Monthly Archives: March 2016

2016 Flood Insurance Rates

On April 1, 2016, National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) premium rates are set to rise an average of 9%. This increase is less than the 2015 average and is consistent with the annual 5-10% increases prior to the 2012 Biggert-Waters … Continue reading

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10 Trends Driving the Next Decade of Home Design

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine Over the next 10 years, expect functionality, accessibility, and sustainability to be major themes guiding the look of homes. That could include everything from embracing healthier building materials and furnishings to homes that are … Continue reading

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Military Foreclosure Protection Bill Passes

On March 21, 2016, the U.S. House of Representatives passed S. 2393, the “Foreclosure Relief and Extension for Servicemembers Act of 2015,” which extends the one-year protection from foreclosure in the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) through 2017. The Senate passed … Continue reading

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Designing for an Open-Floor Plan

Walls are vanishing from newer homes and the open-plan layouts are showing off multi-purpose areas, such as kitchens and dining rooms and living rooms that seamlessly flow into one another. But how do you decorate one large space – to … Continue reading

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Concerns over FHA Handbook and Appraisals

On March 18, 2016, NAR President Tom Salomone sent a letter to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) concerning the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Single Family Housing Policy Handbook. NAR is asking FHA to reconsider language in the … Continue reading

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FTC Consumer Blog addresses Mortgage Phishing Scam

On March 18 the FTC Consumer Blog issued a post focused on hackers who have been breaking into some consumers’ and real estate professionals’ email accounts to get information about upcoming real estate transactions. After figuring out the closing dates, … Continue reading

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Flood Advocate Reports to Congress

On March 17, 2016, the Office of the Flood Insurance Advocate issued its first annual report identifying the first set of issues to be addressed in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Among the challenges are lack of data, barriers … Continue reading

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7 Ways to Get Your Luxury Listing Ready for Twilight Photos

By Julie Legge, real estate photographer and videographer Got a new luxury listing this spring? Consider a twilight photo session to supplement your professional interior pictures. Marketing the property with pictures taken at dusk is an excellent way to highlight … Continue reading

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NAR Comments on Appraisal Threshold

On March 11, 2016, NAR President Tom Salomone submitted a comment letter to the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council’s (FFIEC) Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act (EGRPRA) review. The letter affirms NAR support of the current appraisal threshold of … Continue reading

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Rules for Endangered Species Changed

The US Fish & Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service (the “Services”) have promulgated major changes to their critical habitat regulations. The result will be more designation of state, local and private land as critical habitat, and increased regulatory … Continue reading

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