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8 - 21 December 2014




6TH ANNUAL HOLIDAY CHARITY EVENT IS THIS WEDNESDAY!
Purchase Your Tax-Deductible Tickets Today!


Eat, drink, and be merry, knowing you are donating funds to feed Prince George's County families in need!
The holidays are here and it's a tough time of year for many local families who could use a little help. Your tax-deductible $40 contribution will provide much needed food items for local families. As a thank you, you'll enjoy an evening of networking, fun, food, an open bar, entertainment and dancing!

THIS Wednesday, December 10
6 pm - 10 pm at La Fontaine Bleue
7963 Annapolis Road
Lanham, MD 20706

$40 Contribution per Ticket; $375 Contribution for 10 Tickets
Click here for details and tickets >
Click here to register as a sponsor >
You may also use and share the event flyer and sponsorship flyer.

Whether you're buying tickets, sponsoring the event, or making a donation,
we thank you for your help and participation! You're helping to make the holidays bright!

Thank you to our Charity Event Sponsors!
Walter Clews, AmeriSpec
Byron Huffman, Byron L. Huffman, P.C.
Chance Harris, Chances Are Realty
Brian Washington, George Mason Mortgage
Michael Chelst, Norcom Mortgage
Jane Williams, Primary Residential Mortgage
Michael Scaspiguato, Stanley Martin Homes
Wanda DeBord, TitleMax LLC
Your Name Here >
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FOOD AND COAT DRIVE

PGCAR is also collecting coats and non-perishable food to give to the needy. Ask, "Do I have coats that are never worn, that could keep someone else warm? Am I still hanging on to coats that my kids have outgrown?" Another person 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 you can and bring them to the PGCAR office by this Wednesday, or to the Holiday Charity Event this Wednesday!
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At the PGCAR Annual Legislative Breakfast on November 20th, Director Eric Brown of the County's Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), announced the launch of the NEW Maryland Mortgage Program (MMP) TriplePlay Initiative. The $100 million initiative is intended to help stabilize County neighborhoods by promoting home ownership.

On the same day, PGCAR President Desiree Callender along with Chuck Ottley, Linda Simpson and Mike Graziano, represented PGCAR at a press conference announcing the TriplePlay Initiative.

More press conference photos and details >

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The TriplePlay Initiative announced on November 20 at the PGCAR Annual Legislative Breakfast and the Maryland Mortgage Program (MMP) press conference, is designed exclusively to assist Prince George's County Homebuyers. The $100 million initiative is intended to help stabilize County neighborhoods by promoting home ownership.

"TriplePlay" offers three things:
  • Homebuyers interested in purchasing a Prince George's County property may be eligible for up to $20,000 of down payment and closing cost assistance.
     
  • Buyers are eligible for a reduced Maryland Mortgage Program interest rate.
     
  • The State is waiving its fee to receive the Maryland HomeCredit, which allows homebuyers to claim a federal income tax credit of up to $2,000 for as long as the Maryland Mortgage Loan is outstanding.
The Maryland Mortgage Program (MMP) TriplePlay Initiative will help an estimated 500 families own the home of their dreams in Prince George's County. It is the result of a partnership between the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, Prince George's County, and the Office of the Maryland Attorney General, Doug Gansler. The funding source is part of the landmark Mortgage Servicing Settlement between the nation's attorneys general and the five largest lenders.

The lower Maryland Mortgage Program Interest rate, plus down payment assistance, plus a Maryland HomeCredit federal tax credit without the customary fee gives homebuyers three unique financial incentives to purchase a home in Prince George's County.

For specific details on this exciting NEW program please visit:
http://mmp.maryland.gov/TriplePlay
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PGCAR ANNUAL LEGISLATIVE BREAKFAST
Photo Album Now Online


Over 100 REALTORS® attended PGCAR's Legislative Breakfast on November 20. The event, organized by the Association's Legislative Committee under the supervision of Committee Chair Isaac Showell, was a huge success. REALTORS® in attendance were excited to hear from Congresswoman Donna Edwards (MD D4); Prince George's Senate Delegation Chair, Douglas Peters; House Delegation Vice-Chair Geraldine Valentino-Smith; County Council Chair Mel Franklin; Brad Frome representing the County Executive; and Director of Housing and Community Development Eric Brown.

       

All in attendance were also excited when Director Brown announced the unveiling of a new $100 million dollar down payment initiative exclusively for Prince George's County.

More Legislative Breakfast photos and details >
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PGCAR 2015 MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL NOW OVERDUE!
Renew by Midnight December 31, 2014 to Avoid SentriLock & Membership Deactivation


Please renew your dues today at www.pgcar.com/dues. The online invoice can be printed. You will also receive an emailed, itemized receipt immediately after your payment - and your online Order History at www.pgcar.com Members Only will automatically show your payment.

Membership renewals were due and payable on October 1, 2014, and a $50 late fee was added as of December 1, 2014. After midnight on December 31, membership will be terminated and a $100 reinstatement fee will be added to the account. Offices with non-paid agents remaining on their office rosters past the final deadline, will also be made inactive.

Thank you to everyone who has already renewed for the October 1, 2014 - September 30, 2015 membership year!
If not renewed, please renew online today at www.pgcar.com >
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AT A GLANCE: 2-WEEK EDUCATION HIGHLIGHTS AT PGCAR

Early bird registration is only $18 for 3 CEU classes and $11 for 1.5 CEU classes.
This Thursday,
December 11
DC Fair Housing & Predatory Lending - 3 DC Required Fair Housing CEU
DC Legislative Update / Exam Prep - 3 DC Required Legislative Update CEU
Next Monday,
December 15
MREC Agency-Residential - 3 MD Required or Elective CEU
Next Tuesday,
December 16
ABC's of Rentals - 3 MD Elective CEU
Next Friday,
December 19
MD Code of Ethics - 3 MD Required Ethics CEU; 3 DC Elective CEU
Monday,
December 22
Financing Issues / Update - 3 DC Required Financing Issues CEU; 3 MD Elective CEU
See the complete schedule and register at www.pgcar.com >
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RENTAL SECURITY DEPOSIT CHANGES WILL BE EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2015
Interest on Rental Security Deposits is Reduced;
Timeframe for Notice of Damages is Extended


On Wednesday, November 12, in a 9 - 0 vote, the Prince George's County Council passed much needed rental security deposit reforms. At the encouragement of PGCAR and AOBA (The Apartment and Office Building Association), Council Member Derrick Davis introduced CB 63 - Residential Leases - Rental Security Deposits.

The new County law (CB 63) rescinds the County's 4% interest on deposit mandate in favor of the U.S. Treasury rate or the 1½% floor dictated by Maryland law. The new County law also changes the timeframe under which a property owner (landlord) must provide notice of damages to the tenant with the intent to retain a portion of the security deposit. CB 63 extends the notice timeframe in Prince George's County from 30 days to 45 days, which will also be in conformance with Maryland state law.

Please take notice; the new state law and County law are effective on January 1, 2015. The PGCAR Single Family Residential Lease (form 1105) will be revised in accordance with the new laws and will be available on January 1st. Until that time please continue to use the current PGCAR lease which follows present day law.

Read more >
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PLEASE TAKE 3 MINUTES TO URGE CONGRESS TO HELP HOMEOWNERS
"The Mortgage Forgiveness Tax Relief Act" Passed in the House; Now Moves to Senate



The income tax exemption on mortgage debt forgiven in a short sale or a workout for principal residences expired at the end of 2013. Without immediate action by Congress, distressed homeowners will have to pay tax on "phantom income" from forgiven debt when filing their 2014 income taxes.

H.R. 5771 has successfully passed in the House (For: 378 - Opposed: 46) and now moves to the Senate as S. 1187.

Please urge the Senate to enact "The Mortgage Forgiveness Tax Relief Act"; otherwise, hundreds of thousands of American families who did the right thing by short-selling their home - or received a much needed loan reduction from their lender - will have to pay income tax on "phantom income." And many more families will decide not to go through with short sales or seek workouts, because they would incur new debt (in the form of required taxes) on the forgiven debt. This harms families, neighborhoods and communities.




Created following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program filled the void created when private insurers withdrew from the terrorism insurance market. That disruption caused construction projects to come to a halt and commercial property values dropped. That program is now expiring.

Fortunately there is bipartisan legislation which passed the Senate by an overwhelming margin of 93 - 4. Senate Bill 2244, the "Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2014," would renew TRIA for seven years, providing certainty in the market that terrorism insurance will be available at affordable rates through the year 2021. In addition, it has a Congressional Budget Office score of "zero." Now it is up to the House of Representatives to act on the bill the Senate has approved.

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QRM MORTGAGE RULE COULD EASE CREDIT FOR CONSUMERS
No Minimum Down Payment, as NAR Sought


Mortgage financing could improve as a result of the qualified residential mortgage (QRM) rule federal regulators are releasing. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is the first of six financial regulators to release the final version of the long-awaited QRM rule, which stems from the big 2010 banking reform bill the federal government enacted after the financial crisis.

A few provisions of the FDIC rule are:
  • Lenders do not have to retain 5% of the loan amount on its books. Because the QRM loan comes without the risk-retention requirement, lenders should be able to make more loans and also make them more cheaply, because they don't have to pass along that risk-retention cost to borrowers.

  • The QRM rule will match up with the qualified mortgage (QM) rule, which was implemented in the beginning of 2014.

  • Under the QRM rule, as under the QM rule, loans are generally considered qualified if the borrower's debt-to-income ratio is 43%, among other things.

  • There is no onerous down payment requirement. Regulators had talked about including a 20% down payment requirement, which NAR and coalition partners strongly opposed.
Regulators plan for the QRM to take effect in October 2015. That will give lenders time to align their internal processing systems with the requirements. Since lenders have already been aligning their systems to the QM rule, the process can be expected to go smoothly.

For lenders, having the two rules in alignment provides clarity that they've long been asking for. One result of this new clarity could be a widening and deepening of loan availability, which has been one of the main stumbling blocks to increased home sales.

Read more >
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NEW AGENTS? INTERESTED AFFILIATES?
2015 Applications Now 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.

Upcoming sessions:
Monday, December 15, 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program Webinar

Tuesday, December 16, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program for Trusted Advisors
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30 UNDER 30 APPLICATION DEADLINE FAST APPROACHING!
Applications Due January 15


Are you or someone in your office a rising star in the real estate industry, and younger than 30 as of May 31, 2015? If so, apply for NAR's 30 Under 30 Class of 2015 and be recognized internationally for your exceptional real estate skills!

The application period closes January 15, 2015. With the busy holiday season upon us, take the time to 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 >

Maryland boasts two REALTORs® in the 2013 class of 30 Under 30, and one in 2012.

We'd love to see a member of PGCAR in the 2015 list of honorees!
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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 - - -
Share these items with your customers.

GIVE THE GIFT OF LIFE FOR THE HOLIDAYS - DONATE BLOOD!
Next Thursday, December 18 at PGCAR


Recruit your office, customers and friends to donate blood next Thursday, December 18 at the Red Cross Blood Drive at PGCAR.

Drop in anytime 9 am - 2:30 pm, or make an appointment online.
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SINGLE FAMILY CONTRACTS AND SETTLEMENTS INCREASE IN OCTOBER

From September to October 2014, Prince George's County single family home contracts increased 9.6%, settlements increased 1.7%, and average sales price increased 0.5% (from $251,051 in September to $252,288 in October).

Prince George's county condos contracts stayed even from September to October 2014, while settlements decreased 19.1% and average sales price increased 0.4% (from $106,258 in September to $106,641 in October).

For more details, visit www.pgcar.com/stats.
Like PGCAR at www.facebook.com/pgcar to see November statistics when they are released this week!

National Market News:
Pending Home Sales Slow in October but Remain Higher Than a Year Ago
Holiday Distracts Refi, Mortgage Shoppers
10-Year Review: How's Housing Really Doing?
Did Mortgages Just Get Easier to Obtain?
HELOCs Being Put to Better Use
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FIXED MORTGAGE RATES AT THEIR LOWEST SINCE MAY 30, 2013

"Mortgage rates were down across the board on a week of underwhelming economic releases," said Freddie Mac's Vice President and Chief Economist, Frank Nothaft. "New home sales [PDF] missed consensus expectations by selling at an annual pace of 458,000 units in October and the National Association of REALTORS® reported that pending home sales dipped in October by 1.1 percent. The ADP's estimate for payroll growth [PDF] in November was 208,000 jobs, under expectations of 225,000."

Freddie Mac reports the following averages for the week ending December 4, 2014:

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.89%, down from 3.97% ~ Last year: 4.46%
The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.10%, down from 3.17% ~ Last year: 3.47%
The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM averaged 2.94%, down from 3.01% ~ Last year: 2.99%
The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.41%, down from 2.44% ~ Last year: 2.59%

Freddie Mac's Weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey >

Like PGCAR at www.facebook.com/pgcar to see monthly home sales statistics and weekly mortgage rate reports 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
PGCAR.com  |  jostenso@PGCAR.com  |  ©2014 PGCAR
     
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