Monthly Archives: June 2014

FHA HAWK Program a Good Start but Needs to Go Further, Say Realtors®

WASHINGTON (June 30, 2014) – In a letter sent today to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the National Association of Realtors® offered support for the Federal Housing Administration’s efforts to reduce mortgage insurance premiums for first-time buyers through … Continue reading

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Can You Squeeze an Outdoor Retreat onto a Small Lot?

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine Builders increasingly are squeezing large, luxurious homes on smaller lots, at a time when home owners and home buyers say they crave outdoor retreats. While buyers say they want outdoor space, they also are motivated … Continue reading

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House Panel Approves Internet Tax Moratorium

On June 19, 2014, the House Judiciary Committee approved H.R. 3086, the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act, by a vote of 30-4. The bill would extend permanently the current moratorium on Internet access taxes, which expires on November 1, and … Continue reading

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FHA 203k Program for Flood Mitigation

On June 24, the FHA responded to a request from NAR and other groups, regarding the use of the 203k rehabilitation/renovation loan program for flood mitigation.  In the letter, dated February 6, 2014, NAR and the coalition asked FHA to … Continue reading

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NAR on Rural Access to Credit

NAR submitted a statement last week to the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock, Rural Development, and Credit to their hearing entitled, "A Review of Credit Availability in Rural America."  In the statement, NAR stressed the importance of access to credit … Continue reading

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Is Student Debt Impacting the Housing Market?

Student loan debt is a growing concern for REALTORS®, because of its impact on household formation. What is NAR doing to address the issue of growing student debt? NAR's 2014 President, Steve Brown explains in his latest video. Go to … Continue reading

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How Staging Landed the Most Unexpected Buyer

By Patti Stern, PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating My recent clients, Leta and Carl, spent over 20 years in their Hamden, Conn., home. For years they contemplated selling but delayed — hoping someday one of their daughters would … Continue reading

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House Committee Approves TRIA Bill

On Friday, June 20th, the House Financial Services Committee approved Rep. Randy Neugebauer’s (R-TX) TRIA Reauthorization bill, H.R. 4871, by a vote of 32 to 27.  The vote fell along party lines.  This followed an extensive markup hearing on Thursday, … Continue reading

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FHA Reverse Mortgage Changes

On June 18, 2014, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) released two Mortgagee Letters on the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) program.  The first Mortgagee Letter, ML 2014-10, reminds mortgagees of FHA’s requirements prohibiting misleading or deceptive advertising, including in descriptions … Continue reading

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You Just Moved In…. Now What? 6 Immediate Yard Care To-Dos

Home owners will be off to a good start with their new yards by following these important “move-in” steps. First and foremost, members of The Professional Landcare Network (PLANET), the national landscape industry association, recommend making safety a priority for … Continue reading

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