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Kentucky REALTOR® News

NAR Board approves nationwide broker data entry system

May 19, 2015
NAR Board actions from the Legislative Meetings in DC. Included were a partnership with RPR and UpStream for data entry and collection, MLS policies, professional standards changes, a report on and others. Read More
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12 most popular new-home amenities in 2015

May 19, 2015

Master bedroom walk-in-closets and a laundry rooms are the top features that builders are most likely to include in a new home this year, according to a survey of builders conducted by the National Association of Home Builders.

Greater energy efficiency amenities also were ranked more important, with low-E Windows coming in No. 3 on the most likely amenity list on new homes. Energy-Star rated appliances and windows as well as a programmable thermostat also rated high. Read More

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HARP, HAMP to continue through 2016

May 15, 2015

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced that it would be extending its participation in the Home Affordable Mortgage Program and the Home Affordable Refinance Program through the end of 2016.

"These programs have provided critically important relief for many borrowers by allowing them to lower their monthly payments and, as a result, have prevented many foreclosures," says Mel Watt, FHFA director. FHFA is the regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Read More

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May 13, 2015 stepped out emphatically today with the introduction of a new graphic identity and national advertising campaign that position the brand as the best – and truest – provider of real estate information and services for buyers, sellers and renters of properties in the U.S. Read More

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The 10 most beautiful towns in Kentucky

May 05, 2015
Scenic, full of Southern charm and rich in history, Kentucky – or the ‘Bluegrass State’ – is home to some of the most beautiful small towns in the country. From the ‘Bourbon Capital of the World’ Bardstown, to arty communities like Paducah and Berea, the Culture Trip website rounds-up 10 of the state’s most charming towns. Read More
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Jobless rates down in all Kentucky counties in March 2015

Apr 27, 2015
Unemployment rates fell in all 120 Kentucky counties between March 2014 and March 2015, according to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training, an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary March 2015 unemployment rate dipped to 5.1 percent, the lowest rate since June 2001 when it was 5 percent. Kentucky’s figure is below the national rate (5.5 percent) for the eighth month in a row, according to the Office of Employment and Training (OET), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

Woodford County recorded the lowest jobless rate in the Commonwealth at 3.5 percent. It was followed by Oldham County, 3.9 percent; Fayette County, 4 percent; Scott County, 4.1 percent; Shelby County, 4.2 percent; Boone and Owen counties, 4.3 percent each; and Anderson, Campbell, Jessamine, Madison and Spencer counties, 4.4 percent each.

Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate – 14.7 percent. It was followed by Russell County, 11 percent; Harlan County, 10.7 percent; Elliott County, 10.5 percent; Leslie County, 10.2 percent; Letcher and Wolfe counties, 10.1 percent each; Breathitt County, 10 percent; and Clay, Knott and Menifee counties, 9.9 percent each. Read More
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Fannie Mae offer closing cost assistance to first timers

Apr 23, 2015

Fannie Mae recently announced a new program that offers 3% in closing costs assistance for first time homebuyers that purchase Fannie Mae REO properties.  To qualify, borrowers must complete Fannie Mae's online homebuyer education program, must be owner occupants, and have not owned a home in the past three years.

Agents must request the funds in the purchase contract, and once the purchase is complete, Fannie will also reimburse the $75 charged to take the course. Read More

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Fannie and Freddie fee changes

Apr 21, 2015
Mortgage-finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac recently unveiled changes to the fees they charge to back mortgages. The Federal Housing Finance Agency, which regulates the companies, also disclosed finalized capital requirements for private-mortgage insurers who want to do business with the companies. Read More
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3% cap bill passes House

Apr 21, 2015
On April 14, 2015, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 685, “The Mortgage Choice Act” by a vote of 286-140 with 45 Democrats joining the Republicans. H.R. 685 is bipartisan legislation introduced by Representatives Bill Huizenga (R-MI), Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Ed Royce (R-CA), David Scott (D-GA), Steve Stivers (R-OH), Mike Doyle (D-PA), David Joyce (R-OH), Betty McCollum (D-MN) and Stephen Fincher (R-TN) which makes two adjustments to the Truth in Lending Act’s definition of “points and fees” to ensure greater consumer choice in mortgage and settlement services under the CFPB’s Ability to Repay/Qualified Mortgage (QM) rule. Companion legislation is being worked on in the Senate by Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA). NAR continues to work with coalition partners to advance this important legislation in the Senate. Read More
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Mortgage rates continue to move lower

Apr 10, 2015
Freddie Mac says a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 3.66 percent this week, not much more than the all-time low of 3.31 percent in November 2012. A year ago, 30-year rates averaged 4.34 percent.

A 15-year fix now averages 2.93 percent, down from 2.98 percent last week. A one-year adjustable rate mortgage averaged 2.46 percent, up from 2.41 percent. Read More

Will this help the spring buying season? Let us know in the comments...
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Flood insurance rate increases take hold

Apr 06, 2015
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has released the 2015 rate changes which take effect on April 1. On average overall, rates are rising 10%. This is consistent with the 5-10% increases prior to the 2012 Biggert-Waters Act. There is also a new surcharge to pay for recent NFIP legislative reforms.

Last year, Biggert-Waters was amended for about 20% of policy holders who bought an older property (including second homes) and jumped from a subsidized rate to full cost for flood insurance overnight. The amendments resolve the implementation problems by resetting the rates to pre-Biggert-Waters levels and capping them at 18-25% per year in the future. Read More
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April is Fair Housing Month

Apr 06, 2015
April 2015 marks the 47th anniversary of the 1968 landmark Fair Housing Act. Each year REALTORS® recognize the significance of this event and reconfirm our commitment to upholding fair housing law as well as our commitment to offering equal professional service to all in their search for real property. Access tons of resources (key facts, declaration, poster, articles) to use in April to increase education and awareness for both you and your clients. Read More
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Webinar: Intro to RPR - From Desktop to Smartphone

Mar 30, 2015
REALTORS® across the country are enhancing their business by using Realtors Property Resource®. In this introductory class, you’ll learn how top agents use RPR as their all-in-one data and information source to build their business and impress clients. You'll also learn how to use RPR Mobile on your Android or iPhone to instantly view properties, create, customize, save, and send reports with your added photos, audio, and text notes. This is one hour of free training you don't want to miss! Register Now
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10 ways to get the most out of LinkedIn

Mar 30, 2015
What do you think LinkedIn is for? Is it just for people who are trying to find a new job? Should you only visit it if you want to recruit somebody? Or is it one of the best ways to grow your real estate business? If you chose the third option, you are correct. In fact, HubSpot, reports that LinkedIn is three times more effective at generating business leads than Facebook or Twitter. And since leads result in more sales and more money in your pocket, it is clear that LinkedIn cannot be ignored. Here are 10 ways real estate pros can effectively use LinkedIn to increase their online exposure. Read More
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10 Best-Kept Secrets for Buying a Home

Mar 18, 2015
Get the most out of your money with these handy home-buying tips.

Buying Secret #10: Keep Your Money Where It Is
It’s not wise to make any huge purchases or move your money around three to six months before buying a new home. You don’t want to take any big chances with your credit profile. Lenders need to see that you’re reliable and they want a complete paper trail so that they can get you the best loan possible. If you open new credit cards, amass too much debt or buy a lot of big-ticket items, you’re going to have a hard time getting a loan. Read More
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