This Election Day, there are a number of key races for the Virginia House of Delegates that VAR is following closely — these are contests that could have a profound effect on real estate in Virginia.
Here’s a summary of two of them; we’ll be covering more as Election Day approaches.
House District 50 (Prince William/Manassas): Vote Jackson Miller
As you might expect, there are plenty of stories about how the government shutdown is affecting folks across the country. Let’s focus on the real estate market, though. Here are some of the stories making the rounds:
Mortgage Bankers Call for End to Government Shutdown (DSNews)
David Stevens, president and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association, urged an end to the shutdown:
If Congress shuts the government tomorrow (i.e., tonight at midnight), how will that affect mortgages? With Fannie and Freddie backing 90+ percent of them, and FHA loans being so popular, it’s an important question.
CNN has the answers, but here’s the gist:
Fannie and Freddie will continue to operate. They aren’t funded by the government; they make their money via fees.
However, FHA, VA, and USDA loan applications won’t be processed.
Congratulations to Lee Odems of Woodbridge, principal broker with Buyers Advantage Real Estate Corp., who was named by Gov. Bob McDonnell to serve on the Virginia Real Estate Board. Good going!
Fannie Mae is going to fix a small problem with its software. It turns out, the company’s computers don’t recognize short sales.
What that means is that short sales (which typically keep someone from buying a home for two years) had to be labeled as foreclosures (which typically keep someone from buying a home for seven years).
That’s a huge problem in states with high short-sale rates, such as Florida. And that’s why Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) took up the cause. Working with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Nelson got Fannie to agree to a fix.
By November 16, people who make short sales will have that properly labeled in Fannie’s system.
The six federal agencies tasked with coming up with a definition of a Qualified Residential Mortgage (QRM) have floated another proposal — one that would essentially do away with the QRM definition altogether.
To understand what that means, we need a bit of background, which economist Bill McBride was happy to give, and which I will happily translate.
When it was created, the Dodd-Frank Act had two goals (among others):
1. Protect consumers from predatory lenders
2. Protect investors (notably taxpayers) from unknowingly buying risky loans
Two more endorsements were announced today by the Virginia Association of REALTORS® through the Virginia REALTOR® Political Action Committee: State Senators Ralph Northam for Lieutenant Governor and Mark Herring for Attorney General. On August 20-21, 2013, candidates for statewide office appeared before the RPAC Board of Trustees for separate and extensive candidate interviews. Further, each candidate submitted written responses to questionnaires developed for this race.
In a press release sent out today, the Virginia Association of REALTORS® through the Virginia REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC) announced its endorsement of Terry McAuliffe for Governor of Virginia. On August 20-21, 2013, both Mr. McAuliffe and Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli appeared before the RPAC Board of Trustees for separate and extensive candidate interviews. Further, each candidate submitted written responses to questionnaires developed for this race.
A quick congrats is in order to long-time VAR member Mack Strickland of Chester — president of Strickland Appraisal Services — who was named by Governor Bob McDonnell to the Real Estate Appraiser Board.