Voice for Real Estate 48: Taxes, Condo CFA, TRID, Credit Scores

REALTORS® benefit the most when they manage their finances during the year with an eye on their tax liability. That's the message of two tax experts who are hosting a live webcast on how to manage your income like a business. The Voice for Real Estate for the week of June 20 also looks at NAR's condo financing Call for Action, the Move-Zillow legal settlement, and difficulties real estate agents are facing trying to get the closing disclosure under new "Know Before You Owe" rules so they can help their clients. The video also looks at the impact of student debt on home buying, efforts to make credit scores more accurate for people who have thin credit files, and the latest commercial real estate economic and regulatory update.

Featured Segments:

  • Tax experts answer your questions
  • Letters pour in as NAR seeks law to ease FHA condo loans
  • Move-Zillow settlement details
  • Getting access to closing disclosure forms
  • Solutions as student debt hampers home buying
  • Slowdown affects commercial real estate
  • Adding rent payments to credit profiles

Voice for Real Estate 48: Transcript

Voice for Real Estate 48: Taxes & Condo CFA

Steven Gasque Voice Over:

It’s tax time right now—if you want to do your taxes right

Realtors tell Congress: condo loans are still too hard to get

And Realtor.com’s operator wins a $130 million settlement

These stories and more on The Voice for Real Estate

Hi, I’m Stephen Gasque of the National Association of Realtors

April 15 is tax time but real estate professionals know tax time is really all year, because how you treat your income now can determine what your tax bill looks like next year.
To help you put yourself in the best position possible for next year, Realtor magazine is hosting two top real estate accountants in a live webcast so you can ask them questions - and benefit from their advice. Here’s Jon Boughtin of NAR Public Affairs, the host of the webcast, to tell you about it.

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The webcast is Thursday, June 23rd, and you can register online.

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It’s too hard for buyers to get FHA-insured condo loans, but improvements could be near—thanks to your help. In just one week, tens of thousands of Realtors sent letters to their senators asking them to support a bill that would let more buyers use FHA insured condo financing, and make it easier for projects to be approved for FHA financing. Sherri Meadows, Realtor with Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty in Ocala, Fla., and NAR’s vice president of government affairs, has more on why you should answer the Call for Action for - H.R. 3700, the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act.

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In just its first week, almost 20,000 Realtors sent letters to their senators. It takes just three clicks, on RealtorActionCenter.com.

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Have you heard the news? Move Inc., which operates NAR’s official listing data site, Realtor.com, reached a settlement agreement with third-party aggregator Zillow. That settlement avoids a trial, which was due to start this month. The lawsuit centered around alleged theft of trade secrets by Zillow, and two former Move executives, who defected to Zillow in 2014. In the settlement, Zillow agreed to pay $130 million without admitting wrongdoing.

Once again, here’s NAR Vice President Sherri Meadows.

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NAR was a party to the lawsuit and will receive a portion of the settlement funds. We’ll being you a future report on how NAR will use those funds to help your business.

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It’s just a normal part of business – sitting down with your clients, to help them understand their closing documents.
But - ever since new federal closing rules took effect last year, an increasing number of real estate agents say they’re having trouble accessing those closing documents. That’s because of privacy. Many lenders are concerned the new rules create increased liability for privacy violations – if they share they share a consumer’s documents with anyone – including their real estate agent.  To solve this problem, NAR wants the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to make it clear that as long as consumers provide their consent, sharing documents is just as OK now -- as it was before the changes. NAR’s Sarah Young has more.

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NAR says this issue is just one example – of how the new rules are not decreasing – but increasing consumer frustration with the real estate closing process.

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$1.3 trillion: that’s the amount of student loan debt Americans are carrying. And new NAR research finds that mountain of money is making it hard for young people to buy homes. Among the findings, 71 percent of college graduates who are responsibly making their loan payments say the debt burden is keeping them from buying a house. That rises to almost 80 percent among older millennials, those born in the mid-1980s. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun has more.

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NAR supports legislation in Congress that would help ease this debt burden by letting borrows refinance their federally backed loans to take advantage of lower interest rates.

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Does the Clean Water Act restrict what you can do with your property? That question might soon have a new answer…because a big case we told you about several months ago has now been decided by the United States Supreme Court. The news is good. The court said that owners do not have to go through an expensive and time consuming permit process before they can challenge the federal government - on whether their property is subject to Clean Water Act restrictions. NAR deputy general counsel Ralph Holmen has more on the case.

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NAR and the National Association of Home Builders filed a friend of the court brief in the case, and the Supreme Court’s unanimous? Ruling sided with that brief.

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The economy has slowed down significantly in the last few months. America’s gross domestic product grew by less than one percent in the last quarter and the number of new jobs is also down significantly. Because of this and other negative trends, the Federal Reserve has decided to leave interest rates unchanged. George Ratiu, NAR’s director of quantitative and commercial research, has more.

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You can get more on the commercial real estate market and developments in commercial financing options in a video on Realtor.org.

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Three members of Congress joined NAR at its Washington headquarters last week for a meeting on alternative credit scoring criteria. Like NAR, they’re trying to find ways to recognize households that are responsible in paying their bills but don’t have traditional credit profiles.

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The lawmakers are seeking support for legislation that would help speed up efforts by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to incorporate non-traditional credit criteria into their standards, like monthly rent and cell phone bills, that’s a necessary step before lenders can expand their loan offerings to underserved borrowers.

[SWOOSH]

That’s our show for the week of June 20. You can get more on everything we talked about today at The Voice for Real Estate page on Realtor.org. Thank you for joining us, and we hope you’ll join us again when we bring you all the latest news on The Voice for Real Estate.

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