Just in time for hurricane season, Congress has allowed the National Flood Insurance Program to lapse. The program expired on May 31, 2010 because Congress failed to reach an agreement on an extension before adjourning for the Memorial Day recess.
The foreclosure crisis and Census taking have joined forces to create yet another new headache for Realtors®:
Some Census workers have been contacting the listing agents of vacant properties (or their brokers) if the last known occupant hasn't completed the Census form. Sometimes the Census workers have been very aggressive in attempting to acquire information about the owners or occupants. And the United State Code stipulates that it's unlawful for an "…owner, proprietor, manager, superintendent, or agent of any hotel, apartment house, boarding or lodging house, tenement, or other building, (to) refuse or willfully neglect, . . . to furnish the names of the occupants of such premises” during the Census.
Editor's note: This story was originally posted on March 25, 2010. We're re-publishing it due to reports of a large number of members being unfamiliar with the new rules.
According to NAR, new EPA rules about lead paint are set to go into effect on April 22, 2010.
To help you comply with the new rules, your friends at NAR have set up a Lead Paint Renovation Rule Compliance Guide at REALTOR.org.
NAR's Appraisal Insight blog reports a change in plans for complaint procedures related to the Home Valuation Code of Conduct:
Guest post. Janice Burgess from the Virginia Housing Development Authority has some wisdom to share:
Take note—this June won’t be normal for end-of-month closings. Lenders and settlement agents across Virginia anticipate a very high volume of closings scheduled to beat the June 30 federal tax credit deadline. To make sure your homebuyers don’t miss out on their tax credit, be proactive.
Our attorneys have been getting several variations of this question recently...
Q: My buyer clients made an offer on a short sale on April 29. The sellers ratified the contract on April 30th. The bank hasn't even had an opportunity to review the offer yet. Will my clients be able to claim the homebuyer tax credit?
Yes, it's true: HVCC is one year old. To help members understand how to cope with the changes brought by HVCC , VAR published a feature story in the September/October 2009 edition of Commonwealth magazine and in 2010 helped to pass legislation (HB408) implementing regulations for appraisal management companies who operate in the Commonwealth. NAR continues pushing for changes to HVCC on the national level.
The federal government recently advised homeowners with tainted drywall to remove it. (The problem material is easily detected -- copper wiring and other metals start corroding, a condition that's not hard to spot. See the photos at the right.) The Consumer Product Safety Commission has set up a drywall information center on its website, and reports that 123 Virginia homeowners have been affected so far.
The CPSC has released Interim Remediation Guidance for homes with confirmed problem drywall. It calls for the replacement of:
Guest post by Matthew Rathbun:
The Real Estate Board's Regulatory Review Committee met last week to discuss how Virginia's real estate regulations affect agents' and brokers' use of online media to advertise. When I learned of this meeting, my first thought was ‘How does one create regulations to protect consumers from the media that the consumer is still creating?’.