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The government shutdown and real estate

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:

Government shutdown and mortgages — what you need to know

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.

What Virginia REALTORS® need to know

In a few days — on October 1 — the federal insurance exchange for Virginia will open, allowing Virginians who don’t have health insurance to begin researching the providers and plans available. (Remember, Gov. McDonnell opted out of having the state run the exchange itself, so the feds will do it for us.)

In short, if you need to buy insurance because of Obamacare, you can start the process then.

That said, what exactly is required under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare?

Fannie Mae to (finally) recognize short sales

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).


Latest proposal effectively ditches QRM requirements for loans

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):

Northam, Herring endorsed by Realtors®

Two northammore 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.


Realtors® endorse Terry McAuliffe for Governor

McAuliffe-croppedIn 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.



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