A Year Full of Challenges and Opportunities Ahead

First, I want to start by saying what an honor it is to serve each and every member of HAR as your chairman this year. While I might sit in the chair at the front table, this is YOUR association so please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any suggestions, questions or even compliments about HAR. If I don’t know the answer, I will make sure you are contacted by someone who does. My email address is danfrank@har.com. I look forward to hearing from you.

As you can tell from the REALTOR® Celebration pictures in the center spread of this month’s magazine, it was a great event to swear in the new Board of Directors and recognize the 2012 REALTOR® of the Year, Margie Dorrance and the John E. Wolf Community Service Award Recipient Troy Cothran. We also honored outgoing HAR Chairman Wayne Stroman for a year of accomplishments. He left big shoes to fill, but I look forward to the challenge.

One thing that is strangely a challenge right now is having enough homes available for sale in our market. We have reached the lowest months’ inventory figure we have seen in 12 years. Sales remain brisk, but new listings just aren’t keeping up. Look for new HAR ads that will promote listing your home—with a REALTOR®, of course—in the coming year. You may read the MLS release for November sales figures in its entirety here.

As we enter the New Year, we also have to start focusing on some important tax matters as well. You may read here about the tax on business personal property. While we are not tax advisors (and you should consult with yours if you think this impacts you), we wanted to provide this information. The new investment tax that some have incorrectly called a transfer tax or a tax on real estate of 3.8 percent went into effect on January 1, 2013. There is so much misinformation out there that I strongly encourage you to read more here. This impacts a small portion of the population, but if it is your client, then you will want to know the new law.

There are also new loan limits in place for 10 area counties for FHA loans. Granted, the increase is only $1,500 higher than last year’s limit, but it is still good to know. The conforming loan limits have remained the same as 2012 for our area. You may read more about both of these loan topics here.

Until next month,
Danny Frank
HAR Chairman of the Board

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