When we read the first storyline listed here in early April, we knew we were going to have a big month of stories to follow. Turns out we were right!
If you live near these major-league ballparks, your home is worth more
Homes near Yankee Stadium saw an 82 percent bump in their value compared to the New York metro area, according to a study published March 30 by real estate research site Trulia. The study focused on how proximity to a Major League Baseball stadium can affect home values. The study concludes that if you Live close enough to smell the peanuts and Cracker Jack, and your home valuation might improve.
Marketwatch reported on the story and we think you'll agree that these are interesting findings.
ARELLO Mid-Year Meetings focus on change
When regulators from around the world gather, those they regulate listen. This years meetings were no different as change in licensing exams, education standards, rules and policy were all covered in the three day conference. VanEd was in attendance in Atlanta where some of us learned about Chicken N Waffles before focusing on learning more about upcoming changes to licensing exams and new regulations.
Through these meetings VanEd has been invited to participate more closely with regulators in many of the states we offer real estate and appraisal coursework in. This gives us a chance to reach out on behalf of our licensee students to discuss key areas of concern in the industry. Look for more information on these ongoing discussions throughout the year.
Colorado Real Estate Commission Adopts changes to Rule F
Rules F-1 and F-2 were updated this month to include the new sections of the contracts that are allowed to be amended during the process, and to codify in rule that a buyers broker may not ask the seller to pay the commission that is the responsibility of a buyer. While buyers may ask sellers to pay, the brokers are not parties to the contract and may not include this language.
Our initial interpretation of these items caused some questions and we have updated our courses to reflect the changes made by the commission. You can view our post online at the VanEd News Page by clicking here. On that same page you can also download copies of the adopted rules.
San Francisco Passed Bill that Requires Solar Panels on All New Construction
The city of San Francisco passed legislation April 19 that requires all new residential and commercial construction of 10 floors or less to install solar panels on their roofs, Business Insider reported. The rule takes effect Jan. 1, 2017. Don't be worried if you don't like solar, though, there is a backup plan.
Additional legislation not yet approved would allow people to add a living roof (think rooftop garden) in place of the solar installation. Business Insider has the story online here.
FHFA Announces Principal Reduction Modification Program
The Federal Housing Finance Agency will allow a limited, onetime mortgage principal reduction for borrowers that have fallen behind on monthly payments. This temporarily reverses the policy for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Citing that the number of underwater homeowners with loans owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac has declined by 80 percent in the last four years, the announced program has the potential of helping still more who are under threat of foreclosure.
Ability-to-Repay Rules see MASSIVE complaints
oh...wait....what's that? There haven't been ANY consumer claims?
Fitch reported on April 20th that in the two years since the ATR rule came into effect mortgage services have yet to see any claims. We love this since it means either consumers really CAN repay the loans they take out OR the lenders aren't lending to anyone who is unqualified. Either way, bully for the ATR rule!
Read more from the MBA Newsletter online by clicking here.
Rental Assistance Funding Down since 2011
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reported that rental assistance has fallen dramatically and the likely cause is the Budget Control Act of 2011. This Bill enacted a series of budget cuts that hit non-defense discretionary programs — the category that includes most housing assistance for low-income families — particularly hard.
The report states that this chronic underfunding has made it increasingly difficult for agencies to maintain public housing developments. When developments deteriorate to the point at which they become uninhabitable or too costly to renovate, agencies must demolish or sell them. On average, this leads to the loss of about 10,000 units of public housing each year.
Read the full report online at the cbpp.org website.
5 Scams to be Ready For
Bank of the West posted on the five scams that are either new or ongoing that people should be aware of when dealing with financial issues. They are;
- FTC Scam
- Social Security "Get Protected" Scam
- IRS Scam
- Credit Card Fraud Department Scam
- Mortgage Closing Costs Scam
See any you haven't heard of yet? Take a look online to learn just a little bit more in the brief summary of the scams, along with a few good tips on how to protect yourself and your clients online by clicking here.
Oh, and this week the Fed left interest rates alone. Shocking. Read more about that story ..... well, everywhere else. See you in May!