November 2009
In This Issue
Join LeadershipKAR
KAR Leadership Conference
Serve your association
GRI Schedule
KAR Photo Gallery
KAR Online - Social Networks
Progress made with extending the credit
House extends credit for military through 2010
House committee weighs scrapping HVCC
Congress extends GSE/FHA loan limits
Health reform bill activity continues
NAR offers Short Sale Certification
Online CE courses available
KHC: First Home Advantage
Join LeadershipKAR 

Download an application here

Recognizing that leadership development is an essential element in the process of improving our Association and profession, the Kentucky Association of REALTORS® offers LeadershipKAR. 

Become more involved in your industry and your community.

Seats are limited and selection is based on your application. Deadline for applying to the 2010 class is December 1, 2009.
KAR Leadership Conference 

December 1 -2
Lexington, Kentucky
Doubletree Guest Suites

Register here

The 2010 KAR Leadership Conference is open to the following members:
- Local association presidents and president-elects
- KAR board of directors and delegate body
- KAR committee chairs and vice chairs
- KREEF Trustees
- KAR Trustees
- Local association executives and secretaries

Serve your association - volunteer for a committee 

Being involved at KAR gives you input into the structure and future of the Association and gives you the privilege of working with other Association members you may not know.

Download the committee form

Please return completed forms to KAR by December 1. 
GRI Schedule 

Download the 2009 schedule here

Courses are scheduled through December 2009.

Set yourself apart. Earn the designation that makes a difference and increases your income. The REALTOR® Institute has graduated thousands of REALTORS®. These professionals find the GRI designation a powerful tool for attracting and building new business as well as staying on the cutting edge of real estate standards.
KAR Photo Gallery 

View pictures here

Check out Kentucky REALTORS® in action from the recent KAR Convention & Expo as well as all the past KAR events, activities and business meetings.
KAR is online, Twitter added 

Join now and become a member of the KAR groups! If you are not currently on these sites, getting started is easy. Just log on to www.facebook.com, www.linkedin.com, www.activerain.com or www.twitter.com and set up a profile.

Joining is free and once you become a member, you can request to be added to the KAR groups. That's all there is to it.

To locate the KAR groups, use the search feature or go directly to the group:

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Progress made with extending the credit
The extension and expansion of the homebuyer tax credit is the pending business in the U.S. Senate. After a long week of negotiation on the credit, an agreement on the scope of both expansion and extension has been reached. The extension is part of a larger bill that has not yet gone to a vote, however.
A Senate vote on the underlying bill may occur in the Senate this week. The package will then go back to the House. The House is expected to accept the Senate amendments, vote on the package and send it to the President for signature. The underlying bill is an extension of unemployment benefits.
Other provisions in the bill include expansion of the net operating loss carryback rules, new requirements for some tax return preparers and noncontroversial provisions that "pay for" these changes.
The agreement on the extension and expansion of the credit is as follows:
· Credit will be available for purchases before May 1, 2010. Prospective purchasers with binding contracts in place as of April 30, 2010 will be allowed an additional 60 days to complete the transaction.
· Credit remains at $8,000 for first-time buyers. No change to definition of first-time purchaser.
· New $6,500 tax credit for repeat buyers who purchase between December 1, 2009 and May 1, 2010. Repeat buyers must have lived in their homes consecutively for five of the previous eight years.
· Income limits are expanded to $125,000 on a single return and $225,000 on a joint return. Current law $20,000 phase-out retained.
· New anti-fraud limitations are imposed.
The White House has indicated that President Obama will sign the legislation.
Source: National Association of REALTORS®

Click here to participate in the Call for Action
House extends credit for military through 2010 

The House has voted 416 - 0 to extend through 2010 the benefits of the first-time homebuyer tax credit to military, intellilgence and diplomatic personnel. To be eligible, purchasers in these categories must have been outside the US on active duty for at least 90 days in 2009. The measure (H.R. 3590) now goes to the Senate. Timing and process for its consideration are unknown.
House committee weighs scrapping HVCC
The appraisal system imposed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac last May is under attack by the House Financial Services Committee and could be on its way out. 
The "Home Valuation Code of Conduct" could be terminated by the proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency under a bipartisan amendment approved by the House committee.  The amendment would require the new agency's director to replace the code with a set of rules developed through regular administrative procedures and public comment periods used by all federal agencies.
The valuation code was the product of a settlement among New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the Federal Housing Finance Agency.  Critics say the code created more problems than it solved and has encouraged lenders to use inexperienced appraisers who don't know the areas where they are doing the work, which is resulting in lowball valuations as well as higher fees. 
The legislation under which this code would be scrapped is likely to pass the full House, but may have a tough road in the Senate.
Source: The Washington Post Writers Group, Kenneth Harney (10/30/2009)
Congress extends GSE/FHA loan limits
A congressional resolution was recently passed that would extend the current higher Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and FHA loan limits through 2010. The present loan limits would expire at the end of 2009 and revert to previous lower limits. Present conventional loan limits for Fannie and Freddie will extend through the 2010 calendar year at 125 percent of local median home sales prices, up to a maximum of $729,750 in high-cost areas.  The floor for FHA is $271,050; the floor for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac conforming loan limits is $417,000.
Health reform bill activity continues

On Thursday, October 30, 2009, House leadership released the text of HR 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act. The bill is a compromise health reform bill that incorporates the various changes made to the original House reform measure (HR 3200) by the three committees with jurisdiction over health-related issues.

Importantly for the self-employed, independent contractor worker, the compromise measure retains the original bill's reforms which (1) create larger insurance pools by merging the individual and small group markets into one markeplace, (2) provide self-employed individuals with the same advantages that are commonly associated with a group policy, i.e. guaranteed issue and renewal, no preexisting condition exclusions, as well as no rating based on health status or gender, and (3) provide individual tax credits for the purchase of health coverage.

Read More
NAR offers Short Sale Certification
Nearly one-third of all existing homes sold recently were either short sales or foreclosures, according to National Association of REALTORS® data.

To help practitioners meet the needs of home buyers and sellers who need these services, NAR has launched a new Short Sales and Foreclosure Certification Program (SFR).

Read More
Online CE courses available through KREEF 
It is now possible to earn CE credit for your real estate license renewal without leaving your home or office. These courses may be entered and exited at your convenience. Once you register for a course, you can begin immediately.

All course work must be completed in a 12-month period to earn CE credit. Your completion date of the course determines the year the credit will be issued.

Three courses are available:

Enviromental Issues in Real Estate - 6 hours (3 hours law credit & 3 hours elective credit)

Real Estate Finance Today - 3 hours (3 hours elective credit)

Fair Housing - 3 hours (3 hours law credit)
First Home Advantage Ends November 30, 2009KHC
This program provides up to $4,500 in $100 increments to eligible home buyers!
Home buyers can get help to pay down payment and closing costs, up to $4,500, related to their home purchase from Kentucky Housing Corporation's (KHC) First Home Advantage, a second mortgage with P&I payments deferred until July 1, 2010.  After the initial deferral period, the loan will fully amortize over ten years, starting July 1, 2010, at the current first mortgage interest rate not to go below 6 percent. 
A buyer may qualify for the program if:
· They obtain a KHC first mortgage through an approved KHC lender.
· They are a first-time home buyer.
· They meet KHC income and purchase price guidelines.
· They have a 620 minimum credit score. The second mortgage is included in the calculation of the borrower's total housing expense, even though the payment is deferred until July 1, 2010.
· Maximum home sales price is $258,000.
Approved lenders may submit applications until November 30, 2009.  For approved lenders and for more information, visit KHC's Web site at www.kyhousing.org or call toll-free in Kentucky at (800) 633-8896 or (502) 564-7630, extension 291.