We all know that transportation is critical for Virginia’s economy. We need roads, bridges, tunnels, buses, and trains to get to school, to get to work, and for goods and customers to move.
The Virginia Association of Realtors® has announced its support for Governor Bob McDonnell’s plan to help fund transportation in Virginia.
Speaking on behalf of VAR and in support of the plan is President Mary Dykstra of Roanoke, who said:
On the heels of its definition of qualified mortgages, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released its new rules for high-cost mortgages, as required by Dodd-Frank. Here’s an outline.
One important note, especially for smaller banks and credit unions: Lenders who make at least half their mortgages in rural counties are exempt, as are those in areas with two or fewer major mortgage lenders.
What’s a high-cost loan?
These are the types of loan the CFPB defines as “high cost”:
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, after years of discussions, comments, hearings, and the like, has finally released it Qualified Mortgage (QM) rules. These set minimum qualifications for borrowers — at least if lenders want government backing and protection from consumer lawsuits.
Put another way: For the vast majority of loans, this will be the standard borrowers will have to meet.
We’ll be analyzing the rules in detail — as will the entire world of financial punditry — but for now here’s how they appear to work.
There are two levels to the rules: Ability to Pay and Qualified Mortgages.
With a large number of Realtors® being independent contractors, we thought this might be relevant:
If you were planning to get your taxes done early (because you don’t have to wait for a W-2) and hopefully score a quick refund, don’t bother. The IRS has said it won’t start processing them until January 30.
Also of note, if you or someone you know was planning to claim general business credits, depreciation of property, or residential energy credits, you won’t see any refund until late February at the earliest, as the IRS is still tweaking its new computer systems.
So Congress sorta kinda reached a deal to avert the “fiscal cliff” — well, at least for a year. Pick your favorite reliable news source to read how it affects most things; we’re just going to look at real estate issues here.
There are some provisions of the bill that affect real estate specifically, and others that affect tax deductions in general (including the mortgage interest deduction). Here are the most notable.
Real-estate specific things:
1 Someone who has had part of his mortgage principal reduced — e.g., by a short sale or loan modification — will not have to pay taxes on that reduction… at least if it happens before January 1, 2014, when that provision will expire.
Only a handful of constituents get quality time with their representatives. Congratulations. You're in one. As the largest trade association in the state, we get unparalleled access to our elected officials. That means you. YOU have a chance to influence Virginia housing policy, in person. Don't miss it.
What's in store for Get Active 2013? A chance for you to join in the discussion and have your voice heard.
Henrico County has lost an eminent domain case brought by a developer who had a chunk of her land acquired/seized by the county. A jury unanimously awarded the the (former) property owner an additional $236,750 for the land, which had been taken as part of a road-extension project.
Emily Sterling owned a half-acre plot — acquired by her father in 1997 — at what is now a rapidly growing section of western Henrico.
The county offered Sterling $126,000 for the 1/5th of an acre it needed for the project.
Sterling declined, but offered the full half acre to Henrico for $253,000.
The county said no and took its 1/5th acre via eminent domain.
Fannie Mae’s latest National Housing Survey found that Americans are feeling more positive about the economy, and are happy to make predictions about it.
More people expect mortgage rates to go up and housing prices to go down over the next year, for example. And — based on what I couldn’t tell you — “51 percent of respondents now say it would be easy to get a mortgage.”
Here’s the good news: In its 2012 report on the National Mover Rate, the Census Bureau found that 1.4 million more people moved in 2012 than did in 2011.
Here’s the bad news: That’s only a 0.4 percent increase.
Here’s the good news: It’s still an increase, and the 2011 rate was a record low. Heck, 12 percent of Americans moved in 2012.
So think of it as yet another small sign of the housing rebound.
Who were the biggest movers?