Archive for September, 2010

NAR Urges Flood Insurance Reform

Friday, September 24th, 2010

Congress needs to act quickly to reauthorize and strengthen the National Flood Insurance Program for the long-term to prevent undermining the fragile real estate market, the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® testified Wednesday to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs .

The NFIP authority is set to expire on September 30 for the ninth time in the past two years; Congress has approved eight short-term extensions during this time.

“We are pleased that last night the Senate passed S. 3814 to extend the NFIP for one year until Sept. 30, 2011. We urge the House to immediately do the same,” says REALTOR® Nick D’Ambrosia, who testified on NAR’s behalf.

“However, this month-to-month approach has hindered recovering real estate markets and exacerbated the uncertainty for the more than 5.5 million taxpayers who depend on the NFIP to protect them against floods,” says D’Ambrosia, vice president of training and recruiting for Long and Foster Companies and vice chair of the Maryland Real Estate Commission.

The House has already passed H.R. 5114, the Flood Insurance Reform Priorities Act, which would reauthorize the NFIP for a full five years. The Senate is holding this hearing to begin the process of developing the Senate response to the House reform bill.

As part of long-term reauthorization reforms, NAR supports strengthening the NFIP’s solvency through outreach and education programs that would help raise participation beyond the current 50 percent of home owners in federally designated flood areas. The increase in participants would boost funding for the NFIP, help property owners recover from flood losses and decrease future federal assistance when uninsured properties flood and suffer loss, NAR said.

Adding types of coverage for living expenses, business interruption and replacement cost of contents and updating coverage limits – which haven’t been adjusted since 1994 –would also help increase participation.

NAR also strongly supports extending and fully funding the pilot program to mitigate properties that have repeatedly suffered insured flood losses.

“NAR urges the Senate to consider H.R. 5114 and work to strike a proper balance between the NFIP’s fiscal stability and housing affordability,” D’Ambrosia said.


Erik Wold and Maureen Sullivan

Monday, September 20th, 2010

Amy Willis and Associates are an amazing team!  They were always available for us, had a great deal of knowledge about all areas of the real estate market, and went out of their way to make us feel like we were always their first priority.  We highly recommend them!

Bill and Edith Antonetz

Friday, September 17th, 2010

We felt like Amy, Jeff & Miranda did a tremendous job in marketing our home. They brought us great offers & “held our hands”, when some of those offers didn’t pan out, they showed great interest in not only selling the house but they cared about us. Hats off to the number #1 remax team in Corpus Christi, Texas!

10 Reasons to Buy a Home

Friday, September 17th, 2010

Time magazine is being overly pessimistic in its recent cover piece that called into question the benefits of homeownership. In fact, now is a great time to buy. And, what’s more, tomorrow will be a great time to own, because the fundamental strength of homeownership hasn’t changed.

Why is now a great time to buy? Here are 10 reasons:

1. You can get a good deal. Prices are down 30 percent on average. They’re at a level that makes sense for people’s income.
2. Mortgages are cheap. At 4.3 percent on average for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, your costs to own are down by a fifth from two years ago.
3. You can save on taxes. When you add up the deductions for mortgage interest and others, the cost of owning can drop below renting for a comparable place.
4. It’ll be yours. The one benefit to owning that never changes is that you can paint your walls orange if you want (generally speaking; there might be some community restrictions). How many landlords will let you do that?
5. You can get a better home. In some markets, it’s simply the case that the nicest places are for-sale homes and condos.
6. It offers some inflation protection. Historically, appreciation over time outpaces inflation.
7. It’s risk capital. If the economy picks up, you stand to benefit from that, even if you’re goal is just to have a nice place to live.
8. It’s forced savings. A part of your payment each month goes to equity.
9. There is a lot to choose from. There are some 4 million homes available today, about a year’s supply. Now’s the time to find something you like and get it.
10. Sooner or later the market will clear. The U.S. is expected to grow by another 100 million people in 40 years. They have to live somewhere. Demand will eventually outpace supply.

Source: Wall Street Journal, Brett Arends (9/16/10)

Mr. & Mrs. Ortmann

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

“I want to Thank Jeff and Amy for all their assistance in the sale of my home. They have shown true professionalism in what they do. They do go the extra step in showcasing your home to the public. They know their business extremely well. I would recommend them to any family in need of a home or are looking to sale one. Best of Luck!”

30 year Mortgage Rates Rise

Friday, September 10th, 2010

Average interest on 30-year fixed mortgages rose for the first time since June, lifting to 4.35 percent this week from 4.32 percent last week and 5.07 percent a year ago, reports Freddie Mac. Rates for 15-year fixed loans held at 3.83 percent, the record low set last week.

Also, the five-year adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.56 percent, compared to 3.54 percent last week and 4.51 percent a year ago; and the one-year ARM fell to 3.46 percent from 3.5 percent last week and 4.64 percent a year ago.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, Amy Hoak (09/10/10)