IMPORTANT – NAR Launches Call for Action on Tax Reform
On July 10, 2013, NAR launched a Call for Action (CFA) in response to the Senate Finance Committee’s plan to use a “blank state approach” for tax reform legislation. A “blank slate” means that as a starting point, all tax expenditures (including tax deductions such as the mortgage interest deduction, tax exemptions such as the capital gains exemption on the sale of a primary residence, and tax credits such as energy efficiency tax credits) will be removed from the tax code. Senators have until July 26th to request tax expenditures are added to the reform legislation. NAR’s Call for Action is emphasizing the need for any tax legislation to do no harm to the economy by retaining the deductions for mortgage interest and property taxes, the capital gains exclusion on proceeds from the sale of a principal residence, and extension of mortgage cancellation relief. Also emphasized are deprecation rules and the continued tax-deferred treatment of 1031 exchanges. REALTORS are encouraged to reach out to their U.S. Senators to make sure that real estate tax provisions are maintained in any rewrite of the tax code. Participate in the CFA here.
Broker Summit – July 31, 2013 – Note Change
Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Broker Summit has been postponed. A portion of the Summit will still be offered to Designated REALTORS® (DRs please watch your email for details) but no Continuing Education credits will be given. Please watch for details of a rescheduled session with Continuing Education credits. We apologize for the inconvenience.
CRS 103: Mastering Positive Change in Today’s World
This class will teach you to use time management techniques, develop action plans to achieve your goals, build a rewarding business that works for you, and reduce stress in your daily life. It has been approved for 6 hours of ND CE (CE1314-021). Dakota CRS Members can apply for a $25 rebate when taking this class! For registration information, please go to www.ndrealtors.com
REpurposed Apps (Real Estate Purposed Apps)
The Center for REALTOR® Technology is proud to introduce REpurposed Apps. REpurposed Apps is a website for members to engage each other, recommend, and share apps that they use in their daily workflow. Please visit www.repurposedapps.com today!
As many of you may be aware Kaplan stopped offering the GRI classes last summer without knowledge to NDAR and left our members trying to acquire the designation in a bit of limbo. We apologize that this happened and have been working with the Minnesota Association of REALTORS® in getting a program back together to meet the NAR requirements. If you have started on the designation and would like to get it completed please send an email to Robyn (firstname.lastname@example.org) with the courses you have completed and we will let you know what you may need to complete it.
2013 Legislative Update
NDAR closely monitored 70 plus bills this session and took a position of support on 15 of these bills. Government Affairs Director Claus Lembke broke the reports down into 3 sections for ease of reading. Please find the 3-part report at www.ndrealtors.com/legislation13.htm
When a child is hospitalized, the last concern should be how the family will be able to stay in their home. Spare Key provides Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin families with the “gift of time” by making their housing payment, allowing parents to focus on helping their seriously ill or critically injured child recover and heal. They provide housing assistance to families who meet a few basic criteria. For full details, please visit www.sparekey.org
NAR REALTOR® Conference & Expo – Update
REALTORS® Got Talent Season 4! Six talented finalists will be chosen to perform live in San Francisco, and the winner will receive $2,000. Plus, all six finalists receive a complimentary Premier Access registration to the 2013 REALTORS® Conference & Expo. Auditions are accepted through August 30, 2013. Learn more. Register for the 2013 REALTORS® Conference & Expo, November 8-11, in San Francisco, CA to learn from 100 education sessions on hot topics like avoiding fiduciary duty and related lawsuits, untapped revenue streams and more; make new connections with 22,000 REALTORS® and guests; and see the newest products and services from 400 exhibitors. Register today!
Housing Incentive Fund
Capitalized by contributions from state taxpayers, the North Dakota Housing Incentive Fund (HIF) is a means for developing affordable multifamily housing for essential service workers and low- to moderate-income families. Individuals and businesses can support these housing projects by making a contribution to the fund. In return, contributors will receive a dollar-fordollar state income tax credit. Contributions can be targeted to a specific project or community. For more information, please visit the ND Housing Finance Agency’s website at http://www.ndhfa.org/default.asp?nMenu=05379
NAR Professionalism Video and Brochure
A new video and companion brochure from NAR, “A Pathway to Professionalism: Respect Starts Here,” are available for use by brokerages. NAR offers a number of resources and tools to help brokers welcome new agents into the REALTOR® family, and its wealth of member benefits. The new video and brochure provide tips for members on the relationship between professionalism and respect. The brochure is sold in packs of 100 and is available for purchase at REALTOR.org/Store. The video is also available on YouTube. Visit http://www.REALTOR.org/professionalism for more information.
2013 ND/SD REALTOR® Convention of the Dakotas
Make sure to register today! Early Bird Registration deadline is July 31 so make sure to get your spot saved today! Golfing, education, socializing, and the ROTY lunch – you don’t want to miss out on these events! To register online, visit http://2013blackhills.com/ today.Social Media Webinar Summit REALTOR University is again hosting a series of webinars on July 25. This package of webinars will teach students new systems and strategies to connect with today’s tech-savvy home buyers. Topics include: Evernote, Facebook, Google+, using video in real estate, and social media planning. The complete package (all five sessions) is on $19.95! Students who register can save $5.00 by entering discount code “RUWSB23”. To register, go to http://www.learninglibrary.com/aspdotnetstorefront70/c-126-social-media-webinarsummit.aspx?utm_source=Monthly_Specials&utm_medium=All_RU_Users_Email&utm_content=July_2013_Summit&utm_campaign=July2013_Summit
Update on Flood Insurance Rate Increases
With NAR’s support, Representatives Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Maxine Waters (D-CA) have successfully attached an amendment to the Homeland Security Appropriations Bill to delay removal of “grandfathered” flood insurance rates for one year. NAR is now working with Senators Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and David Vitter (R-LA) to include the delay in the Senate version of the Homeland Security bill. The grandfathered and other subsidized flood insurance rates are being phased out under the Biggert-Waters Act that extended the National Flood Insurance Program for five years. The House amendment would delay the phase-out for properties “grandfathered” under older rates in areas remapped into a higherpriced flood zone before September 30, 2014. The law’s other phase-outs — for older second homes and business properties and for homes purchased after July 2012 – will continue to take effect on October 1, 2013. NAR is working on a longer delay and expanding it to include the other subsidy phase-outs, in addition to grandfathered properties. (Read more)
Congress Acts on Rural Housing
Two different bills are moving through Congress to address the rural housing issue. Last week the Senate passed S. 954, the “Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2013”, usually referred to as the Farm Bill. That legislation includes a provision that will grandfather existing communities eligible for rural housing programs and also increase the threshold for “rural” from 25,000 to 35,000. While the current draft of the House Farm bill does not contain a similar provision and has yet to go to the floor, the House Appropriations Committee last week passed a bill to provide a one year extension for rural communities as part of the Agriculture Appropriations bill for FY14. The provision would provide a temporary extension through September 30, 2014, to cover communities while awaiting the passage of the more permanent legislation. NAR strongly supported both these provisions. The current extension expires on September 30, 2013. NAR will continue to advocate for final passage.