NAR hosts webinar on health insurance

Webinar: What to Do Next on Health Insurance
Your members can get a better understanding of what they have to do under the new Affordable Care Act (health insurance reform) in a webinar on Thursday, Dec. 12, at 11 a.m., Central Time (Noon Eastern Time). Marcia Salkin, NAR managing director of public policy, will cover complying with the law whether your member has insurance already or is looking for coverage;  Kristin Maurelia, NAR managing director of the Realtor Benefits® Program, will introduce the REALTORS® Insurance Marketplace, NAR’s online resource for identifying and purchasing coverage; and Shannon Kennedy, president of Realtor Benefits® Program partner SASid, the operator of the REALTORS® Insurance marketplace, will provide a step-by-step walk-through of  NAR’s exchange. Share registration link to “Health Insurance and the Affordable Care Act: What REALTORS® Can Do Today.”

Simplified Mortgage Forms Coming in 2015

From NAR Magazine….

CFPB: Simplified Mortgage Forms Coming in 2015

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has announced that new forms simplifying the paperwork that borrowers receive when applying for loans will go into effect in August 2015. The forms are to make it easier for consumers to shop for a mortgage as well as clearly lay out the terms and costs of loans for home buyers so they know the risks and their financial obligations to repay the loan at the forefront.

Currently, under federal law, mortgage applicants receive two disclosure forms and then two additional forms when closing on the loan. Starting Aug. 1, 2015, a new document will be given to mortgage applicants called the “Loan Estimate” form, which will help borrowers understand the risks and key features of a mortgage. They then will be given the “Closing Disclosure” form at closing, which will clearly explain the costs of the transaction. 

This “is an important step toward the consumer having greater control over the mortgage loan process,” says CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “Taking out a mortgage is one of the biggest financial decisions a consumer will ever make.”

CFPB, in an initiative called “Know Before You Owe,” has conducted more than two years of tests to create simplified disclosure forms.

Source: “U.S. consumer watchdog to simplify home loan paperwork,” Reuters (Nov. 20, 2013)

Quantico meeting postponed

Due to the ongoing government shutdown, the military meeting with Quantico scheduled for Wednesday, October 9 at 12:00pm has been postponed.  Once the shutdown is over, FAAR will work to reschedule the meeting as quickly as possible.  We apologize for any inconvenience.

The Fort A.P. Hill and Dahlgren meeting are still active, but could be impacted if the shutdown continues.  FAAR will provide updates in every weekly FAAR newsletter, through the website, on Facebook, and on this blog. 

Spotsy Economic Development Offers Advertising Opportunity

Effective now through May 30, 2014, economic development/commercial real estate advertisers in the Fredericksburg Region can run ads in the Washington Business Journal without having to fulfill any frequency requirement.  This offer is a discount on advertising space of over 40 percent. Click here for more information on this opportunity.

If you are interested in taking advantage of this reduced rate, please contact Jan Erkert at Spangler Erkert:  540.412.5360

Get updated on the mortgage market with a free VAR webinar

The following is reproduced from VARBuzz and was posted by Andrew Kantor, Editor & Blogmaster.

Help your clients get their mortgages – join a free webinar from VAR and the Virginia Bankers Association.

Once upon a time, we got a bunch of mortgage lenders together to speak to Realtors — to tell them what was up on the banks’ side of things. And it was a hit. (This made us happy. We love coming up with programs that members find useful.)

The reason is was a hit was that it gave Realtors information they could pass on to their buyers to make transactions go more smoothly.

But the mortgage market changes. So it’s time to do something like that again.

This time we’re making it easier with a free, half-hour live webinar – a chance for you to hear from and speak with Steve Farbstein of the Virginia Bankers Association.

Steve will give you an overview of the market and answer questions (ain’t technology great) about lending. He’ll give you the latest tips about mortgages — what’s out there and how to speed the process.

  • What mortgage products are available today (besides the obvious)
  • What rates look like they’ll be doing in the near future
  • How to prepare your clients for their mortgage application
  • Simple, clear tips to speed the approval process
  • The small print to watch out for and the questions to ask lenders — it’s more than just rates
  • Why lenders think it’s a great time to buy

It’s the best opportunity you’ll have to ask a mortgage expert your questions about today’s market. And it’s free… but only for Virginia Realtors.

Mark those calendars: Monday, August 12 at 10:00 AM.

(Virtual) space is limited, so click here to register — free — now.

FAAR Releases Q2 Market Stats Report

In the second quarter of 2013, the Fredericksburg area real estate market has seen a continued increase in median sales price over the second quarter of 2012. This year’s median sales price of $247,210 was 7.6% higher than last year’s second quarter level of $220,000. Likewise, total sold dollar volume showed significant double digit growth of 19.1% from $287,692,484 in the second quarter of 2012 to $342,539,008 this year.

There were 1,671 new contracts ratified in the second quarter of 2013, a 10.9% increase over the same period last year and a 19.5% increase over the first quarter of 2013. The total new contracts ratified exceeded both the five and ten year second quarter averages by 11% and 8% respectively, indicating demand was still strong in this market during the second quarter.

Days on Market (DOM), the number of days from when a listing enters the market until it obtains a ratified purchase contract, decreased substantially from 73 days in the second quarter of 2012 to 61 days in the second quarter of 2013. This represents a 16.4% decrease and is the lowest level of any quarter since the fourth quarter of 2005. Active inventory at the end of this year’s second quarter was 1,601 properties, 28.4% less than the ten year average inventory of 2,237 listings. This continued shortage in available inventory, combined with pent-up buyer demand, and continued lower mortgage rates, have worked together to increase market velocity and shorten DOM. During the remainder of the summer and fall, this trend may be somewhat tempered as interest rates begin to move away from their historic lows.

Distressed properties continue to earn a smaller percentage of ratified contracts in this market. Pending contracts on short sales properties dropped 29.0% year-over-year, decreasing from 1,399 in the second quarter of 2012 to 993 in the second quarter of 2013.

REALTORS® throughout the Fredericksburg region continue to see robust activity and quick sales on well-priced homes. All housing types have seen steady increases in price with condos leading the market with a nearly 38% increase in median price over last year. Townhouses saw a 16% increase while single family detached homes saw an 8.3% increase. While rising interest rates could reduce the pace of sales, many REALTORS® remain optimistic as even increased rates of over 4% are still historically very low and should not discourage well-qualified buyers from purchasing within their means.