It’s an easy address to remember – www.realtoractioncenter.com – and its contents provide you with a wealth of information so that you can increase your involvement in the political process.
The National Association of REALTORS® has issued two very important Calls For Action, and with a couple of clicks of your mouse at www.realtoractioncenter.com, you can make a difference.
Call for Action #1 – Reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program
Right now, Congress is debating whether to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). It expires on September 30. This is the tenth time in three years this program has been set to expire. It’s time we stop the Band-Aid approach to flood insurance and give the program a long-term extension. For this reason we are urging Congress to reauthorize NFIP for five years.
Do you know what happens every year when the deadline nears? Lenders stall closings, adding more uncertainty to our already tentative marketplace. More than 20,000 communities nationwide depend on this program in order to buy and sell real estate. You simply cannot acquire a mortgage without flood coverage and a policy cannot be issued without the assistance of this program.
Maintaining available and affordable flood insurance for all Americans that need it is vital to keeping the market running smoothly.
Call for Action # 2 – Ensure Your Clients Have Access to Affordable Mortgages
On September 30, the cost of a mortgage could rise significantly. If this happens, many of your clients run the risk of being priced out of the American Dream of home ownership. Even worse, this could hold back the housing recovery.
Congress passed legislation extending the loan limits for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae (the GSEs) and FHA. Under the bill, which has been signed by the President, the current loan limits will remain in place through this September 30. These loan limits, set at 125% of local area median home price and capped at $729,750, would have expired on December 31, 2010 in which case loan limits would have been reduced in many markets.
The mortgage loan limits for the GSEs (Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae) and for FHA are critical to providing liquidity in today’s housing market. Especially as the private market has yet to return, these programs are vital to our housing recovery. The current GSE limits range from $417,000 to $729,750, depending on local area median home price. The FHA limits range from $271,050 to $729, 750, also based on 125% of local area median home price. Both of these limits are set to expire on September 30 and will reset to 115% of local area median up to $625,500.
Changes to loan limits vary by county and state. The proposed changes do not impact counties in the Greater Houston area. Therefore, loans on residential property in Harris County, Fort Bend County, Montgomery County, Brazoria County, Galveston County, Liberty County, Waller County, Chambers County, Austin County and San Jacinto County should not see decreases to their respective FHA and GSE loan limits.
However, the following counties in Texas will see reductions in their FHA and GSE loan limits if Congress does not act:
- Jeff Davis
Visit NAR’s REALTOR® Action Center and make your voice heard supporting NFIP reauthorization and opposing decreases to the FHA and GSE loan limits.