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Tax credit extended & expanded 

In the hopes of continuing the upward swing of the national real estate market, the recent expansion and extension of the home buyer tax credit has made more than two-thirds of current homeowners and nearly all first-time buyers eligible for the credit when they purchase a home. The credit is part of the Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009, a $24 billion economic stimulus bill that is envisioned to address the economic challenges facing our nation while also energizing the U.S. housing market.

The newly passed legislation does two things:
      Extends the First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit of up to $8,000 to first-time home buyers until April 30, 2010. 
      Expands the credit to grant up to $6,500 credit to current home owners purchasing a new or existing home between November 7, 2009 and April 30, 2010.

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HUD & new RESPA rule enforcement

On Friday, November 13, 2009, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced a period of "restraint" in enforcing the new Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) rule, which will go into effect on January 1, 2010. The period of restraint will last for 120 days. Enforcement restraint will be shown for FHA approved lenders acting in good faith to comply with the new rule, including the mandatory Good Faith Estimate and the HUD-1. HUD also asked other federal and state enforcement agencies to exercise restraint. HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan stated: "While we will not delay implementation of RESPA's new requirements, we are sensitive to the concerns of the industry as it integrates the new rules into their day-to-day business practices."

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FHA removes 2nd appraisal requirement

During a speech at NAR's annual conference, FHA Commissioner Dave Stevens noted that FHA, based on input from NAR, would soon remove the requirement for a second appraisal on certain loans. Earlier this week, FHA released Mortgagee Letter 2009-48: Second Appraisal Reporting Requirements, which eliminates the need for a second appraisal on loans that exceed $417,000, have a LTV equal or greater than 95 percent, and are secured by properties located in declining markets. This Mortgagee Letter rescinds Mortgagee Letter 2008-09: Second Appraisal Requirements/Limits on Cash-Out Refinances. ML 2009-48 also eliminates the need for a second appraisal on cash-out refinances, as described in ML 2009-08.

FHA retains a second appraisal requirement per Mortgagee Letter 2006-14. This policy requires a second appraisal when a property is resold between 91 days and 180 days following acquisition by the seller. This is part of their property flipping prohibition policy.

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Treasury announces HAFA program

On November 30, 2009, the Treasury Department released guidelines and forms for its new Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program (HAFA). HAFA is part of the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). HAFA provides incentives in connection with a short sale or a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure (DIL) used to avoid foreclosure on a loan eligible for modification under the HAMP program. HAFA applies to loans not owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, which will issue their own versions of HAFA in coming weeks. HAFA is a complex program, with 43 pages of guidelines and forms, designed to simplify and streamline use of short sales and deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure.

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How to move a house in a tough market 

If you're planning to put your home on the market, it's not your manners that need polishing. Try your silver, among other improvements. Now, more than ever, getting a signed contract in hand is all about price and quality. 

Get more tips to selling your house in a tough market.

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Fort Knox military housing needs support

With the arrival at Fort Knox of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, more than 900 soldiers and their family members have moved into the surrounding communities. The brigade will be at full-strength by spring of 2010, with as many as 3,400 soldiers and their families. In addition, the relocation of the Human Resources Command to Fort Knox will add to a substantial increase in population signifying the importance and demand for quality affordable housing in the area. Many soldiers will opt to reside off-post and, as such, those soldiers, who work extremely hard defending our country, need assurance their families are in good quality, affordable housing.

Local area real estate property owners and managers seeking to advertise their rental property in the Fort Knox community are encouraged to register with the Automated Housing Referral Network (AHRN). 

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House extends credit for military through '10  

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.
REALTOR Federal Credit Union 

Check out the great new products including business and association accounts that have some of the best rates in the industry. As a proud REALTOR Benefits Partner, they are dedicated to providing products and services that meet the specific financial needs of REALTORS.

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7 reasons to be optimistic about housing 

Let's face it, 2009 has been a tough year for almost everyone in the real estate industry. When times are tough and negative news floods the media, it can be hard to stay positive. Today's column looks at seven reasons to give thanks, no matter how tough your market is.

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KHC rewarding future homeowners who maintained good credit through the economic crisis  
KHC

If your customer has a 700 (or better) credit rating, and they are not using KHC-funded down payment assistance, they are eligible for an even lower rate from Kentucky Housing Corporation (KHC)! 
 
KHC also makes it easier for you. Existing reservations get their rate locked for 75 days for free and new construction gets 135 days! Table funding and compensation are paid at closing. There are quick turn-around times for closings. No additional pricing for LTV or loan amounts and a simplified rate structure all make KHC a great resource for REALTORS and lenders alike!
 
You can also ease your customer's mind that all KHC loans are serviced in-house.
 
Visit KHC's Web site or call (800) 633-8896 or (502) 564-7630, extension 291, for more information.

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December 2009

In This Issue
Tax credit extended & expanded
HUD & new RESPA rule
FHA removes 2nd appraisal requirement
Treasury announces HAFA program
How to move a house in a tough market
Fort Knox military housing needs support
House extends credit for military
REALTOR FCU
7 reasons to be optimistic about housing
KHC rewarding future homeowners
KAR social networks
Online CE courses
LeadershipKAR
Rx Drug Card
2009 Profile of Homebuyers and Sellers
SFR certification
Quick Links
KAR social networks 
 
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Twitter NEW!
Online CE courses 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)

Register Now
LeadershipKAR 

The deadline for applying for this program has been extended through the end of the year. If you would like to be considered for the 2010 class, you can find out more on the website and the application. Join the ranks of the some of the most active members in the state. 

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Rx Drug
Card 

This KAR member
benefit is being provided to you and your family & friends to help lower your prescription drug costs. Simply create and print your FREE Prescription Drug Card and receive savings of up to 75% (discounts average roughly 30%) at more than 54,000 national and regional pharmacies.

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Right Tools, 
Right Now

NAR

The 2009 NAR Profile of Homebuyers and Sellers (Just Released!) is an updated profile that provides the latest research on today's housing market including the effect of the first-time home buyer tax credit. Find more great products available through NAR and the Right Tools, Right Now program.

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Right Tools, 
Right Now

AnnMcDonald

Earn the brand-new Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource certification before December 31, 2009, and the $175 application fee will be waived.

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