|February 3, 2014|
Serve Relocating Military Families - Active and Veteran
Take the Course Next Wednesday, February 12!
Military Relocation Professional (MRP) Certification
Wednesday, February 12
9 am - 5 pm at PGCAR
$150 through February 8; $175 after
Also approved for 6 MD Elective CEU
The MRP is a new certification from NAR's Real Estate Buyer's Agent Council, to help real estate professionals better meet the unique needs of relocating military members and their families.
The Military Relocation Professional Certification is available to practitioners who complete a one-day course and two one-hour webinars that detail housing solutions, timetables, military background, and ways to help service members. The one-day course is also an approved elective for REBAC's Accredited Buyers Representative designation.
"Home ownership is an important part of the fabric of America, and having a stable home environment is vital when men and women of the military are called away to serve their country," says 2013 NAR President Gary Thomas. "Working with a REALTOR® who understands specific needs and timetables related to military service will help make their transfers easier, faster, and less stressful. The Military Relocation Professional Certification will help REALTORS® hone their knowledge and skills for working with veterans and active duty military buyers and sellers to ensure that home ownership remains affordable and accessible to them."
David Maclin Memorial Scholarship Fund - Register Now!
Third Annual 5K Fun Walk/Run - Saturday, April 12
You can help improve the life of a Prince George's County student!
Every person that walks or runs with us, or contributes, helps local high school graduates
pursue their dreams of higher education and of making a difference.
Commit to helping more students reach their dreams by joining us now!
Register or Donate > Become a Sponsor >
Then, please post this flyer in your office lobby and share the event link from facebook.com/pgcar.
Better yet - print out some copies and ask to post them at the next five places you visit.
Office Lobby * Coffee Shop * Sporting Goods Merchandiser * Book Store * Community Mail Box
Let's post the David Maclin 5K Scholarship Fun Walk/Run all over Prince George's County and
Flyer & Printable Registration >
Printable Sponsorship Contribution Form > Runner Sponsor Form >
The Role of Real Estate in Maryland's Economy
A study of real estate-related activities in Maryland released November 2013, demonstrates that Maryland's real estate industry directly and secondarily supports nearly 464,000 jobs in Maryland, approximately $28.7 billion in associated employee compensation (includes value of benefits), and $71 billion in output.
The real estate industry also directly generated $887 million for the State of Maryland in individual income taxes and $7.3 billion in local government real estate-related tax revenues. The industry now supports roughly three-fifths of local government general fund revenues, significantly higher than the 49.2 percent of the 2011 report.
In other words, despite representing 20 percent of statewide output, the industry supplies approximately 60 percent of local government general fund revenues. Any economic or tax policies considered in Maryland should carefully evaluate the potential effects on the real estate industry engine that so powerfully affects the state's fiscal health at all levels.
Above is but a brief synopsis of key conclusions. Click here for this very informative report >
Senate Passes Flood Insurance Bill;
30 More Votes Needed to Pass in House
Last Thursday, January 30, the Senate voted 67 - 32 to pass the bipartisan-sponsored Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act (S. 1926). This new legislation calls for a 4-year timeout on rate increases triggered by a property's sale or a flood map update for a property with previously grandfathered rates.
"NAR data show that through January 2014, four months into the law's implementation, more than 40,000 home sales were estimated to be either delayed or canceled because of increases and confusion over flood insurance rates," noted NAR President Steve Brown.
Thank you to all members and your customers who contacted your Senator to help urge the Senate to support this homeownership legislation. The Senate vote sends the measure to the House of Representatives, where Reps. Grimm (R-NY) and Waters (D-CA) have already built an impressive list of 181 co-sponsors in favor of the bill; a total that is 30 votes shy of a House majority. Please also add your voice, when NAR asks us to help persuade the House leadership to bring a similar bill up for a floor vote at the earliest opportunity.
TAX-FREE ITEMS - Presidents' Day Weekend in Maryland!
Tax Free Weekend on Energy Star Products — February 15 - 17
Share the news with your homebuyers! Marylanders mark your calendars: the weekend of Saturday, February 15 through Monday, February 17 (Presidents' Day) will be a tax-free three-day weekend during which the sales and use tax will not apply to the sale of solar water heaters and selected Energy Star Products.
Eligible Energy Star Products are any air conditioner, clothes washer or dryer, furnace, heat pump, standard size refrigerator, compact fluorescent light bulb, dehumidifier, or programmable thermostat that has 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. For more information on Energy Star items, click here >
Also, remember to mark your calendars for Shop Maryland, August 10 - August 16, where qualifying apparel and footwear $100 or less will be exempt from the Maryland 6% sales tax (accessory items are not included).
Earn the Maryland Short Sale Certification
Rescheduled From January
Thursday, March 20 from 9 am - 3 pm
Only $195 through March 17 / $225 after March 17
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.
Register Today at www.pgcar.com >
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!
Consumer Tip: Top 8 Home Upgrades Offering the Best Value
Homeowners are once again investing in remodeling projects and upgrades to their homes. In order to reap the best benefits for efforts and investment, Remodeling magazine suggests the top-rated projects from their 2014 Cost Vs. Value Report.
The following 8 upgrades are ordered to show the best return on investment:
Note that all but two of these eight projects are exterior upgrades. That's no accident; as NAR President Steve Brown notes in this article from Realtor.org, "Curb appeal is always critical since it's the first impression for potential buyers."
For more information about the upgrades listed here, please visit Houselogic.com.
Could Your Charitable Work Benefit From Funds and Mentoring?
Apply For the Volunteering Works Program Today!
As REALTORS®, we enjoy helping people fulfill the dream of homeownership. Many of us go beyond that, though, to improve the communities where we live and work: we give time and effort to support charitable causes. If you are just such a REALTOR®, please consider responding to the Good Neighbor Society's call for applications to the 2014 Volunteering Works grant and mentoring program.
The program looks for REALTORS® participating in charitable efforts that have growth potential; it selects five individuals whose dedication and goals for their respective organizations - with the aid of a $1,000 seed grant and Good Neighbor Society mentoring - are likely to expand or improve the charity's work. The five Volunteering Works recipients are each mentored by past recipients of REALTOR® Magazine's Good Neighbor Award, whose longstanding experience in community service provides valuable insight.
If you'd like to submit an entry for Volunteering Works, visit www.Realtor.org/gna and click on "Volunteering Works." The deadline for entries is February 28, 2014, and recipients will be notified in April.
To read more about Volunteering Works and the call for entries, click here.
PGCAR and WCR Membership Applications for 2014
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
All classes are held at PGCAR offices. There's plenty of parking!
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, $26 regular.
Hurry to www.pgcar.com/real-estate-ceu today >
Market Sen$e: Fixed Mortgage Rates Move Down for Third Consecutive Week
Last Thursday, January 30, results released by Freddie Mac showed fixed mortgage rates moving lower still, in their third straight week of decline.
The Vice President and Chief Economist for Freddie Mac, Frank Nothaft, indicated that weaker housing data contributed to the fixed mortgage rates' lowering.
"Mortgage rates eased somewhat as new home sales [PDF] fell 7 percent in December to a seasonally adjusted pace of 414,000 units, below the consensus," said Nothaft. "The S&P/Case-Shiller® 20-city composite house price index [PDF] declined 0.1 percent for the month of November, the first decrease since November 2012."
Freddie Mac reports the following averages for the week ending January 30, 2014:
Like us on Facebook to see January Prince George's County home sales reports as soon as they are released this week!
Sales Coach: Three Commitments to Help You Succeed in 2014
Since 2014 is still fairly new, it's a good time to take a fresh look at what we're doing and how we're doing it. Are there habits or tasks that are hampering your success? What might you change this year to ensure improvement?
As you look at what you might change, try these 3 items that are easy to commit to and keep all year, and will bring you results:
For more information on setting yourself up to succeed, visit Realtor.org >
FREE HANDS-ON MRIS TRAINING AT PGCAR
Tuesday, February 18 @ 10:00 am
MRIS 101: Kick Off Your Career with MRIS
Tuesday, February 18 @ 1:30 pm
MATRIX 101: The Need-to-Knows of Matrix
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.
Why Join REALTORS® FCU?
- Here's One Reason!