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White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council Formed

President Donald Trump has signed an Executive Order establishing the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council and named U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson as its chairperson. The Council’s 13 Federal member agencies will engage with governments at all levels on ways to more effectively use taxpayer dollars to revitalize low-income communities. The Council will improve revitalization efforts by streamlining, coordinating, and targeting existing Federal programs to Opportunity Zones, economically distressed communities where new investments may be eligible for preferential tax treatment. Additionally, the Council will consider legislative proposals and undertake regulatory reform to remove barriers to revitalization efforts and present the President with options to encourage capital investment in economically distressed communities.


 

To encourage an ongoing commitment to professional behavior and development, NAR created the C2EX platform, a mobile-compatible website for REALTORS® to expand their understanding and application of the Commitment to Excellence Competencies. The program is defined by eleven competencies which indicate a REALTOR®’s commitment to ethics, advocacy, technology, data privacy, outstanding customer service, and much more. Each competency is tied to tasks and learning modules which are preceded by a skills assessment to identify and measure proficiency in that area. Read more about the C2EX program here. Enter the platform here.


Need Help Finding Forms?

Here’s a Helpful Hint!

If you have a hard time finding the form you need in either Zipforms or dotloop, use the search button at the top of the page in the DAR forms library on either platform. Just type in the name of the form and hit “enter” on your keyboard. This should get you to the form you need in seconds!


 Holiday Gift from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: No Foreclosures

Mortgage financing giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced a nationwide suspension of eviction lockouts on foreclosures for the holiday season. The foreclosure moratorium will last from Dec. 17 to Jan. 2, 2019, and applies to all foreclosed occupied homes owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.


Providing Warmth for the Weary

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Volunteers from Keller Williams Realty Central Delaware, led by Realtor Sandy Hohrein, decked downtown Dover with scarves, hats, and gloves to make them accessible to those less fortunate. They were tied onto light poles, left on benches, and placed in other areas where they could be taken, each with a note attached to say they were free to those in need. Read the article published this week in the Delaware State News here.


The Delaware State Housing Authority is accepting applications through January 2019 for large project reservations through the Downtown Development Districts Rebate Program. Find out more about DSHA programs here.

 


As stewards of the right to own, use and transfer private property, fair housing protects our livelihood and business as REALTORS® and depends on a free, open market that embraces equal opportunity. Fair Housing Makes US Stronger.

 

Breaking News:
Rural Communities Protected
From Loss of Mortgage Opportunities

The U.S. House and Senate passed comprehensive farm legislation today that includes long-sought protection of federal Rural Housing Services programs for thousands of small communities across the country.

The bill maintains until 2030 the current definition of rural community, enabling communities with 35,000 people or fewer, not part of a larger metropolitan statistical area, and that have few private mortgage financing options available to remain eligible for federal mortgage financing and other programs under the Rural Housing Service. Those programs take into account factors unique to borrowers and the properties available to them in rural areas.

“We are pleased to see the House and Senate this week take action to extend the RHS definition through 2030,” says NAR President John Smaby. “We applaud Congress for providing this critical certainty to REALTORS® and homeowners across rural America.”

The bill, which the president is expected to sign, also makes a number of improvements sought by NAR. Among other things, the population of rural areas hosting prisons won’t be inappropriately increased by including incarcerated persons in the population tally, and only a portion of people temporarily living in the area because of military service will be included in the population count.

Access the bill here.


Access and Share Tutorials on
20% Deduction, Other Tax Law Changes

Watch these tutorials from NAR for help in navigating the changes.

Elimination of business entertainment deduction. 

Taking the 20 percent business income deduction. 

Changes to the mortgage interest deduction. 

Limits on state and local tax deductions. 

Curtailment of casualty deduction. 

Curtailment of moving expenses deduction. 

Retention of capital gains exclusion on home sale proceeds. 

Changes in tax rates. 

Increase in standard deduction. 

Elimination of personal exemptions. 

Doubled child credit. 


First-Time Homebuyer’s Credit Information

Effective immediately, the First Time Home Buyers Credit provides some relief to first-time homebuyers by reducing the buyer’s portion of the state transfer tax by one-half of the one percent increase levied in 2017 by the General Assembly. A cap on the purchase price is set at $400,000, and the maximum credit that can be claimed is $2,000. First-time homebuyers who paid the full tax after August 1, 2017, can apply for a refund.

To qualify as a first-time buyer, individuals must have no record of owning a direct, legal interest in residential real estate. In addition, all first-time buyers must intend to occupy the property as their principal residence

Information on credit qualifications, FAQs, and forms can be found here. Also on that page is the number for Taxpayer Assistance. For more information, brokers may contact the DAR Legal Hotline; instructions are here. Buyers may also contact their accountant.


 

 

Have you given or accepted gifts from mortgage lenders, title companies, closing attorneys, or other settlement service providers?

If those gifts are in exchange for referrals, then you’re breaking the law. Read more about gifts from providers here.



Ever wonder why Delaware Realtors invest in RPAC?

Click here to find out why Realtors support RPAC.

 

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