our House Chairwoman and candidate for Lt. Governor, Jolene Ivey; and Andrea Harrison, County Council Chair. Many of our Prince George's County Senators, Delegates and County Council officials also attended this year's event and enjoyed the opportunity to mingle throughout the morning.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Loan Limits Spared From Reduction
On September 8, The Wall Street Journal announced a decision by Acting Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Ed DeMarco, to reduce the conforming loan limits, thereby lowering the maximum eligible loan limits for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Since then, NAR has worked to persuade the Acting Director to not enact reductions. Last Tuesday, November 26, the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced that the current limits on conforming loans will remain in effect until further notice.
REALTORS® Applaud DeMarco for Heeding Warnings, Leaving GSE Loan Limits As Is >
September 17 Letter to Acting Director DeMarco, explaining impacts of lowered loan limits >
Up to 5% to Prince George's Homebuyers -- Through the My HOME Program
Over $8 Million in Funding is Available!
My HOME provides deferred payment loans to cover up to 5% of a home's purchase price, for down payment and closing costs assistance, for income eligible homebuyers who haven't owned a home in the past 3 years. If the purchaser remains in the home, using it as their primary residence for 10 or more years, the complete amount of the My HOME loan is forgiven.
Reminder: The My HOME Program is NOT just for low income! Applicants at or below 80% of the area median income may qualify. For example, single-person homebuyers at or below $60,200 annual income (or $90,150 for homes within targeted zip codes) can apply; 3-person households at or below $77,400 (or $115,900 within targeted zip codes) can apply.
My HOME II Also Available in Targeted Zip Codes
Crayons and Supplies for Elementary School Children
Albert Einstein once said, "Imagination is more important than knowledge." Yet a local elementary school class (children who participate in our annual poster contest) hasn't the funds for crayons this year. What will happen to those wonderful little minds, without colors and creativity?
Please help a small bit, to impact at least this classroom in a BIG way! Please drop off new boxes of crayons at the PGCAR office, or donate at www.pgcar.com/crayons to buy crayons and other supplies for these precious children. They're our future!
Consumer Tip: Light Up Your House for the Holidays
(But Follow These Safety Tips!)
It's a thrill to see lights everywhere at this time of year - adorning trees, porches, and roof lines outside our houses, and decking the halls and boughs within. But you'll want to be certain that all of that electricity is properly tamed to ensure a very happy (and safe!) holiday. Keep in mind the following precautions as you prepare to dazzle friends and family:
For more information on these and other safety tips, please visit Houselogic.com.
PGCAR Has Gone Social
Now you can network and get news, tips and other information helpful in cultivating your business by joining PGCAR's Facebook and Twitter pages. Haven't liked us at www.facebook.com/pgcar yet? Go ahead and join in at our original Facebook location, plus the all-new www.facebook.com/pgcar.ypn and Twitter pages!
Find out the latest trends in the real estate market, and socialize with other REALTORS® that can give you insight. Do you have information you want to share? Tweet it or share it on PGCAR's other social websites.
Now you're able to meet other members, as well as additional friends of PGCAR.
Don't wait, connect today.
PGCAR and WCR Membership Applications
New Agents? Looking for a PGCAR or Local WCR Membership Application?
Download the New 2014 PGCAR Membership Application from www.pgcar.com >
Women's Council of REALTORS® Prince George's Chapter Membership Application >
Earn All MD and DC Required CEU at PGCAR
Is your Maryland License expiring by December 31, 2013? MREC Agency-Residential is required! Earn your required 3 CEU in this topic on December 27 (or take it as an elective).
INCLEMENT WEATHER / SNOW POLICY:SNOW POLICY: PGCAR classes will be conducted as scheduled unless the Prince George's County Government offices are closed. If you are registered for a class and it is cancelled, your registration fee will be returned or transferred to a future class.
Please be safe and use your best judgment with regards to driving. If unable to attend due to weather, please e-mail Scott Miller or call Scott at 301-306-7961 and you will not be charged. If you will not be attending class, please indicate whether you would like to reschedule or if you would like a refund.
PGCAR committee meetings: If Prince George's County Public Schools are CLOSED, all PGCAR committee meetings will be cancelled. If Prince George's County Public Schools are on a delayed schedule, committee meetings will be held as scheduled.
PGCAR offices will be open unless the Prince George's County Government is closed.
Remember! Enjoy Savings on CEU at PGCAR!
PGCAR Members and REALTORS® - Enjoy steep discounts on ALL classes held at PGCAR!
Register for ANY 3 CE class for $18 early bird, $33 regular.
Register for ANY 1.5 CE class for $11 early bird, $26 regular.
Hurry to www.pgcar.com/real-estate-ceu today >
Learn More, Earn More in 2014
PGCAR is offering GRI Series 100 in April.
The dates for this 5-day series are April 9, 11, 17, 23 and 25.
Also earn 3 MD Ethics hours, 3 MD Fair Housing hours and 10.5 MD elective hours.
Sign up now!
Market Sen$e: Fixed Mortgage Rates Jump After Jobs and Home Sales Growth
Last Thursday, December 5, Freddie Mac survey results showed fixed mortgage rates (FRM) increasing significantly, although still at low historical rates. 30-year FRM is below 4.5% and 15-year FRM is below 3.5%.
Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac's Vice President and Chief Economist, noted, "Fixed mortgage rates increased this week following stronger than expected economic data releases. Private companies added 215,000 new jobs in November according to the ADP employment report, well above the consensus. In addition, revisions added 54,000 jobs in the prior month. Lastly, new home sales rose 25 percent in the month of October to a seasonally adjusted 444,000 annual pace, though this followed a weaker than expected September report and downward revisions over the summer months."
Freddie Mac reports the following averages for the week ending December 5, 2013:
Like us on Facebook to see monthly Prince George's County home sales and weekly mortgage reports as soon as they are released!
Sales Coach: To Find Success, Be Yourself
It's easy to get caught up in the craze of the newest tech tool or app, with the dream that it will launch your career into the real estate stratosphere. While there certainly is value in using technology, if you rely solely on that, you're missing out on your very best marketing tool: YOU.
Real estate is a profession of personality. Your clients - prospective and current - need to connect with you, and remember that apps and tools don't allow you to hide. Instead, they help people find you, so you had better identify who and what you want them to find. So first, focus on your strengths and how you can use them to your advantage, then look at how technology helps you.
Consider these three tech-centric marketing myths:
FREE HANDS-ON MRIS TRAINING AT PGCAR
Upcoming Dates & Courses
Tuesday, December 17 @ 10:00 am
MATRIX 102: CMA's, Present Listings with Confidence
Tuesday, December 17 @ 12:30 pm
MRIS 102: Simple Solutions to Use Public Records
Tuesday, December 17 @ 2:30 pm
MRIS 103: Everything Maps
MRIS reports that agents who take advantage of their FREE workshops, also tend to seldom receive complaints and fines for misuse of the MLS. Visit www.mris.com/training for details and registration. Advance registration with MRIS is required.
REALTORS® FCU Can Help You Get Ahead
Real estate is a competitive field; you need to distinguish yourself from the crowd. The best way to gain the esteem of clients and colleagues is to be knowledgeable, and REALTORS® Federal Credit Union is here to help!
With rates as low as 7.00% APR, you can use the REALTORS® FCU Professional Development Line of Credit toward continuing education, state licensing requirements, conference fees, annual dues, NAR designation and certification courses, and more.
If you haven't yet joined the REALTORS® FCU, just www.realtorsfcu.org, click on the Membership tab, and see what's in store for you!
30 Under 30 Application is Due Next Month!
Are you 29 or younger and having a phenomenal year? NOW is the time to apply for international recognition as one of 2014's 30 Under 30. REALTOR® Magazine will announce and showcase this year's rising young stars in the real estate industry in the June 2014 issue.
But the application deadline is January 15, 2014. 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 >
PGCAR will be closed on Christmas Eve, December 24 and Christmas Day, December 25.
May you and your family enjoy a Christmas of joy and good health, peace and good will.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!