President Calls for More Re-fi Opportunities

In his State of the Union address President Obama mentioned his latest plan to revitalize the housing industry. The program would give responsible homeowners the chance to save $3,000 a year ($250 a month) by refinancing. He said the modifications to the existing HARP (Home Affordable Refinance Program) would make the program more accessible –Continue reading “President Calls for More Re-fi Opportunities”

NAR on Proposed Energy Labeling Program for Commercial Buildings

The U.S. Department of Energy requested information on a proposal to develop a voluntary energy scoring program for commercial buildings. This proposed energy rating program would allow building owners, managers, investors and tenants to obtain a rating on how efficiently their building uses energy and would provide information on how the building could improve itsContinue reading “NAR on Proposed Energy Labeling Program for Commercial Buildings”

Super Committe to Set Agenda for Tax Reform

A so-called “Super Committee” has been charged with the responsibility of finding deficit reduction measures that total $1.2 to $1.5 Trillion by Thanksgiving, 2011. The Committee can use any mix of spending cuts and tax increases. If the Committee fails to meet that target, then automatic spending cuts go into effect, largely drawn from defenseContinue reading “Super Committe to Set Agenda for Tax Reform”

Call for Action on Flood Insurance

Congress went back to work last week, but has not acted to extend the FHA Loan Limits and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) beyond the current expiration dates of September 30, 2011. It’s crunch time now, to ensure that these vital programs do not expire and cause a disruption to the housing market. 
Today,Continue reading “Call for Action on Flood Insurance”

Government Considers Turning Foreclosures into Rentals

According to the Associated Press, Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) may turn thousands of government-owned foreclosures into rental properties to help boost falling home prices. FHFA is seeking input from investors on how to rent homes owned by government-controlled mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration. The U.S. government rescuedContinue reading “Government Considers Turning Foreclosures into Rentals”

What will Solve Our Economic Woes?

For an excellent analysis of our country’s current economic problems, read NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun’s most recent article. Yun says, “Aside from the lack of enthusiasm among large companies, one major reason for the economic struggle is that small businesses – the entrepreneurial heart of America – cannot find funds either to establish themselvesContinue reading “What will Solve Our Economic Woes?”

New Federal Trade Commission Rule May Impact Brokers

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has recently issued its Mortgage Acts and Practices – Advertising, or “MAP”, rule (“Rule”). The Rule imposes requirements on those that provide information about mortgage credit products to consumers by prohibiting misrepresentations during these communications and creates recordkeeping requirements. The Rule will impact real estate professionals that provide this informationContinue reading “New Federal Trade Commission Rule May Impact Brokers”

Flood Insurance Extension Passed

Congress has unanimously approved a one-year extension (until September 30, 2011) for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). A long-term extension has been a top legislative priority for NAR.  Earlier in 2010 the NFIP lapsed, causing major disruptions for REALTORS®. With program authority now extended for a year, it is expected that attention will nowContinue reading “Flood Insurance Extension Passed”